SMART Goals for Healthy Living
YMCA OF GREATER WAUKESHA COUNTY
POWER UP YOUR PLATE WITH PLANTS
Friday, April 9, 2021
Eating healthy foods is a lot easier when you have them on hand. Meal prepping can help you stay on track instead of turning to convenience foods.
Roasting a sheet pan of vegetables every weekend is a healthy habit that will help you meal prep for the week ahead and get your veggies in each day. Roasting caramelizes the natural sugars in produce which can make them tastier to those who have a hard time eating their veggies.
Vegetables provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body. Adding vegetables to your meals can help increase intake of fiber and potassium, which are important nutrients that many Americans do not get enough of in their diet.
- Vegetables are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, folate, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
- Vitamin A keeps eyes and skin healthy and helps to protect against infections.
- Vitamin C helps heal cuts and wounds and keeps teeth and gums healthy. Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron more easily.
- Dietary fiber from vegetables, as part of an overall healthy diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower the risk of heart disease, including heart attack and stroke.
- Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. Vegetable sources of potassium include sweet potatoes, white potatoes, white beans, tomato products (past, sauce, and juice), beet greens, soy beans, lima beans, spinach, lentils, kidney beans, acorn squash, kohlrabi, and yucca.
- Most vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories.
- Eating a diet rich in some vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet may protect against certain types of cancers.
A Tex-Mex dish, migas are corn tortilla strips gently fried and incorporated into scrambled eggs. This spin on the classic from the American Heart Association uses very little oil while also adding an array of veggies into the mix.
Try roasting any of your favorite veggies, including:
- Sweet potatoes
- Brussel sprouts
- Cut vegetables into bite-sized pieces and toss to coat with olive oil on a sheet pan. For easy clean-up, line your pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Bake at 375º for about 30 minutes or until fork tender.
- Use your veggies to make different dishes all week long.
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 bunch fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup fresh mint
- 3-4 scallions (green onions)
- 1 tomato
- 1 cup cucumber
- 1/2 cup red onion
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil or flax oil
- Red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Chop the vegetables and herbs, making sure the cauliflower florets are finely diced.
- Mix the vegetables, herbs, garlic, lemon juice, and oil in a large bowl.
- Add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve chilled. Salad lasts in refrigerator for up to 7 days.
CHOPPED ASIAN SLAW
For the salad:
- 1 head romaine lettuce
- 1 1/2 cup purple cabbage
- 1 1/2 cup. snow peas
- 3-4 green onions
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- Slivered almonds (optional)
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 Tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 1/2 Tabelspoons sesame seeds
- Minced garlic or ginger (optional)
- Chop romaine lettuce and cabbage and place in a large bowl.
- Slice snow peas and green onions. Dice bell pepper, slice carrots, and roughly chop cilantro; add to bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
- Pour dressing over salad, add slivered almonds, and toss to combine.
- Top with additional sesame seeds, if desired.
NOTE: If making ahead of time, store the salad and dressing in separate containers so the salad doesn't get soggy.
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