Showing posts from May, 2005

Day 61: Asparagus with Creamy Mustard Dip

Easy, simple, ingredients on hand - there's nothing better! ASPARAGUS with CREAMY MUSTARD DIP Active time: 5 minutes (dip only) Time to table: 5 minutes Makes 7 tablespoons 3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise (original recipe suggests non-fat) 2 tablespoons sour cream (original suggests non-fat) 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1 1/2 teaspoons dried tarragon 1 pound steamed asparagus (see ALANNA's TIPS) or other vegetables Stir together dip ingredients. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. NUTRITION ESTIMATE Dip only, per tablespoon: 31 Cal (83% from Fat, 4% from Protein, 13% from Carb); 0 g Protein; 3 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 1 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; 10 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 104 mg Sodium; 4 mg Cholesterol Weight Watchers 1 point One tablespoon dip with 1/4 pound asparagus: 55 Cal (46% from Fat, 19% from Protein, 36% from Carb); 3 g Protein; 3 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 5 g Carb; 3 g Fiber; 37 mg Calcium; 3 mg Iron; 107 mg Sodium; 4 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 1

You Found It Here, First!

Mark Bittman cooked for an NPR All Things Considered segment tonight - including his recipe for Beet Roesti that we cooked way back in April and still a Veggie Venture personal favorite! But hey, you discovered it here, first, way back on Day 22 !

Day 60: Pan-Roasted Broccoli

How to cook broccoli in a hot skillet. It's super simple, just broccoli, a touch of oil, salt and pepper. The real secret ingredients? Flat surfaces and heat. If you keep a mental list of simple ways to cook broccoli, this recipe belongs on your "make now" list too. Here's your new recipe! Perfect Pan-Fried Broccoli A Year-Round Kitchen Staple. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Rave Reviews. Weight Watchers Friendly. Low Carb. Low Fat. Naturally Gluten Free. Whole30 Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real . Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables . Join " veggie evangelist " Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special. © Copyright Kitchen Parade 2005

Day 59: Sautéed Cabbage with Dill

A simply cooked, simply eaten dish, easy to imagine aside scrambled eggs or pan-fried fish. It's not one to rave about but it's certainly a keeper, especially given the ease of preparation. SAUTÉED CABBAGE with DILL Active time: 5 minutes Time to table: 15 minutes Serves 4 2 teaspoons unsalted butter 1 large leek 1 8-ounce bag shredded cabbage and carrot 2 tablespoons fresh dill Bit of lemon zest 1 tablespoon lemon juice (about half a small lemon) Salt & pepper to taste (I didn't feel any was needed) Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet with a cover on MEDIUM HIGH. While it melts, clean the leek (see ALANNA's TIPS). Add the leek and the cabbage mixture to the pan and turn them with a spatula several times to evenly distribute the butter. Cover, reduce the heat to MEDIUM and let cook for about five minutes or until the cabbage is cooked, stirring occasionally. While the cabbage cooks, chop the dill and grate a bit of lemon zest. (Use a microplane

Kitchen Parade Extra

If you still haven't gotten enough of spring rhubarb, visit the Kitchen Parade weekly blog for a recipe for Country Rhubarb Cobbler .

Day 58: Roasted Asparagus with Browned Butter

What a lesson: Perfect, ultra-fresh need little - any? - adornment. The browned butter sauce is perfectly good - really good, in fact. But the asparagus were so perfect, all on their own, that the sauce actually detracted. The roasting process (without the browned butter) is a great zero-point way to roast asparagus and presumably other vegetables. Usually it seems to take more oil than I'd like to coat vegetables headed to the oven for roasting AND it's sort of an oily mess, I usually just dig in with my hands for simplicity and speed. The cooking spray (or a mister with your own oil) makes light, er, work of the process and calorie impact. ROASTED ASPARAGUS with BROWNED BUTTER Active time: 10 minutes Time to table: 25 minutes Serves 4 1 pound asparagus Butter-flavored cooking spray Salt & pepper 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 teaspoon soy sauce 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar Preheat oven to 400F. Clean and trim asparagus, removing the woody ends. Place

Pickled Bell Peppers ♥ Pied Piper Refrigerator Pickles

Hey, pickle lovers! Here's how to pickle bell peppers, the sweet red, orange and yellow pickles are especially pretty, right?! You can make "quick" pickles (which keep in the fridge for a few weeks) or canned pickles, your choice. Real Food, Fast & Casual. Little Effort, Big Taste. Great for Homemade Food Gifts. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real . Naturally Gluten Free.

