We get most of our salt from processed and restaurant foods, so the best way to reduce the salt in our diets is to eat fresh – and it’s easier than ever to find fresh produce at your neighborhood farmers’ markets! With everything from beans to zucchini being harvested right now, and many markets offering fresh meat, poultry and fish, you can avoid sodium-heavy canned and packaged foods for an entire week – just don’t add any salt while you’re cooking. Try adding some fresh herbs such as basil and rosemary for seasoning. When you add fresh fruit for dessert, you avoid all that processed white sugar that can add unnecessary calories to your diet – and add unwanted pounds to you.
Here’s a recipe for a French vegetable stew that uses lots of things you can find at the market:
Summer Vegetable Ratatouille*
- 2 onion, sliced into thin rings
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium eggplant, cubed
- 2 zucchini, cubed
- 2 medium yellow squash, cubed
- 2 green bell peppers, seeded and cubed
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 chopped red bell pepper
- 4 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat 1 1/2 tablespoon of the oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and saute the zucchini in batches until slightly browned on all sides. Remove the zucchini and place in the pot with the onions and garlic.
- Saute all the remaining vegetables one batch at a time, adding 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet each time you add a new set of vegetables. Once each batch has been sauteed add them to the large pot as was done in step 2.
- Season with salt and pepper. Add the bay leaf and thyme and cover the pot. Cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and parsley to the large pot, cook another 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Remove the bay leaf and adjust seasoning.
Photo Credit: H3rko Via Pixabay