I say this to you guys time and time again and I can't stress it enough, eating your colours is crucial for your body's well being. When you look at a plate of fried food, you see brown and unless that brown is coming from beans, chances are that your plate is devoid of any nutritional value.
Every single vegetable and fruit has its own unique benefits to the body and the colours of the veggies / fruit are also indicative of their nutritional statistics. Basically, eating a plate of colourful food means eating a plate of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are so important for our bodies. As a general rule of thumb, you should at least see 3 colours on your plate and that's not including that green parsley garnish either :p The more colours in your dinner the better off you'll be and that's a fact!
Let's break down these colours and what they each contribute to your plate!
When it comes to colours, fruits and veggies that are more vibrant and richly hued typically have more of these antioxidants. For example, the lycopene in a tomato is much more abundant after the tomato has been cooked which also evidently deepens the colour of the tomato. Something to remember!
Stuffed butternut squash is one of the easiest ways to get an abundance of veggies in one big, delicious package. Not only are you getting all that wonderful, nutrient rich squash, but you have an opportunity to stuff it with an assortment of vegetables!
Also, oranges have a reputation for having exceptional amounts of Vitamin C but you can actually find more per serving in fruits / veggies like bell peppers, kale, papaya, and strawberries. Eating a variety is key!
The richer the colour, the more concentration of antioxidants. Blueberries are particularly great because they contain an abundance of antioxidants and nutrients and don't cause blood sugar spikes. You can easily incorporate more blueberries into your diets by adding them to smoothies, topping your yogurt parfait with a handful, or including them in your salads!
Eating a variety of greens is easy when you consider your options. A salad is a great way to get leafy greens and other veggies all in one package. Try swapping out your iceberg for a darker, leafy green if possible and don't forget a squeeze of lime over your dinner!
Even white vegetables have their own unique flavonoids and antioxidants. That's why it's so important to include a VARIETY of delicious produce in your diet!
Keep your plates full of colour and your body will be all the better for it!
--BEANS BEANS THE MAGICAL FRUIT--
As you can see, dried beans are by far the better choice. Don't be discouraged from using canned in a pinch though. Simply make sure to buy the low sodium / salt free cans to keep the sodium levels as low as possible.
1. They're coated in a waxy film that you must wash off prior to utilizing the tomatillo. Make sure to thoroughly rinse the tomatillos and dry them off with a clean paper towel.
2. Tomatillos are tangy and slightly acidic. They can be enjoyed raw but I suggest you taste a piece before deciding how you want to utilize them. Raw salsa is one of the best preparations for the tomatillo. Mix it into a tomato based salsa for a fresh and acidic pop.
3. Tomatillos are absolutely delicious roasted. Many recipes online suggest roasting them for salsa verdes and I also roasted mine. Once roasted, they're subtly sweet and the acidity is toned down a touch. Blend them up and mix them with fresh onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and other salsa ingredients. So delicious!
If you spot them at the market, snatch some up. You can use them a variety of ways and if you're unsure, google some recipe ideas! I always google recipe ideas when I'm working with a new ingredient! Comparing recipes, you'll find the tips and ingredients you need to create your own dish!
MELONS - At any time of the year, prices for melons are a big turn off. They are extremely high and it's usually quite hard to justify spending the extra money which is why Summer is such a magical time. Honeydews, Cantaloupes, and Watermelons are all in season during the summer which means lots of melons are on the menu. Watermelons are fabulous on their own but are delicious in juices as well. Cantaloupes are fabulous in smoothies with other orange fruit and veg and honeydews are simply delicious on their own. Take advantage of their lower prices while you can!
BERRIES - Have you ever wanted a big, juicy strawberry but cringed at the price in the market? Summer is your time to let loose on the berries. Strawberries, Blackberries, Cherries, Blueberries, and Raspberries, are all in season so it's the perfect time to overindulge. Berries are fabulous on their own but are great in fruit or savoury salads, desserts, or even your morning smoothies. Take advantage of their lower prices and make sure to eat a variety!
ASIAN PEARS - Have y'all tried asian pears before? They look and eat like crisp apples but taste like a milder version of a familiar pear. They're crispy, fresh, and delicious! I enjoy eating them solo but you can also enjoy them juiced.
ZUCCHINI - Yaaaaass! I use a lot of zucchinis so when they come into season, it's a good day! I use zucchinis in so many different ways at home. They're a great pasta substitute in spaghetti, lasagne, and cannelloni for example while also being delicious eaten raw in salads. They're one of the most versatile veggies on the market so take advantage!
