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Showing posts from November, 2006

Harvard Beets ♥

Today's classic vegetable recipe: Harvard Beets, perhaps the most traditional beet recipe out there, one with a long, storied lore. Harvard Beets are simple and delicious, just cooked beets warmed through in an orange sauce. Harvard Beets are one of the many great dishes you can make if you meal prep beets. Seasonal. Year-Round Kitchen Staple. Low Carb. Low Fat. Weight Watchers Freestyle Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free.
For ages now, I've been meaning to make Harvard Beets. When A Veggie Venture first launched in April 2005 and I was hungry for vegetable recipe ideas, my Auntie Meryl suggested them. And back in June, a commenter on Swedish Beets reminded me. Thank you both! Harvard Beets are delicious!

Harvard Beets are a simple, classic treatment for already-cooked beets, apparently first published in the Fannie Farmer cookbook. That said, I haven't yet tried her classic treatment, which calls for using the water in which the beets are c…

"I Like Broccoli"

[The following is cross-posted at BlogHer.]

On Saturday, I packed a goodie bag for Charlie, my favorite three-year-old.

His eyes lit up with surprise, first spying Grover, Big Bird and the Cookie Monster on the very cool tote bag from Stemilt (which has a licensing agreement with Sesame Street's 'Healthy Habits for Life' program), then the just-polished Granny Smith apple, and finally the new story and activity book from Munch Crunch Bunch.

[Want one? A special offer follows ... read on.]

After supper, we cuddled up to read. "I like broccoli," Charlie crowed when he recognized the green stalks among several pages of cartooned vegetables. One by one, we named all the healthful vegetables and fruits. "I like apricots," he announced, which led to a conversation about about what grows on trees, what grows in the ground, what grows on bushes. (And where milk comes from, "the store", he insisted. We'll work on that one.)

"Does the Cookie Mons…

Braised Cauliflower with Asian Flavors

Simple vegetables for a weeknight supper: can there ever be enough of them? I think not! One of my first 3x5 recipe cards (remember those?!), penned at age 10, is titled, "Cooked Cauliflower". Even then, I wanted to learn how to cook vegetables!

NEXT TIME ... I'll steam or boil the cauliflower, then toss it in the sauce. I have a hard time pan-cooking cauliflower and broccoli to a good eating texture, especially since the bulky florets must be kept in a single layer. This makes it hard to cook enough for leftovers, let alone a whole head of cauliflower.

FROM THE ARCHIVES ... The Recipe Box has lots of other ideas for cooking cauliflower but my favorites in winter are roasted tomato with cauliflower and white on white puree.

BRAISED CAULIFLOWER with ASIAN FLAVORS
Hands-on time: 10 minutes plus occasional stirring til done
Time to table: 30 minutes
Serves 4

1 tablespoon peanut oil (or any oil, really)
1 pound fresh cauliflower (about half a large cauliflower), cored and cut into …

Surprise Weight Watchers Truffles

So when you write about vegetables and really want to make truffles, the selected sweetness for November's Sugar High Friday food blogging event (hosted by Johanna of the The Passionate Cook), what do you do? Get creative, that's what! Enter pumpkin truffles!

For anyone who craves a rush of buttery chocolate sweetness after a meal, these are a great choice. Each truffle counts as 1 Weight Watchers point and since they're small with fiber, can be considered 'low carb' with 10 NetCarbs. And with lots of chocolate richness, it's easy to nibble on just one, making it last. Much to my surprise, I found that eaten slowly, 'just one' was entirely satisfying.

WEIGHT WATCHERS TRUFFLES This is a mean joke, right? It's no joke but it is a (big) lesson in (small) portion size. If we ate pieces of cake this small, they'd maybe rack up just one point too. I've been avoiding my favorite St. Louis chocolatier, Bissinger's, maybe one-a-day, you know, like…

Kitchen Parade Extra: Turkey Wild Rice Casserole ♥

[Looking for the World's Best Green Bean Casserole that everyone's raving about? And the collection of Thanksgiving vegetables? It's not too late for nearly all the great Thanksgiving vegetable recipes.]

