Tag Archives: Cooking

fruit and veg…

20 Aug

How did you get on with taking the 25% of your dinner off  your plate?  Hope you thought about that?  Try it again?

So there are various things that have been key to me losing the weight, one of those has been the amount of fruit and veg I eat, I always did eat quite a bit but I can safely say that’s  where I spend at least 25% of my weekly shopping budget now.

It doesn’t mean that I have gone veggy or I am living like a rabbit now, actually lettuce doesn’t feature that much! I do eat more meals that are just veg but that’s just because I now enjoy them and have found great recipes.

What I have done though is increase the amount I eat and what I eat, this fills the plate rather than the fish or meat or allows great puddings!

My favourites are:

Bananas – easiest breakfast in the world, gives you great slow release energy, if I don’t have time for anything else, I have 2 to start the day, I can guarantee I’m not hungry for anything until lunchtime.  Tennis players swear by them for energy boosts, they’re great for a munch if you’re on your way to do some exercise too. I also now chop them up and add them to strawberries, raspberries, a handful of muesli (I can’t eat nuts but the lovely people at Dorset Cereals now do two varieties without nuts, it has made breakfast a whole lot more exciting!) and some  yogurt – delicious.

Courgettes – very versatile, throw them in the oven for a great roasted veg concoction with sweet potatoes, mushrooms, onions, peppers and some chicken.  Or slice them and cook in some olive oil, black pepper and basil and then serve with pasta.

Leeks – I found a great recipe for a risotto, so simple and very tasty! If you don’t like onions in casseroles, throw in chopped leeks instead.

Broccoli – I eat a lot, to the extent sometimes I crave it!  But it appears to give me energy and the iron is no bad thing either. If you steam it, it keeps its colour and looks amazing, not bad stir fried either.

Sweet Potatoes – love them, roasted (as above), mashed, I have a great recipe for a gratin too for a treat dish, however I now serve it as a main and boost it up with other things rather than using it as a side dish.

Potatoes – now on a lot of diets the potato is a very limited or banned food, I still eat them, I love them too much not to, what I do do though is roast them in olive oil, buy good quality (often locally produced) so when they are simply boiled they taste great or buy smaller ones for baking, I noticed that the ones the supermarkets stock and label  for ‘baking’  are often very big, my tip is to check out the pre-packed ones, they are smaller and take less time to cook.

I like to look for the stuff that is in season, summer is great for soft fruit, there is always a bowl of cherries in the fridge for picking out or some satsumas, I buy dried fruit for snacking (the little bags, not the big ones! ).  If really doesn’t matter if you snack on this!

Winter is great for root veg, roast it, casserole it, make it into soups.  If you’re a cook then think creatively, batch cook, put it into bowl sized bags and freeze, then you have your own ‘ready meals’, defrost while you’re at work, pop in the microwave when you get home. Great way of using leftovers too, I get cross when I hear people say that buying fresh food is expensive, it doesn’t have to be, use everything, make soup from the 3 slightly sad carrots, cake from the overripe banana, buy cheap potatoes and make bulk mash to freeze or make soup again.  It just takes a bit of thought.

The trick for me is to make it easy, make it fun, make it tasty. Get creative, eating veg doesn’t mean boiled veg, there is a whole load of stuff you can do with it.

If you don’t like fruit, try making smoothies, you can even buy bags of frozen fruit in the supermarkets now, great if you don’t eat a lot too, just take out what you want for breakfast etc, no waste, I do hear a lot of people say they don’t but fruit because it goes off before they get round to eating it, my tip is to buy good quality and keep it all in the fridge (apart from the bananas of course).   And if you’re not buying volumes of the stuff you used to snack on, I bet the actual amount it costs will be the same or even less?

Word of note, there will be those who don’t eat any fruit and veg because you ‘don’t like it’, this is something you have to think about, I’m not saying you have to suddenly start eating what you obviously don’t like very much but you are missing a big trick, and if you want to get fit and healthy it has to be part of a balanced diet, there’s no way round it and I would be very, very surprised from the hundreds of varieties of fruit and veg out there, that there isn’t something you’d like. This is the bossy bit, you are missing out on essential nutrients, your body does need these to work properly and get fit, especially as you get older and if you’re not eating fruit and veg you are filling the gap with things that have many more calories?

Final thoughts:

If you say you don’t like something, have you actually tried it, I don’t mean when you were six, I mean recently.  If you haven’t tried it you can’t say you don’t like it?  You might not like steamed veg, but would you like it stir fried?   Go on give it a go!

I didn’t eat pasta until I was 22, we just didn’t eat it at home when I was growing up, I always said I didn’t like it, however I tried it and I do…..and then there’s black pudding, I didn’t try that until last summer, now I must have it with a cooked breakfast!

If you can’t cook, maybe it’s time to think about it, it doesn’t have to take a long time or be complicated, I’ve found that as I’ve cooked more, I enjoy my food more too.  And for those of you who can cook – you have no excuse do you really???

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