Cook healthy by using more vegetables

  • Mar. 16, 2007 5:00 p.m.

Submitted by Shelly Crack-A group of 12 people affected by diabetes celebrated Nutrition Month 2007 by “cooking it up healthy” at the Haida Health Centre in Massett last week.
The new Canada’s Food Guide emphasizes the importance of getting more vegetables every day. The cooking class featured favourite recipes made with more vegetables.
The group prepared chow mein, red lentil spaghetti sauce and macaroni and cheese. Each dish had two or three times more vegetables than the regular versions and featured hearty, lower-cost vegetables such as carrots, cabbage, onions and frozen peas.
Living on Haida Gwaii, it’s often difficult to get the recommended seven to ten servings of fruit and vegetables per day for adults between 19 and 50 years. Shelly Crack, the local community dietitian, recommends eating canned, frozen and fresh vegetables and fruit to save money and have more selection at home.
Here are a few tips on how to get at least seven servings of fruit and vegetables each day:
• Fill half your plate with vegetables and fruit at every meal and snack.
• At breakfast, top your oatmeal with one cup of frozen berries.
• Include one cup of thick vegetable-based soup or a fruit with lunch.
• Enjoy half a plate of coleslaw with your fish and rice at dinner.
• Snack on half a cup of canned peaches packed in juice in the evening.
Frozen broccoli in your chow mein, spinach salads, shredded carrots in spaghetti sauce or baked sweet potato fries are all ways to eat one dark green and one orange vegetable each day, also a recommendation from the new food guide.
Although half a cup of 100% fruit or vegetable juice counts as one serving, fruits and vegetables are always a better choice, as they are full of fibre and fill you up!
Everyone in the group enjoyed cooking together, eating together and setting goals around being healthy. A big thanks to the Haida Health Centre for supporting the cooking class. How’aa Shauna, Shirley and Sandra!