We all know that we should be eating more vegetables. After all, they’re flush with the micronutrients and antioxidants we need for healthy aging. But let’s be frank, they’re often not the most exciting thing on your dinner plate. Steamed broccoli and dressing-drenched salads can get stale. So, if there was ever a food group ripe for reinvention, it’s veggies.
A tasty way to breathe new life into the vegetables on your menu is to stuff more in—literally. And while many of us are focusing our minds on the perfect stuffing for our Thanksgiving turkey, now’s also a good time to talk stuffed veggies.
Some stuffed vegetables can seem a bit gimmicky, but when done right, they’re a perfect way to make veggies the well-deserving star of <any> meal. Most likely candidates such as eggplant, peppers, and giant mushrooms can serve as ultra-nutritious bases for a range of inspiring fillings.
The key is to make sure the vegetable elevates the flavour profile of the finished dish and doesn’t just play the role of hollowed-out shell, serving as little more than a receptacle for stuffing. These recipes overhaul the whole concept of vegetables bursting at the seams and hold their own as crowd-pleasing main courses—perhaps even for your Thanksgiving feast!
In recent times, there has been a raft of research demonstrating that the more vegetables we eat, the greater the chances for living a longer, healthier life. For instance, a recent study published in the journal Circulation found that three daily servings of vegetables (and two servings of fruit) could reduce mortality risk and the chances for cardiovascular disease, cancer, and respiratory illness.
One reason eating more veggies can lower the risk for several chronic diseases and help promote longevity is that they’re a leading source of antioxidants. These natural plant chemicals are designed to quash free radicals, substances that can damage cells and genetic material.
There are hundreds, probably thousands, of different substances that can act as antioxidants; each one has unique chemical behaviours and biological properties. Many of them can be found in vegetables of different colours such as peppers, carrots, and leafy greens. But even not-so-bright options such as mushrooms and onions harbour an antioxidant punch.
There are plenty of reasons to fawn over heads of crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, and impossibly sweet peaches. But, truth be told, the cream of the crop arrives on the market when summer’s bounty has come and gone. Once sweater weather arrives, and we edge ever closer to snowflake season, there is a bounty of cold-hardy power foods to get your fill of at their peak flavour and nutrition. And they’re ripe for all sorts of culinary creations in the kitchen. So, definitely < don’t > stop frequenting those farmers’ markets. Diversifying the kinds of fall vegetables and fruits we eat will let us net a wider variety of nutrients to help maintain health throughout cold and flu season. If you love carrots and apples for their comfort-food appeal, you’ll want to branch out and also grab hold of celery root, pears, chard, and other underappreciated seasonal goodies. With that in mind, here are the immune-supporting recipes to include in your rotation to help keep you on track for a healthy and delicious autumn.
School is back in session and with it, new demanding fall schedules that mean less time to focus on bringing nutritious meals to the table. Eating leftovers for dinner eases time spent in the kitchen. But it doesn’t have to mean eating Monday’s meal on Tuesday and again on Wednesday! Finding new ways to reinvent and reuse leftover ingredients to create simple and delicious meals is another perfect way to save time while still eating healthy. Less time, with less mess, means less stress! Leftover proteins can be turned into delicious soups and pasta dishes, while unused grains and starches can quickly be transformed into nourishing and satisfying stovetop or oven dishes. Looking ahead and planning meals for the week will allow you to purposefully prepare extra ingredients (think strategic leftovers!) that can easily extend into another nutritious meal.
This Asian-inspired stir-fry takes full advantage of the crunch Brussels sprouts achieve when they’re heated quickly. The sweet-and-sour sauce delivers a tangy edge, and tempeh offers plant-based protein and a blast of umami. If you want meat in the dish, you can replace tempeh with ground pork. Ready, set, go Stir-frying is a cooking method that thrives on speed. That means you want to have all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go into the pan. That also means no chopping on the fly.
Two fall stalwarts—rutabaga and Swiss chard—team up to bring seasonal flavour to these baked savoury cakes. A topping of velvety cashew cream adds a little extra spark. Rutabaga burgers, anyone? You can also prepare these cakes burger-style in a skillet. Simply form rutabaga and chard mixture into burger-sized patties and cook in greased skillet over medium-high, until golden brown on both sides.