Growing up, many of us were stuck at the family dinner table until the greens and other things that had grown out of the ground disappeared from our plates. A small sect of us might have done this willingly, with smiles instead of tears. Today, the smilers of yesteryear tend to be the ones who don’t seem to age despite the decades they’ve notched, and even if they do show some character, they wear it beautifully. What’s more is their joints ache less, they’re not likely to burn precious PTO on a bout of the flu, they’ve never felt dread going into swimsuit season, and they don’t seem to need as much sleep as everyone around them does.
We all age, but thankfully our taste buds mature along with us. We replace chips with carrots in the snack rotation, salads are ordered as a main course, and we tend to our own gardens or scour the local farmers’ market on the weekends. Part of these changes may be the growing awareness that we aren’t invincible — that our time here is limited and to potentially earn more of it (or enjoy what we’re allotted more thoroughly), not every meal can be an indulgence. The focus now is to consume more of the foods that minimize the number of middlemen playing a role in their cultivation, which keeps the bounty nutritious and the additives minimal.
We take a measurable amount of pride in offering healthier options to those looking for a enriching meal that leaves you feeling full and negates the time normally spent shopping, prepping, and cooking a dish of equal measure — time that is often split between our careers, our families, and all of the other duties and obligations that come with the territory of being a functioning member of society. To save you a bit more time we’ll dedicate our next two blog entries to our selection of vegetables, the health benefits found in each, and, for the ones your doctor wants you to eat more of even though you still wrestle with the reality of sticking a fork in them, what other offerings on our menu might make you fall in love with them. Shall we?
Red Cabbage Slaw
Some of those ever-so-youthful looking health-conscious people we mentioned above may very well be indulging in these dense, purple leaves, as red cabbage is rich in both Vitamins C (which assists with anti-oxidation, leaving you with beautiful skin that delays in aging), E (known for benefiting complexion), and A (helps facilitate moisturizing). Not all of its benefits are cosmetic, though, with eyesight, immunity, DNA repair, and good gut health and digestion all getting a worthwhile boost.
Pork and chicken go great with this one — turkey, too. Your call.
This root vegetable is particularly fierce: Carrots reduce cholesterol, aid in preventing heart attacks, help in fending off notable cancers, and, much like red cabbage, can improve vision, reduce signs of aging, and contribute to healthy digestion. If all that isn’t enough, this rabbit-recommended biennial plant can also help detox the body, aid in better oral health, and are a great source of Vitamins C, A, K, B8, iron, copper, folate, potassium, manganese, and pantothenic acid (look those up — their combined nutritional values are as powerful as they are wide-ranging).
Carrots really do go well with most meats if we’re being honest (and we are), but they’re particularly satisfying when served with beef.
Cucumber & Tomato Mix
If you think green and red are usually reserved for winter holidays, cucumbers and tomatoes would like a word. The dark, creeping vine that grows brighter under its skin is a great source of B vitamins (which means you can skip the coffee), encourages weight loss, relieves joint or arthritic pain, curbs bad breath, rehydrates and replenishes the daily vitamins, and is a fairly reliable hangover cure due to its containing electrolytes, sugar, and the aforementioned B vitamins (for best results, eat a few slices before bed).
Tomatoes are no slouch either, with their abundance of the mineral chromium ensuring stable blood sugar levels for diabetics, while Vitamin K and calcium strengthen or repair bone tissue. Further, they can help halt the development of kidney stones, stave off the formation of cancerous cells, reverse the damage caused by cigarette smoking (thanks to chlorogenic acid and coumaric acid), subsidize hearth health, and, similar to the two veggies mentioned in earlier in this post, these bright reds can improve vision and contribute to clearer skin and better hair. Unfortunately, ketchup isn’t a viable substitute, so there’s really no cutting corners here — it’s all or nothing.
Chicken is tops as far as meat pairings are concerned, but it’s worth noting that beef rarely falters in leading this particular dance if called upon.
Keep your eyes on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for Vol. 2 of our VERTS veggie guide!