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Showing posts from January, 2007

Quick Side: Brussels Sprouts with Horseradish Sauce ♥

[Hello All ... If you're reading this via an e-mail subscription or in an RSS reader and haven't visited the site recently, the Recipe Box is getting a facelift, check Weight Watchers and Favorites for examples of more to come! As always, many thanks for sharing in this crazy odyssey of vegetables ... it means much to me, your making A Veggie Venture part of your day. Now, on to today's recipe, another good one for Brussels sprouts!]

I grew up on Brussels sprouts so it's no surprise that they often make their way onto my table. Once, they made their way across the room, too: my first time cooking dinner for now-dear friends, the Brussels sprouts were so undercooked that one baby-cabbage missile went flyyyyying as we tried to cut into them. Oops.

Ever since, I've been extra cautious about making sure Brussels sprouts are well-cooked. And honestly, I think they taste better when cooked til soft in the center, rather than al dente, as is the current trend. But: you deci…

Quick Side: Simple Skillet Green Beans ♥

How to cook fresh or frozen green beans quickly right in a skillet. A little garlic, a pinch of sugar and plenty of salt and pepper make this a recipe to make again and again. Low carb. Just Weight Watchers 1 point.
~recipe & photo updated in 2010 & republished 2012~
~more recently updated recipes~
2007 ORIGINAL POST The inspiring recipe calls these 'stir-fried green beans a la Tang'. But mention 'stir fry' and my eyes glaze over over as I imagine lugging the twelve-ton cast iron wok from the basement – something that's just not happening on a weeknight, if ever. But this recipe works in an everyday skillet, no wok required. In fact, it calls for a skillet! Perfect! The recipe comes from this month's issue of Saveur. It's one of my favorite food magazines; every issue always includes one or two recipes that I want to make right away.

The beans cook up in just minutes, with minimal attention. They are very good, even with slightly woody supermarket be…

Creamy Spinach or Beet Greens with Roasted Beets ♥

Today's vegetable recipe, a quick side dish or even a light main course: Spinach leaves or beet greens cooked gently with a little cream, combined with roasted beet. Simple as can be, way more than the sum of its parts!

~recipe & photo updated 2013 & 2015~
~more recently updated recipes~
Original 2007 Post: As so often happens in the kitchen, 'fusion' recipes can be utterly delicious.

A. Beets were on sale for $1 a pound so I bought a bunch to make borscht. Oh my, do you make borscht? I must, more often! Anyway I roasted some extra beets my favorite way, not sure where they'd end up, beyond the first beet which always gets eaten straight from the oven.

B. Ever since making these baked eggs (also called 'shirred eggs', my friend food stylist Linda Behrends reminded me recently) I've been captivated by what happens when you cook a handful of spinach in cream or half 'n' half.

A + B = C, a delicious new side dish! And fast and easy and a keep…

Kitchen Parade Extra: Chicken Sybil ♥

Say hello to Chicken Sybil, the chicken with so many variations it's got, ahem, multiple personalities. (Clever name, yes? Many thanks to my cousin Lynda, who came up with a list of fun names for what I knew would become a special recipe!)

It's another Kitchen Parade concept recipe, a base recipe that's a winner all on its own but easy to adapt for taste preferences, what's in season and what's on hand. For a year, I've made this two or three times a month, never the same twice. It makes up in just minutes, adapts easily for serving just one or two -- and is a hit every time I serve it, for myself or for others.

Trust me, please, this is chicken you'll make for supper again and again! Even my neighbor Lisa, whose husband produces most family meals, feels like a star whenever she makes this and it gets her seeking out favorite new ingredients, like black bean sauce.

Where's that recipe again? In this week's Kitchen Parade column, of course!


Kitchen Para…

Quick Side: Browned Cabbage with Mustard & Horseradish ♥

Kitchen accidents are something to avoid: dull knives that slip and slice fingers, hot liquid that explodes in a too-full blender.

This easy vegetable side dish, however, is the result of a happy kitchen accident.

The phone rang just as I dumped the onion and the first of the cabbage into the hot pan. With the portable out of reach, I answered in my next-door office -- without thinking to turn off the heat. Oops. Ten minutes later the onion and cabbage had browned-browned-browned, so much I wondered if they'd be salvageable for supper. Happy accident indeed, the browned-browned-browned cabbage and onions, mixed with mustard and horseradish, were sooo good!

