Posts Tagged ‘Vegetable’

My Body Needs A Reboot

vegetable-cutlets

It has come to my attention that I may not be as young as I think I am.  This has been rudely pointed out to me by a nagging case of “Trigger Finger” that locks-up the middle finger of my right hand.  The very first thing they tell you is that it’s more predominant in women over 40.  Really?  Do you have to just come at me like that? How about easing into it a little?  Tell me it’s because I do so much hand/craft work, or too much keyboarding, not the age thing right out of the gate.  Geesh.  So, when I started thinking about what to give up for Lent this year, it seemed like a glaringly obvious answer; I need a reboot.

With computers, a reboot will cure many an ill.  I’m hoping that will be the case for me.  My initial sacrifice was going to be no alcohol for Lent.  It’s not like I’m in need of an intervention, but let’s be honest, Mama likes wine.  Well… it’s only 46 days.  And it is supposed to be something that is really a sacrifice.  Actually, the traditional Lenten sacrifice is forty days because Sundays are excluded as days of celebration.  Aha!  A free-day once a week…this is sounding better.

Then I thought, hey, while I’m at it, why not really make this a worthwhile month-and-a-half?  I’m a huge believer in the healing powers of food.  We already eat a lot of vegetables, but maybe I could focus on some that are known to reduce inflammation and help my finger.  Hmm…okay…

In doing my due diligence, I found out that there are a few foods that the arthritis folks say could help:

  • Olive oil
  • Citrus fruits, berries, and cherries
  • Carrots, squash, sweet potatoes (orange hued vegetables)
  • Whole grains
  • Ginger
  • Pineapple

I like these foods, so incorporating them into my reboot shouldn’t be a big deal.  I’m also going to try to do better at getting to bed early.  I am by nature a morning person—much to The Hub’s dismay.  Usually my brain is going a hundred miles an hour before my feet hit the floor in the morning.  Since I am most productive and creative at this time of the day, it shouldn’t be wasted lying in bed.

And of course the other piece of the reboot has got to be activity.  Since it’s been below zero most days in Minnesota this winter, there’s been no running outside.  That’s no excuse to not use the equipment we have inside.  I need to do at least 30 minutes of something most days of my reboot to really make the most of it.  After all, it won’t be long and we’ll be sleeveless, complaining about the heat!

 

Vegetable Cutlets…Mix and match your faves!

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 C corn
  • 1/2 C peas (frozen is best, canned may be too soft)
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/3 C Panko crumbs
  • 1/3 C bread crumbs
  • salt, pepper, and whatever spices you like

Peel potatoes and carrots.  Cut them into 3-4 pieces and put them to boil until fork tender.  Sauté onion and garlic in the olive oil until slightly browned.  Drain the water and run potato and carrot through a ricer or mash them gently into a mixing bowl.  Add in the egg, corn, peas, onion, and garlic, stirring just to combine.  Roll the mixture into 25-30 balls.  In a bowl combine the bread and Panko crumbs.  If the crumbs are not already seasoned, this is a good chance to add some extra flavor.  Squish the balls down a little and dip into the crumbs, pressing a bit to make sure they pick up the crumbs.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray it with non-stick spray.  Place the cutlets onto the sheet and bake at 375° for ten minutes.  Remove from the oven and carefully flip the patties over; bake for another ten minutes.  Enjoy!

 

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Eat Your Vegetables!

Chard

It’s the start of a new year and many people have made resolutions for 2014.  Along with quitting smoking, losing weight/eating better is probably right up at the top of the most wanted list.  I did not make any resolutions this year, but last year I made one to eat more vegetables.  So I thought I’d share some tips in case you made a similar resolution this year.

Frittata

  • Frittatas are a great way to start your day with a ton of veg.  Sauté onions, peppers, hash browns, and garlic in a little olive oil in an oven-safe pan.  Wilt in some greens like spinach or kale, top with beaten egg and cheese, and pop in the oven until the egg is set.  Awesome!
  • No time for cooking breakfast?  No problem; smoothies to the rescue.  I buy my produce in bulk (because I am cheap!) and then wash/peel/chop so it’s ready to be bagged and frozen.  Throw whatever you’d like into a baggy—cucumber, melon, banana, berries, greens, whatever!  When the time comes, just put yogurt or a little liquid in the blender (I like almond milk or juice) and empty the baggy.  Move it from chop to mix to blend, no ice needed since the contents were frozen.

 

Broccoli Salad

  • Experiment! Like broccoli and dip or artichoke dip?  How about making it broccoli salad or artichoke pasta bake?  Make a dressing with ¾ C mayo, 2 T vinegar, and 1 ½ T honey and pour it over broccoli mixed with crumbled bacon, green onion, raisins, sunflower seeds, etc.  Even kids will love this.   Chop your artichokes, onions, peppers, and greens like you were making a dip.  Instead, sauté them in a pan, add some cooked pasta, a little wine and some cheese, top with Panko crumbs and bake it until the top is golden.  Veggies and delicious!

Artichoke Bake

  • Think you don’t like Brussels sprouts?  Try this before you give up; slice ‘em up and toast them in a pan with a little olive oil, salt/pepper, and a tablespoon or two of butter.  Cover them and let the steam cook them for about five or ten minutes until fork tender.  They’ll get all toasty brown and the butter does wonderful magic!  Hit them with a little parmesan cheese if you like or add onion and garlic powder while they’re cooking.  Amazing. I promise.

BS W melted cheese

  • Last but not least, never underestimate the power of salsa.  I use the term lightly because it may be salsa, it may be guacamole, or even a chutney.  Whatever you call it, it’s a great (painless!) way to get more veg into your diet.  I like to clean out the fridge for this and use up what’s on hand—onion, peppers, avocado, garlic, mango, cilantro, jalapenos, and a lime.  Chop everything up fairly fine, hit it with a little salt and pepper, the juice from half the lime, and you’re done.  Simple, healthy, and super flavorful.  Great on fish, tacos, wraps, or just with chips.  YUM.

Guac Vegies Chopped

Besides adding greens and extra vegetables to soups, these are my top five ways to get more veg in your diet.  And one last tip, try swapping out Greek yogurt for mayo, sour cream, heavy cream, oil or cream cheese.  It’s one small step that will be easier than a major resolution.  Happy 2014!

Grilled Mahi Mahi with mango salsa and quinoa with Brussels sprouts, green beans, and onion

Grilled Mahi Mahi with mango salsa and quinoa with Brussels sprouts, green beans, and onion