Vegan - Vegetarian RecipesVegetables - Ingredients Descriptions and Photos
From All-Creatures.org Vegan - Vegetarian Recipe Book: How Mary and Frank and Friends Eat

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Ingredients Descriptions and Photos
Vegetables

Artichoke
(Artichoke)  All commercially grown artichokes in the United States come from California, particularly the central coast where cool summers and mild winters provide an ideal growing area.  The globe artichoke, a member of the composite family of flowers, is closely related to the thistle.  If left to flower, the plants produce violet blossoms measuring seven inches across.  The part we eat is from the immature flower bud.  The edible portion of the "globe" is composed of the fleshy bases of the flower bracts (look like leaves) and the receptacle to which the bracts are attached, commonly referred to as the "heart."  Artichokes can be purchased all year long, but the best quality are available from March through May.  Select artichokes that are dark green, heavy for their size and blemish-free.  The globe should be compact and not beginning to open.  Artichokes can be washed, placed in a plastic bag, and stored in the refrigerator for several days until used.  To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional chart, click on the photo or link.  See Artichoke, Cooking and Eating
Asparagus
(Asparagus)  The parts of the asparagus that we eat are the sprouts.  Once the asparagus sprouts begin to branch out, the stems become very woody, and actually will grow into a plant that looks like a little tree with small flowers and red berries.  Select asparagus that is firm, bright green, and still tender (not soft) at the bottom and not dried out.  The thickness of the stem will vary from 1/4 - 3/4 inch in diameter at the base.  The thicker ones have a tendency to get somewhat woody at the base, but the flavor is the same.  It will store in the refrigerator for a few days, but we usually try to eat it no more than two days after purchase.  When ready to use, before removing the market's  rubber bands from the bunch, we cut off about 1/2 inch from the bottoms.  See our asparagus recipe directory for helpful suggestions.  To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional chart, click on the photo or link.
Asparagus, White
(Asparagus, White)  When we first saw white asparagus in the market, it attracted our attention.  The first thing we did was compare the package nutrition information with that of regular green asparagus, and found that the white asparagus was less nutritious.  It was promoted as "gourmet white asparagus", but after tasting it, we thought it would have better been promoted as "novelty white asparagus".  It has an earthy taste with very little of the traditional asparagus taste.  It is probably best cooked and served in combination with green asparagus. See our asparagus recipe directory for helpful suggestions. We could not find complete nutritional information for white asparagus.
Beans, Green
(Beans, Green)  The most commonly eaten fresh beans are the green beans, which are also called snap beans or string beans.  The outer green covering is an edible bean pod.  We enjoy them raw in salads or with dips, or cooked plain or in other dishes.  Select beans that are young (without large bulges in the pod from maturing beans), firm, and bright in color and without blemishes.  The outer texture of the bean should feel velvety.  See the nutritional charts by clicking on the photo or link for raw and cooked green beans.
Beans, Green, French Cut Frozen
(Beans, Green, French Cut Frozen)  French cut green or string or snap beans, as they are interchangeably called is a fancy name that describes beans that have been cut in half lengthwise. We like to use French cut green bean in stir-fry and mix vegetable dishes because the lengthwise cutting makes the cooked beans more flexible and easier to pick up with a fork. Frozen French cut green beans are available in the frozen vegetable section of most supermarkets. We have included nutritional information for both microwaved and boiled cooked French cut green beans, which you can see by clicking on the photo or link.
Green and Yellow String Beans with Carrots, Frozen
(Green and Yellow String Beans with Carrots, Frozen) We are always on the lookout for different veggies, and the packages of frozen green and yellow string beans with carrots caught our eye. These specialty mixes are not always available, but they can be substitutes with equal amounts of baby carrots, green beans, and yellow beans. Since this is a blend of several vegetables, we don't have specific nutritional information for this product.
Beets and Beet Greens
(Beets and Beet Greens) The beets in this photo were purchased in bunches of three beets each.  They measure approximately two feet from the base of the roots to the top of the leaves (greens).  Since both the beet root and the leaves are edible and nutritious, we purchase beets that have firm and undamaged roots and leaves that are fresh with no sign of wilting.  We eat beet roots and greens raw in our salads and veggie drinks, as well as cooked in various ways (see our beet recipes and information). To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional information, click on the photo or link.
Beets, Yellow
(Beets, Yellow) We have not seen yellow beets on sale in any regular supermarket, but have seen them occasionally at health food stores and some farm markets. We found references on the internet that state that yellow beets date back to the 1820s or before, and that they are sweet tasting and won’t bleed like red beets. We enjoy eating them raw or cooked. The greens are also good to eat. Most of the other information on the internet concerned recipes, and we could not find any in-depth specific nutritional for yellow beets. 
Bok Choy
(Bok Choy)  Bok choy is also called Chinese mustard cabbage.  It has a mild flavor, and can be eaten raw in salads (like any cabbage), stir-fried, or added to soups.  A 100 gram (3-1/2 oz.) portion has only 13 calories.  See complete nutritional charts by clicking on the photo or link.
Bok Choy
(Bok Choy)  This is a northern variety of bok choy that we purchased from a local farmer in New York State.  It is very tasty, with a stronger mustard flavor in the green leaves than the store bought variety, which we understand comes from California.  The thickened base part of the leaves has the same mild flavor of the California variety.  In this variety the green color extends down to the base, where as the California variety is white at the base.  This variety is great in soups and stir-fries.  The only nutritional information we have for Bok Choy is for the California variety.
Broccoli
(Broccoli)  Broccoli is the nutritional leader of the cruciferous family of vegetables, which have been shown to help protect against colorectal, stomach and respiratory cancers.  We enjoy broccoli raw in our salads and for dips, or cooked in stir-fries or in Italian dishes such as pizza and pasta prima vera.  When purchasing, select broccoli that is firm (crisp) and with dark green florets.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Broccoli Raab (Rabe) or Rapini
(Broccoli Raab (Rabe) or Rapini)  Broccoli Rabe is a nutritious vegetable that is related to the turnip and has a mustard-like flavor.  It is not related to broccoli, even though it has buds that look like broccoli. When purchasing, make sure that the leaves are green and crisp.  Rapini origins have been traced to the Mediterranean region around Italy and to China, where it remains popular in both of these nationalities cooking. We have included nutritional charts for both raw and cooked broccoli rabe.  As can be seen in these charts, this is one of those vegetables that cooking releases more of the food value.  To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional charts, click on the photo or link.
Broccoli Stir-Fry Mix, Frozen
(Broccoli Stir-Fry Mix, Frozen)  There are several brands and combinations of frozen broccoli stir-fry mix sold in the markets.  This particular one contains (in order of quantity): broccoli, carrots, onions, red peppers, celery, water chestnuts, and mushrooms, and was distributed by Aldi, Inc. in 1 pound bags (2006 cost $0.89).  We purchase this stir-fry mix primarily for convenience in making "quickie" soups and stir-fry recipes.
Brussels Sprouts
(Brussels Sprouts)  Brussels sprouts are members of the cabbage family, which they resemble in miniature form.  They are a good source of dietary fiber and protein, vitamins A and C, and potassium, iron and a small amount of calcium.  Like other cruciferous vegetables, Brussels sprouts have been shown to have cancer prevention properties.  When purchasing, select tightly compact, firm heads with good color and without a strong odor.  See nutritional charts by clicking on photo or link.

Cabbage, Bok Choy - See Bok Choy

Cabbage, Chinese
(Cabbage, Chinese)  Chinese or celery cabbage is a fairly mild tasting cabbage that is great when eaten raw in a mixed green salad, or cooked in soup or Chinese recipes.  Select a Chinese cabbage that is crisp and free of wilted or brownish leaf edges.  Store Chinese cabbage in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator, where it will stay crisp for several days.
