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Showing posts from November, 2005

Day 241: Curried Squash ♥

Today's weeknight-easy winter squash recipe: Cooked winter squash warmed in a skillet with onion and aromatic Indian-style spices, a lovely side dish or base for a supper protein. Very Weight Watchers Friendly, especially for Freestyle point counters. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free. Whole30 Friendly. And? Decidedly Tasty!
~recipe updated, first published way back in 2005~
~more recently updated recipes~
WAY BACK IN 2005 Wow! If you're roasting squash, roast an extra for this wonderful curry. The inspiring recipe called for more spices than I could imagine – combined, a whole tablespoon of mustard seed, turmeric, coriander and cumin. But it works, it really works. So easy and so-so good! And it may have possibilities way beyond a side dish too, perhaps making an interesting pizza base, vegetarian supper, maybe even thinned with broth for soup? Delicious, this!

THEN AGAIN IN 2007 If you're wondering about "too much heat" from all the spic…

Day 240: Pumpkin Corn Bread ♥

Today's recipe: A moist-crumbed, pumpkin-colored quick bread, not exactly 'cornbread' even though it does contain cornmeal.
~recipe & photo updated 2009 & 2011~
~more recently updated recipes~
2005 ORIGINAL POST The Thanksgiving leftovers are nearing an end, at least those not tucked into freezer bags and casseroles for later. I used 'pumpkin' from a leftover gratin made from canned pumpkin, bacon, onion and Parmesan cheese. The cornbread came out of the oven moist -- and stayed that way -- with an interesting savory-sweet-nutmeg flavor.

2009 UPDATE This is a great recipe for using up a cup of leftover pumpkin purée, adding moisture and a touch of color. The result isn't as 'cornbready' as my very favorite Skillet Cornbread, a long-time favorite published in my food column Kitchen Parade. But it's a lovely nice change of pace, slightly sweet but not anything as sweet as a cupcake, say, or even a sweet morning muffin. It would make a great mor…

Day 239: Low-Carb Supper Skillet ♥

Low-carb? With pasta? Keep reading!

For a few weeks now, I've been paying attention to carbs. Mind you, I'm no expert on either Atkins or South Beach although I do religiously count Weight Watchers calorie-fiber-fat points.

But as summer's standbys (tomatoes, cucumber) turned to fall's fare (sweet potatoes, squash, potatoes), the carb counts in the nutrition estimates here on A Veggie Venture began to noticeably add up.

With much coaching from Kalyn's Kitchen who has 41 great reasons to follow the South Beach concept, A Veggie Venture is now officially counting carbs.

Recipes now include a NET CARB count -- that's total carbs minus fiber, a rough indicator of digestible carbs
I've scoured 238 days of vegetable cooking for low-carb recipes -- that is, fewer than 10 grams of net carbs
These low-carb vegetable recipes are collected here in the Recipe Box (along with the long-standing Weight Watchers section)


As for tonight's Supper Skillet, it was very good -- n…

Day 238: Turkey & Turnip Soup ♥

This Thanksgiving, I may be the happiest person who didn't cook a turkey.

That's because the turkey carcass came home with me -- and after four hours simmering happily away with carrots, celery and onion, it yielded 10 cups of creamy turkey stock and nearly 8 cups of meat.

Tonight's soup is the result of hours in the kitchen, yet took only five minutes to make. THAT is the glory of turkey.

For the record, this is A Veggie Venture's official entry in Lovely Leftovers Day over at SlashFood.

Still using up your leftover turkey? Think about a pot of Saturday Soup or these Veggie Quesadillas.

TURKEY & TURNIP SOUP
Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 5 minutes

Leftover mashed turnip & potato
Turkey stock
Leftover turkey meat
Spinach
Dab of cranberry chutney

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan -- but only enough for one meal for there's no having leftover leftovers!

Day 237: Marinated Vegetable Salad ♥

Today's oh-so-retro recipe: A can of corn, a can of peas, a few chopped vegetables plus oil and vinegar and – horrors! – sugar. And yet? This salad works in an old-fashioned retro way. Weight Watchers Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free. And just slightly pickle-y ... and addictive.
Oh people, much to even my surprise, this easy make-ahead refrigerator salad was a true hit at a casual supper tonight. Even a two-year old thought it was yummy, eating the peas with his fingers, one at a time. Oh, pudgy two-year old fingers, aren't they just too wonderful?

