RK Tip of the Week|These recipes will make you look forward to eating your veggies!

Posted on July 28, 2010

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Your mother was right, although she may not have known exactly why. “Eat your veggies!” was the rally cry heard round the dinner table for most of us during childhood, but if veggies at your house generally included overcooked, limpy, wimpy shells of what was once a vegetable – then you’re probably fairly turned off to the idea of veggies on the whole.

But if you’re not eating a multitude of vegetables on a regular basis (read: at many of your meals every single day) you’re leaving your body open like an unclaimed battlefield for the enemy to break down and tear apart with their evil ways. Who is the enemy here? Free radicals. Those little molecules that are unstable & go around your body ‘stealing’ molecules from other complete molecules to make themselves complete. The problem with this within your body is this – when that free radical comes to a piece of your cell wall that is a happy little complete group of molecules, it takes a bite out of it to complete its’ own molecular structure – but now your cell wall is missing one of its molecules. And it’s from this that advanced aging happens.

We all age. No doubt about it. But free radicals can rapidly speed that process up within your body. Do you really want to have your lovely skin tissue break down faster than necessary, turning you into a wrinkled hag by 50? I didn’t think so.

But eating a giant salad one time a week isn’t going to cut it – just like you have to re-apply sunscreen every few hours to get its full effect (there’s that mature behavior rearing its ugly head again) antioxidants are used up over a short period of time so you’ve got to eat them regularly. And counting corn, carrots, peas & potatoes as your main sources of antioxidant intake, that simply won’t cut it either.

What if I gave you a recipe that is as close to diner style has brown potatoes as a health food can ever get without being full of grease, sodium & excessive calories? Would that motivate you to eat more antioxidants? I give you – KOHLRABI.

It is glorious!! Never heard of it? Not surprising – since many Americans can hardly tell you what leaf is kale in the supermarket stand, let alone what the alien-looking thing called kohlrabi is. I’m telling you – kohlrabi is one of the greatest surprises to have come out of my CSA share this year. Want the recap on kohlrabi’s long list of health properties, some of which include possibly helping to keep multiple different forms of cancer away, check this great summary out. Then scroll down to get the recipe for the picture above – soft, yet crispy, savory, salty – it’s all there in as much quantity as you want.

How about getting your antioxidants via a veggie casserole that saves you HUNDREDS of calories by not burying the veggies in Ritz crackers or globs of butter? But that’s what makes it good you say? You’ll re-think that after you taste the explosion of fresh herbs & bite of the mildly sharp buttery sheep’s milk Manchego cheese in this veggie bake!

Sauteed Kohlrabi (Pseudo-Hashbrowns) {top picture}

Serves 2-3 depending on how big the vegetable appetite is.

Needed:

– 1 large kohlrabi or 2 smaller ones

– 1/2 yellow/Vidalia onion, diced

– 3/4 Tbsp butter (real butter. not the fake stuff people. not even the one that calls itself “smart”.)

– 1 Tbsp fresh chopped basil

-1/2 tsp salt (Himalayan or Celtic sea salt is best)

– Large saute pan

Steps:

Cut skin off kohlrabi. Grate (or dice in uniform pieces) kohlrabi, place in colander, and sprinkle with salt. Toss in colander to spread salt throughout. Let stand 30 minutes to drain. Heat butter over medium heat. Add onions and sauté a few minutes. Stir in kohlrabi, reduce heat to low, cover and cook 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium and cook 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil.

*You want to cook the kohlrabi mostly on lower heat so that it softens up, but you want to ensure you get a crispy edge on it by turning that heat up for just a few minutes & making sure to stir it occasionally to get all sides to crisp up. Once you add the basil, keep turning the kohlrabi so it infuses the flavor subtly throughout.

Summer Vegetable Bake {bottom picture}

So versatile! Use whatever you’ve got, zucchini, sqaush, green beans – if you think it will taste good, it probably will thanks to the generous helping of fresh herbs & just enough cheese to pull it all together into a creamy, crispy side dish!

Needed:

– 9 x 13 baking pan

– 3 zucchini, squash and/or handfuls of green beans cut into uniform pieces *if you want a little crunch to your veg, cut the squash/zucchini into 1/4 inch slices – any smaller of a chop & they will get wilty in the oven*Use as much as you think you’ll need – I truly pulled out whatever was left in the fridge and cut it all up

– 1 cup grated Manchego, or other firm semi-sharp cheese *watching your dairy intake to avoid excessive inflammation or casein intolerances? Manchego is made from sheep and doesn’t generally produce the same troubles many face by intaking cow’s milk dairy – or if you prefer – goat’s milk cheese, if firm & aged will work too*

– 1/4 cup chopped parsley

– 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion

– 1 Tbsp thyme, stems removed

– 1 Tbsp olive oil

– 1 Tbsp lime juice

– 1/2 tsp salt

– 1/4 tsp black pepper

Steps:

– Preheat oven to 425. In a medium bowl, toss the cheese, parsley, onion & thyme. In a large bowl, toss the vegetables, oil, lime juice, salt & pepper. Arrange vegetables in baking dish. Sprinkle cheese mixture evenly over vegetables, no need to cover the entire top of the vegetables – less is more here, so leave plenty of vegetable showing! *You should have leftover cheese/herb mixture that works wonderfully in eggs the next morning!* Put in oven & cook for approx 20 minutes – until cheese is melted and begins to become golden brown.

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