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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!

Photo used under license from www.istockphoto.com

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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