Show Subscription Form




Share:

Vegetables

A Cream Sauce for Veggies

If you don’t have time to make a cream sauce for vegetables, just combine equal parts mayonnaise and water used to cook the vegetables. Season to taste. It’s creamy, smooth and delicious. —Kitty…

Read More

Advice About Eggplant

SELECT eggplant with smooth skin; avoid those with soft or brown spots. Refrigerate eggplant for up to 5 days in a plastic bag. Young and tender eggplants do not need to be peeled before using,…

Read More

Arugula

A small tender leafy green with a peppery taste also known as rocket. Often used in salads, alone or as part of a mix of greens, in pizzas, sandwiches and pesto sauces. Pairs well with prosciutto,…

Read More

Asparagus Tips

The peak months for buying asparagus are April and May. When buying, look for firm, straight, uniform-size spears. The tips should be closed with crisp stalks. It's best to use asparagus within a…

Read More

Baby Spinach

A variety of spinach with a small flat leaf that is tender in texture. Found in grocery stores bulk or in several different size cellophane bags ready cleaned; can be eaten cooked or raw.

Read More

Baking a Winter Squash

To bake winter squash for mashing, cut the squash in half; scoop out and discard seeds. Place cut side down in a greased baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 45 to 60 minutes or until…

Read More

Banana Pepper Pointers

The flavor of banana peppers is sweet and mild. Look for peppers with evenly colored skins that are free of blemishes. They stay fresh in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for about 1 week.

Read More

Basic Brussels Sprouts

To make boiled buttered brussels sprouts, remove any yellow outer leaves from the sprouts and trim stem ends. Add 1 inch of water to saucepan; add brussels sprouts. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat;…

Read More

Bouillon Flavors Green Beans

Instead of cooking green beans in plain water, I add some beef bouillon granules and sugar to give subtle flavor. —Roberta Pentz, Omak, Washington

Read More

Brightly Colored Vegetables

To keep boiled vegetables bright-colored, add a few drops of olive oil to the water. —Ana B., Los Angeles, California

Add a pinch of baking soda to brussels sprouts, broccoli and green…

Read More

Broccoli Rabe

Also known as rapini, this vegetable is a member of the cabbage family. It has spiked green leaves surrounded by a green bud that looks similar to a small head of broccoli. The vegetable is often…

Read More

Buying and Storing Broccoli

Broccoli comes from the Latin word brachium, which means branch or arm. When purchasing broccoli, look for bunches that have a deep green color, tightly closed buds and crisp leaves. Store in a…

Read More

Buying and Storing Cauliflower

When purchasing fresh cauliflower, look for a head with compact florets that are free from yellow or brown spots. The leaves should be crisp and green, not withered or discolored. Tightly wrap an…

Read More

Buying and Storing Green Beans

Buy fresh green beans with slender green pods that are free of bruises or brown spots. Store unwashed fresh green beans in a resealable plastic bag for up to 4 days. Wash just before using,…

Read More

Buying and Storing Winter Squash

The most common varieties of winter squash are butternut, acorn, hubbard, spaghetti and turban. Look for squash which feel heavy for their size and have hard, deep-colored rinds that are free of…

Read More

Cabbage Capers

WHEN BUYING CABBAGE, look for those with crisp-looking leaves that are firmly packed. The head should feel heavy for its size. Store cabbage tightly wrapped in a plastic bag in the refrigerator…

Read More

Cauliflower Cooking Tip

To Boil: Place cauliflower florets in a saucepan; add 1 in. of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 5-10 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain.

To Steam: Place…

Read More

Chipotle

A smoked and dried jalapeno pepper originating in the area surrounding Mexico City. Often found canned in a chili sauce in the United States, chipotles are medium to hot in heat levels and are…

Read More

Chopping Avocados

Place halved and peeled avocados in a bowl and use a potato masher or pastry blender to quickly break up the avocado.

Read More

Cutting Hot Peppers

When cutting or seeding hot peppers, use rubber or plastic gloves to protect your hands. Avoid touching your face.

Read More

Dressing Up Everyday Vegetables

A side dish doesn't have to be elaborate. In fact, when serving a variety of flavorful foods, it's nice to include a basic vegetable that's been simply seasoned. Try these tasty toppings for hot…

Read More

Eating Whole Artichokes

Fully enjoying whole artichokes is a messy, finger-licking-good experience! Here are some hints for eating this unusual vegetable. Starting on the outside of the artichoke, remove petals, one at a…

Read More

Freezing Leftover Tomato Paste

A tablespoon or two of tomato paste adds richness and color to many savory dishes. Here's a tip for storing leftover tomato paste. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Mound the tomato paste in…

Read More

Freezing Zucchini

You can freeze zucchini with a bit of preparation. First, steam the shredded zucchini for 1 to 2 minutes or until translucent, then drain well. Pack in measured amounts into freezer containers,…

Read More

How Much Spinach

When a recipe calls for cooked fresh spinach, 1 pound of fresh spinach will yield 10-12 cups of torn leaves, which will cook down to about 1 cup. One package (10 ounces) of frozen spinach leaves…

Read More

How to Peel Acorn Squash

Place the whole squash in gently boiling water for 15 minutes; pour off water and chill in cold water for 5 minutes. When cool enough to handle, slice off peel from peaks or ridges with a knife;…

Read More

Kernels of Corn Facts

Fresh corn is at its peak May through September. Look for ears of corn with bright green tightly closed husks and golden brown silk. The kernels should be plump, milky and in closely spaced rows…

Read More

Making Mashed Sweet Potatoes

To cook sweet potatoes for mashing, place whole scrubbed sweet potatoes in a large kettle; cover with water. Cover and boil gently for 30 to 45 minutes or until potatoes can easily be pierced with…

Read More

Making Zucchini Rings

To make zucchini rings for the Festive Bean 'n' Pepper Bundles (above), use an apple corer. Slice a medium zucchini in half widthwise, and then push the corer into the center of each half. Slice…

Read More

Mashing Avocados

Cut avocado in half lengthwise. Twist to separate from the seed. With a sharp knife, strike the seed with the blade and lift out.

Scoop the meat from the skin with a tablespoon and place in…

Read More

Microwaving Squash

The microwave oven does a beautiful and quick job of cooking winter squash. For acorn squash (about 1 pound), cut squash in half and remove seeds; place cut side down in a microwave-safe dish.…

Read More

Mother Was Right; Eat Your Veggies

Tomatoes, spinach and broccoli are power foods...not only are they packed with nutrients, but they can also help fight diseases such as cancer.

Read More

Parsnips Pointers

Parsnips are a root vegetable that is similar to carrots. Look for small to medium parsnips that are firm and have smooth skin. Don't buy parsnips that are shriveled, limp, cracked or spotted.…

Read More

Portobellos

With their large size and meaty texture, portobello mushrooms are well suited for grilling or broiling. Their meaty texture makes them popular as vegetarian burgers and in other vegetarian…

Read More

Purple-Hull Green Beans

I plant purple-hull green beans every year in my vegetable garden. These beans are a beautiful deep purple color but turn green when cooked. They tend to stay firm when cooked and have a wonderful…

Read More

Quick, Easy Asparagus

For a quick and easy side dish, drizzle olive oil over trimmed fresh asparagus spears, sprinkle with salt and bake at 450° for 10-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus…

Read More

Removing Celery Strings

A potato peeler does a marvelous job removing the strings from celery. —Philamena P., Gainesville, Florida

Read More

Revive Limp Asparagus

To revive limp asparagus spears, cut 1/4 inch from the bottom of each spear. Place spears in a glass of ice water; cover with a plastic bag and refrigerate for 2 hours—the spears will crisp…

Read More

Reviving Celery

Give limp celery a second chance to season entrees, soups and stews. Cut end from limp stalk. Place in a jar or glass of cold water. Place in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

Read More

Ripen an Avocado

To quickly ripen an avocado, place the avocado in a paper bag with an apple. Poke the bag with a toothpick in several spots and leave at room temperature. The avocado should be ripe in 1 to 3…

Read More

Roasted Peppers

Here’s an easy way to roast fresh peppers. Place them on aluminum foil, then broil for about 10 minutes on each side or until blackened. Gather the foil around each pepper until cooled. The…

Read More

Roasting Veggies

When roasting several different types of vegetables at the same time, be sure to cut them in uniform pieces so they cook evenly. Cut denser vegetables such as carrots and potatoes into smaller…

