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Making Vegetables Taste Good

Tossing vegetables with a good olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice is all you need to do to perk up any green, but the suggestions below will help you go one delicious step further. They work well with either fresh or frozen greens (green beans, broccoli, broccolini, spinach, Swiss chard, kale, sugar snap peas, snow peas or asparagus). Yield per serving for recipes below: 4 servings. Calories are for topping only. Add 20-30 calories for a 1/2 cup of cooked greens.

Orange Sesame Drizzle: Whisk 2 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce, 2 Tbsp orange juice, 1 Tbsp rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp sesame oil, 2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp chili-garlic sauce, 2 tsp minced fresh ginger and 1 clove minced garlic together in a small bowl. Warm in the microwave, if desired. Toss with 2 cups cooked greens of choice. Top each serving with 1/2 tsp toasted sesame seeds. Calories per serving: 60.

Balsamic Vinegar with Pine Nuts and Raisins: Simmer 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar with 1 Tbsp chopped shallots in a small skillet over medium heat until syrupy, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in 2 Tbsp raisins (or dried cranberries) and 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil. Toss with 2 cups cooked greens of choice. Stir in 2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts (or chopped almonds), and season with salt and pepper. Calories per serving: 80.

Prosciutto and Garlic: Saute 1/4 cup chopped prosciutto and 3/4 cup chopped onion in 2 tsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until onion has softened, 2-3 minutes. Add 3 cloves minced garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper; saute 30 seconds. Add 1/3 cup dry white wine (use non-alcoholic if desired) and 1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth; simmer until just a few Tbsp syrupy juices remain, 1-2 minutes. Add 2 cups cooked greens of choice; toss to coat. Season with pepper. Calories per serving: 60.

Toasted Walnut Topping: Toast 3 Tbsp chopped walnuts and 1 Tbsp chopped shallots in 1 tsp butter in a small skillet, stirring, over medium heat until fragrant and light golden, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with 2 cups cooked greens of choice. Calories per serving: 50.

Lemon-Garlic Dressing: Whisk 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tsp grated lemon zest, 2 tsp lemon juice and 1 clove minced garlic in a small bowl. Warm in the microwave, if desired. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with 2 cups cooked greens of choice. Calories per serving: 60.

Spicy Peanut Sauce: Combine 1/4 cup natural peanut butter and 2 Tbsp hot black tea (or boiling water) and stir until smooth. Stir in 1 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce, 1 Tbsp lime juice, 1 tsp brown sugar, 1 clove minced garlic and 1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper. Spoon over 2 cups cooked greens of choice. Calories per serving: 110.

From Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter; July 2004

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