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5 Fun Ways to Enjoy Your Vegetables

You don't have to be a vegetarian to enjoy these seasonal dishes from the cookbook Eat Your Vegetables by Joe Yonan.

Matt Armendariz © 2013

Fusilli with Corn Sauce

3 ounces whole wheat fusilli, farfalle, or other curly pasta

2 ears fresh corn

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 large onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)

1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

4 fresh basil leaves, stacked, rolled, and thinly sliced

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until it is al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, shuck the corn and rinse it under running water, removing as many of the silks as you can with your hands. Rub one of the ears over a coarse grater set over a bowl to catch the milk and pulp. Cut the kernels off the other cob with a knife (see page 180); keep the whole kernels separate from the milk and pulp.
Pour the oil into a large skillet set over medium heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the onion and garlic and sauté until tender. Add the corn kernels and sauté for just a few minutes, until the corn softens slightly and brightens in color. Stir in the corn milk and pulp and turn off the heat. Cover to keep warm.
When the pasta is al dente, drain it (reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water) and add it to the skillet with the corn sauce. Toss to combine, adding a little pasta water if the sauce needs loosening. Stir in the cheese, then taste and add salt as needed and grind in plenty of fresh black pepper. Stir in the basil, scoop everything into a bowl, and eat.

Hungry for more? Click here for more about “Eat Your Vegetables.”

Matt Armendariz © 2013

Grilled Kimcheese

2 slices multigrain sandwich bread

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1/4 cup Cabbage Kimchi (page 163) or spicy store-bought kimchi, drained and chopped

1/4 to 1/2 small Asian pear, cored and thinly sliced

Sriracha (optional)

Brush the bread slices with oil on one side. Layer the bare (nonoiled) side of one slice with cheese, kimchi, and pear slices. Drizzle with a little Sriracha if you want the sandwich to be particularly spicy. Top with the other bread slice, unoiled side facing in, and press with your hand to flatten.
Set a medium skillet over medium heat for a few minutes, then lay the sandwich in the pan and cook, pressing with a spatula from time to time, until the underside is golden brown and the cheese starts to melt. Repeat on the other side, transfer to a plate, and eat.

Matt Armendariz © 2013

Spicy Kale Salad

1 tablespoon unsalted raw pecan halves

1 teaspoon white miso

1 teaspoon water

1 egg

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed

1 cup chopped cremini, oyster, hen of the woods, or other meaty mushrooms

2 cups lacinato or other kale leaves, stripped from their stems, thinly sliced and massaged
2 tablespoons Lemon Chile Vinaigrette (page 26)

1 ounce coarsely grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Freshly ground black pepper

Sprinkle the pecans into a small skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, shaking the pan frequently, until the nuts start to brown and become fragrant, a few minutes. Immediately transfer them to a plate to cool; if you leave them to cool in the pan, they can burn. Once they are cool, chop them.
Whisk together the miso and water in a small bowl, then whisk in the egg until well combined.
Heat the olive oil in a small, preferably nonstick, skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they collapse. Spoon the mushrooms onto a plate, leaving as much oil in the pan as you can.
Return the skillet to the heat and reduce the heat to medium. Add a little more oil if the pan seems dry. Pour in the miso-egg mixture; cook briefly, just until it sets on the bottom; lift the edges of the set egg on one side and tilt the pan toward that side so the uncooked egg runs underneath, and do this a time or two more until the egg isn’t runny on top. Spoon the mushrooms down the middle and fold the eggs over the mushrooms to form an omelet. Cook briefly on each side, until the omelet is just cooked through. Transfer it to a cutting board to cool.
Toss the massaged kale with the vinaigrette in a serving bowl. Once the omelet has cooled, chop it into bite-sized pieces. Add the omelet pieces and Pecorino to the kale and toss to combine, then grind a generous amount of pepper on top. Sprinkle on the pecans, and eat.

Matt Armendariz © 2013

Spinach Enchiladas

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large shallot lobe, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1/2 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and chopped

3 cups lightly packed baby spinach leaves, washed and dried

2 tablespoons whole Greek-style yogurt (may substitute low-fat or nonfat)

Sea salt

2 (6-inch) corn tortillas

2/3 cup Tomato Sauce with a Kick (page 176) or store-bought tomato sauce, thinned with 2 to 3 tablespoons of water

1/4 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Pour the oil into a small skillet over medium heat. When it shimmers, add the shallot, garlic, and jalapeño and cook until soft but not browned. Add the spinach and stir-fry until it has just wilted, then scrape the mixture into a bowl and stir in the yogurt. Season with salt to taste.
Warm the tortillas to make them more pliable: either microwave them for a few seconds, or heat them in a dry skillet over medium-high heat for about 10 seconds on each side—not enough to brown them, just enough to soften them. (If you have a gas stove, you can also put them directly on the burner grate over the flame for a few seconds on each side.) Immediately wrap them in foil to keep them warm.
Pour the thinned-out tomato sauce into the skillet that you sautéed the shallot mixture in and bring it to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low so that the sauce is barely simmering. Use tongs to dip the tortillas into the sauce one at a time, leaving them in for just a few seconds; lift them out, letting the excess sauce drip off, and transfer them to a plate.
Spread about a quarter of the sauce on the bottom of a small casserole or individual gratin dish. Lay the softened tortillas on a work surface. Place half the spinach mixture in the center of each one, then roll the tortillas to form enchiladas and arrange them seam side down on top of the layer of sauce in the casserole dish. Spoon the remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with the grated cheese.
Bake until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle the enchiladas with the cilantro, and eat hot.

Matt Armendariz © 2013

Summer Succotash

makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon hot Spanish smoked paprika (pimentón picante)

1 anchovy fillet (optional)

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 cups fresh lima beans

1/2 cup water

1 large zucchini, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise, then crosswise into
1/2-inch slices

2 large tomatoes, cored, then chopped, with their juices
Kernels from
2 ears of fresh corn (see page 180)

Kosher or sea salt

8 large basil leaves, stacked, rolled and cut crosswise into thin slices

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil starts to shimmer, add the crushed red pepper flakes and smoked paprika; stir and let sizzle for a few seconds, then add the anchovy, onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion and garlic are tender.
Add the lima beans and water; bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, so that the water is barely bubbling around the edges. Cover, and cook just until the lima beans are barely tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Uncover; add the zucchini and tomatoes, then increase the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini starts to become tender, just a few minutes, then add the corn kernels and cook just until they brighten in color and start to lose their raw crunch. Remove from the heat. Season with salt to taste.
If you are eating a portion right away (or at room temperature), garnish with 2 chopped basil leaves; wait to add the equivalent of 2 basil leaves to each of the remaining 3 servings until just before they are eaten.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest