Day 21: For Instance I (bacon fat sauté with herbs & vinegar)

Yippeeeeeeeeeeee! From now on, when I think about vegetables, I want to be FED: Fast, Easy, Delicious.

It was a clean-out-the-freezer night and somehow I happened onto a great dish -- and, maybe, a new concept.

First, the dish: a simple sauté with bacon fat, some frozen vegetables and at the end, a splash of vinegar.

Second, the "for instance" concept: Perhaps the trick for cooking vegetables night-in-night-out is to have a few techniques, each one that works with several vegetables. For instance ... tonight I cooked a mixture of beans, carrots and peppers but it might as easily have been fresh broccoli or cauliflower. I'll continue to test this concept and report in!

FOR INSTANCE I (bacon fat saute with herbs & vinegar)
Tonight, For Instance,
Active time: maybe 5 minutes
Time to table: maybe 10 minutes
Serves 4

1 tablespoon bacon fat (see ALANNA's TIPS)
16 ounces frozen vegetables (see FOR INSTANCE), preferably thawed
1 tablespoon fresh herbs (see FOR INSTANCE)
Splash vinegar (see FOR INSTANCE)
Salt & pepper

FOR INSTANCE as tonight:
  • Vegetables:
    8 ounces Trader Joe's Brittany Blend -- haricot vert green beans (the skinny ones), wax beans (the yellow ones) and baby carrots
    8 ounces Trader Joe's Grilled Red & Yellow Pepper Slices
  • Herbs: basil
  • Vinegar: cider vinegar
Heat the bacon fat over MEDIUM HIGH in a large skillet. Add vegetables and saute lightly until heated through. Stir in vinegar and let liquid cook down, stirring occasionally. Season to taste and serve.

Per Serving: 67 Cal (40% from Fat, 7% from Protein, 52% from Carb); 1 g Protein; 3 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 10 g Carb; 3 g Fiber; 1 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 614 mg Sodium; 3 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 1 point

  • Bacon fat has more flavor than olive oil, vegetable oil, even butter. Like butter and other animal fats, it's saturated fat which is less preferred than plant fats. I'm no dietician but it occurs to me that if increased flavor encourages eating more/some/any vegetables, the trade-off is worth it.
  • Bacon fat keeps in the frig nearly forever. (Forever might be a stretch but I keep it for a couple of years without trouble, just adding more to the top as it's available. If it smelled off, I'd throw it away and start over, but this has never happened.) So whenever you fry bacon, pour the grease into a glass jar and keep it handy in the frig.It might be worth having bacon some morning soon just to collect the fat for vegetables!
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.