Veggies, dammit!

February 16, 2016

I love veggies. You will remember me waxing eloquent about them during the summer, and many, many dinners centered around fresh garden vegetables.

So, an eating plan that wants me to down three vegetable servings a day? Piece of cake, right?

Wrong.

I started this online eating/exercise challenge three weeks ago. You get points for doing different things — drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day, eating two servings of fruit, three servings of veggies, abstaining from added sugars or sweet treats, not eating 2-3 hours before bedtime, etc.

First off, they throw you a curve ball. The fruit is easy — two half-cup servings. I knock that out in my breakfast smoothie of a morning. But the veggies, a serving suddenly expands into a full cup! Now, I ask you, is that fair? All of a sudden, it’s not THREE servings of veggies, it’s SIX servings of veggies, and when you start trying to get THAT all in, especially in the middle of winter, it gets difficult.

So I’ve been trying all sorts of tricks. I’ve made homemade vegetable juice. I’ve started putting carrot juice in my smoothies in the morning. I keep carrot sticks and hummus around in the fridge to snack on, along with raw cabbage. And yesterday, I made a big pot of vegetable soup.

It’s been a long time since I made a vegetable soup that was all vegetables, without starting with pot roast leftovers or at least stew beef. I sauteed an onion, added a little garlic, dumped in a quart of home-canned tomatoes and a pint of tomato juice. Added a package of frozen mixed vegetables, a diced potato and some carrots, an envelope of Lipton’s onion soup mix, a cube of beef bouillon and a tablespoon or so of Worcestershire. Didn’t salt, as the soup mix, the beef bouillon and the Worcestershire are all salty. Cooked it 30 minutes on high pressure in the Instant Pot. Quite tasty. It made a half-gallon, so that’ll keep me in soup all week, and that’ll make a dent in the veggie requirement.

I need to make a grocery run tomorrow, and I’m already counting on stocking up on produce. I have cauliflower and broccoli in the fridge that need to get cooked tomorrow, so that should do for tomorrow’s veggies. I need to pick up zucchini and cucumbers and radishes and a cabbage, among other things. Oh, and sweet potatoes; I’m almost out of sweet potatoes.

More and more of my grocery bill is being spent in the produce section; fortunately, Kroger here has an excellent one, and there’s always the Truck Patch (the natural foods market) to fill in with some of the more exotic things. But I’ll surely be glad when the farmers’ market opens. And I expect I will be making some early-season pilgrimages to the Memphis market as well as to Wilson Gardens for produce, as well.

Makes you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em wish for spring and summer to hurry up, doesn’t it?

 

 

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