- Don't stint on quality. It's worth it to spend a little extra on good-quality, be it fresh or frozen. It will taste better.
- When you can, buy organic, especially lettuce, berries and apples. They are very heavily sprayed. If you just can't, wash them really good.
- Be adventurous. Try new veggies. You'll be surprised at what's out there.
- Store vegetables in their own refrigerator compartment. Exceptions to this rule--which you should not refrigerate--tomatoes, peppers, sweet potatoes and squash, and onions. These vegetables taste better when they are not cold.
Now, I tell my patients when they are eating a Whole Food Plant Based Diet, there is no need to measure, count calories, etc. However, Bob Harper, (trainer on the Biggest Loser) states for "quicker" weight loss, do not eat more than 1/2 a cup, and always before 2 pm, of these veggies:
Here are a few ideas for easy veggie access, to do on the weekend so life is easier during the week:
- Buy vegetables and wash them.
- Make 7 large bags of your favorite mixed greens and salad veggies, seal each and put in the fridge.
- Cut up veggies for snacks during the week, portion them in ziplock bags next to some portioned hummus, ready to grab.
- Experiment with roasting vegetables. Roasting over the weekend will stay delicious all week, whether you eat them cold or reheat them.
- Experiment with pan roasting on top of the stove. Try scorched green beans....simply trim the tops off the beans, snap in half, lay in a single layer in a hot, heavy bottomed fry pan, and let them go for about 8 minutes, tossing occasionally. They'll be slightly blackened and ready for a dose of dressing.
- Try steaming some veggies.. It's a great way to get them ready for a light dressing, but be careful not to steam them so much that they become soggy. When in doubt, take them off the heat!
If you chop and bag vegetables, (and whole-grains, and beans, remember?), ahead of time, you'll be setting yourself up for success. You come home from work, you're hungry and tired, who wants to be bothered chopping and preparing...everything is in the refrigerator ready to go. Toss everything together and WA LA...dinner!!
This recipe is one of Bob Harper's favorites:
BOB'S SIGNATURE STIR-FRY
6-10 shiitake mushrooms
at least 1 pound of assorted vegetables, sliced: broccoli, carrots, baby corn, asparagus, snow peas, bean sprouts
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c of raw cashews
2 T diced jalapenos
1 t red pepper flakes
1 T freshly squeezed lime juice
2 cups cooked quinoa
- Line a large skillet with water, (my version, Bob's version is with oil), and heat over medium-high heat.
- Add the mushrooms and saute for 4 minutes.
- Toss in the rest of the veggies, garlic, cashews, jalapenos, and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- When the veggies are tender, toss with lime juice.
- Top the cooked quinoa with the veggies.
Since it is Sunday, maybe you can get some of this prep work out of the way for the up-coming week. It really does make life so much easier......