Nutritional information

Per 1 cup serving

Buying and storing


History and fun facts

My Favorite Recipes


Calories: 25

High in potassium, phosphorus, vitamin A, B and C and folate;

A medium artichoke has more fiber than a cup of prunes

Peak season in the South is February through August; Choose stalks rich in color with no browning;

Store up to 5 days refrigerated;

Grown mainly in California; available canned, frozen and fresh

Cut with a stainless steel knife to prevent browning;

They can be baked, steamed or cooked by microwave and are fully cooked when the bottom leaf can easily be pulled away from the base;

Artichokes have a nutty flavor.

When cooking, discard the inedible prickly choke

Means shoot in ancient Greek; Valued by Romans for medicinal powers;

2 types: white- allowed no sun to prevent photosynthesis and the

green artichoke.

The only true artichoke is the globe;

Related to the thistle family and is a bud

Artichoke Dip


Calories: 28

Contains vitamin A, some iron, vitamins B and C

Peak season is from February through June; choose firm bright green stalks; store refrigerated up to 4 days upright in an inch of water;

Do not overcook; cut ends off when tough

In the lily family; the size of the spear indicates the age, the thicker the older; the spear can grow 10 inches in 24 hours under the best conditions

Marinate 20 or so spears 1 hour in 2 Tablespoons each olive oil and soy sauce, grill on medium heat until lightly brown

Bean sprouts

Calories: 20

No fat or cholesterol;

High in fiber

Choose sprouts with bright color, avoid musty smelling, slimy sprouts; Refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to 3 days; tender sprouts should only be kept for 2 days

Best eaten raw but can be stir-fried or sautˇed- cook for only 30 sec, just long enough to heat or they will wilt

The crisp, tender sprouts of various beans

Used in Chinese cooking

Add to any salad


Calories: 37

High in calcium, phosphorus and protein

Peak season June through Oct.

Choose firm small to medium size vegetables with bright green tops

Store refrigerated in a plastic bag for up to 3 weeks

Remove the tops to keep them fresh because the tops will extract the moisture and dry out the root (same as with the carrot)

The smaller beets are more tender

Peel after cooking

Root vegetable with leafy green tops that are also edible and highly nutritious

Most common beat is garnet red but they range from white, yellow to red


Arugula Salad with Roasted Pears, Beets and Goat Cheese








Calories: 22

High in vitamin A and C, riboflavin, calcium and iron

85% produced in CA but grows well anywhere there are warm days and cool nights; peak season is Fall through Spring; choose firm heavy good green color without yellow tops

Store about 3 days refrigerated

Eat raw or steamed; great in casseroles; available fresh and frozen; to preserve and brighten the color for a vegetable platter, place broccoli in boiling water for 3-4 minutes, chill in ice water

Member of the cabbage family; cultivated over 2000 years ago; the name comes from the Italian word for cabbage sprout

Easy Broccoli casserole

Broccoli Stir Fried with Oyster Sauce

Brussels Sprouts

Calories: 38

High in vitamin A,B, C, protein, CA, iron and potassium

In season late summer through early spring; smaller sprouts have best flavor; choose those that are green and firm; store unwashed in an airtight plastic bag in refrigerator for up to 3 days

These little guys can taste bitter and because of that I never liked them until I sliced and sautˇed them in olive oil. Now they are one of my favorite vegetables. Amazing how things can change when you get creative.

Grows on stalks, and are a member of the cabbage family from guess where? Brussels Belgium

They look like mini cabbage heads

Caramelized Brussels sprouts with bacon and pecans










Calories: 21 High in calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and Vitamin A,B, and C




Buy heads that are bright green and heavy for its size

Store refrigerated for 3-7 days but note that as it ages, the cabbage will lose nutritional value and fade in color


Two varieties- green and purple (red)

Good fresh or cooked








Cultivated over 4,000 years ago- one of the oldest vegetables cultivated

Cabbage is a derivation of the French word caboche, meaning head


Cole Slaw


Bok Choy


Calories: 20

High in Vitamin A and C and a very good source of calcium, as much as in a glass of milk

Purchase in season late spring, early summer; select white and firm stalks with good green leaves; store refrigerated in a damp paper towel inside a plastic bag

