1. Food

Using Fruits and Vegetables

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Vegetables and fruits are an essential component to any low calorie eating plan as they are packed with nutrients but low on calories. By making the dishes you prepare comprised mainly of fruits and vegetables, you will automatically achieve a lower calorie meal! The possibilities are endless, and by experimenting, you will find ways that you love to use fruits and vegetables the most. But to get started, take a look at this list of suggestions for incorporating vegetables and fruits into many popular food items.

Salads

Yes, salad is a given as it usually is composed mainly of vegetables. But you don't need to stop with just the traditional lettuce, tomato, and cucumber. Broaden your horizons by adding different greens such as baby spinach, arugula, endive, radicchio, or kale. Experiment with shredded cabbage, mushrooms, peas, beets, chopped celery, bell peppers, mandarin oranges, dried raisins or cranberries, fresh berries, and the list can go on and on in this category.

Soups

Here's another fantastic way to boost the veggies in your day. Chopped vegetables simmered in soup may even go unnoticed by those pickier eaters. Those that work well in soups include chopped zucchini, tomatoes, squash, green peas, onions, eggplant, and green beans.

Stir Frys

You may be used to using broccoli, carrots, peppers, and onions in your stir fry. But experiment with exciting new oriental vegetable varieties such as bok choy, snow peas, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, baby corn, hot basil leaves, mustard greens, egg plant, and napa cabbage.

Pasta

What a great way to add color and variety to an otherwise bland dish of noodles. Chopped vegetables can simply be added to the water while the pasta is cooking to save time. And don't forget to include a few chopped veggies to the sauce that will be served atop the pasta for an added veggie boost. Try chopped bell peppers, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, egg plant, mushrooms, yellow squash, and zucchini.

Sanwiches and Wraps

Top with lettuce and tomato, but also add sliced cucumber, bean sprouts, sliced bell peppers, baby spinach, sliced mushrooms, and bottled roasted vegetables such as red peppers.

Ground Meats

This is a sneaky place to add vegetables, and they usually add wonderful texture and flavor as well. To meatloaf, burger patties, and meatballs add chopped onion, bell peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots, and zucchini.

Baked Goods

Muffins and quick breads are terrific candidates for adding fruits and vegetables. Include dried raisins, cranberries, apples, bananas, or apricots. Try adding shredded zucchini or carrots to the batter. Experiment with applesauce or prune puree (both work well in replacing some or all of the butter, margarine, or oil in your baked good recipes) canned pumpkin, and mashed bananas.

Smoothies

Don't underestimate the benefit of a blender and fresh produce. Start with a little non-fat vanilla flavored yogurt, and go a little wild with your fruits and even vegetables. Use mango, papaya, star fruit, banana, kiwi, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, oranges, carrots, pineapple, cantaloupe, honey dew, watermelon, spinach, and even beets (which are excellent along with some fresh berries).

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