Chef Susie Jimenez: Start the year with new ways to prep veggies
Wanting to start the new year in the right way is something we all think about. How we are going to eat healthy, how we are going to exercise and do something different and better this year. I can’t help you on some of these things, but one thing I can definitely do is help you get ideas on healthy, flavorful ways of eating more vegetables.
Lemon and garlic roasted vegetables
This is a fun way of trying something new at the store and in the vegetable section.
Try sweet potatoes, turnips, rootabega, acorn squash, and brussel sprouts. Cut them in equal size parts and toss with olive oil, chopped garlic and thin slices of lemon. Place on a sheet pan with only one layer to get a nice roast. You will enjoy these so much you will keep playing with other root vegetables every time you go into the store.
Grilling is not just for the summer months. Take advantage of the smoky flavor you can get from your vegetables by grilling more often.
Use infused balsamic vinegars to marinate vegetables for 20 minutes before placing them on the grill. Make sure you place them on medium high heat to get those grill marks for only 3-4 minutes on each side. Don’t overcook them; you need to taste the vegetables and have them be al dente.
Grilled sweet potatoes and carrots are also delicious.
Sauteeing mixed greens
If you haven’t already tried to sauté mixed greens into your everyday dishes, you should.
Spinach, arugula, kale, romaine and endive, using a fast flash sauté with a touch of citrus is just amazing.
Place a sauté pan over high heat with a tablespoon of olive oil until it starts to smoke. Add your desired greens for 10 seconds and mix a few times and remove from heat. Juice a half a lime or lemon into it with a sprinkle of salt and you are set.
Although we all crave warmth in the winter months. Raw vegetables are so rewarding and delicious but add a texture to your dish. Sear a piece of salmon, chicken or even a steak and place a nice slaw of red cabbage, fennel and/or shredded carrot with a nice tangy dressing with herbs.
2 cups raw shredded vegetables
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped fine
1 jalapeño, chopped fine
1 lime, juiced
1/4 cup red onion, sliced
Mix and season with salt
Have fun cooking in 2017 and use ingredients you normally wouldn’t. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring; it can be fun, exciting and lots of trials, but that’s how we start learning we love other ingredients.
Susie Jimenez was the runner-up from season 7 of “Food Network Star” and owns a local catering company. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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