The green leaves can be too hot to enjoy raw but softens when cooked

Very similar to Swiss chard but resembles a wide stalked celery with full leaves; related to Chinese cabbage

DadÕs Bok Choy salad


(Chinese or Napa)

Calories: 13

High in Vitamin A, folic acid and potassium

See above

The leaves are cream colored with celadon green tips and thick veins

The taste is very mild

There are many varieties of cabbage all in the Brassica pekinensis variety

Add to any salad


Calories: 52

Very high in vitamin A and Beta-carotene and lutein help keep the optic system in tip-top condition

Also contains Vitamins B,C,D,E and K

Peak season is spring and summer

Buy firm with deep orange color

Store refrigerated for 7 days

Remove the green tops before storing to avoid extracting the moisture and drying out the root (same as with the beet)

Carrots are great raw or cooked

A great way to get the kids to eat carrots- cut them into matchsticks and serve like French fries.

I also love them roasted, to bring out the true sweet flavors. They have a good amount of natural sugars

They can be baked, roasted, boiled, sautˇed, mashed and served as desserts

Saved the first settlers in Jamestown VA from starving during the harsh winter of 1609

Many nutritionist will tell you that this vegetable provides more health benefits than any other vegetable. If you are ever stranded on a desert island be sure you have carrots!

Carrots are a edible root in the parsley family

While most are orange some are purple

Carrot PachadiAlso great raw (cruditˇs) for a snack, in salads or on platters


Calories: 25

High in vitamin A and C

Also a source of iron, phosphorus and calcium

Shop for cauliflower that has a good green ŅjacketÓ, firm and all white with a firm stem

Will keep for a week refrigerated but should be consumed within 3 days for the best nutritional value and flavor, can be frozen and canned

Kids love cauliflower with melted cheese- try different types of cheese and let them pick their favorite. Put melted cheese into decorating bags and they can pipe it right on with easy cleanup

In the cabbage family; the word means cabbage flower

ŅCauliflower is nothing more than cabbage with a college educationÓ Mark Twain

Just like carrots, serve raw (cruditˇs) for a great snack in salads or on platters


Cauliflower au gratin


Calories: 30

High in Vitamin C, also a source of calcium, phosphorus, and potassium

Available year round from CA and FL but locally best in spring and summer

Purchase firm, rich, green color with no dark spots

Store in paper bag refrigerated for about one week, I like to chop and freeze for stir frying, or adding to soups and sauces

If it becomes limp, cut the bottom off and place in water to revitalize

Try stuffing it with pimento cheese or with cream cheese that has crushed pineapple mixed into it

Was a medicinal herb before the 16th century

Has been called natureÕs toothbrush because it high in fiber, but I prefer a toothbrush and dental floss.

One of three ingredients in mirepoix, a mixture of diced celery, carrots and onions sautˇed in butter with herbs used to season sauces, soups and stews


(endive, escarole and radicchio)

High in vitamin A, also contains vitamin C, phosphorus, potassium, iron, and calcium

Buy local produce in season in the spring or fall

Use as soon as possible but will keep several days in a paper bag refrigerated.

A great way to have a different salad every day is to mix up the greens

Radicchio has a little stronger flavor but with its red color it really adds color to your presentation

Endive leaves can serve as a little dish for a creative presentation

Use escarole in salads or to add color and texture to vegetable/antipasta platters

Chicory has curly bitter tasting leaves

These greens are all part of the botanical family cichorium

Escarole is milder in flavor

Endive is grown in complete darkness to prevent it from turning green, using a labor intensive growing technique known as blanching and radicchio looks like a red head of cabbage.

Mediterranean Endive salad

Mesclun with shallot and bacon vinaigrette


100 calories/ear

Contains vitamin A and B, riboflavin, calcium and phosphorus

Trust me on this one, the fresher the better- eat as soon as you pick it. Buy local and enjoy. Peak season is late May through September

Otherwise good canned or frozen

Make sure the husks are green and look at the kernels- they should be plump and juicy

Corn is also ground into meal

Remove silks as soon as possible- they will dry the corn out, store in plastic bag if storing at all, otherwise eat it right away

True American food crop; Maize was the Native American name

There are hundreds of varieties

I like to pick it, shuck it, & wrap it in plastic wrap, heat for 3-4 minutes in the microwave, cool and eat it and that my friends is as fresh as it gets


Calories: 16

Contains Vitamins A and C, potassium and calcium

In season in the summer

Select firm, rich green cukes that are heavy for their size. Avoid those with wrinkles or dark spots

Will keep refrigerated for up to 5-7 days

A great idea to get kids to eat more vegetables, try this garnishing idea:

Use an apple corer to remove the center of the cucumber, insert a carrot and slice. These also look great on a vegetables tray

I like the seedless variety for obvious reasons.

