Hello friends! In the last post we covered fruits so it only seems fitting for this week to cover veggies! If I were to say anything about vegetables I think my biggest point would be that flavor and texture all depends on how you cook them. I have worked with so many clients who came in telling me they "hated" vegetables. I was quick to discover that they thought they hated vegetable because they didn't know how to cook them! They just ate everything steamed with no seasoning or they ate them raw (yikes!). While some veggies are just fine steamed or in their raw crunchy crispy state, many are in great need of a little TLC. But the great thing is that it doesn't even take that much to spruce them up. Simply roasting them in the oven with a little salt, pepper and EVOO can do wonders. And don't even get me started on their flavors when roasted or sauteed with other flavors like onions, dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar- the list goes on.
Just like fruits and grains, I have a go-to list for veggies. These are my choices b/c I can do so many things with them. I can buy them even when I don't have a plan yet and I know they will be used and will make something delicious. These veggies can be used as side dishes, in soups, in pastas, on hot or cold sandwiches, scrambled with eggs, you name it. And it just so happens that many of these veggies were used or will be used in my recipes this week!
SO, here is this week's Taylored Pantry Top 10 - VEGGIES. I hope it gives you info and ideas to simplify your shopping AND your recipes in the coming weeks and year.
TAYLORED PANTRY TOP 10: VEGGIES
Benefits of Veggies: Veggies are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, water, antioxidants and other fueling, beneficial compounds. I always say to vary your veggies and especially vary the colors because the different colored veggies contain different nutrients! For example, orange and yellow veggies tend to be higher in beta-carotene, red veggies contain higher amounts of lycopene, and yellow and green veggies tend to contain higher amount of lutein. To read more details on the relationship between colors and nutrients there is a nice article in Today's Dietitian.
Uses: steam and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese | roast in the oven with olive oil salt & pepper | saute over the stove in your stir fry | add to pasta | use in omelets | serve in sweet potato bowls | add to soups | roast with cherry tomatoes in the oven and top homemade pizzas
To Know: High in folate, vitamin C, fiber, fluid, potassium & vitamin K
SUMMER YELLOW SQUASH
Uses: saute in a skillet | roast in the oven | add to pasta | add to grilled sandwiches and paninis | top homemade flatbreads | toss into soups | incorporate into a casserole | slice into large matchsticks and serve with hummus or other dip on a crudite plate | cut it in half lengthwise, remove the seed core and stuff with your favorite ingredients
To Know: high in fiber, vitamin A, potassium & vitamin C
Uses: saute on the skillet | roast in the oven (I love quartering baby bella mushrooms, roasting them in the oven and then adding to pastas or sweet potato bowls or egg scrambles b/c it adds a little depth to the dish and gives the dish a little bit of a heartier feel) | add to pizzas | add to pasta sauces | slice portable mushrooms, grill them on a grill pan or grill for a grilled portobello mushroom panini (yum!)
To Know: high in potassium, selenium & copper (some), B vitamins - niacin, riboflavin & pantothenic acid, excellent source of vitamin D if exposed to ultraviolet light before or after processing
Uses: serve raw as a snack (alone or with hummus / dip) - these are so sweet and juicy they can stand alone! | saute and add to fajitas, pasta, pizzas, grilled sandwiches | growing up, mom always added these to a bunch of onion, asparagus or brussels sprouts, and mushrooms and roasted them in the oven for a vegetables medley side dish at dinner (it's super quick & easy but really delicious!) | slice them in half, remove the "ribs" or core (with all the seeds), and stuff with quinoa, ground beef / turkey, diced veggies, cheese, etc.
To Know: vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, potassium, beta-carotene, fiber
Uses: steam | roast with olive oil, salt & pepper in a 475 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 30 - 45 minutes | serve as a side dish | add to veggie bowls | dice them and shred them (so that all the little leaves are separated) and turn into a brussels sprout salad!
To Know: vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, folic acid, potassium, B vitamins, a little iron
Uses: onion adds flavor to EVERYTHING! Onions should always be in your pantry. I prefer the white or sweet onions, but sometimes a recipe just needs a red onion. I use these as my base of most dishes. I typically saute although you can also roast in the oven. I love to saute sliced onions and watch them caramelize in the pan, turning from bitter and biting to soft and sweet. Top a grilled chicken or beef | add to a grilled sandwich (delicious on a flank steak sandwich or the pita I'm going to make this week!) | top pizzas | add to pasta sauce | add to rice / couscous mixes
To Know: fiber | vitamin C | a member of the allium family which may help reduce risks of stomach and GI cancer | contain fructans that may "boost immunity", improve bowel functioning & aid in the absorption of minerals.
SPINACH / MIXED GREENS
Uses: salads | sandwiches | pasta | omelets, egg scrambles, & egg cups | soups | throw into smoothies
To Know: vitamin A | vitamin C | vitamin K | potassium | fiber | kale, spinach & turnip greens are high in lutein | for more info on leafy greens, their nutrition profile and ideas of ways to use them check out this article from food&nutrition.com!
Uses: snacks with dip like hummus | dice onto salads | roasting these in the oven gives them a deeper, richer sweeter flavor - so good | add them to a crockpot with beef, onions, and potatoes for a hearty winter beef stew
To Know: beta - carotene (pre-cursor to vitamin A) | vitamin A | fiber |
FRENCH CUT GREEN BEANS
Uses: steam | saute | roast | toss cooked beans with olive oil and lemon, balsamic, or dijon, etc. and a fresh herb like dill or basil for a side dish | add to soups & stews | throw into summer stir-fries
To Know: vitamin A | vitamin C | vitamin K | folate | Manganese
Uses: roast whole in the oven, slice open and top with beans, feta, and spinach for a heartier baked sweet potato | dice raw potato into small squares, toss with olive oil & other desired seasonings and bake in a 375 degree oven for about 40 minutes, stirring halfway through | serve as a diced sweet potato side dish, create a sweet potato bowl | serve with eggs as a sweet potato hash | cut raw potato lengthwise into "wedges" or "fries" and bake in the oven for oven baked sweet potato fries | add to soups and stews as a replacement for white potatoes | bake, mash and whip for a delicious sweet potato side!
To Know: vitamin A | vitamin B6 | Pantothenic Acid | Potassium | Copper | Manganese