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Simply From the Garden

May 21, 1997|MARY CARROLL | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES; Carroll is the author of the "No Cholesterol (No Kidding!) Cookbook" (Rodale Press, 1991)

For simple menus, and if your produce is garden-fresh, not much is needed to enhance the flavor of vegetables.

Carrots and leeks straight from the garden can be scrubbed and sauteed in Sherry and garlic. Save the more complicated dishes for poorer produce or more impressive menus.


1 teaspoon safflower oil

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 large red bell peppers, quartered

2 large green bell peppers, quartered

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon minced red onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

Peppers are perfect for the grill, and this side dish teams well with pasta primavera. It can be served cold or warm, depending on the weather.

Combine safflower and olive oils and use to coat peppers. Let stand 5 minutes. Broil or grill peppers until blackened, about 10 minutes, turning as needed. Place in paper bag 5 minutes, sealing top to let peppers steam. Peel off blackened skins.

Combine vinegar, mustard, onion and garlic in large bowl. Add peppers and toss well. Let stand 10 minutes at room temperature, stirring occasionally, before serving.

4 to 6 servings. Each of 6 servings:

36 calories; 11 mg sodium; 3 mg cholesterol; 2 grams fat; 4 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram protein; 0.25 gram fiber.


1/4 cup dry Sherry or apple juice

1 teaspoon olive oil

5 cups thinly sliced leeks

1 cup thinly sliced wild mushrooms, such as chanterelle or shiitake

1 teaspoon orange juice

1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Salt, pepper

Combine Sherry and oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring frequently, 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until they exude moisture, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in orange juice, orange peel and vinegar. Remove from heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4 servings. Each serving:

102 calories; 101 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 2 grams fat; 21 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams protein; 2.13 grams fiber.


1/3 cup minced red onion

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/4 cup white wine or apple juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups diced tomatoes

2 cups sliced zucchini

1/2 cup minced red bell pepper

1/4 teaspoon oregano

1 tablespoon minced basil leaves

Combine onion, oil and wine in 10-inch nonstick skillet and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until onion is soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, tomatoes, zucchini and bell pepper. Cover and cook until zucchini is soft, about 5 minutes. Add oregano and basil and cook, uncovered, 3 minutes.

4 servings. Each serving:

56 calories; 12 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 2 grams fat; 10 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams protein; 1.07 grams fiber.


1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 tablespoons minced garlic

Juice of 4 oranges

1 tablespoon honey or sugar

2 teaspoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons coriander

6 cups peeled, seeded and sliced cucumbers


Cayenne pepper

Combine sesame and olive oils and garlic in 10-inch nonstick skillet and cook, stirring, over medium-high until garlic is soft but not browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add orange juice, honey, vinegar and coriander. Stir to mix. Add cucumbers and lower heat to medium. Cover and cook until cucumbers are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and cayenne.

8 to 10 servings. Each of 10 servings:

74 calories; 35 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 2 grams fat; 13 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams protein; 1.46 grams fiber.

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