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Power Up Your Plate With Vegetables

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(Family Features) With only 6 percent of Americans getting the recommended amount of vegetables a day*, access to delicious, easy and versatile veggie-powered meals is more important than ever. Marcus Samuelsson, an award-winning chef and cookbook author, has joined Birds Eye vegetables to help inspire and enable people to think about vegetables as a pleasure, to shake up old habits and help bring vegetables back to the center of the plate - especially for the next generation.

  • Don't Hide, Highlight Veggies

    Vegetables deserve center stage because they're amazing. They are delicious, colorful, good for you and taste great, too. Inspiring people - especially kids - to discover the wonder of vegetables starts with highlighting vegetables as the center of the plate, not as an understudy. "Vegetables are great for any meal, so put them forward as a gift to your family every day," says Samuelsson. "It's extremely important that we start making nutritious, veggie-powered meals for ourselves and the next generation."

  • Follow the 60/40 Rule

    Instead of thinking about dishes as 60 percent pasta and 40 percent vegetables, turn it around, serving veggies as 60 percent and pasta as 40 percent of the meal. "Flipping the proportions of your favorite meals is a quick, easy way to incorporate more veggies into meals your family already loves."

  • Mix and Match Colors, Textures and Flavors

    Enjoy a variety of veggies at the same time to truly showcase the wonder of a veggie-powered plate. Incorporating many different veggies brings flavor, crunch and a nutritious punch to almost any dish. "My ideal veggie-powered plate is a Vegetable and Quinoa Pilaf. It's loaded with a wonderful broccoli, carrots and cauliflower medley from Birds Eye."

Build a customized veggie-powered plate at www.Facebook.com/BirdsEyeVegetables. For every veggie-powered plate created on Facebook, Birds Eye will donate vegetables for 10 meals as part of its Feed Kids Better initiative with Share Our Strength (up to 1 million meals through September 2012).

*The 2010 National Action Plan Report Card, National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance.

SOURCE: Birds Eye