With the sun shining down and a gentle breeze blowing through the town square, it was the perfect day for the Farmer’s Market’s much-awaited annual event, the High-Green, Low-Carb, Nutrient-Dense Contest. The market, bustling with activity, was a vibrant display of autumn’s abundance, with farmers proudly showcasing their freshest produce. Annie and LJ strolled towards the market, taking in the sights and sounds of the season. The crisp, cool air felt good, and the vibrant colors of the changing leaves caught their eyes. But it was not just the visual spectacle that pleased them – the cheerful chirping of birds and the faint sound of music in the distance added to the delightful atmosphere. As they drew closer, the notes of Charles Lloyd’s Forest Flower grew louder, enveloping them in its soothing melody. Annie turned to LJ happily, saying, “It seems like they were expecting you and wanted to make you feel at home.”

LJ couldn’t help but smile and nod in agreement. “Anyone who plays Charles Lloyd is a friend of mine. His music always puts me in a wonderful mood.”

“I couldn’t agree more, sweetheart. Lloyd’s music is truly perfect. And how perfect that this year’s contest is all about healthy, satisfying, low-calorie, and nutrient-packed recipes.

“It seems to be a hot topic among our friends lately,” LJ said, nodding in agreement.

“Absolutely. I’ve also noticed the same trend. People are looking for ways to stay healthy without feeling hungry, like how salads often leave you. And they want to ensure they get all the necessary nutrients without overindulging.”

“I can definitely relate. My friends have also expressed their desire for simple, quick, and satiating meal options,” LJ replied, smiling.”

“Well, it seems like we’re in the perfect place.”

As they approached the first booth, they noticed colorful banners showcasing famous vegans. Jay Z and Beyonce beamed at each other from one, while Venus Williams exuded a steady and serene aura like the Mona Lisa. Paul McCartney held a sweet baby lamb in his arms, and Lewis Hamilton struck a pose in his racing suit.

“How inspiring,” Annie murmured, gazing at the banners. “It’s truly heartwarming to see more and more people embracing veganism as not just a dietary choice but also a humane and eco-friendly one. I read an article recently that 40 million Americans are losing their water supply to—hay.Mother Jones. The hay is raised to feed cattle who are slaughtered for consumption. The article states if we stopped eating beef, there would be more than enough water in the Colorado River. “It’s alarming how our food choices can have such a huge impact on the environment.”

“I hear you, babes. There are so many ways to reduce beef consumption, like Meatless Mondays. Speaking of meatless, The Green Machine booth is featuring gorgeous kale, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, collard greens, and Swiss Chard – all packed with essential vitamins and minerals for good health.”

“I love it,” smiled Annie as she sampled the contest submission of Kale Crunch Salad.                     

“This salad is loaded with lots of crunch and flavor. The salad dressing is just the right amount of sweet and tart.

Thanks, that was delicious. Oh look, LJ, here’s The Low-Carb Kitchen Booth, which grows and features low-carb veggies. They are preparing a Zucchini Noodle Stir-Fry with mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil. This dish is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. Stir-fries can be so filling, especially this one without the heavy carbs.”


“This next booth is The Nutrient-Dense Deli. It is all about healthy fats and proteins. Their contest submission is Broiled Salmon with asparagus.

The salmon is seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic, while the asparagus is perfectly roasted. It’s the perfect one-pan meal.”

Annie pointed at The Protein Powerhouse. The name says it all; this booth is focused on high-protein foods. They are preparing a Vegan Spinach Frittata with protein-dense tofu. This dish is perfect for breakfast or brunch. Tofu is a powerful plant protein with anti-inflammatory properties and a good calcium, iron, and phytochemical source. With the right herbs and spices, tofu can be very tasty.”

“It sounds like they are your winner this year,” remarked LJ, “but before you decide, how about checking out The Low-Calorie Café? This farmer is all about low-calorie foods that are still filling. They’re submitting a Cauliflower Fried Rice with Mixed Veggies dish to the contest. Even with all its ingredients, it is still low in calories but also savory.”

“You’re right; I should wait to decide my favorite because right over here is The Seafood Shack. They provide sustainable seafood that is both healthy and delicious. They have a Sardine Salad that people line up for every week. It is a hearty meal because of its potatoes and tomatoes, but surprisingly refreshing with the addition of cucumber. It is so good!”

“These dishes are good, and I am glad we are not judges this year, but there is a rule of thumb. Here are some tips to ensure that your recipes include green veggies that are low-carb, nutrient-dense, and satiating:

  1. Choose low-carb vegetables: vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, kale, zucchini, and asparagus are low in carbs and high in nutrients. They are also versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes.
  2. Incorporate healthy fats: Adding healthy fats such as olive, avocado, or coconut oil to your recipes can help you feel full and satisfied. You can also add nuts or seeds to your dishes for an extra crunch.
  3. Use lean protein sources: Incorporating lean protein sources such as fish, algae, or tofu can help you feel full and satisfied without adding too many calories.
  4. Avoid processed foods: Processed foods are often high in carbs and low in nutrients. Instead, opt for whole foods such as fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and lean proteins.
  5. Experiment with spices and herbs: Spices and herbs can flavor your dishes without adding calories. Try experimenting with different spices and herbs to find the ones you like best.

And shop at your local farmer’s market as often as possible.”



Annie and LJ are a fictional couple. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.


Andrea Breaux is the Founder of Healthy Healing Eats. She writes about food-as-medicine and earth-friendly lifestyle practices. Find her weekly blog and recipes at healthyhealingeats.com.


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