Fruits & Vegetables: No Excuses, Eat More (cont.)

Buy frozen (or canned) fruits and vegetables. They're often less expensive than fresh produce - and they're available year round.

  • Find stores that have great prices on fresh or frozen produce. Some stores offer better prices than others. It could be your local farmer's market, or a specialty chain like Trader Joe's. Spend a little time researching this, and you'll know where to get the best deals on fresh and frozen produce, dried fruit, and 100% juice.

  • Buy a little fresh produce at a time. Don't waste money throwing out spoiled fruits and vegetables. Be sure to choose items that you really want to eat.

    Fruit and Vegetable Recipes

    Here are three simple recipes using fruits and vegetables to add to your repertoire.

    Black Bean Vegetable Stir Fry

    16-ounce bag frozen Oriental Style vegetables
    2 tablespoons bottled black bean sauce
    2 tablespoons water, chicken broth or beer
    1 tablespoon toasted sliced almonds or
    1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds or thinly sliced green onions (just the green part)

    • Begin heating a nonstick wok or large skillet over high heat. When it's good and hot, add the frozen vegetables and let cook over high heat for about 4 minutes, stirring often.
    • Meanwhile, blend the black bean sauce with water, broth, or beer in a small cup and stir until smooth. When vegetables are just lightly cooked, stir in the black bean sauce and turn off heat. Let sit for about a minute to warm the sauce.
    • Sprinkle toasted almonds, sesame seeds or green onions over the top and serve.

    Yield: 4 servings

    Per serving (with almond garnish): 89 calories, 4 g protein, 16.5 g carbohydrate, 1.7 g fat, .2 g saturated fat, 0.7 g monounsaturated fat, 0.6 g polyunsaturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 6.4 g fiber, 136 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 16%.

    Spinach Egg White Omelet

    Canola cooking spray
    1 cup loose frozen chopped spinach (found in bags, not boxes)
    1/2 cup Egg Beaters (or other egg substitute)
    A few sprinkles freshly ground pepper
    Two pinches dried oregano flakes
    1 ounce thinly sliced or shredded cheese of choice
    1/2 whole tomato, thinly sliced or chopped

    • Start heating 9-inch nonstick frying pan or omelet pan over medium-high heat. Coat the inside of pan with canola cooking spray. Spread frozen spinach out in the pan and let it heat up for about a minute. Stir to continue cooking for about a minute more.
    • Spread spinach out evenly in the bottom of the pan, then pour 1/2 cup of egg substitute over spinach to form an omelet. Sprinkle pepper and oregano over the top. When the bottom is nicely browned, flip omelet over to cook other side.
    • Lay thinly sliced cheese over the top of half of the omelet. When bottom side is cooked and cheese is melted, fold one-half of omelet over the half topped with cheese. Garnish the top with fresh tomato and serve.

    Yield: 1 serving

    Per serving: 225 calories, 24 g protein, 12 g carbohydrate, 10 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 2.7 g monounsaturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 5.3 g fiber, 497 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 39%.

    Mixed Berry Cobbler

    This recipe can be made in individual portions in the microwave, or can be baked in the oven.

    4 cups frozen unsweetened mixed berries (or use 2 cups frozen blueberries and 2 cups frozen raspberries)
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon flour
    2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur (or substitute 2 tablespoons fruit juice)
    4 reduced-fat Crescent Rolls (4 ounces), unwrapped
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

    • If using oven, preheat to 375 degrees. Add frozen berries to a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, flour, and amaretto and stir to blend.
    • If using microwave, divide berry mixture into 4 custard cups. Top each with a crescent roll that has been cut in half, to cover the berries well. If using an oven, spread berry mixture in 9-x 5-inch loaf dish and arrange 4 rolled-out crescent rolls to cover berry mixture well.
    • In small cup, blend ground cinnamon with 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar. Sprinkle some of the cinnamon sugar evenly over the top of the crescent rolls.
    • If using microwave, microwave each individual cobbler for about 3 minutes (time may vary depending on your microwave). If using an oven, bake dish for about 20-25 minutes or until top is golden and berry mixture is bubbling.

    Yield: 4 servings

    Per serving: 209 calories, 3 g protein, 38 g carbohydrate, 5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 1.6 g monounsaturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 220 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 21%.

    Published May 18, 2007.

    Recipes provided by Elaine Magee; © 2007 Elaine Magee

    SOURCES: Casagrande S.S. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, April 2007; vol 32: pp 257-263. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, March 16, 2007; vol 56; pp 213-217. Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, Los Angeles, April 14-18, 2007. Kristi Thaete, MS, RD, clinical dietitian, Overland Park Regional Medical Center, Kansas. Elizabeth Pivonka, PhD, RD, president and chief executive officer, Produce for Better Health Foundation, Wilmington, Del.

    ©2007 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.

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