The Produce Lady

The Produce Lady, Brenda Sutton, teaches farmers and consumers the wonders of locally grown fruits and vegetables. Not only does she share their nutritional value, she also demonstrates how to prepare them as tasty meals and snacks or preserve them to use throughout the year.

Apple

Apple Crisp from Cook Smart, Eat Smart

This is a wonderful, lower-fat substitute for apple pie. Leave the peel on apples to increase nutrients and save time. All-purpose flour can be substituted if whole wheat flour is not available. Additional mix-ins such as fresh or dried cranberries, walnuts, pecans or almonds can be included as well. Most varieties will work well; you may want to use a combination.

  • 4 cups sliced apples
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 3⁄4 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1⁄4 cup sugar
  • 1⁄4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Peel apples and cut into slices. Melt butter in a small bowl in the microwave. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except apples. Stir until well blended. Place apples in 9″ x 13″ baking dish and spread oat mixture on top. Bake 45 to 50 minutes until desired brownness. Serves 6.

Microwave Baked Apples

Dried cranberries or cherries can be substituted for raisins. Apple-pie spice or pumpkin-pie spice can be substituted for nutmeg and cinnamon. Any variety of apples such as Golden Delicious, Fuji, Granny Smith, Gala or Braeburn can be used.

  • 2 apples
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. raisins
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. butter

Core the apple leaving the bottom intact. In a bowl, mix brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and raisins. Spoon the sugar mixture into the apples and set a tsp. of butter on top of each apple. Place the apples in a deep casserole dish and cover with the lid. Microwave for 3 1⁄2 to 4 minutes or until tender. Let the apples sit for 2 minutes before serving. Serves 2.

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Asparagus

Roasted Asparagus

  • 1 lb. asparagus
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese, Parmesan or other cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, toss the asparagus and olive oil. Pour asparagus and oil into a nonstick pan, top with cheese. Bake 15 to 20 minutes. Serves 4.

Blueberry

Broiled Blueberry Dessert

Other fruit such as peaches, cherries or blackberries can be used or combined with the blueberries. Frozen fruit that has been thawed can also be used. This dish can also be made in an 8-inch x 8-inch baking dish.

  • 3 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1⁄2 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar

Preheat oven broiler. Divide blueberries among four ovenproof 8-ounce custard cups that have been coated with non-stick cooking spray. Spread blueberries with sour cream and sprinkle with brown sugar. Place on baking sheet and broil 4 to 6 inches from the heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until bubbly and sugar is melted. Serves 4.

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Broccoli Recipes

Broccoli Frittata

  • 1 cup chopped, fresh broccoli florets (you may mix other seasonal veggies like asparagus, sugar snap peas, spinach or peppers)
  • ½ cup chopped cooked chicken or salmon (optional)
  • ¼ cup chopped tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped onions
  • ¼ tsp. dried tarragon
  • 1 tbsp. reduced-fat margarine or butter spray
  • 4 farm-fresh eggs, lightly beaten
  • Fresh goat cheese also known as chevre (optional)

Sauté broccoli, chicken, tomato, onion and tarragon in margarine in a medium saucepan or electric frying pan over medium heat until broccoli is tender-crisp. Pour eggs evenly over all ingredients. Sprinkle with cheese if desired. Cover and cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until firm on bottom and almost set on top. Cut into wedges to serve. Serves 4.

Chicken and Broccoli Quiche from Cook Smart, Eat Smart

  • 2 (9-inch) ready-made piecrusts
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup low-fat or skim milk
  • 3⁄4 cup low-fat Cheddar cheese
  • 3⁄4 cup cooked, chopped chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli
  • 1⁄4 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1⁄4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3⁄4 tsp. garlic salt
  • Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake piecrust according to package directions. In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well. Cook broccoli until tender. Pour off liquid. Let broccoli cool; squeeze broccoli to remove some more water. Make sure broccoli is well drained. Layer the meat, vegetables and cheese into baked piecrust. Pour the egg mixture over the ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 40 minutes or until top is browned. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting. Serves 12.

Chili-Garlic Roasted Broccoli from Cook Smart, Eat Smart

Cauliflower could be substituted or combined with the broccoli in this recipe.

