“Quick, get the loads of vegetables we need for dinner.”
If I know you at all, and I think I do (wink), this is what you’re saying, or at least thinking while making dinner. Am I right?
We’ll just assume I am. In my usual rush to get dinner on the table for six each night, I often depend on “quick vegetables.”
These include pre-washed greens and easy-to-add veggies (grape tomatoes require no chopping), as well as frozen vegetables.
And during these cold winter months, I love the frozen veggies. Here’s one of my favorite ways to prepare them in about 8 minutes or less.
Recipe of the week: Delicious Sauteed Coconut Balsamic Broccoli
- 3 cups frozen broccoli (or any veggies you like)
- 1 Tbsp organic coconut oil, avocado oil, or butter
- minced garlic or garlic powder
- a generous amount of balsamic vinegar
Place veggies in microwave – cook on high for 4-5 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat oil and add garlic (if fresh). Saute until veggies are heated in microwave.
Add veggies and saute, stirring often until slighlty crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Add salt to taste and garlic powder (if needed) while cooking.
Plate and drizzle on the balsamic to your taste buds content (or, about 1-2 tsp if you don’t know yet).
Whether raw, cooked, fresh or frozen, vegetables ought to be piled on your plate. Vegetables offer so many good things for our bodies. On the one hand they offer phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and all sorts of not well defined nutrients that are linked to cancer prevention, reductions and heart disease, and overall wellness. And on the other hand, they are great tool in helping us control portions of other more calorie dense foods. I recommend a good four servings of vegetables per day, with additional fruit. Try smoothies, soups, stirfries, and salad.
- Daily: I recommend 4 servings per day (Each serving is 1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup cooked). Easy to accomplish is you include some at lunch and follow “light at night” with 1/2 a plate of veggies at dinner.
- Avoid: I recommend avoiding frozen ones with extra ingredients. I’ve seen everything from soybean oil to hydrogenated oils too colorings in these chemical-laden “vegetables” (here’s an example).
And here’s the case for frozen: “In some cases, frozen vegetables may be more nutritious than fresh ones that have been shipped over long distances. The latter is typically picked before ripening, which means that no matter how good the vegetables look, they’re likely to short-change you nutritionally. For example, fresh spinach loses about half the folate it contains after eight days. Vitamin and mineral content is also likely to diminish if produce is exposed to too much heat and light en route to your supermarket.
This applies to fruit as well as vegetables. The quality of much of the fruit sold in retail stores in the U.S. is mediocre. Usually it is unripe, picked in a condition that is favorable to shippers and distributors but not to consumers. Worse, the varieties of fruits selected for mass production are often those that merely look good rather than taste good. I keep bags of frozen, organically grown berries on hand year-round – thawed slightly, they make a fine dessert.
The advantage of frozen fruits and vegetables is that they usually are picked when they’re ripe, and then blanched in hot water to kill bacteria and stop enzyme activity that can spoil food. Then they’re flash frozen, which tends to preserve nutrients. If you can afford it, buy frozen fruits and vegetables stamped USDA “U.S. Fancy,” the highest standard and the one most likely to deliver the most nutrients. As a rule, frozen fruits and vegetables are superior nutritionally to those that are canned because the canning process tends to result in nutrient loss. (The exceptions include tomatoes and pumpkin.)” – from Dr. Weil @ drweil.com
Don’t like broccoli? Well here’s the specific nutrition information that might convince you to try it again. Or, use the same recipe above with cauliflower, or roast it.
And lastly, if you’re not familiar with my Light at Night style of eating dinner, it’s my top tip for weight loss or maintaining a lean weight. Here’s all you need to know to eat light at night:
Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel, Apex Nutrition TV to never miss a video!
This week, pile on the veggies, and do it quick. You’ll get many nutrients that benefit a cyclists body, even when you choose frozen. So stay out on the bike an extra 30 minutes, you’ve just gained some time!
Fuel Your Ride. Nourish Your Body.
If you’d like to work with Kelli one-on-one with a Custom Nutrition Plan & Coaching, or download one of her acclaimed Instant Download Plans like Fuel Right Race Light, click here: Apex Nutrition Plans for Endurance Athletes. Be sure to use coupon code lovingthebike for a 15% discount!