Nutrition

Dishes that Make the Vegetable the Star

Dishes that Make the Vegetable the Star

For most of our lives and for most of our eating patterns, vegetables have simply been the side portion to plates. They’re beautiful, of course, and a great way to get vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, but vegetables haven’t taken the brunt of our plates and eating patterns. But all that is changing as more and more people are turning to vegetables instead of traditional protein sources. And what’s also great about moving vegetables to the centerpiece of any meal is that there’s an ever-rotating selection of what you can sample, based on the season.
Summer, of course, offers an unmatched bounty. But there are really distinct options to look at in every season. And with non-traditional ways to prepare them, vegetables can even take over for things such as carbs — take the popular vegetable noodles, for example. How can you move vegetables into a more main consideration for your meals? This graphic offers some super-tasty ideas to consider.

It can be easy to think of vegetables as side ingredients or as supporting actors to the starring dish: meat. As Americans look to bump up veggie consumption, they’re realizing vegetables can be the star of any meal, anywhere… including the office. In fact, tasty, satisfying dishes can center around one or more vegetables with or without the addition of meat.

Bring on the veggies

Summer is easy bounty. Fall brings us the harvest’s grand finale. Winter reminds us that root crops and hearty veggies can keep us warm inside and out. Then there’s spring.

After a gray winter, the vibrant greens, purples, and reds of spring vegetables remind us that color is coming back to the world. As the days warm and daylight slowly stretches later into the evening, we can look forward to feasting on a growing bounty of veggies such as:

  • Artichokes
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Bok Choy
  • Carrots
  • Fava Beans
  • Garlic
  • Herbs
  • Leeks
  • Morels
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Radishes
  • Ramps
  • Rhubarb
  • Salad Greens
  • Scallions
  • Spinach

No matter how you want to incorporate veggies into your next meal, here are some savory must-try ideas to put more produce on your plate.

Veggie noodles

The idea behind vegetable noodles is simple: swap pasta or other styles of grain-based noodles with “noodles” made out of vegetables. Zucchini noodles, or zoodles, are perhaps the best known, but there are a wide variety of veggie noodles including ones made from:

  • Beets
  • Butternut squash
  • Carrots
  • Daikon radish
  • Sweet potatoes

Try it:

  • Sweet Potato Noodles at Natural Garden (Austin)
  • Zucchini Noodles at Hey Hey Canteen (New York)
  • Chelini Fresh at Pasta Works (San Francisco Bay Area)

Spiralized Veggie Dishes

Veggie-topped Pizza

Instead of piling meat onto your pie, swap some or all of your pepperoni or sausage with your favorite seasonal veggies. While caramelizing in heat, vegetables gain rich, complex flavors, and the variety of veggie textures adds joy to every bite.

Winter and spring vegetables are perfect for pizza. Here are a few ideas to up your topping game:

  • Artichokes
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Ramps
  • Spinach

Try it:

  • Veggie Flatbread at Blue Line Pizza (San Francisco Bay Area)
  • Vegan Cheeseless Veggie Pizza or White Pie with Broccoli at Joe’s Pizza (New York)
  • Strictly Veggie Pizza at Home Run Inn (Chicago)
  • Deep dish pizza with spinach, ricotta, feta, mushrooms, onions, and garlic at Little Star (San Francisco Bay Area)

Vegetable burgers

The veggie burger is a simple idea: Instead of a savory meat-based patty, use a mix of legumes, grains, and/or vegetables for flavors and textures reminiscent of a traditional burger, with the added health benefits of produce.

Veggie burgers can include a range of ingredients, depending on your diet and preferences. Beans and legumes often feature prominently in veggie burgers. The texture and hearty flavor of mushrooms—namely Cremini or Portobello—also makes them a popular ingredient. Here are some other plant foods you might find in a tasty veggie burger:

  • Black beans
  • Lentils
  • Eggplant
  • Carrots
  • Oats
  • Garlic
  • Greens
  • Flax meal
  • Green onions

Commercial plant-based alternatives are available, including Beyond Burger, Impossible Burger, Lightlife Smart Patties, and Before the Butcher’s Uncut Burgers. If you want to make your own instead, you can experiment with different veggies, grains, legumes, and more.

Try it:

  • Impossible Burger at Soul & Smoke (Chicago) and Dickson’s Farmstand Meats (New York City)
  • Vegetarian Woodstock Burger at Cluck-n-Burger (Austin)
  • Grilled Portobello Burger at Soul & Smoke (Chicago)
  • Tofu and Sweet Potato Burger on Portobello Buns at Creative Concepts (New York City)

DIY Veggie Burgers

Vegetable paella

For starters, yes, you can make paella at home. You can even get the crusty, browned, rice layer (called socarrat) the fabled Spanish rice dish is really all about.

While paella is known for being cooked in a dedicated paella pan, you can make an incredible version without one. You can cook paella in a frying pan or even a Dutch oven—just make sure the vessel you choose has a thick base so the bottom rice layer can crisp without burning.

Paella is also versatile enough to include your preferred mix of veggies and proteins, such as:

  • Shellfish
  • Sausage
  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • White beans
  • Artichokes
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Bok choy
  • Carrots
  • Fava beans
  • Leeks
  • Morels
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Ramps

Try it:

  • Paella Party at Patatas (San Francisco)

The Origins of Paella

Grilled vegetable skewers

Veggie skewers (or veggie kebabs) are a black-charred, bright-tasting, colorful way to ring in spring. The only requirements are that the vegetable be sturdy enough to fit on one or two skewers and cut to the right thickness so everything on the skewer finishes grilling at the same time (after all, no one wants some veggies burnt and others raw).

Here are a few good veggies to slice and skewer:

  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Morels and other mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Radishes

Often a citrusy, bright-flavored sauce (such as a chimichurri or herb-garlic marinade) can be a great balance to the charred, intense flavors brought out by the grill.

Try it:

  • Veggie Skewers at Souvlaki (New York City)

Give veggies the star treatment tonight

No matter the season, it’s good for the body and good for the soul to bump up the produce in your diet. With these ideas to inspire you, how will you put veggies to work in your supper tonight?

https://zerocater.com/blog/2019/04/29/dishes-that-make-the-vegetables-star/


5 Diet Questions for Fat Loss

5 Diet Questions for Fat Loss

Before you start a new diet, answer these five questions to see if it will help you lose fat.

Fat Loss Question 1: Does it make you hungry all day every day?

When you’re on a diet, it’s normal to feel the occasional tinge of hunger. Much of those light hunger pangs, however, should be done away with by drinking a glass of water. And if you stay busy enough with life in general, you ought to be able to ignore some other hunger. But if your diet has you feeling hungry at all times, you’re not going to last long.

To avoid falling into the pit of hungry despair, go with a diet that lets you eat protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Also, as stated above, drink plenty of water to avoid confusing hunger with thirst.

Fat Loss Question 2: Does it force you to drop food groups?

A healthy diet is one that incorporates appropriate amounts of food from each food group. When a diet cuts an entire food group from your eating options, you’re going to have a hard time surviving your diet for longer than a week or two.

One of the most popular food groups to cut is carbohydrates. While not eating carbs will indeed help you lose weight, carbs are what make it possible to store energy to make it through the day. No carbs, no energy, no willpower to maintain your diet.

Fat Loss Question 3: Is your mood suddenly unpredictable?

Everyone gets metabolic every once in a while, but if your diet is too restrictive, you may find your mood swings coming with greater regularity and severity. This happens because excessive caloric restrictions messes with the chemicals in your brain. When this occurs, there is no telling what direction your mood will go.

Before letting your diet ruin your relationships and put your job at risk, reconsider your diet and find one that helps you be cool, calm, and collect.

Fat Loss Question 4: Does it insist there is no need to exercise?

There are some diet plans that promise plenty of lost pounds without the addition of exercise.

If this is the type of diet you’re considering or are in the midst of, beware! Exercise comes with countless health benefits that will make your weight loss all the more beneficial. From preventing chronic pain to improving your energy level and sleeping better, exercise is a vital component to any diet.

Fat Loss Question 5: Do you still weigh the same?

It is true that the best way to lose weight is slowly—approximately one or two pounds per week. But take note that slowly doesn’t mean not at all.

In the event you’ve been on a diet for a few weeks without any results to speak of, then your diet is a flop. Drop it immediately and find something that will help you lose pounds. Otherwise, you’ll get discouraged with your diet and swap it for the old habits that got you where you are now.

Remember that a true body transformation comes only from a combination of diet and exercise. Call or email me today to get started on the only fitness program that you’ll ever need!


Easy Guacamole

Easy Guacamole

Avocado is a super food that’s filled with incredible, healthy fats and nutrients to power your fitness results. This recipe is an easy way to turn avocado into a tasty guacamole to add to your next fitness meal.
 
Have fun playing around with the amount of salsa, salt and lemon that you add to suit your taste. There is really NO WAY to mess this recipe up, it’s delicious, simple and sure-fire.
 
Serve this guac up with virtually ANY dinner to spice it up and make it more interesting. It would be AWESOME served over Perfectly Seasoned Oven Baked Chicken Breast.​ Yummmmm!
 
Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com
 
What you need
Serves 2
 
1 avocado
⅓ cup fresh salsa
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 sprinkle sea salt
 
Instructions
 
1. Cube and seed the avocado.
 
2. Place all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and mash together. Enjoy immediately!
 
Nutrition
One serving equals 217 calories, 15g fat, 325mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, 2g sugar, and 3g protein
 
I hope that you get a chance to give this recipe a try this week. Remember that I’m only a quick message away to assist you in all things fitness. And if you are not yet one of my prized clients then let’s set up a  free game plan session here– I’d love to help you achieve your best body ever!
 
Tobias Young





Here’s another guilt-free pasta recipe for you!