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. grill seasoning
  • 1 large head broccoli, cut into long thin spears

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place olive oil, garlic, chili powder and grill seasoning in the bottom of a large bowl and add the broccoli spears. Toss to coat the broccoli. Spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Place broccoli on the baking sheet and roast until the ends are crisp and brown and the stalks are tender, 17 to 20 minutes. Serves 6.

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Basic Techniques

Garden Delight Stir Fry from Cook Smart, Eat Smart

This is a basic technique allowing individuals to experiment with many different variations. Purchase vegetables from local sources when they are in-season. Add chicken, beef, pork or tofu to this dish for more protein. Keep stir-fry mixture in the refrigerator for a quick side dish or main dish.

Sauce (1⁄4 cup for four servings)

  • Lite/low sodium soy sauce
  • Low sodium tamari
  • Teriyaki marinade
  • Bottled stir-fry sauce
  • Sweet chili sauce
  • Prepared favorite sauce (see recipe)

Starch (1 cup per person)

  • White rice
  • Brown rice
  • Jasmine rice
  • Basmati rice
  • Rice noodles
  • Whole wheat spaghetti noodles

Vegetables (Any combination, 1 to 2 cups per person, less if serving as a side dish)

  • Onion
  • Broccoli
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Bok choy

Wash and cut selected vegetables into small, even-sized pieces. Heat 1 tbsp. vegetable oil over high heat in a 10-inch frying pan. Keeping the heat high, add vegetables to the pan in order of firmness—harder foods first (ex. cauliflower) and ending with softer foods (ex. mushrooms). With a spatula, move vegetables around in the pan to keep them from sticking. Cook the vegetables for a few minutes until they are brightly colored and still crisp. Add sauce to taste (about 1⁄4 cup). Stir fry until all vegetables are thoroughly coated. Serve with choice of starch. Serves 4.

Grilled Vegetables from Cook Smart, Eat Smart

Appropriate Cooking Time

  • Asparagus: 5 to 8 minutes
  • Green beans: 5 to 10 minutes
  • Eggplant, sliced: 5 to 7 minutes
  • Mushrooms: 5 to 8 minutes
  • Onions, red or Vidalia: 5 to 8 minutes
  • New potatoes, halved: 5 to 8 minutes
  • Sweet potatoes, sliced: 5 to 10 minutes
  • Squash, sliced lengthwise: 5 to 7 minutes
  • Zucchini, sliced lengthwise: 5 to 7 minutes

Clean and prepare vegetables. Brush both sides of vegetables with marinade of choice. Grill vegetables, turning once, for indicated grilling time. Brush vegetables with marinade during grilling to ensure they stay moist and flavorful.

Roasted Vegetables from Cook Smart, Eat Smart

Any combination of vegetables and spices can be used in this recipe. This is a basic technique allowing individuals to experiment with many different variations.

Vegetables: Choose 4 cups of one or more

  • Broccoli
  • Red Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • Acorn Squash

Spices: Choose 2 to 3 tsp. of one or more

  • Chili powder
  • Rosemary
  • Cumin
  • Garlic cloves
  • Grill seasoning
  • Curry powder
  • Chinese 5 spice
  • Tarragon
  • Italian seasoning
  • Sage
  • Parsley
  • Cinnamon

Oil: Choose 1 tbsp. of one

  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Corn oil

Select one or a combination of vegetables and toss with 1 tbsp. of oil and 2 to 3 tsp. of one or a combination of spices. Place on a non-stick cooking pan and roast at 425 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes. You may want to place foil on the pan for easier clean up. Serves 4.

Suggested combinations
Sweet potatoes: Chinese 5 spice, cinnamon
Red potatoes: garlic, rosemary
Eggplant: garlic, Italian seasoning
Carrots: grill seasoning, parsley
Acorn squash: cinnamon, chili powder

Salad from Cook Smart, Eat Smart

There are limitless combinations for great salads. Salads are a great way to be creative in the kitchen and create your own style.

Greens

  • Spinach
  • Romaine
  • Arugula
  • Bibb lettuce
  • Mixed greens

Vegetables

  • Carrots
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Asparagus
  • Green pepper
  • Tomato
  • Snow peas
  • Summer squash

Other

  • Grapes
  • Dried cranberries
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Raisins
  • Grapefruit slices
  • Almonds

Choose a leafy green or two from the greens list (1 cup per serving). Choose one to three other vegetables (1⁄4 cup per serving). Choose one other item for added interest (optional). Remember, all canned fruit should be drained before adding to the salad. Choose a dressing. (See salad dressing recipes.) Combine the salad greens and other vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Add a small amount of dressing (1 to 2 tsp. per serving). Toss well to coat all the vegetables with dressing. Serves 1.

