Season to prepare fresh vegetables
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.
New potatoes and snap peas get a kick from horseradish dressing