A heap of healthful choices


April 18, 2007|By Erin Mendell | Erin Mendell,Sun reporter

Super Natural Cooking

By Heidi Swanson

The Produce Bible

By Leanne Kitchen

Stewart, Tabori and Chang / 2007 / $29.95

Because the focus is on fresh fruit and vegetables, it seems as though Leanne Kitchen's book should be divided by season, but it is divided by type of produce. Within fruit, for example, there are citrus, stone and tropical sections. Flipping through to figure out what was in season was awkward.

The Avocado Salsa was simple, fast and delicious. With chunks of avocado, tomato and onions, it would make a good salad, too. The Pear Tarte Tatin, made with puff pastry, is a delicious dessert, though I would cut back on the sugar next time. The recipe's 2/3 cup overwhelmed the taste of the pears.

The Produce Bible includes recipes using meat and seafood but is vegetarian-friendly. It's hard to make a meal from the recipes, though, because it's organized as a hodgepodge of salads, snacks, desserts and main dishes.


Spring Minestrone With Brown Rice

Serves 4

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 shallots, thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

3/4 cup medium-grain brown basmati rice, rinsed

6 cups vegetable stock

1 cup sugar snap or snow peas, trimmed and cut in half diagonally

8 spears asparagus, trimmed and diagonally sliced into 1-inch pieces

1/2 cup green peas, fresh or frozen, or a couple of handfuls of edamame

fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, then add the shallots and garlic and saute for a couple of minutes, until soft. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then add the stock and bring to a boil. Cover, lower the heat and simmer until the rice is just tender, 35 to 45 minutes.

Add the sugar snap peas, asparagus and green peas, and season with a few healthy pinches of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Simmer for another 2 or 3 minutes, and serve immediately; this way the vegetables stay crisp and bright.

From "Super Natural Cooking"

Per serving: 252 calories, 6 grams protein, 8 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 39 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fiber, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 1,422 milligrams sodium

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.