Food & fitness for your consideration// Veggie season!
Now that warmer weather is right around the corner, if not right outside your window, it’s time to start welcoming back the lighter, greener fares and bid adieu to the hearty winter feasts. Yes, we will always love you pot roast and cheesy potato casserole, but the cycling spandex is calling my name. This doesn’t mean switching to just raw spinach and carrots, but incorporating more veggies into meals is one of the easiest ways to make sure you are getting all of the needed nutrients while keeping your plate full.
Here are 3 easy ways to unexpectedly add more veggies and still feel satisfied:
1 – Kale Chips
If your junk food weakness is salty & crunchy chips or fries, kale chips are truly the closest healthy substitute. Easy to make, and impossible to stop eating, one cup of kale gives you 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, 15% of the daily requirement of calcium, 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K . Just call it queen of the greens.
Click on the picture above for a basic garlic and lemon yogurt recipe. My personal preference for seasoning is a garlic sea salt mix to really quench my salty craving, but you can experiment with a variety of flavorings such as cajun BBQ, chili lime, or parmesean. I honestly didn’t have my hopes up when I tried these for the first time, but once baked, kale is surprisingly crispy and addicting.
2 – Roasted Chickpeas
Now for all you sweet lovers: this one is filling and sweet at the same time. Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are usually a flavorless addition to your chef salad or bean soup, but in this recipe they become a sweet grab-and-go snack food. Full of protein and fiber, adding a little bit of cinnamon sugar gives you a healthy and low-cal substitute for that candybar.
Again, the fun thing about these recipes is that you can incorporate your own flavors too. Maybe some cocoa powder and a dash of chile floats your boat?
3 – Brussel sprouts
And last but not least, if you really want to fill up on your greens, these are hearty little bites that won’t leave you feeling half-full like salads can. The reason I love brussel sprouts so much is because you don’t have to give up warm and filling for raw veggies. Roast these in halves with some olive oil and seasoning and they can easily stand as a meal themselves. Or if you don’t want to go 100% veggies, click the picture for a recipe that pairs them with feta, bacon, and roasted red papers. Yum!