Healthy choices: Infuse meals with fruits, veggies
BY NICOLE MARSHALL MIDDLETON World Scene Writer
Thursday, January 24, 2013
1/24/13 at 10:14 AM
It may be winter, but now is not the time to abandon fruits and vegetables.
With all the germs flying around, you need them now more than ever.
Try recipes with citrus, greens, turnips and winter squash, such as butternut and acorn. Pears, fennel, sprouts and leeks are also in season during the winter.
Rick Miller, produce manager at GreenAcres Market in Jenks, shared "Rick's six winter picks" for produce.
"Citrus is great. We are really in the peak of citrus season. I have been running specials for the last month," Miller said. "It is amazing. Right when we need Vitamin C, citrus is here."
For his second pick, Miller suggested Florida strawberries.
"They are delicious. You know how when you get some strawberries and take them home and they don't taste anything like what they smelled like in the store. These aren't like that. They have a wild strawberry flavor, not just sweetness, but the flavor of strawberries," Miller said.
He said that GreenAcres is selling the strawberries for $4 per package.
Miller suggests trying the market's imported blueberries from Chile.
"They are packed with antioxidants and will boost your immunity," Miller said, adding that he is selling a package of organic blueberries for $3 a package.
Miller also suggested eating avocados as a way to add a healthy fat into your diet.
And while apples are typically associated with fall, they are still in season and many customers are using them for home juicing recipes while trying to increase their intake of healthy foods following the holiday glut.
Miller's sixth and final produce pick is leafy greens, such as kale, cabbage, collards and spinach. While a freeze in California has increased the price of greens somewhat, it also happens to boost the flavor.
"What happens is that it makes the greens taste a little sweeter, obviously, though you don't want to freeze to the point they die," Miller said.
At the winter farmers market, vendors are offering seasonal root vegetables, such as sweet potatoes and turnips, and winter squash, said Melanie Hunter, program coordinator of the Cherry Street Farmers Market.
Saturday, Feb. 9, Feb. 23, March 9 and March 23 are the last days of the winter market, which is located in the Food Pyramid parking lot, 41st Street and Peoria Avenue.
"One bright spot is that we have a winter vendor who grows in heated greenhouses, so he is offering spinach, radishes and hothouse tomatoes both green and ripe, along with a handful of other products that change with each market," Hunter said "There are also potted plants available - one of our vendors offers planted garlic, for example - to get a jump start on your own fresh-food season."
Vendors at the winter market are also offering locally raised animal products, like beef, lamb, pork and chicken, along with eggs, milk, cheese and yogurt. She said that in a month to six weeks, the selection of produce at the farmers market should start expanding.
And to find recipes for foods that are in season, The Fresh Market has recently started selling a cookbook, "Cooking in Season with The Fresh Market."
The cookbook features 90 recipes with seasonal ingredients, and the recipes are divided by season, grouped by course and accompanied by practical cooking tips. People with specific dietary needs can find recipes marked as vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free.
The grocery chain is selling the book at its stores nationwide.
And here are some recipes for produce that is in season this time of year.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH & LEEK SOUP WITH HERB BUTTER
For the herb butter:
1 shallot, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/2 pound (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper (more can be added to taste)
For the soup:
4 cups chopped, well-washed leeks, white part only (about 3 large)
8 cups peeled, seeded, and diced (1-inch cubes) buttercup squash (about 3 medium)
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 cups homemade or low-salt chicken broth
2 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon white pepper (start with the lesser amount as peppers vary in intensity)
Chopped fresh chives for garnish
1. Up to two weeks ahead, make the herb butter: Heat a small nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. When hot, add the shallots and heat to release their aroma and lightly toast them, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and add the sherry. Set the pan back on the heat and reduce the liquid to 2 tablespoons, about 8 minutes. Let cool. In a small mixing bowl, blend the butter, chives, sherry-shallot mixture, salt and pepper. Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper and spread the butter 1/4 inch thick to cover about 8 by 6 inches. Cover and chill. With a small cookie cutter (I use a star) or a knife, cut out 12 small shapes. Wrap in plastic and freeze.
