September 12, 2011 05:00 ET

Put Produce on Your Plate -- for Less

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - Sep 12, 2011) - (Family Features) Do you eat enough fruits and vegetables every day? According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans should fill half their plate with fruits and vegetables. Most people don't come near that amount.

In fact, nearly 90 percent of Americans fall short of the recommended daily servings of vegetables and 80 percent fall short of daily fruit servings. But it's easier -- and more delicious -- than you might think to make food choices that can help your whole family live a healthier lifestyle.

The ALDI MyPlate campaign brings the USDA MyPlate icon together with ALDI, the discount grocer, to encourage consumers to fill half their plate with fruits and vegetables.

The campaign shares some easy ways you can put good-for-you produce on your plate and save money at the same time.

  • Make your Dollar Count. Filling half your family's plate with fruits and vegetables doesn't have to break the bank. Pick up versatile veggies that can be prepared in different ways, such as potatoes, squash, broccoli and zucchini.

  • Protect your Produce. Place fruits and vegetables in the shopping cart where they won't get bruised; bruising speeds spoilage. At the check-out, make sure produce is packed on top or in separate bags.

  • Think in the Can (or the Freezer). Did you know that frozen or canned produce (without added sugars or sauces) can be just as nutritious as fresh? Round out your fruit and veggie shopping with great-tasting, convenient canned or frozen choices.

  • Involve the Whole Family. Bring the kids to the store to help pick out their fruits and veggies. They're more likely to eat the meal, if they had a hand in selecting the food. And, that means you don't throw money away with every uneaten bite.

ALDI, a grocery retailer with more than 1,100 stores in 31 states, offers produce prices that are significantly lower than traditional grocery retailers. In addition, each week, you'll find produce "Picks of the Week" that provide even greater savings on featured fruits and vegetables.

Visit to download recipes, more tips and to find stores in your area.

Serves: 6 to 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 pound zucchini, chopped
1 pound yellow squash, chopped
1 pound green pepper, chopped in ½-inch cubes
½ pound red bell pepper, chopped in ½-inch cubes
½ pound yellow bell pepper, chopped in ½- inch cubes
1 whole bay leaf
¾ cup tomato juice
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound ripe tomato, seeded, skinned and chopped

In one large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and sauté onions for 5 minutes. Add garlic, reduce heat to low.

In another large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, sauté zucchini until brown. Add browned zucchini to skillet with onions and garlic, toss.

In empty skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, sauté yellow squash until brown. Add browned yellow squash to pan with onions, garlic and zucchini. Repeat process with all remaining vegetables, except tomatoes.

When vegetables are done and in same skillet, increase heat to high. Add spices and tomato juice and stir. Bring to slight boil.

Cook uncovered on low for 20 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook 10 minutes. Stir and serve.

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