Veggie Tales

By Tamera Thomas Franklin County Extension Agent Published:

If your family has lived in Kentucky for many generations, you probably have a meal memory of someone serving vegetables that had been scalloped, candied, creamed, stuffed, or stewed. If these dishes sound good but too calorie-laden to enjoy, read on for fresh ideas on old-fashioned vegetables.

To make these family favorites healthier, adjust your recipe to include more vegetables. For added flavor and color, stir in favorites such as pimento, boiled eggs, bread crumbs, or canned mushrooms and soups. Instead of butter or cream, use tub margarine or low-fat or soy milk. Use flavored canned tomatoes to save time.

A stuffing with chopped celery, onions, or mushrooms mixed with your favorite herbs try sage, thyme, parsley is moister and more flavorful than bread crumbs alone.

Visit our Franklin County Farmers Market to see which seasonal vegetables are available. You might enjoy asparagus, corn, squash, or cabbage.

To candy carrots, use maple syrup, sorghum, or honey with margarine and cinnamon. If youre short on time, check out your local grocers frozen vegetable selections. You may find creamed spinach and green bean casserole on the shelves as food producers tap into the consumer demand for old-fashioned vegetables in a healthy way. Frozen bags of chopped onion and green pepper are also available. Vegetables are back to share at meals and to make new memories.

My favorite vegetable meal memory is my grandmothers fresh green beans with slices of garden tomatoes, onions, and fried corn. Do you have a favorite vegetable meal memory? Try the following recipes for your family.

Cabbage Au Gratin

4 cups shredded cabbage

4 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

1 tablespoons all-purpose flour

teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1 cup soft bread crumbs

Boil cabbage in water (enough to cover) for 5 minutes; drain. Make white sauce by combining 2 tablespoons melted butter, flour, and salt in a saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until bubbly. Gradually add milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and thick. Alternate layers of cabbage, cheese, and white sauce in a greased 1- quart casserole dish. Combine bread crumbs and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle crumb mixture over casserole. Bake at 350 degree for 25 minutes. Yield: 8 servings. Nutritional Analysis: 190 calories, 7 g protein, 15 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 11 g fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 440 mg sodium

Broccoli Salad Supreme

4 cups raw broccoli, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped

cup green onions, chopped

4 slices bacon, fried crisp and crumbled

2/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1 cup seedless green grapes

1 cup seedless red grapes

1/3 cup sugar

1 cup reduced fat mayonnaise

1 tablespoon vinegar

Toss together the vegetables, bacon, almonds, and grapes. Mix the sugar, mayonnaise, and vinegar to make a dressing. Pour the dressing over the mixture and stir gently to allow it to coat the ingredients evenly. Refrigerate overnight or as time allows. Yield: 14 servings. Analysis: 100 calories, 3 g protein, 12 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 6 g fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 20 mg. sodium.

Source: Janet Tietyen, Extension Food and Nutrition Specialist, University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture.

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