Putting veggies first – a mini tip

greens

It’s been a busy summer so far with kids out of school and getting distracted by all the fun summer activities to be had here in NYC. I’ve also been diving into a holistic nutrition course to educate myself on a topic that I’ve been passionate about. The course has given me the focus I need and so far it’s been enlightening and inspiring. I hope to incorporate more of what I learn here!

Eating more greens and vegetables is a no brainer for optimal health – and is a common denominator in most dietary theories. As I’m trying to be more intentional about incorporating vegetables at the family dinner table I find that I need a better strategy than habitually keeping greens an afterthought, scrambling together a crudite platter for dinner. Nothing wrong with some raw veggies and dip, but I know I can do better.

With two little kids, there is a very small and unforgiving window of feeding time, as many parents know. So my goal is to have the veggies ready along with everything else served up for dinner – instead of finishing up the salad or roasted veggies halfway through the rest of their dinner.

One day I started dinner prep with vegetables in mind and found everything else fell into place.

Light bulb moment.

Start with the veggies.

I found that this simple mental shift was helpful in ensuring I prioritized greens to have ready right at dinner time.

So, I put veggies first.

I get the produce out of the fridge so that it’s visible. Get the peeling, washing, chopping, drying, etc. out of the way.

I admit this is not revolutionary or maybe not a real cooking tip, but for me the  just taking the time be intentional about something revealed an easy solution that starts with a shift in perspective.

Ideally I’d like to get to the point where I’m a meal planning machine – churning out meals planned well in advance, always having frozen back up meals stocked, not having to rely on pizza delivery (is it just me?) but this baby step – considering vegetables first before I start cooking – will one day take me closer to achieving meal prep glory.

Please share any of your tips for getting more vegetables on your dinner table. I’d love to hear them!

 

 

 

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HEARTY VEGETARIAN CHILI

Vegetarian Chili (1)

I’ve been looking for a good vegetarian chili recipe for a while. When I say good, I mean healthy, flavorful and filling without missing the meat. I found a few that called for interesting and non-traditional ingredients like lentils and quinoa – all darlings of healthy eating and a good source of protein! So I decided to give it a go for a Meatless Monday family meal.

I think its imperative to serve with some good bread. And by good bread, I mean the best bread you can find. Around here, Acme bread reins and I can find it at my local Safeway too.

And of course serve with a side of more veggies – it’s Meatless Monday, go all out! I made a 2 ingredients salad. Roasted Golden Beets and Kale with a simple apple cider vinaigrette.

A couple of notes.

  • I love heat, but my kids can’t take too much yet so I added half a jar more tomato sauce to tone it down. After I realized the chili was too spicy for my 4 year old’s taste, I asked the google how to reduce spiciness. So adjust the spices to your liking.
  • Sky’s the limit on variations of this. Some ideas I’d like to try spotted on the internet include: squash, zucchini, sweet potatoes, kidney beans, chick peas, etc. Just load it up with the good stuff!
  • And ditto for the toppings. I went California style and added avocados (the lemon tops in the picture above were to keep them from browning) and cilantro, chopped onions and some shredded cheddar cheese for the kiddos.
  • Chili is a mom’s best friend. Makes great leftovers and is freezable. #momwin

Here’s the recipe adapted from TasteLoveandNourish.com

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