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A second helping of vegetables

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I am continuing last week's article on vegetables because of the past few wintery months, during which many of us have become couch potatoes. If we aren't going to get off that couch, then the least we can do is put something nutritionally valuable into our system. I am adding some flavor and depth into our vegetable dishes this week, so I do hope you enjoy.

Roasted asparagus with lemon and goat cheese

Cooking spray
1 lemon
2 lbs. fresh asparagus, trimmed
1 T. olive oil
Black pepper
1/2 c. vegetable broth
3 oz. soft goat cheese, crumbled

Heat oven to 425 F. Spray a 17- by 11-inch roasting pan or shallow baking sheet with cooking spray. Grate enough lemon peel to make 1 teaspoon. Squeeze lemon to make 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Set peel and juice aside. Stir asparagus and oil in prepared pan. Season with black pepper; add broth. Bake 20 minutes or until asparagus is fork-tender, stirring once. Top with cheese, lemon peel and juice.

Fruit 'n spice sweet potatoes

1 can (40 oz.) cut, cooked sweet potatoes
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. ginger
1 c. raisins
1 1/2 c. diced apples
1 T. lemon juice
1/3 c. chopped and/or toasted pecans, optional

In large pot combine sweet potatoes, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Add raisins and mix well; heat to a simmer. Combine diced apples and lemon juice; add to sweet potato mixture; simmer 5 minutes. Before serving, sprinkle chopped pecans over each portion, if desired.

Orzo with black olives and feta

Let this dish replace the potato and vegetable in your meal.

1 lb. orzo
3 T. white wine vinegar
1/2 c. lemon-infused olive oil or
1/2 c. olive oil and 1 T. lemon juice
1 c. whole black/ripe olives
4 oz. crumbled feta cheese (about 1 c.)
Salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over moderately high heat. Add orzo; cook until al dente, according to package instructions, and drain. Transfer pasta to medium bowl. Whisk together vinegar and oil and pour over pasta, mixing until well combined. Toss in olives and feta. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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