1. Crispy Radish Kale Salad (Vegan)
Chop kale in very small pieces and massage with olive oil
Mix in diced radishes
Add carmelized sliced almonds – sautee in a little Earth Balance and brown sugar until slightly brown (be careful because they burn quickly)
If you child is allergic to nuts you can chop up oranges, apples or figs and substitute
Toss with dressing: olive oil and balsamic vinegar, lemon pepper, dijon mustard, minced garlic, and non-gmo soy sauce to taste. Shake. Consistency should be slightly thick.
Originally cultivated in Ancient Egypt, followed by China and then later Greece, radishes come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes for you to enjoy. As a part of the cruciferous or mustard family, the radish is related to the delicious cabbage. Spring radish varieties include the popular red globe radish, the french breakfast radish, daikon and lastly, watermelon. There are also white icicles.
Radishes are bursting with vitamin C to get your body going. They are also high in fiber, iron, and copper and contain a good source of vitamin B6, foate, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Radishes are also cooling foods and help stimulate the appetite. Because radishes are know to aid in digestion, they are served in Asia at the end of a meal.
How to Select Radishes to Eat
Pick radish roots that are firm with vibrant color and smooth texture. When the radish roots are connected to the greens, make sure that the greens are crisp and fresh looking.
If you do not eat all your radishes in one meal, in a jubilant radish eating celebration you will have to store them for later enjoyment. The first thing you do is separate the radish greens from the roots. This is an important step because the greens will continue to pull water and nutrients from the roots if you leave them connected. After separating the two, you can then store the radish roots and greens in your refrigerator. The roots can stay refrigerated in a plastic bag (or crisper) for about one to two weeks. The greens of course do not last so long and will need find themselves in a radish greens recipe within two or three days. Due to their high water content, radishes are not the best vegetable to freeze or to attempt to dry. If you want radishes to stay longer than mentioned above, pickling radishes is the best way to preserve.
2. Creamy Carrot Soup (Vegan)
Scrub 6 – 12 carrots (depending on how much soup you want) with a vegetable brush under cold water. (Leave the peels on, they are full of fiber). Chop Carrots in slices.
Dice a white onion.
Fry carrots and onions in 1 – 2 tablespoons of Earth Balance
Pour in enough vegetable stock to cover the carrots
Add 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of powdered ginger
Add 1- 2 teaspoons of tumeric
Salt + pepper to taste.
Cook until vegetables are soft
Mash with a potato masher
Add 1/4 – 1/2 cup non-gmo soy creamer
Carrots are one of the most widely used and enjoyed vegetables in the world, partly because they grow relatively easily, and are very versatile in a number of dishes and cultural cuisines. Carrots are scientifically classified as Daucus carota, and it is categorized as a root vegetable. It is typically orange in color, but purple, white, yellow, and red carrots are out there, just not as common. The taproot of the carrot is the part of the vegetable most commonly eaten, although the greens are still beneficial in salads and other forms. The type of carrot most commonly eaten around the world is the domesticated variation of the wild species named above, and it is native to Europe and southwestern Asia. The majority of carrots are now cultivated in China, but they are exported throughout the world to be included in salads and soups, as well as a stand-alone vegetable for snacks, side dishes, and essential ingredients in many recipes. Carrots in the wild have a woody core element that is not very palatable, so cultivation has eventually selected that characteristic out so we are left with the form of carrots that we are familiar with today. Both adults and children like carrots because of their crunchy texture and sweet taste, so this is one of the valuable vegetables for parents, as children seem to enjoy eating them, a rare exception!
The carrot can trace its ancestry back thousands of years, originally having been cultivated in central Asian and Middle Eastern countries, along with parts of Europe. These original carrots looked different from those that we are accustomed to today, featuring red, purple, and yellow coloring rather than the bright orange that we’ve become accustomed to in U.S. supermarkets. Carrots became widely cultivated in Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries and were first brought over to North America during this same general time period. In today’s commercial marketplace, China currently produces about one-third of all carrots bought and sold worldwide. Russia is the second largest carrot producer, with the U.S. following a close third.
