Vegetables

I totally forgot to add this link to my post yesterday and it’s probably my favorite. I feel like I am constantly trying to eat for veggies and, why not, most of them are zero point on Weight Watchers! I have been utilizing all of these ideas recently and they really work. Veggies can bulk up anything you are eating quickly and easy!

#1: Shop for veggies one day a week. This one is easy to follow if you visit a farmer’s market once a week. Set aside $20 each week and wander around the market and ask what is best that week. Fruits and Vegetables can have short seasons, so this will ensure that you can try the best of each season’s bounty! Right now, load up on squash (butternut, acorn, kombucha), apples, beets, brussels sprouts, and root vegetables (carrots, kohlrabi, celery root). A good rule of thumb is try to and make your plate look like a rainbow.

#2: Prep your veggies. I don’t usually cut up my veggies but I do remove them from the bags/containers and organize them nicely in a colander or two. I wash them all and then put them in the fridge still in the colander. It makes them look pretty (almost on display) and it’s easy to see what you have to use. I find I waste a lot less by doing this.

#3: Breakfast. Adding peppers, onions, broccoli or even brussels sprouts to an omelette or scrambled eggs. Or try…

#4: Blendtastic. Try making a fruit and veggie smoothie in the morning. If you have a lot of dark, leafy greens that might go bad before dinner time, try my kale smoothie. This is a great way to sneak in a serving or two of vegetables.

#5: Snack time. I always have cucumbers, bell peppers and baby carrots in my fridge. Always. I also always keep some sort of healthy dip in there- baba ganoush, hummus and tzatziki are my favorites. It takes about 3 minutes to chop up the peppers and cucumber and these snacks are guilt free!

#6: Lunch. Salad in a mason jar. Enough said.

#7: Dinner. Cooking veggies in a crock pot is a great but not everyone has one sitting on their counter. I love roasting vegetables, especially all the fall/winter root veggies. Just cut them into bite size pieces, spread out in a single layer on a cookie sheet (lining with foil or parchment will make clean up a breeze), drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes. It will probably take a bit longer than 20 minutes, so check them at that time and then check them every 5 minutes until they are done to your liking (it will probably take more like 30-45 minutes).

#8: Dessert. I haven’t personally tried using vegetables in dessert but think zucchini bread, banana bread, etc. Or anything pumpkin- just try using another type of squash!

I hope this helps some of you eat more vegetables. Let me know any tips or tricks you might have!

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Kale and Pineapple Breakfast Smoothie

I haven’t been great lately. My weight has been creeping up since I started this blog. I have found myself venturing out and trying a lot of new, not-so-healthy restaurants and hot spots. I figured the best way to get myself back on track was to find a way to start my day by getting a few helpings of fruit and veggies right off the bat.

I spent some time searching for a breakfast smoothie that sounded good to me. I love the basic strawberry/banana combo but I wanted to step it up a notch and find a way to get some green veggies in there as well. Enter: Kale/Pineapple Smoothie. This smoothie incorporates kale, pineapple, banana and almond milk. I will say, the first thing that caught my eye was the fact that it used almond milk. I have cut out most dairy from my diet in the past 6 or so month for no other reason than I feel better when I consume less dairy and it’s an easy way to cut out points (I think twice before having cheese, a latte, ice cream, etc). So almond milk was a big plus. The recipe makes two servings so either cut it in half or share it with a significant other or roommate.

Kale and Pineapple Smoothie

1 cup almond milk (I used vanilla unsweetened)

1 dense cup of chopped kale

1/2 of diced pineapple

1 banana

1/2 cup pineapple juice

Directions

Put in a blend and blend until smooth.

WW Points: 4 per serving (8 for the whole recipe)

This post is also a great opportunity to talk about building recipes on WW. At first glance it appeared as if this smoothie would virtually be zero points because the only components with points values are the almond milk and pineapple juice. It’s important, though, ┬áthat you utilize the “Recipe Builder” tab to enter ANY recipe you might log because this recipe actually has a significant number of points when considering why goes into it. This is because WW calculates the points by taking the TOTAL fat, carbs, fiber and protein in a recipe to get the points value instead of just adding the individual point values together. Using the recipe builder will help you stay on track and be 100% honest and true to the points system. In the end, it will only benefit you!