Monday, October 25 2021 - 1:57 AM
lady cooking vegetables
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Bring Vegetable Dishes Back

Let’s face it. These days we’re busy. Even our meals reflect our busyness. We often skip planning and prepare foods that are familiar and convenient. In doing this, we’ve lost some of the favorite vegetables that at one time graced our tables. Let’s look at some of them and see ways we can add them back to our favorite meals.

Ways to Incorporate Vegetables in Meals

(1) As a kid, we loved eggplant parmesan. This wonderful dish included peeled and sliced eggplant, breaded and baked with tomato sauce, and topped with parmesan cheese. Baba Ganoush is another traditional dish. It hails from the Middle East. Roasted eggplant, tahini sauce, parsley, lemon juice, and garlic are blended and served as a dip. Roasted eggplant is amazing in Ratatouille and can even be added to sandwiches.

(2) Once, I had the task of introducing beets to thousands of elementary students. Don’t laugh! We took canned small whole beets and stuck them on a lollipop stick and called them “Beet pops.” They were a hit— well, almost! However, a lot of students liked them! I have also added them to a decadent chocolate muffin recipe, and they were moist and sweet. Beets have an earthy and sweet flavor that can be added to salads and mixed vegetables. If the red beet is too harsh, try the golden beets. Some say the flavor is mild.

(3) Lima beans. My mom used to serve Lima beans and corn mixed together, and it was called Succotash. As a child, I learned that it is an old Native American dish. An article in the New York Times confirms what I learned. It mentions that the word comes from the Native American word, “msickquatash,” and it was served to the colonial immigrants in the 17th century. Today, a few folks still serve it as a side dish. Why not surprise the family with an old-fashioned Native American tradition of Succotash?

(4) Soups and stews seem to be losing their place in American cuisine. Lentil soup and lentil loaf were staples for our family. Brown lentils were the most common but other types are just as delicious. Why not try red or yellow lentils? They cook quickly, blend well with herbs and spices, and are a healthy choice. Or try black beluga lentils. Adding onions, roasted corn, and Cumin make a delicious combination with rice or quinoa. In addition, lentils are an inexpensive source of protein.

(5) I wonder if people have even heard of turnips. My mom used to prepare them by peeling, cooking, and mashing them with mashed potatoes. Add fresh green onion and garlic along with olive oil, and they are delicious. They also work well when cut up into chunks and added to cooked mixed greens.

Other Favorites

There are other favorites that we can add to this list. Brussels sprouts, cabbage, radishes, artichoke, asparagus, and others. Why not try something new by bringing some of these old but delicious vegetables to the dinner table? Start a new healthy tradition!

If you enjoyed this you might also like: How to Eat More Vegetables

Pamela Williams writes from Southern California.

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About Pamela A. Williams, MPH, RD

Pamela A. Williams, MPH, RD

is a dietitian, photographer, and writer in Southern California.

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