Ok, so my commitment for this week is to bring more fruits and vegetables into my diet. I am not a “bad” eater by any means, but I’m not as good as I certainly can be… So I challenge myself and you to make a few modifications to this week’s diet by incorporating more “greens” into our food choices. Here’s my suggestion:

Buy a bunch of veggies. Choose what you like, what looks fresh, what is priced right, etc. Wash them, cut them up immediately and place into small Ziploc bags (carrots, zucchini, broccoli, small tomatoes, cucumbers, asparagus, cauliflower, red peppers, etc). Now, you will have bags of fresh vegetables for multiple purposes. Don’t forget they also come pre-cut. So even in a crunch for time, you can still stock up on some healthy “greens.” Now what?

  • Veggies make great snacks (try them with a little hummus or light ranch dressing) or they can be a “side” to your lunch sandwich instead of chips (small carrots, sliced red peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, etc).
  • Another portion of these cut up veggies can make a great dinner salad – just throw some veggies over lettuce and you have dinner or lunch. If you want to make it a bit more “substantial,” place a hard boiled egg, tuna, chicken or shrimp on top.
  • Making stir fry is another super easy and quick way to get fresh veggies into your diet (for recipes you can check a variety of websites including www.foodtv.com )

So here is a recipe one of my yoga classmates taught me this week. Nicole is a young, single woman who cooks healthy and simple dishes all the time; she does this to be healthy and to save money.

Marinate some chicken breast (chicken tenderloins work great, too) in balsamic vinegar (overnight or while at work). Bake or cook the chicken on the stove top. It takes literally minutes to do. Cut up some lettuce, broccoli, cucumbers, cheese (she used Munster, but feta or blue cheese works, as well) and toss in the chicken. Mix it all together. Add balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil (or balsamic vinaigrette or red wine vinaigrette) to taste. If you like other vegetables, experiment and toss them in! You can also add grapes, pistachios, olives, raisins, pears, apples, sunflower seeds… Remember the sky is the limit and there are many healthy choices!!!

The only thing you really have to do is buy the ingredients – and you have a super fast, easy dinner with some leftovers for lunch!

I would love to hear from you! Do you know any recipes that are easy, fast and good for you? Please share your easy cooking secrets – and help me start a new column on my blog: “Quick Foods for the Busy Urban Girl.”