It has been a week since Spring arrived. If you have been following my Facebook page (I on Nutrition) you might have read the post on vegetables that are in season. Seasonal vegetables are affordable.
Vegetables especially a colourful variety of non-starchy ones, provide the body with dietary fibre, phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals. There is strong evidence that link an increase in vegetable consumption to a reduction in the risk of chronic diseases such as hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke and cancer. Including vegetables in our daily meals can improve health and the overall quality of life and it is not a difficult feat.
Having vegetables for breakfast is a great way to increase the amount and variety we eat each day. A cup of grilled spinach, beans, asparagus, carrots, and the list can go on, with eggs would be an example. Other ways to add vegetables at breakfast include having vegetable pikelets, vegetables muffins (made by baking eggs and veggies in a muffin tray) or pan frying a veggie omelette. Can you think of other creative ways to add vegetables to breakfast?
A quick and easy way to add vegetables at lunch would be to have a salad sandwich or salad wrap. A cup of fresh vegetable as a side; a grilled chicken salad or a tuna salad would be other ways to increase your intake at lunch.
Dinner would be a great time to have baked, roasted, steamed or stir-fried vegetable from frozen or fresh. Some examples include, having the standard meat/chicken/fish with non-starchy veggies; having a tomato based zucchini bolognaise with pasta sauce that’s packed with vegetables on some nights; making a homemade lasagne baked with a variety of non-starchy vegetables in season; replacing hot chips with roasted carrots; making a lazy Sunday stew with cabbage, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and chickpeas or making clear soup or pumpkin soup packed with lentils, snow peas, spring onions/leek and coriander leaves or some parsley.
If you do not like fresh tomatoes, bake them for a few minutes to bring out some flavour and munch on them as a snack or simply cut fresh veggie sticks and have them with a homemade veggie dip. The aim is to ensure that you consume 5 serves a day as recommended by the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating (AGHE). Be creative. There are no right or wrong recipes. If the taste appeals to your taste buds why not go crazy with your own ideas.