Spring Clean Your Diet

True North Custom News, Nutrition

HAS YOUR DIET been stuck in a winter rut? During the colder months, we tend to go into hibernation mode, storing fat from eating cheesy casseroles and meaty stews. Now that warm-weather produce has returned, get your diet back to a fresher, healthier place. Not sure how to start? These tips can help:

Try Something New

Apples, carrots, green beans—week after week, your shopping cart is filled with the usual suspects. Diversify your produce portfolio with some lesser-known seasonal fruits and veggies, including:

  • Cardoons—a staple of Mediterranean cooking related to artichokes
  • Nopales—meaty leaves from the edible prickle pear cactus, with a fresh, tangy flavor and a texture similar to okra
  • Radicchio—similar in appearance to red cabbage, with a bitter, spicy flavor

Cook Creatively

Since time began, you have steamed broccoli, sautéd mushrooms and grilled asparagus. Why not mix it up? Cooking vegetables in different ways unlocks different flavors and textures, making a well-known veggie taste new and exciting again. Try sautéing your broccoli. Bake your asparagus with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Grill portabellas whole. Most fruits and veggies can be prepared multiple ways—don’t be afraid to experiment!

Join a CSA

Community-supported agriculture (CSA) is a great way to get fresh, seasonal produce directly from the farmer. To join a CSA, you pay a yearly membership fee that secures you a certain number of “shares,” typically in the form of weekly or biweekly baskets of fresh produce from a local farmer. What’s in the basket depends on what’s ready to be harvested. You get only the freshest seasonal produce. You also support farmers and strengthen the local economy.


Spring Salad With Honey Dressing

Salad:
2 cups purslane leaves, chopped
2 cups Romaine leaves, chopped
2 cups spinach leaves, chopped
10 radishes, sliced
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1 1/2 cups cannellini beans
Dressing:
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil

1. Place all dressing ingredients in a covered jar.

2. Shake until blended.

3. Combine salad greens in a large bowl and top with radishes, strawberries, and beans.

4. Add dressing, toss lightly if desired, and serve.

Serves: 8

Calories: 200

Total fat: 15g

Saturated fat: 2g

Carbohydrates: 14g

Cholesterol: 0mg

Fiber: 3g

Sodium: 180mg

Protein: 3g

Recipe courtesy of Better Health Foundation

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