December 2010: Leeks

Let me introduce you to leeks. Maybe you, unlike me, are already familiar with this interesting little vegetable that is available locally right now. I believe I might have tasted leeks once before: in a soup in Vermont a few years ago.

According to the fine folks in Land and Food Systems leeks are lumped into the category of “alliums” which means they are grouped in with garlic and onions. Alliums have received much praise lately for their health benefits, particularly for their cancer prevention and cancer-fighting properties.

For some reason, I have been a little hesitant to incorporate leeks into my diet. I think it’s their name. Leeks: It just does not sound appealing. Trusted friends reassure me, however, that they are delicious in any number of ways.

For example, potato and leek soup (an Irish tradition!)

Or another friend suggested grilling. I really like the looks of this recipe for grilled leeks because I love balsamic vinegar and sundried tomatoes.

While another friend suggested steaming. Check out this recipe for steamed leeks with tarragon.

After last week’s snow, however, I decided to spend my Friday night trying out this recipe for apple and leek soup. I highly recommend it with a good, hearty bread and a side salad. Make sure to make the apple topping with the apple cider vinegar: it is one of those garnishes that makes the entire dish.

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Oranges Every month, the Healthy UBC Blog highlights a locally available food, and gives you a recipe or two to try out.  This month, read all about mandarin oranges, rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, fibre and folate.

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