WIC Kitchen is a monthly feature provided by Monongalia County Heath Department WIC staff to highlight healthy recipes made with ingredients approved through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, a federal assistance program.
By Cami Haught
In celebration of spring, Monongalia County Health Department’s Women, Infants, and Children program decided to showcase some recipes with vegetables that are in season. It also works out that today is St. Patrick’s Day and all of these dishes are a lovely shade of green.
The first is asparagus. It’s such a delicious vegetable, and it can be prepared in many ways. One of my favorites is to roast it with olive oil and garlic.
Asparagus is a great source of vitamins and minerals. It is rich in vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K. It is also a good source of iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, zinc, selenium and potassium.
Another early spring vegetable is snap peas. These are also very versatile and can be prepared in many ways. I have found that roasting most vegetables provides a tasty side dish with little clean up.
The vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in snap peas can provide vital health benefits. For example, vitamin C is important for helping your body heal from injuries and maintain healthy blood vessels and muscles. Snap peas are also full of potassium, which is an important mineral for maintaining a healthy heartbeat and kidney function, as well as playing a key role in muscle contraction.
Like other summer squashes, zucchini is a healthy and flavorful vegetable you can add to all kinds of dishes. Use it in a pasta sauce, add it to a stir-fry or bake it into sweet loaves of bread. You should eat zucchini with the rind attached whenever possible, as the rind contains much of the nutritional value.
Zucchini is available year-round in the United States, but it’s especially plentiful in summer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends selecting squash that feel relatively heavy for their size; this indicates that the interior texture is good. The skin should be glossy, bright and firm. If you refrigerate fresh zucchini in plastic bags, you’ll be able to keep it for about a week.
We hope you enjoy these easy and delicious recipes.
GARLIC PARMESAN ASPARAGUS
- 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
In a large skillet, bring 1/2 inch water to a boil. Add asparagus and garlic; cook covered until asparagus is crisp tender, 3-5 minutes; drain. Toss asparagus with butter and cheese.
ROASTED SUGAR SNAP PEAS
- 1 package (8 ounce) fresh sugar snap peas, trimmed
- 1 tablespoon chopped shallot
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss together all ingredients; spread in a 15-by-10-by-1-inch pan. Roast until peas are crisp and tender, 8-10 minutes, stirring once.
CHEESY GARLIC ZUCCHINI BITES
24 individual bites
- 2 cups zucchini, shredded and patted dry
- 1 1/4 cup plain Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup chopped green onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped dill
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Ranch dressing for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray baking sheets with non-stick spray. In large bowl, stir all ingredients until well combined. Shape into small balls, one tablespoon at a time. Place on baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Serve warm with ranch dressing.
MCHD WIC provides nutrition packages and counseling and breastfeeding support to participants in six counties. WIC is an equal opportunity employer. To find out if you qualify, check out monchd.org/wic-eligibilty-guidelines.html or call 1-800-675-5181.