Y Magazine

Of Greens and Grains

We all love mash but why not go for healthier, fresher produce when it comes to sides? Jazz up mealtimes with a range of delicious dishes that combine healthy grains, herbs and spinach.    

Dedicating more of your plate to fresh-from-the-garden produce as well as rice and grains can lead to a healthier lifestyle, according to Cheryl Forberg, a dietitian and award-winning chef and nutritionist for the US TV show, The Biggest Loser.

“Most of my adult clients who are not veggie lovers usually had little exposure to them growing up or they just weren’t cooked properly,” says Forberg.

“It’s important for parents to get their children involved in cooking, shopping and even gardening so kids can understand the journey from seed to plate.” 

To start living healthier and greener lives, Forberg offers four simple tips:

Start in the garden

This hands-on approach is a fun way to learn about nutrition and where food comes from. Following produce from seed to plate can compel you to eat more healthily. Plant a garden at home or become involved in a local project nearby.

Opt for veggies with big impact

Richly coloured veggies contain the richest supplies of nutrients. Opt for spinach or romaine instead of iceberg lettuce in your salads. Skip the celery or carrots and go for red bell pepper slices to deliver a healthy serving of antioxidants and vitamin C.

Make smart swaps

Replace the dense calories of pasta noodles with a flavoursome cup of cooked spaghetti squash. The squash is a satisfying and tasty alternative with a mere 40 calories, two grammes of fibre and loads of vitamins.

Pair with whole grains

Mashed potatoes may be a favourite dinner side but there are more nutritious options to complement your garden produce, such as this grain bowl with wild salmon from chef Seamus Mullen.

Learn more about starting gardens and living a greener, healthier life at seedsofchangegrant.com.

– Family Features

Warm Grain Bowl with Salmon, Almonds and Salsa Verde

Total time: 20-25 minutes

Servings: 8


sea salt, to taste

Salsa Verde (optional):

Heat the oven to 190C.