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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

(re)discovered favorite foods

As a child, there was probably a food that you may have been forced to try only to swear it away forever...or until as a grown-up you actually discover that it is simply amazing(or tolerable, perhaps).
In this post we are telling about foods that each of us have learned to like all over again as grown-ups and how we prepare them.  Comment below with the foods that you have re-discovered.

My 2 "new" favorites are vegetables.  Anytime you include veggies into your diet you immediately improve your health.  Vegetables are bursting with an assortment of vitamins, minerals, and provide zero-calorie fiber (i.e. no weight gain when you eat a lot of them).  For optimal success, aim to eat as many of both vegetables and fruits as you possibly can.  They are like a secret little pill that you can take to improve your vitality thanks to the phytochemcials.  Phytochemicals are produced by the plant to help protect it from damaging sun rays, environmental hazards, or plant-eating parasites.  Phytochemicals have much of the same effect when eaten by humans and also have the potential to reduce the risk of developing cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.

Sweet Potatoes 
ok...I don't prepare these like a baked potato...cause yuck...that's so gross all mashed up!!! But how I make these now make them so hard to stop eating.
Sweet Potato Fries
First, wash 4 sweet potatoes(for roughly 6 servings).  With a super sharp knife, slice diagonally into thick wedges.  Place into a large Ziplock baggie and pour a small amount of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) into the bag and toss all around to evenly coat (I also add a little bit of fresh, pressed garlic too).  For best results, let them sit in the baggie for about 30 minutes.  Once coated, place on baking sheet in a single layer.  Sprinkle with seasonings of choice (suggestions: sea salt, cinnamon, cumin).  Bake in preheated 450 degree oven until tender and golden brown (about 25 - 30 mins).  

Brussel Sprouts
I love these for their "nutty" type flavor.
Steamed Brussel Spouts
After buying these fresh, wash thoroughly and cut off the ugly brown part and discard the yucky leaves.  I really don't have a "recipe".  I just steam these for about 10-15 minutes in a double boiler.  Once tender (I stick with a fork so they have my kind of tenderness and not too mushy), I add a little bit of organic butter and some salt.  Simple and good!   

We all know broccoli is good for you (great source of fiber, vitamin C, K, etc) but it usually tastes best with lots of cheese or butter on it...until now.  Thanks to pinterest, I have discovered how to make broccoli taste great with an easy prep (even my non-veggie eating husband loves it)! 

Preheat oven to 425.  Place a layer of aluminum foil over a cookie sheet.  Place a bag of broccoli (I prefer organic) or use fresh florets on the foil, season with salt (sea salt is good), pepper, fresh garlic or garlic powder and drizzle with olive oil and bake for 15-18 minutes (depending on the amount of broccoli-when the tops start browning it's done). Occasionally I will sprinkle some parmesan cheese on the top as well!  It's delicious!!

Cabbage offers one of the lowest calorie and fat counts of any veggie.  Like broccoli, it has lots of cancer fight agents, fiber, potassium and vitamin C.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Brush a rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Place 1 medium head green cabbage, cut into 1-inch-thick rounds, in a single layer on sheet and brush with 2 tablespoons oil. Season with coarse salt and ground pepper and other seasonings you enjoy! Roast until cabbage is tender and edges are golden.

FYI, I also roast asparagus and green beans in the oven...delicious, easy to prepare, and easy to clean up!

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