We know your new year is full of goals, resolutions, and plans for a great 2019, ours is too. You’re at a spin class this week, trying yoga the next. Having green juice for breakfast, quinoa bowls for dinner, and totally not drinking (okay… maybe a glass or two – I mean, it’s got antioxidants, right?). On top of that you’ve still got a full workload, social obligations, and family life…
You’ve also committed to eating more veggies. So how do you fit them in? We’ve got some great ideas for delicious & healthy recipes you can make in 20 minutes and under.
Winter in the South is the best time for Braised Mustard Greens, and this delicious recipe will be the perfect end-of-day treat, only requiring one pan of clean up!
Just finished your morning work out, and want a healthy way to start the rest of your day? Add a few eggs to this Garden Bok Choy Stir Fry, and you’ll have plenty of veggie-centered energy to get you to lunch or later.
Even when you’re eating clean, you still want to snack. Instead of grabbing the chips and dip, try carrot sticks and hummus. Chickpeas are a great source of protein, and will keep you feeling satisfied until your main meal.
Though we’re used to seeing coleslaw as a side, this delicious Mexican Coleslaw can make a great lunch. Mix this with a protein and some avocado – so good!
For something you can prep at home on Sunday and take to the office for the perfect light lunch, try Vietnamese Spring Rolls. They’re easy to assemble, and you can create any combination of delicious veggies to suit the contents of your fridge.
You’re exhausted, it’s been a busy day, and you’re tempted to just call for takeout and open a bottle of wine. We get it. But we also know how that’s going to feel tomorrow morning. The good news is, we’ve got some ideas for making your weeknights speedy, easy, and deliciously healthy!
Quinoa – This ancient grain is nutritious, easy to cook, and pairs well with almost everything. It only take 10 minutes from start to finish, then you can combine it hot or cold with whatever protein and veggies you’re having for dinner, and viola!– a delicious meal in minutes.
Casserole – Trust us, they don’t have to be dense, tasteless bakes. There areways to make this easy prepare-ahead dish delicious. Try a gratin, or layer some leftovers with onions, beans, parmesan, and a few spices and throw it under the broiler.
Two Pot Spot – Have some time, but don’t want to do fancy dicing, sifting, or layering? Try something like ratatouille, where you can dump a whole bunch of veggies together on a baking tray, roast them, and serve over quinoa, grits, rice, or even fold into an omelet. You’ll keep the clean up to a minimum and have a dish you can eat in multiple ways.
Stir Fry – While you will need to do a bit of chopping, this delicious dish cooks in under 10 minutes. Using rice you prepared during the weekend, or grating a cauliflower to use as rice, will make dinner prep even quicker.
We promised some tips on packing your kids (or yourself!) a healthy lunchbox, and we didn’t forget. See below for some ideas on making healthy eating easy & delicious throughout the week. Of course, if you can get any of your ingredients from a local farmer’s market, even better! We promise they’ll taste fantastic, plus you’ll feel great about supporting the community.
Leftovers – Always cook a little extra dinner? Portion it out the next day for school lunch. If you made a sauce, try putting it in a sandwich; if you made a casserole, stick a small portion in the lunchbox. There’s always a way to adapt delicious leftovers into lunch.
Hummus – Nothing says healthy lunch of snack like this dippable dish. The best part is that you can make a big batch on Sunday night, and use it throughout the week.
Charcuterie – May sound too fancy for lunch, but we don’t think it has to be. Most of us have cheese & deli meats hanging out in our fridge, so when you’re tired of a sandwich, just roll up those ham pieces and pack them with a few slices of cheese, several grapes or olives, and a handful of nuts.
Healthy Sweets – Sometimes we just need that afternoon pick me up, and want that easy to get candy bar or doughnut. Instead, try making a batch of healthy sweets on Sunday afternoon, and pack one as a backup in your bag for those sluggish hours.
Salad – Want something lighter for lunch? Pack whatever greens you’ve got in a mason jar with whatever proteins and veggies are in your fridge. Add a little olive oil & balsamic, or your favorite dressing, and you’ve got salad in a jar – quick and easy (and healthy) lunch fix.
Market Finds – Make a trip out of visiting your local farmer’s market this Saturday. You’ll find plenty of delicious veggies to pack for lunch, and you’ll support local agriculture at the same time! Look for small peppers, radishes, cucumbers, beans, and anything else you can simply wash and stick in your lunchbox.
