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A Week to Remember: National Eat Your Vegetables Day

Keith Chaffee, Librarian, Collection Development,
wood table full of vegetables

June 17 is National Eat Your Vegetables Day, and we mark the occasion with a look at just some of the vegetable-centered cookbooks available in our e-book collection.

The phrase “eat your vegetables” is most often associated with reluctant children, and there is a variety of cookbooks offering kid-friendly recipes. Karen Bali & Sally Child help your family get the suggested number of servings in 5-a-Day for Kids Made Easy, and Melanie Potock takes the family on Adventures in Veggieland.

Of course, it’s not only children who might need some help gettting started in the world of vegetables. If you didn’t grow up eating and preparing fresh vegetables, some of those oddly-shaped things can be intimidating. Which part of an artichoke are you supposed to eat, and how do you separate that part from everything else? Cara Mangini answers those preparation questions, and offers recipes for using them once they’ve been prepared, in The Vegetable Butcher.

If you’ve gone so far as to grow your own vegetables, you may be surprised at how much produce you get from just a few plants, and wondering how to save the extra for later. There are a variety of preservation techniques, and we can offer you guides on canning, dehydrating, and pickling; some vegetables can simply be stored in the cool darkness of a root cellar.

What to do with your vegetables when you’re ready to eat them? They can be juiced, roasted, or grilled; you can turn them into noodles using a spiralizer; or you can use them in soups.

three books on vegetables

There are cookbooks specializing in individual vegetables—corn, kale, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes—or families of vegetables—beans, peppers, greens. There’s even a book about seaweed and other vegetables that grow in the ocean. And when you’re ready to move on to less familiar options, Wendy Hutton offers A Cook’s Guide to Asian Vegetables, and Niki Jabbour’s Veggie Garden Remix offers dozens of vegetables that you may have never heard of.

(Botanically speaking, the tomato is technically a fruit. But we treat it as a vegetable in cooking, and in 1893, the Supreme Court held that for the purposes of tariffs and taxation, the tomato should be considered a vegetable.)

Vegetables are often featured in food from around the world, and there are cookbooks featuring vegetarian recipes from French, Italian, Japanese, Vietnamese, Indian, Thai, African and Caribbean, American Southern, and Lebanese traditions.

Once you feel ready to improvise, Karen Page’s The Vegetarian Flavor Bible offers advice on which vegetables pair well, and on which herbs, spices, and other flavors go best with each vegetable.

If you prefer your lessons in video format, The Great Courses offers a series of 24 30-minute lessons on Cooking With Vegetables.

And finally, on Eat Your Vegetables Day, we note that there is a cookbook actually called Eat Your Vegetables. It focuses on the specific challenges on cooking for one person.

Also This Week

June 20, 1929

Edith “Edie” Windsor was born. Windsor was the plaintiff in a 2013 challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), under which the federal government did not recognize same-sex marriages as legal. The Supreme Court ruled that parts of DOMA were unconstitutional, an important step towards the Court’s 2015 legalization of same-sex marriages in the United States. Windsor’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, tells the story of the legal battle in Then Comes Marriage (e-book | e-audio | print).

June 18, 1949

Chris Van Allsburg was born. Van Allsburg is an author and illustrator of children’s books. He is a two-time winner of the American Library Association’s Caldecott Medal, awarded annually to the best American picture book, and both of his winning books have been adapted into movies. Van Allsburg won the Caldecott in 1981 for Jumanji (e-book | print | DVD) and in 1985 for The Polar Express (e-book | print | DVD).

June 20, 1975

The movie Jaws opened in more than 400 theaters. In 1975, that was an unusually large opening for a major studio release. Most movies opened in a few big cities before spreading to smaller markets; large releases were reserved for B-movies of lesser quality. Also unusual in 1975 was the movie’s $700,000 television marketing campaign. Jaws invented the summer blockbuster, and the movie industry has never been the same. Carl Gottlieb was an assistant to director Steven Spielberg during filming; The Jaws Log (e-book | print) is his story of the making of Jaws.

June 23, 2016

By a vote of 52%-48%, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union; the departure became known as “Brexit.” The vote was legally a non-binding referendum, but the British government had promised to act on the results. The outcome was controversial, with complaints of dishonest campaigning and promises that could not be kept. The British government is still struggling to find a Brexit deal that is acceptable to both the EU and the British parliament. Tim Shipman’s All Out War (e-book | e-audio) tells the story of how the Brexit referendum happened.