Classic combinations
Spinach, red onion, Mandarin oranges
Arugula, cherry tomatoes, peas
Mixed greens, mushrooms, carrots

Steamed Vegetables from Cook Smart, Eat Smart

Steaming allows vegetables to retain their shape, color, texture, flavor and nutrition. It is not complicated, and it is a great, quick-cooking technique.
Vegetable (Cooking Time in Minutes) Suggested seasonings

  • Asparagus (5 to 8 minutes) Tarragon, dill, lemon, vinaigrette
  • Broccoli, spears (10 to 15 minutes) Dill, tarragon, lemon, vinaigrette
  • Broccoli, florets (8 to 10 minutes) Dill, tarragon, lemon, vinaigrette
  • Cabbage, wedges (15 minutes) Carraway, tarragon, savory, dill
  • Cabbage, shredded (8 to 12 minutes) Carraway, tarragon, savory, dill
  • Carrots, slices or thin strips (10 to 20 minutes) Ginger, nutmeg, caraway,cinnamon, dill, lemon, mint, orange
  • Cauliflower (4 to 5 minutes)
  • Eggplant, slices or cubes (10 to 15 minutes) Marjoram, sage, oregano, basil,Parmesan cheese
  • Green beans (15 to 25 minutes) Basil, dill, thyme, mint, oregano, savory, tarragon
  • Peas (10 to 20 minutes) Mint, chervil, marjoram, rosemary, garlic, tarragon
  • Potatoes, new (20 to 30 minutes) Lemon, parsley, vinaigrette,chives, dill, basil, thyme
  • Snap Peas (5 to 6 minutes)
  • Squash (slices) (10 to 12 minutes) Basil, garlic, rosemary, dill, thyme, oregano

Choose 1⁄2 to 1 cup of vegetables from above list per person. Thoroughly rinse vegetables, trim and cut vegetables as close to cooking as possible so they will not dehydrate. Cut vegetables the same size so they will cook evenly. In a large pot, bring an inch or two of water to a boil over high heat. Place the vegetables in steamer on steamer rack. Add additional water to pot if necessary. Steam vegetables according to cooking time in chart and only until they are done; time will vary, depending on size and quantity of vegetables. Remove vegetables from heat when they are still slightly crisp. Add approximately 1⁄2 tsp. of selected seasoning to the vegetables.

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Corn Recipes

Skillet Corn Medley

  • 2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • Olive oil spray
  • 2 green or red bell peppers, sliced in thin strips
  • 3 medium tomatoes, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cut corn
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • Seasoned salt and pepper to taste (or other herbs—basil is delicious!)

Sauté sliced onion in sprayed saucepan for 3 minutes. Add bell pepper, zucchini, corn and chopped tomatoes, along with spices. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Reduced liquid will brown vegetables a little. Fresh basil added the last couple of minutes is delicious! Serves 8.
New Category: Tomato Recipes

Lush Tomato Salad

  • 4 lbs. tomatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • ½ cup capers
  • 3 cups basil leaves, cut into pieces
  • ½ cup parsley, minced
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Wash hands and produce thoroughly. Coarsely chop tomatoes and thinly slice the onion. Combine tomatoes, onion and capers in a large salad bowl. Sprinkle herbs over the tomato mixture. Drizzle the dish with vegetable oil and balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine everything, then serve at room temperature. Serves 8.

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Eggplant Recipes

Try cooking eggplant in combination with other delicious ingredients, and don’t hesitate to include other fresh, local vegetables that you have on hand. Here are two easy-to-make eggplant recipes to enjoy in your kitchen.

Stuffed Eggplant with Tomatoes

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) tomatoes (or 2 cups fresh chopped tomatoes)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup soft bread crumbs

Wash eggplant and cut in half. Scoop out pulp to about 1/2 inch of the skin. Dice pulp. In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 2 minutes; add eggplant pulp, tomatoes, bread crumbs, and salt.

Mix well; fill eggplant shells. Bake at 375° until browned, about 30 minutes.

Serves 4.

