All Entries For vegetables

10 Healthy, Easy Ways to Cook Squash of All Sorts

Squash is one of those vegetable categories that spans a whole range of colors, flavors, shapes, textures and growing seasons. From acorn squash to zucchini, this veggie family has it all, including nutrients, fiber and fewer than 75 calories per serving.
Summer varieties (like zucchini and yellow squash) are nutritious, with antioxidants and carotenoids; they’re ideal for sautéing. (Try: 10 New Uses for Zucchini)
Hard-skinned winter squashes (acorn, butternut, pumpkin) are packed with antioxidants and vitamin A and roast beautifully. And spaghetti squash makes a delightfully different (and super low-cal) substitute for pasta.
Posted 12/14/2012  12:00:00 PM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 20 comments   46,269 views
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Better Butternut Squash Recipes

Butternut squash is my favorite fall vegetable. I tell my kids that it's like vegetable candy, because roasting brings out its natural sweetness and reduces the need for sugar in our favorite fall deserts.
Consuming butternut squash adds fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamins A and C to your diet. Here's an easy way to pick the perfect one at most stores. For maximum efficiency, roast extra squashes and freeze the extra flesh for later use. If you're short on time, just pick up some pre-cut Butternut Squash in the freezer section at your market. Another fun tip is to grind the seeds in a coffee or spice grinder and use as a natural thickening agent in soups and stews. 
Celebrate fall with these butternut squash recipes. 
Posted 11/13/2012  6:00:00 PM By: Samantha Donohue : 16 comments   21,705 views
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7 Veggie-Packed Meals for Fall

Easy ways to turn vitamin-packed veggies into healthy, delicious dinners.
BLT Pasta
Makes: 6 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 22 minutes 
Posted 10/23/2012  10:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 18 comments   32,503 views
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Tap into the Potential of Taproots This Fall

By definition, a taproot is the single root of a plant that extends deep into the soil to supply the above-ground plant with nutrients.  My definition of a taproot is YUM! It is such a shame these vegetables are grown below ground because many are just too pretty to hide.  Maybe that's their plan: to hang out underground and develop earthy flavor notes and then when plucked from the earth it's like a walk down the red carpet showing off their textured and colorful skin. Taproots such as parsnips, beets, carrots, and celery root have been around for ages and still shine as cooler weather favorites. 
I love what a little cool weather can do to sweeten up parsnips and how a hot oven will transform the  flesh into to a golden sweet vegetable dish. 
Look for different varieties of taproots at your local market and follow the guide below to incorporate them into all your fall and winter meals. 
Posted 10/8/2012  6:00:00 PM By: Meg Galvin : 17 comments   15,581 views
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Get Kids to Eat Veggies by Offering More Veggies

My young kids like to be in control.  Whether it’s what they are wearing, which toy they play with or what’s for lunch, they like to make decisions.  Although it can get frustrating at times (“I’m sorry honey, we aren’t going to wear winter boots today because it’s 97 degrees outside.”) I can understand.  So much of their lives are planned out for them that it’s exciting when they get to make a few choices on their own. 
I’ve started involving my children more in the meal planning process.  I don’t mind cooking dinner but I hate having to come up with ideas all the time.  So I’ll ask them for suggestions, or give them choices to pick from, either in the planning stage or once I make the food.  It doesn’t bother me to make a few different vegetables and then let them choose which ones they want.  I know the food will get eaten eventually, and I like having leftovers for future meals.  I find that when given the choice, they don’t usually pick just the carrots or just the green beans.  They usually want a little of both, and end up eating more vegetables than they would have if there was just one.  A new study of adults came to the same conclusion:  variety helps increase intake.
Posted 10/2/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Jen Mueller : 14 comments   15,950 views
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39 Meat-Free Recipes for World Vegetarian Day

Happy World Vegetarian Day! In honor of this Meatless Monday and the annual day to kick off a month of plant-based eating, we're sharing some of our favorite veg recipes. They're yummy and filling, perfect for meat eaters and veg'ns alike!

Did you know that about 3% of Americans are vegetarian and about 1% are vegan, meaning they don't eat meat, dairy, eggs or anything else that comes from an animal.
  1. 2-Bean Sweet Potato Chili
  2. Baked Falafel
  3. Bruschetta-Stuffed Mushrooms
  4. Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
  5. Cheesy Spinach Enchiladas
Posted 10/1/2012  6:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 11 comments   20,410 views
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Add More Veggies to Your Family Meals

"Eat your vegetables." We've heard it all of our lives, but if only it were so simple! Our bodies crave fruits and vegetables more than just about any other food because we tend to get far fewer of them than we need.