Cabbage, Green
(Cabbage, Green)  We enjoy green cabbage either raw or cooked.  It is a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C.  Select heads that are firm and free of harvesting damage (cuts, cracks, etc.) or worm holes.  See the nutritional tables by clicking on the photo or link.

Cabbage, Napa - See Napa

Cabbage, Red
(Cabbage, Red)  We purchase our red cabbage in either supermarkets or farm stores (when in season), and we always look for firm heads without discoloration or imperfections.  Red cabbage adds color to salads and cooked recipes.  Red cabbage leaves are colored dark red/purple. However, the plant changes its color according to the pH value of the soil that it is growing in, due to a pigment called anthocyanin.  In acidic soils, the leaves grow more reddish, while an alkaline soil they will produce rather greenish-yellow colored cabbages. This explains the fact that the very same plant is known by different colors in various regions. When we were children we used the juice of red cabbage as a home-made pH indicator, turning red in acid and light greenish-blue in basic solutions. On cooking, red cabbage will normally turn blue. To retain the red color it is necessary to add vinegar or acidic fruit to the pot.  See the nutritional charts for raw and cooked red cabbage by clicking on the photo or link.
Cabbage, Savoy
(Cabbage, Savoy)  Savoy cabbage has crinkly leaves and deep veining.  We have used savoy cabbage mostly for its appearance.  Be careful when selecting this variety of cabbage, as some of the heads can be quite tough.  Select firm heads with flexible leaves.  See the nutritional information for savoy cabbage by clicking on the photo or link.
Cabbage, White
(Cabbage, White)  White cabbage is not really white, but light green in color.  The light color can easily be seen when set beside a green cabbage for comparison.  Many markets sell them interchangeably as "cabbage."  Select white cabbages that are crisp and firm with no signs of wilting, blemishes, or cuts.  White cabbage is great eaten raw in salads or cooked in recipes.  We could not find any specific nutritional information on white cabbage, but suspect it is similar to green cabbage.
Cardoon
(Cardoon)  Cardoon is a perennial celery-like looking vegetable that is closely related to globe artichoke, and is a member of the thistle family. It is prized by people from the Mediterranean countries for its unique flavor, which we think is similar to the taste of artichoke.  We have found that cardoon is usually only available in the markets around Christmas time.  Many people discard the tougher outer ribs, but we have found that they have excellent flavor, too, if you don't mind throwing away the stringy remains, as one does with artichoke bracts (leaves).  All the ribs in this bunch are edible, as are the smaller leaves. The new growth center stalks have a frilly top which is too tough to eat and should be removed with the larger outer leaves.  The inner tender stalks can be eaten raw.  Cardoon is best prepared by boiling in soups and steaming.  We have also stir-fried cardoon in water.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Carrots
(Carrots)  Carrots are one of the staples in our diet.  We use them raw as snack food, in salads, with dips, in veggie drinks and even in some fruit smoothies.  Carrots are great in roasted veggies and in many other recipes.  Select carrots that are firm and free of mold or signs of rotting.  Since most carrots are sold in printed bags, it is important to look closely to make sure the carrots are in good condition.  Store carrots in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator.  See the nutritional charts for raw and cooked carrots, and note the significant differences.  This is one of the vegetables in which cooking can increase some of the nutritional attributes, and lower others.  Our conclusion is that carrots should be eaten both raw and cooked.
Carrots, Baby
(Carrots, Baby)  There are two kinds of baby carrots: the true baby carrots which are picked before they are matured, and the mature carrots that are cut into pieces and run through a mechanical peeler that removes the skin and rounds the ends; they are then washed, weighted and bagged. Mostly what we see in the supermarkets are the baby cut carrots, which on the average cost about twice what whole carrots cost. Baby cut carrots are usually produced from carrots that could not otherwise be marketed due to size and imperfections, or they are specially grown to fill market demands.  We usually only buy these carrots for a traveling snack food or when they are on sale.  We also use them for a few specialty recipes.  Since they are really regular carrots, see the nutritional information for Carrots.
Cauliflower
(Cauliflower)  Cauliflower, like other members of the cruciferous family, have been shown to protect against various forms of cancer.  Such protection is also enhanced by a vegan diet.  Broccoli is excellent raw in salads or dips and cooked in sweet and sour dishes.  You might want to try our Peas, Cauliflower and Tofu with Spicy Orange recipe.  Select cauliflower that is firm with white florets, without brown spots.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Celery
(Celery)  We enjoy celery either raw (in salads, as a snack, or with dips), or cooked (in soups, roasted vegetable dishes, or in stir fries).  Celery is very low in calories, but has an interesting flavor which complements dishes.  Select celery that is firm and free of signs of decomposition (brown areas and soft spots).  See the nutritional charts by clicking on the photo or link.

Chard - See Swiss Chard

Chicory
(Chicory)  Chicory, also called endive or curly endive, is a slightly bitter tasting salad green, which is excellent for giving a mixed green salad a variety of tastes.  Chicory is also more "crunchy" than leaf lettuce, so that combining them together gives the salad more "interest".  When purchasing, select chicory that is firm and crispy and has dark green leaves (see photo).  See nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Collard Greens
(Collard Greens)  Collard greens, also called collards, are a member of the cabbage family of vegetables.  Like other cruciferous plants, collards have been shown to help protect against cancer, particularly for those on a vegan diet.  Collards have also been shown to help protect against macular degeneration, an eye disease.  Collard greens are "tough", so they are usually cooked, either by steaming or by cooking in soups, curries, stir-fries, or in casseroles. Occasionally, we add one or two stems and leaves to our raw vegetable smoothies.  Collards are one of the stronger tasting members of the cabbage family.  When purchasing, select collard greens that are crisp and have dark green leaves.  See our Cooking Collard Greens recipe section.  See the nutritional charts by clicking on the photo or link.
Collard Greens, Frozen Chopped
(Collard Greens, Frozen Chopped)  Frozen chopped collard green are an easy way to have this vegetable available for "quickie" meal preparation.  We usually purchase our frozen collard greens in 1-pound plastic bags, which we can store in the freezer for use anytime, such as in a vegetable smoothie, where we only use a partial bag.  By carefully opening the bag of frozen collard greens from on end, and removing the amount of collard greens we wish to use, we can then reseal the bag of still frozen greens and save the remainder in the freezer for another meal.  Frozen chopped collard greens are also available in frozen blocks of 10-oz. and 3-pounds, which can only be used for one meal.  Collard greens, also called collards, are a member of the cabbage family of vegetables.  Like other cruciferous plants, collards have been shown to help protect against cancer, particularly for those on a vegan diet.  Collards have also been shown to help protect against macular degeneration, an eye disease.  See our Cooking Collard Greens recipe section.  To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional chart, click on the photo or link.
Collard Greens, Purple (Collards)
(Collard Greens, Purple (Collards)) We found these organic purple collard greens at a local farm store. We have not seen them in any supermarket. They are very tough to eat raw, as is the traditional green variety, but when steamed or cooled in the microwave oven, purple collard greens soften nicely and in our opinion are sweeter tasting than the standard green collards. Unfortunately, we could not find any detailed nutritional informational for purple collard greens.
Corn on the Cob - Bicolor
(Corn on the Cob - Bicolor)  Most people probably think of corn on the cob as a vegetable, but it is really a grain.  There are several common varieties of corn on the cob: yellow, white, and mixed white and yellow, which is pictured here.  In our experience, we have seen only the yellow variety sold frozen either on the cob or cut.  We have found a variety of flavors in corn on the cob depending on where it is grown and how long it has been since it was harvested.  The longer it has been since the corn was harvested, the more bland the flavor, and the more "gummy" the texture.  We have found it best to buy only fresh corn on the cob that has a nice green husk.  We could not find any nutritional information for bicolor yellow and white corn on the cob, but estimate that it should be somewhere in the middle of the nutritional information we have for white corn on the cob and yellow corn on the cob.  To enlarge the photo, click on the photo or link.
