Here is a spring market basket from the produce section of our local store. When I am looking for ideas for what to cook I usually start shopping in the produce section because it inspires me. Left to right: baby romaine, red pepper, ugly tomato, golden beet, Easter Egg radishes, asparagus and an artichoke.
I decided to make a vegetarian dinner :
- Spring root vegetable salad
- Boiled artichoke with lemon
- Roasted vegetables over whole grain couscous
First, I started the artichoke since it takes the longest to cook:
Trim the spikes with scissors and cut the artichoke in half. Remove the center:
Place in boiling water and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes. They tend to float so you should flip them half way:
Here are the finished artichoke halves - they are served on a white platter with fresh lemon.
The eggplant, asparagus and red peppers were cut in thin sticks. I lightly brushed them with olive oil and finely minced garlic:
And then broiled them in the oven for 10 minutes - look how wonderfully golden they came out:
Whole grain couscous is perhaps the easiest whole grain to prepare. It involves 2 ingredients and a minute of time:
1 cup water - bring to boil in a large measuring cup in the microwave
1 cup whole grain couscous - pour it into the boiling water, sit one minute, fluff with a fork. You can toss with lemon and herbs or a light dressing. It can go into salads or be a side dish. In this case it was the main entree with roasted vegetables on top:
When the vegetables were golden brown, they were removed from the oven and placed atop the fluffy whole grain couscous:
Meanwhile, while the veggies were cooking I prepared the spring root salad. Here are the Easter Egg radishes and the golden beet:
I shredded the beet with the grater and finely sliced the radishes atop the baby romaine. They were presented on a flat platter :
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world-famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. After a decade in food service for Hyatt Hotels, Judy launched Food and Health Communications to focus on flavor and health. She graduated with Summa Cum Laude distinction from Johnson and Wales University with a BS in Culinary Art, holds a master’s degree in Food Business from the Culinary Institute of America, 2 art certificates from UC Berkeley Extension, and runs a food photography studio where her love is creating fun recipes.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science and Dietary Guidelines to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.