Happy Thanksgiving!

We're all busy as bees in the kitchen right now but tomorrow ... there'll be leftovers! Here's my favorite way to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey. It's this week's Kitchen Parade column, a turkey and wild rice casserole topped with almonds. If you're feeling festive, throw in a few dried cranberries.

Not in the mood for a casserole? How about turkey soup?!

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♥ Welcome to new e-mail subscribers to A Veggie Venture!
♥ What's this Kitchen Parade, you ask? It's the published newspaper column that my Mom started when I was a baby and that I've been writing since 2002.
♥ Kitchen Parade is known for great recipes for all courses, with lots of Quick Suppers, family favorites and kitchen tips plus special sections for W…

Guest Essay: How Not to Buy Acorn Squash

[Are you looking for the World's Best Green Casserole and A Veggie Venture's collection of Thankgiving vegetables? They are right here!]

Shared delight in food, in words: it binds the foodies in the online world like sausage in stuffing, those of us who write and those of us who read.

As a special Thanksgiving treat, please welcome Kate Bowers, whose acquaintance I've made over, no kidding, butternut squash ...

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL ...

Buying acorn squash is a bit of a mystery to me. I take it on faith that inside is sweet, orange flesh. If not, well, I can throw enough butter, sugar, and oven time at the thing to render it edible. This is a vegetable able to withstand almost any neglect perpetrated by cooks suffering from too many holiday distractions. It's an ideal vegetable at this time of year.

On a recent shopping trip, I got myself a lovely "golden" acorn squash; its brilliant orange exterior drew me in. I'd never seen one before. It looked…

Weight Watchers Smoothie Recipes ♥
(Pumpkin Smoothie & Mocha Smoothie)

Two Weight Watchers smoothie recipes, one pumpkin, the other mocha. A great way to drink a day's quota of milk.
Many thanks to my sister Adanna for sharing this five-minute meal-in-a-glass. It's delicious, it's filling, it's satisfying. It does use a Weight Watchers smoothie packet but anyone can walk into a Weight Watchers office to purchase a box ($7.50 for a box of six).

Adanna uses the French vanilla, I had creamy chocolate on hand so went with that. It's on hand because the Weight Watchers Mocha Smoothie is my 'summer breakfast'. In the winter, some times, I'll even stir a little of the chocolate mix into the morning oatmeal, a change from the usual 'winter breakfast'.

The Weight Watchers pumpkin smoothie is worth trying. I love it!

Beet Salad with Lemon & Olives ♥

Today's beet salad recipe: A simple beet salad, just cooked beets tossed with a little lemon juice and olives. A great contrast to rich vegetable dishes, spare and earthy.
This beet salad would be a great addition to a Thanksgiving table. Unlike so many Thanksgiving vegetables, it's not sugary, it's not creamy, it's not soft(y). And it requires no cooking or prepping on the Big Day! Plus, beets add lovely color.

Just don't think about roasting or cooking the beets at the last minute for the cooking time varies way too much. The good news is that beets can be roasted or cooked two or three or even four days before, then used in delicious cold salads.

RECIPE for BEET SALAD with LEMON & OLIVES Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 10 minutes
Serves 4
1 pound cooked beet, skin removed, diced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt & pepper to taste
Pitted Kalamata olives, halved (I used a couple of dozen)
Fresh parsley

Combine all ingredients except the parsley. Just before ser…

Kitchen Parade Extra: Turnip Puff ♥

The quest for great Thanksgiving vegetables continues: the collection of recipes is nearly complete!

Today Kitchen Parade joins in with the favorite of my Canadian family, a creamy turnip puff made with purple-topped turnips (not rutabagas, some times labeled yellow turnips or Swedes). It's simple ... and simply lovely. The column is here ...

