The Vegetable-Factor

The Vegetable-Factor ~ Super Vegetables

Adding the right amount to your diet single-handedly fights stroke, heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes.

We're going to try and make it easy for you.

Some quick and easy ways to sneak 'em in;

Try swapping noodle soup for bean or lentil soups.

Serve your chicken or fish over a bed of corn or gently wilted greens instead of rice.

We like to use salsa or marinara sauce for dipping.

Add mashed beans or chopped mushrooms to lean ground beef or turkey.

Trade half your pasta portion for chopped veggies

The Ideal Vegetable-Factor Schedule

Your Goal: 14 Cups a Week

That might seem like a lot, but it really is easier than it sounds.

Researchers have divided the entire vegetable spectrum into five "groups" (yes, beans/legumes are veggies!) and broken down your exact weekly needs.

Dark Greens

You need: 2 cups per week

Spinach; broccoli; romaine; mesclun; collard, turnip, and mustard greens

Payoff: Better lung health, stronger bones, a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure, reduced inflammation, and a healthier brain.

Orange Vegetables

You need: 1 1/2 cups per week

Carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, pumpkin

Payoff: Better vision, blood sugar control, and lung health; high in cancer-fighting carotenoids.

Beans

You need: 2 1/2 cups per week

Pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, lentils, edamame (soy beans), chickpeas and tofu.

Payoff: Lower rates of heart disease, high blood pressure, breast and colon cancers and type 2 diabetes.

Starchy Vegetables

You need: 2 1/2 cups per week

White potatoes, corn and green peas.

Payoff: The nutrients in this group range from vitamins-A, C, B6, and folate to potassium and magnesium, plus each vegetable is rich in unique antioxidants, such as cancer-fighting isoflavones in peas and blood pressure-lowering kukoamines in potatoes.

Wildcard Vegetable-Factor

You need: 5 1/2 cups per week

Artichokes, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, green beans, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, wax beans, zucchini.

Payoff: This eclectic group ensures a broad spectrum of nutrients and antioxidants that protect every system in your body, including beta-carotene in bell peppers and quercetin, a natural anti-inflammatory, in onions.

Eating Like This!

Here are 14 meals that incorporate all five Vegetable-Factors into a perfect 7-day veggie "schedule."

Once you get the hang of it, adding more vegetables to your meals will be a breeze!

Salmon Spinach Salad

Toss 1 c. baby spinach (dark greens) with 1 Tbs. crumbled blue cheese and 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar.

Top with 3 oz. drained canned wild salmon, 1/2 c. pink grapefruit wedges, and 1 Tbs. chopped walnuts.

230 Calories,

19 g. Protein,

16 g. Carbohydrates,

3 g. Fiber,

10 g. Fat,

4 g. Saturated Fat,

37 mg. Cholesterol,

585 mg. Sodium

Smoky Mountain Turkey Sandwich

Spread 1 tsp. spicy mustard onto a toasted whole grain English muffin.

Fill with 2 oz. lean smoked deli turkey and 1/2 c. sliced apples.

Pair with 1/2 c. baby carrots (Orange Vegetable-Factor) and 1/4 c. garlic hummus for dipping.

380 Calories,

22 g. Protein,

57 g. Carbohydrates,

8 g. Fiber,

8 g. Fat,

1 g. Saturated Fat,

20 mg. Cholesterol,

1,078 mg. Sodium.

Black Bean Taco Salad

Combine 1/2 c. rinsed and drained canned black beans (beans) with 1 Tbs. lime juice, 2 tsp. olive oil, and 1 tsp. chopped cilantro.

Top 1 c. torn romaine (dark greens) with beans, 2 Tbs. reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese, and 1/4 c. sliced avocado.

292 Calories,

12 g. Protein,

27 g. Carbohydrates,

11 g. Fiber,

18 g. Fat,

4 g. Saturated Fat,

10 mg. Cholesterol,

589 mg. Sodium.

Zippy Roast Beef Wrap

Spread a whole wheat wrap with 2 Tbs. plain fat-free Greek-style yogurt, 1/2 tsp. horseradish, and 1 tsp. chopped chives.

Fill with 2 oz. lean roast beef.

Serve with 1 c. sliced red bell pepper (Wildcard Vegetable-Factor) and 1/4 c. garlic hummus for dipping.

349 Calories,

24 g. Protein,

39 g. Carbohydrates,

8 g. Fiber,

11 g. Fat,

2 g. Saturated Fat,

26 mg. Cholesterol,

880 mg. Sodium.

Shrimp & Artichoke Salad

Chop 4 lg. cooked shrimp and combine with 1 Tbs. mayo, 1 tsp. lemon juice and 1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper.

Fold in 1 c. frozen and thawed quartered artichoke hearts (Wildcard Vegetable-Factor).

Serve with 4 whole grain lower-sodium crackers.

315 Calories,

13 g. Protein,

30 g. Carbohydrates,

14 g. Fiber,

17 g. Fat,

2 g. Saturated Fat,

48 mg. Cholesterol,

296 mg. Sodium.

And, one of our faves!

Chicken Pasta Salad

Slice 1 c. grape tomatoes (Wildcard Vegetable-Factor).

