fruits and vegetables
Entries tagged with: fruits and vegetables
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This summer, I have been spoiled with an abundance of beautiful, farm-fresh produce. As members of a Community Supported Agriculture group, every week I have received more vegetables than I've often known what to do with. That's a good thing!
To celebrate the season's bounty, I created this nutrient-rich summer soup, brimming with immune-boosting vitamin A (something my kids sure need now that they are back in school), fiber and flavor.
Makes 6 servings; serving size equals 1 cup
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup red onion cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Pinch cayenne pepper, optional
One 32-ounce carton all-natural vegetable broth (4 cups)
2 cups carrot juice
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small 10-ounce sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, pepper, paprika, and cayenne as desired (remember, just a pinch), and cook an additional 1 minute.
2. Stir in the broth, carrot juice, carrots, and sweet potato. Cover, raise the heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are very tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in the lime juice.
3. Let the soup cool slightly. Transfer to a blender and puree in batches until very smooth and creamy. You can also use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish (see tip below).
Garnish Idea: Toast up thin slices of French bread, and spread a thin layer of soft goat cheese on top. Place on soup, sprinkle with chives, and drizzle with a bit of honey as desired.
150 calories, 5g fat (0.5g saturated), 410mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 3g protein, 590% vitamin A, 30% vitamin C
Most store-bought chicken salad is made with lots of mayonnaise. But our recipe loses much of the mayo but not the great taste.
Spice up your lunch with this tasty, low-fat chicken Caesar wrap.
Makes 4 Servings
These pizzas are more of a concept than an actual recipe. Anything goes in terms of the sautéed veggies you choose to use. I like onions, mushrooms, bell peppers and baby spinach, but depending on your taste buds, you could also add olives, eggplant, broccoli, diced butternut squash and tomatoes. For a non-vegetarian option, use cooked chicken sausage or grilled shrimp. As for amounts, it's entirely up to you and your family--just avoid piling on the cheese.
4 large whole grain pita rounds
One 5- or 6-ounce bag baby spinach, sautéed
8 ounce mushrooms, coarsely chopped and sautéed
1 Vidalia onion, sliced into thin half-moons and sautéed
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice and sautéed
Shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Crumbled Feta cheese
Extra virgin olive oil for sautéing
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Arrange the pita rounds on one large baking sheet.
2. Spread pasta sauce or basil pesto (or both) on each pita and then top with your choice of vegetables and cheese.
3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese melts and is lightly browned
Makes 4 servings
Bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C and A. Plus, they're a great way to add color to your plate.
3/4 cup pearl barley
1 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves minced
1 medium white onion diced
3 oz. steak fillet
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 medium zucchini or summer squash diced
1/2 tsp sea salt
4 red or yellow bell peppers
4 oz. swiss cheese, thinly sliced or shredded
1. Bring four cups of water to boil and add barley. Reduce to simmer and cook for 45 minutes or until tender.
2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and saute garlic and onion. Add steak, squash, salt and thyme. Cook until vegetables are tender and steak is done to your preference. Remove from heat.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4. Thinly slice steak. Remove tops, seed pod and veins from peppers. Mix vegetables, tomato and barley and spoon equal amounts into peppers. Top with slices of steak and cheese.
5. Place peppers and tops on a cookie sheet and cook for 15 minutes.
312 calories, 10g fat (4g saturated, 4 monounsaturated, 1 polyunsaturated), 31mg cholesterol, 273mg sodium, 43g carbohydrates, 10g fiber, 14g protein, 157mg calcium
Every few months, as part of an after-school enrichment program called Kids Cooking Green, I teach nutrition to fifth graders in my community. At the end of the class, we set up a make-your-own smoothie bar complete with frozen fruit (peaches, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries), 100 percent fruit juices, low-fat yogurt and a few blenders. Then we let the students whip up their own unique creations. I've never tasted a smoothie from one of these enthusiastic 10- and 11-year-olds I didn't love.
My own mango smoothie is a hit every time I make it for my family. Besides the fact that it's brimming with great nutrition from frozen mango and low-fat, calcium-rich yogurt, it's a recipe most kids can easily make.
Mom's Mango Smoothie
Serving size: 1 cup; makes 4 servings
2 cups frozen mango (one 10-ounce package)
1 1/2 cups 100 percent mango juice, tropical juice or orange juice
1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
Place the mango, juice, and yogurt in a blender, and blend until well combined.
Pour into individual glasses and serve with a straw.
150 calories, 1g fat (0g saturated), 65mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 4g protein, 10% vitamin A, 30% vitamin C, 10% calcium
Photos and text © No Whine with Dinner
It's hard to think of spring without green--from lawns sprouting soft new grass to body-conscious diners going green (think salads) to reach their summer bathing suit weights.
And since March is National Nutrition Month, the focus of which is adding colorful foods to your diet, I've got lots of inspiration to go green right now. Even my kitchen's painted two kinds of green. Anyone who has flipped through a color wheel when choosing the right shade to paint a wall knows that there's more than one tint. The same goes for the many shades of green in the food world and the nutrition each hue holds within.