Nutritional Health Benefits
Carrots nutritional benefits include reduced cholesterol, prevention from heart attacks, warding off of certain cancers, improving vision, and reducing the signs of premature aging. Furthermore, carrots have the ability to increase the health of your skin, boost the immune system, improve digestion, increase cardiovascular health, detoxify the body, and boost oral health in a variety of ways. They also provide a well-rounded influx of vitamins and minerals. Most of the benefits of carrots can be attributed to their beta carotene and fiber content. This root vegetable is also a good source of antioxidant agents. Furthermore, carrots are rich in vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, vitamin B8, pantothenic acid, folate, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese.
3. Yellow Squash Cake (Vegan)
3 tablespoons of chia seeds mixed with 9 tablespoons of water
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
2 cups shredded summer squash
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the chia seeds mixture, sugar, oil, and vanilla. Gradually mix in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Fold in the squash. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Summer squash is a type of squash that grows all over the United States and is easily found at local farmers markets, roadside vegetable stands and organic produce delivery services. Summer squash is rich in nutritional benefits and can be used in a wide variety of dishes. Add it to stews, salads and soups to avail yourself of this nutritious vegetable. Summer squash comes in a variety of sizes, including one shaped like a flying saucer (patty-pan squash).Summer squashes are believed to be indigenous to Mexico along with South and Central America. Archeological digs have recovered preserved seeds from the summer squashes in Mexican caves that could be well over 10,000 years old. The Spanish Conquistadors introduced both varieties of squashes (summer and winter) to Europe which rapidly became popular throughout the Western World. The Native Americans considered this summer vegetable to be one of their staples and was one of the Three Sisters (corn and beans being the other two) method of planting and eating.
Summer squash is a rich source of Vitamin A and C, magnesium, fiber, folate, riboflavin, phosphorus, potassium and Vitamin B6. In addition, it is high in manganese, a mineral which helps the body process fats, carbohydrates, and glucose.
Yellow squash contains negligible fat and no measurable cholesterol. One cup of squash contains about 0.2 g of fat. Cutting down on your fat and cholesterol intake is a giant step towards helping reduce your risk of heart disease. Aside from the complete lack of fat in summer squash, the magnesium quantity has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Along with its potassium content, magnesium is good for reducing high blood pressure. The vitamin C and beta-carotene levels in summer squash may also aid in preventing the oxidation of cholesterol. As cholesterol in its oxidized form builds up in the walls of blood vessels, such nutrients may reduce the development of atherosclerosis. The presence of the vitamin folate in yellow squash is required by our bodies to remove an unhealthy metabolic byproduct called homocysteine, which may contribute to heart attack and stroke risk.
You Will See Better!
Not only will eating more summer squash demonstrate to those around you that you have seen the nutritional light, you will actually be able to see those who are around you. Summer squash is particularly high in concentrations of beta carotene and lutein. Dietary lutein helps to prevent the onset of cataracts and macular degeneration, which often leads to blindness. A cup of summer squash provides about 135 micrograms of beta carotene and 2,400 micrograms of lutein.
Summer squash is abundant in antioxidants that keep free radicals at bay. With its high beta-carotene content, summer squash is a great source of protection from pollutants and chemicals that lead to cancer. The high levels of vitamin C helps prevent premature aging and cancer as well as inhibiting cell division.
4. Swiss Chard Chips
4 cups Swiss chard, tough ribs removed and chopped into ½-inch strips (about 1 to 2 heads)
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
dash of kosher salt
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
2. Lay chopped chard out over one to two rimmed baking sheets. Do not over pack chard or it will steam and take longer to become crispy.
3. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil until the chard is lightly coated. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
4. Roast for 5 to 7 minutes or until several pieces are crispy. (Don’t overcook.)
For an extra zip, splash with balsamic vinegar at the end.
The Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris var. cicla) we find in our markets, with its long white stems, is prized by Mediterranean cooks for flavoring soups and rice dishes. Swiss chard is a popular vegetable in Provence, in fact the queen of vegetables in Nice, and is grown abundantly in the districts around the Rhône valley because it can withstand cold weather, and is harvested up until the frost. Although Swiss chard was known by the ancient Greeks, it is not always recognized in historical literature because of the enormous variety of names, in various languages by which it is and has been called and because of its relation to the beet family. In English it is also known under these names: chard, white beet, strawberry spinach, seakale beet, leaf beet, Sicilian beet, spinach beet, Chilian beet, Roman kale, and silverbeet. Originally, chard was a corruption of the French word for cardoon, carde, and the name was Swiss cardoon, a misnomer that William Woys Weaver, author of Heirloom Vegetable Gardening, likens to another famous misnomer, “Jerusalem artichoke.” In Italian it’s hard to recognize Swiss chard because the words bietole and biete are both used to refer interchangeably to Swiss chard and beet greens (Beta vulgaris sp. Crassa group). Technically, biete da costa is Swiss chard, so named because it originally was grown and thrived in the saline soil that is found along the coasts, while biete da orta are beet greens, so named because it was always a cultivated vegetable garden plant. To complicate matters in Italian, costa also refers to the thick central stem ribs of the Swiss chard, usually used to make soups, and sometimes refers to the whole plant. The French blettes or bettes comes from the Latin blitum, deriving from the Greek, while the Spanish word for Swiss chard, acelgas, comes from the Arabic word al-silq, meaning Swiss chard.
Although chard has not been studied as extensively as other chenopod vegetables (like beets and spinach), there’s no question about the valuable role that chard can play in support of our health, or about its routine inclusion in healthy diets worldwide. The amazing variety of phytonutrients in chard is quickly recognizable in its vibrant colors, including the rich, dark greens in its leaves and the rainbow of reds, purples, and yellows in its stalks and veins. Virtually all of these phytonutrients provide antioxidant benefits, anti-inflammatory benefits, or both. In addition, many provide health benefits that are more specific and of special important to particular body systems. Best researched in this area are phytonutrient benefits provided by chard for our body’s blood sugar-regulating system (great for diabetics).
As an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) and the mineral manganese, and a good source of the mineral zinc, Swiss chard offers an outstanding variety of conventional antioxidants. But these conventional antioxidants are only part of chard’s fantastic health benefits with respect to prevention of oxidative stress and diseases related to chronic, unwanted oxidative stress. Equally outstanding are chard’s phytonutrient antioxidants. These phytonutrient antioxidants range from carotenoids like beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin to flavonoids like quercetin and kaempferol. But the range of phytonutrients in chard is even more extensive than researchers initially suspected, and at this point in time, about three dozen antioxidant phytonutrients have been identified in chard, including betalains (both betacyanins and betaxanthins) and epoxyxanthophylls. Many of these antioxidant phytonutrients provide chard with its colorful stems, stalks, and leaf veins.
5. Mac + Cheese With Cherry Tomatoes (Vegetarian)
(Thanks to Yummly.com for the recipe)
2 boxes Pasta Shells & White Cheddar Cheese Horizon Classic Mac, plus ingredients called for on the box
• 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
• ½ cup mozzarella pearls
• ¼ cup shredded basil
1 Prepare the Horizon mac and cheese according to the directions on the box.
2 Once it is complete, stir in the tomatoes, mozzarella pearls and basil. Serve immediately.
Although tomatoes are often closely associated with Italian cuisine, they are actually originally native to the western side of South America, in the region occupied by Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and the western half of Bolivia. The Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador are also believed to be part of tomatoes’ native area. The first type of tomato grown is thought to have more resembled the smaller-sized cherry tomato than the larger varieties. The tomato does not appear to have been first cultivated in South America, however, but rather in Mexico, most likely in Aztec civilizations and probably in the form of small yellow fruits. The word “tomato” may actually originate from the Nahautl (Aztecan) word “tomatl ” meaning “the swelling fruit.” It wasn’t until the 1500’s that Spanish explorers and colonizers brought tomato seeds from Mexico back to Spain and introduced this food to European populations. Although the use of tomatoes spread throughout Europe (including Italy) over the course of the 1500’s, tomatoes did not enjoy full popularity then and were seen by many people as unfit to eat. Part of this “food inappropriateness” was associated with the status of the tomato plant as a nightshade plant and its potential poisonousness in this regard. (It’s true, of course, that tomatoes belong to the Solanaceae or nightshade family of plants, along with potatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, tomatillos, tamarios, pepinos, pimentos, paprika, and cayenne. It’s also true that tomatoes contain alkaloids —substances that even in small doses can be associated with adverse reactions in sensitive individuals. But it’s also true that the levels of alkaloids found in nightshade foods are well-tolerated by many individuals in diets worldwide. Today tomatoes are enjoyed worldwide—to the tune of about 130 million tons per year. The largest tomato-producing country is China (with approximately 34 million tons of production), followed by the United States, Turkey, India, and Italy.
