Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Eating Healthy with Wellmark

Somehow every summer I find myself with this same scenario- loads and loads of fresh veggies on the counter. Notice I didn't say problem? I LOVE having all the vegetables fresh from the garden. I raised them myself, many from seed, I know exactly what's NOT been sprayed on them, and I know how delicious and good for me they are. Definitely not a problem! 

In spite of the many vegetarian cookbooks and websites and Facebook pages out there I still find myself sometimes struggling to find different, creative and filling ways to use veggies in meals, and AS the entire meal. Salads are great but they do get boring after a while, and sometimes I just want something a little different. If I don't have to stand in front of the stove cooking it, that's even better! So how do you bring it all together into something delicious, easy, filling, and quick to put together, maybe even eat on-the-go? In a veggie sub of course!

Veggie subs aren't new, and I certainly didn't think this up myself. Sandwich chains offer them, restaurants offer them, but making them at home, especially with ingredients you grew yourself, makes it an inexpensive and super nutritious option your family will love, and like many recipes, it's flexible! Build it around what you like or have in season. I'm going to make this super easy and delicious recipe that Wellmark has included in their healthy eating initiative as part of their 75th Anniversary celebration (more on that below). Like I said, you can go crazy with veggies here, and I suggest sticking with a whole grain bun for the best nutritional benefits. If you can't find whole wheat hot dog buns, look for GOOD quality artisan rolls or whole grain baguettes- anything you can use to make your veggie masterpiece. 

To make these Garden Veggie Subs, you will need-
  • 6 whole wheat hot dog buns
  • 1/2 cup soft cream cheese with vegetables (Philly makes a great one)
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 sweet pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 3 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup mixed baby greens (I used baby spinach because I love it!)

Spread the bottom half of the buns with the softened vegetable cream cheese.

Layer on the tomatoes, cucumber, pepper and radishes. Top with mixed greens.

Add bun tops. Wrap and chill until serving time.
(Nutrition info below)

Easy, right? Great for lunch at the office, picnics, tv snack- just about any time your tummy is grumbling at you. It's filling, loaded with vitamins and fiber and VEGGIES! What I love so much about this sandwich is the creamy veggie cream cheese spread- lots of healthy calcium and vitamins in there, and not just a bunch of empty fat calories like mayo brings to a sandwich. I like baby spinach A LOT so I chose to use that rather than mixed greens, and I might even throw a fresh onion ring or two on my sandwich. I love the crunchy texture of the different vegetables, and the Roma tomatoes are a little more meaty and less juicy than regular tomatoes, so the bread doesn't get all soggy.

Simple, quick to fix and easy to eat on the run, you can't go wrong with this Veggie Sub! I hope you will try it! 

Now, what does all this vegetable talk have to do with Wellmark? As I mentioned above, Wellmark is celebrating their 75th year this year with a fun campaign called "75 Days, 75 Ways."  This celebration includes not only lots of healthy recipes and health tips, but $75,000 is up for grabs for any non-profit 501c3 and 501c4 organizations who focus on and promote healthy lifestyles. 

If you know of a deserving organization, check out Wellmark's website for more details. The rules and regulations, because you know there are a few of those, are posted HERE and the link with full instructions on how to submit your entry is HERE.

This campaign is open to organizations in Iowa and South Dakota.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION  (per serving): 161 kcal cal., 3 g fat (1 g sat. fat, 1 mg chol., 294 mg sodium, 28 g carb., 2 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 6 g pro. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a "sponsored post." The company who sponsored it agreed to provide free promotion of Rockin' the Kitchen in exchange for preparing and writing about their recipe. Regardless, I only recommend products or serviced I believe are of good quality and safe. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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