And why do I say 'browned-browned-browned', aside from the obvious answer of color? Well you see, I've been reading my new favorite Harold McGee. And thanks to the eminently readable guru of food science, I now know that technically, only butter and brown sugar caramelize, whereas meats and vegetables brown -- via what…

Easy Supper: Pasta with Fresh Garbanzo Beans, Olives & Bacon ♥

Garbanzo beans aka chickpeas. For good reason, they're rarely found fresh, only dried and canned. That's because they take forever to extract from their pods, an hour per pound and then yielding only a couple of scant cups of fresh beans! Before launching this task, I recommend a friend to help, a cold drink to savor and a shady spot on a hot summer day ... then settling in to simply enjoy. There's no rushing this job, it's not hard, just tedious.

But tasty? Indeed! The wrinkled-brain peas come one or two to a pod, some large and white and woody (toss these) and some small and underdeveloped (these too). And they're good raw, if a little raw-tasting.

For cooking, I tried them steamed with a little butter (good!) but used most in this easy pasta supper. I also tried sautéeing them with the bacon but they really didn't cook enough that way, the liquid seems very important, plus the bacon flavor overpowered the delicate fresh flavor.

Oh. And don't worry abou…

Quick Quick: Yummy Lunch Cake ♥

What, you think it's still January and I'm already back to baking again?! Not yet! (And yes, I'm calling this a "lunch cake" because I know us, Dear Veggie Venturers, most days we'd rather eat cake. Well, here's a way to have our cake, ahem, and eat it too.)

My friend Karen from FamilyStyle Food recommended it, a simple rice cake (or in this cake, a corn cake) with a little peanut butter. It's perfect for an mid-afternoon pick-me-up or a supper-won't-be-ready-for-an-hour snack.

I like both these products. The corn cakes taste good, better than I remember rice cakes tasting. And I love-love-love the new Peter Pan no-sugar-added (and thus low carb, just 2 grams of carb per tablespoon) peanut butter. It's got more calories than my usual Peter Pan or Jiffy reduced-fat peanut butter but is so much more peanuty-tasting and satisfying. It's terrific for breakfasts all winter long, in my famous (?!) oatmeal.


FROM THE ARCHIVES Occasionally I featur…

Kitchen Parade Archive: Light 'n' Easy Chocolate Pudding ♥

Sugar High Friday, oh sigh. It's the frenzy of sweet goodness, this month, of chocolate goodness, for goodness sake, and according to a man who knows his chocolate, chef, cookbook author and Parisian food blogger David Lebovitz. (My next trip to Paris? I'm definitely completely SO going to do a David Lebovitz chocolate tour.)

I fussed, I fumed. What to make? It's January, people, and I don't know about you, but I'm still working off Christmas cookies. I'm not ready, yet, to give way to indulgences even if my will power is weakening. And other Sugar High Friday contributors will tease and tempt with extraordinary chocolate creations that will have us all ooo- and ahhh-ing.

And so, here it is, my simple contribution, a simple stove-top pudding from a 2005 Kitchen Parade column, published online for the first time. It makes up in mere minutes, with only five ingredients that are likely already in your pantry. It's a creamy bite of warm (or if you can wait! cool…

Mashed Turnip & Apple ♥

Come winter, mashed root vegetables have a special appeal.

This is nothing more than turnip and apple mashed with a little white wine -- and simply lovely. The technique calls for mashing and then moving to the oven -- I tried skipping the oven step but found the wine a little harsh. The whole dish mellowed, somehow, during 30 minutes in the oven. It's worth the time.

Be aware that supermarkets some times mislabel rutabagas, calling them 'turnips'. Purple-topped turnips have purple-to-magenta skins on the stem ends. For a picture comparison, see this post at StephenCooks. Still, don't worry too much about mixing them up since mashed rutabagas and apples are good too.

The recipe is inspired by one of my favorite 'new' cookbooks, This Good Food, Contemporary French Vegetarian Recipes from a Monastery Kitchen -- even though it's a castoff from my friend Anne when she and her husband redid their kitchen and 'cleared out'. The recipes are spare and simple a…

Easy Side: Carrots with African Spices

These are simple chunks of carrot braised in garlic and spices and broth/water. The spice combination is lovely, especially brightened by citrus.

I do recommend taking 2 - 3 minutes to peel and slice whole carrots. The "baby" carrots that come in bags (which aren't young carrots at all, just big carrots shaped small and marketed beautifully) have little flavor when cooked. [Don't believe me? Believe SlashFood.]

Kitchen Parade Extra: One Recipe, Two Quick Suppers

It's Quick Supper time again in this week's Kitchen Parade column, one of my very favorite suppers -- two of my favorite suppers actually for there are at least two very different outcomes from one recipe. Both are fast and nourishing, cheap and satisfying, fresh and flavorful. I've been trying to figure out if I like one more than the other. You try, you decide!


Kitchen Parade is great source for Quick Suppers and Concept Recipes. If you're watching Weight Watchers points and calories after the holidays, Kitchen Parade can help. Counting carbs? Kitchen Parade has low-carb recipes too.


