Health/Wellness

Great Warm Meal for the Cooler Weather

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As the seasons begin to change and the cooler weather is beginning to creep in, warm and savory meals are always the first option for me when it comes to deciding what I would like for dinner. The farmer’s market has become my best friend, supplying me with seasonal veggies like potatoes, corn, and other goodies. There is nothing I love more than coming home to a warm cooked meal that is healthy and delicious! I try to incorporate some sort of veggie stir fry every day to make sure I am getting enough of my daily requirement in. My usual staples are: squash, tomatoes, peppers, and some sort of legume to add in a little protein. They are super easy to whip up in a skillet pan and you can season them however you like them! Quick, easy, and oh so delicious! Sweet potato fries are always a go-to for my side item because they taste so amazing and are extremely healthy for you.

 

It is important to get in your daily requirement of vegetables because it keeps you feeling and performing your best daily. Tomatoes are a great source of the antioxidant lycopene which is related to a reduced risk of heart disease and certain cancers. They also have many important nutrients like vitamin C, Vitamin K, potassium, folate, and other vitamins and minerals. Green bell peppers are also a great source of Vitamin C as well as E and a good source of fiber. Yellow squash is also high in fiber and good for strong and healthy bones! Chickpeas are one of my favorite legumes because they pair perfectly with almost any dish and have so many vitamins and minerals PACKED in them as well. These beans are high in fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. They help to reduce inflammation, aid in digestion and keep you fuller longer!

 

Last but not least, I will always be baking a fresh batch of oil free sweet potato fries at least three times a week. These fries are amazing, low in fat, and full of vitamin A, B6, C, and D. They support a healthy immune system and are a good source of magnesium.

To create this veggie stir fry, you will need:

 

  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 large ripe tomato
  • 1 yellow squash
  • ¼ cup of chick peas
  • 1 sweet potato
  • Corn
  • Black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Garlic powder

 

I usually prepare my sweet potato fries first because they take much longer to cook. First I grab a medium sized pan and fill it with about 2 ½ cups of water. I bring that water to a boil. While the water is heating up, I cut my sweet potato in to thin slices (about an inch). I then throw them in to the pan and boil them for about 10-12 minutes. While they are cooking, I heat my oven up to 400 degrees F. Once the oven is heated and the potatoes have boiled for a little bit, I then grab a large bowl and transfer my fries in to it. I then add about a teaspoon of black pepper, a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and a tablespoon of garlic powder and toss the fries around until they are fully coated. Then I line a baking sheet with parchment paper and transfer the fries on to the baking sheet. After I place them in the oven I let them cook for about 35-40 minutes.

 

For the corn all you need to do is break one large corn in half and let it boil in a medium sized pan for about 40 minutes to cook.

 

To make the stir fry first you will need a large skillet pan. I add in about 3 tablespoons of water (not much) to cover the bottom of the pan. I then turn the stove to medium heat until the pan is ready to use. I dice up the green pepper, tomatoes, and squash and throw them in to the skillet. I cover the skillet with a lid and let them steam for about 5 minutes. While the veggies are still cooking, I add in my chick peas. I then add in about a teaspoon of black pepper, a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and one tablespoon of garlic powder. I let the vegetables simmer for about 10 more minutes.

This meal is low in fat, sodium, and is created with simple whole foods. It is easy to prepare and tastes amazing! I create this meal regularly (at least three times a week) and it is a favorite among other people I have cooked for! I hope you enjoy it as well!

Hey Fresh Lifestyle viewers! My name is Juliana Hays and I am a current student in Nashville, Tennessee pursuing a degree in education. I am a plant based foodie that loves to share all things health and wellness! I have a passion for healthy eating and creating fun dishes that are both appetizing and good for your body. I hope to share some recipes and some inspiration to live a healthier lifestyle that you enjoy! For more plant based creativity, you can find me on Instagram at: juliana_banana

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