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EATING well

Here's an easier, speedier way to eat more vegetables

Enjoy a cocktail of, from top, shredded beets with balsamic, shredded parsnips with walnuts and shredded spicy carrots.

Associated Press

Enjoy a cocktail of, from top, shredded beets with balsamic, shredded parsnips with walnuts and shredded spicy carrots.

By SARA MOULTON

Associated Press

It's the same thing every year. We overindulge during the holidays, then make solemn (and quickly abandoned) promises to eat healthier and shed pounds in the new year.

So here's a sane and simple resolution that will help you achieve both goals in a single stroke: Eat more vegetables.

It's no secret that almost all vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories. Most also are good sources of dietary fiber, potassium, folate and vitamins A and C. If you did nothing more than pile your plate with vegetables, add a small portion of lean protein and ramp up your daily exercise a bit, you'd probably find all that extra holiday baggage dropping away without having to count calories.

The only problem with eating more vegetables is that it can take a significant amount of time to prep them, and even more time to cook them.

This is why I love my food processor. If you use it with the grating disc attachment — as I do for this trio of recipes — you're home free. Even root vegetables can be grated and sauteed in minutes. Best of all, having cooked up your grated veggies in a bit of oil, you have maximized their flavor, as opposed to steaming or boiling them, which dilutes it.

Enhance the finished product however you want, with nuts, your favorite spices or herbs, or a squeeze of citrus or other acid. Just be sure to put a mix of colors on the plate; for the most part, the brighter the color, the better the nutrition.

And on a night when you are truly squeezed for time, you don't even have to cook your shredded veggies. They're equally delicious raw. Just toss them with lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Have fun with your vegetables. You'll be delighted with what happens when you move them to the center of your plate.

SHREDDED BEETS WITH BALSAMIC

Start to finish: 15 minutes

Servings: 4

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound beets, peeled and grated using the small grating disc of a food processor

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

½ cup dried cherries

In a large skillet over medium, heat the oil. Add the beets and a pinch of salt and cook, covered, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and cherries, then cook, covered, until tender, about 2 minutes more.

Nutrition information per serving: 180 calories (60 calories from fat, 30 percent of total calories), 7g fat (1g saturated, 0g trans fats), 0mg cholesterol, 25g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 17g sugar, 3g protein, 210mg sodium.

SHREDDED SPICY CARROTS

Start to finish: 15 minutes

Servings: 4

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 pound carrots, peeled and grated using the large grating disc of a food processor

Kosher salt

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)

Fresh lime juice

¼ cup chopped fresh scallions

¼ cup unsalted peanuts, toasted and chopped

In a large skillet over medium, heat the oil. Add the carrots and a pinch of salt, then cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and cook, stirring often, until the carrots are just tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in a bit of lime juice and the scallions and peanuts.

Nutrition information per serving: 160 calories (100 calories from fat, 63 percent of total calories), 11g fat (1g saturated, 0g trans fats), 0mg cholesterol, 14g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 8g sugar, 4g protein, 210mg sodium.

SHREDDED PARSNIPS WITH WALNUTS

Start to finish: 15 minutes

Servings: 4

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound parsnips, peeled and grated using the large grating disc of a food processor

Kosher salt

¼ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

¼ cup golden raisins

1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage

Fresh lemon juice

In a large skillet over medium, heat the oil. Add the parsnips and a pinch of salt, then cook, stirring often, until the parsnips are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the walnuts, raisins, sage and a splash of lemon juice.

Nutrition information per serving: 230 calories (110 calories from fat, 48 percent of total calories), 12g fat (1.5g saturated, 0g trans fats), 0mg cholesterol, 30g carbohydrates, 6g fiber, 12g sugar, 3g protein, 135mg sodium.

Here's an easier, speedier way to eat more vegetables 12/26/13 [Last modified: Thursday, December 26, 2013 5:29pm]
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