Corn on the Cob - White
(Corn on the Cob - White)  Most people probably think of corn on the cob as a vegetable, but it is really a grain.  There are several common varieties of corn on the cob: yellow, mixed white and yellow, and white, which is pictured here.  In our experience, we have seen only the yellow variety sold frozen either on the cob or cut.  We have found a variety of flavors in corn on the cob depending on where it is grown and how long it has been since it was harvested.  The longer it has been since the corn was harvested, the more bland the flavor, and the more "gummy" the texture.  We have found it best to buy only fresh corn on the cob that has a nice green husk.  See the enlarged photo and the nutritional chart for raw white corn on the cob by clicking on the photo or link.  We could not find any nutritional information for cooked white corn on the cob, but it is probably very similar to the differences between the raw and cooked information for yellow corn on the cob.
Corn on the Cob - Yellow
(Corn on the Cob - Yellow)  Most people probably think of corn on the cob as a vegetable, but it is really a grain.  There are several common varieties of corn on the cob: white, mixed white and yellow, and the yellow, pictured here.  In our experience, we have seen only the yellow variety sold frozen either on the cob or cut.  We have found a variety of flavors in corn on the cob depending on where it is grown and how long it has been since it was harvested.  The longer it has been since the corn was harvested, the more bland the flavor, and the more "gummy" the texture.  We have found it best to buy only fresh corn on the cob that has a nice green husk.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Corn, Frozen
(Corn, Frozen)  We purchase frozen corn for convenience when we don't want to eat corn-on-the-cob, or when it is out of season.  Frozen corn is great for use in soups, chili, and vegetable dishes.  To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional chart, click on the photo or link.
Corn, Baby Canned
(Corn, Baby Canned)  We purchase canned baby corn occasionally as a specialty item for salads, soups, and stir-fries to add a little variety.  Fresh baby corn has a crisp texture and a subtle, slightly sweet corn flavor. Although almost all the baby corn found in the United States is pickled or canned and imported from Asia, where the cost of labor is much lower. Baby corn’s miniature size makes consumers think that it grows from dwarf corn plants, but the tiny ears of baby corn are simply immature ears from regular-sized corn plants. Specialty varieties are available for baby corn production, but baby corn can also be harvested from many common corn varieties.
Cucumber
(Cucumber)  We enjoy cucumber raw in salads or with dips.  Select cucumbers that are dark green and firm, particularly on the ends.  The slender ones generally have smaller seeds.  We prefer to buy cucumbers without the wax coating that are available from farmers' markets in the summer and fall.  If unwaxed, we eat the skin, but if the cucumbers are waxed to prevent decomposition, we peel off the skin before eating.  See nutritional charts by clicking on the photo or link.
Daikon or Mooli
(Daikon or Mooli) Diakon is the Japanese name for this mild tasting large white radish, which literally means "large root". The daikon in this photo was organically grown in Eastern New York State, and is over a foot long. The supermarket varieties are usually scrubbed clean, and are whiter. Wikipedia says, "In the UK and continental Asia it is most commonly known as mooli." It is great to eat raw in salads, or to munch on for a snack or for a dip. One of the nice things about daikons is that they can be stir-fried with other vegetables and they still retain their crispness much like water chestnuts. We could not find detailed nutritional information on daikons, but did find that a 30 gram serving of daikon has 1 gram of protein and 1 gram of unsaturated fat for a total of 15 calories. They are also relatively high in vitamin C with the 30 gram (1 ounce) serving providing 15% of our daily need.
Eggplant
(Eggplant)  Eggplant comes in a variety of colors: white, yellowish-white, red, striped, purple, and purple-black (as pictured), which is the most common variety.  Eggplant are high in fiber and potassium, with most of the fiber being contained in the edible skin.  Select eggplant that is firm with no wrinkles, bruises, or soft spots.  See nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Eggplant, Turkish Orange
(Eggplant, Turkish Orange) Ripe Turkish orange eggplant, S. integrifolium, looks very much like a two inch diameter tomato. We have also seen them referred to as Turkish Italian orange eggplant, because of their popularity in Italy. They can be cooked the same ways as other species of eggplant, and even put on veggie pizzas. The only place we have seen them on sale is at farm stores, but they should also be available at specialty produce markets. We could not find any specific nutritional information for these orange eggplants.

Endive, curly - See Chicory

Escarole
(Escarole)  Escarole is a broad-leaf endive that makes a nice addition to a mixed green salad.  In contrast to the leaf lettuces, escarole has a firm chewy texture and a slightly bitter taste.  Combined with milder-tasting lettuce, escarole adds "interest" to a salad.  Select heads that are crisp and bright green.  We could not find the nutritional chart information specifically for escarole, but the nutritional chart for endive (general category) appears to be fairly accurate for escarole, too.  To view the chart, click on the photo or link.
Garlic
(Garlic)  Garlic has its origin in Europe, but is now grown throughout the world, as the demand for its pungently flavored bulb has grown as an additive to cooking delights.  Garlic is a member of the lily family, as are onions.  Studies have shown that consuming about 10 cloves of garlic (or the oil from the same amount of garlic) a day reduces blood cholesterol LDL (the bad type) and increases the HDL (the good type).  Our belief is that with a healthful vegan (no animal products) diet, much less garlic would produce the same results.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Jicama
(Jicama) Jicama or Yambean is also known as a Mexican potato. The one in this photo has been waxed to preserve freshness in the market, which is the reason for its shiny appearance. Jicama is a crunchy, sweet, juicy tuber that is great to eat raw; just peel it and cut in strips or cut into salads or eat them with dips. The label says that it is often paired with chili powder, lemon, lime, oranges, ginger or even soy sauce. See the nutritional chart (below) for more information.
Kale
(Kale)  Kale is a mild tasting member of the cabbage family.  The smaller, more tender leaves can be eaten raw in a mixed green salad.  The larger tougher leaves are usually steamed or cooked in soups, casseroles, or stir-fries.  We also eat some of the tougher leaves raw in our vegetable "smoothies", which we make in our Vita-Mix.  Like other cruciferous vegetables, kale has been shown to help protect against cancer, particularly for those on a vegan diet.  Kale has also been shown to help protect against macular degeneration, an eye disease.  Select kale which is firm and has dark green leaves.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Kale, Red
(Kale, Red) Red kale is a mild tasting member of the cabbage family. The smaller, more tender leaves can be eaten raw in a mixed green salad.  The larger tougher leaves are usually steamed or cooked in soups, casseroles, or stir-fries. We also eat some of the tougher leaves raw in our vegetable "smoothies", which we make in our Vita-Mix.  Like other cruciferous vegetables, red kale has been shown to help protect against cancer, particularly for those on a vegan diet.  Red kale has also been shown to help protect against macular degeneration, an eye disease.  Select red kale which is firm and has dark reddish green leaves. We could not find any specific nutritional information for red kale, but it should be similar to the curly green kale, except that the red color would indicate the presence of lutein.
Kale, Russian
(Kale, Russian) This is a bunch of Russian kale direct from the farmers market (before washing and cleaning). The leaves are softer than the curly kale, but has a slightly stronger flavor, somewhat like a mild mustard green. It can be added raw to green smoothies, and salads, or cooked in a variety of recipes. There is also a red variety of Russian kale. We have not seen Russian kale for sale in the produce section of regular supermarkets. We could not find any specific nutritional information for Russian kale, but the literature we saw says that some sources say it has less calcium, and perhaps a little oxalic acid (which is also in spinach).