OTHER TURNIP DISH IDEAS for THANKSGIVING

Creamed turnips
White on white puree


♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

♥ Welcome to new e-mail subscribers to A Veggie Venture!
♥ What's this Kitchen Parade, you ask? It's the published newspaper column that my Mom started when I was a baby and that I've been writing since 2002.
♥ Kitchen Parade is known for great recipes for all courses, with lots of Quick Suppers, family favorites and kitchen tips plus special sections for Weight Watchers and low carb recipes.
♥ If you'd like Kitchen Parade columns and recipes delivered via e-mail straight to your In Box too, just click over to Kitchen Parade, then add your e-mail ad…

Winter Squash Polenta ♥

What a brilliant combination, roasted squash and creamy polenta!

The recipe called for instant polenta but to avoid a grocery run on a stormy day, I made polenta from scratch for the first time! What a breeze. Just cornmeal and water and salt -- and a wooden spoon, for stirring. I checked several techniques, then decided to follow one that took a little longer but required less hands-on time, just a good stir every five minutes. I claim no expertise in polenta but this polenta was easy -easy to make and tasted great.

RECIPE for WINTER SQUASH POLENTAHands-on time: sorry, completely lost track on this one, maybe 30 minutes?
Time to table: sorry, this one too
Makes about 4 cups
ROAST SQUASH
2 - 3 pounds winter squash, washed (I used a small butternut and a medium buttercup)
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

Set oven to 400F. Carefully (so not to lose a finger) cut the squash in half either lengthwise or crosswise. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Rub olive oil on the flesh, season with salt and pepper,…

Maple Ginger Sweet Potatoes ♥

Today's special sweet potato recipe, one of my favorites of all time, perfect for Thanksgiving (duded up with a pretty topping) or everyday (as pictured). The sweet potatoes are glazed with a syrup made with no more than butter, maple syrup and fresh ginger.
~recipe & photo updated 2014~
~more recently updated recipes~
2006: Oh man, oh man, oh man. Is this good?! Yes it is! It's a perfect vegetable recipe for Thanksgiving, a less-but-still-sweet sweet potato casserole, full of flavor and buttery-gingery-syrupy goodness. But it's also simple enough for everyday. This is my favorite, so far, of the Thanksgiving vegetable collection. Hmm. Or wait. What about the World's Best Green Bean Casserole? And the Smothered Cabbage? And the Creamy Carrot Purée? And ... hmmm, must do another taste test.

2014: It turns out that while I'm not "famous" for Maple Ginger Sweet Potatoes (I am, I really am, for the World's Best Green Bean Casserole) but I do make th…

Creamy Cauliflower Gratin ♥

Oh. My. Goodness. What a little cream and cheese won't do for vegetables. I've raved over cauliflower before, it's a favorite low-carb, low-calorie vegetable. But add some carbs and calories ... oh.my.gracious. Did I say that this is really really good? It is.

But the real trick with this cauliflower is the anchovies, which generate a remarkable sweetness, a memorable depth -- and not one bit of fishiness. I'm willing to bet: you won't 'taste' anchovy, you'll just think, Wow, this cauliflower is wonderful.

RECIPE for CREAMY CAULIFLOWER GRATINHands-on time: 35 minutes
Time to table: 60 minutes
Serves 10 (smaller big-meal servings, 5 standard meal servings)
1 large cauliflower head (mine weighed in at 2 1/2 pounds after the leaves were removed, much of the core Vd out)

SAUCE
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic
2 anchovy fillets
3 green onions, white and green parts (these add color but could also use chopped leek or shallot)
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup heavy cr…

Creamy Carrot Purée ♥

A creamy-luscious purée of carrots and cream, laced with fresh rosemary. This is a show-stopping side dish, one of my very favorites on A Veggie Venture.
2006 Original: Butter. Cream. Brown sugar. Ya gotta love what they do for vegetables, too. Here, they create an utterly delicious smooth-as-silk carrot puree that's sublime in its simplicity: sweet but not over the top-ly so, creamy but not tongue-thickening. It is smoother than mashed potatoes, so creates another texture for Thanksgiving tables. I'd also make it in a heartbeat as a creamy base for roasted pork or beautiful grilled chops.