From dark green kale to golden green avocado to light green celery, Dr. David Heber, author of What Color is Your Diet?, says green fruits and vegetables are important because they promote healthy vision and reduce cancer risk.
Here's a breakdown of the green foods you should add to your plate:
These foods are rich sources of plant nutrients called carotenoids including the compounds lutein and zeaxanthin, which contribute to eye health and reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Examples: Spinach and other greens, green peas and avocados.
These foods contain the healthy compounds sulforaphane, isothiocyanate and indoles, which Heber says break down cancer-causing chemicals.
Examples: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, Bok Choy and kale.
These foods contain flavonoids that protect cell membranes.
Examples: Spring onions, celery, pears, endive, and chives.
When to Avoid Green
Never eat potatoes that are green below the skin. This green color indicates the presence of a bitter tasting toxin called solanine which is toxic even in small amounts and can cause nausea and headaches. Solanine, which is naturally in potatoes as the plant's defense against insects, increases in concentration when potatoes are stored in warm temperatures or exposed to light.
How Green is Your Menu?
The menu at Glenn's Kitchen, an Atlanta restaurant, teems with green--from fried green tomatoes to its Kitchen Sink Salad which tosses in chopped greens, celery, cucumbers, artichoke hearts and green peppers to its Farmer's Market Pasta with spinach and artichoke hearts. You can even order the green-themed Glenntini, which is made with cucumber-infused vodka, fresh mint and lime juice.
Here's the Glenn's Kitchen recipe for its Kitchen Sink Salad:
2 oz. Mixed greens, chopped
2 oz. Head lettuce, chopped
1 oz. Roasted shallot vinaigrette
1 oz. Cheddar cheese, shredded
5 Cucumber slices, halved
1 oz. Carrot, julienne
1 oz. Grape tomato, halved
1 oz. Red onion, julienne
1 oz. Vidalia onion, julienne
1 oz. Celery, diced
1 oz. Corn kernels, roasted
1 oz. Red pepper, diced
1/8 Artichoke heart, cut into 6 pieces
Mix all ingredients. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.
Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette
16 oz. champagne vinegar
32 oz. extra virgin olive oil
3 tsp. Dijon mustard
12 shallots, roasted and chopped
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 bunch fresh thyme, chopped
4 oz. honey
Puree all ingredients together with a hand blender except oil. Slowly emulsify with oil.
12 shallots, peeled, stem removed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. rosemary, chopped
1 tsp. thyme, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss shallots with olive oil and herbs. Place on a half sheet pan stem side up, leaving 1-inch between each onion. Place pan in oven and roast for about 20 minutes, or until well caramelized and soft. Remove from oven and season with salt and pepper. Cool immediately.
Know how many cranberries it takes to make a can of sauce for Thanksgiving? Find out this and other fascinating facts about cranberries.
Servings: 8; size: about 1 cup
The stringy texture of spaghetti squash makes it an excellent replacement for noodles in this vegetarian twist on a traditional dish. Plus winter squashes are a great source of vitamin C, manganese and antioxidants.
1 3- to 4-pound spaghetti squash
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 Large onion, chopped
2 Garlic gloves, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 Medium zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 Cup sliced mushrooms
2 Roma tomatoes diced
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1 8 oz. can of low-salt tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 Cup Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
2. Cut spaghetti squash in half longways, scoop out seeds and place halves face down on cookie sheet. Roast for 50 minutes or until squash is tender.
3. While squash cooks, sauté onion and garlic in canola oil over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add peppers, zucchini and mushrooms, and cook for five more minutes until soft. Stir in tomatoes, herbs, sauce and sugar.
4. When squash is done, remove from oven and reduce heat to 350 degrees. Scoop out squash into a casserole. Top with the sauce and cheese and heat for 10 minutes in oven.
180 calories, 7g fat (2g saturated), 214mg sodium, 25g carbohydrates, 10mg cholesterol, 4g fiber, 8g protein
You might associate fresh fruit with summer, but when it comes to citrus fruits like oranges and tangerines, the best time to get them is winter. This is especially true of Florida grapefruit, which are at the peak of availability in February.
Most people associate grapefruit with diets, and with good reason--it's lower in calories than other fruit. One-half of a medium grapefruit contains only 60 calories. With fewer than 100 calories per 8-ounce serving, grapefruit juice contains fewer calories than similar servings of 100 percent fruit juices.
But even if you're not counting calories, the grapefruit offers a winter boost of helpful nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber and folic acid.
Grapefruit is delicious all by itself, but you can also add grapefruit to salsas (see recipe below) and use its juice instead of vinegar in salad dressings.
"I love grapefruit," says Anne Quatrano, executive chef and co-owner of several Atlanta restaurants. Grapefruit finds its way into just about every course on her menus when it's in season. "We are roasting grapefruit to caramelize and extract the flavors and use it as a component for a foie gras dish. I love the way it cuts the richness of lobster to make it even better.
You can also turn grapefruit into a healthy, sweet dessert: Cut juicy pink grapefruit in half and run under the broiler for a few minutes to caramelize the natural sugars inside.
Grapefruit even pairs nicely with an unoaked or lightly oaked Chardonnay, says Janet Trefethen, a California winemaker. "The bright acidity and citrus character of the wine would play beautifully with the dish and I think they would complement each other. Yum, I'd like a bite please."
