Showing posts from July, 2005

Day 106: BLTs with Avocado ♥

The Russian-born lady at our table asked, "Pleez, what is B L T?" So for all the native Polish, Israeli, Malaysian, Australian, French, Swedish, Spanish, Portugese, Taiwanese, Indian and others who visit this site on occasion -- thank you! and please know that while BLT may be an acronym for Bacon, Lttuce and Tomato in sandwich form, what it stands for is one of summer's great indulgences. Here are the essentials: Good bread, often toasted -- in this case a salty focaccia (that worked better the first day, when it was fresh, than the third, when it was tough) but a whole grain slice will work great, as would a firm, cottage-style white bread or even a large soft white roll Thick-cut bacon -- fried crisp (be sure to pour off the bacon fat to store in the frig for later) -- consider cooking extra for this corn chowder or this broccoli salad Mayonnaise -- in this case, 5 tablespoons of Hellman's Light tossed with 3 tablespoons of chopped chive and tablespoon

Day 105: Avocado Salad with Hearts of Palm ♥

Today's lovely little make-it-your own avocado salad: It's as good as can be, just cubes of avocado tossed with hearts of palm (and if you wish, for bulk, cucumber and tomato) and a lemon-y herb-y vinaigrette. I'd happily eat this salad every day! Gluten Free. Paleo. Not just vegan, " Vegan Done Real ". ~recipe & photo updated 2015~ ~ more recently updated recipes ~ 2005: Oops. I didn't know til just now that avocados are not vegetables but, um, well, fruit and that hearts of palm are neither fruit not vegetable but stems for goodness sake. Oh well, it's all plants, so qualifies, yes? for entry in A Veggie Venture? Be sure to use ripe avocados, they make all the difference. These stores in a paper bag on the counter for almost a week before a gentle squeeze told me, "Now! Now the avocados are ripe!" 2015: We've become addicted to avocados thanks to Smitten Kitchen's Avocado-Cucumber Salad and find ourselves not buying one a

Tool Tip: Immersion Blender

Several times a week, I pull out a small and inexpensive immersion blender or its attachments. It doesn't replace a blender, a food processor or a mixer, but it sure is handy for small jobs, well worth the $25 invested a couple of years ago. (2008 Update: The Braun product I have is being discontinued but there are many brands of immersion blenders .) What's shown is the 'motor' (the top piece) attached to a mini food processor (the bottom piece). It includes a cup with a food-processor-type blade that's just perfect for small jobs. The cup includes both a rubber piece that works both to stabilize the cup for standing/processing and as an air-tight cover. There's also the immersion blender itself, which makes quick work of most soups without the hassle of getting out/cleaning/putting away the blender or big Cuisinart food processor. One word of caution: the immersion blade must be fully immersed in the soup - otherwise, soup will splatter all over. There's a

Chipotle Chickpea Salad ♥

One of my favorite salads from the first year of A Veggie Venture, canned garbanzo beans mixed with summer-fresh vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and corn plus a smidgin of heat from a pantry ingredient, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Lots of rave reviews! Fresh & Seasonal. A Summer Classic. Great for Meal Prep. Easy Weeknight Supper. Low Carb. Low Fat. Scales from Small Plates to Large Platters. Weight Watchers Friendly. Easily Vegan. Naturally Gluten Free.

Day 103: Carrot & Edamame Salad

Would you rather eat exotic edamame (ed-uh-MAH-may) or spartan SOY ? Take your pick becuase they're the same thing, fresh soy beans. And they're delicious! Now that they come shelled and frozen, they're easy to cook and easy to find year-round. This is an okaaaaaay salad. But if you don't yet know how good edamame beans taste, don't make this your introduction: you might not return. As it turns out, the recipe seemed familiar. Sure enough, when I waded through its reviews on Epicurious, I made it a year ago and had the same reaction: good enough but just okay. The carrot flavor and texture overwhelm the delicacy of the beans. Looks great, though, doesn't it? You don't often get such great color on your plate! Leftover Update: This either grew on me or improved with a day in the frig. So I'd now recommend it even though it doesn't pay edamame their due. Buying Tip: At my grocery, the produce section at my grocery sells 10-ounce packages o

Day 102: Summer Orzo with Radicchio ♥

Today's summery pasta salad recipe: My go-to pasta salad during summer, packed with lovely Mediterranean flavors, radicchio, sun-dried tomatoes and olives. Keep Summer Orzo on hand for a quick side salad straight from the fridge or better still, as a bed for grilled fish or sautéed shrimp ... this is no heavy pasta salad, it's light and fresh and at least to my taste, downright habit-forming. Great for Meal Prep. Potluck Favorite. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real .

