May 30, 2012

Chatting Veggies with Clare Crespo

Zucchini Boats

I’ve been working on a fun project with Country Crock this spring and one of the things they are celebrating is the launch of their new book, A Very Veggie World, with Clare Crespo. It is all about cooking with vegetables and, of course, Country Crock! I missed the book launch because I was out of town for the book tour, but we were able to chat a little bit about her book afterward. It sounds so great, you all should check it out!

1) What is your favorite recipe in the book?

I love the Fall for Them Leaves recipe. Roasting is my favorite way to cook root vegetables and it is great that the theme (fall) is actually when these veggies are especially tasty.

2) Did you ever have to teach yourself to learn any kind of vegetable? (I had to teach myself to like a few!)

I am not sure what my mom did when I was a kid, but I really love all vegetables. There a few vegetables I thought I didn’t like but I have learned that I just don’t like the canned version of those vegetables!  For example, a canned beet is a lot different than a fresh beet!

3) Do you think vegetables have “popular periods.”? It seems kale is HUGE right now? What’s next?

YES! Kale is so IN, right? I keep seeing recipes for Kohlrabi, and they keep showing up in my CSA produce box. Have you ever heard of it?? There’s a green and purple variety and it’s really crunchy and tasty. Vegetable trend spotters, keep your eye on kohlrabi!

4) What is your favorite way to use Country Crock in vegetables while still keeping them healthy?

The simplest and tastiest way to use Country Crock® with vegetables is to steam or quickly sauté the vegetable and then finish them with a little Country Crock and fresh herbs or lemon. The quick cooking holds the vitamins in the vegetables and the Country Crock and herbs or lemon make them more flavorful.

Baseball

5) How do you recommend introducing kids to vegetables?

Always offer vegetables to your kids. Don’t assume they won’t like them. And if they don’t like them the first time, try cooking them again at another meal, or using a different method. Kids just need to get used to a flavor and sometimes it takes a few tries. Another way to get kids to try different vegetables is to have them help you cook that vegetable. I have found that if a kid has helped prepare a dish, he or she is a lot more likely to try that dish.

6) What’s the best way enjoy vegetables during the winter months for those of us in the northeast? I hate the thought of a winter without arugula.

It’s nice (and green!) to eat locally grown produce in its season. For example, tomatoes taste way better in the summer than in the winter, and yes, that does mean there are certain dishes you can’t prepare year-round but then that dish tastes so special when you do get to enjoy it! There are plenty of vegetables to get to know in the winter in the Northeast (root vegetables, some lettuces, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) I think arugula is only grown through fall, but you could make pesto with it and pop it in your freezer for the winter! I freeze tomato sauce in the summer so I can have some when the tomatoes are long gone too.