Week 1, wrapping up! Here goes…
It’s recommended that we eat 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily (which would translate roughly to 3-5 servings of veggies and 2-4 servings of fruits daily). Suffice it to say, most people don’t eat that much produce in a day. Me – well, I almost always hit 5 per day (though sometimes with 3 fruits and 2 veggies), and often hit 6 or 7 servings a day. It takes a little work, though!
Where do I sneak in the veggies? My staple 2-servings come in the form of a giant bowl of greens every day, often with some extras in there – carrots, red peppers, cucumber, etc. Beyond that, I’ve got to make a little extra effort. The easiest way for me to sneak in more veggies is via side dishes.
Enter: roasting and grilling.
This past year, I’ve added 2 devices to my kitchen arsenal that have become invaluable in my attempts to get more veggies on my plate. They are the KitchenAid countertop convection oven. Let’s face it – when you have to fire up the giant oven just to roast a few broccoli stalks, it just rarely seems worth it. My countertop toaster/convection oven preheats nearly instantly and makes it super-easy to bake and roast things without waiting for preheating or heating up the whole house.grill/panini press, and the
Of course, you can always throw some veggies in the microwave and steam them, but personally, I find the flavors from grilling and roasting to be so much more delicious and satisfying.
These days, I’ll grill or roast just about any veggie. Butternut squash, broccoli, asparagus, green beans, kale – you name it, and I’ve probably tried to roast or grill it. My go-to’s are asparagus, broccoli, and green beans. I have fresh produce of one of those 3 in my fridge at all times, and will grab one or two of them to fill half of my plate at dinnertime every day.
Asparagus works best on the grill. Break off the rough ends, spray with a little olive oil, sprinkle with your favorite seasoning (I either go bare with salt/pepper, or use someveggie seasoning), and grill on medium for 4 minutes or so – until the asparagus is bright green and just starting to get grill marks.
My other new favorite is roasted green beans. Trim the ends, spray with some olive oil, and toss with your favorite seasonings (again, salt and pepper work well – but I often throw in some garlic powder too), and roast at 425F for 12-15 minutes. I eat ’em like french fries!
The rules for grilling/roasting most veggies are about the same, but if you like more hard-and-fast guidelines, google is your friend for temps and times. Most good all-purpose cookbooks have roasting guidelines in the front too (like). I usually just throw stuff in at 400-425F and check it after 10 minutes or so, adjusting till it looks good!
So, no more excuses for why you can’t get all of your veggie servings in each day. Eat a big ol’ salad every day, and fill half of your plate with veggies at dinner and, you’re there!