Day 56: Butter-Simmered & Chutney-Glazed Carrots ♥

Two recipes today! First, a new way to cook carrots, with a little butter and seasoning right in the cooking water. This is a super-simple technique but makes a huge difference! The carrots practically cook themselves while you're working on the rest of dinner! And then, if you're inclined? Toss the carrots with chutney and mustard, such a simple way to doctor cooked carrots! Year-Round Kitchen Staple. Low Carb. Low Fat. Weeknight Easy. Scales from Small Plates to Large Platters. Weight Watchers Friendly. Vegetarian & Easily Vegan. Naturally Gluten Free.

Day 55: Swedish Vegetables

Here I thought I was being sooo smart, making supper-time vegetables first thing in the morning. The recipe was a reprise of Day 36's Swedish Beets, the food obsession of the moment. With a freezer full of frozen vegetables needing cooking+consumption, I piled a couple of bags - still frozen - into a big glass jar while the vinegar mix was heating up in the microwave, tossed them together and threw the jar in the frig. The idea: The hot liquid would thaw the vegetables. The vinegar would cook them. Eight hours later - the vegetables were still a bit icy and, well, raw. Twenty-four hours later - delicious, a summer standby. SWEDISH VEGETABLES Active time: 5 minutes Time to table: 24 hours Serves 8 1 cup cider vinegar (I'm liking cider vinegar a bit more though the white is perfectly good too) 1 cup water 1/4 cup sugar (reduced from 1/2 cup in Swedish beets) 2 teaspoons salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper (a defining ingredient, don't skip it) 16 ounces cut frozen green beans (or wha

Day 54: Spinach Pancake

What fun! Sure, I would make this differently another time - but I will definitely make it another time. It's a crepe-textured pancake rolled with sauteed spinach. It's more special-occasion than every-day fare but still, easy to make. The results are considerably more impressive than the level of difficulty. And it's surprisingly low in calories. I even checked the nutrition analysis - it's all that spinach and relatively small, but still generous, servings. SPINACH PANCAKE Active time: 30 minutes (including 10 to clean spinach which isn't necessary with bagged spinach and 15 when there's lots of open time but you can't really leave the stove) Time to table: 50 minutes Serves 8 2 eggs 2 cups skim milk 1 cup flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 2 tablespoons butter (original recipe specified 3 but 2 seems fine) 1 pound spinach, chopped 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (original recipe specified 1/4 teaspoon, th

Day 53: Fresh Kohlrabi ♥

Today's quick vegetable snack: Fresh, raw kohlrabi, as a snack, just like carrot sticks or cucumber wedges. ~updated 2011~ ~ more recently updated recipes ~ 2005: Thanks to more back-breaking work in the garden late today, it's more raw food tonight, thick slices of almost-peppery kohlrabi. Kohlrabi (pronounced kall-ROB-ee) is a member of the turnip family and is some times called 'cabbage turnip'. Maybe that's because the color is just like a green cabbage! I liked raw kohlrabi better than last night's radishes and spring onions , it just seems more edible than, well, raw. (Later: And it tasted good the next day too, a desktop munch while working.) 2011: Raw kohlrabi is a great before-supper snack, wet and crisp, wetter than a carrot, crisper than a turnip. It's good!

Day 52: Just-Picked Radishes & Spring Onions

Tonight was an adventure in raw food, graceful lengths of rose-colored radish and thick bulbs of spring onion. Both were locally grown and purchased at Soulard Market, St. Louis' old farmers market. There are newer and closer (and more fru-fru, hmmmm, how exactly does one spell fru-fru?) markets with organic eggs and bison meat and omelets made to order. But Soulard -- one of the few places where city folks and suburbanites mingle, where you'll hear a half dozen languages in a half hour, where the chickens and ducks are sold live -- remains my favorite. Radishes and green onions -- new vegetables? Of course not. But for the first time, I paid attention, close attention. What did they really look like? smell like? taste like? What was the texture? the lingering taste? What happened with the Asian Dip leftover from the other night? A smear of butter? JUST-PICKED RADISHES & SPRING ONIONS Time to table: 5 minutes Time to enjoy: Serves 4 about 8 radish lengths

Kitchen Parade Extra

Nearly always, fish makes for a fast supper. Visit the Kitchen Parade weekly blog for a recipe fo r Roasted Salmon & Asparagus , a delightful combination that takes 10 minutes of preparation and can be delivered to the table in just 35 minutes .