In the summer squash family and related to the melon; they are so easy to grow, so try starting your own crop in the summer. Plant them in a mound and keep the dirt pulled up around the vines.

Believed to have originated in India


Granny MaeÕs Dill PicklesCheck out the sweet pickles too


Calories: 58

excellent source of vitamin C, phosphorus and potassium

Daikon is rich in enzymes that aid you in digesting fatty oils and starchy foods

In season

Select those that are firm and smooth

Keep refrigerated up to a week

Use raw in salads or shredded for garnish, can also be stir fried

Similar to a radish but not quite as strong, about 2 x the size of a carrot

From the Japanese words dai- large and kon- root

This vegetable is actually a large Asian radish with sweet fresh flavor

Just like carrots, serve raw (cruditˇs) for a great snack in salads or on platters



Calories: 20

Great for vegetarians, this vegetable has a fair amount of protein, high in potassium, calcium and phosphorus

Growing season is the same as tomatoes, in the summer

Keep refrigerated for 3-4 days

Eggplant has a fair amount of water; remove the excess liquid by sprinkling with a little salt and allow to set for about 30 minutes. Pat dry with a paper towel before sautˇing.

A member of the nightshade family, related to tomato and potato, and like the tomato is a fruit

The Eggplant is actually a berry

Italian Stuffed Eggplant

Fennel Bulb

Calories: 30

contains fiber, Vitamin A & C, calcium,

A very easy plant to grow during the summer months

Store refrigerated for 3-4 days

The plant produces an edible bulb with stalks and fronds. Great in fresh salads, soups and pasta

Known for its licorice-like taste.

The plant that produces the bulb is not the same that produces the seeds.

Fennel and Citrus Salad

Green Beans

Calories: 44

High in Vitamins A, B and C, iron, folate, and many minerals.

Also high in fiber



Store unwashed fresh beans in a plastic bag for about seven days

Can be frozen or canned. Recent research has determined that frozen vegetables retain more nutrients than canned

Young pods are tender and can be eaten slightly sautˇed in olive oil. Remove the strings before cooking by breaking off each end and pulling strings.


Most likely originated in Peru but not about 60% of all green beans are produced in the U.S.

Usually green vegetables are not as high in beta carotene as the orange vegetables but green beans are

Country Style Green Beans


There are many types of greens, collards, kale, mustard, turnip

They are all low in calories, about 30 calories/cup and all are high in Vitamin A and C, Swiss chard has a high amount of iron

All greens should be firm and colorful. As with most vegetables, you should buy local in season greens in the spring and fall.

They are a cool weather crop

Most greens are good just sautˇed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. The Southern way is to cook them down in a large pot of water with seasoning meat.

Turnip greens are actually an extension of the turnip root that I love to eat raw

Greens are great stir fried in olive oil until tender, top with bacon bits and serve with malt vinegar


Calories: 45

High in potassium

Contains fair amounts of vitamin C

Peak season is fall through winter

It can be boiled, baked, fried, or eaten raw

I love this vegetable in salads, it is crisp and sweet adding great texture and flavor

It grows wild in the tropics and like potatoes is the root of a vine in the morning glory family

Mixed Vegetable slaw with citrus vinaigrette


Calories: 28

Contains vitamin C and some vitamin B

Same as for an onion

Leeks hold dirt in between their layers; to remove the dirt split them from top to bottom and wash between the layers

The smaller the leek, the more tender it will be

In the onion family

Looks like a giant scallion During the 6th century AD, the Welsh made leeks their native symbol because they believed the leeks helped them to win wars

Gorgonzola and White Bean Soup


Calories: 10

Rich in calcium, iron and vitamins A and C

The darker green leaves are richer in nutrients, including vitamin K

In season during the cool climates of spring and fall, as the days get hotter, the lettuce gets bitter and tough

Refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to 5 days

Wash and pat dry with paper towel or spin in a salad spinner to avoid a watery salad

There are hundreds of varieties with 4 classifications: butterhead, crisp-head, leaf and romaine

Wilted ŅKilledÓ Lettuce

Romaine Cesar Salad


Button and Portebella

Calories: 15

Good source of iron, phosphorus, potassium, and calcium and small amounts of vitamin B and C

Purchase plump mushrooms without wrinkles. When they get old, they will become soft and slimy and the flavor becomes bitter

Should be firm with closed caps especially for salads

Avoid those with soft, brown or black spots


Drying mushrooms is a great way to preserve but the flavors will be stronger than fresh

Store fresh mushrooms in the brown paper bag in the refrigerator for about 3 days


Mushrooms are like sponges, so donÕt sit them in water, use a damp paper towel to wipe them off. Because they are like sponges, they will soak up the flavors of the sauces and juices they are cooked in.

There are many varieties of mushrooms and each one has a distinctive flavor

There are thousands of varieties but the most common is called the white mushroom or button.

Mushrooms are not really a vegetable, they are in the fungus family

Grilled stuffed Portebella served with Tomato Basil Relish

Wild Mushrooms


The nutritional, buying and storing information is the same as for the common button variety




Only pick /farm wild mushrooms if you know what you are doing, some wild mushrooms are extremely poisonous even fatal

There are so many varieties with many flavors ranging from nutty to earthy


Wild Mushroom Ragout




Has a rich, smokey flavor

Deep golden color, sweet like apricots

Can use in wild mushroom ragout




Has an earthy, meaty texture and mild flavor

Resembles the white button mushroom but is brown with more flavor

One of the mushrooms in Mushroom Bread Pudding




Has a delicate flavor with a slightly crunchy texture

Look like bean sprouts, they grow in small clusters

Really nice on fresh salads




Has a mild flavor with a velvety textures, the larger caps have more flavor

Grows in clusters in wood products like sawdust, ranges in color from white to gray

The flavor resembles seafood so that must be where it gets it name

Wild mushroom and rice soup



Dried are available year round

Fresh are in season spring and fall

Nutty flavor with a creamy texture when properly cooked. Cook on low heat only because high heat will decrease their flavor and make them tough; save stems for making vegetable broth

Native to Japan, grows on dead oak wood

Basmati rice with Shitake mushrooms



In season in late fall and early winter; choose firm, fragrant mushrooms that are blemish free; eat truffles as soon as possible because they are very perishable or refrigerate 3 to 5 days wrapped separately in paper towel

They are very expensive because they are so difficult to locate and harvest

The black truffles are stronger tasting than the white truffles

The oils are very perishable, refrigerate after opening, buy small quanitites

The oils are most popular and more readily available and it only takes a small amount as the flavor is very powerful

Spicy Encrusted Sea Bass in Truffled Wild Mushrooms


Calories: 31

Note: that while okra is low in calories but when fried that all changes- but so worth it

High in vitamin A and C, some potassium, iron, calcium

Purchase in season, mid to late summer

The smaller pods are the best and always select those that are bright green without dark areas

Store refrigerated and use within 3-5 days

To prepare, wash and trim off both ends

I have found that freezing okra works best when I pre-fry it, place on a baking sheet to freeze, remove and seal in a freezer container

When ready to eat, remove from freezer, place on baking sheet and heat in 350 degree F oven until crisp

Related to the cotton plant, originated in Africa

Can be fried, boiled, pickled, stewed with tomatoes, (my dadÕs favorite), canned or frozen

Fried Green Tomatoes (and Okra)



Calories: 27

Contains vitamin C and some vitamin B

Are in the Allium family with leeks and garlic and research has shown they are health-promoting vegetables


Purchase in season in spring and early summer

Select firm, dry onions without sprouts

Store in cool dark place

Also canned, pickled, frozen, dried, and powder

Cooking increases the sweetness of the onion

DonÕt let them make you cry- use onion goggles or freeze for 15 minutes before chopping

The smaller, flatter onions are usually milder

Egyptians used medicinally

and brought here from Spain

Related to the lily, grows as an underground bulb with green shoots. Two classifications: green-immature onions with green tops (scallions) and dry (mature)

