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Dover Post
  • Welcome to my Kitchen: Adding vegetables into your menu is easier than you think

  • Food columnist Judi Leaming offers up more options to celebrate National Eat Your Vegetables Day, including a Basic Omelet recipe, Chocolate Zucchini Bread and One-pot Pasta.


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  • You may recall that last week I gave you fair warning that National Eat Your Vegetables Day was fast approaching and that you should be planning accordingly. I have yet to discover who “invented or created” such a day but this is surely the right time of year to celebrate with all those brightly colored veggies that are appearing in roadside markets. Yes, the big box stores have them, too, but in all likelihood the vegetables for sale in them haven’t been raised locally and have traveled a lot farther and a lot longer to get from the soil to your plate. Support your local farm markets.
    Obviously there are quite a number of ways in which to incorporate vegetables into your menu. How about starting off June 17 with a puffy veggie filled omelet? Using the recipe for a Basic Omelet that comes from the “Six Ingredients or Less” cookbook, you can personalize your omelets to suit those at the table. Have you ever been to the omelet station at a breakfast buffet? Just think about the choices that you have there — fresh, sliced mushrooms, chopped Roma tomatoes, minced red or green peppers, kernels of corn or chopped gently steamed asparagus. Just prepare the omelet according to the recipe and add the vegetables just as the eggs start to “set” in the pan. This recipe is dedicated to our granddaughter Rose who is learning to make omelets.
    And how about some Chocolate Zucchini Bread (or muffins) to go along with those omelets? Zucchini is now readily available and by the end of the summer, you’ll be begging for a way to use it, so start now with this recipe from the “Recipes from Readers” cookbook recently published by the Friends of the Dover Library.
    And for dinner? Try Lucy Howie’s One-pot Pasta — also from the above mentioned cookbook.  Lucy’s note reads “This is gourmet fare and a great way to get your family to eat their vegetables! This makes 4 servings with only 1 pot to wash!”
    Basic Omelet
    3 large eggs
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon water
    1 tablespoon butter
    Optional ingredients:
    Sliced, cleaned mushrooms
    Finely chopped onion
    Finely chopped red or green peppers
    Finely chopped (and drained) Roma tomatoes
    Corn kernels, cut from the cob
    Shredded cheese of your choice
    Combine eggs, salt, pepper and water in a small bowl and mix with a fork until the whites and yolks are just blended; set aside. Slowly heat an 8- or 9-inch curved-sided non-stick skillet over medium heat. The pan must be hot enough for the butter to sizzle but not brown. Add butter to heated skillet and increase heat slightly. When butter is melted (but not browned), add egg mixture all at once. As eggs begin to set, add any optional ingredients of your choice. With a heat-proof spatula pull edges of eggs slightly up and toward the center, letting uncooked egg flow underneath. When the eggs are lightly set, fold omelet in half and serve. Makes 1 omelet.
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    Chocolate Zucchini Bread
    (contributed to “Recipes from Readers” by Annie Norman)
    3 eggs
    1 cup vegetable oil
    2 cups granulated sugar
    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    2 cups zucchini, shredded and drained
    1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, well-drained
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 (9-inch) loaf pans OR 36 regular size muffin tins. Stir all ingredients together to mix well. Divide evenly between prepared baking pans. Bake 9-inch loaves for 1 hour or muffins for 20 to 30 minutes.  Cool just slightly before removing from pans to continue cooling on wire racks.
     
    One-pot Pasta
    (contributed to “Recipes from Readers” by Lucy Howie)
    12-ounces linguine
    2 cups fresh broccoli florets
    1 cup fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
    2 cups zucchini, sliced
    1/2 cup fresh snow peas
    1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
    1/2 cup half-and-half
    1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    2 tablespoons butter, softened and cut into small pieces
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add linguine; boil for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Gradually, so that the water does not stop boiling, add broccoli and asparagus; cook for 2 more minutes. Gradually add zucchini, snow peas and green peas and cook for 3 minutes longer. Combine half-and-half, Parmesan cheese, butter and salt and pepper in a large serving bowl, stirring to combine. Drain pasta and vegetables well; pour immediately into serving bowl. Toss to coat with cream mixture and to distributed vegetables. Serve immediately.