Brussel sprouts chips

Chips prepared from vegetables (other than potatoes?) Count me in!

If you’re a new subscriber to this blogging community, then you should know that ‘Let’s Eat Lunch!’ absolutely adores vegetable chips. And if you haven’t had the chance, please be sure to check out my recipes for eggplant chips and zucchini chips.

This week I bring you brussel sprouts chips. If this cruciferous vegetable is not your cup of tea when eaten raw or sautéed, I urge you to try this recipe. These baked chips feature a crispy crunch sure to satisfy you at every snack!

To prepare brussel sprouts chips, simply remove the layers of brussel sprouts and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. As a side note, instead of discarding the portion of the brussel sprout that remains once the pieces become too tiny to use for chips, chop the leftovers up to toss in a salad with spinach or spring mix.

Next, drizzle the brussel sprouts with about a tablespoon of your preferred neutral-tasting oil (i.e. olive oil, sunflower oil), dust with salt, and add your preferred seasonings (i.e. black pepper, chili powder, curry powder, garlic powder, or smoked paprika). Bake in a 375 degree oven until brussel sprouts become crisp, or about nine to 11 minutes.

Do you enjoy vegetable chips?

Until Next Week…Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

Katie

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Community gardens. School gardens. What about hospital farms?

I came across a USA Today article last week reporting a shift in the American healthcare landscape as the number of hospitals introducing gardens and instituting farms on their premises grows. For example, the Boston Medical Center’s rooftop garden, implemented in the spring of 2017, features an array of crops, including but not limited to kale and rainbow chard. From promoting a patient’s consumption of nutrient-dense foods to minimizing carbon dioxide emissions during food transport, these hospital farms and gardens serve simultaneous community, environmental, and wellness functions.

I commend the growing practice of planting and sowing hospital farms and gardens, which is why I wanted to shine a light on it this week. The act of integrating local agriculture with healthcare delivery is another powerful way hospitals put their missions in action, as the tangible expression of health and nutrition that these bounties and crops embody will not only engage, but also empower.

Do you know of any hospitals in your area that have planted gardens? What do you think of the idea of hospital farms?

Until Next Week…Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

Katie

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Children’s Menus…Lacking Common Sense?

Chicken tenders, French fries, hamburgers, hotdogs, mac-and-cheese…

This hodgepodge of nutrient-devoid fats, carbs, and processed meats appear on virtually all children’s menus at restaurants, regardless of cuisine.

The concept of children’s menus lacks common sense.

Why is it that elementary school-aged kids are only offered a menu of salt, sugar, and fat, at such a critical point in the development of their eating habits? How is it that only once a young person becomes an adult are they offered a healthier menu when dining out?

There are, of course, exceptions. Some restaurants incorporate fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as well as lean proteins and nutritious fats into children’s dishes. However, this is the exception, not the norm.

Imagine a restaurant without a separate menu for young children. Instead, children ordered the same food as adults.

We only live what we learn.

Next time you’re out to eat with your child, consider sharing your meal with her or him. This approach will not only enhance your eating habits, it will also cultivate your child’s palate.

Restaurant entrées are supersized. By sharing your meal with your child, you’ll either avoid the urge to overeat or avoid wasting food. You’ll also save money, and who doesn’t love that?!

Your child will also reap the benefits of sharing a meal with you. Not only will she or he foster nutritious eating habits from an early age, they’ll also expand their culinary horizons. Not to mention the fact that a meal shared with you will be much more nutrient-dense than an option from the children’s menu.

Looking for more tips to make your family’s restaurant experience healthful?

Check out why happy meals make me unhappy, and discover how to improve the nutrition of your next restaurant meal.

What’s your take on the concept of children’s menus?

Until Next Week…Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

Katie

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Forwarding this blog post to a friend and encouraging him or her to follow me at:  www.letseatlunch.wordpress.com

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How to increase your vegetable intake the simple way

If you like it, veggify it!

One of the easiest ways to incorporate more vegetables into your diet is by adding them to recipes you already enjoy. This strategy makes healthful eating habits attainable in the following ways:

First, you feel comfortable preparing the recipe. Rather than investing resources to master a brand-new vegetable recipe, simply adding vegetables to recipes that you’re already familiar with conserves your energy and your time.

Second, this suggestion affords you the opportunity to make your favorite culinary classics new again with the diverse flavors and textures of different vegetables.

This week, aim to bolster your healthful consumption habits by making vegetables a priority on your plate. Begin by implementing these recommendations for veggifying popular recipes:

1. Scrambled Eggs

Coat a pan with a thin veil of olive oil. Then, sauté mushrooms, onions, and peppers. Set aside. In the same pan, prepare your scrambled eggs. Next, add the sautéed vegetables to the thoroughly cooked scrambled eggs to make this morning meal more nutrient-dense.

After your scrambled eggs have taken shape and are thoroughly cooked, toss a handful of sliced greens (i.e. Bok Choy, collard greens, Kale, spinach, etc.) into the pan.

2. Brown Rice

Dice two medium-sized carrots. Combine the carrots with diced onions and one cup of snow peas into a pan. Sauté. After that, add in your batch of cooked brown rice.

3. Tomato Sauce

Add a depth of flavor and texture to this Italian classic by cubing four medium-sized carrots and four medium-sized stalks of celery. Sauté. Use the carrot and celery sauté as a base for your tomato sauce.

4. Pancakes

Incorporate squash or pumpkin into your pancake batter.

Grate a medium-sized zucchini to add to your pancake batter. Helpful hint: zucchinis have a large water content, so be sure to press the grated zucchini with a paper towel to prevent your batter from becoming soggy.

Looking to incorporate more vegetables into your diet?

Check out my recipes for Zucchini Chips, Escarole Salad, and Roasted Potatoes and Leeks.

Have you ever veggified a recipe?

Until Next Week…Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

Katie

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