Spinach is one of those handy vegetables that can be used raw or cooked. Used in salad, it’s a nice change from the norm. Try using thinly sliced green onions, cucumber, and apples from this week’s box in yours! For dressing, vinaigrettes go well with spinach. I like to mix balsamic vinegar with olive oil but just about any dressing will do. Spinach is used in cooking just as often as it is used fresh. It makes a great addition for scrambled eggs, sandwiches, tacos, wraps, pasta, or sauté. Some like to sauté it up in just a little olive oil and garlic and eat it like Popeye. I even enjoy adding a handful to my smoothies.
Celery is a popular finger food as well as a flavorful addition to soups. Because of their shape, they are great for stuffing for a fun and flavorful snack. You can get pretty creative when it comes to what you put on them: Peanut butter is the first thing that comes to mind but you can stuff your celery with just about anything. Cream cheese makes a good filler, try it mixed with chopped nuts and raisins. Celery is also often used in salad. You can go sweet: using thinly sliced apples, pecans, raisins, yogurt or sour cream, honey and a pinch of cinnamon or make it savory with lettuce or spinach, finely chopped onion, olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar, salt and pepper.
Also known as scallions, green onions are milder than regular onions but add a nice pop of flavor and color to almost any dish. They are commonly used as a topping for baked potatoes or on salad. I like adding them to my soup. They add a freshness to Asian style soups like egg drop or ramen noodle soup. They are also a great addition to omelets or quiche. Or, you can even grill them whole like spring onions and eat them all by themselves with a little lemon, salt & pepper.
Greens beans make a great side for dinner, especially if you sauté them in little olive oil and garlic. To cook more evenly blanch first by adding to a pot of boiling for 2 minutes. Then drain and put in ice water to stop the cooking process. Sauté garlic in olive oil and add green beans, sautéing until lightly seared. Add salt and pepper to taste. Green beans can also be easily baked in the oven like any other vegetable. Simply spread out evenly on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and toss to coat. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes. Take out after about ten minutes and shake to turn. Sprinkle with some parmesan and serve.
Parsnips have an almost peppery sweet flavor to them that comes out nicely when roasted. They make a great addition/alternative to the more traditional baked or sautéed root vegetable. Try these diced into bite size chunks or julienned, drizzled with olive oil and tossed in a bowl with a little
salt and cayenne(or other spices). Bake on bottom rack at 450° for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until edges are browned and crispy.