With just a little thought and a tiny bit of effort in snack preparation, you can make these nutritious foods more convenient and accessible for the whole family:
Posted 9/9/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Nicole Nichols : 29 comments   19,421 views
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6 New Uses for Roasted Peppers

Roasted peppers are perfect for rounding out a dish, enjoying as a snack, or even using as a food wrapper!
Whom should we thank for such a versatile vegetable that adds so much smoky sweet flavor to an endless amount of dishes?  Some would say Mother Nature and others a cook... I'm going with both.  The earth provides us with the vegetable, but it's the roasting technique that gives it that subtle smoky flavor.
First, let's learn how to make them, and then we can talk about the many ways to use them.
While red peppers are the most common, you can roast orange or yellow ones, too. The roasting mellows their flavor and adds a smoky sweetness.
Posted 8/13/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Meg Galvin : 13 comments   17,788 views
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Lighten Up Pasta with Garden-Fresh Zucchini

Pasta may be too heavy for a hot summer night, but you can lighten it up by substituting or swapping it out with vegetables.
Zucchini pasta is super easy to prepare and perfect for anyone who is gluten-intolerant, diabetic, low carbing it, a raw food lover, or those like me that are up to their ears in zucchini from the garden.  Zucchini pasta is nothing more than raw zucchini that has been cut to mimic traditional pasta: fettuccine, linguine, and yes even lasagna. 
Posted 8/6/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Meg Galvin : 31 comments   71,335 views
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7 Nights of Healthy, Hearty Salads

It is H-O-T! Rather than heat up the kitchen to cook up a heavy meal, why not serve up a cool, refreshing salad for dinner instead? Our weekly menu is full of meal-size salads that are as hearty as they are healthy.

Keep reading to see the menu!
Posted 6/15/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 17 comments   77,443 views
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Food Showdown: Which Veggie Packs More Nutrients?

We all know that veggies are good for us: they're great sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Scientific research has shown that cruciferous vegetables in particular may reduce the risk of lung, colorectal, stomach, breast, and prostate cancers. But some cruciferous vegetable varieties are more powerful than others.

When faced with broccoli and cauliflower on a vegetable tray, which tree-like veggie should you choose to get the most bang for your nutritional buck?
Posted 5/12/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Melinda Hershey : 57 comments   46,579 views
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Fresh vs. Frozen: Dos and Don'ts of Saving for the Off-Season

One of the earliest lessons my parents taught me was to eat what's in season.  Being from a farm family, you quickly learn that if food is not harvested at its peak it either goes rotten in the field or becomes a meal for birds, insects, or the Earth.   
That's why we eat fruits and vegetables fresh when they are in season.   That means you'll eat your weight in asparagus in May, strawberries in June, pepper and corn in July, and tomatoes in August. 

After eating tomatoes every day for a month, you might be tired of them in late summer, but don't you long for them during the cold winter months? 
But wait, you can still enjoy the harvest if you follow the rules that mother Nature gives to the animals:  pack away some of your harvest for the off season.  You don't have to be a farmer's daughter to enjoy the bounty of the harvest.  Check out your farmers market or even your local grocery store during peak growing months and purchase good quality fruits and vegetables then have a freezing party at your home.  If you are too busy to freeze peak fruits and vegetables at home, no worries. You can find good quality frozen fruits and vegetables at your local market. 
Posted 4/16/2012  6:00:00 PM By: Meg Galvin : 15 comments   16,066 views
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Eat More Veggies, Appear More Attractive?

A few months ago, I went in for my yearly skin check at my dermatologist. I was seeing a new doctor. He came into the exam room, introduced himself and shook my hand.

He held on to my outstretched hand for a closer look.

"You certainly do like to eat healthy, don't you?" he said.

"Yes, I do," I said, sounding surprised. "How can you tell?" I had had a quick conversation about my work with his nurse and assumed she had mentioned to him.

"Your hands, they're rather orange," he said. "Do you eat lots of carrots?"
I shook my head in affirmation.

"I love vegetables--I'm a cookbook writer and food editor…" I trailed off as he continued his exam and looked at the soles of my feet.

He said that he can tell when people eat a healthy diet with plenty of orange vegetables because the soles of their hands and feet turn slightly orange. I eat a rainbow of vegetables daily, not just orange ones, so it seemed odd to me that my feet and hands would be so yellow!

Disclaimer: I am gullible. If I try to fib I turn bright red and stammer, and I am terrible at making up stories for the purpose of fooling people. This was both a strength and a weakness in my old life as a newspaper reporter.

"Really?" I said incredulously. "Are you serious?"

The doc said he was, but he seemed so jovial that I doubted him.

We continued talking, he finished my exam and, after scolding me for going without sunscreen a couple of times in the Equatorial sun last year in Honduras, told me that I'm all clear for two years. I had a pair of iffy moles removed in the past and a scare from another dermatologist, so I get a bit nervous when I go in to get checked. A healthy diet, plenty of water and exercise, he said, is evident in the skin. Mine is healthy, despite its alabaster hue and propensity to burning.

I forgot all about that avuncular physician's mention of my orange skin, until
Posted 3/21/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 19 comments   12,946 views
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Chef Meg's Roasted Winter Vegetables

By roasting these hearty winter vegetables, we soften their strong tastes and bring out their natural sweetness.

Posted 1/30/2012  5:00:00 PM By: Meg Galvin : 9 comments   9,705 views
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13 Bell Pepper Recipes

One of my all time favorite vegetables to cook with is peppers. Peppers are easy to find and affordable. They are also a great source of Folate, Magnesium, Copper, Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, and Potassium. Here are 13 recipes from SparkRecipes that will boost the nutritional value and flavor of your dishes. 
Posted 10/5/2011  2:00:00 PM By: Samantha Donohue : 12 comments   25,916 views
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