Shira Bocar shares how she incorporates whole grains, fruits, and vegetables into her family's diet.

Find out what's been happening with our food editors with our weekly series Out of the Kitchen (formerly 42 Burners).

If your New Year's resolution was to eat better but you're not exactly sure where to start, we've got you covered with plenty of inspiring tips from Shira Bocar, our food editor-at-large. From easy, healthy ingredient swaps to a fun, interactive grazing board, Shira shares how she encourages her family to eat healthy year-round.

caramelized beet lentil pilaf
Credit: Justin Walker

Simple Swaps

Looking for a way to make a batch of pancakes or muffins healthier for your family? Shira recommends using spelt flour in place of all-purpose flour; it can be swapped cup for cup without any other adjustments. And spelt "has a really nice maple flavor that enhances a lot of baked goods and you won't notice the way you would with whole wheat flour," she says. If you prefer to use whole wheat flour, Shira recommends replacing just half the amount of all-purpose flour called for with whole wheat.

Meal-Prep Grains and Legumes

Over the weekend, Shira says she preps large batches of grains like farro or freekeh, and legumes such as lentils. From here, they can serve as the base of a grain bowl for lunch or dinner, salad garnishes, or a simple, healthy side dish. Try making the Caramelized Beet-Lentil Pilaf, pictured here.

Build a Healthy Grazing Board

Instead of making a large salad as a side dish for dinner, create a grazing board with plenty of fresh vegetables like sliced cherry tomatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, sliced bell pepper, and blanched broccoli. "It makes it less like forced vegetable eating and they get to decide what they want to eat", says Shira.

Stock Up on Frozen Fruits and Vegetables

From frozen berries to frozen corn, there are plenty of ways to embrace out-of-season produce in the middle of winter. "I use frozen fruit for delicious baked oatmeal, as well as healthy breakfast smoothies. I throw frozen peas into pasta during the last 30 seconds or so of cooking," says Shira.

Eat One Vegetarian Meal a Day

"Lose the meat—but also don't eat heavily processed vegetarian or vegan food," says Shira. Start by eating one vegetarian meal a day to reduce your consumption of meat and incorporate more plant-based ingredients, like grains and vegetables, into your diet. Plus, the less meat you consume, the better it is for the environment.


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