One health note: Certain compounds in grapefruit can interfere with the way some medications are metabolized including statin drugs and calcium channel blockers. So check with your physician or pharmacist to be sure.Serves 6
This salsa is great with whole grain tortilla chips or served over grilled fish or chicken.
3 Pink or Ruby Red grapefruit
1/4 Cup fresh squeezed lime juice
2 Tbsp.brown sugar
1/2 Tsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. crystallized ginger, finely minced
1 Small jalapeno pepper, core and ribs removed, finely diced
1/4 Cup red onion, 1/4-inch dice
1/2 Cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, 1/4-inch dice (1 small cucumber)
1 Medium ripe avocado, peeled, 1/4-inch dice
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, very thinly sliced
1. Supreme grapefruit over bowl to catch juices and cut into 1/2 inch dice; set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk lime juice, brown sugar, salt, ginger and pepper until sugar is dissolved.
3. Dice the onion and soak in ice water to crisp and remove acidity. While onion is soaking, cut cucumber, avocado, and mint and stir into the lime mixture.
4. Drain the red onion and add to the grapefruit, pour the lime mixture in and gently toss. Cover and chill. Serve cold.
Makes 10 servings; serving size one sandwich
Tell your friends or family they're having prunes or dried plums for dinner and we're pretty sure they'll run for it. For our easy-to-make dish, however, they are the perfect complement. When paired with lean chunks of stew meat and then cooked all day in your favorite barbecue sauce, dried plums produce a sweet, protein- and iron-rich meal anyone would be happy to devour. We bet they'll ask for seconds.
This recipe is featured in the Slow Cooker Creations chapter of our new cookbook, No Whine with Dinner. Besides the great flavor, we also like the fiber from the dried plums, which help to maintain healthy digestion.
2 pounds lean beef stew meat, trimmed of fat
1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup pitted dried plums
1 cup barbecue sauce
10 whole wheat hamburger buns, lightly toasted
1. Add the meat, onion, prunes, and barbecue sauce to 5-or 6-quart slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low until the meat is tender, 6 to 8 hours.
2. When the meat is done, use two forks to pull the meat and prunes into shredded pieces (there's no need to take the meat out; you can do this right in the slow cooker). Divide the mixture evenly between the hamburger buns and serve.
330 calories, 8g fat (2.5g saturated), 510mg sodium, 43g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 22g protein, 20% iron
This recipe is from the new book No Whine with Dinner by Liz Weiss and Janice Newell Bissex. Order your copy today.
We're Still Not Listening to Mom or Health Science
Despite decades of motherly advice and good-for-us research results, Americans still refuse to eat enough vegetables. And we're not talking about kids.
A recent government study found that only 26 percent of adults had three or more servings of vegetables a daydespite all the good health benefits that come from eating foods loaded with nutrients. Here's why you should reconsider Mom's words: "Eat your veggies!"
Alcohol, Breast Cancer and Pink Washing
In this season of all things pink (October is Breast Cancer Awareness month), seeing pink umbrellas, pink underwear or pink jogging gear isn't all that surprising. But a bottle of pink booze? That caught us off guard, especially considering that drinking alcohol may increase the risk for breast cancer. Is this cause campaign by Mike's Hard Lemonade the worst form of pinkwashing?
Midriff Cheerleading Uniforms Nothing to Cheer About
As if cheerleaders didn't have enough to worry about, especially after their sport was declared a non-sport last month by a federal judge. Now they have to worry about whether their skimpy uniforms can cause eating disorders.
A small University of South Carolina study recently found overexposed cheerleadersthose whose uniforms show their midsectionare at greater risk for eating disorders.
Tomatoes are at their summer peak in New England right now, which means endless good eats as far as I'm concerned. Whether fresh from the garden or the farmers' market, tomatoes are rich in vitamins A, C and Ka bone builder.
Tomatoes are also a good source of molybdenum (which helps prevent tooth decay), potassium, manganese, and dietary fiber. And they contain an antioxidant called lycopene, which may protect against certain cancers.
While tomatoes are great for salads, pasta sauces and BLTs (made with uncured, nitrite-free bacon, of course!), they're more versatile than you may think. I cooked up this unusual, albeit refreshing and surprisingly delicious peanut butter and tomato sandwich recipe after one of our Meal Makeover Moms' fans suggested it. The flavors are a perfect combination for a quick snack or an easy lunch.
Open-Faced Peanut Butter and Tomato Sandwich RecipeMakes 1 Serving
One whole grain English muffin, sliced in half and lightly toasted
2 tablespoons peanut butter (use your favorite kind)
2 slices fresh, juicy tomatoes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions Spread a tablespoon of peanut butter on one English muffin half and a tablespoon on the other half. Top each with a slice of tomato (make the slice thin, thick, or anywhere in between) and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Are organic foods safer and more nutritious? Our healthy skeptic cuts through the hype to reveal the truth about how organic foods affect your health.
Eating the peel has real nutritional appeal. Learn what vitamins and minerals are found in the skins of popular fruits and vegetables.