2006 Update: These oh-so-smooth carrots paired beautifully with a smoked ham for our Christmas dinner in 2006. The recipe is one of my very favorite recipes on A Veggie Venture. People really love these carrots!

2012: All these years later and Creamy Carrot Pureé still remains a favorite. It's rich but not over-the-top rich. People take one bite and say, "These are carrots? Wow.&…

Kitchen Parade Extra: Thick Chops with Sauerkraut ♥

It's Quick Supper time over at Kitchen Parade, where "quick" means easy on the clock plus easy on the budget, the waistline and the dishwasher. No wonder Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites!

This week's column features juicy, flavorful thick chops tucked into good sauerkraut with onion and apple. Not excited about sauerkraut? You'll still want to check out the pan-frying technique that yields moist and delicious chops. Anyone hungry? Here's the recipe!

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♥ Are you looking for Thanksgiving vegetables? A Veggie Venture will publish more Thanksgiving recipes on Monday but til then, check out this great collection.

♥ Welcome to new e-mail subscribers to A Veggie Venture! What is Kitchen Parade, you ask? It's the published newspaper column that my Mom started when I was a baby and that I've been writing since 2002. Kitchen Parade is known for great recipes for all courses, with lots of Quick Suppers, family favorites and kitchen tips plus specia…

Autumn Sunchoke Salad ♥

And so the quest for Thanksgiving vegetables continues! From now until Thanksgiving, I'm collecting vegetable recipes perfect for Thanksgiving tables. So far, I've collected recipes for green beans and Brussels sprouts and potatoes and ... and ... more to come!

Today's featured vegetable is the 'oddball', that is, any out-of-the-ordinary vegetable whose appearance might be welcome on Thanksgiving tables.

First up ... the sunchoke, also called the Jerusalem artichoke, used in a simple salad, almost a slaw. It's nothing more than sunchokes from fall farmers markets, turnip and carrot in a simple vinaigrette.

It doesn't stand up and shout, there will be no moaning or exclaiming. But it's very good, an earthy respite from the rich- and strong-flavored dishes for which Thanksgiving is famed.

TO MAKE AHEAD ...
Assemble the salad the morning of (or late the day before)
You might stir in the dressing an hour or so before serving but here, it kept in the frig for 24 h…

Smothered Cabbage ♥

Savoy cabbage cooked slowly with bacon, pancetta or proscuitto. Especially good when made ahead.
There's just something other-worldly about savoy cabbage, the crinkly-wrinkly still somehow perfect-looking cabbage. This 'smothered' treatment, traditional in Italian cuisine, is completely delicious. If you're looking for a savory Thanksgiving vegetable to pair with sweet potatoes, this would be a great pick.

I found savoy cabbage at Whole Foods but it might not be available everywhere, even in good grocery stores. Could green cabbage be substituted? Yes, I think so but I wouldn't recommend a bag of shredded cabbage, its texture is too fine for this dish.

DECEMBER 2006 UPDATE I made this again for a holiday meal and was even more impressed with the make-ahead versatility of this dish. Because my favorite Italian grocery, Viviano's, had experienced a huge Christmas rush and was out of pancetta, I used thicker-cut proscuitto and liked this just as much.

RECIPE for SMOT…

Mashed Potatoes with Vegetarian Apple Cider Ginger Sage Gravy ♥

Everybody's favorite mashed potatoes drizzled with a vegetarian gravy, just onion and apple simmered until soft in apple cider. Fresh ginger gives it a lovely kick, fresh sage makes it all savory. Easy enough for a weeknight suppers, special enough for a vegetarian Thanksgiving.
~recipe updated, first published way back in 2006~
~more recently updated recipes~
WAY BACK IN 2006 Oh, the travails of a Thanksgiving guest who doesn't eat meat. One year, even the Thanksgiving green beans were laden with bacon. Another, Thanksgiving dinner had plenty of meatless vegetable dishes but during the clean-up, the host asked me to pick the turkey. Oh dear ...