Kohlrabi
(Kohlrabi)  The name kohlrabi comes from the words "kohl" which means cabbage and "rabi" which means turnip.  This vegetable has a turnip shaped edible stem and cabbage-like leaves.  We have cooked the leaves in soups and eaten the stem raw in salads and cooked in soups.  When purchased, the leaves should not be wilted and the stems should be firm.  See the nutritional chart for raw and cooked kohlrabi by clicking on the photo or link.
Kohlrabi, Purple Vienna
(Kohlrabi, Purple Vienna) The only place that we have seen these purple kohlrabi on sale is at the farm store in late spring. The name kohlrabi comes from the words "kohl" which means cabbage and "rabi" which means turnip. This vegetable has a turnip shaped edible swollen stem and cabbage-like leaves. We have cooked the leaves by themselves or in soups and eaten the stems raw in salads and cooked in soups. When purchased, the leaves should not be wilted and the stems should be firm. These particular purple kohlrabi already had the leaves removed when we purchased them. The literature says that the purple color is mostly superficial, and that the nutritional value is very much the same as non-purple kohlrabi.
Lettuce, Green Gem
(Lettuce, Green Gem) We first encountered gem lettuce in our local supermarket as part of a 4-pack of petite lettuce from Artisan®. Gem lettuce grows in broad compact heads with wide leaves, a crunchy texture with a sweet flavor, which makes a nice addition to salads. It also comes in a red variety. We could not find any specific nutritional information for gem lettuce, other than that a 3-oz. serving provides: 10 calories, 2 grams of carbohydrate (less than 1 gram of which is fiber), 1 gram of protein, provides 100% of daily vitamin A, 10% vitamin C, 2% calcium, and 4% iron.
Lettuce, Red Gem
(Lettuce, Red Gem) We first encountered gem lettuce in our local supermarket as part of a 4-pack of petite lettuce from Artisan®. Red gem lettuce grows in broad compact heads with wide leaves, a crunchy texture with a sweet flavor, which makes a nice addition to salads, including adding color. It also comes in a green variety. We could not find any specific nutritional information for gem lettuce, other than that a 3-oz. serving provides: 10 calories, 2 grams of carbohydrate (less than 1 gram of which is fiber), 1 gram of protein, provides 100% of daily vitamin A, 10% vitamin C, 2% calcium, and 4% iron. 
Lettuce, Iceberg
(Lettuce, Iceberg)  Iceberg lettuce has its appeal in its convenience, but it is the least nutritious of all salad greens.  From a nutritional/economic standpoint, it doesn't pay to buy iceberg lettuce.  As an example, loose leaf lettuce (also a sweet and delicately flavored lettuce) has: 58 times the Vitamin A, 4-1/2 times the Vitamin C, 2-1/3 times the dietary fiber, and 3-1/2 times the calcium; and, romaine lettuce has even more Vitamin A and C.  See nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Lettuce, Green Leaf
(Lettuce, Green Leaf)  Green leaf lettuce is a sweet and very delicately textured and flavored lettuce.  To add "interest" to our mixed green salads, we like to combine green leaf lettuce together with some of the firmer and stronger tasting greens, such as romaine, chicory and escarole.  Select heads of leaf lettuce that are bright green and with "firm" leaves (leaves that don't flop over when the head is held upright).  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Lettuce, Red Leaf
(Lettuce, Red Leaf)  Red leaf lettuce is a sweet and very delicately textured and flavored lettuce.  To add "interest" to our mixed green salads, we like to combine red leaf lettuce together with some of the firmer and stronger tasting greens, such as romaine, chicory and escarole.  Select heads of leaf lettuce that are bright green and with "firm" leaves (leaves that don't flop over when the head is held upright).  Also, with red leaf lettuce, be careful that the ends of the red leaves have not turned brown.  See the nutritional chart with green leaf lettuce, which should be similar except for the phytochemicals that produce the red color.
Lettuce, Oak
(Lettuce, Oak) We first encountered oak lettuce in our local supermarket as part of a 4-pack of petite lettuce from Artisan®. Oak lettuce grows in broad loose heads with ruffled leaves. It has a soft full texture with an enjoyable flavor, which makes a nice addition to salads. It also comes in a red variety. We could not find any specific nutritional information for oak lettuce, other than that a 3-oz. serving provides: 10 calories, 2 grams of carbohydrate (less than 1 gram of which is fiber), 1 gram of protein, provides 100% of daily vitamin A, 10% vitamin C, 2% calcium, and 4% iron.
Lettuce, Oak Red
(Lettuce, Oak Red) We first encountered red oak lettuce in our local supermarket as part of a 4-pack of petite lettuce from Artisan®. Red oak lettuce grows in broad loose heads with ruffled leaves. It has a soft full texture with an enjoyable flavor, which makes a nice addition to salads. It also comes in an all green variety. We could not find any specific nutritional information for red oak lettuce, other than that a 3-oz. serving provides: 10 calories, 2 grams of carbohydrate (less than 1 gram of which is fiber), 1 gram of protein, provides 100% of daily vitamin A, 10% vitamin C, 2% calcium, and 4% iron.
Lettuce, Romaine
(Lettuce, Romaine)  Romaine lettuce is crispy, nutritious, and has a distinctive, somewhat strong taste which we enjoy in our salads.  Mixing the romaine with leaf lettuce adds interest and blends nicely with the stronger taste of the romaine.  Select heads of romaine lettuce that are firm and with bright green leaves.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Lettuce, Red Romaine
(Lettuce, Red Romaine)  We found this red romaine lettuce at a local farm store. It has a deep red color on the top of the leaves, but the undersides of the leaves are green as seen in a few places in this photo, such as in the upper right. The taste is similar to the regular green romaine lettuce, but the red romaine adds a lot of color to any salad. We mixed it with equal parts of green romaine. We could not find any specific detailed nutritional information for red romaine lettuce. 
Lettuce, Tango
(Lettuce, Tango) We first encountered tango lettuce in our local supermarket as part of a 4-pack of petite lettuce from Artisan®. Tango lettuce has a somewhat strong and spicy flavor, which makes a nice addition to salads. It also comes in a red variety. We could not find any specific nutritional information for tango lettuce, other than that a 3-oz. serving provides: 10 calories, 2 grams of carbohydrate (less than 1 gram of which is fiber), 1 gram of protein, provides 100% of daily vitamin A, 10% vitamin C, 2% calcium, and 4% iron.
Lettuce, Red Tango
(Lettuce, Red Tango) We first encountered red tango lettuce in our local supermarket as part of a 4-pack of petite lettuce varieties from Artisan®. Red tango lettuce has a somewhat strong and spicy flavor, which makes a nice addition to salads, as well as adding some color. It also comes in a green variety. We could not find any specific nutritional information for red tango lettuce, other than that a 3-oz. serving provides: 10 calories, 2 grams of carbohydrate (less than 1 gram of which is fiber), 1 gram of protein, provides 100% of daily vitamin A, 10% vitamin C, 2% calcium, and 4% iron.
Mustard Greens
(Mustard Greens)  The mustard greens in this full-sized photo are approximately two-thirds actual size.  Mustard greens have a distinctive, strong, bold taste.  Because of this strong taste, we prefer cooking them with other greens to get a variety of flavors.  Choose mustard greens that are crisp (not wilting) and that do not have brown tips on the leaves.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Napa
(Napa)  Napa cabbage is the most popular family of Chinese cabbages seen in the supermarkets of the West and Orient. When matured, the plant forms a head with leaves and petioles. This head-forming vegetable is very tender and delicious whether eaten raw, in salads, or cooked.  It is also the least nutritious of  the Chinese cabbages.  We could not find the nutritional data for the raw vegetable, but the nutrition chart for cooked napa can be seen by clicking on the photo or link.  Compare this chart with that of bok choy to see the differences.
