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Showing posts from June, 2007

Kitchen Parade Extra: Parmesan Chicken ♥

July 1 is Canada Day and July 4 is, well, the 4th of July! And that means long weekends at the cottage, family picnics and neighborhood potlucks, hometown parades and of course, the fireworks.

To celebrate, here's a 2003 column for a long-time family favorite, Parmesan Chicken, published online for the first time. Parmesan Chicken is so perfect for summer, quick, easy, make-ahead, good hot or cold, as is or atop a salad or tucked into a sandwich. I made it recently for family visitors and oh, it was so convenient to have on hand.

And it's time to stock the frig with refrigerator salads, ones that mix up in a flash, travel well and feed a crowd. Here are some favorites:

Confetti Potato Salad Made with both sweet potatoes and white potatoes, also without mayonnaise so perfect for outdoor

Holy Slaw! A coleslaw with an unusual dressing that's a real hit all the time, made with peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and a bit of heat

Bloody Mary Salad Tomato-y gelatin packed wi…

The How & Why Guide to Growing Garlic at Home

I was feeling so proud ~ my first home-grown garlic! It's been a long row to hoe, as they say ...

MY FIRST ATTEMPT TO GROW GARLIC: THE LATE & LAME WAY I read somewhere - FarmGirl, perhaps? - that it is simple to grow garlic, just stick it in the ground and a few months later, harvest it. But thanks to perennial, ahem, garden procrastination, the garlic got into the ground late. I missed the fall planting, suddenly it was late winter, okay yes it was really early spring. (We plant nearly everything else in the spring, why not garlic?)

Standing next to the herb garden ready to plant, I wondered, Should I plant the cloves or the head? Dumb, dumb! Rather than look it up or give it any real thought or even ask a Smart Fifth Grader, I stuck the head into the ground and hoped for the best.

MY SECOND ATTEMPT TO GROW GARLIC: THE LAZY WAY Late last fall with snow about to fly, I stuck a few cloves (yes, that's right, you plant the cloves!) into a big pot on the patio, figuring that th…

Easy Salsa Dressing ♥

So yes, we could chop tomato and onion and peppers and then spice to taste. Or we could just make a great salad dressing from a jar of salsa!

And did I mention that I'm loving Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless? One more reason is that it includes sooo many recipes for unusual salad dressings. Some are a little more complicated. Others, like this, are no brainers.

NUTRITION NOTES I 'watered' the dressing a bit to create no-calorie volume and reduced the oil. So each tablespoon of dressing has zero points -- though 2 tablespoons does add up to a point. It was so easy and tastes great.


FROM THE ARCHIVES Check the Recipe Box for salad dressing recipes.

TWO YEARS AGO I was on vacation but featured a 2003 Kitchen Parade that just happens -- how lucky is this? -- three favorite salad dressings!

GREAT FOOD BLOGS that also USE SALSA in SALAD DRESSING
Kalyn's Kitchen ... South west Chicken Salad with Chipotle Ranch Dressing
The Savory Notebook ... Mexican Chicken Salad with Chipotle Sal…

Custard with Rhubarb Sauce ♥

There's not a year that doesn't pass without serving this easy custard and rhubarb at least once. It's a favorite to take along to dinner with friends -- it's an old-fashioned treat but everyone loves it, especially rhubarb lovers! The custard is made on the stovetop and with whole milk (half & half and cream are too rich) so it's even, as desserts go, a healthy dessert recipe.
~recipe & photo updated and republished 2011~
~more recently updated recipes~
2007: We remember that rhubarb's a vegetable, right? Thank goodness -- otherwise, what lengths might a certain Veggie Evangelist be forced to take in order to eat vegetables for dessert?

All by itself, rhubarb sauce is one of the simplest of all luscious desserts. Pair it with a creamy stovetop custard, and, oh my, heaven in a bowl. Yet they're both so simple to make. With time to spare for kitchen busy-ness, I made both the custard and the sauce in 35 minutes -- and it would have taken maybe 25 if…

Cauliflower Refrigerator Pickles ♥

So if we have Those Pink Potatoes and That Pink Salad, why not These Pink Cauliflower Refrigerator Pickles?

Actually, the pink here is entirely optional. I hoped to capture the beautiful radish color (pink and purple and magenta from Easter Egg radishes -- thanks to reader Snowpea for the identification! Instead, like a stray red sock that gets into a load of white, the cauliflower 'sheets' turned pink. Oh well! They 'sleep' just fine.

