Flavorful Winter Vegetables to Add to Your Plate
By Staci Amend
Don’t you just miss heading to the farmer’s market (and even your own backyard) for fresh-grown garden vegetables? We at Jenny Craig can’t wait for summer, but we’re not forgoing adding savory veggies to every meal just because the snow is falling outside. Winter’s rich, hearty offerings can be just as delicious as those summer salads, especially when paired with your favorite Jenny Craig meals. From naturally sweet carrots to nutty cauliflower, here are four unique ways to add variety and flavor to your plate with winter produce.
Craving pasta, but wanting to work more veggies into your daily diet? Try adding squash! Either spaghetti squash (which naturally breaks into thin ribbons when prepared properly) or zucchini (prepared using a spiralizer tool) can be a delicious substitute for, or addition to, your noodles. Either kind of squash needs just a spritz of fat-free cooking spray and a pinch of garlic salt to bring out its natural flavors. Once prepared, just toss a half-cup with your Spaghetti with Meatballs for a perfectly nutritious meal.
Naturally sweet and loaded with beta carotene, fiber and antioxidants, carrots are easy to love. If there are already carrots in your Jenny Craig entrée, that’s your cue to slice, steam and start adding carrots! Add extra carrots to Homestyle Beef Pot Roast, Lentils with Beef or Turkey & Wild Rice. A half-cup of steamed carrots can transform your Italian Style Wedding Soup into a hearty stew, or add a touch of sweetness to the satisfying savory flavors of your Turkey Chili. Feeling creative? Try these easy from-scratch recipes: Maple Mustard Carrots featuring Jenny Craig Lite Table Syrup or Carrot Ginger Soup.
Rich in vitamin C, omega fatty acids, magnesium and fiber, cauliflower is delicious steamed or roasted with a spritz of fat-free cooking spray and a pinch of garlic salt. Its sweet, nutty flavor pairs well with many of our Italian-inspired dishes, including Cheese Ravioli, Classic Lasagna with Meat Sauce and Italian Style Pasta Bake. Add half to ¾ cup cooked cauliflower to your meal as a satisfying side.
Kale and spinach
Think your side salads will have to wait for spring? Think again! Spinach and kale are at their peak during the winter months, and both of these cruciferous greens are rich in iron, fiber and Vitamins and C… all essential for staying healthy during cold and flu season. Kale is also one of the few greens that resists wilting AND will keep for a day or two after it’s been dressed, making it ideal for make-ahead lunch sides or snacks. For a foolproof kale salad, take one bunch of kale, remove the spines and chop it 1-inch pieces. Toss with one packet of Jenny Craig Balsamic Dressing and a couple of slivered almonds… and take anywhere!