Chef Dez: Nutrition is not dull, part 2

In part 1 Chef Dez offered tips to get more fruits and vegetables into the family diet. Here’s more suggestions.

If sandwiches are a meal item that you have regularly, then make sure you always have fresh lettuce, tomato and onions on hand at all times. Fresh spinach leaves are also great in a sandwich. A Mediterranean flair can also be added to your sandwiches by including roasted bell peppers or a spread of roasted garlic.

Fruit can become an easily accessible snack item by always having containers of washed berries and grapes in your refrigerator at all times. Try not to pre-wash too much ahead of time however, as they tend to deteriorate faster after washing. Always have a bowl of “grab & go” fruit for those times when you’re rushing out the door, like bananas, washed apples, etc.

Vegetable skewers on the grill are another low fat and flavourful way to get your daily servings. The cold and wet weather days are not ideal conditions for firing up the grill but barbecuing does continue to offer low fat cooking year round. If you can rearrange your grill’s location to make it more easily accessible you will tend to use it more often. I have mine undercover so I use it all the time.

Even if there is a member of your family that is somewhat fussy when it comes to eating fruits and vegetables, the produce departments seem to always be expanding in selection of imported/exotic goods. Buy something completely new to your family at least once per month. The internet and libraries are filled with an abundance of information on preparing and serving almost any ingredient. Happy cooking!

Dear Chef Dez:

I am on a diet and looking for ways to add flavour to my meals without adding fat or too many calories. Any suggestions?

Dawn W., Langley

Dear Dawn:

Herbs and spices are the way to go. Dry spice rubs and fresh herbs add a ton of flavour without adding a number of calories. Try cooking with fat-free broths. Wine and juices are great to cook with for flavour, but remember they loaded with natural sugars.

Stay away from condiments like ketchup and barbeque sauce, as they are also loaded with sugar.

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