This is an old-old recipe and yes, if you look closely, it uses, errr, dare I say? canned corn and canned peas. The note on my 3x5 recipe card is dated 1986 and reads, "too much oil". Ha! Even way back then I was "Alanna-sizing" recipes. So this time, I dramatically:

Increased the crunch factor with extra celery and carrot
Reduced the sugar by a quarter (by half was too much)

Veggies for Kids: One Very Sneaky Mom

That Sweetnicks!

Twice this week, she's sneaked vegetables into Little Nick's tummy.

And not just any vegetables -- green vegetables!

Sunday it was the broccoli rabe and sausage pastadish that's pictured. Then Thursday (Thanksgiving no less), it was a broccoli and cranberry saladthat this grown-up intends to try soon.
Very impressive!If there are other similarly sneaky Moms, just let me know and I'll be happy to share your success with others!

VEGGIES for KIDS is a continuing crusade here at A Veggie Venture,
a forum for parents wanting to encourage healthful eating habits at home and school.
What works for you?What would you like to fix at your own table?


Kitchen Parade Extra: Sweet 'n' Hot Chicken ◄

Every good recipe collection needs one-pot suppers like this Sweet 'n' Hot Chicken that tastes so great PLUS is so easy on the clock, the waistline and the family budget.

It's featured in this week's Kitchen Parade column.


Curried Cauliflower ♥ Recipe

Today's Vegetable Recipe: Fresh cauliflower florets braised in low-fat coconut milk and curry spices. Easy. Weight Watchers 1 point. Low carb. Vegan.
~recipe & photo updated 2008 and 2011~
~more recently updated recipes~
2005: After yesterday's Thanksgiving food excess, nothing appealed except hot, flavorful and virtuous comfort food. And did I ever luck out with this terrific cauliflower curry inspired by The Remarkable Palate. It was excellent! It worked as a side dish, even with most of the rich-tasting coconut milk left in the pan to further lighten the calories. But it would also make a great vegetarian supper, paired with, say, brown rice to soak up the coconut 'gravy', and maybe a few carrots tucked into the cauliflower.

2008: This is a really good cauliflower dish. I let it cook some longer this time so that the coconut milk was absorbed into the cauliflower and some of it broke down to form a coconuty-cauliflowery gravy - very good.

2011: This time I used t…

Day 235: Sweet Potato Biscuits

Vegetables at the breakfast table? With a little imagination, sure!

As an idea, sweet potato biscuits seemed an inspired choice for a late-fall-feeling Thanksgiving morning.

In practice, the sweet potato added color but not flavor. The biscuits were good enough and I might make them again if ...
leftover mashed sweet potato needed using up (or hmmm, how about a jar of baby food?) biscuits were in order but a touch of color was needed too Otherwise, straight biscuits would be the order of my day.

The experts say that a light touch is needed for light biscuits. I'm no expert but these turned out light enough though I'm a real fan of my grandmother's trick of adding an egg. There's a few in the freezer (a trick from King Arthur Flour's Baking Companion, my favorite go-to reference for baking) so fresh hot biscuits will be a welcome treat over the next few days.


VEGETABLE RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ more sweet potato recipes ~
~ more baking recipes with vegetables ~

SWEET …

Day 234: Green Beans with Lemon & Pine Nuts ♥

Today's vegetable recipe: Fresh or frozen green beans cooked in well-salted water, then tossed with lemon juice, a little oil and if you like, toasted pine nuts.
~recipe & photo updated in 2007~
2005: After several days in a row of cooking Thanksgiving-appropriate vegetables (you know, those with sugar and cream and butter) and Thanksgiving tomorrow -- "just plain beans" tasted soooo good.That said, this bean recipe isn't so plain -- those are toasted pine nuts peeking out, plus lemon brightens the whole experience. If you're looking for a last-minute simple vegetable for your Thanksgiving table, these beans would be great.

2007: This simple 'lemon zest, juice & olive oil' has become my favorite treatment for every-day green beans. And when the fresh beans are good, they're simply fabulous, otherwise, yes, frozen still works. In my sensibility today, the pine nuts add more expense and calories than they contribute in flavor or texture -- I call…

Day 233: Secret-Ingredient Cookies with Pecans ♥

This blog's about vegetables, right? So you think a mere cookie rates an exception? No way!

Just like Day 199's Secret-Ingredient Chocolate Cake, today's cookies are moistened by a root vegetable. This one is orange. This one is ... sweet potato!

