Seasonal Vegetable

3 Ways to Eat More Veggies - and enjoy it

It's pretty common knowledge that Americans do not eat enough vegetables. In fact, according to the Production for Better Health Foundation's State of the Plate report, vegetable consumption has even gone down 2% in the last 5 years - can you believe that?! 

Recent studies now prove that vegetable consumption reduces the risk of diseases including cancer, and many people have even reversed disease by changing to a plant heavy diet. Food is so powerful. Vegetables are so vital. But yet we struggle to eat them.

Well, struggle no more. Here are 3 easy ways to eat more veggies every single day, which will increase your energy, mood, performance, health, and life span. Ready? Let's go.

1. Add a handful or two of dark leafy greens to your berry smoothie. Full on green smoothies are our favorite, but to ease you in, here's a Berry Delicious way to start. :) 

Berry Delicious Smoothie
1/2 c. - mixed frozen berries (blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, etc.)
1/2 - frozen banana
2 T. - hemp seeds
1-2 handful - dark leafy greens (kale, spinach, collards, etc.)
1-2 c. - almond, hemp, flax or milk of choice

Combine everything in a blender and blend until smoothie. Start with 1 handful of greens and work up to more. 

Optional additions: 1 T. almond butter, chia seeds, flax seed, 1/4 avocado

dandelionberry.jpg

2. Buy a veggie chopper. The biggest hurdle I see with clients is that they don't like to mess around with chopping veggies (even though it's free therapy).

That's where a veggie chopper comes in super handy. You can dice up your veggies in a matter of seconds, and throw them into just about anything.

Add chopped cucumber, peppers, onion, etc. to your daily greens salad (refer to number 3 below).

Use it to finely chop up dark leafy greens - throw those in your pasta sauce, pizza sauce, soups, eggs, casseroles, stir fry, salad - all the things. 

This is the kind we have. This one may be even easier to use (and clean). 
 

veggiechopper.jpg

3. Make your own vinaigrette at the beginning of each week. And keep a bin of salad greens in your fridge.

We call this our "Daily Greens" and it's added to every meal plan automatically. Don't let your kids move out of the house without the skill of making dressing and the habit of eating greens every night at dinner.

Making a vinaigrette is so simple, so delicious, and pretty much guarantees you will eat a green leafy salad every day. At dinner time, simply throw a handful of greens on a plate, add chopped veggies now that it's super easy, and drizzle the dressing on top.

Here's the basic vinaigrette formula: 

1/2 - 3/4 c. - extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. - vinegar of choice (white wine, red wine, balsamic, lemon juice)
1/2 t. - Dijon mustard
1/4 t. - black pepper
drizzle - raw honey

Place all these ingredients in a mason jar with a tight fitting lid, and shake vigorously to combine. Store on the counter - not the fridge. 

Our meal plan subscribers have the benefit of these simple habits automatically planned out for them. Our recipe bank includes a number of awesome smoothie recipes, which is the easiest and most benefit noticing way to increase your veggie intake. Every recipe is loaded with in season veggies. And every meal plan includes the "Daily Greens" and vinaigrette recipes. Join us in living the Voeden (nourished) Life! 

Seasonal Ingredients: The Health Benefits of Leeks

 

How many of you are familiar and comfortable cooking with leeks? With a flavor profile that is part onion, part garlic this oversized scallion looking vegetable packs quite the punch when you add it to your Spring dishes. Leeks, cousins to garlic and onion, (which makes sense due to their similar flavors) all belong to the same vegetable family, Allium. 

If you're in the store or at the market looking for leeks they resemble oversized green onions with a green top and a medium sized white bulb at the base. The leaves should be dark and green, and not wilted at all.. that's how you'll know they are at the peak of their flavor. 

You can use them just as you would an onion, they have a slightly sweeter taste but totally interchangeable. 

Favorite Ways To Eat Leeks:

  1. One sure fire way to enjoy leeks, especially if you've never used them before is to try them out in a soup. Our Potato Leek Soup is a must try. 

  2. Sautee them up in a pan with just a little bit of olive oil, salt and fennel. Squeeze a splash of lemon on top and sprinkle some thyme to finish it off. 

  3. One word, frittata! Literally one of my favorite things ever to toss into my eggs in the morning. Pairs perfectly with fresh basil, kale, sweet potatoes and a little feta. 

Top Three Reasons I Love Leeks:

 

  1. Contains B vitamin folate; complex vitamin for supporting cardiovascular system, preventing anemia, allows nerves to function properly, and can aid in prevention of dementias

  2. Full of chlorophyll which has many benefits to it such as; boots immune system, combats again, effective in treating exposed wounds and burns, replenishes red blood cells, reduces symptoms of insomnia and fatigue, and more

  3. Excellent source of vitamin A, and a good source of vitamin C

 

Leek and Spinach Fritatta

Leek and Spinach Fritatta

    Root Noodle Soup
     
    Stuffed Russet with Leek Sauce

    Stuffed Russet with Leek Sauce