Very Veggie Spaghetti

Recipes

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Few Americans get in the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables. Consuming five servings of produce day in and day out can be daunting, especially if you’re a toddler, or a first grader… or an adult. This recipe incorporates a variety of veggies into a tried and true favorite that even the kiddos will enjoy. Combine them with lycopene-rich crushed tomatoes and you’ve got a recipe for health (admittedly, that pun was very much intended).


Very Veggie Spaghetti

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INGREDIENTS:

½ medium onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
½ bell pepper, diced
1 lb ground pork
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
red pepper flakes, anywhere from a smidgen to a generous dash
1 tsp dried basil or 3/4 cup fresh basil
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
¾ cup button mushrooms, sliced16 oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil

balsamic vinegar, a healthy drizzle
1 cup kale, rinsed and packed (feel free to substitute fresh or frozen spinach as desired)whole wheat pasta

DIRECTIONS:

Salt and boil water for pasta. [Tip: Add in a bay leave to add flavor to the pasta.]

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and bell pepper to oil. Once onion starts to become translucent add ground pork, dried basil (wait until the end if you’re using fresh basil), salt and peppers to taste.

Once meat is mostly browned, add garlic an mushrooms into vegetable/pork mixture. Cook for 2 minutes. Add in canned tomatoes, kale and balsamic vinegar. Continue to cook until kale is wilted, but retains a vibrant green color.

Fun fact: Cooking tomatoes helps to release lycopene from its plant cells. Lycopene is a carotenoid (yup, that’s the same class of phytochemicals found in carrots) and may help to reduce prostate cancer. This is great news considering prostate cancer is the most common cause of death in men over 75. 

Beef Vegetable Soup

Recipes

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Beef Vegetable Soup

I was waiting until we had another cold front to post this recipe, but since this is Texas I realized I’d have to wait until Christmas. We enjoyed this soup so much that we gobbled it all up in one setting, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it would have been better the next day.

This beef vegetable soup makes good use of any root vegetables you have lying around. Red wine adds a nice depth of flavor to the savory broth. Caution: This beef broth will change your life. It is THAT good. My little ladybugs were feeling puny after a cold front blew in, but a little of this soup perked them right up. (And for those of you who’ve suffered through ailing toddlers, you know anything that can make them feel better is a game changer).

Beef Vegetable Soup

 

 

Serves 8

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 large yellow onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 lbs beef tips (Tip: You can cube a beef roast if you’re in a pinch like I did.)

4 cups chopped root vegetables (I used daikon, carrots, potatoes, and parsnips)

1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (about 5 mushrooms)

6 cups beef broth

1 cup red wine (recommend merlot or cabernet sauvignon)

2 bay leaves

1 heaping tbsp. dried parsley (alternately use 2 cups fresh, chopped flat-leaf parsley added immediately before serving)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

(This recipe can alternately be prepared in a slow cooker. Place all ingredients in your slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 6 hours.)

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 2 minutes. Add beef tips and cook until browned, but not fully cooked (about 7 minutes). Add garlic and cook an additional minute. Add remaining ingredients, cover, and cook to a boil. Reduce heat to achieve a simmer and cook an additional 30-35 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

Serve hot with a white crusty bread.

 

 

 

Indian-Spiced Root Vegetables

Recipes

dsc_0320The people of India have a gift of creating multidimensional flavors. One of my favorite flavor combinations is cumin, coriander, and turmeric. These three spices are a delicious addition to many vegetables and proteins, and also contribute a notable punch of nutrition.

These spices have powerful medicinal qualities. Turmeric in particular contains an active ingredient called Curcumin that is used to treat everything from irritable bowel to arthritis. In short, this anti-inflammatory is practically a wonder drug in a spice jar.

Coriander, too, is rich in phytonutrients such as flavonoids, and are believed to aid in cholesterol and blood sugar control. Cumin aids in ameliorating digestive problems, such as diarrhea and gas.

Just like most medicinal herbs and spices, I am not a huge advocate for consuming it in supplement form, as it has several adverse side effects when taken at a therapeutic dosage unless prescribed by a physician.

I hope you enjoy this powerful trio when generously added to turnips and radishes. Please feel free to substitute your favorite root vegetables in this recipe: potatoes, yams, beets, carrots, etc. will all work beautifully in this recipe.

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Indian-Spiced Root Vegetables

Serves 4

Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients:

Root Vegetables (two bunches or about 4 cups), cut into bite-sized cubes

2 tbsp. grapeseed or melted coconut oil

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp coriander

salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425F.

Combine spices in a small bowl. Spread vegetables out on a large sheet pan. Drizzle vegetables evenly with oil. Sprinkle spice evenly on vegetables. Using hands, rub spice mixture into vegetables, coating evenly.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until vegetables are fork tender.