Adventures with vegetables

With the Trials just 4 short weeks away, I know I need to be even more careful about what I’m eating and making sure I’m on pace to reach that race weight.

With that in mind, my evening meals are generally pretty small (trying to go to bed on the hungry side). Veggies and other healthy/lower calorie items are generally my go-tos.

For one evening meal, I steamed brussel sprouts (fresh/local from Just Food). I’d never had them before (part of my “try some new produce every time I go in the store” resolution), and wasn’t expecting anything. They were great!! Loved them, honestly. And it turns out, they’re really, really good for you as well. One sprout has 8 calories, 1 gram of fiber and 1 gram of protein. It also provides 22% of your recommended Vitamin C, a little bit of iron, calcuim and Vitamin A.

I liked them so much that the next time I was in a regular grocery store I bought two bags of frozen steamable sprouts. They were on sale, a good brand, so I figured why not? Might be an easy thing to microwave at lunch.

Except we made the first bag the other night, and they’re TERRIBLE. If I didn’t know any better, I wouldn’t EVER eat them again, fresh, frozen, or any other way. Except I still have one bag left, and I just can’t allow myself to waste food… sigh.

Lesson learned: vegetables are actually REALLY good tasting when they’re fresh/grown locally (not shipped for a week)/and organic (not sure if that affects the taste at all, but I feel better knowing they don’t have pesticides sprayed on them). I never thought there’d be such a big difference, having only really eaten frozen bags or canned veggies my entire life.

So this brings me to poll the readers here: Any thoughts on what veggies or light healthy side dishes I should try from the Co-op next? 4 weeks is a long time to be looking to light & healthy dishes. There are still plenty of root-looking and other odd looking plants I still need to get myself to try… just need the motivation to give them a try 🙂

P.S. On a training-related note, my achilles heals so well after a day of cross training. After Sunday’s 16 miler it was REALLY sore Monday, so sore I had to walk down the stairs differently at noon. Typically it loosens up by mid-day or after a cross training session. I iced and stretched frequently throughout the day and had Nate try some deeper massage in the calf/soleous region. By Monday evening, it felt SO much better it didn’t seem like the stairs incident had happened just a few hours earlier. Odd, but I’ll take it, since today I’m supposed to attempt my first “speed” workout!

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  1. Kale – you can cut it up and add it to a healthy veggie soup (onions, carrots, celery, garlic, crushed tomatoes, chicken/veggie stock)

    Spinach – use it to make salads with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar

    Asparagus – put them on a baking sheet, sprinkle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roast them in the oven at 425 for like 10-12 mins

    Butternut squash – go to food and search for a butternut squash pasta recipe (I think she uses prawns in it) by Giada – so good!! I usually leave out the prawns and just have the squash/pasta.

  2. Brussels sprouts are one of the very few "inedible" foods on my list (liver and durian. Think that's the whole list!)

    I have become an enormous fan of the not-quite-grain teff, available in most co-ops now. It makes for a nutty, almost chocolatey hot cereal that is packed with nutrients (surprisingly high in calcium, for example). Prices vary a lot.

  3. A chocolate/nutty hot cereal?!? Sounds DELICIOUS! I'm definitely looking for it next time I go.

    I've also saved the recipe for the squash/pasta recipe. Yeah for trying new things!

  4. I totally understand the fresh vs frozen thing. After having fresh, steamed broccoli with a little butter and lemon juice, I can't understand how anyone could eat that mushy frozen stuff. I second the vote for kale. I run it through the food processor and add it to soups. I would recommend sweet potatoes which are very high in nutrients. You can bake them in their skins in the oven, or do them in the microwave in 10 minutes. A little olive oil or butter and salt and you have a delicious side dish. Congrats on the healthy eating! You are doing great!!

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