Day 51: Fiddlehead Ferns

What a surprise to come upon fiddlehead ferns in the supermarket today! Did I never notice unusual vegetables before? Or are supermarkets experimenting with new items? Three years ago, my family published a cookbook. My cousin Laura lives in British Columbia and has been a vegetarian for years and years -- though her four children and her husband are not -- and is an inspiring cook. One of her many contributions to the cookbook was a recipe for fiddlehead ferns. So when I discovered these at the supermarket today, there was no NOT bringing them home (even at $10 a pound) and I knew right where to turn to learn how to cook them. Laura's recipe calls for scads of butter -- I just couldn't do it. But these were utterly delicious and so very, very pretty! Look at those curlicues! What do they taste like? I wondered that as I ate them tonight. They taste like nothing I've ever had before. The only words I know to describe the taste are 'green' and 'alive'

Roasted Green Beans (This Recipe Has Moved)

These are the first roasted green beans I've loved, the walnuts and rosemary somehow make all the difference. These easy green beans roast at very high heat – essentially they're baked at unusually high heat – and so roast really quickly. A Fall Classic. Quick & Easy. Just Five Ingredients. Simple Enough for Everyday, Sumptuous Enough for Occasions. Low Carb. Naturally Gluten Free. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real . This recipe has moved! Please see Roasted Green Beans with Rosemary & Walnuts . A Veggie Venture is home of " veggie evangelist " Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables . © Copyright Kitchen Parade 2005 & 2019

Day 49: Asian-Style Dip with Fresh Vegetables

This dip is easy to make. And fast. And it's good. And yet ... I wouldn't make it again. "This is different," was the consensus reaction. There are times when 'different' means GOOD and others when different means, HMMM. This was a Hmmm. That said, for anyone who likes sesame seeds, it might be a good choice. If one thing makes this dip stand out, it is the nutty toasted sesame seeds - don't be tempted to leave them out. ASIAN-STYLE DIP with FRESH VEGETABLES Active time: 15 minutes Time to table: 15 minutes Dip makes 1 cup 2 tablespoons sesame seeds 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise 1/4 cup non-fat yogurt (the original recipe suggested sour cream) 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (from a jar) 1 teaspoon chili paste (cayenne might be good substitute) 1 teaspoon Dijon or other good mustard 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 tablespoon rice vinegar 1 tablespoon sesame oil (maybe 2 teaspoons would be better? even 1?) 1 teaspoon sugar Salt & pepper to taste Fresh cucumber, carrot

Day 48: French Green Beans with Lemon-Garlic Sauce

Recipe updated & photo added in 2007 May 2005: "Can't say I've ever made a 'sauce' before, you know, the la-di-da sauces in French cooking. Tonight's first-ever attempt yielded less than perfect results but I won't be intimidated again -- I think this Florence Fabricant recipe is forgiving. And delicious. And flexible. My mistake was focus, to be precise, failure to focus. Imagine a stack of dominoes collapsing. I started cooking during the next-to-last episode of the enigmatic Lost . While the castaways struggled, the white wine/shallots/garlic burned. When it ended, I started over. But short on white wine, I resorted to part white / part (decidedly pink) pinotage which likely affected flavor and noticeably affected color. Rules for the next attempt. Stay in the kitchen. Pay attention to the pot. Revel in the result." August 2007: I tackled this sauce again and found it easy if slightly fussy. The good news is that the sauce can be made ahead of

Day 47: Jerusalem Artichokes as Crudités

Odd little knobs, these Jerusalem artichokes. And who'd guess that something named such would neither be from no where near the Wailing Wall nor an artichoke? (And here I was thinking this could be one artichoke I'd actually like ...) Like hapless-prunes-turned-chic-dried-plums, these are now marketed as sunchokes. The new name fits. Supposedly they're related to sunflowers. And well, to be frank, peeling them is a bit of a choke. That said, I'm glad I tried these. They're all about crunch. Good crunch. I'd add them to a crudité platter any time, like tonight. Well except for the fact that they turn a dull gray after about 15 minutes of air exposure. No matter, just eat fast. Or close your eyes. However, people do cook Jerusalem artichokes. I found recipes that called for peeling scads of them for gratins and mashed somethings. I can't imagine: peeling is extraordinarily tedious, especially because even with great care, they just don't look that

