Start the fall season with seasonal vegetables that are delicious, nutritious and affordable. Here are easy ways to get a lot of vegetables this fall.
1) Roasted veggies: Roast vegetables in the oven, drizzle olive oil and bake until tender. They get sweeter and soft and it can complement any meal, with a protein food, and a salad. If you have leftover roasted veggies puree with warm vegetable stock to make a creamy soup. A butternut squash soup is perfect for the fall. Sauté onion and garlic in butter and add vegetable stock, add this in a blender with the roasted butternut squash and puree until smooth. For a lower fat version, skip the cream and use nonfat Greek yogurt. It only needs a few tablespoons to give it a creamy flavor. Season with salt and pepper and add your favorite spices, such as Italian herbs, herbes de Provence, turmeric, and cayenne pepper. Butternut squash is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, and it has fiber, potassium and magnesium.
2) Spaghetti squash: For a low calorie and low carbohydrate alternative, serve spaghetti squash in place of pasta. These veggie strands taste like spaghetti with marinara sauce and parmesan cheese. Make lasagna with spaghetti squash and ground meat or serve with meatballs. One cup of spaghetti squash provides 42 calories and 10 grams of total carbohydrates. This is very helpful for those who want to cut some carbohydrates or have diabetes.
3) Beets: Beets are juicy and sweet when roasted. It is easy to cook in the oven. Wrap beets in foil and bake until tender. When ready to serve, peel the soft skin and serve with a creamy dressing or mix with other veggies. Beet hummus is a beautiful dip. Follow any hummus recipe with garbanzo beans, tahini paste, garlic, lemon juice and add cooked beets. Half a cup of beets provides 37 calories, and 8 grams of total carbohydrates.
4) Gazpacho: This Spaniard recipe is a refreshing cold soup made of tomatoes, red bell pepper, red onion, cucumber, a little bit of parsley, garlic, and sherry vinegar. This healthy dish can last you throughout the week. The longer you let gazpacho sit in the fridge, the better flavor.
5-6 ripe tomatoes
1 English cucumber, remove seeds, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, remove seeds, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 - 1 jalapeño, remove seeds, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
3 Tbsp. Sherry vinegar
1 lemon, juice
3/4 c. cold water
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
1. Cut an X on the bottom of 3 tomatoes with a knife. Blanch these tomatoes in boiling water for 1 minute or less. Remove and transfer to a bowl full of ice water.
2. Peel soft skin of blanched tomatoes, discard seeds, and reserve juice. Chop all tomatoes and the rest of the fresh ingredients and combine in a large bowl. Add the reserved tomato juice.
3. Blend half of all chopped vegetables in a blender until smooth. Add water, sherry vinegar, lemon juice, and pulse again. Taste and season with salt and pepper and pulse one last time.
4. Add this mixture to the chopped vegetables and combine. Refrigerate for 12 hours. Garnish with more vegetables or with pieces of bread or croutons.
This healthy dish can last you throughout the week. The longer you let gazpacho sit in the fridge, the better flavor.