North Carolina Seasonal Sensation Vegetarian Recipes

In the peak of the summer, a time when we all try to be a little slimmer, there’s nothing better than digging into a plate of fresh, delicious eats as good for the body as they are for the taste buds. And this month, when fresh, local vegetables are at their peak, eating a little healthier couldn’t be easier. Just take a look at the North Carolina Availability chart  and you’ll see the countless vegetables ready for the picking. With so many veggies to choose from, let’s focus on the benefits of eating them all.

Ever consider a vegetarian diet? It may sound a little daunting, but replacing just a few meals a week with a veggie-based menu increases your vegetable intake and can easily cut saturated fat and cholesterol from your diet. These small steps can decrease your risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, promote a healthy weight, improve blood sugar control and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, according to the American Heart Association.

With any diet, it’s important to make healthy and balanced choices. Both the American Heart Association and the USDA praise the benefits of eating a balanced vegetarian diet, rich in iron, calcium, fiber, vitamin B12, zinc and protein. Check out their tips for following a vegetarian lifestyle and choosing veggie-based meals that are right for your dietary needs.

Straight from WakeMed’s Heart Smart Cooking Series, these recipes showcase this summer’s veggies like zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, onions, corn and herbs. If you’re still a little weary of a veggie only menu, you can pair these recipes with four ounces of lean protein like grilled chicken or shrimp. For even more recipes featuring North Carolina Seasonal Sensations, check out WakeMed’s Recipe Corner for a variety of healthy choices complete with nutritional information.
 
Vegetables with Mediterranean Marinade
From WakeMed’s Heart Smart Cooking Series
Serves 4, ½ cup servings
 
Marinade
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup dry white wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp dry oregano
Black pepper to taste
 
Vegetables
1 small zucchini, cut into ½ inch rounds
1 tomato cut into ½ inch pieces
1 cup mushrooms, cut in half
1 red pepper, cut into strips

Mix marinade ingredients together and set aside.

Steam vegetables until they are cooked, but still crisp. Place the vegetables in a bowl and toss with marinade. Allow vegetables to sit for at least one hour to absorb the flavors of the marinade, mixing occasionally. Drain vegetables and place on a serving platter.

Serve as a warm salad, over brown rice or quinoa or an accompaniment to lean meat or fish.

Per serving: 95 calories; 7 g fat; 5 g carbohydrates; 45 g sodium

Roasted Corn and Pepper Salad
From WakeMed’s Heart Smart Cooking Series
Serves 12
1 cup roasted red pepper, finely chopped
1 ½ cup red onion, diced
4 cup corn
½ cup shredded basil
3 tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp fresh cracked pepper
¼ cup white wine

For the Roasted Red Peppers
Roast whole red peppers over a flame (gas, grill or under an oven broiler) until charred black on all sides. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let steam for at least 10 minutes. Scrape skin from peppers with a small, sharp knife. Cut the peppers in half and remove the stem and seeds. Drain on a towel for one hour.

In a large bowl, combine the roasted red pepper, red onion and basil. Heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a pan. Add corn and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes until soft. Add corn to the pepper and onion mixture. Add remaining olive oil, lemon juice and vinegar. Serve with toasted pita points or toasted whole grain bread.

Per serving: 96 calories; 5 g fat; 28 mg sodium; 14 g carbohydrates

This post is part of the NC’s No Diet Diet series.  View previous posts here: February Sweet Potato, March Lettuce, April Strawberries, May Broccoli and Cabbage, June Peaches

Tina Schwebach is a clinical dietitian at WakeMed Cary Hospital.

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1 Comment »

 
  • Eric Weaver says:

    Tina,

    Does it count as vegetarian if I eat my vegatables by proxy, by only eating animals that are herbivores?

 

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