Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition.
TIP Each recipe below includes do-ahead instructions. The key is to slightly undercook the vegetables in advance.
GREEN VEGETABLE MEDLEY
Steps 1 and 2 may be done ahead. Just before serving, proceed with step 3.
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 zucchini, about 1 pound, total weight, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
4 ribs celery, thinly sliced
12 ounces sugar snaps
6 ounces snow peas
1. Whisk together 1 tablespoon of the oil, the lemon juice and salt and set aside.
2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add the zucchini and celery and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are somewhat softened (but not cooked through), about 4 minutes.
3. Add the sugar snaps and cook 1 to 2 minutes until bright green; add the snow peas and cook 1 to 2 minutes until bright green. Remove from heat, toss with the dressing and serve. Makes 8 servings
Nutritional analysis for each serving 71 calories, 4 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 3 g protein, 2 g fiber, 169 mg sodium
CHARD WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH, RAISINS AND PEPITAS
Make the squash and chard in advance; reheat in a skillet just before serving and toss with the dressing and pumpkin seeds.
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut in 1/2-inch cubes (about 5 cups)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 cup diced red onion
10 ounces Swiss chard, torn in 3-inch pieces, divided
1/2 cup raisins
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Coat a baking sheet pan with cooking spray.
2. Toss the squash with 1 tablespoon of the oil and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and spread on the prepared pan. Bake in the center of the oven until tender and lightly browned, about 16 to 18 minutes.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add half the chard, tossing until it is wilted and brightly colored, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining chard and repeat. Stir in the raisins and cover the pan.
4. Whisk together the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, vinegar and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add to the greens; add salt and pepper to taste. Toss with the chard, butternut squash and pepitas and serve immediately. Makes 8 servings
Nutritional analysis for each serving 165 calories, 8 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 4 g protein, 5 g fiber, 263 mg sodium
LEMON-GARLIC BROCCOLI WITH SHAVED PARMESAN
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (lengthwise)
1 pound broccoli florets (about 8 cups)
1/4 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until lightly golden. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan; add the broccoli and cook, stirring, until bright green and barely crisp-tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. (Leave it slightly undercooked). Remove from the skillet and toss with the garlic.
3. Just before serving, return broccoli to skillet over medium high and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender and heated through, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl and stir in salt, lemon zest, lemon juice and Parmesan. Makes 6 servings
Nutritional analysis for each serving 94 calories, 7 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 5 g protein, 3 g fiber, 218 mg sodium