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Eat your vegetables!

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How many times have we heard those dreadful words uttered by our caring parents when we were growing up? It's funny because when we were children, we didn't understand the benefits of eating vegetables, nor did we care. Looking back (and being parents ourselves), it wasn't just the vitamin benefits of eating veggies our parents were concerned about, it was for financial reasons as well. Vegetables were (and still are) a way of filling our bellies with something a little cheaper while at the same time giving our bodies nutrients and vitamins only found in leafy greens and vegetables. Now to make these side dishes taste better than we remember. When you play around with veggies, adding this ingredient and that spice, it is so easy to come up with something great tasting and much more filling than we remember as children. Here are a couple recipes I think you will enjoy.

Italian beans with toasted pecans
4 T. butter or margarine
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
3/4 c. chopped pecans
1 can (28 oz.) cut green beans, drained
1/4 c. thinly sliced yellow bell pepper
1/4 t. soy sauce
1/4 t. Tabasco sauce

Melt butter and Worcestershire sauce in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add pecans, beans and peppers; continue cooking until hot. Remove from heat; add soy sauce and Tabasco sauce; mix and serve.

Garlicky spinach with raisins and peanuts
1 T. vegetable or peanut oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into thin strips
2 lbs. fresh spinach, rinsed and drained
1/4 c. regular or golden raisins
1/4 c. unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, chopped
Salt and black pepper

In large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, shaking pan here and there, just until edges of garlic are brown Add red bell pepper and cook, tossing or stirring, another minute. Add spinach, raisins and peanuts; using tongs, flip spinach from underneath to over on top to distribute mixture and evenly cook. Saut just until wilted and released water has mostly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.


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