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Deirdre Riley is a registered dietitian and nutrition consultant who specializes in wellness and prevention. She promotes a healthy lifestyle with a focus on nutritious and delicious foods and believes healthy eating can also be fun. She received her Master's degree in nutrition from Boston University.

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Eat This!
by Deirdre Riley, Registered Dietitian

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We've all heard that eating plenty of vegetables is essential when you're trying to eat right and be healthy. Vegetables provide countless vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, soluble fiber, insoluble fiber, and the list goes on. Studies demonstrating the considerable health benefits of veggies are too numerous to count. In addition to their incomparable nutrient density, most veggies are also extremely low in calories. Therefore, you can eat your fill without having to be too stingy with your portion.

veggiesHowever, although we all know how fundamental this food group is, we don't always meet our daily requirements of at least 3-5 (or more!) servings every day. I hear all kinds of comments: "they're boring", "they just don't taste good", "they take too long to prepare", "they lack flavor", "I don't know how to make them", etc. Here are a few simple, tasty and calorie-friendly strategies to add flavor and depth to your veggies. Be adventurous! Choose a variety of veggies in a rainbow of colors. You may find that with some creative adjustments, it's easy to meet your daily goals after all.

1. Sauteed Vegetables with Garlic and Oil:
This quick and easy recipe works well with any combination of raw veggies (such as spinach, mushrooms, onions, shallots, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, summer squash, kale, etc.) or lightly-steamed veggies (such as asparagus, green beans, broccoli or cauliflower, etc.) Of note, each teaspoon of oil adds 33 calories, so just make sure you're not too heavy-handed.

Saute a few cloves of minced garlic in one or two teaspoons of healthy oil (extra virgin olive, canola, peanut, walnut or grape seed are all great ...    Continue

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@ 8:34am ET on November 21, 2009 I prefer to use a low calorie salad dressing over oil...
Using a variety of veggies, (carrots, onion, red pepper, zuccini, etc) cut into chunks, cover lightly in low calorie Italian dressing (5cals per tbsp), toss to coat, cook in over 450 for 30 mins or til tender! Mmmmm you can also throw in some chicken, but watch cook times...don't want overdone chicken and undercooked carrots!
@ 9:00pm ET on November 23, 2009 Sounds delicious! This is definitely another tasty and healthy way to get in all your servings of veggies!
@ 2:20am ET on January 9, 2010 okay I cooked me some sauteed veggies tonight..simply AMAZING!!! Just a little bit of Olive Oil and spices mmmm. Thank you so much for posting this idea.
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