I have decided that my family is going to embark on a challenge of eating one green vegetable and one “other” vegetable at every dinner. We already eat pretty well and we grow lots of things in the summer in our garden, but I’ve never made a conscientious effort to make a certain amount of anything at any one sitting. Because, well, heck! I’m the Leftovers Lady; “Cream of Whatever’s on Sale” is my motto and I buy, grow, cook, and eat, whatever I can find for a  good price or free. But I’ve got these stubborn last few (20) baby pounds hanging around that I’ve wanted to lose and my “baby” is 3! So my first plan of action was to give up coffee with cream and sugar and switch to black tea (metabolism boost!) with milk and honey. That left me with a raging headache for 9 days and I didn’t feel like eating, so that jump started my plan and I lost 5 pounds! Next I started walking on weekends with my neighbor, sans kids, so that we could get an actual work out and our heart rates pumping up. Yay, there went another 2 pounds in 3 weeks. Next I’ve added this green vegetable plan (roasted, steamed, or raw). Another 3 pounds gone. I’m down 10 pounds in 2 months.

I’m feeling pretty good about this. Another thing I’m “doing” is actually listening to my body. You know, like when I’m full, I stop eating, even if there’s only 2 bites left on the plate. It was very hard at first. Even though I’m the Leftovers Lady, I still found it annoying to have just 2 bites leftover of something. But my husband and son do it all the time, so I’ve taken a cue from them and I’m no longer a member of the “clean plate club.” (And yes, we eat the food another day, like in our lunch boxes at work).

This week I made a funny little pasta dish. I like alfredo, but it’s so high in calories and fat, I just can’t bring myself to eat it too often. So I mixed ricotta cheese with Parmesan cheese, some plain yogurt, lemon juice, black pepper, and black olives. I cooked spaghetti noodles and cut them into thirds. When they were hot and drained I added frozen peas. The peas warmed up and the noodles cooled down. It was perfect and ready to eat. I mixed it all together with the ricotta sauce. I served this with steamed carrots and yams. We had fish also.

Another day this week I made roasted kale and Brussels sprouts (sprinkled with basil, salt, and pepper, drizzled in olive oil), alongside baked potatoes and meatloaf.

Another day was steamed green beans and Brussels sprouts again (with Cioppino). I’m proud to say that my little 3 year old is quite fond of all of these veggies and I attribute it to the fact that we grow veggies together, I shop with him, he cooks with me, and we generally speak positively about vegetables since we enjoy them ourselves (me and hubby).

What greens are you eating daily?

Are you haunted by your parents teaching you to “eat your plate clean?”

How are you getting your kids to love vegetables?

I would love to hear your thoughts, so leave a comment below!