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June 3, 2013

The Sautéed Vegetable Solution

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/the_sauteed_vegetable_solution/

Photo

Photo credit: Kali McCabe

It is no secret that plant based diets and eating more vegetables is the key to a healthier life. Studies on Mediterranean diets and Japanese diets have suggested that people live longer and with decreased heart problems. What is the common denominator? An emphasis on fruits and vegetables.

I used to eat humongous salads with dressing on the side, feel bloated after, and not be satisfied; the worst!   How could something so healthy make me feel so gross?  I knew that there was no way I was going to eliminate vegetables  (I am one of those weird people that craves them) so I made the choice to listen to my body and came up with the opposite of what I was eating: oily and cooked vegetables rather than raw and undressed.  I call it the Sautéed Vegetable Solution. I get plenty of nutrients from eating a smaller, denser portion plus the olive oil adds richness to the flavor, which contributes to feeling satisfied. As a bonus, the fat from the olive oil leaves me feeling fuller longer and helps the body absorb the vitamins and minerals from the vegetables more efficiently.  The only annoying thing was I didn't always have time to sauté up vegetables every time I wanted to eat a meal, so I got smart and made a huge batch to keep in the fridge all week.

The Sautéed Vegetable Solution has successfully helped many of my clients who struggle with incorporating vegetables into their day, create effective changes in their diet plans. By committing 30 minutes one day a week to cook up a large batch of sautéed vegetables, you have a healthy, delicious, accessible side dish.

There are no right or wrong vegetables so pick whatever makes you happiest!  I like to go to the Sunday farmer's market and use seasonal produce  (I always include onions because they caramelize and add a rich flavor that you don't get from any other vegetable that I am aware of).   Chop up your selected veggies and throw into a large skillet with olive oil and the spices you see in the picture above: rosemary, chili powder, sea salt, pepper, garlic, and shallots.  You can't go wrong in the measurements but if you are worried go lighter on the spices and add more if the flavors aren't strong enough.

Pair this with a lean protein and you have a well-balanced and nutritious meal. If you use carrots or some other starchy vegetable (sweet potato, tomato, parsnip, beets, turnip) you do not need to add a carbohydrate.

 

Meal ideas:

Toss with diced baked and seasoned tofu (Trader Joe's makes a savory flavor is super yummy!)

Lemon Chicken breast

Grilled Salmon

Melt mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top

Curry chicken

Add garbanzo beans when cooking/reheating

Dice chicken apple sausage

Toss with wheat berries and chicken (if you do not use starchy vegetables)

 

My favorite vegetable combinations:

Onion, carrot, parsnip, leek, zucchini

Onion, brussels sprout, sweet potato

Onion, snap peas, broccoli, carrot, spinach

 

Tips:

If you don't want to chop up garlic, substitute garlic powder.

For every cup of vegetables use a teaspoon of olive oil.

If you want sautéed vegetables for a week, start with about 9 cups (the veggies will cook down to a smaller volume as they release water).

Store the vegetables in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  To heat either put in the microwave for a minute and a half or reheat on the stovetop.

Health summary:

Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet may reduce risk for heart disease, including heart attack, and stroke.

Diets rich in foods containing fiber, such as some vegetables, may reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

Olive oil has countless benefits such as bolstering the immune system and helping to protect against viruses. To read more about how olive oil has also been found to be effective in fighting against diseases and depression click here.

Eating fat with vegetables helps the body absorb valuable nutrients found in vegetables, such as lycopene and beta-carotene, which have been shown to help prevent heart disease and cancer. In order for these carotenoids to be absorbed by the human digestive system, fat is needed. Read more about absorbing nutrients with the help of good fats here.

 

The Recipe

2 onions, sliced

4 large carrots, sliced

3 parsnips, sliced

4 zucchini, sliced

4 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 tablespoon garlic powder)

1 shallot, sliced

1.5  tablespoons, olive oil

2 tablespoons, rosemary

2 teaspoons, chili powder

2 teaspoons, black pepper

pinch of sea salt

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add all the vegetables and spices. (You can divide into two skillets if you don't have one that is large enough)

2. Using a heat resistant spoon, mix vegetables as they cook so they don't stick to the bottom of the pan. Cook until browned.

3. Serve or store in air tight container in the refrigerator.

 

RELIsh Life is Arielle's life & wellness coaching site.  Arielle offer's guidance and empowerment to a healthier more fullfilling life through certified life and wellness coaching, as well as custom cooking classes.

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