Go Green

We read about it everywhere. We hear about it on the radio and on TV.  “Go green”, become environmentally-responsible. Drive a hybrid car. Install solar panels. Sure those are good ways to “go green”, but not all of us can afford to take those steps. Especially right now. But, there are some simple things you can do right now. Tomorrow, when you head to the Farmers’ Market or to your local grocery store, maybe you could carpool with a neighbor, or ride your bike, or take transit. If you are lucky enough to live close by, you could just walk. You could bring your own reusable produce bags and a basket, canvas bag, or even a wagon to carry your purchases. All of these are  steps toward environmental responsibility that you can do immediately.

In celebration of our movement towards “going green” I offer this wonderful recipe, from Cooking Light, for Winter Potage which incorporates six “green” vegetables; leeks, celery, broccoli, spinach, edamame and green peas. I love this recipe. First it uses lots of fresh veggies. Second, it’s easy to make and last, it tastes great. Add a loaf of fresh Artisan bread from the Farmers’ Market and you’ve got the perfect light dinner for a wintry evening. Enjoy!

WINTER POTAGE

4 servings (serving size: 1 ½ cups)

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon butter

1 cup thinly sliced leek (about 1 large)

½ cup sliced celery

1 garlic cloves, minced

1 cups chopped broccoli florets

1 cups baby spinach leaves

1 cup shelled edamame

1 cup petite green peas (I used frozen)

1 tablespoon rice

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

1 ½ cups water

1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

Heat oil and butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add leek and celery; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in garlic; cook 1 minute. Add broccoli, spinach, edamame, peas, rice, and red pepper. Stir in broth and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 20 minutes or until vegetables are soft.

Place one-third of vegetable mixture in a food processor or blender; process until smooth. Pour pureed mixture into a large bowl; repeat procedure with remaining vegetable mixture. Stir in juice, salt, and black pepper.

Note: If you are not familiar with edamame, it is a preparation of baby soybeans in the pod.  The pods are boiled in water together with condiments such as salt, and served whole. You can also buy them already shelled at many markets. They can be found in the refrigerated produce section. You might also find them in the freezer section.

What to buy at the Farmers’ Market:

Leeks

Celery

Broccoli

Garlic

Spinach

Lemons

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