June 17 is National Eat your Vegetables Day.
Vegetables. Vegetables. Vegetables. I can never stress enough on the importance on eating vegetables if you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Why are vegetables so important? What is the recommended amout of vegetables per day? What is the difference between vegetables and legumes?
Vegetables contain a lot of vitamins,minerals and fibers and can lower the risk of heart diseases, kidney stones and type 2 diabetes. Vegetables are essential for a healthy gastrointestinal function. The recommended daily consupmtion is 3 to 5 servings of vegetables a day, where a serving is 1/2 to 1 cup, depending on the vegetable. And finally, it is crucial to differentiate betweem vegetable and legumes, a common misconception. “Legumes are basically plants with roots that fix nitrogen from the air really well. They’re all in the same plant family Leguminosae, and include peas, beans, alfalfa and clover.
So, food-wise, some surprises maybe but definitely all the peas and beans. Vegetables are plants that are edible, but excluding the parts that are fruit and seed. So apples and tomatoes, nuts, peas and beans are not, strictly, vegetables. But cabbage, lettuce, carrots, etc are. “
Traditional Lebanese Fattouch Salad
- 1 cup mint leaves
- 1 big tomato cut into big pieces
- 1 cucumber, cut in circles
- 2 small radish, thinly sliced
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup parsley leaves
- 1/2 green capsicum
- 1/2 piece lebanese bread, cut into pieces and baked (or fried) – I have not included bread in my fattouch bowl because of my allergy to gluten
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sumac
- 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses (optional, but gives it an amazing taste)
Cut the vegetables, mix them together and add the dressing.