These days, many cooks are sensitive to people's food choices, food allergies and prescribed diets. But iF anything strikes fear into a cook's heart, it's the prospect of vegetarian guests for Thanksgiving. But don't despair, with just a little bit of forethought, it's easy to cook make-ahead dishes that vegetaria…

Gratin of Greens ♥

For all the thousands of gratin recipes, I had trouble finding one with greens that appealed. Here was the vision: something rich and cheesy contrasting with spare and slightly bitter greens.

And that's what turned out, except for the cheesy part: do add a good measure of Gruyere or another rich cheese.

RECIPE for GRATIN of GREENSHands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 90 minutes - 2 hours
Makes about about 7 cups
FLASH COOK the GREENS (aka Greek Greens)
Salted water
About 3 pounds of mixed bitter greens, including the stems (these were turnip, radish and beet)

Bring a big pot of water to boil. While it does, wash the greens very well. Trim the rough ends, then cut the thin stems (the ones up to a half-inch in width) into half-inch lengths and set aside. Cut the leaves into one-inch strips and set aside separate from the stems. Drop the stems into the boiling water and let cook until just-cook, three to five minutes. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and place into a colander t…

Kitchen Parade Extra: White Chicken Chili

It's beginning to feel a lot like ... chili weather!

And this week's Kitchen Parade column has a recipe for the kitchen classic, white chicken chili. It's a lighter version, with lots of vegetables added for good measure. It'll fill your house with the lovely scent of home-cooked goodness ...

NEW! Never miss a Kitchen Parade recipe! Just click over to Kitchen Parade, then add your e-mail address to the Never Miss a Recipe box on the right.

(For new e-mail subscribers to A Veggie Venture: first, thank you! If you'd like to receive complete Kitchen Parade columns and recipes rather than a quick introduction like this from A Veggie Venture, you will need a separate subscription ...)



(c) Copyright 2006 Kitchen Parade

Brussels Sprouts with Apricot Glaze ♥

Today's Brussels sprouts recipe: my fresh adaptation of a finalist in the 1966 Pillsbury Bakeoff. Start with fresh Brussels sprouts, cook gently and then glaze with a fruity jam and mix with water chestnuts and toasted nuts. Sound strange? Agreed -- but the Brussels sprouts are just delicious!
Brussels sprouts with apricot glaze, what a winner, literally! This recipe was a finalist in the 1996 Pillsbury Bake-Off.

[Small world: The recipe's originator is Judy Kroll, sister of our family friend JoAnn Jensen! Plus, new bloggers, do you know that one of our very own food bloggers won the Pillsbury Bake-Off in 2005? And that a St. Louis food blogger was a finalist?]

I adapted the recipe for fresh Brussels sprouts but was completely amazed at how good the glaze-lemon-water chestnuts were. This is a keeper, great for Thanksgiving but a year-round choice as well.

RECIPE for BRUSSELS SPROUTS with APRICOT GLAZEHands-on time: 15 minutes to trim, 10 minutes for everything else
Time to table:…

World's Best Green Bean Casserole ♥ ♥ ♥

This is not your mama's green bean casserole recipe – nor is it the processed-food green bean casserole your daughter-in-law-who-doesn't-cook plops onto the Thanksgiving buffet. Instead, it's wondrous real food, the way green been casserole is meant to be. It's green bean casserole made from scratch without canned green beans and without canned mushroom soup! This updated recipe calls for fresh green beans and fresh mushrooms yet retains the much-deserved "comfort food" familiarity.
"World's Best Green Bean Casserole". What a lofty name! Still, I'm proud to call this updated green bean casserole the World's Best Casserole, bar none. Old-fashioned comfort food? You bet! Just fresher, the way green bean casserole should be. Here's what makes it different:

FRESH GREEN BEANS! No more canned green beans. Instead, fresh green beans are cooked using a technique which draws out all their flavor. This casserole is all about the beans!
FRE…