BELL PEPPERS - Bright and colourful bell peppers are in season! There are so many ways to enjoy bell peppers. You can stuff them, bake them, saute them, barbecue them, and eat them raw. Make sure to try and buy organic, they're at the top of the dirty dozen list when it comes to pesticides!
CORN - I am a serious lover of corn on the cob. Boiled, baked, grilled, or barbecued, corn is seriously one of my faves! It also happens to be significantly cheaper this time of year! No southern boil or family barbecue is complete without cobs of golden corn! Enjoy it on its own with some butter and pepper flakes or use it up in soups, salads, and other savoury dishes.
SUGAR SNAP PEAS - Crispy, fresh, and addictive, snap peas are in season! They're delightful to enjoy as a snack but can be utilized in stir fries, soups, and salads as well. They provide a welcome pop of freshness and a crisp that can't be beat!
Get to the market and stock up on summer produce! It's one of the best times of year for fresh produce so take full advantage!
Garlic is a glorious thing. It packs an enormous flavour for such a tiny little package and it comes with a slew of health benefits as well. Interestingly, there are a few things you must do to get the absolute most out of your cloves. Have you ever thrown a few cloves of garlic into your dish and struggled to taste them? Considering they pack a ton of flavour, you'd expect to be able to detect them in your dish.
For as long as I've been cooking, I've always known that you must work with your garlic prior to using it. Crushing, chopping, mincing, all of these methods will bring out the flavour of your garlic prior to using it. Typically, I'll crush my cloves immediately and let them sit while I prep the other ingredients. This activates their flavours and brings out their potency so that I know I'm getting the most flavour out of every clove. It's not all about their flavour though!
This little kitchen hack will help you get the very best out of your cloves. I like to crush my garlic prior to chopping or putting it through the garlic press. Try giving your cloves a crush right at the start of prepping and leaving them until you're ready to add them. For the full story, head to the link at the top of the page.
Shopping for groceries is like, my favourite thing in the world. I love the feeling of walking through the market and allowing produce or ingredients to inspire me. It definitely gets my creative juices flowing that's for sure!
When I became a Vegetarian, it took quite a long time to understand my new diet and the restrictions that came along with it. There was lots of confusion and lots of reading. I took the time to read every package that came with an ingredients label or nutritional information. Knowledge is definitely power in this situation and the more I learned, the easier shopping became. I've gathered a few tips that I wanted to share with you guys when it comes to shopping. Just a few things I've picked up and learned over the years that might just help some of you out!
5. There are certain additives and preservatives that are notoriously bad for our health. Here's a little list of ingredients to look out for when shopping!
I hope these tips help you out even just a little with your next shopping trip. It's worth taking the time and knowing what's in your products especially when ingredients that are very bad for us could be hiding in our favourite foods!
I love my slow cooker. It's great for lazy days just as it is great for busy work days as well. The convenience of throwing everything into a pot and letting it do all the work is so enticing. It's capable of churning out some pretty beautiful soups, stews, sauces, and side dishes with the help of some supporting veg and the right seasonings.
Did you know that you could be missing an opportunity to add flavour to your dish? Throwing ingredients like onions, celery, or garlic into the slow cooker doesn't utilize them to their full potential.
Simple steps that will enhance your slow cooker meals and make everything taste that much better!
Having an abundant spice cupboard is definitely a good thing if you consider yourself a home chef. Spices are what take your food from palatable to delicious and without them, food would be so lackluster. Did you know that there are certain things to look for when shopping for spices?
I've shared an article that contains some spice shopping tips and wanted to touch base on their tips with you all. Let's go!
Long story short, shopping for spices is a lot like shopping for fresh produce. Look for bright, vibrant colours, avoid purchasing in bulk, and shop from a retailer you trust. Good quality spices will make your meal that much more special!
Celebrity Chef Ina Garten was recently asked what her 3 essential kitchen tools were and she had no problem quickly answering the question.
I decided to ask myself the same question and here's what I decided were my top 3 kitchen tools;
Now I pose the same question to all of you. What 3 kitchen tools can you not live without?
Leave your comments below or send me a tweet / message with your answers!
So many times have I purchased a bag of avocados only to let them over ripen and become brown before I managed to use them all. This is especially frustrating because they aren't cheap!
I've found and tested a tip online and it really works so I had to share it with you all!
Jonathan - Happy Veg
Dedicated Foodie. Proud Vegetarian. Recipe Creator. Friend to all Animals.