One valuable tip I always recommend to clients who are looking to increase their fruit and veggie intake is to cut up the produce into bite-sized pieces as soon as you bring it home. You are a lot more likely to devour a melon or pick at veggie sticks when theyâ€™re washed, cut and readily available.
Donâ€™t think your kids will eat veggies? Try leaving some cut carrots, sugar snap peas and broccoli florets on the table with some salad dressing to dip and watch them disappear.
Canâ€™t fit fresh produce into your cooking because you donâ€™t have time at dinner? Pre-wash and cut heads of lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. and store it in Tupperware so itâ€™s ready to go.
Thatâ€™s exactly what I did with the produce I purchased this past week: I cut up the head of broccoli, peeled and chopped the carrots, chopped and dried the head of lettuce and put it in the salad spinner. I picked at this fresh produce all week since it's now ready for snacking.
This produce preparation also made it much easier to whip up a cooked veggie side dish for a weekend lunch.
I was ravenous after an exhausting swim and had broccoli on the brain. Still dripping from pool water, I heated some olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a pan. I then tossed in my pre-cut and washed broccoli and sauteed for a few minutes. Next I added in the juice and some zest from one orange, one teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and a dash of salt to finish of the dish and sauteed a little more.
In less time than it took to sing supercalifragilisticbroccoliisdelicious, I had a sweet and tangy broccoli side dish.
I like the orange juice sauce on the broccoli. It was fresher and more flavorful than a standard stir-fry sauce and it even tasted like some of those orange-glazed dishes you find at a Chinese restaurant.
Try this recipe on any of your veggies next time you stir fry. And when you do, have those veggies pre-cut and ready for cooking and youâ€™ll see what a breeze it can be to whip up a healthy and fresh meal.
If you hunger for great meatless recipes, be sure to check out the 700+ vegetarian recipes served up daily right here at Diet.com!
Janel Ovrut, MS RD LDN is a Registered Dietitian who follows a vegetarian diet. She promotes no-nonsense, plant-based cooking so that eating is both healthful and enjoyable. Janel has a masterâ€™s degree in nutrition communication from Tufts University in Boston, MA. You can read many more of her blog posts at EatWellWithJanel.com.