Okra, Frozen
(Okra, Frozen)  Fresh okra should always be as green as the okra in this photo.  Unfortunately, we rarely see fresh okra in the markets; and when we do, most of it is turning brown, so we usually buy frozen whole or cut okra.  Okra, also called lady fingers, or bhindi in Indian cuisine is a plant grown for its fibrous pods full of round, white seeds.  Okra originated somewhere near present-day Ethiopia.  Okra is great in soups and in a variety of other dishes.  The high fiber content helps to thicken soups and sauces. To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional chart, click on the photo or link.
Okra, Frozen, Cut
(Okra, Frozen, Cut)  Fresh okra should always be as green as the okra in this photo.  Unfortunately, we rarely see fresh okra in the markets; most of it is turning brown, so we usually buy frozen whole or cut okra.  Okra, also called lady fingers, or bhindi in Indian cuisine is a plant grown for its fibrous pods full of round, white seeds.  Okra originated somewhere near present-day Ethiopia.  Okra is great in soups and in a variety of other dishes.  The high fiber content helps to thicken soups and sauces. To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional chart, click on the photo or link.
Onion, Red
(Onion, Red)  The red onion is one of the sweeter varieties, though we have had some that were quite strong.  We generally use red onions to add color in salads or as slices for sandwiches.  Choose red onions that are firm with no soft spots, particularly on the stem end.  We could not find any specific nutritional data for red onions.  See the nutritional chart for yellow onions.
Onions, Scallions
(Onions, Scallions)  The scallion is the first growth from an onion seed.  It is harvested as soon as it has nice green leaves and before the bulb begins to develop.  Scallions are delicious raw as pictured and used for a veggie dip, cut as an addition to a tossed salad, or cut and sprinkled on soups and Chinese dishes.  Select scallions that have bright green, crisp leaves.  If fresh when purchased, they will last almost a week in the vegetable bin of a refrigerator.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Onions, Spanish
(Onions, Spanish)  Spanish onions are considered to be one of the milder varieties of onions, but we have found that the "sharpness" can vary quite a bit.  They are a large onion and are excellent for making sandwich slices.  Spanish onions are members of the lily family as are all other onions and garlic.  The nutritional values of onions are similar, so we suggest that you choose your onions primarily by flavor and serving appearance.  See nutritional chart by clicking on photo or link.
Onions, Vidalia
(Onions, Vidalia) We love the consistently sweet taste of raw Vidalia onions on our salads and on sandwiches, but we do not consider then worth the higher cost for cooked recipes, as all varieties of onions seem to sweeten with cooking. We find them in the markets beginning in late spring, and only purchase them when they are firm, and free of mold or rotting. According to the literature, this sweet taste results from growing them in the low sulfur content soils in the Vidalia area, and surrounding counties of Georgia, which according to the law is the only state that they can be grown in and have the name "Vidalia". These requirements go even further and state that Vidalia varieties include the hybrid yellow granex, varieties of granex parentage, or other similar varieties recommended by the Vidalia Onion Committee and approved by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. The onions were first grown near Vidalia, Georgia, in the early 1930s. Mose Coleman is considered the person who discovered the sweet Vidalia Onion variety in 1931. We could not find specific nutritional information for Vidalia onions, probably since it is considered more of a brand name than a variety, thus we have included the nutritional information for sweet onions.
Onions, White Sweet
(Onions, White Sweet)  We purchased these three inch diameter white sweet onions at a local farm store, where they were sold freshly harvested with the green tops and roots still attached.  Later in the season they continued to sell them, but without the tops and roots, just as they would look in the supermarket.  These white sweet onions are mild tasting and great eaten raw in salads and sandwiches.  Select white sweet onions that are firm to the touch, particularly at the stem end, which is usually where the first signs of spoilage begin.  Also make sure there are no signs of mold, which is usually black.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Onions, Yellow
(Onions, Yellow)  Yellow onions are considered a utility or cooking onion, though we also enjoy them raw in salads and on sandwiches.  They are a more "spicy" variety.  Yellow onions, like all other onions and garlic, are members of the the lily family.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on photo or link.
Parsley, Curly
(Parsley, Curly)  We have not found  much difference between the flavors of curly and straight parsley.  We generally buy whichever is fresher and less expensive; however, this curly variety is more decorative, if that is a factor.  Select crisp bunches (not wilted) with a bright green color.  We eat curly parsley raw in our salads, in our raw vegetable smoothies, or cooked in various dishes for added flavor.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Parsley, Straight or Italian
(Parsley, Straight or Italian)  We have found very little difference in the flavor between this straight or Italian variety of parsley and the curly variety.  Parsley is a great addition to salads and for adding flavor to many dishes.  Choose parsley that is crisp (not wilting) and green with no brown edges.  We could not find any specific nutritional data for the straight or Italian parsley.  See the nutritional chart for curly parsley.
Parsnips
(Parsnips)  We occasionally buy parsnips for cooking in soups.  Their flavor is somewhere between carrots and turnips.  We see most parsnips being sold in printed plastic bags.  Look carefully to make sure they are free of mold and rot.  Parsnips are much less nutritious than the carrots they resemble in shape.  See the nutritional chart for both raw and cooked parsnips.
Peas, Green
(Peas, Green)  Peas are the small spherical seeds, or the seed-pods of the legume, Pisum sativum. Each pod contains several peas (raw seeds). Although peas are botanically a fruit, as are all legumes, they are treated as vegetables in cooking. Only about 5% of the peas grown are sold fresh; the rest are either frozen or canned. Frozen peas are preferable to canned peas as they retain their flavor and have lower sodium content.  We usually buy frozen peas for convenience, but fresh green peas in the pod are nice to buy locally when they are in season.  See the nutritional chart for raw and cooked green peas by clicking on the photo or link.
Peas, Green Frozen
(Peas, Green Frozen)  For convenience, we usually buy frozen peas.  Frozen peas retain their color, flavor and nutrients better than canned and are lower in sodium.   They are great in vegetable soups and a variety of other dishes, or served as a side dish.  See the nutritional chart below.
Peas, Snap
(Peas, Snap)  The nice thing about snap peas is that they have an edible pod, much like green string beans.  Snap peas are great eaten raw or in stir-fries or other recipes.  The only thing that is necessary to prepare snap peas is to wash them and snip off the stem end.  Select snap peas that are crisp, bright in color, and free of blemishes.  To see the nutritional information, click on the photo or link.
Pepper, Banana
(Pepper, Banana)  The approximately six inch long banana pepper is one of the mildest of the hot peppers.  Most of the "heat" of the banana pepper seems to be concentrated in the stem end and seeds.  Select banana peppers that are firm and free of blemishes and wrinkles.  Banana peppers are great in sauces and stir-fries because they add both the pepper taste and a little spiciness.  We could not find any specific nutritional information on the banana pepper.
Pepper, Green Bell
(Pepper, Green Bell)  Green bell peppers are the most popular of the peppers, because of their mild flavor.  They are a good source of Vitamins A and C, but the mature red bell peppers are even better.  Green bell peppers are good either raw or cooked.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on photo or link.
Pepper, Red Bell
(Pepper, Red Bell)  Red bell peppers are the mature form of green bell peppers.  They have a sweet flavor, and probably would be even more popular than the green ones, it it wasn't for their price.  Red bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamins A (9 times higher than green bell peppers) and C (more than double green bell peppers).  See the nutritional chart by clicking on photo or link.
Pepper, Yellow Bell
(Pepper, Yellow Bell)  We generally buy yellow bell peppers to add color and pepper flavor to our salads, veggie dips, and sometimes to our cooked dishes.  Like the other bell peppers, this yellow variety is also high in vitamin C.  See the nutritional chart below.
