Years ago when I was first starting to delve into cooking whole foods, I came across a web site offering something called The Produce Partner. I can’t even remember what led me to find it in the first place. But I decided to give it a try and ordered one back in 2005, I think. I’ve used it quite a bit over the years and thought it would be helpful to share it with you. Be sure to keep reading and see how you can enter to win your own at the bottom of this post!
Since I purchased it, it has been updated and is now called the Veggie Quickflip. I love using this little vegetable guide! The way it works is that it opens like a fan. There is some general information in the beginning and then a separate page for each vegetable. On the front side of each vegetable card, it tells you when it’s in season, how to select the vegetable, what seasoning is best with it, and how to store it. On the back side, it describes how to prep the vegetable and then provides a “Simple Side” that you can easily make. There is also a slightly more involved recipe listed below.
The information provided for each vegetable is so helpful, especially if you’re someone who is new to incorporating a larger variety of whole vegetables into their diet. There have been lots of times when I’ve come home with a new vegetable from the farmer’s market without any idea of how to actually prepare it. I’ve been able to pull out my Veggie Quickflip and see how to prep it and find an easy way to serve it quickly. I have to say I use the “Simple Side” much more than the recipes that are listed. The suggested seasonings are usually something I always have on hand so it makes it easy to quickly make the side dish. I have never been disappointed with the suggestions from the Simple Sides. Once you have success preparing a new vegetable, it makes you want to try some more!
I had the opportunity to chat with Eileen Faughey, creator of the Veggie Quickflip, via email recently to find out a little bit more about this product and why she made it. It was also fun to learn that she is local here to Boulder. I had no idea until I contacted her!
Me: Why did you decide to create the Veggie Quickflip guide?
Eileen: In my nutrition consulting practice, Nutrition Connections, I repeatedly heard from clients that they needed practical tools for putting nutrition knowledge into action. They wanted to learn how to eat healthier foods without spending a lot of extra time and without compromising flavor. I wanted to address these obstacles and make it easy and tasty to consume fresh foods. I hope the Veggie Quickflip will give people the confidence to purchase and prepare less familiar vegetables as well as prepare long-time favorites in new and flavorful ways.
Me: What suggestion would you give to those who feel they don’t have time to make meals from whole foods?
Eileen: Basically, I think the secret to making healthy meals is to keep it simple. That is what I tried to accomplish with the Quickflip guides. For quick everyday meals, start with fresh, flavorful ingredients and use uncomplicated recipes. Herbs and spices are an easy way to add variety and flavor.
I asked Eileen for permission to share one of the Simple Sides that changed my liking for a vegetable. Green beans were never one of my favorite vegetables and I generally avoided making them. Yet, they looked so appealing at the farmer’s market. One day I came home with a big bag of them and followed the directions on the Simple Side. Delicious! My friends and family love when I make green beans this way now. Here’s the recipe:
Veggie Quickflip Green Bean Simple Side
Steam 1 lb. of trimmed beans for 3-7 minutes, until tender. Saute 2 Tbsp minced shallots (or onions) and 2 Tbsp slivered almonds in 1 Tbsp olive oil for 1 minute. Add the steamed beans, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, and black pepper and cook for 1-2 minutes.
A seasoning idea: Add sliced mushrooms or tomatoes and cook for 3-5 minutes before adding the steamed beans.
A quick note on the recipe, if you are following the GAPS diet, you’ll want to use coconut oil or another fat, such as lard or tallow, for sautéing. You will also want to use almonds which have been soaked and dehydrated. I usually make it without the almonds and add more lemon juice and sea salt to it. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!
Eileen was kind enough to offer a Veggie Quickflip to one lucky reader. To enter the drawing, all you need to do is leave a comment below letting me know why you would like to win it. (Please leave only one comment per person.) You have until Thursday, December 22nd, to enter. I will randomly select a winner on Friday, the 23rd.
UPDATE: This drawing is now closed. Click here to see who won!
She is also offering a 10% discount to my readers who would like to order their own Veggie Quickflip. Just mention my name, “Mindy” in the notes section on the website Order Form. It won’t show up on the order form, but will be subtracted when she processes the order. This discount will be good through December 31, 2011.
I use my Veggie Quickflip all the time and hope you will find it just as useful. Be sure to enter to win today!