Monday, September 7, 2015

Leader Enterprise - Sept. 2, 2015 - Farmer's Markets & Good-for-you Greens



Happy September & Fall Y'All! 

I've had such a great time at our local farmer's market this summer, my first year to set up a stand selling baked goods. I have gotten such a kick out of talking with town folk and meeting new friends.  I appreciate each one. 

Before farmer's markets begin winding down, I wanted to share these facts about a few of the good-for-you "greens", that we should all be eating.  

Everyone knows veggies are a must in any healthy diet — the phrase “eat your greens” has been drilled into us since childhood. But fewer than 10 percent of Americans eat the recommended amount of fruits and veggies. 

-Green Beans help stabilize your blood sugar:
Also called string beans, green beans are loaded with fiber, which can help lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar, making them an excellent choice for people with diabetes.

-Kiwis help you fill up on fiber:
Research shows kiwifruit is surprisingly nutrient-dense. This fuzzy green fruit provides 230 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C (almost twice that of an orange), more potassium than a banana, and 10 percent of the recommended daily allowances of vitamin E and folate. It’s also a good source of filling fiber. Add kiwi to your yogurt or cereal. 

-Cabbage: A great source of cancer-fighting compounds and vitamin C. Available in red and green varieties, cabbage can be cooked, added raw to salads or stir fries, shredded into a slaw, or made into sauerkraut.  One-half cup cooked has 15 calories.

-Brussels Sprouts: Reduce Blood Pressure
Brussels sprouts have vitamins A and C as well as birth-defect fighting folate and blood pressure-balancing potassium. Not into Brussels sprouts or kale? Consider such other cruciferous veggies as broccoli, arugula, and bok choy. To make Brussels sprouts more tempting, try roasting them.

BALSAMIC ROASTED BRUSSEL SPROUTS
2# washed & trimmed brussel sprouts
1/4 c. olive oil
2 Tb. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. (fresh) black pepper
Preheat oven to 350. Cover cookie sheet/tray with non stick foil. In large bowl, mix olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then add brussel sprouts, stirring until well coated. Place sprouts onto foil; sprinkle with salt & pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, stir until loosened and bake another 20 minutes, or until nice and brown, and tender...thus, caramelized. Remove from oven and serve after cooling a few minutes. 

I just can't say too much good about this awesome and delicious veggie combo.  I can fill my plate with nothing else and be totally satisfied. 
CREAMY TATERS, GREEN BEANS & CARAMELIZED ONIONS
1 lb. green beans (fresh or frozen)
6-8 small new potatoes or 3 or 4 large ones 
1 (vidalia) medium onion, sliced
1/4 c. butter (1/2 a stick), divided
4 ozs. cream cheese 
1/2 c. milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Wash and chunk new potatoes into bite sized pieces. Cover with water and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Add green beans; boil until fork tender, about 10-12 minutes. Place in colander to drain.

While veggies are cooking, melt 2 Tb. butter in large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion slices and cook, stirring often, until tender and are getting nice and brown, about 8 - 10 minutes. Remove from skillet, and place over veggies in colander while you make the sauce. 

In same skillet you used to brown the onions, add remaining 2 Tb. butter, cream cheese, milk, salt, and pepper. Over low heat, stir constantly until cheese melts. Use a whisk to beat lightly until smooth and creamy. Add a little more milk if you want a thinner sauce. Remove from heat. Add veggies from colander; stir to coat with luscious sauce. 

Sprinkle with more pepper if desired. Serve warm. Enjoy!

One of my all time favorites: Charles Swindoll has been quoted as having said "Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it".