Here are some fun facts about the vegetables that we eat on a daily basis:
- Bell peppers come in a variety of colors: green, red, purple and yellow.
- Foods eaten with carotenoids can lower your risk of cancer.Tomatoes are extremely high in carotenoid lycopene.Other vegetables that are high in carotenoid includes: carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, and collard greens.
- Below the skin layer of a potato is where most of the nutrients resides.
- A tomato plant can be eaten by a horn worm in one day.
- The United States consumes more tomatoes than any other fruit or vegetable.
- Almost all of the broccoli sold in the United States is produced in California.
- Local Indians in the Andes Mountains of South America, cultivated the first white potatoes.
- Yams and sweet potatoes are not the same thing.
- Eating a baked potato with the skin is a great source of dietary fiber, contains 4 grams.
- In 1893 the Supreme Court ruled that the tomato is a vegetable and not a fruit.
- In Europe in 1586, potatoes first appeared, and in 1719 it appeared in North America.
- The principle cause of the Irish Potato Famine, called “Late Blight,” killed half a million people.
- Five servings -- one-half cup of fruits or vegetables is recommended a day.
- USDA reports that 140 pounds of potato is eaten each year by Americans, which includes over 50 pounds of French fries.
- Germans eat twice as many potatoes as American do.
- A medium-sized potato contains 35% of adult’s daily vitamin C.
- Storing potatoes in a refrigerator is not necessary, but they should be stored in a dry and dark place.
- Potatoes are made of 20% solids and 80% water.
- Tomato is considered to be in the same family as potato, pepper, eggplant and petunia.
- Tomato comes in thousands of varieties.
- The tomato was referred to as the “apple of love” by the French.
- Two cancer fighting substances were identified by scientist at Cornell University in the tomato: P-courmaric and chlorogenic acids.
- A good source of vitamins A and C are found in tomatoes.
- Tomatoes can be prepared in various ways: stuffed, baked, boiled, stewed, pickled and fried.
- The number one producer of fresh market tomatoes is the state of Florida.
It is exciting to learn other facts about the vegetables that we eat every day in many different ways.Included is a recipe for Spaghetti Squash Pasta Primavera.
Spaghetti Squash Pasta Primavera
1 (4-lb) spaghetti squash
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
¼ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp ground black pepper
2 heads broccoli, chopped into florets (about 3 ½ cups)
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups baby spinach
1 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Cut the spaghetti squash in length lengthwise and remove the seeds. Place the squash in a microwave-safe baking dish, cut side down.Loosely cover the dish with a lid, leaving room to vent.Microwave the squash for 10 to 15 minutes.The squash is done when it’s soft to the touch.Set aside.
- While the squash is cooking, add 1 ½ Tbsp of the olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat.Season the chicken with the oregano and black pepper.Add the chicken to the skillet and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of at least 165 degree F.Remove it from the skillet and set aside.
- In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 ½ Tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat.Add the broccoli and red pepper, and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes.Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.Add the spinach and chicken broth, and cook an additional 4 minutes.
- Use a fork to pull out the flesh of the squash.Add the squash “noodles” and the chicken to the skillet.Heat for 2 minutes, mixing well.Top with the Parmesan cheese.Divide among 5 bowls and serve.
Per Serving: Calories 270; Total Fat 12 g (Sat. Fat 2.3 g); Cholesterol 55 mg; Sodium 260 mg; Potassium 750 mg; Total Carbohydrate 18 g (Fiber 5 g, Sugars 7 g); Protein 24 g; Phosphorus 245 mg.