Eggplant-Mushroom Sauce

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion – chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic – minced
  • 28 ounces canned tomatoes – undrained (or fresh tomatoes!)
  • 1/4 cup dry red or white wine or vermouth
  • 1 1/2 pounds eggplant, unpeeled – cut into 3/4″ cubes
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons fresh basil – finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano – finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • salt and freshly ground pepper – to taste

Heat oil in a wide-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute about 2 minutes. Break tomatoes into bits. Add to pan with their juice, wine, eggplant, mushrooms, herbs, and sugar. Cover pan and simmer 5 minutes. Remove cover and cook over medium heat until sauce reduces and thickens, 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over pasta, make sloppy joes, or just eat by the bowlful!

Make 5 to 6 cups (5 to 6 servings).

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Green Bean Recipes

Lemon Walnut Green Beans from Cook Smart, Eat Smart

  • 4 cups green beans
  • 1⁄2 cup sliced green onions
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3⁄4 tbsp. crushed, dried rosemary
  • 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon rind

Wash fresh green beans; pat dry. Arrange green beans in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and steam for 8 to 12 minutes or until crisp-tender. Plunge beans into cold water to stop the cooking process; drain. Spray non-stick pan with cooking spray. Over medium heat, add green onions and sauté until tender. Add green beans, walnuts, rosemary and lemon juice; cook, stirring constantly, until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with lemon rind. Serves 6.

Louisiana Green Beans

  • 1 lb. fresh green beans
  • 2 cups tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Cook beans until tender, then add remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Serves 8.

Dilled Green Beans and New Potatoes

  • 1/2 lb. small new potatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed, broken into 2″ pieces
  • 1/4 cup nonfat sour cream
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh dill weed
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • dash pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

In medium saucepan, bring about 2 cups water to a boil. Add potatoes and green beans; return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 9 to 11 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine all remaining ingredients; blend well. Drain vegetables; rinse with cold water to cool slightly. Place in serving bowl. Add sour cream mixture, toss to coat. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving time.

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Melon Recipes

Cantaloupe Smoothie

Try this refreshing smoothie for a new twist on cantaloupes.

  • 1/2 ripe cantaloupe, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup vanilla fat-free yogurt
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste

Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Makes about 4 cups.

Crunchy Melon and Smoked Turkey Salad

This salad is filled with wonderful flavors and textures. It is excellent on any bread for simple sandwiches or served as a salad on lettuce leaves. Smoked ham or chicken can be used in place of the turkey if desired.

  • 2 cups cubed honeydew
  • 2 cups cubed smoked turkey
  • Juice and zest of one lime
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped toasted almonds

Mix together all of the ingredients except for the almonds in a medium bowl. Serve immediately or chill up to four hours before serving. Add the almonds just before serving.

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Okra Recipes

The most popular way locally to eat okra seems to be breaded and fried, which adds tons of fat and calories to an otherwise healthy food. Another way to prepare okra is roasting. It is quick and easy – and it’s not gooey!

Roasted Okra

  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Wash and dry about 12 3-inch pods per serving. Do not cut off ends. Place on cookie sheet prepared with olive oil spray. Spray okra with olive oil, too.
  • Bake about 15-20 minutes, or until starting to brown. The okra gets crispier the longer you cook it—be careful to not burn though!
  • Try roasting okra on the grill as well.

Okra and Corn with Tomatoes

This recipe is a great way to use lots of fresh vegetables that are available fresh locally.

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • ½ tsp each red pepper, thyme, and basil
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and diced
  • 3 large fresh ripe, tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh corn
  • 2 cups small okra pods, left whole or ¼ inch thick rounds
  • ½ cup water or chicken broth
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

In large skillet heat olive oil and add onions and spices. Sauté until onions are limp. Add bell pepper and cook until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes, okra, water, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add corn and cook 5 minutes longer. Serve hot.

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Sauces & Marinades

Stir-Fry Sauce from Cook Smart, Eat Smart

This sauce is similar to bottled teriyaki sauces but is healthier and less expensive. You may also add chopped garlic, chopped or ground ginger and red pepper flakes to the stir fry sauce to add a more teriyaki-type flavor.

  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • Dash black pepper
  • 1 1⁄2 cups cool water
  • 2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce

Combine cornstarch and cool water. Mix well with a whisk or fork. Stir in remaining ingredients. The cornstarch will settle to the bottom, so stir again before adding sauce to stir fry. Serves 24.

