Thursday, February 24, 2011

Making My Way to Nine-a-Day

 

Does anyone remember these guys? I used to watch Veggietales all the time when I was younger! And what does Veggietales have to do with today’s post? Well, nothing really, except for the fact that I think they’re cute and I thought it was a good way to kick off a post pertaining to all thing vegetables. Just bear with me! :-)

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So lately I’ve found some time to finally catch up on my magazine reading. I was developing quite the pile since the start of the new year. So many subscriptions, so little time. Anyway, I started noticing a trend in all of the New Year’s Resolution articles—most people want to get more vegetables into their daily diet. Now as far as my diet goes, I never go a day without vegetables, but the latest recommendation from the new dietary guidelines released by the departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services recommends nine servings translate to about 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables every day. A lot of days I can say that I hit the 2 1/2 c mark, but realistically, when my life gets busy, my vegetable consumption takes a nosedive, and lately my life has been busier than ever..I’m sure you get where I’m going with this—I needed to find some sneaky ways to add more veggies back into my life!

1) Pick restaurants that offer all you can eat veggies

This past weekend I went to my all-time favorite restaurant, the Golden Corral. I wish Minnesota would get one, but instead I drive to North Dakota, about an hour away to get my “Corral fix” haha.

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They have the best veggie selection ever, and they are all delicious. It’s a perfect way for me to pile on the veggies like so:

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Steamed cabbage, baked potato, steamed carrots and broccoli, sautéed onions and mushrooms, and steak.

2) Always start your meal with a salad.

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So maybe you can’t always go to an all-you-can-eat buffet. In that case, you always have salads to back you up. I am a huge fan of salads, but as we all know, they can turn into a diet disaster—just stick with veggies, no cheese or croutons, and a light or fat-free dressing. Some places really skimp on side salads, but I am always happy with Applebee’s generous side salads!

 3) Or better yet, make your salad the main meal.

I don’t know about you, but just the word “salad” doesn’t sound filling enough to be a meal, but trust me, one you load up on all the good stuff, it can be the perfect meal to satisfy your appetite and a tasty way to get even more veggies!! My favorite salad that I eat as a meal is Subway’s Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki salad with Sweet Onion Dressing (is anyone else is love with this dressing?) And even better, you can make any sub into a salad—so you have lots of options!

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4) Soups on

Soup has always been one of my favorite ways to get in lots of veggies, especially with the cold wintery days of late. I’ll usually whip up one of my favorites ( a good one for lots of veggies is my Very Veggie Soup) or if I am out to eat, I love Olive Garden’s minestrone soup!

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I also recently tried this soup for the first time..

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Dr. McDougall’s Minestrone

Loaded with chunks of fresh-tasting veggies.

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5) If your favorite produce isn’t in season, use frozen or canned (low-sodium preferably)

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I especially love having lots of canned veggies now ever since I got my soup can organizer from Progresso Soup—love it!

6) And the last way I like sneaking in extra veggies to my diet? Baked good of course!!

My veggie loaded cupcakes

Zucchini Nut Cupcakes
Moist Zucchini Cake Studded with Orange Zest
Topped with a Brown Sugar Frosting
Garnished with a Pecan
Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Moist Carrot Cake
Topped with a Cream Cheese Frosting
Garnished with Walnuts and Coconut

Now for a new & delicious veggie loaded cookie recipe—Bonus: it’s semi-homemade!

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White Chocolate Dipped Carrot Cake Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 box carrot cake mix
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 oil
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 c sliced almonds, if desired

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Mix cake mix, eggs, and oil until thoroughly combined—add it grated carrots.
  • Place in preheated oven on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and bake 7-11 or until edges start to brown.
  • Remove from oven and let cool on cooling racks for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate chips over a double broiler, stirring until a dipping consistency is achieved.
  • Dip half of a cookie in the white chocolate, and immediately dip in the sliced almonds.
  • Place on parchment paper to harden

How do you reach the daily serving of vegetables, or are you still working on it?

--Thank you for the votes on my POM Pink Velvet Cupcake—keep voting here!!--

10 comments:

Christina said...

nice post! i have been doing anything i can do get more veggies in. sometimes i just make a massive veggie stir fry. talk about filling!! hope you're doing well and the biz adventures are going great! :)

lesley lifting life said...

Haha, gotta love VeggieTales : ) I have good childhood Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber memories.

Mandi said...

I am loving the veggies in baked goods =) Personally, one of my favorite things that I grew up eating was my Mom's zucchini bread and carrot cake. I have actually been trying a lot harder lately to fit in more veggies - I have begun eating some nice loaded salads for my lunches and some dinners too. If you put fresh, tasty, filling toppings a salad can definitely be filling!

Kelly said...

I feel like I definitely go through waves where either I am eating a ton of veggies or I am hardly eating any at all. I will say sheepishly, that I am currently in the latter camp (as if you couldn't tell by the kinds of foods I'm posting lately) but hoping to swing back to eating more healthy. It's funny because now that my diet has been so off, I actually find myself CRAVING veggies.

brandi said...

winter is MUCH harder for me because I never want salads! I try to make veggie-heavy soups, pastas and casseroles, but I know I eat a lot more veggies in the spring/summer/fall when I'm craving big salads and smoothies.

Erica said...

Honestly, I'm a fruit & veggie nut. I like them fresh, frozen, salads, soups, you name it! Great tips though..and I love sneaking them into baked goods- so yummy! Those cupcakes look ridiculous good. Hope you have a nice weekend

laurie said...

I love fresh veggies! This was a fun post to read.Lots of good ideas!

Krista said...

I always have lots of veggies at dinner which is when I eat them the most. I'm usually pretty good at sneaking some in at lunch, too.

Mimi said...

Those cookies look absolutely amazing! I love the special touch of dipping them in chocolate!

Kylie @ A Hungry Spoon said...

Those cupcakes look soooo good...and I love the carrot cake cookie recipe--I've never thought of adding white chocolate to carrot cake anything before, but I'm sure it'd be just delicious :)

I get my veggies in by have a huge lunch salad every day at work--even if I miss them at breakfast or don't get tons at dinner, I can always count on lunch!