Friday, August 3, 2012

Veggin' Out

I don't mean to get personal, but have you eaten your veggies today?

I don't really have any authority to tell you this (I tried to stay away from health and sciences as much as possible in college), but it is known fact that veggies do a body good. God didn't create them for decoration.

Something that has made my weight loss journey just a bit easier is the fact that I love veggies. Did you know that you can practically eat an unlimited supply of veggies and it doesn't hurt your calorie count? I'm challenging you to add more veggies to your diet.

And...Hallelujah!...It's garden time. The Studly Muffin and I have had a few gardens in the past. However, I'm quite sure that our landlords would frown upon us setting up a raised bed in the corner of our paved apartment building parking lot.

Fortunately, my Dad is a serious gardener. And we've been enjoying the fruits of his labor.

This was a bucket of produce I brought home at the beginning of summer.  A bunch of lettuce, garlic blooms, green onions, radishes. There is even a sprig or two of mint thrown in there. 

And so I made one of these. The strawberries came from Aldi's. Dad does have a few strawberries coming off, but I think everyone has been eating them straight from the garden.

There is nothing like a meal of veggies straight from the garden. One of my favorite meals comes from when I was a little girl. Warning: What you are about to read might insult your delicate sensibilities. But we used to butcher chickens. One of the kids jobs was to pluck the feathers and (sorry) to remove any organs, intestines, etc.

Because eating a meal of Fried Chicken after a day like that wasn't at all appealing, Mom would make a meal just of our garden veggies. Boiled new potatoes, corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes, sliced onion...Yum!

Of all the good things that came from my Dad's garden or any garden I've had over the years, I can guarantee there was never anything like this. Purple Cauliflower!

One of the grocery stories had these (along with orange and green cauliflower) marked down. I sauteed it with a little olive oil, garlic and salt pepper and then I put a lid on the pan for just a bit to let the cauliflower steam up.

Supper that night was a little roasted chicken, a nice salad and a plateful of purple cauliflower.

Sometimes you just need to change it up a bit. If your family has issues with veggies, maybe present them in a bit of a different way.

This pic shows some veggie kabobs I made. I just cut up my veggies (all came straight from the garden, except for the mushrooms), made the kabobs with Josiah's help, then drizzled them with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. I have a stove top grill (which I use all the time), but you can certainly use your oven or outdoor grill.

Speaking of grilling...This is one of my favorite ways to fix corn. No butter required. Grilling the corn directly on the grill intensives all that sweet and juicy flavor. Yum!

Sometimes simple is just better. And nothing beats just a platter of sliced tomatoes straight from the garden. A little salt and pepper...I could eat tomatoes for every meal.

I know you've heard it before. Get the whole family involved in making the meal. Josiah had salad duty on this night. He's 10 and I've allowed him to start working with a serrated long as I am present in the kitchen to help. You can see that his knife skills have a ways to go, but he was sure proud of this salad. Younger children can tear lettuce, wash veggies, grate cheese. This was how I learned to cook, folks.

Just last night, Troy brought home a box of veggies from a friend at work who gardens. I'm drooling. I already have a couple of eggplants from Dad's garden I need to fix up. I'm making plans to use all those great veggies the best way I can.  Don't be afraid to add fresh veggies to any meal of the day. I like to scramble eggs with summer squash, fresh bell peppers and serve them along side fresh tomatoes.

I'm leaving you with a link to a light Ratatouille recipe. Josiah loves to help me make this dish. One of his favorite movies is Ratatouille (Disney). He was pretty happy that the actual dish didn't have any rats in it. As if!  I don't do rodents.

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