We seem to eat a lot of sweets and too much food in general over the holidays so here are some ideas that can help reverse the negative effects of the over eating. Some of these will satisfy the sweet tooth while at the same time, ensure that you get your fruits and vegetables. Several of these simple recipes use a lot of sugar or dairy, and I realize that may not always be the best option for everyone, but the mail ingredient is either a fruit or a vegetable. Many people do not get their recommended 5 fruits and veggies a day and after a carbohydrate overload out bodies probably need some extra fruits and veggies.
1. Carrot sticks with hummus - Garden or roasted red pepper flavors are my favorite. Broccoli is also good. I invite you to try a couple different flavors with different veggies. I also enjoy using hummus on salad instead of dressing.
2. Dried fruit - A dehydrator will pay off quickly. It also comes with recipes for fruits and veggies. If you are like me and let fruit get old, just cut it up and dehydrate it (I dip it in a honey and water mix about half and half). This seems to make the best banana chips. Fruit leather is also great - use a blender add honey, sugar or 100% fruit juice concentrate. Apple sauce also works well. My husband argues that it is not worth it to buy applesauce, but believe me, it is.
3. Trail Mix made from your dried fruit - I know that peanuts can be high in fat, but when mixed with a lot of fruit it is marvelous. It is cheaper to make your own.
4. Veggie Chips - I recently saw these at our local Co-op. I have not tried them but it seems that if you took carrots and dipped them in a b.sugar and water mixture they would be really good and sweet. There are also recipes for dried cucumber.
5. Veggie Rolls - This one may not be the healthiest but it is one of the few ways my husband will eat vegetables. Take a tortilla, spread a thin layer of cream cheese, making sure that one edge has a thicker layer to seal the roll. Cut up carrots and cucumber (works best if sliced using a peeler - not chunks) and sprinkle that on the shell as well. be careful not to get too many veggies on the edge with extra cream cheese. Roll it all up starting at the end that doesn't have extra cream cheese and slice like you would a sushi roll. These are quick, fairly healthy and will make you the life of the party. You can try other veggies (maybe mushrooms or onions) and use fat free cream cheese, if desired.
6. Apples and Cheddar Cheese - Slice an apple and slice some cheddar cheese and eat one slice of each. Some people eat peanut butter with their apples. Be careful PB has a lot of calories and fat (same as peanuts) but it is perfect for vegetarians.
7. Fruit Smoothies - Take frozen fruit, vanilla yogurt, water (milk or fruit juice) and toss in a blender. There is plenty of flavor, I typically use water. If the drink gets stuck or the blender acts strange, you typically need more water. These are great in the summer.
8. Fruit and yogurt - Easy take a couple tablespoons of yogurt and mix in a bunch of fruit. You can use yogurt as the sauce in a fruit salad.
Easy Side Dish Ideas
9. Cheesy beans - My favorite way to prepare this is using yellow beans from my grandma's garden, however that is not always possible. Canned green beans (NO SALT ADDED - only ingredients are beans and water - Most canned fruits and veggies have the option of sugar or salt - go without). Cook on the stove, draining most of the water and adding 1 - 2 slices of cheese/can of beans.
10. Asian Vegetables - This is another way that my husband will eat vegetables. Take frozen or canned vegetables (Asian frozen veggies work well - I sometimes add green beans or carrots from my grandma's garden). Cook them on the stove as you normally would. Add soy sauce and honey. I use about half and half. The recipe called for peanut oil, sesame seeds and cooks the veggies in the oven. Add only if you know what you are doing and feel free to bake them if that is how you cook your veggies. We don't keep sesame seeds on hand, I don't like Peanut oil, and we don't have oven safe dishes, so I made up the recipe I gave you.
11. Eggplant Pizza - Use eggplants as the crust. Find a firm eggplant, dip it in a flour breading mixture and fry it in as little vegetable oil as possibly (This is the unhealthy part but it is smart to vary your vegetables). Add pizza sauce and cheese.
12. Cutie Salad - Romaine lettuce (if you smell the root and it doesn't smell, this will be the best, and you might not need dressing). Sliced carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, radishes, other types of lettuce, all work well on top of the salad, if desired. Sprinkle cheese on top and add cutie oranges around the side. Add dressing of you choice, if you choose (keep in mind, garden flavored hummus might be enough). If you find a bundle of lettuce with no smell there is a good chance you will want/need much less dressing. You can also try olive oil and vinegar (flavored works well).
One Simple Meal Recipe
13. Homemade pizza - you can make or purchase dough. When I purchase it we use the Jiffy boxed stuff or the Frozen packs of 5 loafs. We prefer the frozen but you have to plan it the night before. Follow crust instructions. My favorite pizza toppings are canned pineapple (we tried cutting fresh pineapple and it is not good) and Sweet Heat Jalepenos. I try to avoid pepperoni but you can use it.
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