One of my goals this month is to eat one serving of red, orange, or green vegetables every day. So, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite foods in these groups, and a few ways that I like to prepare them. Usually I choose the quickest option, but when I want variety, I’ll take the time required to prepare them a different way.
Apples (right now our family’s favorite apple is “honey-crisp,” but we eat all the kinds!)
- sliced (plain or dipped in peanut butter)
- micro-baked (slice and put in microwave for about 1 minute; sprinkle cinnamon-sugar on top)
- whole or sliced
- diced, and cooked with butter, dried sage, and a little salt (then serve warm on a plate, sprinkled with some blue cheese) **this idea came from Sunset Magazine**
- peel and eat. yum!
- I used to simply cut my grapefruit in half, and eat it right out of it’s own “bowl.” But then I had kids and realized that this was difficult for them to do. So now I cut the segments out like method #1 shown here. I do exactly as they show, except I place the fruit on the cutting board instead of in my hand, and I put the leftover membrane in my citrus juicer to squeeze out as much juice as I can. **This is a little bit of work, but for me it’s worth it, because my kids (and I) love grapefruit! And it packs well in their lunches this way (minus the juice).**
- baked w/ butter, salt, and pecans on top
- sweet potato cakes
- sweet potato fries (I’m still practicing these; so far mine always stick to the pan)
- casserole (I like this recipe!)
- nutty sweet potato soup
- in smoothies
- steamed briefly in the microwave or on stove-top (just enough to wilt it slightly), then with balsamic vinegar and blue cheese sprinkled on top (I learned this from a friend!)
- raw, in salads
- as a topping for some soups
- raw, dipped in ranch dressing. Sometimes I make my own using this recipe. (She doesn’t include salt, but I do add it to mine).
- steamed or microwaved with butter, salt & pepper. (This is my favorite way. They are so naturally sweet!)
- steamed or microwaved with butter, salt & pepper, and McCormick’s “Montreal chicken seasoning.”
- sautéed with garlic and dried cranberries (added at the end)
- broccoli salad (admittedly, this way of preparing the broccoli is not nearly as healthy as the others, but it is a fun salad to take to potlucks. Most people really enjoy it!) **my recipe is similar to this one, except that mine calls for just 1/3 c. sugar, half a red onion, and dried cranberries instead of raisins**
- raw, dipped in ranch or added to salads
Acorn squash – once I bought one with a sticker on it with printed instructions on how to cook it. Here they are:
- micro-baked: “Cut in half and remove seeds. Cover with plastic wrap (I use waxed paper). Cook on high 8 min or till tender. Let set 5 min. Flavor with butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, or dark syrup.
- oven: “Bake at 350 with cut side down in 1″ of water for 30 min or till tender.”
So, this is what I’m trying to eat every day this month. Writing all of this out definitely makes me want to get in the kitchen and start preparing some of this yummy food! How about you? What are your favorite ways to prepare fresh fruits and vegetables?