Did you know that tomatoes do not have to be a deep red color to be an outstanding source of lycopene? Lycopene is a carotenoid pigment that has long been associated with the deep red color of many tomatoes. A small preliminary study on healthy men and women has shown that the lycopene from orange- and tangerine-colored tomatoes may actually be better absorbed than the lycopene from red tomatoes. That’s because the lycopene in deep red tomatoes is mostly trans-lycopene, and the lycopene in orange/tangerine tomatoes is mostly tetra-cis-lycopene. In a recent study, this tetra-cis form of lycopene turned out to be more efficiently absorbed by the study participants. While more research is needed in this area, we’re encouraged to find that tomatoes may not have to be deep red in order for us to get great lycopene-related benefits.
Intake of tomatoes has long been linked to heart health. Fresh tomatoes and tomato extracts have been shown to help lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. In addition, tomato extracts have been shown to help prevent unwanted clumping together (aggregation) of platelet cells in the blood – a factor that is especially important in lowering risk of heart problems like atherosclerosis. (In a recent South American study of 26 vegetables, tomatoes and green beans came out best in their anti-aggregation properties.) But only recently are researchers beginning to identify some of the more unusual phytonutrients in tomatoes that help provide us with these heart-protective benefits. One of these phytonutrients is a glycoside called esculeoside Another is flavonoid called chalconaringenin; and yet another is a fatty-acid type molecule called 9-oxo-octadecadienoic acid. As our knowledge of unique tomato phytonutrients expands, we are likely to learn more about the unique role played by tomatoes in support of heart health. Tomatoes are also likely to rise further and further toward the top of the list as heart healthy foods.
6. Crispy Baked Parmesan Green Bean Fries (Vegetarian)
(Thanks to Dashingdish.com for the recipe)
1 (14 oz) Bag of frozen whole green beans (or about 4 cups fresh)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
1/4 tsp Salt (or to taste)
1/8 tsp Pepper (or to taste)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil, and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
If using frozen green beans, pop the bag of green beans in the microwave for 3-4 minutes, or until just de-thawed (or you could leave them out at room temperature for a few hours). If using fresh green beans, wash and snip off the ends.
Place green beans on prepared baking pan, making sure they are evenly spread out, and none are laying on top of each other, (this will ensure even crispiness!) Sprinkle seasonings and parmesan cheese evenly over green beans.
Place green beans in the pre-heated oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy! (To make them extra crispy, broil them for an extra 1-2 minutes before pulling them out of the oven). Enjoy immediately with low sugar ketchup or dipping sauce of choice.
Green beans and other beans, such are kidney beans, navy beans and black beans are all known scientifically as Phaseolus vulgaris. They are all referred to as “common beans,” probably owing to the fact that they all derived from a common bean ancestor that originated in Peru. From there, they spread throughout South and Central America by migrating Indian tribes. They were introduced into Europe around the 16th century by Spanish explorers returning from their voyages to the New World, and subsequently were spread through many other parts of the world by Spanish and Portuguese traders.
Because of their rich green color, we don’t always think about green beans as providing us with important amounts of colorful pigments like carotenoids. But they do! Recent studies have confirmed the presence of lutein, beta-carotene, violaxanthin, and neoxanthin in green beans. In some cases, the presence of these carotenoids in green beans is comparable to their presence in other carotenoid-rich vegetables like carrots and tomatoes. The only reason we don’t see these carotenoids is because of the concentrated chlorophyll content of green beans and the amazing shades of green that it provides.
Green beans are an excellent source of vitamin K. They are a very good source of manganese, vitamin C, dietary fiber, folate, and vitamin B2. In addition, green beans are a good source of copper, vitamin B1, chromium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, choline, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), niacin, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, vitamin B6, and vitamin E. Green beans have also been shown to contain valuable amounts of the mineral silicon, and in a form that makes it easier for us to absorb this bone-supportive and connective tissue-supportive nutrient. Green beans have also been shown to contain valuable amounts of the mineral silicon, and in a form that makes it easier for us to absorb this bone-supportive and connective tissue-supportive nutrient.t makes it easier for us to absorb this bone-supportive and connective tissue-supportive nutrient.