Spring Showers Bring Fresh Produce to the Market.
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Get your cutting boards ready as the variety of local vegetables will be on the rise in May. Increase your consumption of plants with some seasonal favorites listed below.
Arugula can be used in place of lettuce or spinach for a tender texture and distinct peppery taste. Leafy greens are well-known sources of vitamin A, which is important for eye health. Arugula also contains iron which helps to prevent anemia with resulting symptoms of fatigue and decreased oxygen circulation. Arugula is a green sure to elevate a dish with unique flavors. Consider storing this leafy green inside a plastic zip lock bag and in the coolest part of the refrigerator. Use up your greens within 3-5 days.
Balsamic Fig Dressing
- 1⁄4 cup dried figs, stems removed, fruit cut into 1⁄4” pieces
- 1- 1⁄2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1- 1⁄2 tsp. raspberry jam
- 1- 1⁄2 tsp. minced shallots
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2- Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Place all ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake well.
Broccoli often gets stereotyped as the vegetable that picky eaters love to hate. But this little tree has many properties that make it a worthy mealtime dish. Broccoli contains about 2 grams of fiber per ½ cup cooked. This type of insoluble fiber can cause gastrointestinal discomfort if eaten infrequently. However, insoluble fiber has several positive benefits to the body, such as its ability to remove unnecessary toxins from our digestive tract and promotion of healthy stools. Broccoli is a good source of vitamin C which is needed for wound healing and collagen production. See a simple recipe below to utilize fresh broccoli.
Spicy Broccoli Recipe- using the microwave
- Broccoli- 1 crown
- Onion- 1 medium
- Green chilies- 2 ( 2 jalapenos)
- Salt – ½ tsp
- Black Pepper ¼ tsp
- Oil- 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder- ¼ tsp
- Mustard Seeds- ½ tsp
Cut the broccoli into medium sized florets, Rinse, and place in a large microwave- safe bowl.
Chop onion and slice green chilies.
Pour oil and mustard seeds in a small microwave safe dish. Microwave the seeds and oil for 45 seconds.
Add onion and chilies to the oil mixture and Microwave for 2 minutes.
Add turmeric powder, pepper and salt to the onions and chilis and Microwave again for 2 minutes.
add the onion chili mixture to the broccoli florets, Mix well and Microwave for 2 to 3 minutes.
Cabbage is another good source of fiber, with about 2g per ½ cup serving cooked. Commonly used in coleslaw, this versatile vegetable deserves more of a spotlight. Cabbage can hold up great in stews and soups and can be sautéed 6-12 minutes for a quick veggie side with dinner. Can you say, “move over onions?” Consider placing cabbage in a crock pot stew in place of onions. Store cabbage in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks (only two weeks?). Consider the recipe below featuring cabbage and ground beef (not corned beef).
Try Beef and Cabbage for Dinner with this MyPlate Recipe
- 1 green cabbage head (washed and cut into bite-sized pieces)
- 1 onion, medium (chopped)
- 1 pound ground beef, lean (90% lean)
- 2 sprays of non-stick cooking spray
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- salt (to taste, optional)
- red pepper flakes (to taste, optional)
Chop cabbage and onions, set aside.
In a large skillet, cook the ground beef on medium heat until browned. Drain the fat. Set beef aside.
Spray skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Cook onions on medium heat until soft.
Add cabbage to the onions and cook until cabbage starts to brown.
Stir the beef into the cabbage and onion mixture.
Season with garlic powder, salt (optional), and pepper. Add red pepper flakes (optional) to the cabbage if you like it spicy.
Once referred to as the gateway vegetable to good health, Kale is another leafy green that packs a big antioxidant punch. Kale’s reputation as a super food also comes from the variety of nutrients it contains including but not limited to calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A and Iron. Kale is very durable green, making it a great addition to soups and stews. However, when eating kale raw, massage it with dressing. This will break down bitter compounds in the kale and make it much more palatable.
Not a fan of salads? Consider making kale into chips using the microwave. Simply
trim off the ribs of the kale, add some salt and 1 Tbsp of olive oil to the leaves and microwave on a plate for 2 ½ minutes until crispy. It’s that simple.
Other fresh local produce you may find at the market this month include: