According to the U.S. Department
of Agriculture, Americans eat a limited amount and a small variety
of vegetables. The potato, which is more of a starchy staple,
is America's number one vegetable choice, particularly fried.
Next is iceberg lettuce, which is low in nutrients, then tomatoes,
carrots and onions. At the low end of the scale, two major categories
- the deeply colored green and yellow vegetables rich in substances
believed to combat many diseases - represent only 0.4 of Americans
Health experts say eating more
vegetables is second only to quitting smoking as a protective
measure against cancer.
Its easy to boost vegetable
consumption. Slightly increase the amount of cooked vegetables
at lunch and dinner, from one-half cup to three-quarter cup portions,
and you'll have the equivalent of three servings. One cup of
salad greens at either meal raises the total to four servings.
Eating vegetables instead of high-calorie or processed snacks
means more nutrition and fewer calories.
This is easy to do in summer
when fresh vegetables and fruits are abundant. Instead of despairing
about the overabundance, combine some ripe tomatoes, sautéed
garlic, fresh green beans and basil for a colorful vegetable
dish. A little crumbled feta cheese adds rich flavor, and is
a nice complement to the beans and tomatoes.
Green Beans with Tomatoes - Makes 6 servings.
* 1 large tomato, peeled,
seeded and cut into small dice
* 2 Tbsp. olive oil
* 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
* 1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
* Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
* 1 cup fresh basil leaves, minced
* 2-4 oz. reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled
In large sauté pan with
a lid, heat olive oil over medium heat until hot. Add garlic
and sauté until golden. Add green beans, reduce heat to
medium, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and cover with
lid. Cook, stirring occasionally, until green beans are almost
tender but firm. Remove lid, add tomatoes and basil, turn up
heat and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently.
Transfer bean mixture to a serving
bowl. Sprinkle with feta cheese and serve.
Per serving: 89 calories, 6
g. total fat (1 g. saturated fat), 8 g. carbohydrate, 4 g. protein,
1 g. dietary fiber, 130 mg. sodium.