Image courtesy of marin at freedigitalphotos.net
It’s that time of year again. This March is the annual National Nutrition Month, which means that all month long nutrition professionals will be hitting up social media surrounding this month’s theme: Put Your Best Fork Forward! It’s an initiative built up around the main message of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans that says, it’s not a singular food that makes the difference but entire meal plans made up of a variety of different foods working together.
The theme Put Your Best Fork Forward reminds us that healthy eating and living is only small changes built up over time. You don’t have to do something drastic, go on that special diet, or lose 20 lbs for a better, more healthier you. Instead it’s all about building good habits that’ll last a life time! (That includes exercise just as much as it is what we eat.)
Healthy habits, just like anything else, begins in the home with what you cook for your family and yourself everyday. Your children will learn from the habits you build, so starting mindful eating habits right in your own home is the best place to start!
And this is exactly where I started when thinking about what would be this month’s blog post. At first I didn’t know what to write about, then, while cooking with my boyfriend, it suddenly occurred to me that the simple dish of sauteed vegetables and cashews could be the base of any dish.
It’s always hard coming home from work after a long day and not having anything prepared. It’s even harder to come home with the daunting task of whipping something up to eat when it’s 6:30 pm at night! What I needed was a quick dish that could be accomplished in 30 minutes or less. For many of us that would include frozen meals, I know it has for me many times and I’m a Nutritionist! But, my boyfriend Michael had whipped up this quick vegetable dish that can easily be built upon within 30 minutes. The best part was that the meal was only vegetables, spices, cashews, and a little olive oil. Talk about a marriage of antioxidants and healthy fats working together in perfect harmony.
My boyfriend’s a genius!
That being said I was quick to propose to him the idea for this blog and if I could share his recipe with my readers. Success! The downside though is that the recipe would have to be prepared ahead of time on a weekend and then frozen in containers for the rest of week. Other than that you could defrost the vegetable mix, add your own spices, meats, fish, or just add brown rice or whole wheat noddles for a variety of meals in 30 minutes or less. Just make sure the rice is cooked ahead a time. Batch cooking is how you get home cooked meals when you work 5-6 days a week.
Here is the basis of the recipe:
3 Sweet Peppers diced (Try for yellow, red, & orange)
1/2 c. of diced onion
1 c. of celery chopped
1 1/2 c. of chopped or matchstick carrots
2 c. of unsalted cashews
2 tablespoons of olive oil or another oil of your choice
Your choice of spices
1.) Wash the fresh produce in a colander. Afterwards place on a towel to dry.
2.) On a cutting board dice all the vegetables except the matchstick carrots. Place aside.
3.) Place a wok of skillet on the stove. Turn it up to medium heat and add all the vegetables w/ 1-2 tablespoons of oil. Add cashews last.
4.) Put a cover on top of the vegetables and let cook until vegetables are tender.
Now that you cooked dinner you have more time to gather round the table with your family. Happy National Nutrition Month!