Do you like to make dishes with the main as a vegetable? Perhaps you are exploring vegan dishes to improve your eating habits. Or maybe you are interested in getting to know the glories of the greens. Perhaps you are a person who wonders what all the fuss is regarding vegetables. If so, start celebrating June 17, a day aptly named “Eat Veggies Day.”
What are the benefits of vegetables in your diet? Simply stated, vegetables do so much for our health. Vegetables fight inflammation in the body, improve blood pressure and lower the risk of stroke, increase fiber in your intestines, reduce the incidence of eye diseases, make your skin glow, reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, help your brain not succumb to dementia, and build your body’s immunity, which, of course, fights off many diseases.
If none of the above reasons are enough to convince you of the power of the veggie, the amazing tasty dishes you can prepare with the incredible variety provided by our earth (and home garden) should have you falling in love. Adults who remember their parents admonishing them to “eat your vegetables” as a child (but instead remember feeding the dog under the table with them) can come to appreciate the sweetness of roasted vegetables or savor a mushroom quiche. Vegetable dishes can be so tasty and delicious, colorful and abundant, you might forget all about the meat entrée.
Salads are great, too, to combine leafy greens (spinach, romaine, etc.) with savoy cabbage, carrots, radicchio, raw diced cauliflower, or anything you’d like to mix and match! Let your imagination be your guide. Cut up some fruit, add some seeds and nuts, and you have health in a bowl. Add your seasonings and healthier dressing, and you are eating a bowl full of nutrition.
To celebrate Eat Veggies Day, these recipes will help get you started on the road to deliciousness with a side of good health.
MARINATED MUSHROOMS & GREEN BEANS (great for a picnic!)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
¼ teaspoon grated lemon peel
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¾ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Pinch of dried oregano
Salt & pepper to taste
½ pound fresh green beans, tips snapped off
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 tablespoon sliced scallions
1. Combine the first seven ingredients and mix well. Set the dressing aside.
2. Steam the green beans until tender but not soft, then plunge them into cold water. Drain well.
3. Mix the green beans with the mushrooms and scallions. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and let them marinate about two hours.
2 small onions
8 oz. mushrooms
3 lbs. green vegetables (mix zucchini, bell pepper, broccoli, peas)
4 plum tomatoes, diced
8 oz. butter
12 tbs. parmesan cheese
2 – 14 oz. cans chicken broth
1 lb. capellini (angel hair) pasta
4 oz. olive oil
1. Sauté onion with oil and butter until translucent.
2. Add all vegetables and tomatoes, and sauté three minutes.
3. Add broth and stir on high heat until broth begins to boil. Reduce to medium to continue cooking vegetables crisp tender.
4. Boil the pasta al dente (about two minutes) according to package directions in a separate pot. Drain well.
5. Mix the pasta with the vegetables and add the cheese. Serve.