Friday, February 11, 2011

Oh You Fancy, Huh?

The other night, my friend and I ordered in dinner from our favorite Downtown Italian spot, Max. We were in need of some serious comfort food, so rather than denying ourselves their famous (and truly extraordinary) fettuccine bolognese, we went for portion control and split it. We decided to split a salad, as well- I mean hey, we’re trying to be healthy here! So, when she asked me if I wanted the fennel salad, I though “Oh, you fancy, Huh?”

I was skeptical at first, thinking about the whole black licorice flavor, that I do not like, but I decided to try it. And boy was I surprised- I loved it!

Why Have You Done a Good Thing?

Fennel is a great BANG for your BITE. With only 27 calories per cup, you get 3g of hunger-fighting, cholesterol-lowering fiber! Not to mention the bone-protecting calcium and muscle-controlling potassium. Phytonutrients in fennel act as damage-fighting, health-improving, anti-oxidants. Also, fennel has been known to help alleviate all sorts of digestive issues, such as gas, cramps, and indigestion.

How do you eat it?

Well, you could have it delivered…

OR, you can

1. chop it up into a salad (bulb only), add some Parmesan cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette (just like they do at Max)

*Learn how to slice up the bulb with this quick video!

2. Make fennel tea by boiling the fennel leafs

3. Use fennel seeds to spice up almost any meat or vegetable dish

4. Roast fennel with some EVOO and balsamic (bulbs, only)

So even if you think you don’t like fennel, I urge you to go ahead and give it another try- I bet you can be pretty fancy too, huh?!

--Samantha Jacobs, RD

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