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In January, Many of Us Think About Dieting, But I Think About Eating

Image of Organic Fruits and Vegetables
Eating lots of really good produce and making that the delicious primary source of my calories is my diet tactic during this month of resolutions when so many of us try to change our relationship with food.

Depending on how much produce you already eat this can either be really easy or a little bit challenging. Either way, I know you’re up to it, and you may even find it helps to make those resolutions even easier to accomplish.

The first step to any successful program of adding more organic produce into your diet is to partner up with Melissa’s. You can always count on the quality, selection, and peak flavor that brings you back for more.

Start by doing simple things and work from there. I start with a food prep day each week. I make two entrées and at least three different pre-prepped fruit and vegetable items. This nearly guarantees that I will make good healthy choices during the week when I get home from work and when the morning doles out a surprise that I wasn't expecting.

For example, last week, I cooked veggie lasagna, spinach mushroom quiche and prepped chicken Caesar salad ingredients… which means homemade dressing and croutons. The week before, it was homemade enchiladas, baked kabocha squash and baked French toast. I also make sure I have steamed greens, roasted broccoli, cauliflower or brussels sprouts, and some chopped romaine lettuce in a bin to make the rest of the week's meal prep easier.

Here are some other simple tips you can use:

If you want to get some more citrus into your diet, quarter a couple of Melissa’s organic tangerines, squeeze one quarter into your afternoon cup of green tea and put the rest on a plate at your desk for your healthy afternoon snack. Or buy a Pyrex hand juice squeezer and start each day with a glass of fresh tangerine juice. Or add it to your favorite kale or chard recipe for an uplifting flavor.

Here is one of my favorite tasty and easy recipes I’ve used over the years to get you started:

Black Kale with a Little Tang

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium organic yellow onion, medium dice
6 medium organic garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed organic tangerine juice
4 pounds organic black kale (lacinato) (about 6 to 8 bunches), tough stems removed and leaves cut into bite-size pieces

Directions:
  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat until it shimmers. Add onion, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes (if using) and cook until vegetables have softened, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high, add orange juice and bring to a simmer. Add a few handfuls of kale and, as it wilts, continue to add a handful at a time, stirring constantly, until all the kale is in the pan, about 10 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until all the kale is wilted, about 2 minutes more—season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.
This recipe should provide enough for a nice dinner side dish and some leftovers for lunch.

If you aren’t a big fan of greens but want to include more into your diet. Dice them finely and add them to tuna or tofu salad. Or mix into your refried beans for the next burrito or taco night.

Try to include more than one new vegetable each day. It may be easier than you think. For instance, you can add organic spinach leaves, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms and onions to pizza. Variety can make a difference here too. Try veggie lasagna. Add fresh broccoli, green beans, corn or peas to a casserole or pasta. Make Thai food and serve the veggies with peanut sauce. Add lettuce, tomato, onion, sprouts and cucumber to burgers, wraps, hot dogs and tacos. Make a meal of raw veggies like organic baby carrots, pepper strips, broccoli and celery. Make a centerpiece of topped bell peppers filled with hummus, salsa, cocktail sauce, and blue cheese dip, peanut butter, etc.

As you can see, all we need is a little time and imagination to mix it up and make it fun—eating healthy Melissa’s organic produce can become a regular part of our New Year’s routine.
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