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Enjoy Some Garden Fresh Veggies!

Have you tried any vegetables from a garden or farmers market this month? Invite kids or grandkids to help you select, harvest and/or prepare them. Try these interesting ways to enjoy early season lettuce, radishes and green beans.
Enjoy Some Garden Fresh Veggies!

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Lettuce is very low in calories at about 5 calories per cup because it is very high in water. It provides vitamins C and A, potassium and some fiber. Be sure to rinse lettuce thoroughly under cool, running water and allow to drain on paper towels or in a strainer.

  • Set up a “make-your-own-salad” buffet. Start with bowls of fresh lettuce and a variety of toppings, such as chopped apples, sliced strawberries, sunfl ower seeds, dried cranberries, sliced hard-cooked eggs, canned black beans (drained and rinsed), chopped ham and/or turkey, a couple of choices of salad dressing and any other toppings that you like.
  • Use a large lettuce leaf to make a sandwich wrap. Spread egg salad or tuna salad on a large lettuce leaf, wrap it and enjoy! If desired, add some chopped fruit or nuts to your wrap.
  • Sauté pieces of lettuce in a stir-fry or add shredded lettuce to your favorite soup.

Radishes add a zesty flavor, color and crunch to your menus. One medium-sized radish has only 1 calorie and provides some vitamin C. Radishes often are served cold on relish trays or sliced on salads. Try roasting radishes with these easy steps and discover their sweeter taste.

  • Preheat oven to 450 F.
  • Rinse radishes in cool, running water.
  • Cut off both ends of the radishes, then slice in half and place in a bowl.
  • Add a small amount of your favorite cooking oil (such as canola, sunflower or olive oil) to the bowl. You will need about 1 tablespoon per 2 cups of sliced radishes. Mix to coat the radishes lightly in oil.
  • Spread the radishes on a cookie sheet, cut side down.
  • Roast for about 10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle lightly with salt if desired and serve immediately.

Green beans, or “string beans,” are low in calories at about 40 calories per cup. They provide vitamins A, C and B, fiber and other nutrients. Green beans can be steamed, grilled, roasted or sautéed. Here’s how to make sautéed green beans with garlic:

  • Trim the ends from the beans and rinse in cool water. Cut to desired size to make 4 cups of beans.
  • If desired, chop 1 clove of garlic.
  • To sauté, heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil (or your favorite oil) in a fry pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add green beans and cook while stirring for about five minutes.
  • Add chopped garlic, if desired.
  • Add ½ cup of water and cover the pan. Allow to steam for two minutes or until tender and bright green.
  • Sprinkle lightly with Parmesan cheese or red pepper flakes before serving, if desired.

Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Featured in Food Wise July 2017 newsletter (PDF)

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