Spring Vegetable Recipes and Tips
Fresh seasonal veggies are one more reason to celebrate spring.
An artichoke makes you work for its 10 grams of fiber and 63
calories! You pull, dip, and scrape each leaf on a cooked artichoke.
Then, with your top teeth, you scrape the flesh from the leaf. It takes about
10 minutes to properly eat an artichoke (I actually timed myself). Each medium
globe artichoke also gives you 9 milligrams of vitamin C and 107 micrograms of
- To buy: Look for plump artichokes that feel heavy for their size
with tightly closed leaves. If possible, pull back one of the outer leaves to
check that the insides don't have black spots.
- To store: Refrigerate artichokes, unwashed, in a plastic produce bag for up
to a week. Keep dry to prevent mold.
- To cook: Wash in cold water and cut off stem at base. If desired, you can
trim off the thorns by cutting 1/2 inch off the tip of each outer leaf.
Artichoke are commonly boiled until tender, but also can be cut in half
lengthwise and cooked fairly quickly with some water (1/8 cup per choke) in the
If you don't like broccoli, chances are you've had it overcooked in the
past. When broccoli is overcooked, its bright green color turns to dingy dark
green and its flavor can go from pleasantly subtle to stinky-strong. If you're
willing to give broccoli another try, try it raw in salad or as an appetizer
with a light dip; lightly cooked in a stir fry; or steamed. It's worth the
trouble because broccoli is what I would call a super-vegetable. One cup of
fresh florets provides 2 grams of fiber, 2,130 international units (IU) of
vitamin A, 66 milligrams of vitamin C, and 50 micrograms of folate, all for 20
- To buy: Look for odorless heads with tight, bluish-green florets. If
the floret part is yellow, it's been there too long.
- To store: Broccoli will keep well in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for
a few days.
- To cook: Cook just until tender by stir-frying, steaming, or in the
microwave. Watch the cooking time carefully to avoid overcooking.