With only 6 percent of Americans getting the recommended amount of vegetables a day1, access to delicious, easy and versatile veggie-powered meals is more important than ever. Marcus Samuelsson, an award-winning chef and cookbook author, has joined Birds Eye vegetables to help inspire and enable people to think about vegetables as a pleasure, to shake up old habits and help bring vegetables back to the center of the plate – especially for the next generation.
* Don’t Hide, Highlight Veggies
Vegetables deserve center stage because they’re amazing. They are delicious, colorful, good for you and taste great, too. Inspiring people – especially kids – to discover the wonder of vegetables starts with highlighting vegetables as the center of the plate, not as an understudy. “Vegetables are great for any meal, so put them forward as a gift to your family every day,” says Samuelsson. “It’s extremely important that we start making nutritious, veggie-powered meals for ourselves and the next generation.”
* Follow the 60/40 Rule
Instead of thinking about dishes as 60 percent pasta and 40 percent vegetables, turn it around, serving veggies as 60 percent and pasta as 40 percent of the meal. “Flipping the proportions of your favorite meals is a quick, easy way to incorporate more veggies into meals your family already loves.”
* Mix and Match Colors, Textures and Flavors
Enjoy a variety of veggies at the same time to truly showcase the wonder of a veggie- powered plate. Incorporating many different veggies brings flavor, crunch and a nutritious punch to almost any dish. “My ideal veggie-powered plate is a Vegetable and Quinoa Pilaf. It’s loaded with a wonderful broccoli, carrots and cauliflower medley from Birds Eye.”
Build a customized veggie-powered plate at www.Facebook.com/BirdsEyeVegetables. For every veggie-powered plate created on Facebook, Birds Eye will donate vegetables for 10 meals as part of its Feed Kids Better initiative with Share Our Strength (up to 1 million meals through September 2012).
Vegetable Quinoa Pilaf
Makes 6 servings
1 bag of Birds Eye Steamfresh Broccoli, Carrot and Cauliflower Medley
1 cup quinoa
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
4 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
Freshly ground black pepper
Cook vegetable medley according to package directions; drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, rinse quinoa well under cold water in a fine wire sieve; drain.
Bring to a boil with 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook until the quinoa has absorbed the water, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
Melt butter in large skillet. Add celery, scallions, ginger and garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add cooked vegetable medley and mix well. Stir in parsley, mint and paprika.
Transfer quinoa to serving bowl. Fluff quinoa with fork. Add vegetable mixture and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.
1 The 2010 National Action Plan Report Card, National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance.