Sugar Snap Peas
Vegetables. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, research shows all the health benefits of including more vegetables in our diet - lowers blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, helps stabilize blood sugar levels, helps us feel full, regulates our bowel movements - should I go on?
And while we all know that we should eat vegetables, I’d be honest in telling you that one of the most common reasons I hear from people that they don’t eat vegetables is because they don’t like them. Adults included, not just the kids. I always try to have patients focus on the vegetables they do like versus the ones they don’t like, but then taking it a step further it’s finding out is it that they simply haven’t been exposed to vegetables growing up? (so lots of years of limited exposure) and/or is it that they just don’t know how to cook them?
9 times out of 10, I believe people just don’t know how to cook the vegetables and therefore aren’t eating them. Not to mention who has time to cook? And if you are cooking, you’re not experimenting with a new recipe that might not be successful, you’re sticking with the ones you know that are tried and true. I am not picking on anyone’s cooking abilities, I’m simply stating the reasons why people don’t eat vegetables. At times vegetables might seem a little intimidating, not to mention they aren’t meant just to steam and eat - they need flavor in order to taste good and in order for people to want to eat them.
So, I’m starting to experiment myself and bring to you a few easy, peasy vegetable recipes. Maybe I’ll advance to a video at some point, but for now, a few go-to recipes for vegetables with flavor that you’ll want to eat. And you might be surprised at how simple some of these recipes are (hint, they’re just the vegetables!) but you’ll see that the way the vegetable is cooked makes all the difference in the world.
First up, sugar snap peas. Admittedly not a vegetable in my normal rotation, but keep in mind, that’s also the point, to start to bring new veggies into the mix that you might not think to include. The first time around I was able to peel the string from each sugar snap. The 2nd bunch I wasn’t able to. While stemming the string might help a tad in the tenderness factor, I’ve made them both ways and I’m here to tell you, either way, they taste great!
This recipe is seriously just a quick sauté with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Yes, salt. I believe that salt plays a role as a flavor enhancer and while I still tend to use less than what others may use (per my recipe as you’ll see), I encourage you to start on the lower end and then add more, if needed. I do love pepper for flavor and might use a little more than what you are used to, so maybe again use less and then add more. It’s always a good general rule of thumb when it comes to seasoning with herbs and spices.
Here’s to eating more vegetables. Vegetables with flavor and vegetables that are easy to make. Bon appetit!
Sautéed Sugar Snap Peas
1/2 lb fresh sugar snap peas*
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
A pinch of Maldon sea salt at the end, for serving (optional)
Remove and discard the stem end and string from each sugar snap pod. (if you can, as I mentioned the 2nd time I made this I wasn’t able to and they were still tender).
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the sugar snap peas, salt and pepper and sauté, tossing occasionally for 3 to 5 minutes, until the sugar snap peas are crisp tender.
Place the sugar snap peas in a serving bowl, sprinkle with sea salt and serve.
That’s it. It’s really that simple. Nothing fancy here. Just simple and full of flavor.
*The 1st time I made this recipe I was able to get the sugar snap peas from a local farmer’s market. The 2nd time, I used an 8-ounce package from the grocery store. This recipe can be easily doubled and/or tripled, but I based it on the smaller package I used this last time.