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Showing posts from May, 2011

What Is Jicama? ♥ Vegetables 101

Hello, vegetable lover! Here you'll find everything good cooks and curious eaters want to know about the Mexican root vegetable called "jicama" that's usually eaten raw. If you've ever wondered what jicama is, exactly, or even how to spell or pronounce the word jicama, you're in exactly the right place. If you've ever wondered what jicama looks like, whether it's good for you, or how to eat jicama, you'll find your answer (and more) right here. Dive in, everybody, because jicama is a delicious, healthy vegetable to add to your diet. Recipe ideas included, especially from readers!
So many vegetables, so many that are unfamiliar! This is the first of an occasional series of posts I'm calling "Vegetables 101" filled with quick, easy and practical information about out-of-the-ordinary vegetables. First up? What Is Jicama?

Jicama Slaw ♥

A fresh take on coleslaw, substituting wet and crunchy jicama for cabbage. It's a really summery coleslaw, light and bright tasting. Delicious! Low Carb. Very Weight Watchers Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free. Whole30 Friendly.
~updated~
~more recently updated recipes~
WAY BACK IN 2006: When a guy – a GUY! – writes, "I just adore this recipe", it's gotta be good. And let me tell you, Matt Bites is right. I adore this recipe too. (And have you seen his food blog? I adore IT, too!) It's simple. Wet and sweet with jicama. Bright and fresh-tasting. A tad unusual. Low in calories. Low in carbs. It is a perfect make-ahead salad for outdoor picnics. It has no mayonnaise and pairs beautifully with other picnic food like fried chicken, sandwiches, etc.

UPDATE: I'm always pleased – so pleased! – when I remake a recipe and find it just as refreshing as its memory. Such was the case with this jicama slaw. It's completely a coleslaw, …

Easy Coleslaw with Blue Cheese & Apple ♥ Recipe Plus
The Economics of Bags of Coleslaw

Today's easy coleslaw recipe: A quick coleslaw made from a bag of coleslaw (or chopped cabbage) and blue cheese dressing with a few apples tucked in for crunch and sweetness. Plus a lesson in coleslaw economics and a smart shopping tip!
Skip Straight to the Recipe
So if you could buy cabbage for $.66 or $1.89 or $2.52 a pound, which one would you choose?

For $.66 a pound, buy a cabbage, wash, trim and quick-quick chop it. Assume 11% waste -- but I accounted for that in the price.
For $1.89 a pound (that's almost three times as much), buy a 16-ounce bag of cabbage slaw, already chopped with a little carrot and red cabbage included for color. No waste – just be sure to rinse the cabbage in cold water to freshen it up.
For $2.52 a pound (that's almost four times as much), buy a 12-ounce bag of finely shredded cabbage – that's the only difference between the two bags, well, except price.
Want to see how the two bags were placed side-by-side in the grocery store? Here…

How to Eat More Vegetables: Tip #13

We all know we should eat more vegetables. But how, how do we do that, really? What real-life tips and ideas work? How can we build our lives around the healthiest of all foods, vegetables? Every Saturday, the 'veggie evangelist' shares practical tips and ideas from her own experience, her readers and other bloggers.
And now for this week's tip:

Clean-Out-the-Veggie-Drawer Soup with a Don't-Throw-It-Away Secret Ingredient ♥

Today's concept recipe: A quick, easy and flexible way to use up the last bits of vegetables from the vegetable bin, just before the next trip to the farmers market, the next CSA delivery.
So if I told you that this soup costs absolutely ZERO to make, would you believe me? It's true.

You see, we vegetable lovers, we can't help ourselves: when fresh produce is so fresh and beautiful, we buy more than we can ever consume in the few days vegetables stay quite fresh. ("Another eggplant? Sure, isn't it pretty?! And oh, did you see the carrots? We must have a few of those too.") CSA subscribers, I'm told, love getting a new stash of fresh vegetables but feel guilty when some of last week's delivery (and the week's before too?) languishes in the vegetable bin. Too often, we let the vegetables hang around too long, past saving.

This recipe -- one of the "concept recipes" that we all love so much -- is my latest way to "save" all tho…

How to Eat More Vegetables: Tip #12

We all know we should eat more vegetables. But how, how do we do that, really? What real-life tips and ideas work? How can we build our lives around the healthiest of all foods, vegetables? Every Saturday, the 'veggie evangelist' shares practical tips and ideas from her own experience, her readers and other bloggers.
And now for this week's tip:

How to Shop at a Farmers Market:
Thoughts & Tips from a Veteran Shopper

The country is exploding with new farmers markets! More and more of us are shopping at farmers markets -- many of us for the first time. How's it done? What's it like?
My first memory of farm-fresh vegetables comes from a decidedly unbustling place, a farm stand that stood hot and unprotected from sun and road dust at the edge of the still-unpaved road to the lake, a small space carved out of a farm field, the farmhouse itself hidden behind trees up a long driveway. The wooden stall was unmanned and payment was on the "honor system" -- a coffee can with a slit in the plastic top, cash only, of course, except for the occasional IOU. I suspect that the stall double-dutied as a school bus shelter during northern Minnesota's long winters.

These days, farmers markets are big business but mostly, still-charming and local endeavors that rise to life one day a week during the growing season. Many towns, even small towns, have their own farmers markets. When I started w…

How to Eat More Vegetables: Tip #11 (Ask for Help)

We all know we should eat more vegetables. But how, how do we do that, really? What real-life tips and ideas work? How can we build our lives around the healthiest of all foods, vegetables? Every Saturday (well, except when she takes a little break), the 'veggie evangelist' shares practical tips and ideas from her own experience, her readers and other bloggers.
And now for this week's tip:

Miss Jennie's Famous Benedictine Spread ♥ Recipe

Just in time for Derby Day, a famous recipe from Kentucky, the heart of horse country. It's a "skinny" dip, bulked up with grated cucumber and pretty pale green in color.
Never ever did I dream I'd keep green food coloring on hand. Never never ever. But then last summer, my friend 'moo' – that's short for Margie Olsen Olson, yes it happens, an Olsen married an Olson; have I told you about my girlfriend Cary who met and married a man also named Cary? so yes it happens – responded to my call for cucumber recipes with the note, "What about cucumber/yogurt soup [with buttermilk] and a cream cheese spread for tea sandwiches, called Benedictine?" I already had a dreamy cucumber soup recipe, Cool-as-a-Cucumber Avocado Soup but the Benedictine cream cheese spread, it caught my eye.

A little google action turned me onto the history of Benedictine spread. Between the 1890s and the 1920s, "Miss Jennie" Benedict of Louisville (for full effect, pr…