Peppers, Cayenne
(Peppers, Cayenne) Cayenne peppers are mostly used in cooking hot-spicy dishes. They can be used fresh and finely chopped or ground in a blender for adding to chilies, curries, or other spicy recipes. Cayenne pepper is usually sold as a powder or in a thin, vinegar-based sauce (hot sauce). It is generally rated at 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville Units. When young and green, they are less hot. The hotness produced by cayenne peppers is caused by its high concentration of a substance called capsaicin. Technically referred to as 8-methyul-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide, capsaicin has been widely studied for its pain-reducing effects, its cardiovascular benefits, and its ability to help prevent ulcers. Capsaicin also effectively opens and drains congested nasal passages. We could not find any nutritional information for whole cayenne peppers; however, you can see the full nutritional chart for ground cayenne pepper.
Peppers, Cheese, green
(Peppers, Cheese, green)  Cheese peppers are also called bull-nosed peppers.  They are simply a strain of bell pepper that has an extra-thick wall and a flattened shape. They are a superb all-round pepper for eating raw or cooking.  We purchased this pepper at a farm store, and have not found them in supermarkets.  We could not find any specific nutritional information for cheese peppers, but believe it should be similar to Pepper, Green Bell.
Peppers, Cheese, red
(Peppers, Cheese, red)  Cheese peppers are also called bull-nosed peppers.  They are simply a strain of bell pepper that has an extra-thick wall and a flattened shape. They are a superb all-round pepper for eating raw or cooking.  We purchased this pepper at a farm store, and have not found them in supermarkets.  Red cheese peppers are green peppers that have fully ripened. We could not find any specific nutritional information for cheese peppers, but believe it should be similar to Pepper, Red Bell.
Peppers, Hungarian
(Peppers, Hungarian)  Hungarian peppers are among the mildest of the hot peppers.  The average length of the Hungarian peppers is about five inches.  Their mid cross section is oval shaped, but they are round at the top.  They are great in stir fries and sauces, adding both the pepper taste and some spiciness.  Select Hungarian peppers that are firm and free of soft spots, blemishes and wrinkles.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Peppers, Italian Green
(Peppers, Italian Green)  The Italian sweet green pepper is a variety of the species Capsicum annuum, like bell peppers and chili peppers. It has the appearance of a combination of a tapered bell pepper and that of a large chili pepper, but it has the mild taste of sweet peppers such as the bell pepper.  They are sold in many large supermarkets and in many farm stores. Select only firm peppers without blemishes. They are great eating raw in salads or cooked.  To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional chart click on the photo or link.
Pepper, Italian Red
(Pepper, Italian Red)  The Italian red peppers grow to a length of six to eight inches.  They are wonderful eaten raw in strips or in salads.  In our opinion, they are better tasting than the red bell peppers.  The red Italian pepper adds color to many cooked recipes, but we believe that cooking them is a waste of their wonderful raw flavor.  Select Italian red peppers that are firm and free of blemishes and wrinkles.  To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional chart click on the photo or link.
Pepper, Jalapeno
(Pepper, Jalapeno)  The jalapeno pepper is probably the best known of the chili peppers.  On the "heat index" of hot peppers, the jalapeno is relatively "mild".  Jalapeno peppers are about two to three inches in length and are mostly green or with a red blush.  Select jalapeno peppers that are firm and free of bruises, blemishes, and wrinkles.  They will store in the refrigerator for about a week, however, it is best to uses them as soon as possible or process them into Pickled Jalapeno Pepper Slices for future use on sandwiches and pizzas.
Potatoes, Adirondack Blue
(Potatoes, Adirondack Blue) The only place that we have found these Adirondack blue potatoes for sale is at farm stores. The Adirondack blue potato is a hybrid variety that was developed by Cornell University, and released in 2003. Other references say that the Solanum tuberosum Adirondack blue potato originated in South America. It is a great potato to add color to any meal, including salads. They do no discolor while baking or boiling. If not being used for mashing, we suggest boiling and baking the potatoes with the skin on. The skins also add nutritional value. We could not find specific nutritional information for these potatoes.
Potatoes, Adirondack Red
(Potatoes, Adirondack Red) We first encountered these Adirondack red potatoes in a local farm store. They are good tasting and can be prepared in any way you desire, but we prefer baking them in pre-cleaned skins to show off their beautiful color (since the skins are thin, we need to be careful to scrub them gently so as not to remove the skin). Wikipedia says that the Adirondack red potato is a hybrid potato variety with red flesh and skin, bred by Cornell University potato breeders Robert Plaisted, Ken Paddock and Walter De Jong and released in 2004. Adirondack Red potato tubers are unusual because both the skin and the flesh are colored and have high levels of anti-oxidants. They are described as "Early- to mid-season, medium- to high-yielding variety. Dark green decumbent to spreading vines bear oblong to long, slightly flattened, purplish-red-skinned tubers with shallow eyes and pink to red flesh."
Potatoes, Red
(Potatoes, Red)  Red potatoes are so named because of their red skins.  If the skin is peeled off, red potatoes look quite similar to standard white potatoes.  Select red potatoes that are firm and free of cuts, bruises, or any signs of mold.  When we are using red potatoes, we thoroughly wash them and leave the skins on to add color to the recipe we're preparing.  In our opinion, since red potatoes are generally more expensive than white potatoes, it doesn't pay to buy them if you're going to peel them.  To enlarge the photo or see the nutritional chart, click on the photo or link.
Potatoes, Russet
(Potatoes, Russet)  The russet is one of the largest of the potatoes available in the markets.  They are ideal for baking, stuffing, and even for making a potato pizza (without the traditional dough crust).  We have found that russet potatoes generally cost more than white potatoes, so we usually buy them only for baking with their skins intact.  For this reason, select russet potatoes that are free of blemishes and damage so that portions don't have to be cut out prior to baking.  The russet potatoes in the photo are slightly over six inches in length, and the one in the center of the photo is standing on its side.   See the nutritional chart for russet potatoes baked with their skins.
Potatoes, Sweet
(Potatoes, Sweet)  Sweet potatoes have either a dry light yellow or moist deep yellow or orange flesh.  The darker colored sweet potatoes are sometimes called yams, which is a misnomer, as true yams are grown only in the tropics.  We enjoy sweet potatoes baked, in roasted vegetable dishes, and in curries.  Select potatoes that are firm and free of mold spots.  A 100 gram (3-1/2 oz.) serving of sweet potatoes has over twice the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamin A.  See nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Potatoes, White
(Potatoes, White)  The most economical way to buy white potatoes is bagged; however, some of the potatoes are usually damaged.  Carefully inspect as many of the potatoes in the bag as you can to make sure that there is no rot or mold, as it will quickly spread to the rest of the potatoes.  When the bag is opened, remove any damaged or bruised potatoes and use them first.  If buying loose potatoes, select the most perfect ones.  Baked potatoes are great with many meals or they can be cut up on a greens and veggies salad, or used in numerous recipes.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Potatoes, Yukon Gold
(Potatoes, Yukon Gold)  Yukon gold potatoes were developed at the University of Guelph in Canada by crossing a North American white potato with a wild South American variety.  Most of the potatoes grown outside of North America are of the yellow flesh variety.  Select Yukon gold potatoes that are firm and free of blemishes and wounds.  Some people claim that Yukon gold potatoes are more flavorful than white potatoes, but we haven't noticed any more difference than would be found in potatoes grown in different locations and soil conditions; however, since the Yukon gold potato contains anthoxanthins, bio-flavenoids that impart the yellow color, there may be a slight taste difference.  We could not find any specific nutritional information for Yukon gold potatoes.