Here’s another guilt-free pasta recipe for you!

Here’s another guilt-free pasta recipe for you!
 
You won’t need a spiral slicer for this one, simply use a regular veggie peeler – like the kind you would use to peel the skin from a potato – to create long, flat zucchini noodles. This recipe has a scrumptious, nutty flavor that will make you forget all about traditional noodles. Feel free to serve with some sliced chicken breast, sliced hard-boiled eggs or steak for added protein. Enjoy!
 
What you need
Serves 4
 
1 teaspoon coconut oil
Pinch of salt
1 Tablespoon almond flour
4 large zucchinis, peeled with a veggie peeler
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
1 Tablespoon minced parsley
¼ teaspoon black pepper
 
Instructions
 
1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, about two minutes. Add the coconut oil, and once it’s melted, add the almond flour and a pinch of salt.
 
2. Stir often with a wooden spoon, until it’s toasty brown, about two minutes. Remove crumbs from the pan and save for garnish.
 
3. In the same skillet, add the peeled zucchini noodles. Sauté them until just tender, about one to two minutes. Turn heat to low.
 
4. In a new pan on low heat, combine olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes, stirring with a spoon until fragrant, about 20 seconds.
 
5. Transfer the zucchini noodles to garlic and oil mixture. Toss and stir until they’re coated.
 
6. Turn off the heat and add parsley, salt, and black pepper. Sprinkle with almond flour crumbs before serving. Enjoy!
 
Nutrition
165 calories, 12g fat, 72mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, and 6g protein
 

Ditch These 5 Sweets

Ditch These 5 Sweets

 

How often has your sweet tooth ruined your clean diet?

Yes, sweet are delicious and tempting, but will get you into pants that are another size larger. And into your doctor’s office for another lecture. And into a body that you are ashamed of.

The life-long repercussions of a diet filled with too much sugar far outweigh the momentary pleasure.

To help you conquer your sugar craving once and for all, I’ve identified 5 sweets you should ditch, and a healthy substitute for each.

1. Ditch this Sweet: Candy

Nothing gets refined sugar circulating through your body quicker than a fistful of candy—and if you’re in the habit of eating candy daily then your body will crave it.

Candy has virtually no nutritional value, other than caloric energy, and will quickly end up stored on your body in the form of unwanted, annoying fat.

Do This: Swap candy out for a handful of unsalted nuts, a few pieces of unsweetened, dried fruit, or a small square of very dark chocolate (at least 72% cocoa content).

2. Ditch this Sweet: Baked Goods

Cake, cookies, brownies, pastries, donuts, and pies are filled with sugar. While these may not taste as sweet as candy, the combination of refined sugar and white flour will spike your blood sugar just the same.

Very much like candy, regularly eating baked goods may become a habit. Break yourself of this and you’ll find the number on your scale going down rather than up.

Do This: Put down the cookie and reach for a piece of fresh, seasonal fruit. Fruit is nature’s candy and is every bit as blissful as a slice of cake. Serving a beautiful fruit platter to guests can be as delightful as any baked treat.

3. Ditch this Sweet: Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt

Nothing makes you feel as happy and carefree as a bowl of creamy ice cream…until that ice cream makes its permanent home on your waist. Very much like candy, ice cream has few nutritional benefits.

Do This: Mix unsweetened, nonfat Greek yogurt with a scoop of vanilla protein powder and mix in some chopped, fresh fruit. This creamy delight is much lower in sugar than ice cream and tastes amazing!

4. Ditch this Sweet: Soft Drinks

A regular can of soda pop contains the equivalent of 10 packets of sugar. That’s more sugar than you should consume in a full week!

Soft drinks something that you get into the habit of drinking and then do without thinking. The good news is that a habit can be broken and then replaced with something healthier.

Do This: Take soda pop out of your diet. Period. There are plenty of other, healthier, beverages available to you. Try the recipes for Spa Water below.

5. Ditch this Sweet: Blended Drinks

Smoothies, blended coffee drinks and milkshakes are all tempting treats, especially in hot summer months. Don’t give in to the temptation!

These items are even more deadly than most treats since they are consumed through a straw and don’t make you feel full. Let me assure you that even though you don’t feel full, like you would after a piece of cake, you’re still taking in a bunch of sugary calories.

Do This: Make your own healthy blended drinks at home by using natural sweeteners like stevia, or simply by using fruit. Blend a delicious protein shake with ice, milk and protein powder.

A great thing to remember is that once you’ve fallen out of the habit of eating sugar, your body will no longer crave it.

This means that each day spent in discipline will bring you closer to the day that sugar no longer has a hold over you. Imagine how much happier and healthier you will be!

Eating healthy is half of the battle when it comes to fitness and wellness. The other, equally important, side is maintaining a regular, challenging exercise program.

For an exercise program to be challenging it must always be changing. That’s why my workouts are never the same.

It’s my goal to get you into the best shape of your life. Message me today to begin your transformation!