For Weight Loss Surgery patients, high protein foods are always the focus at each meal and/or snack. Since protein gets top billing, other foods may get over looked. Some of those foods are fruits and vegetables. Spring and summer are great times of the year to explore the rich variety of fruits and vegetables available, especially the ones that are locally grown right here in the Garden State.
After you get your protein in, try to get in a variety of produce. Look for vibrant colors in your fruits and vegetables to ensure you are getting in a lot of vitamins such as vitamin C, Vitamin A and folate. Fruits and vegetables are also a good way to get in extra fiber.
With a huge assortment of locally grown fruits and vegetables to choose from, such as cranberries, bell peppers, spinach, summer squash, snap peas, cucumbers, peaches, blueberries and world famous Jersey tomatoes and sweet corn, you can’t go wrong! Some fruits and vegetables you can get at your local grocery store or road side farmers market, and others you can get directly form a local farm in your area.
Some local farms have “pick your own” options. Picking your own fruits and vegetables is a great way to get out into the fresh air, get some exercise and teach your families about how and where food is grown. To find a local farm near you, go to: jerseyfresh.nj.gov, then click on the “Find Jersey Fresh” tab.
Here is a great recipe to get in those Jersey Fresh vegetables:
Roasted Summer Vegetables
2 Jersey Fresh yellow summer squash
1 Jersey Fresh green bell pepper, sliced
1 large Jersey Fresh onion, sliced
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp Jersey Fresh thyme salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 small Jersey Fresh eggplant
1 Jersey Fresh red bell pepper, sliced
½ pound white mushrooms
3 TBS balsamic vinegar
Cut vegetables into chunks, about one-inch in size. Place in a single layer in low-sided rectangular baking pan. Drizzle oil over the pieces and, using your hands, rub vegetables to distribute oil. Drizzle vinegar over all. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme (or any herb you prefer). Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender. Some vegetables may become caramelized. This can be served hot, warm or at room temperature.
Contributed by Donna D’Amato, Maplewood, NJ
Recipe from Jersey Fresh website accessed 4/26/16.
Dietitian’s Corner by Lori Skurbe
Dietitian’s Corner is a monthly column for post-op and pre-op patients of bariatric surgery in NJ written by Prime Surgicare’s Lori Skurbe. Lori has been a dietitian for over 20 years with an extensive background in weight management, bariatric nutrition and diabetes education.