NEXT TIME
I will remember to strain the hot liquid before pouring it over the blanched cauliflower. That, I suspect, will eliminate some of the cloudiness that would be especially apparent if it weren't for the pink color. I will plan ahead to match the vegetable and herb/flavor with more care. I'm not sure cauliflower and ginger are a hot match. But carrots and ginger? That would be good. I will double the sugar for a less sour result.


FROM THE ARCHIVES For more cauliflower recipes, see the Recipe Box. There are cucumbers, peppers…

Kitchen Parade Extra: Those Pink Potatoes ♥

From this week's Kitchen Parade column:

"Summers back, friends hosted a backyard potluck, convening spirited folk from the different corners of their lives. The midsummer night was steamy, the kids rambunctious, the trees a rainbow of colored light, the Jimmy Buffet dulcet. Food-wise, the talk of the party was the ‘pink potatoes’ ..."

What makes potatoes pink? For the rest of the column and the recipe for Those Pink Potatoes and That Pink Salad (a family favorite with an addictive bite), read this week's Kitchen Parade column.


SO WHAT IS KITCHEN PARADE, EXACTLY? Kitchen Parade is the food column that my Mom started writing for our family newspaper when I was a baby. Today it's published in my hometown newspapers in suburban St. Louis and features 'fresh seasonal recipes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences'.

Where A Veggie Venture is 'pure food blog', full of experimentation and exploration, Kitchen Parade features recipes a mo…

How to Use a Japanese Mandoline (Benriner)

For a couple of years now, I've experimented with various mandoline-type slicing tools, including several hand-held ones (this one actually works but it was a freebie my sister received in the mail) and a couple of $30 - $50 'sliding slicers'.

Finally, I found the one I love! (Thanks to Karen from FamilyStyle Food for the recommendation!) It's a Japanese-style benriner, some times called a Japanese mandoline (or mandolin) or an Asian mandoline (or mandolin), some times called a V-Slicer.

Me, I call it extraordinarily handy in the kitchen, especially for transforming raw vegetables into perfectly thin and perfectly versions of themselves -- often this makes them edible (and enjoyable) uncooked, but for cooking small size means fast cooking.

In 2005, it was a technique for aggressively trimming broccoli that was 'life transforming' - at least the vegetable area of my life! In 2007, it's the Benriner that allows two of my four tips for transforming mundane vege…

Beet Pesto ♥

Today's Unusual Pesto Recipe: Pesto made from beets, with no added fat and piles of flavor and color. You might call this pesto, you might call it a beet spread or a beet appetizer. But I'm willing to bet, you will call it delicious!
~recipe & photo updated 2012~
~more recently updated recipes~
2007 ORIGINAL POST A special welcome to the CSA shareholders at Wolf Pine Farm in Alfred, Maine, serving Portland and the surrounding area. This is a big week for shareholders: the season's much-awaited first deliveries! (For faithful A Veggie Venture readers: What is Wolf Pine Farm? It's a Community-Supported Agriculture/CSA farm whose members buy 'shares' in exchange for weekly deliveries of glorious fresh vegetables, herbs and flowers throughout an entire season.)

In 2007, Wolf Pine Farm, Maine food blogger StephenCooks and A Veggie Venture join forces to provide easy access to vegetable recipes. Each week, a special Wolf Pine Farm page will list the week's sh…

Fresh Green Bean Salad with Asian Dressing ♥

Today's gorgeous summer salad recipe: A re-invention of that old picnic favorite, the green bean salad. Here, start with fresh green beans, toss them in an Asian-inspired dressing, then top with soy-glazed nuts. Vegan. Delicious!
On Saturday, my street had its first neighborhood potluck in 16 years. On a decidedly steamy and buggy Missouri afternoon, we gathered in a back yard to meet newcomers and greet long-timers. Many thanks to Ed, Molly and Ellen for making it happen!

(All very neighborly, Alanna, but for the rest of us, what about the food?) Right. The food!

My contribution was a green bean salad made from fresh green beans, a welcome "whole vegetable" contrast to bowls of box-store creamy coleslaw and gloppy potato salad. My neighbors' unsolicited comments demonstrate how distinct the individual flavors remain, even as they meld together for something quite unusual:

"We loooove cilantro!"
"I taste sesame oil!"
"Oh the garlic!"…

Lemon Mint Cucumber Water ♥

One of the basic tenets of Weight Watchers is to make sure to get enough to drink. So I make it a habit when I take a five-minute move-a-bit break every hour or so, to drink a glass of water. The tap water here is good so there's no need to 'doctor' it except for a little variation. And I'm liking this water -- just slices of lemon and cucumber and mint -- but some times, just cucumber too.


