Men complain to me constantly that they'd love to eat more vegetables, but just don't know how to cook them. In my continuing drive to extend men's life expectancy to equal women's, I've tapped a couple of cookbooks for ideal recipes. Each is flavorful, easy, and healthful (yes, it can be done!). Even beginner cooks will come off looking like pros with these vegetable dishes that turn lean meat, poultry or fish into a complete, well-balanced dinner.
If this is too complicated for you, most vegetables taste great if you just wash, peel and eat.
Oven-barbecued root vegetables
Makes 2 servings
1 1/4 pounds root vegetables (carrots, onion, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips), peeled and cut into same-size pieces
1/2 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce, or make this sauce:
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Line an 8-inch-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and arrange the vegetables on top of the foil in a single layer. Mix the ketchup, sugar, lemon rind, lemon juice, mustard and oil, and brush evenly over the vegetables (or use your favorite barbecue sauce). Bake one hour, until vegetables are charred outside and soft inside. During cooking, turn vegetables every 20 minutes, and baste with sauce or pan juice.
Per serving: 266 calories, 4 g protein, 58 g carbohydrate, 4 g fat
Greek green beans and tomatoes
Makes 2 servings
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large tomato, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound green beans
In a heavy, 10-inch, nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook the onions in the oil for 3 minutes, or until tender but not brown. Stir in the garlic, tomatoe, dill, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes, or until the juices begin to run from the tomato.
Break the ends off the green beans and cut them into 2-inch pieces. Add to the tomato mixture. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and cook the beans for 10 minutes or until they are as tender as you like them. Serve hot or cold.
Per serving: 92 calories, 3 g protein, 16 g carbohydrate, 3 g fat.
(The above two recipes from "Healthy Cooking for Two [or just you]," by Frances Price, Rodale Press, $27.95)
Broccoli and red pepper medley
Makes 4 servings
1 1/2 pounds broccoli
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/3 cup thinly sliced leek, white part only
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Wash and trim the broccoli. Use florets and about one inch of the stems. Cut florets into one-inch pieces, and cut stems into 1/2 -inch slices. In a 10-inch round microwaveable baking dish, arrange florets in the center with stems around the outside. Sprinkle with water. Cover tightly with vented plastic wrap and JTC microwave on high for 5 minutes, or until very crisp. Let stand, covered, for three minutes.
Uncover and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle the pepper, leeks and thyme over the top. Re-cover with vented plastic wrap and microwave on high for 1 minute. Let stand, covered, 3 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.
Per serving: 63 calories, 3 g protein, 7 g carbohydrate, 3 g fat
(From "Quick and Hearty," by Pat Baird, Henry Holt & Co., $20.95)
Colleen Pierre, a registered dietitian, is the nutrition consultant at the Union Memorial Sports Medicine Center and Vanderhorst & Associates in Baltimore.
Pub Date: 6/18/96