And the cookies are great! The sweet potato replaces fat in the way applesauce is so often called upon to do in low-fat baking. And the orange zing really shines through -- these are a definite keeper! *** yes, Domestic Goddess, these taste great ***

I experimented with a real short-cut for the sweet potato: baby food. In fact, the baby food puree had lots more flavor than the sweet potatoes cooked a couple of days ago for Sweet Potato Puff and Sweet Potato Biscuits.

For the Record:
This is A Veggie Venture's official entry in the online Cookie Swap going on over at Domestic Goddess through November 27th. There's still time for YOU to bake! That said, as good as they are, these cookies wouldn't work for a cookie swap: too m…

Day 232: Sweet Potato Puff

Another possibility for the Thanksgiving table ... though whether served as a vegetable? or a dessert? is in question.

Two things, however, are for sure: while baking, the house fills with the scent of cinnamon! And if the sweet potato's already cooked, it makes up in minutes. (Or perhaps try a jar of baby food?)

I do recommend creating some sort of design or texture on top before baking. It's hard to see in this (sorry, badly lit and out of focus) picture but there's a cute little curlicue in the middle that I thought would bake out. It didn't!

Caution: It's unlikely that the alcohol cooks entirely out of the rum so this puff may not be appropriate for all tables.


VEGETABLE RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ more sweet potato recipes ~
~ more casserole recipes ~

SWEET POTATO PUFF
Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 55 minutes
Serves 6

3 cups mashed, cooked sweet potatoes (from a scant two pounds)
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter (if the potatoes aren't hot, melt…

Day 231: Egg Muffins ♥

What I had for breakfast ... it's the Meme of the Moment in the food blogging world (sponsored by Andrew at SpitoonExtra) and here, yes, is what was on the breakfast menu here this morning.

The muffins weren't perfect texture-wise but the concept is worth developing: an egg per person, a splash of milk, some vegetables, a chunk of cheese, baked for 30 minutes.


VEGETABLE RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ more breakfast recipes ~
~ more recipes for vegetables with eggs ~

EGG MUFFINS
Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 40 minutes
Serves 6 or fewer

6 eggs (or 1 per person)
2 - 3 tablespoons milk (or maybe not, these were a tad spongier than I'd prefer)
Leftover Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
Leftover cooked potato
Chopped onion
Minced garlic
Salt and pepper
Chunks of feta or other cheese

Preheat oven to 350F. Whisk together eggs and milk, then stir in other ingredients. Pour into well greased giant muffin tin and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool 2 - 3 minutes, then slide knife around edge of muffins. …

Day 230: Slow-Roasted Tomato Salad Dressing

I'm ever on the look-out for ways to use the Slow-Roasted Tomatoes that live in the freezer. Last night's Steak & Tomatoes was delicious.

Tonight's dressing was only so-so, especially since the vinegar overpowered the smoky tomato goodness.


VEGETABLE RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ more ways to use slow-roasted tomatoes ~
~ more salad dressing recipes ~

SLOW-ROASTED TOMATO DRESSING
Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 5 minutes
Makes 2/3 cup (enough for two salads each serving four)

1/2 cup Slow-Roasted Tomatoes (see ALANNA's TIPS for an alternative)
1 tablespoon good vinegar (I used a fig vinegar that's a little sweet)
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup water
Salt & pepper to taste

Salad greens

Whizz in the food processor attachment of an immersion blender. Toss with greens. Enjoy!

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Dressing only, per Serving: 10 Cal (36% from Fat, 5% from Protein, 59% from Carb); 0 g Protein; 0 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 2 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; NET CARB 0; 2 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 29 …

Secrets of a Long Life

[Many thanks to the photographer*cook at LuminousLens for the photo!]

"Residents of Okinawa, Sardinia, and Loma Linda, California, live longer, healthier lives than just about anyone else on Earth. What do they know that the rest of us don't?"- National Geographic

Check out National Geographic's November issue (especially the wonderful interactive feature here) which shares the secrets to living longer, including:
Honor FamilyDrink Red Wine Stay Active Find Purpose Keep Friends EAT VEGETABLES! Have FaithTake Time Off

Day 229: Steak & Tomatoes ♥

Amazing.

I've never been much of 'a smidge of this and a sprinkle of that' kind of cook.

So when fourteen trays of Slow-Roasted Tomatoes began to emerge from the oven in September, I had no idea what would come next -- it was even possible that the treasure of tomato taste would remain forever lost in the deep, dark depths of the freezer.

