Eat Your Colors
Gardeners are generally a healthy lot, but if you want to increase your awareness of eating more vegetables and fruits, the 5 A Day for Better Health Program provides lots of ideas. A nationwide initiative originally formed between the National Cancer Institute and the Produce for Better Health Foundation, 5 A Day is presently the world's largest public/private partnership for nutrition. Included on the Web site is information for consumers, kids, and educators. Articles and aids for consumers include a discussion of the benefits of phytochemicals, how select and store produce, frequently asked questions, a journal to track eating habits, recipes focusing on vegetables and fruits, and a number of related links.
With the main-season vegetables at their peak, it's the perfect opportunity to experiment with lots of news ways of cooking them. Among my many vegetable cookbooks, the following are the ones I turn to day in, day out. Greene on Greens by Bert Greene (Workman Publishing Company, 1984, hardcover and paperback, 432 pages, out-of-print) may be 21 years old, but his recipes are far from dated and range from "down home" to ethnic and unusual. Covering more than thirty different vegetables, Greene presents not only mouthwatering ideas for preparing them but also a treasure trove of colorful anecdotes and tidbits of vegetable history and trivia. Perfect Vegetables by The Editors of Cook's Illustrated Magazine (America's Test Kitchen, 2003, hardcover, 352 pages, $29.95) carries on in the tradition of the magazine with super-tested recipes for forty-two different vegetables, plus a short section on vegetable soups. The recipe range is impressive, going from basic preparation to classic dishes to more innovative ideas as well as master recipes with numerous variations. Plus, there are dozens of technique and equipment notes.