Watermelon rind is loaded with blood building chlorophyll and citrulline. Citrulline is a powerful antioxidant and converts into the amino acid arginine, which benefits the circulatory and immune systems.
To harness the health benefits of watermelon rind, use a vegetable peeler to peel off the dark green outer skin of the watermelon. Cut the watermelon in half and remove the center pink flesh for some other delicious purpose. The rind is now ready to be used in soups, refreshing beverages, curries and pickled.
- ½ cup blanched almonds
- 1 slice white bread, toasted and chopped
- 1 stalk celery and all the celery leaves from a bunch of celery
- 1 cup fresh herbs - parsley, mint, basil
- 2 pints cherry tomatos
- 3 cloves garlic
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 english cucumbers washed and cut in chunks
- 6 cups cubed watermelon rind
- 4 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1tablespoon salt and pepper to taste
- Combine almonds, bread, celery, herbs, garlic, tomatoes and oil in the large bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth and remove to a large mixing bowl.
- Combine cucumbers, watermelon rind, vinegar and salt in food processor and puree until smooth.
- Combine the cucumber mixture with the almond mixture, adjust seasonings and chill overnight.
Swiss chard stems are loaded with glutamine, an amino acid that helps the immune system stay strong and is helps the body repair and recover after stress or injury. Not to mention they can be delicious. This simple pickling recipe is perfect for the tough chard stems and makes a stunning compliment to any picnic or cocktail party.
When I get my swiss chard home from the store I immediately soak it, remove and prepare the leaves for cooking, and trim the stems into roughly 4” lengths. This makes cooking the chard or pickling the stems a snap!
- Stems from 2 bunches of swiss chard trimmed and in 4” lengths
- 1 cup white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 smashed cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoons Madras curry
- Blanch the stems for one minute in boiling water or microwave on high for 40 seconds. Place in cold water to chill.
- Heat all remaining ingredients and bring to a gentle boil. Turn heat off and cool.
- Place dried chard stems in a glass jar.
- Pour warm ( not hot ) brine into jar, covering chard stems completely.
- Cool completely, then put lid on jar and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
This versatile pesto recipe can be used with carrot tops, radish leaves, beet greens or even celery leaves. You can mix it up and add parsley or other herbs too. The leaves and greens of many root vegetables are highly nutritious and very flavorful. Often the leaves are the most nutritious part of the plant and they end up in the trash. This pesto can be used as a dip, topping for meat or fish or as a traditional pesto on pasta.
- 2 cups of organic greens - carrot fronds, beet greens, celery leaves, radish tops
- ¼ cup blanched almonds
- 2 cloves garlic
- ⅓ cup parmesan cheese,grated
- ⅔ cup olive oil
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- salt & pepper to taste
- Place nuts and garlic in a food processor and pulse until coarsely blended.
- Add the greens and cheese, pulsing until well blended
- With the food processor running add the olive oil and pepper flakes.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- This is delicious over zoodles or other vegetable noodles and can be served hot or cold. I love it over grilled fish.
The next time you have carrot or parsnip peelings try this super simple technique to make delicious crisps to add to soups or salads. It is best to buy organic if you plan to use the peels, as the peel in a non-organic carrots and parsnips with contain pesticides.
- Carrot or parsnip peels
- 1 cup water
- 2 tsp sugar
- Bring water to a boil and add sugar.
- Drop peels in boiling water for 1 minute.
- Drain then dry peels on a towel.
- Spread damp peels on a silat or parchment lined baking sheet.
- Sprinkle lightly with salt.
- Bake 250 degrees for 1-2 hours or until curled, golden and crisp.
- The crisps make an elegant finishing touch to smooth soups and are a healthy crouton replacement for salads.
Most people simply break off the broccoli and cauliflower florets and toss the stems and cores. Big mistake. The stems and cores are not only delicious but have a similar nutrient content to the florets, so start using every tasty , nutritious part of broccoli and cauliflower.
The following simple recipe is one of my favorites, the preparation is easy and the salad flavors are reminiscent of baby artichokes done in the Italian style.
- Peeled stems and cores from broccoli and/or cauliflower
- ½ a fresh lemon
- ¼ c shaved parmesan cheese
- Good quality extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Slice the stems and cores on a mandolin or slicer, thin as possible.
- Squeeze lemon over slices and toss.
- Add olive oil and toss.
- Add parmesan cheese and salt & pepper to taste.
- This is a delicious and impressive first course.
I love repurposing apple peels into these addictive little crisps. Apple skin is loaded with fiber, nutrients and vitamins. The next time you have apple leftover apple peels, use this simple recipe to harness the deliciousness.
- 3 cups of apple peels
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 orange peel zested
- Preheat oven 250 degrees
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or
- Combine orange zest, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl
- Toss peels with 1 tsp water and then toss with sugar mixture
- Place peels in a single layer on baking sheets
- Bake for 1-2 hours until curled and crisp
- Cool and enjoy!
Tomatillos are a delicious native of Mexico and a member of the nightshade family. They are closely related to the little yellow cape gooseberry and are often used in salsas. High in dietary fiber, low in calories, tomatillos are good for digestive health and help regulate blood sugars. Tomatillos contain a unique antioxidant phytochemical called withanolides, which have been directly linked to anti-cancer and anti-bacterial functions. Recipe makes about 1 cup.
- 6 medium tomatillos rinsed and husked.
- 1 jalapeno or 2 serrano chiles stemmed, seeded and chopped finely.
- 6-7 sprigs cilantro rough chop.
- ¼ cup chopped red onion
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice and salt to taste.
- Roast tomatillos and chilis on a baking sheet under a hot broiler until black and roasted, approximately 5-6 minutes a side. Flip and broil other side.
- Place tomatillos, chiles and their pan juices in food processor.
- Add ¼ cup water, cilantro and pulse into a chunky mix.
- Chop red onion and rinse under cold water. Drain and blot dry.
- Stir onion, lime juice and salt into chile, tomatillo mix. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Serve with blue corn tortilla chips or as a sauce for chicken, pork or seafood.
Jicama is known as the Mexican “potato”, because it is often substituted as a version of a baked potato in Mexico. It is in the sweet potato family, but has the texture and crunch of a water chestnut. Delicious and nutritious raw or cooked, jicama is fiber-rich and low in carbohydrates, clocking in at only 49 calories a cup. It is also a good source of vitamin C, potassium and trace minerals.
These are addictively delicious, but take a long time to dry out in the oven and become crisp. I like to make them on days when I am working at home as a nutritious treat.
- Peel a medium size jicama and cut in half lengthwise.
- Slice the jicama on a mandoline set to about 2mm.
- Spread the slices in a single layer on two to three parchment or silicone mat-lined, rimmed baking sheets.
- Brush jicama on both sides with a thin coating of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Bake 225°F, turning the jicama every 20 minutes until crisp, two plus hours baking time.
- Chips are done when golden and crisp.
- Remove chips to a baking rack, they will continue to crisp as they cool.