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Vegetables reign in October and beyond

October 25, 2012

October is Vegetarian Awareness Month, but Americans are fairly keen on eating their vegetables regardless of what the calendar says.

A study from the Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture shows each year we consume a whopping 384.1 pounds of vegetables per person, compared to 270.7 pounds of meat.

That’s right. Even those of us who are moved most by meat make room in our hearts and on our plates for vegetables because we know vegetables do the body good.

Vegetables have various nutrients that help promote optimum health. Collard greens, for example, are one of the world’s healthiest foods and are loaded with 21 nutrients, including vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and fiber.

Each of the aforementioned nutrients play vital roles in the way our bodies function.

Found naturally in plants, especially greens, vitamin K goes straight to our liver and is known as a clotting vitamin because without it our blood would not clot. In addition to collard greens, turnip greens, kale, spinach, mustard greens and green beans all have extraordinary amounts of vitamin K.

The most nutritious vegetables, including carrots and cabbage, also have the wonderful characteristic of being sources of protein, potassium, iron and folic acid, which essential is in creating healthy red blood cells and helps prevent common birth defects.

Yes indeed, as we all know, vegetables are grand.

Vegetarians, however, are still a relatively small group compared to the rest of the U.S. population that must have its meat. A Gallup poll released earlier this year revealed only five percent of adults identified themselves as vegetarians compared to six percent in 1999 and 2001.

The growing diversity available to vegetarians, however, has not remained static.

Restaurants, retail food companies and natural food stores are among the businesses dedicated to offering vegetarians a diversity of choices by way of menus and products.

Glory Foods’ Sensibly Seasoned™ vegetables are a low sodium food that present vegetarians with delicious offerings that meet the American Heart Association’s criteria for being low in saturated fat and cholesterol, which may lower heart disease risks.

Canned goods in the Glory Foods’ Sensibly Seasoned line include string beans, pinto beans, mixed greens, red beans, black beans and a trio vegetable mixture called tomatoes, okra and corn. Each is also lower in sodium, with all containing 50 percent less salt than the regular canned versions. Plus, every vegetable can easily stand on its own as a nutritious meal or be paired with other yummy vegetables.

Glory Foods® Seasoned Southern Style also offers meat-free options for vegetarians. Our skillet corn, string beans with potatoes and honey carrots are also delicious options.

Casserole dishes, soups, quiches and Crock Pot recipes are all beloved friends of Glory Foods’ vegetables. Only one’s imagination limits the versatility and tastes that can be created by simply opening flavor you won’t believe came from a can.

Try the following recipe below to experience the vegetarian delight of gumbo featuring Glory Foods® Sensibly Seasoned™ products.

Sensibly Seasoned Vegetarian Gumbo

1 teaspoon fresh jalapeno, minced
1/4 cup white onion, 1/4” dice
1/4 cup red bell pepper, 1/4” dice
2 cups vegetarian broth
2 cups vegetable juice cocktail, low sodium
1 can Glory Foods® Sensibly Seasoned™ Tomatoes, Okra & Corn
1 can Glory Foods® Sensibly Seasoned™ Red Beans
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, ground
2 cups white rice, cooked

Place the jalapeno, onion and peppers in a 3-to-4 quart saucepan. Heat and start stirring. Add about 1/4 cup of the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Stir the vegetables occasionally until softened. Add remaining vegetable broth, vegetable juice, Glory Foods® Sensibly Seasoned™ Tomatoes, Okra & Corn, Glory Foods® Sensibly Seasoned™ Red Beans and ground black pepper. Heat gently until the gumbo comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with a heaping 1/4 cup of white rice in each bowl. Serves 6-8.

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