Eat Well & Prosper A Vegetable Smorgasbord

by Executive Chef Ron Skaar of Redwing, Mn. ~

Red Wing, MN. ~ September was the seventh month of the ancient Roman calendar, which began with March. By ignoring the first two cold months, maybe the ancients thought they might go away. Sep- tember is the perfect time to sow all kinds of greens in a sunny loca- tion for harvest throughout the fall and winter. The following seven va- rietals are highly recommended for planting now. We are talking about September in August to give the reader a heads up for the garden! Asian greens grow extremely fast

and take 10 minutes to prepare once harvested. The varieties in- clude mizuna, one of the sweetest greens and bok choy with its reli- able, sturdy growth producing very juicy and tender leaves. Chinese mustard greens can be ready for the

table 35 to 50 days after planting. Plant the seeds densely, harvest us- ing kitchen scissors when 3-5 inches tall, leaving 1 inch crowns for growing a second harvest. Mustard greens tex- ture is more delicate than cabbage. They are also attractive foliage plants, being handsome enough for the border. Several vegeta-

bles in the cabbage family, kale, collards and cauliflower have names that derive from the Latin word caulis, meaning stem or stalk. In general, open leaved plants with a fairly


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short main stalk accumulate more vitamin C and antioxidants then

is now the most important green next to lettuce. The mild flavor pro- vides an excellent source of vitamin A, antioxidants and the richest amount of folic acid available. Chard is the name

given to varieties of beets that have been selected for their thick meaty stalks rather than their roots. One of the easiest vegetables to grow, use chard like spinach but, cook the stalks longer than the leaves. Sau-

do the heading varieties. With no exposure to the elements the cab- bage core tends to be more sugary which helps it last longer in stor- age, but limits its micro-nutrients. Kale and collard greens

are cabbage relatives orig- inally from the western Mediterranean coast. Both are high in vitamin A and C plus full of calcium. One cup of kale provides seven times your daily need of vitamin K along with calcium, potassium, cop- per, iron and magnesium. No wonder it is consid- ered a super food. Col- lards planted in the late summer will yield edible leaves through fall, winter and into spring. The kale and collard leaves can be steamed, stir-fried, sautéed or added to soups. Baby kale is great in salads. Spinach and Swiss chard are mem-

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bers of the beet family which were domesticated long ago in Central Asia. Spinach, which grows rapidly,

colored chard assortments

Te revived

are heirloom varieties which go

back to the 16th

Teir stalks come in...


téed with some shallots and herbs, this green makes a great stuffing for rolled beef or pork dishes. Chard battles inflammation with vitamins A, C and K. The revived colored chard assort- ments are heirloom va- rieties which go back to the 16th Century. Their stalks come in various shades of yellow, or- ange, pink, purple, red and green making them another distinctive fo- liage plant. There are actually

more than seven things to plant in your Sep- tember garden. You can also add leaf lettuce,

peas, snow peas and broccoli rabe, literally “little sprouts of turnip” to the list. I’ll be sowing some Ore- gon sugar pod peas along with the Pechay pak choi. The salubrious Leann Chin

recipe listed below is full of the highly nutritious bok choy and the protein packed snow pea.

I believe in the magic of preparation. You can make just about any foods taste wonderful by adding herbs and spices. Experiment with garlic, cilantro, basil and other fresh herbs on vegetables to make them taste great. Jorge Cruise



EW & P Recipe


Ingredients: 1 lb. cleaned medium shrimp 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with

1 teaspoon cornstarch 1 tablespoon cold water ½ teaspoon sesame oil 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 2-3 baby bok choy 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger

6 ounces snow peas

1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic 4 ounces mushrooms ½ cup chicken broth 3 scallions

Salt and pepper to taste 2 tablespoons oyster sauce or 1 tablespoon soy sauce

Directions: Toss shrimp with 1 tsp. corn- starch, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Remove leaves

from bok choy. Cut leaves into 2-inch pieces; cut stalks diagonally into ½-inch slices, keeping separate. Remove strings from snow peas and blanch in boiling water for I minute, drain and rinse in cold water. Cut mushrooms into ½-inch slices. Cut scal- lions into 1-inch pieces. Mix oyster sauce, with 1 table- spoon of cornstarch and wa- ter. Heat the wok until hot. Add 2 tbls. vegetable oil; tilt to coat side. Add shrimp, gingerroot and garlic; stir- fry until shrimp are pink and remove from wok. Reheat wok and add the rest of the vegetable oil. Add bok choy stalks and mushroom, stir-fry one minute.


leaves, broth until boiling, stir in cornstarch mixture until thickened. Add shrimp, snow peas and scallions, cook until shrimp are hot. Makes 4 servings.

One of the first conditions of happiness is that the link between Man and Nature shall not be broken. Leo Tolstoy

Ron SkaaR

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