Tool Tip: Microplane

Some people carry knives when they'll be cooking somewhere else. Me, I carry a microplane. With just a few whisks, it makes piles and piles of fluffy Parmesan, lemon zest, lime zest. This is one of several versions. I like its broad face. I like the rubber handle. I like the fine rasp. Nov 2006 Update: While I love the fine grate, I really really love the ribbon grater, especially for Parmesan and chocolate. In my kitchen, both are necessities. I've also learned to measure by weight, not volume, whenever a microplane is used. Think about getting the finger guards. While I've only scraped myself once, it was sore for several hours ... and I have a friend who loves her Microplane but does have trouble getting scraped.

Day 101: Eggplant Sandwiches with Cilantro Hummus ♥

Today's vegetable sandwich recipe: Quick and easy, just baked eggplant slices paired with a healthy green hummus. Not just vegan, " Vegan Done Real ". WAY BACK IN 2005 Talk about supper in a flash! It could be made still easier with a supermarket hummus. But the hummus took 10 minutes to pull together in the food processor AND, very unusually, has no added fat. I made it a few days ago (and didn't get around to the eggplant) and since it was around, had it with tomato sandwiches, grilled pepper sandwiches, etc. It's even good plain on toast! You could make it in advance, too. Or there's time to mix it while the eggplant broils. UPDATE I just love it when A Veggie Venture's first-year recipes still appeal. In all honestly, as much fun as I was having exploring new ways to try vegetables, I was also kind of flailing around, a new recipe for every day. Looking back, as a result, those vegetable recipes tend to be quick and easy and healthy, the kind of fo

Day 100: No-Cook Tabbouleh ♥

An excellent couscous salad, a vegetable-packed version of traditional tabbouleh that couldn't be simpler to make. First "cook" couscous in lemon juice, then just add piles of vegetables. This a great "refrigerator" salad, it keeps for many days. Weight Watchers? You're going to love this salad! Way Back in 2005: This No-Cook Tabbouleh recipe was first published on Day 100 of A Veggie Venture's first year, when I cooked vegetables in a new way every single day for an entire year. (Curious for more? Here's the back story .) On Day 100, there was no quitting that vegetable odyssey even if the milestone passed without fanfare. Instead, it was onto the tabbouleh recipe, an unusual no-cook version that needs to rest overnight for the flavors to meld. If you start it before supper, finish it before bed and then refrigerate overnight, when you get home from work tomorrow, it'll be waiting and perfect. I did want to change the recipe's proportions:

This Recipe Has Moved (Day 99: Holy Slaw!)

Tired of coleslaws more mayonnaise than salad? Instead, this is a slightly unusual, colorful slaw, full of crunchy vegetables, lightly dressed in an Asian-style peanut and ginger dressing. A great favorite at church potlucks! Do I hear a hallelujah?! This Recipe Has Moved Please see << Holy Slaw! >>. 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, 2006 & 2020

Day 99: Chocolate Zucchini Cake

I made this old-fashioned cake for the party too. I wasn't so keen on it. But since I made a number of revisions that likely changed the outcome and Epicurious reviewers love it in a big way, here's the link . My version took 25 minutes to mix and an hour to bake.

