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
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
[accordion][accordion_item title=”Ingredients” open=”true”]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
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[/accordion_item]
[accordion_item title=”Directions”]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.[/accordion_item]
[accordion_item title=”Nutrition Information”]Serves: 8
Total fat: 15g
Saturated fat: 2g
Recipe courtesy of Better Health Foundation