Olive Oil–Lemon Marinade from Cook Smart, Eat Smart

  • 1⁄3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a small container. When brushing on vegetables, swirl the mixture around with the brush often to keep the oil and lemon combined.

 

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Spinach

Hoppin’ John

INGREDIENTS

1 cup dried black-eyed peas
5 cups water
1 dried hot pepper (optional)
1 smoked ham hock
1 medium onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1 cup long-grain white rice

DIRECTIONS

Wash the peas. Place them in a saucepan, add the water, and discard any peas that float. Gently boil the peas with the pepper, ham hock and onion, uncovered, until tender but not mushy — about 1 1/2 hours. Add the rice to the pot, cover and simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes, never lifting the lid. Remove from the heat and allow to steam, still covered, for another 10 minutes. Remove the cover, fluff with a fork and serve immediately with cooked greens. Serves 8 to 10.

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Spinach

Spinach Cheese Quesadilla from Cook Smart, Eat Smart

  • 4, 8-inch whole-wheat tortillas
  • 1⁄2 cup crumbled Feta cheese (or other cheese)
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 green onion, minced
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • black pepper to taste

Place cheese, spinach and green onions on two of the tortillas. Spinkle with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Top with remaining tortillas and press firmly. Heat non-stick pan over medium high heat. Coat with non-stick cooking spray. Cook each tortilla 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Cut into wedges to serve. Serves 4.

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Squash Recipes

The following recipe gives you many options to try with your family for a different twist every night:

Roasted Butternut Squash and Fresh Fruit

Butternut squash goes great with fresh fruits and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Try this recipe:

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled & cubed
  • 1 cup apple, cubed
  • 1 pear, peeled & cubed
  • ½ cup figs, chopped (may substitute with ¼ cup cranberries or raisins)
  • Ginger to taste

Coat a baking dish with cooking spray. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl then place into baking dish. Spray the top with butter-flavored spray. Bake covered at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-40 minutes until tender. To prepare in the microwave, cover and cook on high for 12 minutes.

Stuffed Round Summer Squash

Cut the top off 4 small round squash and gently scoop out center flesh, keeping about ½- inch thick cups. Reserve this flesh to use later.

Mix in bowl:

  • ½ cup chopped tomato (or salsa, or peppers, or onion, or combination)
  • ½ cup chopped shiitake mushrooms (or other mushrooms, or beans)
  • ½ cup partially cooked grain (like quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat pasta or bread crumbs)
  • ¼ cup Italian herb goat cheese (or parmesan or ricotta cheese)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil (or other herbs of choice)

Stuff mixture into squash cups. Cover and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes, or wrap the squash in foil and cook on grill.

Don’t be afraid to add other ingredients of your choice, like browned ground meat or sausage. You can easily do the same thing with straight necked or cylindrical summer squash. If you have leftover stuffing, you might mix with chopped flesh that you removed from the squash originally, and put into a sprayed casserole dish to bake and serve the next night.

Summer Garden Vegetable Medley

Wash and thinly slice about 4 cups of any variety of green or yellow squash. Wash and chop 1 bell pepper, 6 green onions and 2 tomatoes (You also may add mushrooms, eggplant, cabbage or other vegetables you have on hand too.)

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in skillet. Add peppers and onions. Cook 2 minutes. Add other vegetable and continue cooking for 5 minutes.

Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Delicious served hot or cold.

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Strawberry Recipes

Fruit Blast Smoothie

  • ½ cup nonfat milk
  • ½ cup plain nonfat vanilla or plain yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen unsweetened fruit such as blueberries, strawberries or peaches
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Put all the ingredients into a blender. Process until smooth. Serves 2.

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Sweet Potato

Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges from Cook Smart, Eat Smart

  • 2 (8-ounce) sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1⁄2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1⁄4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1⁄8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cut sweet potatoes in half lengthwise; cut each half into six wedges. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Toss gently to coat. Place wedges on a baking sheet so they do not overlap. Bake at 425 degrees F until very tender. Serves 4.

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Tomato

Lush Tomato Salad

  • 4 lbs. tomatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • ½ cup capers
  • 3 cups basil leaves, cut into pieces
  • ½ cup parsley, minced
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Wash hands and produce thoroughly. Coarsely chop tomatoes and thinly slice the onion. Combine tomatoes, onion and capers in a large salad bowl. Sprinkle herbs over the tomato mixture. Drizzle the dish with vegetable oil and balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine everything, then serve at room temperature. Serves 8.