Day 46: Green Beans with Jalapeño Lime Butter ♥

~ recipe updated & photo added in 2007 ~ 2005: Simple butter can be sublime. But tonight, by pure accident, I learned the virtue of 'doctored butter' when using up a shallot, lime and jalapeño butter leftover from last week's fish. (It worked great for an omelet too.) Other 'doctored' butters come to mind. Garlic and ginger. Lemon and wasabi. Let your imagination -- and your pantry -- inspire you! 2007: In the early months of A Veggie Venture, I cooked one bag of frozen vegetables after another: such was my habit, 'before blog'. It really wasn't until much later, when I was tallying 'favorite' recipes, I realized how few there were from the first couple of months. And virtually none started with frozen vegetables. I still like frozen vegetables, but these days, whenever I can, turn to fresh vegetables for enjoyment. These simple beans were simply delicious . FOR INSTANCE IV (doctored butter) Tonight, For Instance, Green Beans with Jalapeño Li

Day 45: Nana's Cucumbers with Non-fat Yogurt

I wonder if farmers and home vegetable gardeners get as much satisfaction from pulling fresh corn and tomatoes from their gardens as I do from stepping outside to snip a few strands of fresh chive. Or rosemary. Or dill. It's not too late to put in a few pots of herbs! This is a yogurt-lightened version of what my grandmother used to make with sour cream. The yogurt version was good -- but I remember the sour cream version as delicious so will try again, her way. On Day 65 , I happened to have both the cucumber and sour cream on hand. Swoooooooooooon. Some things are worth investing calories in. NANA's CUCUMBERS with NON-FAT YOGURT Active time: 10 minutes Time to table: Just over an hour Serves 4 1 English cucumber 1 tablespoon sea salt or kosher salt 1/2 cup non-fat yogurt Generous bunch of fresh chive, snipped with scissors (See ALANNA's TIPS) Pinch sugar Salt & pepper to taste Slice the cucumber in thin rounds. (See TIPS.) Combine with salt and l

Day 44: Asparagus Jam

Vegetable jam? Hmm. The idea intrigued me. And I had asparagus in the frig that needed attention. So, yes, why not? It can be fun to 'play' with food! This might be good along roast pork or some other rich meat where the sweetness would contrast richness. By my measure, though, it's a side dish or condiment and another time wouldn't count as a 'vegetable'. ASPARAGUS JAM Active time: 15 minutes Time to table: 40 minutes Makes about 1 1/2 cups 2 teaspoons olive oil 3 shallots 1 tablespoon water (see ALANNA's TIPS) 1 pound asparagus (see TIPS) 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped fine 1/3 cup brown sugar 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar 1/3 cup water Heat large skillet on MEDIUM HIGH, add oil and let heat until shimmery. While it heats, mince the shallots. Add the shallots and 1 tablespoon water to the skillet and saute until shallots begin to turn gold, 5 - 10 minutes. Trim tough, woody ends from asparagus, then cut in half-inch lengths. Add

Day 43: Cucumber with Mustard & Dill

Stop! It's too early for full summer heat! It's been too hot to cook so the frig is filling up with cold-served vegetables, tonight a simple cucumber dish that was good with fish. It wasn't 'special' but to my taste -- well, let's just say that 'good' can be 'good enough'. I would definitely make this again! CUCUMBER WITH MUSTARD & DILL Active time: 10 minutes Time to table: 10 minutes Serves 4 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar 2 teaspoons Dijon or other mustard 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt Fresh pepper 2 tablespoons fresh dill 1 English cucumber Whisk together all ingredients except cucumber. Cut cucumber in half length-wise (or in quarters if it's quite big as was the one tonight) and then cut in thin slices cross-wise. Combine cucumber with dressing. Serve. NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Serving: 43 Cal (68% from Fat, 5% from Protein, 27% from Carb); 1 g Protein; 4 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 3 g Carb;

