I’m sure someone already said this to you recently, but holy cow when did it become May!?! I can’t even believe that May is already here, but I do enjoy the beginning of any month. I love change and the first of the month always feels like a great opportunity to adopt new habits, lose pesky bad ones, make new memories and try new things.
One of the many things I am looking forward to in May is the abundance of fresh fruits and veggies that the warmer weather will bring. Luckily we live in an area where fruit stands and farmer’s markets are around every corner. Seasonal and locally grown produce take your taste buds to a whole new level, which is why I think they should be the star of any meal.
We often plan our meals around meat. I’ll be the first to admit, meat is absolutely delicious. I told my Italian language teacher in Italy that American BBQ was my favorite food. She looked baffled by my response. That’s how loyal I am to meat. However, I firmly believe that fruits and veggies always deserve a fighting chance. If you ask me to bring something to a party, please know that whatever I bring will involve fruits and veggies (Kevin likes to tease me with this Simpsons clip when I do). I especially like hosting, because I get to be in charge of the menu and I usually give a heavy focus to fruits and veggies. Being that you are at my house, you have no other choice but to eat the food I serve you. Therefore, I will make sure I contribute to your 7-9 daily servings of fruits and veggies. You’re welcome 🙂
One of my favorite ways to
force help people eat their fruits and veggies at parties is with make ahead salads. I’m currently on the broccoli salad train after seeing one on the cover of the most recent Cooking Light. I bought the ingredients and set out to make it, not entirely stoked because I thought it required blanching the broccoli. (It’s typically recommended that you closely read a recipe before starting to cook or bake, but I’ve never been that great at following directions.) After I got the pot and my ice bowl ready, I quickly checked the recipe and realized that you just leave it raw. What?! Mind blown. I immediately knew this recipe was going to be a winner. I served it along a slider bar with numerous toppings and the bowl of broccoli salad still got devoured. This just goes to show you that if you make veggies look and taste good (and don’t give people other options) they will get eaten. As BBQ season embarks upon us, I want to challenge you to give fruits and veggies a fighting chance at your spread. Make the salad the most talked about dish, serve grilled fruit kebabs for dessert and start changing the way people see veggies.
The Weekly Grub
- Sunday: Carnitas quesadillas (with peppers and onions)
- Monday: Grilled chicken, broccoli salad and corn
- Tuesday: Shrimp fajita lettuce wraps
- Wednesday: Watermelon, feta and chicken salad
- Thursday: Leftovers
- Friday: Out!
The “Only healthy thing we consumed on Picnic Day” Broccoli Salad
The best part about this salad is that you can change the ingredients based on what you have on hand. I have included apples, used sunflower seeds instead of almonds, added basil…get creative!
- 1/3 cup 2% or whole fat plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 4 cups coarsely chopped broccoli florets (about 1 bunch)
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup sliced strawberries
Combine yogurt and next 4 ingredients (through pepper), stirring well with a whisk. Stir in red onion, broccoli, and remaining ingredients. Cover and chill 1 hour before serving.