Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Recipe 3: Vegetables!

Okay, what? Tony Palumbo has always loved spaghetti and meatballs, so this is his vision of a perfect Thanksgiving meal. It's true, meatballs aren't vegetables. But I'll post a recipe soon (after a little kitchen testing) for a vegan version.

I always say that if I had to only pick two vegetables to have on a desert island (assuming there was an oven to cook with), I'd pick sweet potatoes and broccoli. They're just two of the best Superfoods in terms of nutrition as well as taste. And they're in the list of the Clean 15 that don't require as much pesticide to grow, so even if you don't get organic ones, you're okay.
And salad! Well, you can't beat salad because anything goes! Having some crunchy raw vegetables with your meal is not only refreshing and balancing, but it helps your digestion along. Also, as everybody knows, it keeps you from eating too many total calories in your meal because of the high fiber and water content.
You just can't go wrong with vegetables!

Sweet Potatoes
People often want to know what’s the best kind of sweet potato. I say any kind of sweet potato is the best kind! I love the garnet yams, jewel yams, yellow ones, orange ones, all of them
The simplest way to have them is to just wash them and bake them in their skins, uncut, at about 425 degrees for about an hour to an hour and a half, or until they’re soft. How long it takes really depends on how big they are. Once they’re baked, they’re so delicious hot, cold, or anywhere in between.
But, if you’d like to get a little fancier with them, here’s a good recipe:

Fancy Sweet Potatoes
2 – 4 medium sized sweet potatoes or yams
Wash and cut into chunks an inch or so big. Don’t peel them.
Toss with:
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons Mirin or other cooking wine
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Spray a baking dish with Pam or other spray oil and add the sweet potatoes along with all of the other ingredients. Bake at 425 degrees, turning them every so often with a spatula, for about an hour or until tender.

Simple But Delicious Broccoli
Serves 2-4
The trick here is to clean the broccoli properly. Just cut off the end of the stem, then
peel off the skin with your knife all the way up to where the branches start coming out
at the top of the broccoli. Now chop the stem into 1 inch pieces, then take apart the crown
into serving size pieces.

Mince 1 clove garlic and let it sit for a few minutes. In a cooking pot with a lid, place 1 Tablespoon olive oil with the minced garlic. Heat until the garlic just starts to brown a little. Add the broccoli pieces, 1/3 cup of water, and a sprinkle of sea salt. Cover and cook just until the broccoli is a little tender (about 8 minutes or so). If you find that the water has evaporated before the broccoli is cooked through, add a
little more water. At the end of the cooking time, you can remove the lid and let the water cook away for a few minutes.

Salad Extravaganza
Wash salad greens. My favorite mix is arugula, baby spinach, and chopped dandelion greens, but feel free to make it your own and use romaine, boston, whatever you like.
Slice a couple of carrots into coins and add those.
Add 6 pieces of fresh asparagus, uncooked, cut into 1 inch chunks.
Add any other chopped pieces of vegetables that you enjoy eating raw (could be cherry tomatoes,
sugar snap peas, green beans cut really small, broccoli, gobo root, lotus pods, mushrooms, etc.)

In your serving bowl, put 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil, 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar, and 1 Tablespoon brown mustard.
Add a handful of chopped raw walnuts and a handful of raw pumpkin seeds.

Now add the salad greens and vegetables. Mix it all up and serve.

PS This is also good with chopped apple or any other fruit added to the mix!


  1. Julie, I have never seen gobo root (or burdock) around anywhere. Any idea where to get it?

  2. They sell them in the produce section of our local health food grocery store and sometimes at the bigger supermarkets (Wegman's). They look like brown carrots and are often sold in a bag like carrots.
    Hope that helps!