Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Plate: Vegetables

Let's explore vegetables. Remember, most of this information is taken from, so check it out to learn more.

VEGETABLES should take up a bit more than 1/4 of your plate. Now what type of vegetables should they be? According to the USDA any vegetable or 100% vegetable juice counts as a member of the Vegetable Group. Vegetables may be raw or cooked; fresh, frozen, canned, or dried/dehydrated; and may be whole, cut-up, or mashed.

Vegetables are organized into 5 subgroups, based on their nutrient content. Some commonly eaten vegetables in each subgroup are:
  1. Dark Green Veggies such as broccoli, spinach, or romaine lettuce and more. Note, iceberg lettuce, while a veggie, is so light in color that it doesn't add a lot of nutritive value to your diet.
  2. Red & orange vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots, squashed, sweet potatoes. Try tossing these in a little olive oil and roasting them. Delicious!
  3. Beans and Peas such as split peas, lentils, black beans, soy beans (edamame) and more
  4. Starchy Veggies such as potatoes, sweet peas, corn, lima beans and more. Try to avoid this category as much as possible as it does not add a lot to your diet. Stick with 1, 2, 3, and 5.
  5. Other veggies such as okra, asparagus, artichokes, and more.
Salad Hints: Avoid iceberg lettuce. Fill your salad bowl with dark green leaf lettuces like spring mix. I prefer "baby spring mix" as the leaves are tender. Add a few sliced almonds, cut up apple and dried cranberries for added taste and texture. and remember, when at a restaurant, ask for your dressing on the side, then try to use 1 T or less. A good way to do this is to add it in and thoroughly toss your salad to coat it well. Adding a dash of salt and pepper helps flavor your salad as well. Too much dressing can make your salad have a higher caloric count than a hamburger! So watch out.

What vegetables do you like? Are they dark in color? If not, how can your begin to change your eating habits? What new vegetable have your tried lately?

Here is a recipe for you to share with your family. It is easy and just might introduce you and your family to a new favorite.

Roasted Vegetables
  • 4 Carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch lengths OR 2 cups baby carrots
  • 4 Parsnips, peeled and cut into 2 inch lengths
  • 1 Sweet Potato, cut to match the carrots
  • 1 Sweet Onion, cut into wedges OR 1 cup pearl onions
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, peeled (optional)
  • 4 Beets, peeled and quartered (if large) (optional)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare all veggies, pat dry if wet. In a dark roasting pan, toss veggies in oil, spread out evenly, add salt and pepper to taste (you can always add more). Place in oven. After 10 minutes, stir the veggies. Cook 10 more minutes. Check to see if they are lightly browned and tender. Cook until you feel they are tender to your liking.

If you do not want the beets to bleed red all over your other veggies, then wrap them in foil and place in oven next to pan. Roasting vegetables brings out the sweet, nutty taste. Delicious. Also try roasted asparagus, okra, broccoli and more.

Eat well and be healthy! Remember to check out for more information.

In the Spirit of Camp,


Join us for the Youth Empowerment / Ragger Retreat Dec 9-11, 2011

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