The biggest mistake people make with what they load on their plates is this: NOT ENOUGH VEGETABLES! The starches and often the protein foods crowd them out every time. There are lots of reasons for this so it is not always easy to remedy. However, it does all start with an awareness. So imagine the perfect plate that you could have in front of you just one time a day. Half of it is covered with a variety of colorful non-starchy vegetables. The starch takes a back seat–just one quarter of the plate; and guess what? The starch is not bread or a gluten-containing grain! It is sweet potato or quinoa or brown rice or millet grits or butternut squash or peas or corn. The other quarter of the plate is the protein food–eggs, fish, chicken, turkey, grass-fed beef, etc.
Here’s an easy way to prepare these vegetables. You will need a vegetable steamer and a variety of mostly non-starchy, fresh vegetables–start with ones you like and with time you can get adventurous and try some new ones. This recipe uses vegetables that I had on hand so use whatever you have keeping in mind that softer vegetables such as zucchini and red pepper take less time to steam tender than tougher ones like broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, and carrots. Also, chop them finer to reduce cooking time. You can always steam the tougher ones first and after 5 minutes add the rest and steam 3-5 minutes longer. The goal is to have all the vegetables TENDER (there is just a little resistance when pierced with a fork), not overcooked and limp!
1 stalk of broccoli, or 2 cups 1-inch florets
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, halved lengthwise and chopped 1/8 inch thick
1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1 cup sweet corn, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms, shitake is good
1 Tbsp. ghee or coconut oil or sesame oil
sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
Place all vegetables except the onion and mushrooms in the steamer. Cover and bring the water in the bottom of the steamer to boil and reduce heat to low to keep the vegetables steaming gently. While the vegetables are steaming (don’t forget about them! Check for tenderness every few minutes by piercing with a fork and as soon as they are perfect take them off the steam and set aside until they can be added to the skillet), add to a skillet the oil or ghee and the onion. Saute a few minutes over medium-low heat and then add the mushrooms and saute for another 3- 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. As soon as other vegetables are tender add them to the skillet and stir well. Salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.