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Eating Your 5 a Day - Beginner Cook Style

Posted by Tamar F.

When you are living on your own for the first time or cooking on your own for the first time, it can be a challenge to get your recommended 5 veggies/fruits a day. First of all, there's always been this "bachelor mindset" that a cheap, easy meal comes out of a cardboard box. But, if all your meals consist entirely of processed mac and cheese or pizzas, you will not being doing your health, waistline or skin any favors. Here are some basic things to keep in mind: you want a variety in colors, lots of fiber and freshness. Have your grocer show you how to pick out the best whatever, because I want you to try things you've never eaten before. You don't have to like them, if it's a no-go, tomorrow's another day. Don't let your new found treasures rot in the fridge, either. Use them that day or the next, at the latest. I don't want you to feel you have to buy 200 ethnic or vegetarian cookbooks, either - unless you want to and can afford it. When confronted with a new leafy vegetable: wash it thoroughly, dry with paper towels, chop roughly and steam it or quickly saute in a teeny bit of olive oil. Add the smallest sprinkle of salt and a few twists of fresh cracked pepper. That's it and it works for anything from broccolini to bok choy. Some of you may have grown up in homes where everything green was covered in orange Cheese Whiz. Don't cave in, you'll soon appreciate the crispness and interesting flavors of real food. If you have a root vegetable, like turnip or yam, it's a cinch to roast it in a toaster oven for an hour or so. Test it for doneness with a fork, it should be tender. Mash with a little oil or if you love butter, I won?t holler at you . . . I'll probably join you! How much is a portion? They say that since caveman times, the proper portion of vegetables is what you can hold in two hands. So, if you're a big guy, you'd better be eating some big vegetables!
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