The end of the summer season may be fast approaching, but we still have a few weeks to enjoy many of the tastes associated with warmer weather. Gardens and produce departments have an abundance of end-of-summer vegetables just waiting to be added to your meals!
With all the readily available fruits and vegetables being harvested from gardens, now is a great time to get in the habit of eating the MyPlate way. Try using these tips to fill half your plate with veggies vegetables at lunch and dinner. And don’t forget the lean beef! The weather is still great for grilling lean steaks, my top choice is the sirloin because it is lean, tender and flavorful! Grill up enough steak to enjoy leftovers on a salad or wrap for lunch the next day! If you are making a dish with ground beef be sure to choose 90% or leaner ground beef.
Zucchini – Best known for bread, but don’t overlook these other great ways to enjoy zucchini:
· Grill it. Thinly slice and grill in an aluminum foil pouch with olive oil, spices and other vegetables.
· Add to salads and sauces. Dice and add to summer salads or to pasta sauces.
· Replace all or some lasagna noodles with zucchini ribbons. This will drastically lower the carbohydrates and calories in your pasta dish.
Tomatoes – Go beyond BLTs and salsa by trying one of these simple ways to serve tomatoes:
· Create a cold salad with quinoa, halved cherry tomatoes, diced cucumbers, chopped green peppers, and chilled fully cooked thinly slices beef. Toss with olive oil.
· Bake tomatoes for a warm side dish. Spray or drizzle a baking dish with olive oil, slice tomatoes about ½-inch thick and sprinkle with whole wheat bread crumbs and shredded Parmesan cheese. Bake until tomatoes start to soften.
Peppers – A perfect complement to a variety of dishes. Try one of these ways to eat more peppers:
· For extra color, add sliced or diced pepper to your favorite lettuce salad.
· Grill them. Brush with olive oil and lightly season for a great way to get in a vegetable serving.
· Add to soups, salads, pizza and pasta dishes for added texture and flavor.
· Make Philly Steak Peppers – Fill peppers with thinly sliced roast beef, onion and provolone cheese. Bake and enjoy with a side of fruit for a meal in minutes.
Potatoes – A fan favorite that can be made healthier with a few simple steps.
· Try serving a baked potato bar for upcoming tailgate parties. Be sure to have lots of healthy toppings, chili, salsa, shredded cheese, peppers, chopped ham and Greek yogurt in place of sour cream.
· Swap out some of the mayo in your potato salad and cut hundreds of calories from this popular picnic dish.
This recipes takes full advantage of the summer harvest! Enjoy!
SONOMA STEAKS WITH VEGETABLES BOCCONCINI
2 boneless beef top loin (strip) steaks, cut 3/4 inch thick (about 8 ounces each)
1 container (9 to 16 ounces) herb-marinated small fresh mozzarella balls, also known as bocconcini, can use fresh mozzarella diced and 1/3 cup vinaigrette if you can’t find bocconcini
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 medium zucchini, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch thick slices
1 large yellow bell pepper, cut into 3/4-inch wide strips
1 cup small red grape tomatoes
1. Drain bocconcini, reserving 1/3 cup marinade. Combine reserved marinade and vinegar in small bowl. Toss zucchini and bell pepper with 2 tablespoons marinade mixture in large bowl; cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Place beef steaks and remaining marinade mixture in food-safe plastic bag; turn steaks to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 15 minutes to 2 hours.
2. Remove steaks from marinade; discard marinade. Remove vegetables from marinade; place in grill basket. Place steaks on one half of grid over medium, ash-covered coals; place grill basket on other half of grid. Grill steaks, covered, 7 to 10 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, times remain the same) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally. Remove steaks; keep warm. Grill vegetables 10 to 13 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes during last 2 minutes of grilling.
3. Combine grilled vegetables and bocconcini in large bowl; toss gently to combine. Carve steaks into slices; season with salt, as desired. Serve with vegetable mixture.
Nutrition information per serving: 380 calories; 21 g fat (12 g saturated fat; 3 g monounsaturated fat); 106 mg cholesterol; 152 mg sodium; 8 g carbohydrate; 1.8 g fiber; 38 g protein; 8.0 mg niacin; 0.8 mg vitamin B6; 1.4 mcg vitamin B12; 2.4 mg iron; 29.0 mcg selenium; 4.9 mg zinc.
This recipe is an excellent source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, selenium and zinc; and a good source of iron.
The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.