Pumpkin
(Pumpkin)  Most people buy a pumpkin for decoration.  Some people carve a face in it, or paint a face on the surface for Halloween, and then throw it away afterwards.  Others place the pumpkin in a decorative arrangement celebrating the autumn season.  And some people buy the pumpkin for food, and not just for making a pie for dessert.  See our feature: What Can We Do with a Pumpkin?  Select a pumpkin of the size and shape you desire.  If the pumpkin is to remain whole for decoration and/or for eating, as we have done, make sure that the outer surface of the pumpkin is free of bruises, cuts, or punctures.  See the nutritional information by clicking on the photo or link.
Radishes
(Radishes)  This red-skinned radish is the most common variety.  They are eaten raw in salads or plain.  When thinly sliced, their red outer skin and white inner flesh add color to any salad or relish dish.  They have a relatively mild spicy taste.  Select radishes that are fresh and crisp and bright in color.  It is harder to detect imperfections in packaged radishes, but if they are firm to the touch and fresh and bright in appearance, they are usually quite good.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Radish, French Breakfast
(Radish, French Breakfast) The French breakfast radish is an elongated shaped radish with red tops and white tips. They have good flavor and texture, which are excellent for dips, sliced into salads, in relish trays, or as a garnish. We have only found them for sale in farm markets. French breakfast radishes are related to the turnip and horseradish family. This heirloom radish was first introduced in Paris France in 1879, and became very popular, but no one seems to know where the "breakfast" portion of the name came from. We could not find any nutritional information specific to French breakfast radishes.
Radish, Large Red
Radish, Large Red (Radish, Large Red)  We found this large variety of red radish in a local farm store.  Their texture and taste is exactly like the common red radishes that are sold in the supermarkets.  They were wonderful cut up in our salads.  We purchased them several times until their season ended in mid summer.  We could not find any information about these large red radishes on the internet, thus we could not include a specific nutritional chart.
Radish, Watermelon
(Radish, Watermelon) We purchased our watermelon radishes at a local farm store, and have not seem them in local supermarkets, but they should be available from markets that specialize in organic produce. The watermelon radish is made up of an edible globular root attached to thin stems and wavy green leaves. Its exterior is creamy white in color with pale green shoulders, a sign of the chlorophyll it received from exposure to the sun. The watermelon radish's flesh is white closest to the exterior becoming bright circular striations of pink and magenta. Hence the watermelon reference. Its flesh is tender crisp, succulent and firm. Its flavor is mild, only slightly peppery with almond-sweet notes. Depending on when harvested, watermelon radishes can range in size from golf ball to soft ball.  The Watermelon radish, given name Shinrimei, is also known as Rooseheart and Red Meat, is an heirloom Chinese Daikon radish. It is a member of the Brassica (mustard) family along with arugula, broccoli and turnips. The Watermelon radish shares the same attribute with all radishes, it contains isothiocyanate, a pungent chemical compound that when isolated makes an organic pesticide. Often radish crops (along with other Brassica plants) release these compounds which are toxic to pests, weeds and soil born-pathogens (from: specialityproduce.com). We could not find any specific nutritional information for watermelon radishes.
Rhubarb
(Rhubarb)  The rhubarb petioles (leaf stems) in this photo are a deep red in color, but rhubarb is often sold when it is more greenish in color.  We have not noticed much difference in the flavor, but we prefer the red because we believe it is more nutritious.  Rhubarb is bitter tasting by itself, but great when cooked with fruit.  Select rhubarb that is crisp and free of dried ends.  See the nutritional chart for raw rhubarb by clicking on the photo or link.  We could not find any data for cooked rhubarb without sugar.  If the rhubarb is cooked with other ingredients of a recipe, we would suspect that most of the nutritional value would remain in the finished preparation.
Spinach
(Spinach)  Spinach is a soft-leafed vegetable with a pleasant, slightly bitter taste.  Select spinach that is crisp and has a bright green color.  Once spinach begins to wilt, it spoils rapidly.  Since spinach is usually grown in sandy soil, it is important to clean it thoroughly.  We suggest placing the spinach in a sink about half full of cold water and agitating the spinach to loosen as much of the sand as possible.  Then thoroughly rinse each leaf under running water.  Raw spinach is also sold pre-washed in bags, but we suggest that it be rinsed again before use.  Raw spinach is a wonderful addition to a salad, and can be steamed, or cooked in a number of recipes calling for greens.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Squash, Acorn
(Squash, Acorn)  Acorn squash are one of the winter squashes that are quite plentiful in the autumn.  They range in color from the common dark green to yellow-orange, with combinations as in this one.  The flavor of all of them seems to be the same.  Select acorn squash that are firm and free of damage or signs of spoilage.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Squash, Butternut
(Squash, Butternut)  Butternut squash are delicious and highly nutritious.  We enjoy them split and baked (see recipe).  Served with a salad, baked butternut squash often are the main course of our meal.  We also like to toast the seeds (see recipe).  Select butternut squash that are firm and free of cuts or blemishes.  The photo of the split butternut squash (left) shows its bright orange colored interior.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Squash, Chayote
(Squash, Chayote)  Chayote squash looks something like a large somewhat flattened pear with a skin color similar to a light green apple, and has small ridges that run lengthwise.  Chayote is a gourd-like member of the squash family that, when cooked, has a similar flavor to zucchini squash.  It also has a single large edible seed in the middle that is quite flavorful.  Historically, chayote squash is a native of Central and South America, and was a staple food of the Aztecs and Mayas.  Select chayote that are small, firm and unblemished.  They can be stored whole in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a month.  Chayote squash can be baked or added as an ingredient to soups and stews.  To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional chart, click on the photo or link.
Squash, Dumpling
(Squash, Dumpling)  The dumpling squash, also referred to as sweet dumpling squash is a small (4-inch diameter,  mildly sweet-tasting winter (autumn) variety squash resembles a miniature pumpkin with its top pushed in. It has cream-colored skin with green specks, and green stripes. Dumpling squash weigh only about 7 ounces, which make its sweet and tender orange flesh with it colorful skin  an attractive and great size for stuffing and baking as individual servings. The seeds are also great for roasting as a snack. We could not find individual nutritional information for dumpling squash, so we included only general squash information.
Squash, Hubbard
(Squash, Hubbard)  The Hubbard Squash is the largest squash we have seen in the markets.  Its orange flesh is very good tasting, and the whole squash is excellent for stuffing as the entree of holiday feasts.  See our recipe for stuffed Hubbard squash.  Select a squash that is free from bruises and has a good appearance, if you intend to stuff it (also make sure it will fit into your roasting pan).  The Hubbard squash received its name from Elizabeth Hubbard sometime around 1842, after she distributed the seeds of this previously un-named squash produced by Knott Martin.  Our first encounter with Hubbard squash was on the island of Jamaica, where this squash is called "pumpkin" and is made into a curried soup (substitute 4 cups of Hubbard squash for this recipe).  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Squash, Lita
(Squash, Lita) In September of 2013, we found this lita squash, a variety of summer squash, at a local farm store. This was our first experience with lita squash, so it sparked our interest and we decided to do some culinary experimenting. Lita squash are similar to zucchini, except they are sweeter. They can be eaten either raw or cooked, and everything is edible except the stem and flower ends. Raw pieces can be added to salads, and they can be cooked or roasted as part of many different recipes such as those calling for zucchini or yellow squash. We could not find any specific nutritional information for lita squash.
