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Have You Tried These 4 Unusual Veggies?

By Ali Struhs

You might not hear, “Pass the okra, please,” too often at your dinner table, but why not? Instead of just lettuce, tomato and carrots, try adding unique vegetables to your menu to make dinnertime interesting. Jicama, leeks, okra, and rutabaga are easy to prepare and serve with various meal options. These four veggies are all “Unlimited Free” on the Jenny Craig plan, so you can have as much as you like! Here’s how to cook and incorporate these unusual veggies in your diet.

This round root vegetable has a nutty, sweet flavor and is also called a Mexican yam. It’s high in vitamin C. Make a radish and jicama salsa to top spicy dishes by peeling and chopping radish and jicama, dicing jalapeno, and adding cilantro before tossing all of the ingredients in a bit of lime juice. Garnish dinner and lunch options from Jenny Craig, like Chicken Tortilla Soup or Baja-Style Chicken Quesadilla, for south-of-the-border flair!

Similar to onions, leeks have a distinct and delicate flavor of their own. They’re an excellent source of vitamin A. Leeks are best served in soup, and make a delicious addition to many of Jenny Craig’s soups, including the Chunky Vegetable Medley Soup Addition. Just wash and thinly slice leeks and add them to your soup before cooking.

Rich in soluble fiber, vitamin C and K, and folates, okra is often found in stews and Southern-inspired dishes. Try adding okra to vegetable skewers for the grill during summer or sauteing in a dash of olive oil on high heat to bring out its flavor and crunchiness. This unique veggie pairs well with comforting Jenny Craig meals, such as Mesquite Chicken or mixed in Italian Style Wedding Soup.

Like jicama, rutabagas are a root vegetable. This purple-yellowish skinned veggie is rich in fiber and folate and features a simple buttery taste. Rutabagas can be mashed or roasted like potatoes. To roast a rutabaga, peel and cube it and toss in olive oil before spreading it on a baking sheet. Season with parsley and pepper before baking in the oven at 400 degrees until golden and soft. Try this unusual vegetable as a side to Jenny Craig’s Herbed Chicken and Mushroom Sauce.

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