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Vegetable of the Month: Peas

Varieties of Peas

Green peas are nestled within large, bulging, grass green pods that are typically round and sweet. The green pea pods are tough, do not have good flavor, and therefore, are not eaten. Snow peas (Chinese pea pods) and sugar snap peas are more often found fresh, but many companies are now selling them frozen. These peas are eaten raw or cooked with the pod intact.

Snow peas supply less protein and are lower in B vitamins than green shelled peas because they are eaten when their seeds are still immature. However, snow peas provide almost twice the calcium, 100% of the RDA for vitamin C, and slightly more iron than green peas. Tips to Make Peas a Part of Your Day

  • Season cooked peas with fresh or dried mint, chopped fresh parsley, curry powder, or with lemon.
  • Add shelled green peas, snow peas, or sugar snap peas to tossed green or pasta salads or to stir-fried dishes.
  • Snow and sugar snap peas can be eaten raw as a snack or with your favorite low-fat dip.

Recipes

Oriental Snow Peas
Makes 4 servings.

Ingredients

1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 lb fresh snow pea pods, trimmed
1/2 cup diagonally sliced carrot
1/4 cup sliced water chestnuts
1/2 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp cornstarch

Add oil to a nonstick skillet and heat over medium-high heat until hot. Add snow peas and carrots. Sauté 2 minutes. Add water chestnuts and broth. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Combine soy sauce and cornstarch, stir until cornstarch dissolves. Add to vegetable mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens. Serve immediately.

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 50, Fat 1.5g, Saturated Fat 0.3g, Cholesterol 0mg, Carbohydrates 8.5g, Dietary Fiber 2.5g, Sodium 66mg, Protein 2g.

Stir-Fried Rice
Makes 6 side-dish servings

Ingredients

1 cup rice (white or brown)
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup egg substitute
1/2 tsp mustard powder
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp shredded fresh ginger
1/2 cup carrot chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 8-oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained
2 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce

Cook rice as directed but substitute 1 cup chicken broth for 1 cup water. Let rice cool to room temperature or cover and refrigerate until ready to use. In a small bowl mix together egg substitute, and dry mustard until blended. Lightly coat a large skillet or wok with nonstick vegetable spray. Heat skillet over medium heat and add egg mixture. Cook the egg mixture without stirring until they begin to set; stir and cook until the egg bits are small and crumbly. Remove and set aside.

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