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Easy Diets

VegetablesIf you decided that now is the time to lose weight, you have probably already experienced the overwhelming literature explaining the benefits of different diets. It seems that every month there is a new diet that claims to be the solution to all your weight problems, if only you follow it religiously for the rest of your life. Even though some fad diets may indeed yield results, they are often short-lived and the weight tends to come back and even increase in the long run. The minute you deviate from the formula proposed by each diet, your body adjusts by gaining the weight you had lost. This is why, once again, it is best to enter into lifestyle changes that incorporate healthy eating and exercise as a permanent part of your life, and not a temporary solution while you lose some weight.

Research has shown, that the human body does well with the incorporation of fiber, fruits, vegetable and lean protein in their diets. Processed foods and refined carbohydrates all work against the effectiveness of the metabolism which results in weight gain and the consequences that entails diabetes, heart disease, etc. Deciding to inclue healthier foods to your daily diet does not have to be a commitment to boring foods. On the contrary, there are many easy ways to have tasty dishes and meals at your fingertips without compromising your health goals. The recipes outlined below can be helpful in adding flavor and variety to your diet.

Butternut squash Gnocchi

Ingredients
Butternut squash (about 2 lbs.)
½ tsp. salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
3 to 3 1/2 cups flour, plus more for shaping
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup freshly shredded parmesan, asiago or pecorino cheese
Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

1. Use a knife to poke holes into the squash and cook in the microwave for About 10 minutes to soften. Once it cools down, scoop out the flesh and mash it. If it is not soft enough yet, cook it again in the microwave in one minute increments until you can easily scoop it out. You can discard the peel and the seeds.

2. In a combine the 2 cups of squash with the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Make a dough by adding the flour one cup at a time until the dough no longer sticks to your fingers.

3. Knead the dough 10 to 12 times on a well-floured surface.

4. Split the dough in half and cover 1 half with plastic wrap. With the other half roll it into a ¾ in. rope and cut it into ½ in. pieces. Place those in a floured baking sheet and repeat the process with the remaining dough. Roll other batch into a 3/4-in.-thick rope and cut into 1/2-in.-long pieces. Put pieces on a floured baking sheet and set aside. Repeat with the remaining dough.

5. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Boil your newly cut gnocchi until they swim to the surface (roughly 4 or 5 minutes). Leave them in the boiling water for About 30 seconds longer and then fish them out with a slotted spoon. Toss them with the butter and add cheese and pepper to taste. Serve the hot and enjoy!

Healthy Gazpacho

If you are a vegetable lover, but are bored with the traditional salad with lettuce or spinach, then trying some delicious gazpacho may do the trick for you. This wonderful chilled soup is great to make and chill to eat throughout the week.

Ingredients
4 cups. of tomato juice
1 onion minced
1 minced green bell pepper
1 chopped cucumber
2 c. of chopped tomatoes
2 chopped green onions
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tbsp. of lemon juice
2 tbsp.of red wine vinegar
¼ c. of fresh parsley chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Use a food processor or blender to mix all the ingredients. Chill for two hours before serving. Garnish with extra parsley.

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