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; including
lots of long-time favoritefamily recipesmy best kitchen tipsplus special sections for Weight Watchers and low carb recipes. If you'd like Kitchen Parade colum…

Quick Side: Sugar Snap Peas with Soy Sauce

Some times, spare and simple fill the bill. And that's the only way to describe these sugar snap peas, cooked in 10 minutes flat.

NUTRITION NOTES Low Cal. Low Carb. Perfect for continuing post-holiday penance. The really good thing, if you have the hungries, is that sugar snap peas really have to be chewed, one by one.

NEXT TIME These were good but not as memorable as these Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon.

Easy Weekend Breakfast: Baked Eggs in Cream with Spinach ♥

How to cook eggs in ramekins, "shirred" eggs they're called or just "baked" eggs. I've added spinach and cream and so this "tastes" much more like an indulgence than it is.
I sooo wanted this recipe from the January issue of Gourmet to be delicious! And it is, it is!

I will definitely make these baked eggs -- also called 'shirred eggs' -- again, for one or two or even for brunch for guests. For brunch, I'd do the prep in advance, everything except dropping in the eggs.

Each serving has only 2 net carbs so it's perfect for South Beach, Atkins and other low-carb eaters. And while the eggs and cream do add up to 5 Weight Watchers points, it does have protein calories vs only fat/carb calories in a muffin; this means it should 'last' longer.

I will try half and half another time, just to see, which drops the point count to 3. But to my taste, these baked eggs are definitely 'worth' 5 points.

St. Louis Restaurant Reviews: Sofia Bistro

While St. Louis hosts a growing collection of great restaurants, my own visits are rare enough that when eating out, I prefer to simply enjoy. So when a friend raved about a favorite restaurant last month, I asked if she might write an occasional restaurant review for A Veggie Venture. She agreed! Please welcome the first St. Louis restaurant review from the Foodie Patootie, an A+ recommendation for Sofia Bistro, a neighborhood spot in the UCity/Clayton area. Enjoy ...

UPDATE: Sorry, Sofia Bistro is no longer open.
Dear Husband and I ate at a terrific restaurant again in December: Sofia Bistro. It's at the corner of Jackson and Pershing in U. City, near Clayton. It was probably our 12th time eating there. We just love it there, and the food, and we want to see them succeed - they deserve it.

Sofia's is a neighborhood restaurant - cozy, warm, and you can actually hear each other without straining. Parking isn't a problem; reservations are easy to get. We like it best on w…

Baked Pasta with Ham, Tomatoes & Peas ♥

Honestly, I didn't expect to write about this pasta dish, even though it's my new 'go to' recipe for baked pasta and completely delicious. But when Kevin the Comic of Seriously Good invited food bloggers to join the only annual mac'n'cheese off, I pulled the second dish out of the freezer.

Braised Cauliflower with Three-Seed Sauce

Welcome to the New Year! Has anyone else been indulging? Me too. For the next while, A Veggie Venture is slimming down. Look for low-calorie and/or low-carb vegetables for the whole month of January.
With a vengeance, people seem to love the cookbook, Vegan with a Vengeance. So I just had to try it myself even if my 'status' is former vegetarian and current committed carnivore. I ignored the recipes that call for TVP and other processed ingredients (there aren't many) to focus on the same ones which would catch my eye in any cookbook or food magazines, the simple recipes with short lists of easily available 'real-food' ingredients.

This (quick? no!) braise of spices, cauliflower and tomato is first up. It was good, even if spartan for a vegetarian supper; over rice, however, it might really hit the spot.

I did find the timing off: the recipe said the cauliflower should cook covered for 5 minutes, then uncovered for another 5. After the specified 10 minutes, the tom…

Perfect Pan-Fried Broccoli ♥ Recipe

This recipe for cooking broccoli in a skillet comes from Cook's Illustrated. And lest you think that "pan-fried" means frying the broccoli in lots of fat, think again. This recipe uses just a single tablespoon of fat for a whole pound of broccoli! If it were me, I would call the recipe "heat-fried" broccoli because the skillet is brought to a hot-hot-hot temperature.
~recipe & photo updated & republished 2013~
~more recently updated recipes~
ORIGINAL POST Bye bye 2006. Hello 2007. Bye bye Christmas cookies. Hello ... broccoli. But if you too are coming off a sugary, buttery holiday high, this delicious pan-fried broccoli will make the trip back to real-life food really easy. I'm willing to bet it's one we'll all make again and again. I know I will.

I call the recipe "perfect" pan-fried broccoli because it is slightly adapted from the "test til it's perfect" folks at Cook's Illustrated. I keep old issues nearby bec…