Squash, Spaghetti
(Squash, Spaghetti)  Spaghetti squash is one of the sweet yellow/orange fleshy winter squashes.  The unique feature about spaghetti squash is that when it's cooked, it breaks apart into strands that look like spaghetti.  They are quite plentiful in the autumn, and relatively inexpensive.  Select spaghetti squash that are firm, free of damage and with mostly a bright yellow color.  (The part of the squash that rested on the ground is lighter in color.)  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Squash, Yellow
(Squash, Yellow)  Yellow squash are great when cooked as a side dish, or cooked with other vegetables in soups, stews, stir-fries, and pasta prima vera.  The smaller ones are good when eaten raw on salads and for dips.  Select yellow squash that are firm and free of blemishes and cuts.  If buying by weight, select the smallest ones, as they have smaller and more tender seeds.  See the nutritional charts for raw and cooked yellow squash by clicking on the photo or link.
Squash, Zucchini
(Squash, Zucchini)  The zucchini squash in this photo are young ones that have been picked early.  They are the most tender and have no developed seeds.  They are excellent raw.  You can slice them in rings for salads and slice them in strips for dips.  During the summer and early fall they are found everywhere at farm stores and usually sold by count rather than by weight.  If they are sold by count and you are planning to cook them, select the larger ones, as long as the outside hasn't begun to harden.  If they are sold by weight, always select the smaller ones.  Select zucchini squash that are firm (free of soft spots or ends) and free of blemishes.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Swiss Chard
(Swiss Chard)  Swiss chard is the succulent leafy green tops and whitish stems of a beet plant; however, the leaves of the Swiss chard are much larger than those of the common beet.  The name, Swiss chard, is often shortened to "chard" and is sometimes called "leaf beet" or "sea-kale beet."  Select Swiss chard that is fresh (not wilting) and free of blemishes.  There is also a red leaf and stem variety, and recently, we have seen a yellow stem variety.  Swiss chard tastes somewhat like spinach.  The bunch of Swiss chard in this photo was about 2-1/2 feet (3/4 meter) tall.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Tomatoes
(Tomatoes)  There are many varieties of "round" tomatoes such are the ones pictured here.  Since they are generally all sold as "tomatoes", we have grouped them together.  The best tasting tomatoes are those that are vine ripened.  Most commercial tomatoes sold in the markets are picked just at the point when they are beginning to turn red, and then they are ripened in transit being subjected to ethylene gas just prior to delivery - as a result they never have a chance to gain their full natural flavor.  Select tomatoes that are firm and free of bruises and wrinkles.  See nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Tomatoes, Canned, Whole
(Tomatoes, Canned, Whole)  Whole canned tomatoes are usually found in 28-35-oz. cans.  Some brands add tomato juice or puree, sweet basil, salt, and citric acid.  The added ingredients would change the values listed in the nutritional chart.  We use whole called tomatoes for convenience, is recipes calling for tomato pieces or chunks.  To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional chart, click on the photo or link.
Tomatoes, Crushed
(Tomatoes, Crushed)  Crushed tomatoes are usually found in 28-oz. cans.  Most contain added salt and citric acid (to preserve color), some have sweet basil added, and others add thick tomato puree. The added ingredients can change the nutrient content listed in the nutritional chart.  The only places that we've seen salt free crushed tomatoes is in health food stores, specialty super markets, and from co-ops. We use crushed tomatoes in sauces, soups, stews, and in some curry recipes.  To enlarge the photo and see the nutritional chart, click on the photo or link.
Tomatoes, Diced
(Tomatoes, Diced)  We use canned diced tomatoes for convenience, and when fresh tomatoes are out of season, or grossly over-priced.  The only draw back is that they usually contain salt, so we try to find canned diced tomatoes without salt.  They may also contain calcium chloride and citric acid, which are not a problem.  They are usually less expensive than whole canned tomatoes, so they become the canned tomato of choice when the recipe calls for tomato pieces.  We could not find nutritional information for canned diced tomatoes. See the nutritional chart below for whole canned tomatoes, which should be the same as the diced tomatoes.
Tomatoes, Grape
(Tomatoes, Grape)  The grape tomatoes in this full-sized photo are about three times their actual size.  Grape tomatoes taste very similar to other tomatoes, and they cost more than full size tomatoes, but they are great in salads.  We think of them more as a fun food tomato.  We grew twelve of these small tomato plants in one of our deck planters.  Few of them reached our table, as we kept eating them off the vine.  Choose grape tomatoes that are firm and bright red.  We could not find any specific nutritional data for grape tomatoes.  See the nutritional chart for tomatoes.
Tomatoes, Roma
(Tomatoes, Roma)  This oval or pear shaped tomato goes by a variety of names: Roma, Italian and plum.  They have more pulp and less water content than the round varieties, thus they are better for cooking and making sauce.  We also enjoy them in our salads.  The best tasting tomatoes are those that are vine ripened.  Most commercial tomatoes sold in the markets are picked just at the point when they are beginning to turn red, and then they are ripened in transit being subjected to ethylene gas just prior to delivery - as a result they never have a chance to gain their full natural flavor.  Select tomatoes that are firm and free of bruises and wrinkles.  See nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Tomatoes, Sun-Dried
(Tomatoes, Sun-Dried)  Sun-dried tomatoes are relatively expensive, but they add a delicious gourmet touch to some recipes.  Apparently, the origin of sun-dried tomatoes is Italy, where prior to the days of canning, tomatoes were dried in the sun on the tile roofs.  We have a couple of bread recipes in which we've incorporated sun-dried tomatoes.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Tomato Paste
(Tomato Paste)  Tomato paste is made by cooking tomatoes for several hours until enough of the water is boiled off to reduce the tomatoes to a thick red concentrate.  The cooked tomato concentrate is them strained and packaged for sale.  Tomato paste is most commonly found packaged in 6-oz. cans.  When purchasing tomato paste, look at the label to make sure that the only ingredient is tomatoes.  We use tomato paste in a wide variety of dishes such as soups, stews, and sauces.  Tomato paste is also the least expensive way to add a tomato flavor to a recipe. Tomato paste is also a great source of lycopene.  See the nutritional by clicking on the photo or link.
Turnip Greens
(Turnip Greens)  Cooked turnip greens have a very robust (heavy) flavor.  They can be eaten as a side dish or cooked with other greens or veggies in various recipes.  Select turnip greens that are crisp and green and free of wilt or discolored edges.  Turnip greens are a great source of vitamin A and K, beta carotene, and lutein.  See the nutritional chart by clicking on the photo or link.
Turnips
(Turnips)  Turnips are a root vegetable that are grown in temperate climates around the world.  Their history as an established crop goes back more than 2,000 years to Greek and Roman times.  We eat turnips cut up raw in salads and in strips with dips, as they have a radish-like flavor. Turnips can be cook by themselves or in stews and soups, and we have also cut them into strips and roasted them, as finger food.  Click on the photo or link to see the nutritional charts for raw and cooked turnips.
Water Chestnuts, Canned
(Water Chestnuts, Canned) Water chestnuts are a wonderful addition to Chinese and Asian recipes, which add a crunchy texture to the dish. We only buy the ones that are canned in water with no additives. Unfortunately, during the canning process they lose some of  their sweetness and the layers of flavor that fresh water chestnuts possess. Since we don't live near to where this aquatic vegetable is grown, we only have access to the canned water chestnuts, but if you can buy the fresh water chestnuts, it is well worth the treat. What we eat as water chestnuts, are not really a type of nut, but the sliced root corms of the water chestnut plant which grow in the mud of the marsh, much in the same way that potatoes grow on dry land.  We could not find any detailed nutritional information, but some of the literature states that they are high in carbohydrates, and are also a good source of dietary fiber, riboflavin, vitamin B6, potassium, copper, and manganese.

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Vegan FlagThe above recipe is in keeping with God's creation intent (Genesis 1:29-31): 'Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground-- everything that has the breath of life in it-- I give every green plant for food." And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.' (NIV) Let no animal suffer or die that we may live!