Jena DeMoss: Not your average produce

Published 7:40 pm Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Be honest: What fruits and vegetables do you have at home right now? Maybe you opt for the classics like apples, bananas, carrots and potatoes and they are staples on your shopping list. Or perhaps you bought produce recently but you forgot about it in your fridge and now it’s too late to use in your recipe. Putting produce in your cart is just the first step in your mission to get your five servings of fruits and vegetables in a day. So let’s take that produce from cart to plate and get inspired with a few produce varieties you may not have tried before!

Let’s start with kohlrabi – a cruciferous vegetable that’s more common in Europe and Asia but is growing in popularity worldwide. Per cup, kohlrabi is approximately 40 calories and contains both fiber and a small amount of protein. It is also a source of antioxidants such as vitamin C and contains vitamin B6, magnesium and potassium. Look for firm, smaller to medium-size kohlrabi bulbs with hearty stems and leaves, as larger bulbs tend to be tougher and less tasty! You can eat both the bulb and leaves, but after washing it is recommended to remove the outermost layer of the bulb as this is very tough and doesn’t taste as delicious as the interior. If you are not using the bulb right away, seal tightly in a bag or airtight container in the fridge for up to one week. If you’re ready to enjoy — snack on kohlrabi raw with hummus, add to salads, put into soups or try roasting and sautéing.

Next up, collard greens! You may already be familiar with this leafy green, but did you know they are part of the cruciferous vegetable family just like kale? Collard greens contain a variety of nutrients including protein and fiber to help with satiety and blood glucose control but also vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K – important for blood clotting and bone health. When selecting at the store, avoid those with wilted, slimy or brown leaves. When preparing, it is recommended to remove the center rib and stem after washing and before enjoying! You can easily add collard greens to your menu by adding them to salads, sandwiches, soups and stews, into your casseroles and omelets or simply sautéing as a side dish.

Email newsletter signup

Have you ever heard of jicama? While this root vegetable may not be the prettiest piece of produce in the department with its brown, papery peel hiding the crisp white interior, its extra crunchy texture and slightly sweet flavor is sure to impress! Jicama is also nutrient-dense, packed with fiber and is only around 50 calories per cup. Plus it contains antioxidants like vitamin C to protect our cells from damage and supports blood pressure regulation with the mineral potassium. At the store select jicama that is firm and dry or opt to try Hy-Vee Short Cuts jicama sticks. You can enjoy jicama raw as a snack with your favorite dip or add to stir fry, slaws or bake as an alternative to traditional fries like this recipe for Loaded Jicama Fries.

Loaded Jicama Fries

Serves 4

All you need

• 1 (1-lb) jicama, or 1 lb Hy-Vee Short Cuts jicama sticks

• 3 tbsp Gustare Vita olive oil, divided

• ½ tsp Hy-Vee garlic powder

• ½ tsp Hy-Vee chili powder

• ¼ tsp Hy-Vee salt, plus additional to taste

• ¼ tsp Hy-Vee ground black pepper, plus additional to taste

• 4 oz boneless beef sirloin steak

• 1 small white onion, thinly sliced

• ½ yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

• ½ red bell pepper, thinly sliced

• 1 tbsp minced garlic

• 3 tbsp olive oil mayonnaise

• 1 tbsp Hy-Vee Sriracha sauce

• 1 tsp lime zest

• 1 tbsp fresh lime juice

• Hy-Vee sour cream, or Greek yogurt, for serving

• Fresh cilantro, for garnish

All you do

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking pan with foil. Place a wire rack on top of foil; set aside.

2. Peel and cut jicama into sticks, if using whole jicama. Cook jicama sticks covered, in enough boiling lightly salted water to cover, for 10 minutes. Drain. Transfer sticks to wire rack. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil.

3. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until jicama is brown on the ends, turning sticks over halfway through baking. Remove jicama from oven. Combine garlic powder, chili powder, salt and black pepper. Sprinkle mixture over jicama sticks; set aside and keep warm.

4. Thinly slice steak, onion and bell peppers. Sprinkle with minced garlic, salt and black pepper. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook steak mixture for 4 to 6 minutes, or until meat reaches desired doneness.

5. Combine olive oil mayo, Sriracha and lime zest and juice in a small bowl.

6 . Toss fries with cooked meat mixture, drizzle with Sriracha mayo. Top with Greek yogurt and garnish with cilantro, if desired.

Recipe source: