Friday, March 4, 2011

3 new Veggies

Adding variety to your way of eating is key for good nutrition and to stave off boredom. Looking at the way I eat now versus the way I ate when I was a vegetarian, I have to admit with both horror and humor, I eat WAY more vegetables now that I am a meat eating cave girl than I did when I was a "striving-to-be-a-v*gan-but-can't-give-up-butter-or-I'll-die-vegetarian".

I'm trying to add at least 1 new vegetable to my circle of veggie friends each month. The latest 3 are:
Chayote SquashChayote! Looks like a wrinkled old lady, tastes like...well, a bit like zucchini, with a much more sturdy-when-cooked texture. It also stores well in the fridge (unlike zucchini, which always seems to go to mush before I can get to it) Great in stir fries, curries and allegedly can stand in for apples in baked dishes if you add enough cinnamon. Haven't tried it that way yet, but if it works that would be a nice way to get the taste of an apple-filling without the sugar since I'm trying to lean out. Chayotes are also supposed to be easy and super prolific to grow. I have 3 of them sprouting on the window sill now, waiting for warmer weather so they can go outside and take over the neighborhood.

(Cooked) Arugula. Yup, just like the kind you put in your salad. I scored some 2 lb bags at my local produce market for a dollar. If you've had it in a salad, you know it can be peppery and downright sharp and pungent if the leaves are older. Not necessarily they type of green you'd want to make an entire salad out of. I quickly stir fried it with fresh garlic, red pepper flakes and a sprinkle of lemon - wow! That 2 pound bag was done in 2 days. Delish! My new favorite deep green vegetable! The key is to cook it quickly. Get your garlic going in the pan first then when the garlic is cook to our satisfaction, add in the washed arugula, with a bit of moisture still on the leaves - that'll make enough steam to cook it beautifully. Stir it around for about 10 seconds and you are ready to dig in.

TomatilloTomatillos. They scared me for a long time. That weird husk....would they taste all puckery like green tomatoes? I finally bucked up and bought a little pack of them and whipped up a super pico de gallo with them that I served with a grilled skirt steak. Let me just say, I have no more fear of tomatillos, unless it's the fear that I will run out of them! I haven' tried them cook yet but I hear they are great on the grill. Can't wait for it to warm up here so I can try that.

Those are my 3 new vegetables - any suggestions for something I should try next?

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