Shopping and Cooking Strategies for Good Health


Roasted Fresh Vegetables

Getting half a plate's worth of vegetables into a meal can be challenging, especially when these are not familiar flavors or textures.  Lettuce salads are easy to prepare, but they just don't last that long, certainly not through the week in most cases. So not having a meal plan provides a challenge for those households that just don't have the time to do multiple shopping trips.

What does one do for the second half of the week, after whatever is left of those leafy greens have gone bad?  Heartier vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli hold up well to time.  Cabbage lasts for a long time in the fridge, and vinegar based coleslaw dressing made with Splenda or other artificial sweetener is both tasty, and with the strong flavor of the cabbage, hard to detect.  Celery can last for a long time too.

Pickled salads such as three-bean salad or curried-cauliflower salad can be added to your options whenever something quick is needed.  They can be made when you have time and will hold-up for a week or more.  Some can even be canned and shelved for more than a year.  This popular option from the past is the best of all worlds in preserving seasonal and local food without preservatives until you are ready to eat them.  Freezer canning is another storage technique that has taken on a whole new popularity. The ability to suspend beautiful fresh produce in a ready-to-eat state is one of the reasons.

Another great cooking method to explore is roasting.  Now, potatoes are probably the roasted vegetable that people are most familiar with, but ever hear of roasting carrots?  How about asparagus?  Roasting is a method of adding a tiny bit of healthy fat to a vegetable and cooking it over high heat in the oven.  The caramelization that occurs under these conditions adds a sweetness that helps bridle those cravings for carbohydrates but without adding any.

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