Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wellness Wednesday / "Delia's Dose"



“EAT YOUR VEGETABLES!!” How many times did we hear that growing up? I have nightmares about being forced to sit at the table until I finished the overcooked canned okra that my mom made.  Well, now that  I am a mom,  I know the importance of getting my child to eat her vegetables.  I doubt I need to go into ALL the reasons why eating your vegetables is important…you already know they are good for you. They help ward off heart disease, control blood pressure, prevent many types of cancer, and guard against macular degeneration, just to name a few. I could go on and on about specific vegetables, preparation of, and importance of…but for now, let’s start by just trying to EAT MORE VEGETABLES.

Just how many vegetables are you supposed to eat in a day. Well, that all depends on a few factors like daily activity level, age, and if you are a boy or a girl.  You can go to http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/fruitsvegetables/howmany.html and punch in some info and they will give you an idea of how much to eat. For example, I am supposed to eat 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of veggies every day. Now, I know you are saying…”Come on Delia, no way! I don’t have time to prepare vegetables and I really don’t even like many vegetables!” Yes, I grew up in the Midwest too…the only way we ate broccoli was if it was smothered in Velveeta!

Ok, so, hear me out…a serving is typically measured by ½ cup. So, dig out your measuring cups and cut up a vegetable and put it in the measuring cup so you have a reference point. Dice up some yellow and green bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, avocado, carrot, celery, cucumber, cauliflower!! The secret is planning ahead. Listen…I am a single mom who works full time. I know about being limited on time and I am proof that it can be done!  The key is chopping enough  veggies for 4-5 days and storing them in Ziploc or Tupperware containers so you can just grab them during the week. Instead of sitting in front of the TV for 2 hrs on Sunday night, how about chopping some veggies while you’ve got your favorite show on in the background!  Try getting up 10 minutes early so you can make a quick egg scramble and throw some bell peppers and mushrooms in there. BAM! One serving of veggies-Check!  It’s 10am, you need a snack..how bout grabbing some carrot sticks and celery and dipping them in all natural peanut butter. BAM! 2 servings of veggies, Check! Lunchtime… add some avocado and tomato to your sandwich…BAM! 3 servings of veggies, check! Dinner time….here’s where you can really get in those veggie servings! Instead of the usual boring, frozen peas that you throw in the microwave or green beans from a can…try getting creative. Have you ever roasted your Brussels sprouts  and tossed them with a little nutmeg? Boil  some cauliflower and then puree it to look like mashed potatoes- add some diced green onion or garlic salt-mmmm! Keep in mind the more color on your plate the better. If everything on your plate is brown or tan in color….that’s not good. Think COLOR! Green, Red, Orange! One thing that helps me get my toddler to eat her veggies is to creatively hide the veggies. Here’s one of my favorite recipes-great for making a big batch and having on hand throughout the week. Protein packed and chocked full of VEGGIES!!!

This recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, “Everyday Paleo” by Sarah Fragoso
GARDEN FRESH MEATBALLS
1.5 lbs ground turkey
1 lb ground beef(preferably grass fed!)
2 zucchinis
1 yam or sweet potato
2 big handfuls of spinach
1 12 ounce jar of roasted red peppers
2 gloves garlic
Sea salt and black pepper
2 eggs
¼ cup almond meal

Grate zucchini and sweet potato. In a food processor finely mince spinach, roasted peppers and garlic. Hand mix ALL ingredients and form into meatballs. Bake at 375 in a large baking dish lightly covered with foil. Makes 20-25 meatballs.

NOW… I will share with you how I modified this.
I use 2.5-3lbs of ground turkey
1 zucchini
1 big sweet potato or 2 small
8 ounces frozen spinach
1 large red bell pepper diced fine(or any color that you like best)
Minced garlic(as much as you like)
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
2 eggs
½ cup almond meal. You may use regular bread crumbs, but the almond meal makes these gluten free and very very low carb.

I put the frozen spinach in the microwave and cook it. While that’s cooking, I grate the zucchini and sweet potato(skin on) into a big mixing bowl. I put the ground turkey on top of that. I drain my spinach really well, press out as much water as I can and then add that to my bowl. I add my finely diced bell pepper(I like to cut it up in chunks then throw it in my mini food processor to get it finely chopped quicker!) and lots of garlic, 3 pinches of sea salt and 1 big pinch of black pepper. I’ve also been known to throw in some onion powder or even finely dice up a red onion and throw that in too. I add my 2 eggs,  and almond meal and mix it all up really really well so all the ingredients are evenly incorporated. I form my meatballs into the size of a baseball…if they aren’t sticking together too well, I may add another egg and a bit more almond meal, to help bind it all together. I put them in a baking dish or even roasting pan and put them in the oven uncovered(I like them browned on top) at 375 for a good 45 min. You can always check the internal temp with a meat thermometer to make sure they are done, but I’ve found 45 min is usually good…sometimes I even put the broiler on high the last few minutes so they get nice and crisp on the top. Then I keep them in the fridge all week…they are super easy to grab and warm up for lunch or dinner(heck even a protein packed breakfast or post workout snack!).

Have a Healthy Week!
-Delia


DISCLAIMER: Delia is not a Doctor, Nutritionist, or Registered Dietitian. She is simply a person dedicated to eating healthy foods and living a healthy lifestyle. She loves to help and inspire others to do the same!

1 comment:

  1. I like this recipe. I'll have to try it out and see if my kids will eat it.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete