Sea­son to pre­pare fresh veg­eta­bles

The Standard Journal - - Entertainment - Comics - By MAR­I­AL­ISA CALTA

Where did the phrase “Eat your veg­eta­bles!” - de­liv­ered with stern ex­pres­sion and wag­ging fore­fin­ger - come from? No one says, “Eat your steak!” or “Eat your pizza!” At some point, “veg­eta­bles” be­came syn­ony­mous with “good for you,” which trans­lated to “tastes bad, but you have to choke it down.” But life with­out veg­eta­bles -- and fruits -would be bor­ing and col­or­less (brown meat, white fish, beige grains).

A new cook­book, “Veg­e­tar­ian Ev­ery­day” by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl, will have ev­ery­one in your fam­ily clam­or­ing to eat their veg­gies.

Here’s the au­thors’ story: When they met six years ago, he was an “un­healthy veg­e­tar­ian” liv­ing on pasta, pizza, sweets and ice cream. She was a health-con­scious om­ni­vore. When they re­al­ized that they were in love and wanted to live to­gether, they be­gan to work out a com­pro­mise. He be­gan by elim­i­nat­ing pro­cessed foods and re­fined sug­ars from his reper­toire; she be­gan ex­per­i­ment­ing with veg­e­tar­ian main cour­ses.

They started a blog, “Green Kitchen Sto­ries,” which they write when not work­ing at their day jobs from a “crammed but charm­ing apart­ment” in Stock­holm, Swe­den, where they live with their tod­dler daugh­ter.

Some of the recipes are ve­gan; some are gluten­free. But blessed with good health and no food in­tol­er­ances or al­ler­gies, this small fam­ily em­braces all man­ner of plant mat­ter. Their “pantry,” as they de­scribe it, has more than 100 items (oil, nuts, seeds, grains, flours, legumes, grains, pas­tas, nat­u­ral sweet­en­ers) that ac­count for the use of the word “crammed.” Their cup­boards hold an ar­ray of whole flours, dried fruits, seeds and grains.

Their fridge spills over with sea­sonal veg­eta­bles, along with “seven mil­lion jars of nut but­ters and spreads, goat’s yo­gurt and three dif­fer­ent ver­sions of plant milk, usu­ally oat, al­mond and rice,” all kept in place by a gi­ant or­ganic cab­bage, which Frenkiel says, is “so big we throw it in just be­fore clos­ing the door, thus it’s al­ways the first thing that jumps out when you open it.”

“Even though it might sound like a par­ody,” Frenkiel con­cludes, “this is an ex­act de­scrip­tion of our how kitchen looks right now. We don’t have a per­fect and clean home, but we do love whole foods.”

Lov­ing whole foods takes time and com­mit­ment; how much eas­ier to microwave the frozen pizza! But if this busy Swedish fam­ily can do it in a small, ur­ban apart­ment, it in­spires us to do the same.

These recipes, per­fect for sum­mer, will make you happy to eat your veg­gies! POTATO SALAD WITH DILL AND HORSE­RAD­ISH Yield: 4 serv­ings For the salad: 2 1/4 pounds small new pota­toes

15 to 20 small heir­loom toma­toes, prefer­ably dif­fer­ent col­ors and shapes, halved or quar­tered, depend­ing on size

2 cups fresh su­gar snap peas, sliced length­wise

1 large hand­ful fresh dill, coarsely chopped For the dress­ing: 1 (1-inch) piece fresh horse­rad­ish, grated

2 to 3 ta­ble­spoons cider vine­gar

2 to 3 ta­ble­spoons ex­travir­gin olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pep­per

Place the pota­toes in a saucepan with just enough cold, salted wa­ter to cover. Bring to a boil, then re­duce heat to a sim­mer; cook un­til a sharp knife can eas­ily pierce them. Time will vary with size of pota­toes, but for small ones start check­ing af­ter 15 min­utes. Drain and set aside to cool.

Mean­while, com­bine the toma­toes, peas and dill in a large serv­ing bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk to­gether the dress­ing in­gre­di­ents, sea­son­ing to taste with salt and pep­per. Add the cooled pota­toes to serv­ing bowl, pour the dress­ing over and toss to coat.

ROASTED TOMATO AND CHICK­PEA SOUP Yield: 4 to 6 serv­ings 2 1/4 pounds ripe toma­toes, halved

2 2/3 cups chick­peas, soaked and cooked (prefer­able) or canned and drained

6 gar­lic cloves, crushed with back of knife

Leaves from 4 sprigs oregano, plus a few ex­tra leaves for gar­nish 1-tea­spoon pa­prika 2 ta­ble­spoons ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil Sea salt Wa­ter, if needed Plain yo­gurt for gar­nish Pre­heat oven to 400 de­grees. Place the toma­toes, chick­peas and gar­lic on a rimmed bak­ing sheet. Sprin­kle the oregano and pa­prika over all and driz­zle with the oil. Bake for about an hour, or un­til the toma­toes are bub­bling and slightly black­ened in places. Re­move from the oven and set aside a few chick­peas for serv­ing. Scrape all the in­gre­di­ents into a blen­der or food pro­ces­sor and blend un­til smooth. Add salt to taste.

Add a lit­tle wa­ter if needed to reach the con­sis­tency you like. Serve in bowls or glasses with a dol­lop of yo­gurt, a sprin­kle of fresh oregano leaves and a few roasted chick­peas on top. This is es­pe­cially de­li­cious served with a slice of sour­dough bread.

Photo: Jo­hanna Frenkiel

New pota­toes and snap peas get a kick from horse­rad­ish dress­ing

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