2. Make the soup: Put the leeks in a heavy-based non-aluminum, 8-quart stockpot. Put the squash over the leeks; add the wine and broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cook until the squash is fork-tender, about 25 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes. Add the salt and pepper; purée in a blender (or food processor). Cover and freeze (or refrigerate up to 3 days).
3. On the day of serving: Defrost the butter shapes. Reheat the soup over low to medium heat, stirring frequently (or in a microwave). To serve, ladle the hot soup into shallow bowls and garnish with herb butter and fresh chives.
- adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine, by Michael Brisson
RADICCHIO AND ENDIVE CAESAR WITH CIABATTA CRISPS
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
12 1/3-inch-thick slices ciabatta
1 large head of radicchio, leaves torn into pieces
5 heads of Belgian endive, leaves separated
4 ounces Parmesan cheese shavings
1. Position rack in top third of oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Whisk lemon juice, anchovy paste, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and pressed garlic in large bowl to blend. Whisk in 1/2 cup olive oil, then 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
2. Place ciabatta on baking sheet; brush with 2 tablespoons oil, then sprinkle with pepper and remaining 1/2 cup grated cheese. Bake until crisp, about 15 minutes.
3. Toss radicchio and endive with dressing in large bowl. Divide among plates. Top with cheese shavings. Serve with ciabatta crisps.
recipe by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen, February 2005
GRAPEFRUIT GRILLED CHICKEN
2 pink grapefruits
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced in half horizontally
1. Prepare the grapefruit. Juice one grapefruit into a liquid measure. Cut second grapefruit into wedges.
2. Place these wedges in a medium saute pan. Squeeze the remaining flesh and membranes of the grapefruit to release any juice into a bowl. Add the sugar and honey. Whisk to combine, then taste. If needed, add a teaspoon or more brown sugar to take away the tartness of the grapefruit. Pour half of the mixture into a saute pan with the grapefruit wedges. Bring to a simmer and cook until liquid is reduced and slightly thickened, about 8 minutes.
3. To the remaining half add the oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Whisk to combine and pour into a plastic bag. Add the chicken, seal and toss a bit before resting on the counter for 25 to 30 minutes. Cook's note: Any longer and the acid in the grapefruit juice will "cook" the chicken in the marinade and ruin it.
4. Heat a grill pan to medium high and brush lightly with oil. Remove the chicken from the plastic bag and shake off the excess marinade. Place the smooth-side down on the grill and cook 2 to 3 minutes, then flip and cook 2 minutes more. Remove to a serving plate and pour the grapefruit sauce over the top.
adapted from Food Network, by Sunny Anderson
GARLIC MASHED POTATOES AND TURNIPS
10 unpeeled garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 pounds turnips, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
6 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1/2 cup whipping cream, room temperature
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place garlic cloves in small baking dish. Mix in oil. Cover dish with foil. Bake until garlic is very soft, about 40 minutes. Cool garlic and peel.
2. Cook turnips in large pot of boiling salted water 10 minutes. Add potatoes and onion. Boil until very tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well. Return to same pot and add garlic. Mash until mixture is almost smooth.
3. Mix in butter and cream. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over low heat before serving.) Transfer potato mixture to bowl. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
adapted from Epicurious
PEAR GRANOLA COOKIES
Makes about 4 1/2 dozen cookies
2 fresh, ripe Anjou or Bosc pears
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups granola
1/2 cup raisins
1. Core and finely chop pears to equal 1 1/2 cups. Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in egg and vanilla. Stir in pears.
2. Combine flour, baking soda and cinnamon; add to creamed mixture and mix until smooth. Stir in granola and raisins. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on racks.
adapted from USA Pears
Original Print Headline: Healthy choices
Nicole Marshall Middleton 918-581-8459
Winter is an excellent time to add fruits to your diet, as well as a healthy amount of vegetables. Many can be found locally at winter farmers markets. CHRISTOPHER SMITH / Tulsa World
Fruits such as these pears are great by themselves, or they can also be used in many recipes. CHRISTOPHER SMITH / Tulsa World
Winter vegetables, such as these turnips, can be great in garlic mashed potatoes. CHRISTOPHER SMITH / Tulsa World