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Showing posts from May, 2006

Revisiting the Recipe Box

When A Veggie Venture reached Day 365 back in April, I took a break for a couple of weeks. But it was harder than expected -- or wanted to admit, let alone let on -- to NOT cook a new vegetable every day.
In my stack of cookbooks and burgeoning bookmarks and mailbox-fresh food magazines, oh-so-thousands of recipes called out, "Make me! Make ME!".
In the supermarket and then the spring-start farmers markets, oh-so-intriguing new vegetables seemed to shout, 'Try me! Try ME!' The only consolation was the sudden availability of time. And so I started to cook from the Recipe Box, remaking the vegetables that appealed a second time. And quite soon, I came to understand that the second impressions might tell the better story: revealing an every-day real-ness -- or specialness -- that transforms just-another-recipe into a household favorite.

So here they are, the second time around.

From A Veggie Venture's Recipe Box

Swedish Beets ... a summer-time staple, just slice one or t…

Easy Easy Radish Spread ♥

Today's easy vegetable appetizer recipe: Just radishes, a little green onion and cream cheese, a great mix of heat and creaminess, easy to spread on crackers or sandwiches, toss with steamed vegetables, gobble by the spoonful! Weight Watchers Friendly, just WW 2 PointsPlus. Low Cal. Low Carb. Gluten Free. Vegetarian.
~recipe tweaked & photo updated in 2014~
~more recently updated recipes~
You can never have enough easy appetizers in the recipe box! This one's a winner, all around! Easy. Fast. Cheap. A tad unusual. On-hand ingredients. Delicious. Did I say I like it? At first, I followed the lead of the food blog Beyond Salmon except to use neufchatel, the lower-fat cream cheese. But I've also made Easy-Easy Radish Spread to have experimented with different ways to make it.

TEXTURE CHOICES There are two ways to make this, with quite different results.
MORE RADISH-Y I love this one's texture! Just grate the radishes on large holes of a box grater, the one you use …

Kitchen Parade Extra: Confetti Potato Salad ♥

Just last night I read in Laurie Colwin's Home Cooking: "Some potato salads are sublime, some are miraculous and some are merely ordinary ..."

Confetti Potato Salad borders on the sublime. It's an unadorned mix of potato and sweet potato and has no mayonnaise so is safe for picnics and outdoor celebrations -- and is featured in this week's Kitchen Parade column. (And if you've ever cooked with bad knives, you'll appreciate the it-happened-to-me anecdote that starts the column.)

It makes a bunch. But don't worry for as Laurie Colwin says, "It is always wise to make too much potato salad."

FOR THE RECORD ... this is my contribution to the worldwide picnic happening at Hooked on Heat. Wait til you see the spread!

(c) Copyright 2006 Kitchen Parade

Pasta with Shrimp, Asparagus & Sun-Dried Tomato

The comments on Epicurious raved about this recipe. I thought it was good enough but wouldn't make it again. The difference may well have been the sun-dried tomatoes.

Mostly, sun-dried tomatoes are either packed in oil or dessicated discs. A local supermarket (for St. Louisans, Dierbergs) has no-oil sun-dried tomatoes in the produce section, still fat and plump and full of flavor. At $8 a pound, they're pricey but addictively delicious.

So this dish might be worth a good rave if oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes were used. It's worth a try!

NUTRITION NOTES
I've learned to allow 2 ounces of dried pasta a serving. It's plenty, especially when a serving includes lots of vegetables and flavor and so is both filling and satisfying.
Nearly all other sources -- an exception is Eating Well -- presume a 4 ounce serving. What do other cooks allow? I'm curious!I'm very sad that my local supermarket has stopped stocking Dreamfields low-carb, low-glycemic pasta which tastes …

Broccoli Salad with Olives

Too late, I realized that the inspiring recipe's warning "Just be sure not to overcook the broccoli" should have been heeded.

So my version was overcooked.

But this simple cold broccoli salad has potential. It's just (next time, quickly blanched) broccoli with chopped celery or fennel (for crunch!) tossed in a simple vinaigrette with olives, green onions and capers.

