Brighten Up Your Meals With Color

By Whitney Randall, Nutritionist

Brighten up your cold winter nights with color!  The more colorful your dinner plate is, the more likely you are getting a variety of nutrients.  The red from your tomato sauce offers a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, phosphorus, fiber and lycopene. 

Your whole-wheat pasta is an excellent source of fiber and the B vitamins, which include thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, and folic acid.   It almost sounds like a complete meal doesn’t it?  But what about your protein and vegetables!  By adding more color to your plate such as fresh steamed broccoli and lean ground turkey meat you are fueling your body with the proper nutrients it needs to function. 

Next time you sit down to dinner aim for at least four different colors on your plate.  Now it’s time to focus on one of the nutrients mentioned above and see how we can turn one of our all time favorite meals into a healthier option.  That’s right, we are going to make pizza!

Instead of sitting in front of the TV on a cold rainy night, invite your best friend over to help you cook with your family, and of course to help you eat the delicious meal you prepared!  It’s time for a pizza makeover and to fill up on fiber.  By using a whole-wheat crust and piling our pizza with fresh chopped vegetables, we will be consuming a good portion of the recommended 25 g of fiber a day (based on a 2,000 calorie meal plan).

Vegetable Pizza

– whole-wheat pizza dough (Trader Joe’s sells a good one!)

– 8 ounces pizza sauce

– 1 ½ cup low fat mozzarella cheese

– ½ cup chopped red or green bell pepper

– ½ cup sliced mushrooms

– ½ cup sliced black olives

– ½ cup sliced zucchini

Directions:

Preheat oven and bake the pizza according to the directions on the pizza dough.   Once the pizza dough is ready, evenly spread the pizza sauce.  Then, sprinkle ¾ cup of low fat mozzarella cheese.  Afterwards, spread the bell pepper, mushrooms, olives, and zucchini.  Lastly, sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the pizza.  If you want a little spice, you can add some crushed red pepper.

Now all you have to do is wait for the timer to ring so you can sit down at the dinner table and enjoy your homemade meal!

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