How do you eat healthy foods in the cooler months when we think of the food selections as more limited? Try vegetables! In this second of a series of posts, I’ll suggest a few great options for vegetables that aren’t expensive but deliver high nutritional value.
Prepping frozen vegetables
Unless you’re adding them to a smoothie, frozen vegetables need to be cooked—there really isn’t any other way to prepare them. In general, I recommend steaming or microwaving your vegetables until they are tender. These two methods prevent the water soluble vitamins from leaching into the cooking water. If the vegetables are used in a soup and the liquid they are cooked in is used as the broth, then the water-soluble vitamins can be enjoyed as you slurp your soup.
Here’s a healthy soup chock full of veggies:
- 6 oz whole wheat pasta
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- ½ lb. onion
- ¼ lb. carrots
- ½ lb. bell peppers (frozen)
- ½ lb. greens (options include frozen spinach)
- 3 ea. garlic cloves
- 1 lb. diced tomatoes (canned, reduced sodium)
- 12 c. (96 oz) reduced sodium vegetable stock
- 3 oz. garbanzo beans (canned, rinsed)
- 1 ea. bay leaf
- ½ c. parsley, fresh, chopped
- ¼ tsp. black ground pepper
- ½ tbsp. oregano, dried
- 5 oz. cheese
1. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, rinse with cold water, set aside.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot and add the onions, carrots, greens, peppers and garlic. Cook until the onions are translucent.
3. Add the tomatoes, chick peas, vegetable stock and bay leaf. Continue to cook until all ingredients are hot.
4. Remove bay leaf.
5. Add the cooked pasta, fresh parsley, oregano, salt and pepper. Garnish with the grated Parmesan and serve.
Makes 12, 1 cup servings
Nutrition: Calories 220, Total fat 6g, Saturated fat 2.5g, Cholesterol 10mg, Sodium 770 mg, Carbohydrate 31g, Fiber 6g, Sugars 10g, Protein 9g
Heather Snively, MS, RD, is a nutrition and wellness manager at Guckenheimer, an on-site corporate restaurant management and catering company. She received her Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Washington in 2011. Heather is passionate about helping others determine the best way to enjoy food and stay healthy. Her food philosophy is simple: moderation in all things, except for vegetables—eat all the vegetables you like.