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Archive for Vegetables-Salads-Herbs

TIP OF THE DAY: Make Popeye Proud

Make a sweet spring salad from antioxidant- and fiber-rich spinach.
  Here’s a variation on a spinach salad that’s especially spring-like: Take a bag (10 ounces) of baby spinach, 2 cups of sugar snap peas or pea pods and 2 cups of sliced strawberries. Cut half a medium red onion or a sweet Vidalia onion into thin slices. Add a 1/2 cup of sliced unsalted almonds, raw or toasted. Toss with a honey vinaigrette: 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of vinegar (balsamic, wine or cider) and 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of honey, depending on how sweet you like it. If you have lavender honey, it’s a home run! Head over to THE NIBBLE’s Vegetables & Salad section for more ideas. And for additional dressing recipes and reviews, see our Oils, Vinegars & Salad Dressings section.
 

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TIP OF THE DAY: Fusion Antipasto Recipe

Piquillo Peppers

Piquillo peppers add color and flavor to what
would have been a plain lettuce salad. Photo
courtesy El Navarrico.

 

Create a fusion dish by using Italian antipasto ingredients to dress up your salad course.

Marinated tomatoes, roasted peppers or artichokes from a high-quality manufacturer like Divina are wonderful on their own, but are even more grand atop greens.

You can use the oil marinade from quality jarred vegetables as your salad dressing and shave some Parmesan on top to finish your dish.

Visit the Gourmet Vegetables Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine for more salad recipes.

 

 
  

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ON OUR RADAR: Interesting Nibbles From The Past Week

Lunch ToteSave money by bringing your lunch to work. Bring it in style with this Built NY Lunch Tote.
  The Urban Vegan lists 25 money-saving kitchen tips for pure vegans. The article starts with the premise that veganism doesn’t have to be expensive, but you don’t have to be vegan to find the tips useful. Some will sound familiar: Pack your own lunch—you can save at least $2,000 after-tax dollars a year. Invest $19.99 in the chic, insulated tote at the left, and you are now cool instead of a brown-bagger. (Shown: The Built NY Lunch Tote, available in black, orange or silver, keeps food and drink separated. Made from the same material as a diver’s wetsuit, it insulates for up to 4 hours with no additional refrigeration necessary.) Some tips are earth-friendly (we do all of them at THE NIBBLE, including using cloth napkins instead of paper napkins and rinsing/reusing Ziplock-type bags). It’s a good list to review. One of our favorites: Borrow rather than buy cookbooks.
 

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FOOD TIP OF THE DAY: Onion Magic

OnionDon’t weep over me: Get goggles!   If your eyes water when you chop onions, the best kitchen gadget is a pair of swimmer’s goggles. They keep the sulfur enzymes away from your eyes like magic! To remove the smell of onions (or garlic) from your hands, squeeze lemon juice on them (or if you’ve squeezed lemon juice for a recipe, rub the squeezed pulp) and then rub your hands against stainless steel—your sink, faucet, a serving spoon. The “kitchen chemistry” works. While swimmer’s goggles may not qualify as kitchen gadgets, you can see some of our favorite traditional (and not-so-traditional) gadgets in the Kitchenware Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.
 

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TODAY IN FOOD: It’s National Rhubarb Pie Day

June 10th is National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day, a vegetable harvested in April and May in the northern hemisphere (the southern hemisphere harvest is in October and November, apple and pumpkin pie season for those on the other side of the Equator).

Yes, rhubarb is a vegetable, not a fruit. The giveaway might be that it looks like red celery stalks with cabbage-like leafy tops—although the two vegetables are actually not related. Some varieties of rhubarb have dark green stalks.

By the time it gets to market, the leaves of the rhubarb are usually cut off, and we only see the red stalks.

The leaves are removed because rhubarb leaves contain toxic substances that can poison humans—and cats, dogs, horses, rabbits. Don’t try to repurpose them; the only place for them is the compost heap.

Native to Asia, rhubarb has long been used in Chinese medicine. As anyone knows who has cooked rhubarb, it needs copious amounts of sugar to offset its natural bitterness. Thus, it can be served as a vegetable, but its use as a sweet food didn’t come into play until sugar became widely available in the 17th century.

 

rhub-230.jpg

Rhubarb—it’s pretty, and after you add lots of sugar, it’s tasty and sweet. Photo courtesy of OurOhio.com.

 
But since then, what a lovely choice for food enthusiasts. Stewed rhubarb is a delight, as is a rhubarb or strawberry-rhubarb pie or crumble, rhubarb ice cream, jams and marmalades. In generations past, rhubarb ketchup was a popular condiment.

As a savory, rhubarb can be made into salsa, sauces for chicken and pork, and join beets in a green salad. Check out these recipes.

The reason you don’t see more stewed rhubarb or pie is that it’s relatively laborious to work with the vegetable. It’s fibrous, so after you cook it, you need to process it through a food mill.

We learned the joys of cooking rhubarb from our Nana, who made copious amounts of rhubarb throughout rhubarb season; and we assure you, it’s worth it.

FRUIT OR VEGETABLE?

How can you tell the difference between a fruit and a vegetable?

Fruits carry their seeds on the inside—think apples, bananas, melons, pears, and plums. The only exception is the strawberry, which carries its seeds on the outside.

By the same token, the following “vegetables” are botanically fruits; we just think of them as vegetables because they are not sweet: avocados, eggplants, olives, squash, tomatoes and zucchini.

Avocados and olives are tree fruits, just like apples and oranges.

  

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