There are many varieties

Most popular are the vadalia (sweet), yellow, white, and red (they are really purple)

Caramelized onions

(topping for hamburger, steak, pizza any sandwich)


Chicken in creamy Riesling sauce


Calories: 100

High in vitamin A and C but not as nutritious as a carrot

In season spring through late fall

Purchase small vegetables

Keep up to several weeks refrigerated in a paper bag

Best harvested after cold weather to allow the starch to convert to sugar

Best cooked to decrease bitterness

Root vegetable, related to the carrot and looks like a carrot except for the off white color

Roasted Root vegetables

Parsnips are also good when added with the potatoes and carrots to a pot roast

Green Peas

Calories: 118

Very good source of vitamin C and K, manganese, fiber, folate, and vitamin B1 (thiamin) good source of vitamin A, phosphorous, protein, and riboflavin

In season in the spring and fall

Keep for several days refrigerated, but recommend freezing for long storage because they lose their flavor as soon as theyÕre picked

Snow peas are one of my favorites, you can eat the young tender pod

Can be blanched, steamed, sautˇed or stir fried or add to soups and salads

I often add frozen peas to soups and rice dishes

There are many varieties all members of the legume family.

The common pea (English Pea) are eaten fresh, field peas are dried and snow and sugar peas are eaten pod and all.

DennisÕs favorite way to eat peas is straight up with a little butter melted on top or added to soups and stews

Black eyed Peas




Originated in Asia

Gets its name from the small circular eye at the inner curve of the pea

Texas caviar


Calories: I found so many different analyses that I turned to a my favorite canned brand: 200 per serving with 40 grams of protein

Available canned and dried

Used in salads, soups and stews

Chickpeas can be roasted with seasoning for a crispy snack

I love them right out of the can or tossed into green salads or pasta salads.

This pea is slightly larger than the average pea, also in the legume family they have a nutlike flavor.

They are also called garbanzo beans.

The main ingredient in Hummus

Also a favorite in Italian minestrone


Add Chickpeas to your favorite pasta salad recipe or toss into a green salad for protein


Sweet Bell Pepper


Banana Peppers


Green has vitamin C

Red contains vitamin A and C

In season late summer until the first frost

Purchase firm, without bruises and wrinkles

Store refrigerated

Can be eaten raw, in salads, grilled, roasted, stir fry, and baked

The red pepper is fabulous roasted with skins removed

Red peppers are ripened green peppers except for the Pimento pepper which is red and heart shaped


Stuffed peppers

Roasted red peppers

Hot Peppers:


Poblano or Ancho- are slightly hot


Jalapeno are hot


Serrano are very hot

Rich in vitamins A and C, good source of folic acid, potassium and vitamin E

Season is same as sweet peppers

Purchase firm, without bruises and wrinkles

Store refrigerated

Peppers are used to make dried powder, paste, flakes and Tabasco sauce

As a rule, the smaller the pepper the hotter it will be

Remove the seeds and membranes to decrease the heat

When de-seeding never touch your eyes and I usually use gloves

There are over 200 varieties. The pequin Chili pepper is the smallest and hottest. I donÕt cook with it myself but many people love the smoky heat. They are red-orange in color and make beautiful dried wreaths


Chipotle chili is a dried smoked jalapeno that is found canned in adobo sauce. Great in stews and sauces

Adobo sauce- Mexican origin; made from ground chilies, herbs and vinegar

Jalapenos stuffed with goat cheese and bacon




Calories: 130

High in potassium, complex CHO (carbohydrates) and Vitamin C

High in starch

Available year round but harvested in the fall

They should be firm and free from sprouts

Avoid those with green skins- they are bitter and can be toxic if eaten in quantity. However, the green skin can be cut away

Store in a cool dark place. Do not refrigerate, this will cause the potato convert from starch to sugar and turn dark when cooked.