Read More

Rutabaga and Turnip Tips

When shopping for rutabagas and turnips, select those that are smooth-skinned, unblemished, heavy, firm and not spongy. Look for rutabagas no larger than 4 inches in diameter and turnips no larger…

Read More

Salting Vegetables

When cooking vegetables in boiling or simmering water, you can sprinkle a little salt into the cooking water before adding the vegetables if desired. However, if the vegetables are to be served in…

Read More

Seeding and Slicing Avocados

The easiest avocados to peel and slice are those that are ripe yet firm. (Very ripe, soft avocados are best used for mashing.) Cut the avocado in half lengthwise. Twist the halves in opposite…

Read More

Shred & Freeze Carrots

I shred carrots and freeze them in plastic bags in 1-cup portions. When a recipe calls for shredded carrots, I just pull a bag out of the freezer. —Candace Z., Eagar, Arizona

Read More

Speedy Seeded Cucumber

To easily remove seeds from a cucumber, I cut it in half lengthwise, then run my melon baller down the length of both halves to scoop out the seeds. This is much faster than using a knife and…

Read More

Stock Up on Asparagus

When fresh asparagus is plentiful and inexpensive, stock up. Blanch, cool and store it covered with water in containers in the freezer. When thawed, it tastes just like fresh-picked. —Estelle M.,…

Read More

Store Vegetables Unwashed

As a general rule, wash vegetables (in water, no soaps or detergents) just before using, not before storing. If they're washed and then stored, the residual water can hasten spoilage.

Read More

Storing Celery

Remove celery from the store bag it comes in and wrap it in paper towel, then in aluminum foil. Store in the refrigerator. When you need some, break off what your recipe calls for, re-wrap the…

Read More

Stuffing Cherry Tomatoes

With a small sharp knife, cut the top off of each tomato. Scoop out the pulp with a small spoon, and place each tomato, cut side down, on paper towel to remove liquid. Discard pulp.

Combine…

Read More

Substituting Canned Pumpkin?

“Pie pumpkins” are the most flavorful variety for use in baking. Pick when fully ripened—the color will be deep orange, and the stem will easily break loose when ready to harvest. Wash, peel and…

Read More

Summer Squash

Summer squash have edible thin skins and soft seeds. Zucchini, pattypan and yellow are the most common varieties. Choose firm summer squash with brightly colored skin that's free from spots and…

Read More

Sun-dried Tomatoes

As the name indicates, these tomatoes have been dried to remove most of their water content, producing a chewy, intensely flavored tomato product. Sun-dried tomatoes are found in the grocery store…

Read More

Sweet Potato Secrets

Select sweet potatoes that are firm with no cracks or bruises. If stored in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place, they'll remain fresh for about 2 weeks. If the temperature is above 60°,…

Read More

The Basics of Beets

Look for beets with smooth, unblemished skin. The greens, if attached, should be brightly colored and not wilted. Before storing, remove the greens. Place the beets in a plastic bag and…

Read More

Tough Asparagus Stems

Don't throw away those tough ends when trimming fresh asparagus. Cook and drain the ends, then puree them with a bit of water or chicken broth in a blender until smooth. Freeze for future use in…

Read More

Useful Mushroom Information

Fresh mushrooms should be used within a few days of purchase. If that’s not possible, you can blanch or saute them in a jiffy, then freeze for up to 1 month for use in soups, sauces and…

Read More

Watercress

A delicate green with small round dark green leaves and edible stems often found growing in cooling running streams and brooks. It has a pungent flavor that is slightly bitter or peppery.…

Read More

What's a Jicama?

A jicama (HEE-kah-mah) is a root vegetable resembling a turnip that is also known as a Mexican potato. It has thin brown skin, white flesh, crunchy texture and a sweet, nutty flavor. Look for…

Read More

Working with Frozen Zucchini

Zucchini contains a lot of water, and freezing seems to pull the moisture to the surface, leaving a “puddle” upon thawing. You can add frozen zucchini directly to soup without thawing, but if…

Read More

Yellow Squash Boils with Flavor

In Brunswick Hills, Ohio, Marie H. gives yellow squash wonderful flavor by boiling it in salted water with a little sugar and cinnamon.

Read More