They used to be the stuff that fueled childhood nightmares: forkfuls of overcooked broccoli or endless orbs of bitter Brussels sprouts that had to be endured in order to tackle, finally, the chocolate ice cream. But today’s renditions of green vegetables don’t require nose-holding or the camouflage of cheese in order to win over legions of fans. From the once-maligned spinach that only Popeye fancied to the leafy kale that went on to wildly successful oversaturation, here’s a passel of formerly shunned vegetables (and a few equally undesirable fruits) that chefs have helped give miraculous makeovers. Read more
I teach cooking classes on a regular basis and I always try to include a soup as it’s an easy way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet. Served as a starter or eaten as a meal, soups are warming and nutritious this time of year. Roasted beets add a mellow sweetness and beautiful magenta color to this dish. It’s perfect for any day but would be a great way to express your admiration for a loved one as Valentine’s Day approaches.
Eating seasonally is a delicious option for many reasons. Not only are you getting produce at the peak of its flavor, you are also getting it at the peak of its nutrition. While it can be sad to see the summer tomatoes, berries and corn disappear from the market, fall brings its own delicious bounty to the table and each seasonal ingredient is packed with nutrients that do your body good. Food is medicine. Food nourishes. That’s why we eat, right? Fall and winter produce offerings often match the colors of the season and those colors boast a variety of good-for-you nutrients. Here is a breakdown of ingredients the season has to offer and why you should be eating it.
Some folks foolishly cut and throw beet greens aside, but don’t make this mistake!
Beet greens have a better bite than spinach and a touch of leafy green sweetness, plus a list of valuable nutrients that’s practically never-ending. One cup of cooked beet greets has 39 calories, 4 grams of protein, hefty doses of vitamins A, C , K, riboflavin, calcium, iron and nearly 20% of your daily fiber needs.
Enjoy finely chopped beet greens raw in a salad with balsamic vinaigrette. Saute the greens with olive oil and garlic, use as a pizza topping, or wilt into a steamy bowl of pasta or risotto.
They bury their heads in the ground. People hardly talk about them, and they cook with them even less. Could we be talking about the sweetest vegetable in the entire veggie kingdom? I thought we were a sweet-lovin’ nation. Beets are colorful, sugary and wonderful and should adorn your menu often. If you need more convincing, consider this: beets contain a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains, powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory and detoxification qualities. They also contain two carotenoids: lutein and zeaxanthin, particularly known for their role in protecting eye health and preventing common age-related eye problems involving the macula and the retina. Boasting a mere 43 calories, one 2-inch beet has 3 grams of fiber plus loads of potassium, manganese and folate.
Winter’s official kick-off arrived, along with snow for a good portion of the country. This week’s comment wrap-up has tips for enjoying the cold-weather produce, including roasted chestnuts (no open fire required).
Beets may not seem like an exciting veggie but, when these babies turn up at the farmer’s market, all I can think about is making my Roasted Beet Risotto (recipe below). In the dish, beets and their greens (both edible!) join with creamy risotto for a comforting vegetarian meal.
Photo by Tracy Olson
Admit it, you want to like beets. They’re appearing on restaurant menus everywhere, and those golden and red varieties always call your name at the farmers’ market. Now, if only you knew what to do with them. Well, it’s not as hard as you think to dig into these folate-rich root veggies.