Beverages / Small Plates / Vegan Foods / Vegetarian

I Bought Too Much Produce and It’s About to Go Bad

I’ve basically done nothing today. It’s certainly not the best way I can think of to spend the first weekend of 2013, but I’m looking forward to actually going to bed tonight at a time that isn’t technically the next day. To help make up for all the eating I’ve been doing (still thinking about that awesome Cupcake Royale cupcake from yesterday…), I kept my meals on the lighter side today, with lots of fruits and veggies and little or no dairy, carbs, and added sugar.

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This morning I decided to try out my hand blender with a smoothie. Rather than a green smoothie, I stuck with something a bit more basic. With carrots, peaches, and Greek yogurt, it’s flavorful, low-calorie, and a great meal to help me detox from a month of poor eating. I added cayenne and cinnamon for some added flavor and a nice kick.

I wanted to keep things light for an early dinner, and decided to work with things on hand instead of going out for food. Since I pretty much only have vegetables right now, I put together a simple, one-pan sauté dish. Both my spinach and butternut squash are about to go bad, so I wanted to make sure I use them before I have to throw them out (a common theme in my cooking). I kept things low-cal by using vegetable broth to substitute some of the olive oil I would normally use. I’d probably normally add something like goat cheese to the dish, but I don’t have it on hand, and I’m trying to avoid dairy for the next few days.

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I went ahead and included recipes for both meals below; both are definitely on the lighter side. I find that when trying to eat healthy, it’s easier for me to have more small meals throughout the day than three large ones. Both the recipes could be made into heartier meals, though, and if I hadn’t spent the holidays over-indulging, I would definitely need to beef these up. But if you’re trying to detox a bit, these work great.

Spicy Carrot Peach Smoothie (serves 1)
1/2 cup Silk Pure Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (can use soy milk)
2 oz. nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup frozen peaches
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1/2 of Truvia packet

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: 107 calories; 1g fat; 8g protein; 13g sugar; 20g carbs

Spinach and Squash Sauté (serves 1)
3/4 cup Trader Joe’s cubed butternut squash, cut into pieces
1 oz. sweet onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 cups spinach or kale
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable broth
1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
about 1/4 cup dried cranberries
dash of cumin
dash of chili powder
salt & pepper to taste

1. Heat oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add squash, onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly. Add vegetable broth if more liquid is needed to prevent burning. Cook until squash is lightly browned, about 7 minutes.
2. Add spinach, apple cider vinegar, cumin, chili, and salt & pepper. Cook 5 more minutes or until spinach is wilted.
3. Remove from the heat and add cranberries. Toss to combine.
Optional: add approx. 1 tbsp chopped walnuts for added crunch and substance.
For a complete meal, serve over brown rice or quinoa.

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