FROM THE ARCHIVES Drinks are rare here -- we need to fix that! My favorite is the cucumber lemonade served when Nupur of One Hot Stove and her husband visited for the first time while on a house-hunting trip. There are piles of cucumber recipes in the Recipe Box.


PRINT JUST A RECIPE! Now you can print a recipe without wasting ink and paper on the header and sidebar. Here's how.

NEVER MISS A RECIPE! For 'home delivery' of new recipes from A Veggie Venture, sign up here. Once you do, new recipes will be delivered, automatically, straight to your e-mail In Box.
LEMON MINT CUCUM…

First Tomatoes! ♥

Get out the champagne! (Or perhaps more fittingly, just a glass of cold water ...)

Slow down. Sit back. Savor. And do enjoy ...

And please forgive my silliness. I was just so pleased to see the first home-grown, vine-ripened and just-picked tomatoes at the Wednesday market last night!

This is the third year to celebrate perfect summer tomatoes -- yes I really do keep a special section for recipes that absolutely call for summer's best tomatoes!

In the first year, I discovered My First Panzanella("How did I get to be ?? years old without panzanella? All those wasted years!?"). In the second year, it was a recipe for gazpacho that sent me over the top ("all about the flavor of wonderful local tomatoes ..."). Now at the start of the third year, what shall it be ... ideas, anyone?


PRINT JUST A RECIPE! (Though I promise, this doesn't qualify!) Now you can print a recipe without wasting ink and paper on the header and sidebar. Here's how.

NEVER MISS A RECIPE…

Roasted Asparagus with Anise ♥

By this time of the year, we've all had our fill of asparagus.

Except me! As much as I appreciate the beautiful St. Louis-grown asparagus, I love that good asparagus can be found at the grocery store both "before" and "after" our own growing season. There are just so many great ways to cook asparagus.

And when it comes to fat-fat spears of asparagus, oh they're so good roasted! This is another simple treatment, just anise seed and salt and pepper. The anise draws something unexpected out of the asparagus -- and no, it's not 'licorice' or even licorice flavor. It's a keeper.

See the little white bowl? A year ago Christmas, a very generous Santa gave me a gift certificate to Cornucopia, the kitchen shop located in my little hometown downtown. A gift certificate turned out to be the perfect choice for a 'cook who has everything', or at least, everything she really wants. I've been surprised by the usefulness of the small mortar and pes…

Lima Bean Hummus ♥

Hummus is such a favorite quick appetizer. And it's so easy to make homemade hummus!

While hummus is typically made with garbanzo beans -- in fact, last week's Kitchen Parade column includes a recipe for traditional homemade hummus -- it needn't be. This version, inspired by Je Mange la Ville, a lovely food blog based in Portland, Oregon, uses lima beans.

Topped with a little goat cheese and fresh thyme: my book club loved it! And the green color is much welcome compared to the muddy gray of hummus made with garbanzo beans. Aren't those little crostini pretty?

THE HEART OF THE MATTER This is my contribution to an event hosted this month by JoAnna's Food -- and this month featuring, um, yes, vegetables. Hmmm. How hard do you think it was to pick a vegetable recipe to participate in the event? Not too hard, since A Veggie Venture is all vegetable recipes, 100% vegetables and nothing-but-vegetables! But the collection of recipes for the event will be great fun since the …

Simple Arugula Salad ♥

When you're gifted with an abundance of just-pulled-from-the-ground arugula, it's not to be squandered. And so I went looking for new ways to enjoy the late-in-the-season so slightly bitter greens.

Instead, I saw something extraordinarily simple and moved straight to the kitchen.

And honestly, even I feel half silly posting this 'recipe'. But I figure if Gourmet can, and 37 people make comments, it's a winner, even if ever so simple.

But another reason to post, it's a zero-point salad for those who follow Weight Watchers -- and there are never enough of these.


FROM THE ARCHIVES For other ways to use arugula, see the Recipe Box.

TWO YEARS AGO Brushed Eggplant ... "addictively good"


PRINT JUST A RECIPE! Now you can print a recipe without wasting ink and paper on the header and sidebar. Here's how.

NEVER MISS A RECIPE! For 'home delivery' of new recipes from A Veggie Venture, sign up here. Once you do, new recipes will be delivered, automatically, s…

Another Kitchen Parade Quick Supper: Chicken Greek Salad ♥

Summer nights create a thousand reasons to skip supper at home in the kitchen. This week's Kitchen Parade column features an antidote, a 'drive-by' quick supper salad that features one of the world's greatest conveniences, rotisserie chickens.

