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National Eat Your Vegetables Day

Sunday, June 16, 2019

For the Aspire & Inspire Team we had a choice of two topics. I chose to blog about National Eater Your Vegetables Day. National Eat Your Vegetables Day is observed annually on June 17. How do you get more vegetables into your diet? What are your favorite or least favorite vegetables? Do you have any good vegetable recipes to share?

June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month, and National Eat Your Vegetables Day is one more opportunity to remind everyone to continue with this part of a healthy diet. Vegetables are an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.

I love vegetables but my tummy doesn't like all vegetables. So, I have learned to stay away from the vegetables that don't agree with me. I eat a lot of steel cut oatmeal and add thawed frozen spinach to my oatmeal along with some thawed frozen mixed berries. I squeeze out as much of the liquid from the spinach before adding it to my oatmeal. You can't taste it and it's just one way I add veggies to my breakfast. When I make scrambled egg whites, again I add frozen thawed spinach that I've squeezed the liquid out of. I also add chopped baby bella mushrooms and chopped bell pepper. It's easy to mix it all up in my little Egg-tastic ceramic microwave egg cooker. I have a few of these so that I can have one for my eggs, one for hubby's and one for my FIL when he comes to visit. It makes cleaning up so much easier!

Jicama (a.k.a. Yam Bean, Mexican turnip, or Mexican potato) is one of my favorite vegetables. It's great in salads or to eat alone. My paternal grandmother was a true southern cook! So, her meals weren't always the healthiest but everything had to be made from scratch. One of the few healthy things I got from her was adding Jicama to my salad. The root's exterior is yellow and papery, while its inside is creamy white with a crisp texture that resembles raw potato or pear. The flavor is sweet and starchy, reminiscent of some apples or raw green beans, and it is usually eaten raw, sometimes with salt, lemon, or lime juice, alguashte, and chili powder. It can be cut into thin wedges and dipped in salsa. In Mexico, it is popular in salads, fresh fruit combinations, fruit bars, soups, and other cooked dishes. In contrast to the root, the remainder of the jícama plant is very poisonous; the seeds contain the toxin rotenone, which is used to poison insects and fish.

I almost always have a salad for lunch. I like to buy the Taylor Farms chopped salad kits and add some baked chicken that I've cut up into bite sized pieces. Taylor Farms has a wide variety of salad kits.

For supper though, I have a hard time figuring out what to make for a vegetable at times. I recently bought a book from Amazon to help me get more ideas for cooking vegetables. I know many people go to Pinterest or do a Google search for recipes and I do sometimes. There are times, though, when I like having a cookbook in front of me with many different recipes instead of having tons of printed pieces of paper with one recipe on each. The book I bought, in case you are interested, is Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables by Joshua McFadden. He believes in cooking vegetables that are in season from a trusted grocery store or Farmer's Market. We have a Sprouts Farmer's Market Grocery store near us and I like to get my vegetables and some other things from them.

For snacks I like to have some celery spread with a little bit of nut butter or pretty much any vegetable you like dipped in hummus. Of course, you should measure how much nut butter or hummus you eat. You can also get some lunch meat and wrap celery sticks with it.

One recipe that I like is a Spark Recipe I found many years ago. It's simple but good and will go with pretty much any main dish.


Green Beans Sauté

1 lb. fresh or frozen green beans, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced

1. If using fresh green beans, cook green beans in boiling water for 10-12 minutes or steam for 2-3 minutes until barely fork tender. Drain well. If using frozen green beans, thaw first.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Sauté onion until golden.

3. Stir in green beans, salt and pepper. Heat through.

4. Toss with parsley before serving.

Yield: 4 servings--Serving Size: 3/4 cup

One of my favorite breakfasts is with Jicama.

I don't have a name for it but it's something that I have somewhat often.

1 Slice of Toast (I usually use Dave's Killer Bread Sprouted Whole Grains)
1 - 2 Tbsp Nut Butter (Cashew butter or Almond butter are two of my favorites)
1 Cup of Fruit (I usually use thawed frozen mixed berries)
1 Cup of Shredded Jicama (130 grams)
Sweetener of choice

1. Spread the Nut Butter on the toast
2. Put as much fruit on top of the toast with the nut butter as you can or as much as you like
3. Put as much shredded Jicama on top of the berry nutty toast as you like and sprinkle with cinnamon. I add a little bit of honey to the top. You can use Stevia or any other sweetener you like. You don't need much and how much you add is up to you.
4. Get your fork, dig in and enjoy. :)

If you have fruit and/or jicama you can just put them on the side and eat them together. If you have just jicama left you can put it in a bowl or another small plate. Put some lime juice on top and eat it like that.
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