Day 98: Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

~recipe & photo updated in 2007~ Simple and good, these were! I'd looked for a marinated mushroom recipe, something for a meaty-ish vegetarian sandwich. (Suggestions welcome!) But this will do, for now, as is, for mushrooms on the side. FYI: Spelling portobello (portabello? portabella? portobella?) is a trick. Even Epicurious spells it a couple of different ways. 2007 Photo Update: So I made these again -- they're so simple and quite good! But since I had such good luck washing the mushrooms for Kalyn's Roasted Asparagus & Mushrooms , I decided to wash two of the portobellos and brush the other two. Much to my surprise, the washed ones cooked faster and tasted better! I suspect it's because they had more moisture to both 'carry' heat into the flesh of the mushrooms and to withstand the hot grill. They even look better in the photo. Anyway, do as you like but from now on, I'm washing mushrooms (except when they're eaten raw). GRILLED PORTOBELLO M

Day 97: Chilled Carrot Soup with Honey ♥

A simple carrot soup, bright with spices and a small kick of cayenne, sweetened with a drizzle of honey, soured with a splash of lemon juice. Served cold and dreamy good! (Looking for a carrot soup recipe serve to serve hot? I recommend my long-time favorite, Laura's Carrot Soup .) ~recipe & photo updated 2011 & 2014, recipe republished 2014~ ~ more recently updated recipes ~ 2005 Original: I just love pretty food! And this is very very pretty, a deep autumn orange. And it calls for stuff that's likely already on hand. And it's very healthful – only 90 calories a cup and no fat! And it's cheap, to boot! All these things make this soup a winner, no matter what! Still, be aware that the texture and taste are, to my taste anyhow, a bit unusual, a bit of a surprise. The lemon slices do jazz up the presentation – and while the drizzled honey falls to the bottom of the bowl, by the time you get there, you're spooning up the last drops because it tastes soooo

Day 96: Grilled Pattypan Squash

For the first time ever, I've been failed by the Internet! I spent a full 30 minutes searching for a recipe for pattypan squash. Mind you, there were plenty of recipes for baby pattypan squash which are apparently de rigueur in restaurant circles. [Update: simple baby pattypan squash are quite lovely, yes!] But I learned - thank you, the Internet - that what jumped into my bag at the farmer's market on Saturday was a mature pattypan squash , one with size and heft. So I followed the suggestion of the farmer's daughter, "Just grill it." Pattypan is a summer squash - it slices easily, like zucchini and yellow squash. It tastes like a nuanced yellow squash. And grilled, it was good, left unadorned, no butter, no garlic, just the smokey essence from the grill/smoker. Simple. Earthy. I'd recommend it -- GRILLED PATTYPAN SQUASH Active time: 2 minutes Grill time: 20 minutes maybe Serves 4 1 large pattypan squash, washed, sliced vertically about 1/2 inch thick Salt

Day 95: Chilled Zucchini Soup

2011 RECIPE UPDATE: In 2005, this Chilled Zucchini Soup was "forgettable". In 2011, I found a recipe that I and others really like, see Chilled Zucchini Soup Shooters . WHY AREN'T THERE ♥s on ALL RECIPES from A VEGGIE VENTURE? During the original 'Veggie Venture', I cooked a vegetable in a new way every single day for an entire year -- YES, an entire year, crazy, I know. Many recipes were very good, others were fabulous, these are all marked with ♥s. Other recipes were so-so or plain bad -- obviously, no ♥s! Since the end of that first year, I publish only recipes that merit ♥s. 2005 ORIGINAL POST A cold soup makes for a refreshing repast during heat waves like the one in much of the country right now. But not t-h-i-s cold soup. Ever eat moldy, slimy grass? Me either. But this is what it would taste like. It's not inedible. It is forgettable. Update: Leftover, this soup has grown on me. The lemon flavor has become more pronounced. It's become, well, no

Tool Tip: Recipe Software with Nutrition Analysis

For three years, I've been using software called AccuChef for nutrition analysis. (It's got many other features but nutrition analysis is what keeps me a power user.) I've tried others but always come back to it. You can enter your own recipes but it's especially convenient to import recipes from other sources (click File / Import Wizard). A trial copy allows 60 uses, then it's only $20. I've had a couple of technical issues, both were answered promptly/helpfully.