Combine with 1/2 c. cooked and chilled whole grain penne, 3 oz. chopped grilled chicken breast, 3 sliced fresh basil leaves and 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil.

395 Calories,

31 g. Protein,

27 g. Carbohydrates,

3 g. Fiber,

18 g. Fat,

3 g. Saturated Fat,

72 mg. Cholesterol,

70 mg. Sodium.

Bunless Turkey Burger

Mix 4 oz. raw extra lean ground turkey with 1/2 c. rinsed, drained, and mashed canned kidney beans (beans); 1 Tbs. fresh parsley; 1/4 tsp. each onion and garlic powder; and

1/8 tsp. chili powder.

Form into patty and grill or cook on stovetop.

Serve burger on a bed of 1/2 c. cooked brown rice.

343 Calories,

38 g. Protein,

44 g. Carbohydrates,

10 g. Fiber,

3 g. Fat,

0 g. Saturated Fat,

45 mg. Cholesterol,

509 mg. Sodium.

Cajun Chicken

Grill 3 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast seasoned with a mixture of 1 Tbs. olive oil, 1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper, and 1/8 tsp. each cayenne pepper and garlic powder.

Serve on a bed of 3/4 c. corn (Starchy Vegetable-Factor).

316 Calories,

24 g. Protein,

23 g. Carbohydrates,

3 g. Fiber,

16 g. Fat,

2 g. Saturated Fat,

49 mg. Cholesterol,

73 mg. Sodium.

Cranberry, Edamame & Wild Rice Salad

In lg bowl, combine 2 Tbs. rice wine vinegar, 2 tsp. olive oil, and 1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper.

Toss with 1/2 c. cooked wild rice, 1/2 c. fresh or frozen and thawed shelled edamame (soy beans), 2 Tbs. fruit juice-sweetened dried cranberries, and 2 Tbs. chopped walnuts.

Serve at room temperature.

405 Calories,

14 g. Protein,

41 g. Carbohydrates,

7 g. Fiber,

22 g. Fat,

2 g. Saturated Fat,

0 mg. Cholesterol,

34 mg. Sodium.

California Stir-Fry

Combine 2 Tbs. 100% orange juice with 1 Tbs. white vinegar, 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger, and 1 tsp. soy sauce.

Set aside.

Saute 1/2 c. chopped onions (Wildcard Vegetable-Factor) in 1 Tbs. peanut oil until translucent.

Add 1/2 c. each sliced mushrooms and asparagus pieces (Wildcard Vegetable-Factor) with ginger sauce.

Continue stir-frying 3 to 5 minutes until crisp-tender.

Add 1/4 c. mandarin orange sections and 1 Tbs. slivered almonds.

Serve with 1/2 c. cooked brown rice.

354 Calories,

8 g. Protein,

43 g. Carbohydrates,

6 g. Fiber,

18 g. Fat,

3 g. Saturated Fat,

0 mg. Cholesterol,

450 mg. Sodium.

Southwest Chickpea and Tuna Salad

Combine 2 Tbs. chopped cilantro, 1 Tbs. lemon juice, 1 tsp. sunflower oil, and 1 tsp. minced garlic.

Add 1 c. rinsed and drained canned low-sodium chickpeas (beans) and 3 oz. rinsed and drained chunk light tuna in water.

414 Calories,

37 g. Protein,

48 g. Carbohydrates,

10 g. Fiber,

7 g. Fat,

0.5 g. Saturated Fat,

53 mg. Cholesterol,

407 mg. Sodium

Green Peas Supreme

Toss 1/2 c. cooked whole-wheat linguine with 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil, 2 oz. chopped Canadian bacon, and 3/4 c. frozen and thawed green peas (Starchy Vegetable-Factor).

Sprinkle with 2 Tbs. Parmesan.

425 Calories,

24 g. Protein,

34 g. Carbohydrates,

7 g. Fiber,

22 g. Fat,

5 g. Saturated Fat,

36 mg. Cholesterol,

995 mg. Sodium.

Stuffed Sweet Potato

Bake or microwave 1 med. (6 oz.) sweet potato (orange vegetables).

Split potato and scoop out inside, leaving skin intact.

In small bowl, whip potato with 3 Tbs. 1% milk, 2 Tbs. blue cheese, 2 Tbs. chopped pecans, 1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary (or 1/2 tsp. dried), and 1/2 tsp. minced garlic.

Stuff skin with mixture and serve.

369 Calories,

9 g. Protein,

47 g. Carbohydrates,

7 g. Fiber,

16 g. Fat,

4 g. Saturated Fat,

15 mg. Cholesterol,

315 mg. Sodium.

Prosciutto Dill Potato Salad

Combine 1/4 c. fat-free plain yogurt with 1 Tbs. fresh dill and 1 tsp. Dijon.

Add 1 diced hard-boiled egg, 1 c. cooked and cubed red potatoes (Starchy Vegetable-Factor), 1 c. cauliflower (Wildcard Vegetable-Factor), and 1 oz. prosciutto.

339 Calories,

25 g. Protein,

40 g. Carbohydrates,

5 g. Fiber,

8 g. Fat,

3 g. Saturated Fat,

234 mg. Cholesterol,

1,007 mg. Sodium.

* Strive to limit your saturated fat intake to less than 18 g. per day.

** Strive to limit your sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg. per day.

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