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Include Vegetables In Your Diet

Include Vegetables In Your Diet

AUBURN, Alabama — March is National Nutrition Month. The month is meant to spotlight the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

Including vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet may reduce risk for heart disease, including heart attack and stroke. These recipes are great ways to include vegetables into your diet.

Baked Eggplant Fingers


1 medium-size eggplant

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup nonfat Italian dressing

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons grated onion

1 garlic clove, minced

1/8 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

1 ½ cups dry bread crumbs

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 egg whites

1 tablespoon water

Butter-flavor vegetable cooking spray


Wash eggplant and cut into slices ¼ inch think. Peel each slice and cut into strips about ¾ inch wide and 3 inches long. Place in a shallow pan and sprinkle with salt. Add enough water to just cover the eggplant and let it soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain water from pan. Combine dressing, lemon juice, onion, garlic and pepper. Stir and pour over eggplant. Cover and let it marinate for 1 hour. Lift eggplant fingers from marinade and let drain on absorbent paper.

Combine bread crumbs and cheese. Roll each finger in crumbs. Combine egg whites and water; beat until foamy and well blended. Dip the fingers in egg white mixture and roll again in crumbs. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and arrange eggplant on it. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. Remove from oven turn each finger and sprinkle with more crumbs if needed. Return to oven and bake 10 minutes longer or until golden brown.

Green Bean Casserole


2 1-pound cans French-cut green beans

1 tablespoon corn-oil margarine

¼ cup finely chopped onion

1 teaspoon celery seed

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 10 ¾ ounce can cream of mushroom soup

½ cup dry bread crumbs

Butter flavor vegetable cooking spray

¾ cup grated reduced fat sharp Cheddar cheese

¾ cup grated reduced fat sharp Cheddar cheese


Drain liquid from beans and save. Melt margarine in a skillet. Add onion and cook over medium heat until tender but not brown. Remove pan from heat. Add celery seed, Worcestershire sauce and soup. Stir until well mixed. Coat a 1 ½ quart baking dish with cooking spray. Layer half of drained beans in the bottom and then add half of the soup mixture. Sprinkle ¾ cup of cheese over the soup. Repeat layers with the remaining beans and soup mixture. Combine bread crumbs with ¾ cup cheese. Sprinkle over the top. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly.

Italian Spinach


2 10-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach

½ cup nonfat Italian salad dressing

2 hard cooked eggs


Cook spinach as directed on package and drain thoroughly. Add salad dressing. Chop eggs and add to spinach. Toss carefully.

These recipes and many more can be found in The Auburn Cookbook, a publication of Alabama Extension.

About Justin Miller

One comment

  1. I always thought that exercise is the best way to stay healthy and active but later realized that right diet and food is also necessary to be healthy in life. I will definitely try your mentioned food items/recipe. Thanks for sharing