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Kaylor: Increase Your Vegetable IQ

By Staff | Sep 25, 2015

At this time of the year, children are heading off to classrooms to learn new skills. We are never too old to learn new things. Learning new vegetable shopping and preparation skills may help us save money and include more veggies on our plate.

Whether they are children or adults, many people do not eat the recommended amount of colorful vegetables, which provide fiber, vitamins and minerals. These 10 tips from www.choosemyplate.gov might help. (Learn more about cooking healthy meals by visiting www.ndsu.edu/eatsmart.)

1. Discover fast ways to cook – Cook fresh or frozen vegetables in the microwave for a quick and easy dish to add to any meal. Steam green beans, carrots or broccoli in a bowl with a small amount of water for a quick side dish.

2. Be ahead of the game – Cut up a batch of bell peppers, carrots or broccoli. Prepackage them to use when time is limited.

3. Choose vegetables rich in color – Brighten your plate with red, orange or dark green vegetables, which are full of vitamins and minerals. Try acorn squash, sweet potatoes or collard greens.

4. Check the freezer aisle – Compare prices. Frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh. Try adding frozen corn, beans or sugar snap peas to your favorite dishes or eat as a side dish.

5. Stock up on veggies – Keep canned tomatoes, kidney beans, garbanzo beans and mushrooms on hand. Compare the sodium content, and look for ones labeled “reduced sodium” or “no salt added.”

6. Make your garden salad glow with color – Brighten your salad by using colorful vegetables such as black beans, sliced red bell peppers or chopped red cabbage.

7. Sip on some vegetable soup – Try tomato, butternut squash or garden vegetable soup. Look for reduced- or low-sodium soups.

8. Eat healthful meals away from home – Order an extra side of vegetables or a side


9. Savor the flavor of seasonal vegetables – Check your local grocery store specials for in-season buys.

10. Try something new – Choose a new vegetable and add it to your menu.


– 4) 8-inch whole-wheat tortillas

– 1 small (4-ounce) can tomato or pizza sauce

– 1 clove garlic, minced

– 1 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded (part skim)

– Chopped veggies of choice, such as colorful bell peppers (green, yellow, red) or mushrooms

– 1 small onion, sliced

– Any other toppings (Canadian bacon is a low-fat meat option)

– Italian seasoning (optional)

Lay tortillas on an ungreased cookie sheet. Spoon tomato sauce over each tortilla. Top with minced garlic. Next, sprinkle each pizza with an equal amount of mozzarella cheese. Layer the cheese with peppers and onions and any other vegetables or toppings you like. Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Serve.

Makes four servings. Each serving has 300 calories, 11 grams (g) fat, 34 g carbohydrate and 310 milligrams of sodium.

SOURCE: FOOD WISE Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist

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