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high nutrition dinners

I've been trying to eat more fresh vegetables, more cruciferous
vegetables, more leafy greens, more fresh fruit, more soy.  And fewer
sweets, fewer prepared flour products.  But in order for me to eat
this regularly, it needs to be easy to prepare.  Also, I have a
problem with food going bad, so I need to eat it all (or buy in small
enough quantities -- I usually cook only for myself plus sometimes one
other person).  

So, I found that although it is more costly, the prepared vegetables
in the produce section (pre cut and washed) are best for me.  Problem
is, the bags of leafy greens are large, so I have to eat just one kind
till I eat it all or it goes bad.  right now I have collard on hand
and it looks like I'll probably eat about 3/4 of the bag before it
goes bad.  Even so, I'm getting fresh greens every day, so I don't
mind the waste too much.

Dinner is usually 5 to 6 different little dishes, all prepared in
about the time it takes to cook the vegetables.  So, although dinner
prep is rushed and busy, it rarely takes more than 15 minutes.

Still, I had to do a lot of experimenting to find what I liked and
what was fast and consistently obtainable.  As part of my job, I
happen to stop by the grocery nearly every day, so I just keep a list
of what I'm about to run out of and then pick it up.  That way, I can
keep fresh vegetables and fruit on hand so as to have some everyday,
but not so many that I end up with a lot of wastage.

My new diet (for the past 4 weeks) has been based on the following:

Small cans of sliced beets
pre cut and washed broccoli
pre cut and washed cauliflower
pre cut and washed greens (varies by week: baby spinach, collard, mustard)
prepared seaweed salad (from asian grocery)
baked tofu (found cheaper at asian grocery, 99 cents for 2 serving size)
canned southwestern beans (S&W San Antonio beans, like an all bean chili)
frozen minestrone soup (homemade, has only small amounts of pasta)
frozen caribbean rice and beans (homemade)
frozen vegetable dumplings (the one pasta dish I do semi regularly)
frozen hulled green soybeans
pickled brussels sprouts
bottled kim chee
bottled roasted red peppers
San J Szechuan sauce
Annie's Teriaki sauce
fresh fruit (mangoes preferred.  :-)
soy milk (edensoy extra, not lowfat, but my favorite)
healthy choice string cheese sticks (fast protein+calcium, good snack)
whole grain plus flax cereal
whole grain (varies by week: kamut, wild rice, black rice)

beets and red peppers are topped with balsamic vinegar
vegetables and tofu are cooked in either SanJ or Annie's sauce
green soybeans are poured frozen into a container and taken to work.
I eat when they are thawed.  Lunch is usually Japanese noodle salad
bought at the supermarket near work plus a piece of fruit.  The
minestrone soup and caribbean rice and beans I make in huge batches
and freeze.  

This is the foundation.  I supplement with other vegetables as they
hit my eye -- but I've found I need to use them the day I buy them or
I will forget and they will go bad.  I've been trying to find a way to
work in sweet potatoes into the diet, but I haven't found a good fast,
tasty way to do so.  I keep buying them and they go bad.  Or I nuke
one and only eat half because I lose interest.

I also keep cold-brewed dragonwell green tea on hand.  Dragonwell
specificly, because it is the only one I've found that is doesn't go
bitter if I forget and let it steep too long (6-8 hours cold brewing
in the refridge is best, but I sometimes forget and it can steep for a
day and a half).  I'm far too lazy to hot brew tea to make iced tea in
the quantities I like to drink it. 

Michelle Dick             artemis@xxxxxxxxx              East Palo Alto, CA