Trader Joe's Vegetable Medley

Trader Joe's Vegetable Medley

Trader Joe's provides The Jesse Tree with an enormous amount of fruit, vegetables, bread and other delicious food products on a weekly basis. From its inception as a convening, charitable organization, The Jesse Tree has developed a model of integrated care that recognizes nutrition as the foundation of mental, physical and financial health and wellness. In an effort to share the bounty and to encourage other non-profit organizations to benefit from good nutrition and the concept of integrated care, the following network has emerged:

Trader Joe's – Rita Armstrong/David

The Jesse Tree – David Mitchell/Rosa Salinas, Gary Burns/Patrick Sims

Students of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) – Leslie Anne Renate Cahier/Patsy Hayes/Vera

Residents of The Children's Center – Juan Carlos Hernandez, Carlos Hernandez

The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Women's Center – Ellie Hanley

The Mainland United Way –

Rexas A&M University – Jackie Keleher, Nick Ellie

Beginning June 21, 2016 and for the next four to six weeks, the group will meet to study the donated foods; prepare them by developing simple, easy to follow, bilingual recipes that promote good health and will actually cook the meals; photographing and videotaping, during preparation to compile a useful, set of recipes and suggestions so that in the future, when boxes of random vegetables, fruits and other foods are generously bestowed on agencies, they will be better prepared to turn them into healthy meals and will have a better understanding of how and why integrated care improves health and wellness. Food will be picked up on Tuesday evening; the group will convene on Wednesday mornings at 9 AM to sort, wash and prepare foods, recipes and suggestions for its best, healthiest use. Other important information, such as how to prepare and store herbs, create sauces and locate other resources for issues such as diabetes management will be included. An example for Lesson #1:

The Script:

Ted's roasted vegetable medley:

Culturally, I grew up only having cauliflower that was boiled and served with lots of butter and salt. I loved it! Over the years, I learned that boiled vegetables lose precious vitamins and minerals and often lose flavor, too. Then, my Cousin Colleen taught me hot to make a baked cauliflower, which preserves the vitamins and tastes great.

So, a simple, fast recipe for a baked cauliflower is:

1 head of cauliflower

Olive oil

Fresh garlic or garlic salt (not great for health conditions)

Dried Italian Spices

Pre-hear the oven to 350 degrees; Place the cauliflower in a roasting pan (I like to use aluminum pans that I buy for $1 each and can re-use, then throw away!) drizzle olive oil over the entire head; rub garlic over it; place it in the oven; bake for about an hour or until a fork easily slides in and out.

Now, let's expand on the concept of the baked cauliflower; drizzle the olive oil in the bottom; add spices; add fifteen to twenty Brussels' Sprouts and about ten radishes; roll them around in the oils and spices; add several whole, peeled onions; roll in the oil and spices; add the cauliflower, drizzle with olive oil and spices; add a couple of whole eggplant and some small to medium summer squash; place eight or ten fingerling sweet potatoes over the top; place in the oven and bake at 350 for about an hour and a half; test with a fork and remove when done.

Health Note: This past January I developed a kidney stone. Another friend, Dale Taylor did some research and taught me that sweet potatoes are especially good for treating kidney stones; I felt immediately better and have continued to eat them frequently!

This is an opportunity to introduce new vegetables to people who may be unfamiliar with them. This vegetable medley offers a wide variety of tastes and textures and leaves one feeling full and satisfied.

Side lesson: place whole garlic bulbs in the microwave for thirty second; let it cool; it will then pop out of its skin easily!!!

Another friend, Eleanor Grant, taught me how to make whipped cauliflower, which looks and tastes surprisingly like mashed potatoes, with few calories and carbohydrates; so, amazing how many different ways a cauliflower can be cooked and it can become an entire vegetable medley!