Day 93: Smothered Yellow Squash

(Photographer malfunction: sorry, no picture.) There's no doubt this is good - it is! But it cooks down into what seems like a puny portion size that adds up to considerable calories. And it's homely looking. Still, will you eat it up? I think so! SMOTHERED YELLOW SQUASH with BASIL Active time: about 10 minutes, with occasional attention after that Time to table: 30 minutes Serves 4 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 1/2 pounds yellow squash (from two good-sized squash), cut in half lengthwise (or in quarters where it's thick) then in thin half-moons crosswise 2 teaspoons garlic (from a jar) 1/2 cup water 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon black pepper 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil Heat ONE TABLESPOON of the olive oil in a skillet over MEDIUM HIGH. While it heats, slice half the yellow squash. Add it to the hot skillet and saute until brown, stirring occasionally. Transfer it to another dish. While the first batch of squash cooks, slice the remaining squash. When the first batch is cooke

Tool Tip: Basil Keeper

For years, I've kept fresh basil in a glass on the windowsill (I still keep a frond or two, it just makes the kitchen smell good.) And then I graduated to keeping it in a glass in the frig. Both kept the basil for two or three days. Awhile back, I got this basil keeper and now basil stays fresh in the frig for 10 days or so. This one was a bit pricey for what it is but it'd be easy enough to rig up something similar on the cheap.

Tool Tip: Citrus Press

I've been using this for a couple of months now - it extracts a lot more juice from both lemons and limes. It helps, especially with limes which are harder to juice anyway, to score the skin partway in three or four places. The bowl is a bit small for oranges but works in a pinch. [2/06 And the good folks at Too Many Chefs prove a citrus juicer's worth through scientific testing !] It's a handy complement to a microplane which is a whiz way to piles of fluffy zest. Both are keepers in my book, er, utensil drawer.

Kitchen Parade Extra

Visit the Kitchen Parade weekly blog for a delicious recipe for baked baby back ribs in a berry sauce .

Day 92: Green Beans with Honey-Mustard Glaze

When my sister and I were kids, Mom would send us to the front step to snap beans, shell peas and husk corn. We were reluctant kitchen helpers then but I look back on those simple summer tasks with nostalgia. Why she recruited us to help is no surprise: seven minutes to wash/snap beans when the family is hungry and waiting and you're also managing the meat and the salad -- well, it's half a lifetime. So: Recruit help! Your kids will love you for it, later if not now! The trick to these beans, I think, is cooking them in what seems like a whole lotta water in a whole lotta salt. Whether you like the glaze idea or not, try the beans. They're amazing. GREEN BEANS with HONEY-MUSTARD GLAZE Active time: About 10 minutes Time to table: About 25 minutes Serves: 4 8 cups water 3 1/2 tablespoons salt 1 pounds green beans 1 1/2 tablespoons mustard seeds (next time I'd use less, maybe 1 tablespoon) 2 tablespoons honey (see ALANNA's TIPS) 2 tablespoons rice vinegar Bring the wa

Day 92: Summer Tomatoes

~ nutrition estimate updated 2007 ~ Like strange-looking planets with odd-shaped moons, but they're just yellow Summer Tomatoes. With the unusual use of malt vinegar (I have a bottle for parsnip fries, a favorite fall dish), I thought this would end up, well, a bit unusual, a little different. It's good. It's just not special. SUMMER TOMATOES Active time: 10 minutes Time to table: 10 minutes Serves 8 2 pounds very ripe, perfect tomatoes, sliced thick cross-wise 3 tablespoons good olive oil 2 tablespoons malt vinegar 3/4 teaspoon brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon good salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper NUTRITION ESTIMATE Using 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil - Per Serving: 64 Cal (70% from Fat, 7% from Protein, 24% from Carb); 1 g Protein; 5 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 4 g Mono Fat; 4 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; NetCarb3; 1 g Sugar; 14 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 174 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 1 point Using Two Tablespoons Olive Oil - Per Serving: 49 Cal (6

