Counting Veggies

Turkey Tracks: June 11, 2022

Counting Veggies

When I grew up in the 1950’s a typical dinner meal my mother cooked had meat, a green veggie, a starch (veggie or rice), and a side salad of iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes. That description does not describe her awesome pot roast meal—but a salad would have accompanied it. The pot roast would have had meat, carrots, onions, and potatoes—so maybe the above description still sort of works if we count the side salad a ”green” veggie.

My mother’s parents lived in a small town in Georgia—Reynolds—and they had a farm outside town. The noon time dinner at my grandparents included many, many veggies from the farm garden—all cooked except for fresh sliced tomatoes and cucumbers. There was always meat, but dinner was a vegetable feast. Sometimes there were biscuits or the fried cornmeal pancakes that I dearly loved.

Over my lifetime, fresh raw veggies came into the markets and are enjoyed now virtually all year around. The side salad became a main course as a result.

Meanwhile, we’ve learned that eating a lot of veggies helps us in many ways—from nutrients to fiber. So, I have fun putting as many veggies as possible on my plate.

On Friday noon, while I grilled some local lamb chops, I chopped and started to stir fry vegetables I had on hand in beef tallow, with salt and herbs added. A small russet potato (they fry the best) cubed, half of a red pepper, a carrot, half of a zucchini, some chopped broccoli rabe, and some radicchio—the red that looks like cabbage—all went into the pan after the potato went first. Radicchio is a bitter green, and I eat it a lot both raw and cooked. I don’t know why I didn’t think to add onion. Onions contain sulfur which is a nutrient humans need and which isn’t always present in our onions due to the soil nutrient depletion Big AG’s farming methods have produced. I started chopping with the potato as I was hungry for pan-fried potato and it does need to go first as it takes longer to cook. But the veggie count is…SIX.

Here’s my lunch and dinner on Thursday—as when supper rolled around, I just reheated what I had cooked at noon for my dinner. Delicious!

Today I worked outside weeding all morning—and came in for lunch hungry and tired. I roasted twelve drumsticks: 4 for my meals today, 4 for the freezer, and 2 for tomorrow. They took 35 minutes in the convection oven at 350 degrees—with 5 minutes at a higher temperature to brown them off.

Meanwhile, I cooked some frozen green beans and corn. The plate below has lettuce from my garden, radicchio, onion, carrots, red pepper, cucumber, and green beans. That’s…SEVEN veggies and ONE GRAIN (the corn). And I need to replenish my celery—which would have made EIGHT veggies.

The salad is topped with dried dill, salt, and my Organic Roots olive oil. I was too hungry to get chives and their beautiful lavender flowers from the garden. Or, fresh tarragon and oregano. Next time.

And my salad for tonight is in the refrigerator ready to heat—though I’ll warm up the two drumsticks I mean to have with the salad. And I’ll slice up a whole apple for dessert with some organic mint tea.

AND, THE COLORS, THE COLORS; white, three greens, orange, two reds, and yellow.

My tummy is very happy after eating this beautiful salad.

Author: louisaenright

I am passionate about whole, nutrient-dense foods, developing local markets, and strengthening communities.

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