Life gets hectic and creating a time-intensive homemade meal doesn't always fit into your busy schedule. That's why grocery stores offer healthy options that are simple, easy and can be incorporated into a meal in just minutes. Short cut vegetables are perfect for doing just that.
You may be wondering what are short cut vegetables and why are they so wonderful? Short cut veggies are pre-cut, pre-packaged and come in a variety of vegetable assortments, such as asparagus paired with summer squash, bell peppers and red onions, and summer squash mixed with mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, red onions, bell peppers and potatoes. Here are the top five reasons why you should eat more short cut vegetables:
1. Ready to grill or bake. Simply add a dressing such as Italian dressing, olive oil or balsamic vinegar or your favorite marinade, sprinkle with seasoning and place on skewers or wrap in aluminum foil to be placed in the oven or on the grill. Now, how easy was that?
2. Less time-consuming. Say goodbye to wasting time washing, peeling and cutting vegetables and say hello to more time enjoying the company of both friends and family.
3. Convenient way to eat more vegetables. Did you know that the average person consumes about 1.5 cups of vegetables per day? This is only half the amount of vegetables you should eat, as MyPlate recommends consuming 3 cups of vegetables daily. Since short cut veggies are so easy to incorporate into a meal, they are a great way to pack in vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients that fuel our bodies.
4. Used in a variety of main dishes. Not too keen on eating vegetables alone? Try adding them as a complement to pasta salad, quesadillas/tacos, casseroles, sandwiches/wraps or rice dishes.
5. Less waste. Not having to do vegetable prep work ahead of time means less waste!
Grill once, eat twice! Short cut vegetables can be cooked or grilled and leftovers can be used to create other meals throughout the week. Try adding mixed veggies to grilled cheese, create a fresh vegetable pizza or stuff an omelet with these nutrient-rich favorites.
What are you waiting for? Stop by your neighborhood grocery store to browse our assortment of fresh, short cut vegetables and choose the package that is perfect for your cooking or grilling needs. While you are there, be sure to talk with a dietitian about other ways in which you can prepare these vegetables and don't forget to ask about incorporating them into different recipes for a boost of flavor and nutrients.
Short cut veggie dinners
Premium veggie mix + Italian salad dressing, grill.
Serve with feta cheese crumbles + black olives + cooked pasta + Italian salad dressing.
Asparagus and squash mix + olive oil + lemon and herb seasoning, grill.
Serve with hummus + fresh mozzarella cheese + Flat Out wrap.
Pepper strips and onion + gourmet garden Mexican blend paste, grill.
Serve with cooked steak, shrimp or chicken + cheese + salsa + tortilla.
This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.
Katie Koerner is a registered dietitian at Hy-Vee in Marshall.