Meatless Monday – add some variety to your side dishes!

I LOVE veggies. A lot. I’ve never had problems making sure I eat enough of them a day. If anything, most days I eat more than the recommended amount. With the help of the fruit and veggie calculator that I found here (thanks to the CDC) I was able to find out (according to my age, sex and activity level) that I should eat 2.5 cups of vegetables per day. Now, because of my already mentioned love of veggies, this not a difficult task for me to achieve. What can be difficult, though, is the rut that I sometimes find myself in after days upon weeks upon (sometimes) months of eating the SAME veggies over

and over

and over

and over, yet again.

Come on, people, you know what I’m talking about, right? I mean, how many times can you cycle between green beans, carrots, peas, corn and mixed veggies?! They can get SO boring, right?

Because I love veggies so much, the last thing I want them to become is boring. They deserve to be SO much better than standard after all the good that they do for our bodies! So I’m going to start posting more Vegetable Side recipes, starting today (not necessarily always to be posted on Meatless Mondays, though, just an FYI) to hopefully get everyone more excited about eating vegetables and to get you out of the same rut that you may find yourself in from time to time as well.

To find out what you and your family should be aiming for as far as veggies are concerned, check out the link I posted above and find out using that handy calculator, it only takes 1 minute, if that!

and a CHALLENGE to you…

-find a way to love your veggies. I’ve heard many a veggie-hater say, “I really don’t like veggies, but man, when you make them like this they’re great!” Try different veggie recipes one after the other, after the other until you find some ways that you can truly enjoy them. You’ll never find a way until you experiment with different flavors and seasonings!

-Use that calculator, find out how much you should be eating every day and eat AT LEAST that much! No more teeny tiny, barely there veggie sides on your plate – your side of vegetables should take up at least 1/4 of your plate.

-Try the veggie recipes as I post them on here if they appeal to you or look for more varieties online and try them; then share them with me! If you found an awesome way to eat your veggies, I wanna know about it so I can try it too! Don’t be greedy with your new veggie finds 😉

Well, folks, here is the first of many veggie sides to be posted. I still have a lot of cucumbers to use up from the garden so I thought this would be a great and different way to use them up!

Cucumber Gratin

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Tbs. unsalted butter

3 garden cucumbers – peeled, halved, seeded, and cut into 2 x 1/2 inch strips (4 cups)

1 small onion – diced small

1 tsp. salt

1/4  tsp. sugar

1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

2 tsp. tarragon

2 tsp. dill

1 tsp. grated lemon zest

1/3 cup breadcrumbs (I use Ezekiel bread to make breadcrumbs but any kind would do)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low to medium heat. Cook for about 3 minutes, til it begins to brown.
2. Toss chopped cucumbers and onion in a baking dish (13×9) with 1 Tbs. browned butter, salt, and sugar. Bake for 25 minutes.
3. Remove dish from oven, and preheat broiler. Add chives, tarragon, dill, and lemon zest to cucumbers, toss to coat. Season with pepper to taste.
4. Stir together breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and remaining 1 Tbs. brown butter in bowl. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over cucumbers. Broil 2 minutes, or until crumbs are golden brown. Be sure to keep a close eye on the dish while it’s under the broiler, it does not take long for it to burn if you’re not paying attention to it.

Nutrition

Per 1/2-cup serving:

Calories: 85, Protein: 2 g, Total Fat: 6 g, Saturated Fat: 3 g, Carbohydrates: 7 g, Cholesterol: 13 mg, Sodium: 355 mg, Fiber: <1 g, Sugar: 2 g

 

 

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