A good way to gauge the nutrient density of what you eat is to see how many colors are on your plate. The more colors the better! Nutrient density is just a term used to figure out how much calorie bang for your buck your are getting in the foods you eat. For example, a colorful salad has way more nutrients packed into it for not that many calories, while a candy bar is calorie dense, it doesn’t really have that many nutrients. So the salad is more nutrient dense. Pretty easy, right? You want to make the calories you eat the most nutrient dense and give you the biggest bang for your buck. A good way to start eating healthier, without focusing on calorie this, numbers of that, is to simply incorporate more colors into your diet.
We don’t even know all the synergistic properties of fruits and vegetables yet, but eating whole foods is much better than taking a vitamin as an excuse to eat crappy. Although I do take a regular multivitamin every so often to make sure I’m hitting all my bases. All those phytonutrients work together somehow to keep us healthy and help prevent many chronic diseases like cancer. It’s amazing to me how nature and the foods we eat can do this!
My salad I had for dinner tonight was like an explosion of flavors in my mouth! I took romaine salad greens (the greener the better, so iceberg isn’t the best choice), topped it with some marinated vegetables I made from the Splendid Table Cookbook (you have to try this one!), mini heirloom tomatoes from Trader Joe’s (look at the purple one!), some dried fruit and creamy goat cheese. I am a big fan of contrasting flavors and the tangy yet sweet marinated vegetables with a slight crisp, along the sweet and plump tomatoes and the creamy goat cheese just sang!
Then for the main I decided to make the Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers I featured on my Happy New Year post. Wow, these were good. If you haven’t tried fontina cheese, I would HIGHLY recommend it. It’s a semi-soft cheese that tastes like buttery toast and melts in your mouth. I also topped them with an aged Parmesan from Trader Joe’s. This is the real stuff. It has such quality flavor that you don’t even need to use that much, which is good because it is 12.99/lb! I only get this stuff every once in awhile, but it is so worth it. And the walnuts! Every few mouthfuls you get a nice toasty crunch inside. I only baked it for 30 minutes covered at 450 this time and the peppers came out nice and soft. Then I added the cheese on top and baked for another 10 minutes. So delicious I ate the whole darn pepper!
Here are some more pics!
Ahhh . . . that glorious rind says it all
Oooeeeyyy Gooooeeeyy Fontina!
Yum in my tum!
What’s your favorite vegetable, and what’s your favorite way to use it in recipes?