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Zucchini Recipes

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 farm fresh eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups grated zucchini

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with nonstick spray. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Combine the milk, applesauce, eggs and vanilla in another bowl. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture. Add the zucchini and stir until just blended. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Serves 24.

Veggie Tortilla Lasagna

  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 large zucchini, cut in half and sliced lengthwise
  • ¾ cup fresh or frozen cut corn, thawed
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers*, or 7 oz. jar roasted red peppers, sliced
  • 1/3 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 ¼ cups grated Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 cup salsa, drained of juice in a colander
  • 6 6-inch corn tortillas

*Place a red pepper under broiler or on grill. Cook until skin is blackened. Place in ziplock bag for a few minutes. Peel skin off pepper and use in recipe.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Add vegetable oil to large pan and heat. Add zucchini, corn and peppers. Cook about 8 minutes until zucchini is barely tender. In bowl, mix cheeses. Trim sides of tortillas to fit a loaf pan. Layer the tortillas, veggies, cheese mixture and salsa. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Serves 6.

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Other Healthy Recipes

Beef Stir Fry from Cook Smart, Eat Smart

You may substitute pork, chicken or tofu as the protein source in this recipe.

  • 1 lb. lean beef, cut into thin strips
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, cut into strips
  • 2 cups fresh-cut vegetables (such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower)
  • 6 cups cooked rice, hot
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup stir-fry sauce (see recipe)
  • 4 cups cooked rice

Place stir-fry pan, wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp. vegetable oil. When oil and pan are hot, add the meat; cook until meat is thoroughly browned. Remove meat from pan. Add fresh vegetables and continue to stir until vegetables are tender. Add the cooked beef back to the pan. Pour stir-fry sauce into skillet with stir fry. Cook until sauce bubbles. Spoon stir-fry mixture over cooked rice. Serves 6.

Beefy Vegetable Soup from Cook Smart, Eat Smart

Making a roux by browning butter, adding flour and cooking until brown and “nutty” tasting, and then adding water thickens the soup and adds a complex background flavor to the finished soup. Ground chicken or turkey could be used instead of ground beef. For a vegetarian version, omit meat and add a can of any kind of beans. There are several varieties of frozen vegetable soup or gumbo mixes that contain corn, potatoes, peppers, carrots, onions, okra and other vegetables. Any of these mixes, including just peas and carrots, will work. Look for frozen vegetable mixes without added sauces or butter. Add flavor to vegetable soups by substituting a vegetable juice, like V-8, for a third to one half of the water in the recipe. The beef broth may have enough salt so that added salt is not needed. Taste at the end of cooking and adjust salt if needed. This recipe could also be assembled and cooked in a slow cooker on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.

  • 2 lbs. extra-lean ground beef
  • 2 tbsp. margarine
  • 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup carrot, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen, mixed vegetables
  • 1 (28-ounce) can chopped or diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp. pepper
  • Salt to taste

Brown ground beef in a large pot, stirring to crumble as it cooks. Drain the fat off the cooked beef. Set beef aside. Melt margarine in the same pot; add flour and cook over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes and stir until a smooth paste forms. Gradually add water, stirring constantly; cook over medium heat until bubbly, stirring occasionally. Add cooked ground beef and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 1 hour. Serves 12.

Build a Basic Packet Meal from Cook Smart, Eat Smart

Parchment paper works best for all types of food, especially acidic foods, but aluminum foil will work if parchment is unavailable. All of the protein choices need to be boneless in order to cook quickly. Removing the skin from the meat is a good idea to reduce the fat and calories of the dish. Everyone in the household can have a different selection. Clean up is easy because you can throw the parchment or foil away. Packet meals work well on the outdoor grill as well.

Protein

  • Ground beef patty
  • Fish fillet
  • Boneless, skinless chicken
  • Boneless pork chop
  • Tofu slices

Vegetables

  • Whole kernel corn
  • Black beans
  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • Carrots
  • Bell peppers
  • Onion
  • Cherry or diced tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Olives
  • Mushrooms
  • Sweet potatoes

Spices

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Dry mustard
  • Chili powder
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Italian seasoning
  • Tarragon
  • Lemon slices

Toppings/Sauces

  • Salsa
  • Lemon juice
  • Dry white wine
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Barbeque sauce