Day 91: Mexican Street Corn

~ nutrition estimate updated 2007 ~ This didn't turn out so great but it's not likely the recipe's fault -- so taste-wise, I'm going to recommend it anyway. The corn wasn't so great, on the starchy side. My grilling work was, well, inexpert. I was out of mayo so quick-quick made some but homemade mayonnaise, while delicious, lacks the bite of commercial brand. And finally, I think the cheese is supposed to melt on the hot corn and for some reason, tonight's didn't. I will try again some time. I bet it'll turn out to be delicious! SOAP BOX This recipe is a perfect example of why, for everyone's health, all cooking magazines and all cookbooks MUST include nutrition information with recipes. Who'd guess that Mexican Street Corn would rack up SEVEN points? (I think in Weight Watchers terms since losing 30 pounds three years ago. For the 'unenlightened' seven points is equivalent to a third of a day's calories for so

Day 90: Clean-Out-the-Fridge Noodle Bowl ♥

By tonight's Six O'Clock Scramble, my body was still on sensory overload from last night's My First Panzanella and Zucchini Timbale with Cheese . A piece of toast, a bowl of cereal. Any more might knock me over the gustatory edge. But: thanks to the every-day, you know, every-SINGLE-day commitment of the Veggie Venture, I opened the fridge. Reality hit: if I intended to stock up at Saturday's farmers markets, I'd better empty out the vegetable bins. And so surprise, surprise, the result was a delightful little pasta bowl, bits of chopped vegetables (starting with tomato, key for moisture) and tossed with basil and leftover vinaigrette from Day 71's Brushed Eggplant . RECIPE for CLEAN-OUT-THE-FRIDGE NOODLE BOWL Active time: 15 minutes Time to table: 25 minutes Made 6 cups 8 ounces pasta BASICS 1 - 2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped (I used one tomato, two would have been better for a different veggie:pasta proportion) 1 sweet red or yellow or orange

Day 89: My "First" Panzanella ♥

My first mind-blowing experience with Panzanella, the classic Italian tomato salad. So so good! Oh my. Oh my. Oh my. Peasant food fit for kings and queens. Of every vegetable recipes I've tried since April, this may be the one that qualifies as "life-changing". How did I get to be this many years old without panzanella? All those wasted years! Silly? Of course. But fellow foodies will understand! There was no getting enough of this tomato and bread salad, even to the point of setting aside perfectly delicious grilled chicken to make room on the plate (and elsewhere) for more. I could (and basically did) make a meal out of it. I'll make it again (tomorrow tonight?) and again (the night after?) as long as the tomatoes last, that is. That's why I call this My "First" Panzanella: there will be a second and a third. My advice? Make it soon so you get it as often as possible until fall, until the very last of good tomatoes. A bit of research shows t

Day 89: Zucchini Timbale with Cheese ♥
(Crustless Zucchini Cheese Pie)

Today's easy weeknight vegetarian supper, a no-crust zucchini pie, a sort of zucchini casserole packed with a whole pile of grated zucchini, sweetened with a little onion and sweet corn. held together with just enough cheese and egg. Good warm, cold or my favorite, room temperature. Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly, just 4 PointsPlus. Totally good! WAY BACK IN 2005 Talk about the cup runneth-ing over! I'm turning into a vegetable glutton. I've been excited about this A Veggie Venture project from the very beginning, way back in April. [Background: Yes, A Veggie Venture started off in 2005 as no more than personal challenge to cook a vegetable in a new way every single day for a month!] But now, when everything is so ripe and fresh, all I want for supper is one vegetable after another! Tonight's Zucchini Timbale is one more good reason why – the kitchen smelled heavenly! It's a sort of crustless quiche, shredded zucchini and onion soaked in eggs, milk and chees

