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10 ways to boost your vegetable and fruit intake with Senior Chef

This month on the Gazette, we’re exploring all things health and wellbeing. This week, Wendy Scanlon from Senior Chef gives us 10 ways to boost your vegetable and fruit intake.

Eating a wide range of vegetables and fruits protects our bodies from disease and gives us a good chance of staying well. Eating in season is kind to our budget. Frozen or canned vegetables are good value for money. Have a look at the frozen vegetable section at your supermarket; you will be surprised at the variety!

Here are 10 ways to boost your vegetable and fruit intake:

  1. Add fresh, canned, or stewed fruit to your breakfast cereal or muesli.  You could try stone fruit and berries in summer, kiwifruit, apples and pears in autumn and winter, and bananas all year round!
  2. Try mashed banana, sliced tomato, or mashed avocado on your toast.
  3. Add extra vegetables to ready prepared soups. This is a great way to use up leftovers in your vegetable drawer.
  4. If you are having a ready-prepared frozen meal, have a serve of cooked frozen vegetables on the side.
  5. Cook extra roast vegetables and enjoy a salad the next day. Try our roast vegetable salad.
  6. Jazz up cheese on crackers by adding sliced tomato, cucumber, red pepper, avocado or pickled onions.
  7. Making yourself an omelette? Add finely sliced mushrooms, red onion, or red pepper.
  8. What’s for dinner? Whatever you are making try adding more vegetables to your recipe; whether it be a quiche with baby spinach, peas and sliced tomato or a pasta bake with added red pepper, corn, and canned tomatoes.
  9. Make a vegetarian pizza by using a pita bread – spread with your favourite chutney or relish and top with finely sliced mushrooms, onion, tomatoes, and feta cheese.
  10. Replace a cup of tea or coffee with a fruit smoothie. Blend 100ml of milk, ¼ cup yoghurt and ¼ cup of your favourite fruit e.g., banana, fresh or frozen berries, canned or stewed fruit.

Roast Vegetable Salad

This colourful salad is good in wither when traditional salad vegetables are more expensive.  Double the recipe and you have a lovely salad to share with friends!

Ingredients2 Serves
Baby spinach  2 cups
Leftover roast vegetables, cut into bite-sized pieces1 cup
Feta cheese, crumbled            2 tablespoons
Spring onion or red onion, sliced (optional)2 tablespoons

Dressing

Ingredients   
Balsamic vinegar (or malt vinegar)            ¼ cup
Oil                                     2 tablespoons
Garlic, crushed             1 teaspoon
Mustard, any variety                1 teaspoon
Sugar                 1 teaspoon
Salt                    ½ teaspoon

Method

  1. Arrange salad ingredients on a plate or in a flat bowl in the order they are listed.
  2. To make dressing:  shake ingredients together in a jar and pour over salad just before serving or serve on the side.  You could also use a store-bought Balsamic Dressing.

About Senior Chef

Senior Chef
Senior Chef is an 8-week cooking class for people aged 60 and over who want to improve their cooking skills, confidence, or motivation around cooking for one or two people. Classes are held in various locations around Christchurch and Canterbury. Senior Chef is free to attend. Everything, including the ingredients for the cooking class and recipe book, is provided. To find out more, go to seniorchef.co.nz, email senior.chef@pegasus.org.nz or phone 0800 333 405.

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