Friday, April 30, 2010

All about leeks

Leeks are a good source of dietary fiber and they contain beneficial amounts of folic acid, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C.  Leeks are also known to have laxative, antiseptic, diuretic, and anti-arthritic properties. With a more delicate and sweeter flavor than onions, leeks add a subtle touch to recipes without overpowering the other flavors that are present. They can be used in place of green onions in many cases.
Washing leeks
Leeks tend to have a lot of sand/grit embedded between all the sections that can be very difficult to remove.  Best way to clean them is to chop the leeks first, break the sections apart, then swish in a bowl or sink filled with water.  Drain through a sieve and you are ready to go.
Healthy ways to enjoy
  • Make an egg white omelet with sautéed sliced leeks, diced red peppers and shredded spinach.
  • Make a low fat breakfast English muffin topped with sautéed leeks and broccoli, then topped with grated part skim cheddar cheese.
  • Top a fresh green salad with thinly sliced sautéed leeks.
  • Make homemade Vichyssoise, a chilled soup made with potatoes and leeks.
  • Serve sautéed leeks with a warm vinaigrette as an appetizer.
  • Garnish a grilled burger with sautéed leeks in place of onions
  • Use sliced leeks as a garnish on homemade soups
  • Toss thickly sliced leeks with other root vegetables, such as carrots, potatoes and garlic and roast in the oven at 375°F (190°C) for 45 minutes, or until cooked through.
  • Grill leeks over the barbecue on medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, or until slightly wilted and cooked through.

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