I have always been a fan of the Nutrition Twins and have interviewed them many times for stories. Their work is just superb. I love their new book and I invited them to tell us a little bit about how the book came about and, of course, if they could share a recipe with us.
Behind the book: The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure
By Tammy Lakatos Shames RDN and Lyssie Lakatos RDN
As authors of The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure, it probably comes as no surprise that we’re huge fans of veggies and have witnessed their powers for quite a while. And we’re well aware that each and every vegetable has incredible and different benefits than any other one—from the ability to fight different cancers to the ability to make your skin glow. However, even we, V-Queens (yes, that’s what we call our friends, family and other vegetable loving leading ladies) must admit that we are guilty of falling into the same veggie patterns and using the same dozen vegetables on a regular basis.
However, while writing our book, we started to delve into the research and we found ourselves including a wider range of veggies in our daily repertoire. For instance, Lyssie added two faves, fennel and turnips to her daily intake, while Tammy added broccolini and jicama to hers. Although we already were quite well-versed in the healing powers of vegetables, we learned about even more of the fascinating benefits and we were enamored by the different benefits of each part of the plant and the health-promoting or beautifying properties found in various sections So while people may be aware that stalks and stems like those on broccoli, cauliflower and chard have different benefits: Broccoli stalks contain more fiber, vitamin C, and calcium than the florets, while Swiss chard stems are rich in glutamine, an immune-boosting amino acid; this is the case with all veggies. Whether it is the leaves, the stalks, or the flowers, they possess different health benefits.
We have always snacked on the veggies as we cut and prepare them for dinner; they tide us over until our dinner is ready. One night, while doing our research for The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure, Lyssie was chopping one of her usual veggies—kale. She got to thinking, “Hey, I eat the stalks of broccoli, celery, and lettuce, and they offer different benefits, why don’t I eat kale stalks too? After all, kale is now recognized for providing support for both phases of the liver’s detoxification system (and who doesn’t want to rid toxins from their body?) So she decided that she didn’t want to waste the precious kale stalks. So as she washed the kale’s leave and separated them from the stalk, she munched on the stalk, eating it like Bugs Bunny would a carrot. It tasted good, but it was a bit tough and stringy too. She was enjoying it though and wondered why she hadn’t done it before.
And then, it happened. One very tough fibrous piece of kale didn’t quite make its way down her throat. It instead lodged itself in her windpipe. She panicked for a few moments as the kale blocked her throat. Fortunately Lyssie’s boyfriend raced over, just in time to give her the Heimlich—and just like you see in the movies—the large kale stalk shot out from her mouth and right into the wall!
Lesson learned—Eat Your Veggies—cut ‘em, cook ‘em, eat ‘em raw, but not need to go to extremes, eat them as you would expect to eat them—you’ll still reap all the benefits and rewards—no Heimlich required! In honor of a delicious and safe way to eat your veggies, here is our recipe for Zucchini Fritters.
Sunday mornings were all about our mom making fritters for the family, so for us they are a com- fort food. However, no need to feel guilty indulging in these for breakfast, lunch—or dinner! These good-size fritters will warm your insides and give you a mood boost for just about 100 calories each.
Serves 4 (two 4-inch fritters per serving)
2 cups coarsely grated zucchini
1/2 cup coarsely grated white onion
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
Honey, maple syrup, or apple- sauce for serving
salt to taste (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 200°F.
2. Place the grated zucchini over 3 layers of paper towels in a thin layer. Let sit for at least 30 minutes to lose some excess moisture. (Make sure the grated onion sits as well, for at least 5 minutes before using, to activate its powerful phytonutrient compounds.)
3. After 30 minutes, change the paper towel for new sheets and squeeze the zucchini a little to lose more moisture.
4. In a bowl, whisk together the egg and parsley. Add the zucchini, onion, cornmeal, baking powder, and pepper. Stir well to combine. The batter will be thick and chunky. Let rest 10 minutes.
5. Add 1 teaspoon of oil to a large nonstick pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, drop in a scant 1?3 cup of the batter, flattening it into a 4-inch fritter. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the top of the fritter looks slightly bubbly and dry. Turn and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes on the other side. Use the remaining teaspoon of oil as necessary to cook the remaining fritters.
6. Keep fritters warm in the 200°F degree oven until all are cooked. Serve with a little honey, maple syrup, or applesauce.