(After all, those murky recesses are already home to a two-year collection of lobster carcasses intended, some vague time in the future, for stock.)

Yet I might be hooked for Steak & Tomatoes (get it?) is one of the fastest, simplest and most delicious combinations ever to make its way to my table.

The tomato sauce is slightly sweet and almost smoky, the fennel fresh and pungent in the background. Paired with the beefy steak, it's well, simply amazing.


VEGETABLE RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ more ways to use slow-roasted tomatoes ~
~ more main dish recipes ~

STEAK & TOMATOES
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 15 minutes
Serves 4

PA…

Kitchen Parade Extra: Squash Puff ◄

Every family has its Thanksgiving traditions and this savory squash puff, an old recipe from my Auntie Gloria updated with toasted pepitas, is one here. It's featured in this week's Kitchen Parade column.

And from the column archive comes Cranberry Chutney which, by special request, I'll make again next week.

There are other possibilities for Thanksgiving tables here.




Day 228: Acorn Squash with Mustard & Honey ♥

Recipe updated & republished in 2007
This is an easy-easy-easy and delicious-delicious-delicious way to roast acorn squash.

At the same time, I recommend caution if it's important for the squash to be ready for the table at some exact moment -- this is because, in my experience, acorn squash is completely unpredictable time-wise. It always takes more or less time than recipes state for the squash to be properly cooked, something I found frustrating in 2005 during my various attempts to cook squash in various ways and at various temperatures and for various lengths of time.

Here's what I've learned:

Squash size makes a difference, naturally.
Small acorn squash (four halves fitting into a 9x9 pan) are hard to find but seem to cook at 350F in an hour, 30 minutes face-down, then 30 minutes face-up. Leave them face-down for the entire if there's no filling.
Big acorn squash (weighing a pound or more) are more commonly found but take a good 90 minutes to roast, 45 minutes face…

Day 227: Acorn Squash Roasted Face Down ♥

How to roast a winter squash face down. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".
~recipe & photo updated & reposted 2012~
~more recently updated recipes~
2005: And so continues the exploration of how to realiably, consistently, cook acorn squash. It should NOT be this hard! On Day 212, I roasted acorn squash, face-up, for an hour at 400F -- and another half hour was needed before they were ready. (Dontcha just love eating one course at a time?) So today I roasted acorn squash, face-down, for an hour at 400F -- and the flesh was perfectly ready to eat and quite delicious. The rim, however, had passed from caramelized into charred and certainly wasn't edible. Is there no definitive way to consistently successfully bake an acorn squash? It shouldn't be this hard! I'm not done yet. (Good thing squash are cheap, now!) But if anyone's got tips -- chime in!

Day 226: Shredded Brussels Sprouts ♥

Today's vegetable recipe: Fresh Brussels sprouts cooked first in well-salted water, then chopped and sautéed with onion and tossed with toasted walnuts and balsamic vinegar. Not pretty but delicious!
~ recipe replaced in 2008 ~
2008: Truth is, something called 'shredded Brussels sprouts' was one of just two dishes from the first year of A Veggie Venture -- when I was cooking a vegetable in a new way every single day -- that was such a failure I didn't bother publish the recipe. This recipe, however, is good, very good, delicious even! It's like a Brussels sprouts hash.

The 2005 recipe called for slicing the Brussels sprouts in a food processor, then cooking them with olive oil in a skillet -- but they just refused to cook, even after cooking and cooking and cooking. The 2008 recipe tackles that problem by cooking the Brussels sprouts in water, first (ahead of time if that helps) and only then moving to the skillet to finish cooking. Oh these are good! I contemplated…

Day 225: Roasted Potatoes with Garlic & Pimenton

Believe it or not, I've never made roasted potatoes and garlic. Not just in the last 225 days but ever. Ever.

I know! It's about time!

And WHAT a disappointment. They were fussy and hardly garlicky and didn't crisp.

I threw them out. They weren't bad, mind you. But you know how some times you can't keep your fingers out of bad, cold French fries? They weren't worth it.

I did make several changes, including substituting my favorite pimenton for chipotle powder.

You decide if it's their technique or my changes. Next time, I'm going with Rachael at Fresh Approach Cooking who writes with reverence about roasting.


