Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Mostly Plants?

There's a question mark at the end of my blog title for a reason.  Since well before beginning this challenge, I knew that the hardest part would be the "mostly plants" end of things.  How many of us struggle with the recommended five to seven vegetables, even in summer when everything is fresh from the garden?  How about in winter in Chicago, when the greens available in the produce section were either A) grown in Mexico or somewhere similarly distant or B) look sort of sad, pale, bruisy and wrinkled?  It's like a Sophie's Choice between eating a pear from half a world away, or eating a pear that looks vaguely like Winston Churchill.

I can only tackle one eating challenge at a time.  I'd like to be responsible in getting produce fresh and local, but if it's going to be so unappealing in my fridge that I won't eat it, then I won't be feeding my body right.  And frankly, living on lattes and croissants freshly made though they may be (see previous post), is JUST NOT what this year is about.

So I'm buying those $5 boxes of berries.  At least until summer comes back.

Assuming summer will, in fact, come back.  Some days in Chicago it is just hard to tell.

We love zucchini.  Matt's been known to have it for breakfast.  I'll chop up a whole one, grill it in a little olive oil, and eat it instead of chips in front of a movie.

I'm trying to get two fruits or vegetables in every meal, to hit the recommended servings mark.  So, above is artichoke alongside a bolognese made with fresh crushed tomatoes.

And, of course, it helps if one of those daily plant servings comes a little decadent...

Haagendaaz "Five" Vanilla Bean ice cream topped with a cup of fresh raspberries.  That is officially my FAVORITE WAY TO GET MY DAILY FIBER.


  1. Please tell me how you made those zucchini chips so crispy!? Just on the grill??! They look FANTASTIC!

    I used to have such a hard time integrating the 5-7 servings of fruits and veggies you are supposed to eat every day. I think that most people (me included sometimes)overestimate the serving size of a fruit/vegetable and think they have to eat massive amounts of fruits/veggies to reach the 5-7 servings. In reality, most of the times you're eating fruits/veggies, you are probably eating 2-3 servings without realizing it! The one cup of raspberries you are putting on your ice cream is actually two servings of fruit! Mission accomplished!

    The trick for me was to start planning my meals around my vegetables/grains instead of around my meat. This made me feel so free for some reason! Now I pick what grain and vegetables I want to eat and if a meat fits into the meal I have it, if not, I don't. I eat about 1/2 the meat I used to eat and twice the veggies I used to eat now!

    The other thing is to sneak vegetables into anything you can! I make pasta salads full of fresh vegetables and then eat it OVER a bed of spinach. Or I make smoothies in the afternoon for a snack full of fruit and sometimes spinach (you can't taste it at all!). For a snack I'll have celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins on top!

  2. Thanks for all the advice!!

    As for the zucchini chips, the key is to slice them REALLY thin and make sure each is brushed evenly with olive oil. Then just pop them on a greased cookie sheet in the oven at 400 -- when they start to crisp on one side, flip them.