Notes For a Nester: Eat Your Veggies! Mar25

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Notes For a Nester: Eat Your Veggies!


a blogumn by Debra Barlow

asparagusIt’s hard enough to eat healthy when you work all day and drag yourself home in the evenings with just enough energy to throw together dinner. It’s even harder when money starts to get tight and the fast food drive through starts to look more budget friendly than that head of broccoli. Like any commitment, the commitment to eat more fresh fruits and veggies can fit into your tight budget – you just have to know a few tricks to make it work.

Buy in season. Whether you shop at the local farmers market or a chain supermarket, you’ll find the best deals on items in season. Epicurious has a great interactive map that allows you to see what is in season in your area at any given time of the year, along with tips for cooking.

Check your supermarket circulars (you know, those annoying pieces of junk mail you usually just toss in the recycling bin?) for updates on sale items at your local store. But be careful with produce – just because asparagus is a dollar a pound doesn’t mean it’s time to stock up, especially with a refrigerator life of only 4 days. Plan your weekly menu around sale items, with an eye towards ingredients with multiple uses. Found a great deal on peppers? Use a site like to help you find ways to use up your surplus.

Stock up on frozen fruits and vegetables.  In my freezer, I always have frozen peas, corn and green beans on hand to help round out a quick dinner.  They are also a great way to add a healthy punch to casseroles or pasta sauces. And best of all, they are usually extremely affordable.

As for making yourself actually eat the veggies, well that’s another story. I’m as guilty as anyone of buying heads and heads of lettuce only to toss them half eaten into the garbage a week later. Steaming is healthy, but can get boring really fast. I prefer broiling or roasting most veggies (asparagus, Brussels sprouts, broccoli) in a little bit of olive oil.  My favorite recipe for roasted asparagus is after the jump. Enjoy!

Parmesan Roasted Asparagus

1 lb asparagus

2 teaspoons olive oil

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange the asparagus on a nonstick baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Bake for 10 minutes, then toss again. Sprinkle with cheese and bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

. photo credit: itsjustanalias