2015 Veggie Trends…

January 22nd, 2015

Vegetables are on trend, this year, and every year for good reason. They’re delicious, versatile rich in a multitude of nutrients including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants & fiber. This morning on CTV Edmonton Morning Live we chatting about what’s trending in veggies, and bottom line, how you can get more in your belly!

Trend 1 – “Ugly” Veggies

These veggies are not the prettiest or most colourful in the produce section. They’re unfamiliar, usually muted in colour, and dare I say sometimes even hairy. They’re intimidating and often left behind. The year, be brave, and make it a point to try you hand preparing something unfamiliar…

Rutabaga – Delicious root vegetable with half the carbs of regular potato. They make an amazing lower-carb French fry.

Jicama – Refreshing; crispy, ice-white, fruit-like root can be eaten raw or cooked. When I want the fresh bite of an apple (without the sugar) I reach for jicama. The health benefits of apples are widely known, but jicama has a similar texture and taste with less sugar, more fiber, and four times the amount of vitamin C. One cup of the root vegetable contains just 46 calories with two grams of sugar and six grams of fiber.

Celery root – This one, might be the scariest but it just might be the most versatile. It makes a beautiful puree for a side dish, or winter soup.

Kohlrabi – Slightly crunchy and mildly spicy, like radishes mixed with turnip. You can toss them in a salad, make a slaw out of grated kohlrabi, or eat them on their own with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt.

Trend 2 – “Double Duty” Veggies

“Double Duty” vegetables are not only stand-alone delicious, but can also be transformed into something even more amazing. Super popular for 2015 is the humble cauliflower. It gained popularity last year with the resurgence of cauliflower pizza crust, but now chefs predict it will surpass kale in terms of popularity this year.

Cauliflower is a “Double Duty” vegetables because is incredibly versatile. It’s delicious, grilled (grilled, cauliflower “steak”) or pulse raw cauliflower in a food processor to create “cauliflower rice” – which when steamed, is a delicious low-carb rice alternative. It purees beautifully so it is also a great addition to mashed potato for topping shepherd’s pie for example, or in creamy winter-warm-up soups.

Trend 3 – “Center Stage” Veggies

More and more, people are trying to make vegetables the “Center Stage” of meal time. People are having success increasing veggie intake by trying the emerging trend of the “Weekday Vegetarian.” It’s where one follows a vegetarian lifestyle during the week, and still enjoys meats, fish and poultry on weekends. Check out the Ted Talk “Why I’m a Weekday Vegetarian” for more information. Also, if you’re looking for vegan recipes (and are ok with a little profanity) check out The Thug Kitchen cookbook for delicious recipes, with major attitude. Keep in mind, “Centre Stage” vegetables are best combined with plant proteins such as beans, peas and lentils, so you can ensure you’re still getting a balance of nutrients. For example, cauliflower-chickpea curry – Delicious!

Trend 4 – “Breakfast Veggies”

It’s a good idea to aim to enjoy 3 cups of vegetables, every day. So, the sooner we start – the better!

Feature Recipe 1
‘Green, Go” Shake

Delicious breakfast, or anytime smoothie made with creamy frozen banana, spinach & Greek yogurt. In one shake you can almost get half of your required veggies for the day. What I like about blending, as opposed to juicing is that you keep all the fiber and goodness, nothing goes to waste.

Inspiration Recipe: http://www.thugkitchen.com/spinach_cooler

Feature Recipe 2
Baked Avocado “Boats” with side of bell peppers & whole-grain toast

For a one-two punch of omega-3s in your breakfast, try baking eggs in an avocado. Beyond the heart-healthy fatty acids and high protein count, this low-sugar and fiber-filled breakfast will kick off your day on a healthy high note.

Inspiration Recipe: http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Baked-Eggs-Avocado-Recipe-30787252

Feature Recipe 2
Sweet Potato Oatmeal Breakfast Casserole 

This recipe was inspired by one of my favourite blog writers, “Oh She Glows.” This is a sweet potato oatmeal casserole. Essentially a breakfast crisp. It’s an excellent source of vitamin A, fibre, essential fats & even protein. This is ideal for busy families rushing to hockey practice, or perfect brunch fare. It can be easily made into individual servings that can be made ahead for quick am heat-up.
Inspiration Recipe: http://ohsheglows.com/recipage/?recipe_id=6002072