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Vegetable Cheat Sheet A – K

Arugula (Rocket)
Season: Spring / Early Summer
Cooking: Raw / Saute
Tips: Great for salad and throwing into mixed dishes. Saute like kale. Mix into stuffings, quiches and more for baking.

Asparagus
Season: Late Spring / Early Summer
Cooking: Steam / Saute / Stir-fry / Grill / Bake / Raw
Tips: Must be fresh; don’t buy if the tips have gone mushy. Before cooking, snap off hard ends and discard. Steams quickly (about 5-8 minutes). Finished cooking when stalks turn bright green. Can serve as a hot veg or cold salad veg. Makes nice soup.

Cooking is easy once you get to know your veggies

Beans, Green
Season: Summer / Early Autumn
Cooking: Steam / Saute / Stir-fry / Bake / Raw
Tips: Before cooking, trim ends and discard. Steams quickly (about 8 minutes). Finished cooking when tender. Can serve as a hot veg or cold salad veg.

Beets (Beetroot)
Season: Spring / Summer / Autumn / Winter
Cooking: Bake / Boil / Raw (grated)
Tips: Baking takes a bit longer but retains more nutrients and flavour. Finished cooking when sharp knife or skewer goes through easily (1-2 hours depending on size). Skin peels off easily after beets are cooked and cooled. Can serve as a hot veg or cold salad veg. Great with drizzled olive oil. Leaves are slightly bitter but can be prepared and eaten like kale (below).

Bell Peppers (Capsicum)
Season: Summer / Autumn
Cooking: Raw / Grill / Saute / Stir-fry
Tips: Great raw as a snack or in salads. Skin peels off easily after char-grilled and cooled. To keep fresh longer, store remaining cut pieces wrapped in paper towel in fridge drawer. Grilled or roasted bell peppers (capsicum) can be used to make sauces.

Broccoli
Season: Autumn / Winter / Early Spring
Cooking: Steam / Stir-fry / Raw
Tips: Cut into flowerets. Cooks quickly (about 5-8 minutes). Finished cooking when flowerets turn bright green and tender. Can serve as a hot veg or cold salad veg. Makes nice soup.

Brussel Sprouts
Season: Autumn / Winter
Cooking: Steam / Saute
Tips: Cut off ends and remove loose outer leaves. Make a little cross in the end to help cook evenly. Steams in about 5-10 minutes. Or steam for 1-2 minutes then saute to finish. Finished when tender.

Cabbage
Season: Late Summer / Autumn / Winter
Cooking: Steam / Raw
Tips: Remove outer leaves and hard core. Shred or grate cabbage finely for best results (food processor makes it easy). Steam with minimal water for about 5 minutes. Finished when just wilted. Can serve as a hot veg or cold salad veg (slaw).

Carrots
Season: Year-round
Cooking: Raw / Steam / Saute / Boil / Stir-fry / Bake / Slow-Cooker
Tips: Most convenient raw snack veg as doesn’t need cutting. Peeling skin off does not remove nutrients. Finished cooking when tender. Can serve as a hot veg or cold salad veg.

Cauliflower
Season: Late Summer / Autumn / Winter
Cooking: Steam / Bake / Raw
Tips: Cut into flowerets. Steams in about 10 minutes. Finished cooking when flowerets are tender. Makes nice soup, or mashed as an alternative to mashed potato.

Celery
Season: Late Summer / Autumn / Winter
Cooking: Raw / Slow-Cooker
Tips: Convenient raw veg snack; nice with nut butter or homemade dip. Breaks down nicely in slow-cooked meals. Leaves and top of stalks can be used in making stocks, broths and soups.

Corn
Season: Summer / Early Autumn
Cooking: Steam / Bake / Grill
Tips: Remove husks (shuck) before steaming. Steam covered in small amount of water for about 5-10 minutes until just tender. When baking, corn is finished when green husks turn straw colour. Cold cooked corn works well as a salad ingredient or as a snack.

Eggplant
Season: Summer/ Early Autumn
Cooking: Grill / Saute / Bake
Tips: Easiest cooking method is to slice lengthwise or into rounds, put under grill until hot, rub on butter, then grill until golden (one or both sides). Eggplant slices make nice layers in veggie stacks, or used to pile meat and veg on as an alternative to bread.

Kale
Season: Autumn / Winter
Cooking: Steam / Raw (in shakes/juice)
Tips: Remove stems and tear leaves off ribs. Steam with minimal water for about 8 minutes until wilted. Then squeeze out liquid in a strainer before serving. Can be used raw in green shakes or veggie juices.

The rest of the veggie alphabet is at Vegetable Cheat Sheet L-Z

Happy Cooking!

References:

– Simply in Season Website: http://simplyinseason.org/season/guide/
– Nourishing Traditions; Sally Fallon. Washington DC: New Trends Publishing, 1999.

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