The 2014 VegOut! Challenge close is right around the corner! It’s been a speedy one, no? In case you’re almost there and need a recipe to push you over the 30 veg edge, try this recipe by Francine Spiering, who writes over at Life in the Food Lane. The nine veggies in this dish will surely help you reach the finish line.
Many Vegetable Lasagna
This recipe serves 2-3 adults
This combination of vegetables creates a lasagna that is abundant both in flavor and color. Sweetness from the yellow beet and squash, hearty flavors from the onion, kale and celeri, aromatic flavors from the garlic, eggplant and bell pepper, and acidity from the tomatoes. – Francine
1 medium eggplant
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow (golden) beet
1/2 acorn squash
1 cup cooked kale*
2-3 stalks celeri
1 medium onion
4-5 cloves of garlic
1 cup peeled and diced tomato
1 cup (or less) water
1 tbsp olive oil
fresh herbs: thyme, mint and basil (to taste)
spice it up to your liking: I used a tsp smoked paprika, a pinch of cumin, a pinch of dried ginger, a pinch of cayenne, and salt/pepper (my pinches are generous)
1 cup ricotta
1 “ball” mozzarella, chopped fine
1 cup grated parmesan
salt/pepper to taste
6-9 sheets lasagna (depending on the number of layers you prefer)
A lasagna being a flat-layered dish, I like to cut all vegetables into half-moons and/or slices. Also, lazy me, I use lasagna sheets that need no precooking.
Heat the olive oil in a wide casserole dish. Add the onions and cook over medium heat until soft (about 5 min).
Add the eggplant, beetroot, bell pepper, squash, and celeri, stir and cook for about 10 minutes, or until softened.
Add the tomatoes, garlic, bay leaf and half the water. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Add more water if it looks too dry. Taste, add salt/pepper, the cooked kale, and fresh thyme and shredded basil.
Meanwhile, prepare the ricotta mixture: Whisk the eggs until foamy, stir in the ricotta, mozzarella, and half of the parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Assemble: In an oven-safe casserole dish, spoon some of the vegetable sauce to cover the bottom. Place lasagna sheets on top of sauce, next to each other but an inch or so apart, and from the sides (the lasagna sheets expand in the oven). Spoon more vegetable sauce, cover with lasagna sheets, add another layer if you like (dividing the sauce accordingly), and finally the ricotta mixture.
When your layers are done, cover the entire dish with the ricotta mixture. Spread evenly and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan. If you like, also sprinkle some fresh thyme leaves.
Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes at 350F. Remove the foil, increase the temperature to 400F and bake for another 20 minutes or until bubbling and slightly browning on the top.
Finish by sprinkling with fresh herbs and small capers.
Serve more or less immediately.
The cooked kale was a leftover from a previous meal. You could add raw, chopped kale to the sauce to simmer along with the rest of the vegetables. It’s bitter-green taste can dominate, though. If you want to balance the flavors, “wilt” the kale first (in the microwave, for instance).
For the 2014 VegOut! Challenge, Amy Anton, Houston mom of three boys, shares a favorite recipe of her eldest, which just happens to be a simple and tasty way to check kale off of your Veggie Log, as well as a way to get the kids in the kitchen.
Ashton’s Caesar Salad
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice of 1-2 lemons
Dash Worcestershire sauce
1 T Dijon mustard
2 anchovy filets
Yolk of 1 egg
1/2 C grape seed oil (or other mild flavored oil)
1/2 C grated Parmesan cheese
1 head kale
Juice the lemon, mince the garlic and combine, letting them sit in a small mixing bowl while you chop the kale.
Whisk in the Worcestershire sauce, Dijon, anchovies, and egg yolk.
Slowly add the oil while whisking constantly.
Whisk in the the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pour desired amount of dressing over kale and massage it into the leaves.
Let dressed salad sit, covered, in the fridge for about 30 minutes to absorb the flavors.
Top with desired add-ins, if using, and serve!
Try Ashton’s recipe and let us know what you think, or share YOUR favorite ways to eat kale below.
Let's check #Zucchini off as our 31st veg! Though there are many veg we love that we haven't mentioned for #vegout2021, we hope you have had fun with us, discovered new veg & expanded your menus to a half plate of veggies with every meal. It's the fastest path to health!
We saved green beans for day 30 of #vegout2021 With dozens of cultivars, from broad, meaty Roma to thin, delicate French filet beans, pods can be round or flat, and come in multiple colors: green, purple, yellow, or mottled, so they don't have to be a predictable choice.