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Posts Tagged ‘vegetables’

Surprisingly Slimming Spring Foods

Winter’s hearty foods and frosty weather have left many of us with an extra layer of padding that it’s time to shed. The good news is that a lot of the spring foods can help you lose weight. Here’s a look at some of my favorite slimming spring foods:

Strawberries: Who knew “diet” foods could taste this delicious? But strawberries really are a superfood for weight loss. All those seeds studding the strawberry’s surface are packed with fiber — one of the most important factors for weight loss. Fiber helps to add bulk to food, filling you up without adding extra calories, and one cup of strawberries gives you three grams of fiber. If you’re wondering just how many pints to devour, women need 25 grams a day, and men need 38.

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Bean There, Jarred That

Dilly Beans Recipe

In preserving, as with most things, it’s all about the right tool for the job. To the untrained eye, one mason jar may look more or less like another, and while it’s true they all get the job done, each has its strengths. For example, wide-mouth jars with shoulders are particularly good for when you need to pack things in and not have them float, like pickles or whole fruit. I have a cache of more than 50 quart jars that we use almost exclusively for our annual tomato-canning extravaganza. And while you can never have enough half-pint jars for jams, I also really love the tiny 4-oz. jars expressly because they make quick, cute and inexpensive gifts.

But there are two jars that have particular use: The Ball 12-oz. quilted jars and 24-oz. pint-and-a-half jars. Each of these is 50% larger than their standard counterparts (half pint and pint, respectively), and each has a straight, cylindrical profile. This, then, makes them perfect for canning long, narrow things, like asparagus — and green beans.

When I’m feeling a bit peckish, I don’t grab candy. Salty snacks and crackers have a siren song, but even then I can navigate those waters. No, my ultimate go-to bite is a pickle. It ticks all the boxes: Cool, juicy, salty, tangy. And if it can be a bit spicy, so much the better. Dilly beans tick all the boxes. You can settle in front of the tube with a big bowl of popcorn; I’ll curl up with a jarful of these slender, spicy spears.

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Meatless Monday: Grilled Vegetables

grilled vegetables

Grill once, eat for days.

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

Grilled vegetables, like whipped cream, is one of those ideas where the recipe, complete with ingredients, is right in the name. You whip some cream. You grill some vegetables. You may not need much more instruction than that. But I think it’s better to look at grilled vegetables as a strategy rather than just a recipe. If you grill some vegetables tonight, you’ll have your meals set for a week.

Throw whatever you’ve got in the garden on the grill, brushed with a bit of olive oil — peppers, zucchini, squash, eggplant, onions — season with some herbs and vinegar once they’re done and you have not just a meal for tonight, but the basis for several meals for the rest of the week. The key is leaving the vegetables on the hot grill long enough for them to get those fabulous grill marks, and also to make enough to last you a few days.

Once you have a big batch of grilled veggies, you can chop some up in to smaller bits and add them to omelets, frittatas or quiche for breakfast. For lunch or dinner, simply toss grilled vegetables with pasta and bocconcini, or layer the vegetables with hummus or soft cheese on ciabatta to make a better-than-any-restaurant meat-free meal. Add the grilled vegetables to greens for a hearty salad, or add some herbs and feta to make Ellie Krieger’s minted vegetable salad. Top pizza with grilled vegetables, layer some into lasagna or stuff them into quesadillas or burritos. The vegetables you grilled at the start of the week can be used to make a quick meal any time of day, save for dessert (try grilling fruit for that instead).

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Braised Cabbage with Creamy Spicy Mustard Sauce

Looking back, I think cabbage got a bum deal in the vegetable world when I was growing up. It only showed up during summer picnics in the form of coleslaw, sometimes in my mother’s caldo, a Mexican soup, and during St. Patrick’s Day meals.I wanted to change this by creating a dish that’s worthy of cabbage as the star, something that can be enjoyed all year long.

This braised cabbage takes all the spices of traditional Corned Beef & Cabbage, but dresses them up with a Creamy Spicy Mustard Sauce; it’s a fantastic main dish, suitable for my vegetarian friends, and so completely satisfying. Braising isn’t only for meat – you’ll be surprised with the silky and savory results you can get from slow braising vegetables.

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FoodCrafters: Aida Gets Pickling

Brooklyn-Brine-10_s4x3 Aida Mollenkamp helps make these lavender asparagus pickles on tonight’s FoodCrafters

Pickles are NOT just cucumbers. Just ask Shamus Jones, owner and “executive briner” of Brooklyn Brine, a small-batch artisanal pickle company. He pickles farm-fresh asparagus, carrots, squash, ramps, mushrooms, beets…and yes, some cucumbers…

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