This New Year’s, resolve to eat more veggies! Consuming more produce is an easy, delicious way to maintain your health: studies have shown that diets full of vegetables can lower your risk of cancer and obesity and lead to a longer life. Get the most out of your meals and avoid a veggie slump with these fun ideas for adding more produce to your plate. Use them to spice up your Meatless Monday routine, or to bring some extra veggies to the rest of your week:
Mix the Old with the New
New Year’s is the perfect time to reflect on favorite moments and look forward to new ones. Bring this excitement to your dinner plate by trying one new vegetable this week. Check out our Seasonal Picks section to learn about some one-of-a-kind produce; then add your new veggie to a tried and true recipe, like a stir-fry or pasta. Mixing up an old favorite with new produce will allow you to experience the flavors and texture of a new food without overwhelming the senses.
Get to Know a Celebrity Chef
Most of us don’t have the luxury of knowing a celebrity chef, but that doesn’t mean you can’t cook like one! Chefs like Tal Ronnen, Marcus Samuelsson and Mario Batali have fantastic meatless recipes that you can create in your own kitchen. Check online for celebrity chef recipes or invest in one of their cookbooks. Trying out expert recipes ensures a great meal that you may not have thought to make yourself.
Dish Out an Exotic Experience
Research from around the world (including Dr. Campbell’s The China Study) has linked diets high in produce to a longer, healthier life. Tap into these benefits by sampling a new ethnic cuisine! Traditional foods are both healthful and delicious and may use spices, vegetables or cooking methods that you’ve never tried before. Get a cultural and culinary lesson by making your own Thai, Greek or Indian food.
Pick Up Some Potluck Pointers
Ever wonder what your neighbors are cooking? Find out by hosting a meatless potluck! Ask attendees to bring their favorite dish and copies of the recipe to share. You’ll be able to sample dishes and pick your favorites to cook up at home. It’s easy to get a group started through your local community center, PTA or place of worship.
Let The Kids Cook Monday!
Teach the whole family to diversify their diet by including your kids in the selection and preparation of family dinners. When families cook and eat together, children learn culinary and communication skills that will follow them for life. Show your children that veggies can be delicious and fun by letting them select a piece of produce that you can build a meal around. You’ll be helping them stay healthy while reaping the nutritious benefits!