The start of a new year provides an opportunity to make changes to your life. At this early date, many people resolve to be more organized, improve exercise programs, or introduce healthier options into diets. This last point is something that is near and dear to the heart of Hudson Grocery Cooperative, and we would like to aid you in your journey towards healthier eating. Over the next few weeks, our blog posts will discuss appealing ways of preparing green leafy vegetables, teach you how to cultivate a healthy digestive tract by culturing your own kombucha, and more. For today, we offer some fast, simple tips to mix up your mealtimes.
- Break the “main dish” mold. Many of us prepare meals that have a large main dish, a starch, and a side of vegetables. Instead, plan and offer a few dishes of equal substance. For example, prepare a nutritious soup, like a potato leek soup, and serve it with build-your-own sandwiches and raw fruit or vegetables.
- Eat less of more. Serving multiple dishes at a meal allows you to take smaller portions of a greater variety of foods. The dishes offered can be as simple as canned pickled beets, or carrots with hummus. And, leftovers can be packed for lunches.
- Continue to shop locally. St. Croix County produces tons of dairy products, eggs, meat products, and jellies, syrups, sauces, etc, that are available throughout the year. If you are missing farmers markets, check out the winter farmers markets in St. Paul, at Eastside Food Co-Op in Minneapolis, or in Eau Claire.
- Vary the cooking styles used. In mid-winter, meals tend toward soups, stews, and casseroles, all dishes that are well-cooked in plenty of liquid. Try to introduce a few different cooking methods at each meal. For example, a meal might include a baked meat loaf, sauteed mushrooms, steamed broccoli, and a salad with carrots, bell peppers, and onions.
- Shop for a rainbow of colors, but don’t discount the white vegetables. Even at this time of year, grocery store produce departments offer some delicious and colorful options. Mangoes, persimmons, and pears are delicious right now. Lettuce and root vegetables are also a sure bet. If you are getting tired of potatoes, try something new – figure out how to eat a sunchoke or a turnip (and then tell me in the comments – turnips are one vegetable I, personally, have yet to enjoy!)
How have you altered your eating habits this year? Tell us below!