NUTRITION NOTES ... This is a great low-carb and low-calorie choice for carb counters and Weight Watchers.

NEXT TIME ... This would be an easy salad to keep adding to. Cherry tomatoes. Bits of cheese. Red pepper.

FOR THE RECORD ... This is my contribution to ARF Tusdays, the antioxidant-rich inspiration that happens at Sweetnicks every Tuesday. It's easy to join in -- do!

FROM THE ARCHIVES ... This is my favorite broccoli summer salad -- no cooking required! It's in the Recipe Box.

BROCCOLI SALAD with OLIVES
Bookmark or print Broccoli Salad with Olives
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 2 hours (need…

Kitchen Parade Extra: Strawberry Pepper Salad ♥

Here in the oh-so-green hills of eastern Missouri, it's strawberry time! The local berries are in a couple of weeks early this year and the verdict is: glorious!

This week's Kitchen Parade column is all about strawberries, strawberry salads, to be precise.

First is a Strawberry Pepper Salad that's worthy of the best berries, my favorite (and kid-friendly!) green salad in a long, long time.

And for days when only supermarket berries are available, there's a Strawberry Spinach Salad with a Poppy Seed Vinaigrette. Very good!

For the record, this is my contribution to Weekend Herb Blogging at Kalyn's Kitchen.


(c) Copyright 2006 Kitchen Parade

Asparagus with Pimenton

Oh, what a sad day. It was likely the last of the local asparagus, fat and fresh-perfect from the field.

(For St Louisans: Scharf's Farm raises the best local asparagus I know ... their stand is at Soulard Market on Saturdays (and perhaps Fridays?) in the north building on the Broadway side, midway on the north side of the aisle. It's worth finding for a couple of weeks early, St Louis' best strawberries are here too ...)

But the pimenton, a smoky Spanish paprika, entirely overpowered the asparagus. It was the inspiring recipe's second choice but the first was chili powder ... which I suspect would be equally overpowering.

FOR THE RECORD ...
This is another contribution to the Asparagus Aspirations at Seriously Good. My favorite entry so far is asparagus with anchovies and garlic -- very worthy of local asparagus! But scampy Kevin seems especially taken by Lemon Lovers' Lickin' Good Roasted Asparagus.
And because the asparagus came from a local farmer, it's als…

Kitchen Parade Extra: Asian Chicken Salad ♥

It's the time of year when I leave behind the keyboard at five o'clock and happily head straight outside -- where I throw a frisbee for the dog who's not getting a good walk and then haul mulch, transplant ferns and hostas and perennial flowers, edge gardens, pick up &*$%# sweetgum balls, train rose bushes along the fenceline and ivy up the trellises, and ... and ...

Just before dark, I move inside, glad that supper's waiting, something light and fresh and as spring-like as my garden ministrations. Add a glass of wine and ... let's just say a great night's sleep is next on the list!

This is Asian Chicken Salad, just now published online from the 2003 Kitchen Parade column archives. It's also my contribution to ARF Tuesdays at Sweetnicks, a wonderful collection of ARF-rich inspirational dishes from all over the world.

(c) Copyright 2006 Kitchen Parade

Kitchen Parade Extra: Raspberry Morning Cake

No veggies today!

Instead, try this simple raspberry cake. It's perfect for Mother's Day and is featured in this week's Kitchen Parade column.

Looking for more food inspiration for Mother's Day ... breakfast in bed? a family dinner? both?!

The Kitchen Parade Recipe Box has many recipes perfect for Mother's Day celebrations.



(c) Copyright 2006 Kitchen Parade

Lemon Lovers' Roasted Asparagus ♥

Today's vegetable recipe: Fresh asparagus roasted with thin slices of lemon. Low carb. Weight Watchers 1 point.
~ recipe updated 2008 ~
2006: This is tactile cook's dream. Just imagine a room already heady with lemon scent, then kneading your hands to roll the fat spears of local asparagus in sweet olive oil and fragrant oregano and thin-sliced slippery lemons and sweet Maldon salt, your fingers emerging sweet and salty and pungent and -- entirely lickable. This is a lovely treatment for asparagus!