VEGETABLE RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ more potato recipes, including Lavender Potatoesworth every calorie, every carb ~
~ more recipes for roasted vegetables ~


ROASTED POTATOES with GARLIC & PIMENTON
Hands-on time: 15 minutes (including intermittent attention while potatoes roast)
Time to table: 60 minutes
Serves 4

TOSS & START POTATOES at 400F (de…

Day 224: Broccoli Potato Kugel

Until recently, I've only noticed the sweet kugels with noodles and sugar and sour cream and raisins. Surely these are like kitchen crack, something so good that once started, there'd be no getting enough of?

But just before Rosh Hashana, I came across several recipes for vegetable kugels and decided to give this one a try.

There's a freedom when cooking outside your familiarity zone for there:
Are no expectations, so raisins-or-not never comes up
Is no comparing, so Mother's or last year's version can't be better


And so it was with this, what my home-state Minnesotans would call a 'hot dish', broccoli cocooned in something soft and not-quite recognizably potato. It's good! And because it can be made ahead, it's a good candidate for Thanksgiving tables. Next time, I will add a spoonful of horseradish to the potato mixture.


VEGETABLE RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ more broccoli recipes ~
~ more casserole recipes ~
~ more Thanksgiving recipes ~


BROCCOLI PO…

Day 223: Chayote Soup

And so continues the exploration of no-cal, low-carb and high-fiber chayote (chee OY tay), the summer squash whose fat folds are, er, suggestive of babies' bums ...

When I first sautéed chayote for Day 221, warnings of mild-verging-on-bland seemed unfounded.

In this simple soup, however, bland is the descriptive word -- though not unpleasantly bland. This soup isn't without flavor; instead it is delicate and spare, the simplest of the simple.

Admission #1: I did omit the serrano or Thai chilis called for in the inspiring recipe.
Admission #2: What flavor there was might have come from the frozen Light Vegetable Stock.

It is good. And it'd be absolutely perfect some night when you crave something warm and comforting and easy on the stomach.


VEGETABLE RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ more chayote recipes ~
~ more soup recipes ~


CHAYOTE SOUP
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 90 minutes (I think the soup was done in an hour but was busy and let it simmer away)
Makes 6 cups

MIKE THE B…

Day 222: East African Pea Soup ♥

Wow. What a great spiced and spicy soup. It's so simple, just sweet potato, frozen peas and pantry spices. Very Weight Watchers, just two PointsPlus. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".
~recipe & photo updated 2015~
~more recently updated recipes~
2005: Another fall and winter winner! Yippee! Another filling and satisfying soup for Weight Watchers! Double Yippee! The temptation comes from a now-defunct food blog called Full Bellies who advised a double batch. If only I'd listened! This is a definite keeper, one to make again soon to freeze for quick lunches over the busy holidays.

The ingredient list is long on spices and they are what makes this soup delicious – I can't imagine skipping a one. But spices are often half price before the holidays, making it a great time to both freshen up what's on hand and to try some new ones too.

2015: This spiced and spicy soup is a total lunch-saver. It makes up in minutes with little more than air plus a (slightly wi…

Kitchen Parade Extra: A Pair of Mashed Vegetables ◄

If you missed the first appearance of Mashed Potatoes & Carrots way back in April (193 veggie posts ago!) here's another chance.

These would be great for Thanksgiving tables and are so good you may never make plain ol' mashed potatoes again.

Last spring, they took my Canadian family by storm, sweeping from Winnipeg to Toronto and then all the way west to British Columbia. Now it's your turn!

Along with Mashed Rutabagas & Apples, they're featured in this week's Kitchen Parade column.


Day 221: Chayote Squash ♥ Recipe

A simple, simple way to cook chayote squash, light and easy.
Move over zucchini. Move over yellow squash. Helloooooooooo, chayote!

[And thank you, A Veggie Venture, for without this year-long venture of cooking a vegetable in a new way every day, I'd never in the world have noticed, let alone cooked, these delicious slices.]

It's a summer squash, native to Latin America. It's pronounced chee OH tay and also goes by the names mirliton (Creole?) and christophene (French) and chokos (Australian, you know, that whole other language).

Here's the skinny (and skinny is indeed the operative word for a serving has only 25 calories, 5 carb grams and still manages to pack in 3 whole grams of fiber):

No peeling required.
There's a soft seed inside -- a snack for the cook!
Good raw, perfect for crudites.
Good cooked.
Fast-cooking.
Delicate tasting, like a zucchini with punch and no sponginess.
Cheap, about $1.25 a pound.

And it seems to cook without losing structure so there'…