Plus, if you've ever wondered how to make hummus, the column includes a simple recipe for homemade hummus with canned chickpeas.

Perfect, yes, for a quick supper during summer!


SO WHAT IS KITCHEN PARADE, EXACTLY? Kitchen Parade is the food column that my Mom started writing for our family newspaper when I was a baby. Today it's published in my hometown newspapers in suburban St. Louis and features 'fresh seasonal recipes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences'.

Where A Veggie Venture is 'pure food blog', full of experimentation and exploration, Kitchen Parade features recipes a modern cook can count on. All are thoroughly tested by a home cook in a home kitchen and many are family and re…

Garlicky Bok Choy ♥

While developing the Alphabet of Vegetables, call me surprised to find a hundred carrot recipes and a thousand beet recipes, but no recipes for bok choy! Have I ever cooked bok choy? Maybe not.

Seems I'm not alone. While my food blogging pals regularly cook baby bok choy, the big heads of bok choy (also called Chinese cabbage, bai cai, bok choi and pak choi, according to my source, Jack Bishop) are rare.

It's in the cabbage family but is often treated like a leafy green. I chose to 'start' with something simple, something all about the bok choy. So this is a very basic recipe, just bok choy (local, even!) quick-cooked with garlic and for color, some sliced radish (also local!). Bok choy keeps a bit of its bite when cooked even as radishes soften and sweeten during cooking; they were quite perfect together.

UPDATE (6/14/07) After a little sleuthing, I've become convinced that what I cooked here was not actually bok choy (even if that's what the farmer I bought it f…

Farro with Asparagus & Green Onion Sauce ♥

Today's simple vegetarian supper recipe: Asparagus cooked with the lovely grain called "farro" and topped with a simple and most surprising green onion sauce. My version of Heidi Swanson's recipe has been "lightened" considerably, reducing the calories, carbs and Weight Watchers points.
~recipe & photo updated & reposted 2013~
~more recently updated recipes~
2007 ORIGINAL POST I'm betting that when Heidi Swanson titled her new cookbook Super Natural Cooking, by 'super natural' she meant something other than (1) three hours of afternoon errands (2) feeling oh-so-tempted to pick up supper somewhere, anywhere, on the way home (3) deciding otherwise and (4) then, the payoff, 30 minutes later, sitting down to a fast, delicious and healthful meal. (And colorful! Look at that plate!) In my book, anyway, one definition of 'supernatural' is helping us successfully battle the lure of the drive-through. Thank you, Heidi!

In fact, Heidi did

Pan-Pickled Beets ♥

A bit ago, I participated in academic research attempting to answer, 'Why do people blog?' I paged through dozens of canned responses, waiting to check off something that reflected my own reason, the wealth of learning that accompanies my own blogging efforts.

The 'I blog because I learn, I learn because I blog' concept returned to me tonight while slipping leftover beets through the Benriner , then moving them to a skillet to create, almost without thought, a quick and entirely new way to enjoy beets.

Aha! If we're bored with vegetables or simply want to experience vegetables in new ways, there are several techniques to turn the comfortable and familiar into the fresh and unexpected, terrific ways to turn vegetables upside down, inside out and sideways.

ISOLATE -- or MAKE FRIENDS If we always 'add flavor' to a vegetable (onion, salt and pepper, for example), try it all by itself, just to remember what the vegetable itself tastes like unadorned and unmasked. O…

Kitchen Parade Extra: Easy Summer Appetizers ♥

A warm summer evening is good enough reason to share a glass of wine on the patio. And I like add a quick bite to eat, too, something from the frig that requires zero effort.

Easy appetizers are the subject of a 2003 Kitchen Parade column, published online today for the first time. Red Pepper Crostini, Olivada and Parmesan Crisps -- yes, they're that easy to make and easy to keep on hand for impromptu gatherings.


SO WHAT IS KITCHEN PARADE, EXACTLY? Kitchen Parade is the food column that my Mom started writing for our family newspaper when I was a baby. Today it's published in my hometown newspapers in suburban St. Louis and features 'fresh seasonal recipes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences'.

Where A Veggie Venture is 'pure food blog', full of experimentation and exploration, Kitchen Parade features recipes a modern cook can count on. All are thoroughly tested by a home cook in a home kitchen and many are family and reader favorites. All …