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.
If you live in Manhattan, then there’s a farmer’s market near you. Grow NYC has established 23 Greenmarkets on the island, where residents can purchase fresh veggies, produced from farms in Brooklyn to the Hudson Valley. Many locations also offer prepared food, breads, and art.
The organization, which started in 1976, also runs a collection of Youthmarkets. Here local kids operate booths of local vegetables in their neighborhoods, which otherwise may not have access to fresh produce. Grow NYC also has markets in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Many of these locations also accept clothing collections and food-scrap drop offs- minimizing waste in the city.
If you live in New York, please visit these incredible markets!
A chance to sit at candlelit tables in the field, enjoying delicious food, and counting 16 veggies toward your challenge? Yes please!
On Sunday night we had our third dinner at Hope Farms, with four incredible chefs cooking veggies straight from the field. Chef Tommy from Fig & Olive cooked a pig over the coals, transformed peppers into paella, and our VegOut! October Ambassador Erin O’Leary Stewart grilled eggplant & baked cakes with root veggies. We also had the two chefs behind the upcoming restaurant Musaafer cooking intricate dishes inspired by their homeland.
We often think of going out to eat as a tax on the stomach – rich food, bread, and lots of wine – but it can be both delicious and healthy! We totaled 16 different vegetables during this farm dinner. That’s half of your challenge right there!
So next time you want to dine out, consider a farm dinner, farm to table restaurant, or a local spot that places emphasis on regional vegetables.
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.
Erin O’Leary Stewart, co-owner of DEFINE body and mind, a wellness community that takes a holistic lifestyle approach to reach physical and inner strength goals. Erin created DEFINE foods, a place where mindful eating and whole body health connect. This busy working Mom of a two-year-old will be teaching, inspiring and empowering us to eat healthier with her daily VegOut! posts throughout October as she chronicles Liam’s Lunches on her Instagram feed. Erin will also be cooking at the October 7 Chefs in the Field supper at Hope Farms.
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.