Day 42: Thai Eggplant

Look what I found in the market yesterday! These Thai eggplant were so pretty, I couldn't resist. It took some effort (to say the least) to figure out how to cook them. Sources suggested standard eggplant cooked Thai-style (not what I was hoping for), eating them raw (I did ... that, ahem, might be an acquired taste), deep frying (I just couldn't bring myself) or long lists of unfamiliar and likely hard-to-find ingredients. So ... armed with a few ideas and a big sense of adventure, I moved to the kitchen. Cooking, the eggplants remained a pretty green, the turmeric later added a yellow cast -- very pretty. And ... yes, quite tasty, a complete, if time-consuming, Veggie Venture success. How fun, sheer fun, is can be to 'play' with your food! Enjoy -- THAI EGGPLANT Active time: 15 minutes Time to table: 20 minutes Serves 4 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon garlic (from a jar!) 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (this, too, from a jar!) 1 pound Thai eggplant, abo

Day 41: Carrot Coins with Dill

~ recipe updated & photo added in 2006 ~ Simple! Tasty! Fast! A good recipe, especially if you have leftover fresh dill ... or later in the season, dill that needs cutting back. Lesson: A hand-held julienne tool is worthless, at least for something as hard as a carrot. I fiddled a bit then got out a sharp knife: in a couple of minutes, there was a satisfying pile of thin, orange coins. I'd love a mandoline but haven't yet made the investment. (2007 Update: I love my new mandoline .) A food processor would have worked fine either for slicing or grating. For only a pound of carrots, however, in my world, the food processor wasn't worth the trouble (getting it out even though it's handy, making room in the dishwasher, putting it away ... you get the picture!) June 2006 Note: These were just as good the second year! Next time I'll get out the food processor and cook up two or three pounds to keep on hand. I used only a teaspoon of peanut oil. The verdict

Day 40: Easy Refrigerator Salad ♥

Today's easy make-ahead vegetable salad: A 'concept' recipe for a refrigerator salad that keeps, made from frozen vegetables and chopped onion, celery and pepper. Low carb. Weight Watchers 1 point or no points. Not just vegan, " Vegan Done Real ". ~recipe updated & reposted 2008, updated 2012 ~ ~ more recently updated recipes ~ 2005: Another make-ahead recipe, another keeps-awhile recipe - this time from my mother who kept a jar in her fridge year-round. Her favored frozen vegetable mix was that classic round peas, square carrots and oval corn combinations. But it was good! Tonight I used what was in the freezer, broccoli and cauliflower. But another time I would use the stir-fry mixes that the supermarkets carry. But I'd experiment, too: lima beans, anyone? 2008: My friend Mary recently shared a favorite recipe, one she calls "Weight Watchers Festive Vegetable Salad". The ingredient list was so familiar: sure enough, it was nearly the same

Day 39: Coconut Yams

Pretty good! Tonight I took advantage of a microwave bag of yams picked up at Trader Joe's last week. Cooking couldn't have been simpler: slit the bag, toss it in the microwave for eight minutes, mash the contents, then start doctoring. The bag's doctor directions called for 4 tablespoons of maple syrup and 6 tablespoons of butter. OH MY! Of course it's good with that much sugar and fat! My version is considerably lighter and certainly tastes like - surprise! - yam because its own flavor isn't masked by sugar and fat. And my version would probably make your real doctor happier, too. Even so, Coconut Yams are higher in calories than I prefer for an every-day vegetable. Yams do taste a bit like the sweet potatoes we're more used to. Their texture is different, starchier and heavier, though not unpleasantly so. COCONUT YAMS Active time: 5 minutes Time to table: 15 minutes Makes 6 half-cup servings 20 ounces Trader Joe's diced yams in microwavea

Day 38: Summer Dill Salad ♥

~recipe & photo updated in 2007~ Scary thought but this has been a summer favorite for 14 years - the original recipe card is dated July 1991! Like Swedish Beets , it's made ahead and refrigerated until serving time. It makes a lot so lasts a few days. Does this recipe stray from A Veggie Venture's intent? Heavens, it's even called a 'salad' -- that's no 'vegetable'! Hmmm. Decision time. Here it is: the main ingredient is a vegetable. Since A Veggie Venture's real intent is to help us get out of a rut, look for similar recipes in coming weeks, especially since they're so well suited to relaxed summer cooking and eating. Are we agreed?! PHOTO UPDATE 2007: The dill in my small herb garden is very sad-looking but the basil, now the basil is happy -- and so is this salad, with basil as a substitute for dill. SUMMER DILL SALAD Active time: 15 minutes Time to table: 2 hours Makes 6 cups Water to cover 1 teaspoon table salt 2 pounds frozen peas 1/

Day 37: Roasted Salmon & Asparagus

Tonight was a special supper, a one-dish meal, fish and vegetable all in one. It's available here , as a Kitchen Parade extra.

