I have always been inclined to categorize garlic as a spice or an herb, but garlic is actually considered a vegetable. I did not really know that until I looked it up this evening as I was wondering how to structure my writing for this post. Garlic is part of the food category that includes onions, shallots and leeks. Among other things, it contains Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Magnese.
I love garlic, and I use it almost all of the time. I prefer to eat it the way it appears on the pictures in this post, as a garnish, or a side, in the case of unpeeled shrimp. I sauté it with olive oil on low heat and I remove it from the heat, before cooking the rest of the food. If it is a stew or a soup, I do go ahead and add the garlic and let it cook through with the rest of the ingredients.
If the shrimp is peeled, I don’t mind leaving the garlic in the pan, as the shrimp cooks fast.
With sautéed meats and vegetables, however, the garlic tends to brown or burn and the taste is not too pleasant.
As I mentioned on a previous post, one of the ways that I try to decrease the number of calories that I eat is to eat simple foods. If I feel particularly hungry, I try to eat more of the vegetables rather than eat more meat or grains.
I have a favorite way of eating left over shrimp, and my husband has another. I like to make a salad with leftover shrimp and eat it with corn chips. To the shrimp I add green onion, a fresh tomato, a teaspoon or so of dill, capers, and a bit of mayonnaise or or a small avocado. This an Ina Garten’s recipe or inspired by one of her recipes. I don’t always follow exact recipes. If I like the recipe, I use it to create a variation of it, according to the ingredients I like and I have. This is one of the ways I simplify my life in the kitchen.
My husband’s favorite thing to prepare with left over shrimp is egg and shrimp tacos! Corn tortillas, but sometimes flour, and a homemade hot salsa complete this favorite breakfast dish for him.
Sometimes I use left over shrimp…actually, it is really not left over shrimp. We buy a bit of extra shrimp, and cook it with the intention of having an ingredient for a meal the next day or the day after that. Anyway, sometimes I use it to prepare nopales (cacti). I heat up the shrimp, I add egg and smoked paprika or Spanish chili powder and a little bit of cumin. With corn tortillas and sliced jalapeños or some chipotle peppers, these tacos are super delicious!
Speaking about tacos, the picture below shows my favorite fish taco slaw that I prepared on a different night. On this particular occasion we didn’t have it with tacos, but I primarily fix the slaw for fish tacos. It’s simple but also delicious! To prepare the slaw, in a bowl combine the following fresh ingredients: cabbage, I used one, but you can use more than one kind of cabbage. Tomato, very finely chopped; do not discard the juice. Separately mix juice of 2-3 limes or lemons, a little salt and pepper and chipotle pepper; use a little bit of juice from the pepper if you want a mild slaw or chop an actual pepper and mix it in the lemon juice if you want your slaw to be very spicy. Mix all of the ingredients, and you have the best slaw for your fish tacos. I am not sure of the brand, but HEB carries a super small can of chipotle peppers that works great because you only need a little bit, and the rest stores well in the refrigerator for a long time.
I was curious as to the nutritional value of garlic. Being that I did not even know it was a vegetable, I decided to look it up on the USDA Nutritional Data Base and it was interesting to see what the values are.
So I guess I can now say that one of my favorite vegetables is garlic.
What are favorite vegetables?
Have you used the USDA chart to verify the nutritional content of your favorite foods?
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