Day 88: Artichoke & Pepper Grilled Cheese ♥

Today's vegetable sandwich recipe: A grilled cheese sandwich, with artichokes and roasted peppers. ~recipe & photo updated & reposted 2012~ ~ more recently updated recipes ~ 2005: Okay, okay. I admit it. I'm still drooling over the eggplant sandwiches from Day 86 so when I saw this recipe, also from my cousin Laura, there was no NOT making it. And once again — wow, very good. And it sure hit the spot on a cool day when the remnants of Hurricane Dennis continue to soak eastern Missouri with much-welcome moisture. The trick, I think, is the mustard, which adds a note of depth to the vegetables. I used canned artichokes and jarred red peppers so these sandwiches were quick-quick-quick from inspiration to table. Another great trick for all grilled cheese sandwiches, is the use of cooking spray, tonight, butter-flavored Pam. I had NO idea it would work so well. Now if only the bread and the cheese were calorie-free, too! PS Since I'm no fan of artichokes, thi

Day 87: Fresh Tomato with Fresh Mozzarella ♥

~recipe & photo updated in 2007~ Nearly five years ago, my Finnish sister and I met in Zurich for several days. Friends/sisters since I lived with her family as an exchange student, it'd been many years since we'd met in person. Since we share an amazing familiarity, it seemed as if we'd last left off the week before. Just as familiar, that week, became our daily and sometimes twice-daily order at cafes and restaurants: tomato with fresh mozzarella. It was the height of the season so the tomatoes were bright in color and pungent with flavor. Still we were surprised at how unlike the plates were presented, and tasted, although all were delicious. Ever since, whenever I slice a fat tomato and top it with a creamy mozzarella, I think of Ritva and of one summer's idyllic days. This is a dish that's all about perfection: perfectly ripe tomatoes, lusciously fresh mozzarella, the best salt, the best balsamic vinegar, bright strips of basil. That said, good mozzarella,

Day 86: Eggplant, Tomato & Mozzarella Sandwiches ♥

A simple open-faced sandwich, topped with rounds of eggplant, tomato and fresh mozzarella. ~recipe & photo updated 2010~ My cousin Laura is a vegetarian who lives with and cooks for five carnivores aka her husband Gary and their four children. These eggplant sandwiches are so good, so filling that I suspect no one complains when there's no 'meat' at their table. The bread is lightly flavored with garlic and soaks up a bit of tomato juice. Each bite offers up crunch and soft, dry and wet, sweet and salt. Yummmmmmy. This may turn out to be a sandwich summer! And for busy mothers everywhere, these make up in no time, somewhat to my surprise. TESTIMONIALS "Just made it, ate it and it's fabulous." EGGPLANT, TOMATO & MOZZARELLA SANDWICHES Hands-on time: 15 minutes Time to table: 40 minutes Makes 12 small open-faced sandwiches serving 6 or 12 (see ALANNA's TIPS) 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon garlic (see TIPS) 1 pound fresh eggplant Salt & peppe

Kitchen Parade Extra

Visit the Kitchen Parade weekly blog for lessons taken right from the Veggie Veggie Venture , along with a reprise of favorite recipes from Day 22 and Day 72.

Day 86: Southern Farm Stand Stew with Okra, Tomatoes & Sweet Corn ♥

A great summer stew, summer's best fresh okra, ripe tomatoes and sweet corn, lightly cooked and seasoned with chili powder. The chili powder may "sound" unusual but it really works, somehow deepening the flavors of the vegetables without shouting "chili powder". ~recipe & photo updated 2010 & 2014~ ~ more recently updated recipes ~ ~such a favorite recipe, republished in 2010 ~ 2005 Original: Quintessential summer , that's what this Farm Stand Stew brings to mind. It's a bit of effort but with perfectly fresh tomatoes, okra and sweet corn, worth every minute. If time were the #1 factor, I'd substitute canned tomatoes and frozen corn for the fresh. They're such good products these days, the difference, I suspect, while discernible, wouldn't be enough to quibble. (See 2010 notes for a very different idea!) This is the first time I've cooked okra! I bought them at the farmers market without having a clue how to cook them but

Day 85: Greens with Sour Cream ♥

How to turn tender leafy greens (like Swiss chard, beet greens, leafy spinach and other tender or young greens) into something completely delicious and decadent, almost like a simpler, earthier version of creamed spinach. Real Food, Fast & Flexible. Year-Round Kitchen Staple. Budget Friendly. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special.Low Carb. Vegetarian. Naturally Gluten Free. Rave Reviews.