NEXT TIME I'll start roasting the lemons first, giving them 5 - 10 minutes head start. And the thinner the slices, the quicker they brown.

NUTRITION NOTES I splurged and used the full 2 tablespoons of olive oil suggested by the inspiring recipe. But about half was left behind in the pan after roasting. So the full 2 tablespoons makes it easier to coat and roast the asparagus but isn't actually consumed -- unless you lick the pan?!

FOR ST LOUISANS This is my first local vegetable …

Tunisian Carrot Salad

My dear Auntie Gloria -- one of the best cooks ever -- taught me how to assemble plates with a little bit of this and a tiny bit of that, all leftover from a day or a few days before. Add a sandwich or a bowl of soup and wow, it's like a smorgie (you know, a smorgasbord) on a plate.

So starting about this time in spring, the fridge becomes home to two or three cold salads at a time. I'm always looking for new ideas for quick-prep and healthful salads.

This particular carrot-spice salad didn't work for me on Day One. It did improve considerably by sitting overnight. Chef-Girl.net, who inspired the concoction, thinks resting helps, too, "It has a really nice flavour to it once it’s sat for a little while."

KITCHEN NOTES ... Think about ... using lemon juice vs orange juice ... and skipping the dill seed entirely since it didn't soften and seemed off, somehow, combined with coriander and chili powder.

FOR the RECORD ... This is my contribution to ARF Tuesdays, t…

Kitchen Parade Extra: Asparagus Custard Tart

Perfect for the local asparagus that are out in thick and thin, perfect for a quick supper, perfect for a Mother's Day brunch ... it's the Asparagus Custard Tart in this week's Kitchen Parade column.

(It's also this week's contribution to May's Asparagus Aspirations at Seriously Good.)

And the Kitchen Parade Recipe Box has many recipes perfect for Mother's Day celebrations. Breakfast in bed? A family dinner? Both?!



(c) Copyright 2006 Kitchen Parade

Tuscan Bean Salad

My recipe makeover for a simple bean salad, just beans and a few vegetables in a red wine vinaigrette. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free.
Without my recipe makeover, Tuscan Bean Salad would be a complete disaster nutrition-wise. A special problem is that at a quick glance, the inspiring recipe doesn't look "that bad". Just look at the primary ingredients, all healthy!

Beans – beans are good!
Tomato & spinach – vegetables are good!
The oh-so-chic Mediterranean diet ingredients – olive oil & olives are good!

But oh man, before I gave the recipe a makeover, a HALF CUP added up to an unbelievable 350 calories! A full cup of the pre-makeover Tuscan Bean Salad, as seemed right for a vegetarian main dish salad atop other greens (until I did the math), would gobble up 95% of a whole day's worth of calories for someone in 'lose weight' mode on Weight Watchers.

If a bean salad is your idea of an occasional indulgence? The original rec…

Broccoli with Rice Wine & Oyster Sauce ♥

Another keeper! More specifically:
another quick vegetable side dish
another low-calorie side dish
another low-carb side dish
another simple side dish
another healthful side dish!NEXT TIME ... It's clean-out-the-freezer-time around here so this version was made with a bag of slightly freezer-burned broccoli -- it's safe to assume it'd be even more delicious with fresh broccoli!

FOR THE RECORD ...
This is my contribution to the weekly antioxidant-rich round-up over at Sweetnicks. It's an easy-easy event to contribute to -- and helps us all keep our eyes on increasing especially healthful ingredients to our diets!
The inspiration for this simple broccoli dish came from Gourmetish who, I just now noted, adapted the recipe from a recent issue of Eating Well. That makes two Eating Well posts in a row -- Eating Well is fast becoming a go-to source for easy, healthful recipes, my kinda cookin'!FROM THE ARCHIVES ... Check out Just a Vegetable on the Side for other simple side-dish…