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.

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. 
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".