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City Harvest’s Tips for Making the Most of Your Vegetables

May 2nd, 2011 - By Lari Robling

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The summer season is a great time to clean up that old grill and start roasting and grilling fresh vegetables. You can even roast veggies in the wintertime too with a conventional oven, but the grill works best and gives off the best flavor.

How to roast sliced zucchini, other summer squash, eggplant or sliced onions:
Slice the veggies to about 1½-inch thick. Toss in a bowl with a bit of vegetable oil.

  • If roasting: Pre-heat oven to 400°. Lay vegetables on a baking sheet. Roast for about 25 minutes, checking half-way through.
  • If grilling: A grilling sheet or basket helps keep the vegetables from falling through the grill. Otherwise, makes sure your veggies are a little thicker and cut lengthwise. Grill over medium heat, staying with it to ensure it doesn’t burn.

How to roast or grill peppers:

  • If roasting: Pre-heat oven to 400°. Lay peppers on a baking sheet. Roast until the pepper sags and browns slightly.
  • If grilling: Lay peppers whole on a grill. Grill until browned on sides turning every few minutes. Take off the grill.
  • After roasting or grilling: Some people like to put the peppers in a paper bag, so they sweat as they cool, others like to let them cool by sitting out. Either way is fine. When it cools, the pepper skin will wrinkle and come off easily. Open it up and remove the seeds.

How to roast whole heads of garlic:
Pre-heat oven to 400°. Take a small slice off the top of a whole head of garlic. Lay on a sheet of foil, drizzle a teaspoon of vegetable oil on the top. Wrap the foil tightly around the garlic. Wrap again in a second piece of foil. Roast for 30 minutes. (This is easy to do on the grill, wrapped in foil.) Open foil and let cool. Roasted garlic will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.

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Photo by Flicker user Yolise / CC BY-NC 2.0

About Lari Robling
Lari Robling's food career had its early beginnings as a home ec teacher for the visually impaired. Later, she decided to become a food professional and worked for caterers and restaurants. Lari landed her first job in a test kitchen for a small health food publication, Delicious! magazine. From there, she began a freelance career as a food stylist and food consultant. She is also the author of Endangered Recipes: Too Good to Be Forgotten.

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Philly Food Bucks!
Philly Food Bucks are coupons that help ACCESS/food stamp customers save money on fruits and vegetables. Philly Food Bucks can be redeemed for $2 worth of fruits and vegetables for every $5 spent in ACCESS/food stamps at a participating farmers' market. Learn more about Philly Food Bucks at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health's recently expanded web site Food Fit Now also accepted at the West Oak Lane Weaver's Way Food Coop.

Get Healthy Philly is part of the Communities Putting Prevention to Work Initiative, a federal effort to: prevent and delay chronic disease, reduce risk factors, promote wellness in children and adults, and provide positive sustainable health change in our communities.

Food Fit Philly is part of Get Healthy Philly, a program that works to reduce and prevent obesity and related chronic diseases (like heart disease and diabetes) by increasing access to healthy foods that people can afford.

Your body needs help when it's time to quit. SmokeFree Philly is a program of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health that offers support and tools to help smokers quit. The goal of SmokeFree Philly is to: help people to quit smoking, stop people from starting to use tobacco, and reduce heart disease, cancer and other illnesses caused by smoking.

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