Day 36: Swedish Pickled Beets ♥ (Refrigerator Pickled Beets)

One of my favorite recipes on all of A Veggie Venture, pickled beets made with canned beets. They're just delicious! Especially in summer, keep a jar of these on hand in the refrigerator, ready to add to salads at lunch, to plates at supper. They even just look pretty, all ruby-aglisten, waiting to be eaten! These are "refrigerator pickles" and keep for several weeks in the refrigerator without hauling out the home-canning gear. Great for Meal Prep. Weight Watchers Friendly & Freestyle Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real . Naturally Gluten Free. Skip Straight to the Recipe Since first making Swedish Pickled Beets back in 2005, I keep a big jar in the refrigerator nearly all the time. It's just so convenient to grab one or two small beets for a quick salad or a vegetable snack. Plus I've become a huge fan of beets, this might have been the first recipe to turn me into the "beet queen"! Mostly, my beet recipes start with fresh beets so it

Day 34: Lemon & Honey Glazed Spinach

Pretty good! And easy! And fast! Thus: a keeper! Cooking the spinach in the lemon and honey -- vs adding them afterward -- inserts a brightness I've not noticed before. And I really liked the underlying bite from the red pepper flakes. LEMON & HONEY GLAZED SPINACH Active time: 20 minutes (including 7 to clean farmer's market spinach) Time to table: 20 minutes Serves 4 with small portions, 2 with generous portions 1 pound spinach greens (see ALANNA's TIPS) 1 tablespoon olive oil (see TIPS) 1 tablespoon garlic (from a jar!) Zest of a lemon Juice from about half a lemon 1 tablespoon honey (next time, try doubling) 1 teaspoon kosher salt Red pepper flakes Salt & pepper Clean greens well, removing tough stems. (See TIPS.) Heat a large skillet on MEDIUM HIGH. Add olive oil and let heat. Add garlic, zest, lemon juice, honey, salt and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, then stir a bit. Add about half the greens and stir well continuously. As the greens b

Mashed Rutabagas & Apple ♥

Wondering what to make with that door weight called a rutabaga that showed up in your CSA box? LOL, start here, a silky-smooth mash of apples and the golden-colored root vegetable called rutabaga (or swede, a much prettier name, yes?). It has gorgeous color and is a lovely side dish or better still, an "under dish". Real Food, Fresh & Seasonal. Budget Friendly. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Low Fat. Weight Watchers Friendly. Vegetarian. Naturally Gluten Free.

Day 32: Poke Sallet ♥

Tonight's Lesson: No matter what your mother used to say, it's perfectly okay to "play with your food". On Saturday, I made an early trip to Soulard, the big St Louis farmers market. My favorite farmer is Charles, who has the best rhubarb, spinach and basil in the market. This week his stand also displayed bundles of greens tied with string. 'Poke' read the hand-written sign. I wondered out loud, What in heavens is poke? and another shopper answered, Don't you know that old song, Poke Salad Annie? (I didn't but listened to it here .) There was no leaving the poke behind! No matter that I hadn't a single clue how to cook it. Online I learned that 'poke salad' is a citified 'poke sallet', that Harlan County, Kentucky holds an annual Poke Sallet Festival , and that most recipes call for a 'mess of greens' and specify cooking the tender-looking shoots in fresh water three times, then cooking them with onions in a 'heap of b

Day 31: Leeks & Asparagus

~ recipe updated & photo added in 2006 ~ Tonight was good, completely worth repeating. It was tasty, easy and fast - and a great way to take advantage of the piles of fresh asparagus that are at farm stands and the supermarket. Tonight I served this atop mostly-white omelettes: delicious. Leeks have an almost-sweetish onion essence. Paired with butter, they are delicious. When seeking a sweet touch of onion, why not use a "sweet onion" like a Vidalia? Sweet onions lose their onion-oomph when cooked so are best used raw. Leeks, however, will impart that sweet touch. LEEKS & ASPARAGUS Active time: 5 minutes + occasional stirring Time to table: 15 minutes for thin spears, 25 for fat spears Serves 4 1 tablespoon butter 1 large leek or 2 small leeks (see ALANNA's TIPS) 1 pound asparagus, thin or thick spears, woody ends removed, and if thick, stripes of skin removed with a vegetable peeler Salt & pepper Melt butter in a skillet over MEDIUM HIGH. Reduce heat to MEDI