A Seasonal Eating Challenge

Staff Writer
One cook tries her hand at healthy, seasonal and gluten-free eating.
Roasted Vegetables
Sarena Shasteen
Roasted Vegetables

Our family has started a seasonal eating challenge with the start of the New Year. My husband came home from the store with this idea after he looked at the prices of fresh produce. I have to say that even though I do most of the grocery shopping and cooking this thought never really occurred to me. I always buy fresh produce on sale thinking it is in season, but I never thought of where it came from.

I went to the store the other day and noticed that cantaloupes and blueberries are on sale; it made me think: where are these coming from? I always talk about eating fresh whole foods for my body and the environment, but what compromise am I making eating strawberries in the middle of January?  These fruits have traveled a long way just to make me happy. This line of thinking has also led to a huge discussion in our house even with our kids. They are both asking the question, "can we eat this now" when looking at produce. I like this for a couple of reasons: One, they are asking to eat fresh foods, and two, they are thinking about seasonality.

As part of the seasonal challenge, my favorite thing to eat lately is roasted vegetables over quinoa. Sweet potatoes, carrots, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, broccoli and cauliflower are probably my favorites, but I am hoping to get to know a few more that I haven't tried now that I know what's in season. Quinoa happens to be in the spinach and Swiss chard family too, so it fits right in with the seasonal challenge. It also rounds out the roasted vegetable meal with a boost of protein rich amino acids.

Click here to see the Oven-Roasted Vegetables recipe.