This vegetable can be eaten mashed, baked, roasted, fried, dried (instant), frozen (tots and hash browns), and canned

Four categories: russet, long white, round white and round red

Certain varieties are better for different methods of cooking- the russet, which is also the Idaho is best baked

Red skinned potatoes are good in soups & roasting

Yukon gold are low in starch so are good for mashing

Originated in South America but was introduced to U.S. by the Irish

WorldÕs largest selling fresh vegetable, hundreds of varieties

New potatoes are simply young potatoes

Potato casserole with smoked gouda and thyme

Rosemary roasted potatoes



Calories: 30

Good source of vitamin A

In season in the fall around Halloween- used for the famous jack-o-lantern

Available canned, pureed, frozen and fresh

The orange flesh and sweet flavor is used in a variety of recipes- in soups, roasted, pies and breads

Grown by Native American Indian becoming the main ingredient in the national Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie.

A member of the gourd family. The seeds (pepitas) make a great roasted snack or oil

Caramelized Pumpkin and Ginger Trifle

Pumpkin Pie


Calories: High in fiber

Small amounts of Vitamins A and C

In season late summer though spring

Stored refrigerated up to two weeks

Can be eaten raw or cooked

In the cabbage family

Resembles a turnip

Simmer in water until tender, season with curry powder, salt and pepper


Calories: 7

Contains vitamin A, B, and C, and potassium, iron

Some calcium, phosphorus

Buy fresh in the spring or late fall

Select bright green leaves without yellowing

Refrigerate up to 3 days in a plastic bag

Baby spinach is most tender

Wash it well to remove the grit

Originated in Persia, brought to the U.S. by the Spaniards.

**Spinach contains oxalic acid that inhibits the bodyÕs absorption of calcium and iron- SO TAKE YOUR DAILY VITAMINS

Salad Wraps

Sautˇ spinach in olive oil, add orange zest, salt and pepper

Summer squash

Yellow or zucchini


A good source of vitamins A, B, and C, protein, high in potassium, fair amount of calcium and phosphorus

Peak season in the summer, harvest young, old squash turn bitter

Select firm vegetable free from dark spots

Store refrigerated up to one week


The flower of the squash is edible and delicious lightly floured and sautˇed

Smaller squash are sweeter

Can eat raw in salads or fried, grilled, sautˇed or added to cakes and breads. Also good in soups, stews, and casseroles.

Native to America and was called askootasquash

Pasta Salad with Mixed Summer Vegetables

Herbed Zucchini Bundles with Red pepper rings


Winter Squash

(Butternut and acorn)

Calories: 120

Rich in fiber, vitamin A and B, folate, and omega 3 fatty acids

Peak season is in the fall

Purchase squash that are free of soft spots. Keep in a cool dark room

Can be roasted, baked, sautˇed, mashed, fried or used in soups, casseroles and roasted with other vegetables

Prepare by removing the skin and seeds and since the skin is thick and tough, it is best to cook it before removing it by roasted in 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until softened or cook in the microwave.


Sweet nutty flavor and the flesh resembles

pumpkins- dark orange

Acorn squash are lighter color and not as high in Vitamin A.

Roasted Winter Vegetables with Apples and Thyme

Sweet Potatoes

Calories: 114

Very High in Vitamin A and high in vitamin C, fiber, potassium and iron

Store in a dry, dark place about 55 degrees F. Do not refrigerate

Sweet potatoes can be roasted, baked, mashed, sautˇed, fried, and made into casseroles and pies

An edible root that belongs to the morning glory family

Two most common varieties are the pale sweet and the dark orange skin. The darker variety is often called a yam. Yams however are not related to sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes in orange cups


4 ounce- 80 calories

Very high in protein

The softer the tofu the lower the fat

Also a good source of B vitamins, iron and calcium

Can be found in the produce, dairy or deli section of most grocery stores

Keep refrigerated. After opening it will last about one week

Tofu alone has very little flavor but takes on the flavor and smell of the particular dish it is added to, making it very versatile. Can be used in fruit smoothies, grilled, added to soups, or used in stir fry recipes

Popular substitute for meat in vegetarian dishes

Not really a vegetable, but a byproduct of ground soybeans; the milk byproduct is coagulated and pressed into soft white blocks

Originated in China

Slice tofu about ½ inch thick and brush with soy glaze; grill until golden on both sides

Cruciferous vegetable: A group of vegetables that research has proven may provide protection against certain cancers, containing antioxidants; includes cabbage, cauliflower, chard, kale, mustard, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, kale, mustard greens, rutabagas and turnips