Twenty-four pounds gone — halfway to my wedding weight of 1984 — and my success to this point and forward depends so much on what we pull from the garden and from the piles of local produce at the farmers’ markets. This week it was the last of our spring broccoli and our entire kohlrabi crop.
The broccoli we ate Saturday night with another luscious batch of shrimp risotto. I soaked the florets in lightly salted water long enough to discourage any animal life that had hitchhiked in from the garden, then drained and stir-fried it in olive oil. Heaven already but paradise with the addition of one of the McCormick Grill Mates, in this case, Roasted Garlic and Herb.
This is our first time growing and eating kohlrabi, the German turnip. I’ve seen it described as a cabbage cultivar having the taste and texture of broccoli stems, but the funny, bulbous stem that looks like the spaceship toy in “Toy Story” is sweeter than that would have you believe.
Pull it before it’s more than 3 inches in diameter, peel it and cut into matchsticks for a crudite tray or simmer with similarly-sized carrot sticks in chicken broth for about 6 to 8 minutes, drain and lightly sauce with bits of butter, honey, parsley, lemon juice and zest. Sprinkle with black pepper and watch your husband have a second helping of something he’d just pooh-poohed as an accompaniment to frozen pizza and tossed salad.
Vegetables have to play a huge part in any successful and healthy weight loss program. If you don’t like them, you just don’t know how to use or cook them yet. Truth is, once you start with fresh-from-the-garden produce, you’re more than halfway there. If you aren’t growing your own, find a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) subscription program or start shopping your local markets. Vegetables properly prepared make a brilliant presentation, fill you up, taste great and, best of all, have lots and lots of nutrients without mega calories. So get growing!