A whole foods diet is one that is made up of foods that are as close to their natural form as possible. Foods are minimally processed and there is an emphasis on eating fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, tubers, legumes, lean animal proteins and plant proteins, and low-fat dairy. It is possible to incorporate whole foods into any diet style and has been shown to be beneficial for overall health and wellness. This is a simple method of eating and one that is high in nutrients, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. We've gathered up some of our favorite recipes that showcase these whole foods throughout the day!
Healthy Banana Bread Breakfast Cookies: Monique of Ambitious Kitchen
Veggie Scrambled Egg Muffins: Anne Mauney of fANNEtastic Food
Warm Kale Breakfast Salad: Kaleigh McMordie RD of Lively Table
Zucchini, Bacon, and Basil Side Salad: Diana Rogers RD LDN of Sustainable Dish
Mediterranean Hummus Party Dip: Laura Ligos MBA RD CSSD of The Sassy Dietitian
Whole Wheat Flatbread: Lindsay Livingston RDN of The Lean Green Bean
Vegan Chickpea Walnut Tacos: Alexis Joseph MS RD LDN of Hummusapien
Thai Butternut Squash Soup: Lily Nichols RDN CDE of Pilates Nutritionist
Quinoa With Vegetables and Maple Ginger Tahini: Lizzie Streit MS RDN LD of It’s a Veg World After All
Simple Shakshuka: McKell Hill of Nutrition Stripped
Sesame-Crusted Salmon: Rachael DeVaux RD of Rachael’s Good Eats
Vegetarian Ramen Noodle Soup: Rachael Hartley RD CDE CLT of Rachael Hartley Nutrition
The cheapest vegetables are the ones already in my garden. No need to go to the store... and I can continue social distancing while also getting some sunshine.
This past Fall I was a little busy and left a few things to "winter over" in our mild PNW climate. Now they are coming back full-force. The flowering bok choy in particular is a bright spot in my day and the bees are enjoying it too.
Below is a family favorite recipe for grilling bok choy, followed by a link to a post from last year all about this amazingly versatile vegetable from RDN, Nancy.
Cheers to Good Eating on a Budget!
Tangy Grilled Bok Choy
Fresh Bok Choy, rinsed and patted dry - for baby bunches leave whole, for medium bunches cut in half leaving the stem intact and for large bok choy you can grill individual whole leaves
For fun info & another recipe, click: Bok Choy: A Vegetable With Many Names
To me, asparagus is the harbinger of Spring. There is something so hopeful about seeing that first bunch in the grocery store or, better yet, seeing those first stalks peeking through the soil in your own garden. I like the thicker stalks from more mature plants because they are more tender. There is a higher ratio of "heart" and less stringy outer cellulose as the diameter increases.
This time of year, asparagus goes into everything: sauteed in an egg scramble for breakfast, fresh in salads for lunch and roasted for dinner. To keep asparagus fresh and crisp in your fridge, place the whole bunch in a glass jar or measuring cup with about an inch of water in the bottom and then cover loosely with a plastic bag. We often use only a couple spears at a time, so this method helps the bunch last over an entire week.
If your oven is not available, use your stove-top. For our Simply Sauteed Asparagus recipe, click here.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Using an 8-9 inch oven-safe skillet, heat oil over medium on the stove-top. Sauté onions and chopped asparagus pieces, followed by adding in greens, garlic and other vegetables (eg tomatoes) until desired tenderness. Keep asparagus tips separate for arranging on top if you wish.
In a separate medium-large bowl, whisk eggs, liquid, salt and pepper until foamy. Pour mixture into skillet and cook on the stove-top over medium-low heat until beginning to set on the bottom. Sprinkle with cheeses and arrange asparagus spears on top. Move skillet to the oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until eggs are set. Top with fresh herbs as desired.
Nutrition per 1/4th recipe: 200 Calories; 14g Fat; 14g Protein; 4g Carbs; 2g Fiber; 320mg Sodium
These days grocery shopping and cooking may look a bit different. Pantries are filling up with canned vegetables, rice, pasta, and other shelf-stable items. Freezers are being stocked with frozen produce and heat-and-eat meals. There are many different ideas about which types of processed foods are “healthy” and which are not. Is fresh better than canned? Does freezing destroy nutrients? Check out our answers below, along with a list of nutritious pantry staples and a roundup of mouth-watering recipes!
Is fresh better than frozen?
Both fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables are full of nutrients! Frozen produce is a great option because the nutrients are “locked in,” while fresh produce can lose nutrients over time as it sits on your counter or in your fridge. Frozen produce also lasts longer! This doesn’t mean that you should only buy frozen produce - but know that frozen is just as nutritious as fresh.
Does freezing destroy nutrients?
As you can probably guess from the previous answer - no (at least not very quickly)! Many fruits and vegetables are frozen right after they’re harvested and are frozen at peak ripeness. This means that the vitamins in these fruits and vegetables are preserved in the freezing process. Your frozen produce may start to lose nutrients over time, but you should be able to store your produce for up to a year.
Is canned food as good as fresh?
Canned fruits and vegetables are also often canned at peak ripeness, which ensures the best flavor and lots of nutrients. Some water-soluble vitamins may be lost in the canning process, but this process can also increase the availability of nutrients, as well! For example, canned tomatoes and tomato sauce provide antioxidants that are better absorbed when cooked!
Tip: The Canned Food Alliance has some great resources. Check out how long your canned foods will last and how to read can codes on their website!
Pantry & Freezer Staples
Fruits & Vegetables:
Now you may find yourself wondering what to do with all these items. We reached out to our dietitian colleagues for a list of 13 recipes that you can make using pantry staples and items from your freezer!
Coconut Date Balls: Kelsey of Simply Nourished Home
Daal Makhani (Coconut Lentil Curry): Shahzadi of Desi-licious RD
Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili: Megan Byrd of The Oregon Dietitian
Homemade Nut & Seed Butter: Registered dietitian Judy Barbe, author of Your 6-week Guide to LiveBest
Thai Peanut Noodles with Chicken: Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD Sound Bites Nutrition LLC
Spiced Healthy Roasted Chickpeas: Amy Gorin Nutrition
Chickpea Meatballs: Jamie of Dishing Out Health
Salmon & Corn Fritters: Chrissy of Dairy Free for Baby
Roasted Frozen Broccoli - 5 Ways! Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN, LD of It’s a Veg World After All
West African Peanut Stew with Chicken: Kara Lydon, RD, LDN, RYT, Owner of Kara Lydon Nutrition and The Foodie Dietitian Blog
Sweet Potato Oatmeal Bake with Blueberries: Sarah Schlichter, MPH, RDN of Bucket List Tummy
Slow Cooker Vegan Chili: Melissa Altman-Traub MS, RDN, LDN
Zero Waste Cinnamon Apple Chickpea Cookies: Erin Hendrickson, RDN
~Leah Swanson, MHSc, RDN, CD
A place for our consultant Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) to share nutrition science, yummy and healthy recipes, tips on seasonal ingredients, and other nutritional musings. Enjoy!