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Cookenomics: In Season Means on Sale

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Knowing what foods are in season can save you tons at the checkout. Here's the scoop on what produce is ripe for February savings.

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Produce can add up, especially if you don't purchase what's in season. You're in luck this month with these produce picks from celeb chef and mom Susannah Locketti. All four foods and recipe ideas are healthy on your heart and wallet.

Avocados
Who doesn't love the creamy goodness of an avocado? Loaded with potassium, fiber and Vitamin B6, this is a fruit to be reckoned with. Whip up guacamole with some avocados on sale for under $1 while in season. I also love a PAT ... Crispy Pancetta, Avocado and Tomato Sandwich on a multigrain roll ... sooo good! Chopped avocado is super on salads and in omelets, not to mention with grilled shrimp.

My crab and avocado quesadilla is also a must try! Just heat canned lump crabmeat (8 oz) in olive oil with finely chopped scallions, fresh garlic and a pinch of chili powder and cumin. Season lightly with sea salt and pepper. Pull off the heat and place four whole grain tortillas flat. Top with the warm crab mixture, sliced avocado and shredded jack cheese. Top each with a second tortilla and bake directly on the rack in a 500 degree oven until crispy. Cut into wedges using a pizza cutter. Smaller wedges make a great warm hors d'oeuvre with jarred peach salsa, while half wedges make a great dinner with a side salad.

Potatoes
Gotta love a good old-fashioned potato in the wintertime. I like to upscale the standard baked potato by spiral slicing the potato lengthwise about 1/3 of the way down. Then brush the potato with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and bake at 350 for about an hour. The slices brown up and form a crispy spiral effect when done. Potatoes are also perfect cubed in any winter comfort soup or stew, so break out the crock pots.

Broccoli
Loaded with Vitamin C and a great source of fiber, this veggie is a great pick when on sale. My co-worker Kim makes an easy and healthy Chicken Broccoli Penne with a real kick thanks to plenty of red pepper flakes. While boiling whole grain penne in salted water, saute a pound of bite sized boneless skinless chicken breast and season with salt. Saute the chicken in olive oil with red pepper flakes over medium-high heat. When the chicken is done, add broccoli florets and cooked penne. Season with salt, pepper and drizzle additional olive oil. Toss and serve with grated cheese. Tip: Add fresh or frozen broccoli florets to the pasta pot in the last 2-3 minutes of boiling to cook al dente and retain nutrients.

Beets
I love these pinkish red high antioxidant and cancer-fighting root vegetables. I order beets from a restaurant around the corner that always has them on the menu. Beets get a bad rap in the taste department, but have you ever tried them roasted? They are out of this world! Simply peel and cube a pound or two of red beets, drizzle with olive oil and season with kosher salt, pepper and any herbs you have on hand. Roast at 375 degrees for at least thirty minutes or until tender. Serve as a stand-alone side dish or at room temperature on a salad with some crumbled bleu cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette.


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1 comments so far | Post a comment now
Fay Tate May 1, 2009, 11:25 AM

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