Enjoy a variety of vegetables every day with these simple tips.
Everyone knows vegetables are packed with vitamins and fiber. Nutritionists tell us we should eat a variety of different colors and types of veggies to make sure we get appropriate nutrients and disease-fighting benefits, but it can be a challenge to find easy and yet tasty ways to fix them. Here are some simple ways to include veggies in your meal.
Vegetable Stir Fry
Choose fresh, raw veggies such as onions (green, white or yellow), peppers, celery, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, and eggplant. Wash and chop finely. Heat three or four tablespoons of canola oil in wok or large frying pan on high. Test the temperature by dropping a small piece of onion into the oil. When it sizzles, the oil is ready. Drop the vegetables into the oil all at once and stir constantly with a long-handled wooden spoon until tender crisp, about five minutes. Add a few shakes of stir fry sauce. A variety of sauces are available in the Asian food section of the grocery store or in an Asian food store. Stir fry makes a great side dish, or you can combine it with meat and serve with rice for a complete meal.
Oven Roasted Vegetables
Root vegetables, such as turnips, carrots, potatoes, and sweet potatoes, are commonly used for this delicious dish, but you can also use other veggies you commonly keep on hand, such as onions, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Cut veggies into fairly large pieces and place into a large bowl with a lid. In a separate bowl, mix about a half a cup of olive oil and two tablespoons of mixed seasonings. Several spice mixes are available, and you may wish you keep several jars on hand for variety. Drizzle the oil and seasonings over the vegetables, cover bowl, and shake well. Spread the vegetables on a large jelly roll pan or cake pan and bake at 425 degrees F for about 20 minutes.
This is a great way to use up all kinds of vegetables in your fridge. Start this in the morning and let it cook all day, or fix it on the stove in about an hour. Empty one 46-ounce can of tomato or vegetable juice into large cooking pot or crock pot. Fill the can with water and add to the juice. Add a variety of chopped raw veggies, such as potatoes, celery, onions, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, okra, peas, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, or green beans. If you wish, add one-half cup raw barley. If using a stove, bring to a boil, then cover and let simmer for an hour. If using a crock pot, simmer on low for eight hours or high for four hours. NOTE: If frozen vegetables are used, cut cooking time in half and use quick-cooking barley.
Say the word salad, and most people think of iceberg lettuce, grated carrots and chopped tomatoes drenched in dressing. For a healthier alternative, start with Romaine or green leaf lettuce and add a variety of chopped raw vegetables, such as carrots, green onions, celery, green pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, cabbage, spinach, and peas. To further increase your nutritional variety and enhance the taste, add fruit such as apples, raisins, berries, or mandarin oranges, and garnish with nuts or cheese. For a healthy dressing high in Omega-3’s, mix together two parts olive oil with one part lemon juice.
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