November is National Good Nutrition Month

By Chris Burchell, Executive Chef, MediLodge of Monroe

Everyone put away their summer clothes and get out the cold weather gear! It is sad to see temperatures sinking into the 40’s, but there is nothing like the changing of the seasons! One of nature’s greatest accomplishments is the changing of the seasons, and it only last for a brief period, starting right about now. November will find the leaves in their full glory. November also happens to be National Good Nutrition month. A wise theme for what is inevitably the start of the holidays, and so shrewdly placed just after Halloween!

I believe everyone can boost the nutrition of their daily diet without having to make serious significant changes. It is safe to say, however, that getting rid of as many prepared food items from your pantry and refrigerators is paramount to having any real kind of accomplishment in the area of nutrition.

MediLodge of Monroe

Simple changes like subbing celery and peanut butter or roasted nuts for chips, can make an immediate impact. Eating multiple small meals, 5 or 6, per day takes a little bit of planning and commitment, but can boost metabolism and have you finding yourself shedding unnecessary ounces of weight without even exercising.

One of the best ways to boost nutrition that I’ve seen the federal government attempt to implement was the idea of incorporating as many different colors on your meal plate as possible. It is simple and brilliant all at the same time…. most of the nutritious components in our food is grouped into certain foods. These groups of foods/nutritional components coincidentally enough fall linearly into certain color groups. Red fruits and vegetables are colored by natural plant pigments called “lycopene.” Lycopene, in tomatoes, watermelon and pink grapefruit, may help reduce risk of several types of cancer, especially prostate cancer. Orange/yellow fruits and vegetables are usually colored by natural plant pigments called “carotenoids.” Beta-carotene in sweet potatoes, pumpkins and carrots is converted to vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy mucous membranes and healthy eyes. Green foods get their hue from chlorophyll, a natural blood purifier that increases red blood cell count and helps the liver and kidneys eliminate toxins. The “indoles” in broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables may help protect against some types of cancer. Leafy greens such as spinach and broccoli are excellent sources of folate, a B vitamin that helps reduce risk of birth defects.

MediLodge of Monroe invites you to enjoy this delicious recipe!

Pasta Primavera

Ingredients:

3 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips

1 bunch asparagus, woody stem removed, cut into 1 inch peices

2 yellow squash, cut into thin strips

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips

1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

1 lb. mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1-1/2 tablespoons dried Italian herbs

1 pound short pasta (Penne, Farfalle, Etc.)

1 container grape tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Asiago

pasta

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

  1. On a large heavy baking sheet, toss all of the vegetables with the oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs to coat. Transfer half of the vegetable mixture to another heavy large baking sheet and arrange evenly over the baking sheets. Bake until the carrots are tender and the vegetables begin to brown, stirring after the first 10 minutes and adding tomatoes, about 20 minutes total.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain.

Toss the pasta with the vegetable mixtures in a large bowl to combine. Season the pasta with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the cheese and serve immediately.

Bon Appetit!

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For more information on locations and services, visit the MediLodge website.  Find us on Facebook for up-to-date pictures or watch our YouTube channel for videos of events and activities.

MediLodge of Monroe

MediLodge of Monroe

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