Posts

Showing posts from August, 2007

Fresh Tomato & Basil Stuffed Peppers ♥

Stuff me! That's what every vegetable is shouting right now. And I'm listening!

Earlier this week, I stuffed eight-ball zucchini with rice 'n' stuff but these are a whole 'nother take, peppers with fresh tomato and other garden goodness.

SAN MARZANO TOMATOES For the first time, I found fresh San Marzano tomatoes. They have the meatiness of a Roma so are good for stuffing. And taste-wise they are VERY good -- I can't put my finger on it, but they are definitely different, startlingly so at first, then you just want to gobble them up and can't really tell.

KITCHEN NOTES The muddled-red peppers looked pretty but the green ones tasted better. Look for 'squatty' versus 'tall' peppers that are easier to stuff and stand upright.

NEXT TIME Next time I'll use smaller peppers, like a side dish, since one big pepper isn't all that appetizing to eat whole. I'll also chop the tomatoes so they pack better into the peppers.


FROM THE ARCHIVES See th…

Eight Ball Stuffed Zucchini ♥

What is it about late summer that all of a sudden I want to cook with vegetables again? For two, maybe three months, assembling vegetables into quick salads and side vegetables has been satisfying. But suddenly, I want more!

But not more complicated! These took only 20 minutes to assemble (oh wait, am I still assembling?!) and another 20 in the oven. The eight-ball 'round' zucchini are very tasty and perfect for stuffing -- no real recipe required but I'll share what I did because it was very good.

The basics would work for any stuffing. Scoop out the zucchini, steam them upside down for six or seven minutes, then stuff and toss into the oven to finish cooking and warm the contents. Yum ... a great vegetarian supper.

HOMEMADE BOURSIN I intended to use Boursin, the creamy-garlicky stuff from the grocery, as a binder. But -- what ARE they thinking? -- the stuff is selling at my local supermarket for $7.69 for 4.4 ounces which is a ridiculous $28 a pound. Forget that!!! I bought…

Low-Carb Vegetable Recipes

If you're a low-carb dieter, you're going to love
A Veggie Venture's
brand-new home for

low-carb vegetable recipes.

It's been re-organized but you'll find all your favorite low-carb vegetable recipes from before.

Plus -- especially good news for regular visitors -- it's completely up-to-date so there are dozens and dozens of new recipes easily accessible for the first time!


The new page is also easy to find - see it there? right at the top of every page!

Regular visitors know that there are so many vegetable recipes on A Veggie Venture, without organization, it would be hard to find 'the' recipe, you know, the quick one for supper or the perfect one for a special meal.

To make all my vegetable recipes easy to find in a flash (I always imagine someone ready to leave work, planning a grocery stop and wondering what quick vegetable to make for supper), in the last while, I've also created special sections for microwave vegetable recipes and quick vegetable rec…

Chard & Chickpeas with Feta ♥

An unexpected benefit of tracking what vegetables are fresh in Maine is the reminder that certain inexpensive, readily available and super-healthful vegetables are woefully unpopulated in what is approaching 800 vegetable recipes, chard, say. It just goes to show that even someone who's obsessed captivated by vegetables has to pay attention too.

Enter this easy-to-prepare, adaptable and tasty vegetarian supper. The greens (essentially Greek Greens) could even be cooked a day or two in advance, making supper itself a real snap.

NEXT TIME I'll add lemon zest, maybe some roasted pepper, hmm, red maybe or maybe poblano. I might also saute the stems to toss in, maybe more onion and oh, say, some leftover rotisserie chicken. This is also a great way to use up odds and ends of leftover vegetables at the end of the week, whatever's on hand. It's a great 'concept recipe'.

CALORIE NOTES Again and again I'm surprised by how many calories live in those diet-tasting chick…

Fresh Crowder Peas (NOT Black-eyed Peas) ♥

Ever wonder how to cook those crowder peas you find at the farmers market? This is a great place to start, just cook the peas in salted water, then toss in a vinaigrette. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".
BACK IN 2007 When I first wrote this post, I repeated what I'd heard from the farmer at the farmers market, that crowder peas and "black-eyed peas" and "cowpeas" are all the same thing. Whoa, bad idea! Readers quickly let me know the farmer (and therefore I) was completely wrong! Let it be said: Crowder peas and black-eyed peas and cowpeas are NOT the same thing! Okay? So sorry!

Back then, it took me all of 17 minutes to shell that pound of fresh crowder peas. But I fussed and fumed the entire time. "Why is this taking so long?" and "Nobody's ever going to make these, they take too long." But somehow, as the minutes passed, these old-fashioned peas got me to thinking in a way, say, gorgeous French radishes did not.

How far …

It's Time to Start Slow-Roasting Tomatoes

Enter Year Three of my dedication (um, obsession?) of capturing the taste of summer for winter in the form of slow-roasted tomatoes. The secret combination of time (slow) and temperature (low) were discovered two years ago here on A Veggie Venture but are revealed to Kitchen Parade's print readers for the first time in this week's column all about how to make slow-roasted tomatoes!


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 recipes feature easy-to-find i…

Vegetables Are Scary!

Just a little back-to-school silliness, playing along with Freddie and his mum, who are in the middle of their very own Great Big Vegetable Challenge.

Want to play along? They want your vegetable faces!












How to eat more vegetables? A Veggie Venture is the home of Veggie Evangelist Alanna Kellogg and the award-winning source of free vegetable recipes with 800 quick and easy favorite vegetable recipes, the Alphabet of Vegetables, Weight Watchers low-point recipes and microwave vegetable recipes.

Roasted Baby Eggplant Halves with Herbs ♥

Today's simple-simple summer eggplant recipe, one to make again and again when fresh herbs are abundant and eggplant are plump and oh-so-pretty. Weight Watchers PointsPlus 3. Low Carb. Gluten Free. Paleo. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".
~recipe updated from the Recipe Box, first posted 2007!~
~more recently updated recipes~
WAY BACK IN 2007 Some cooks, you just admire, they just make it all look so effortless - post after post, that's my reaction to the food cooked by Ilva of Lucullian Delights, who seems to pull ingredient combinations from the air, often making me wonder, Now why didn't I think of that?

Her Very Herby Eggplants sent me scurrying to the grocery for baby eggplant. (You see, I want to encourage the aim-to-please produce manager at my local supermarket, even if I suggested Japanese eggplant and she ordered baby eggplant and then put them at $3 a pound beside globe eggplant for $1 a pound. But hey! It seems eggplant sells at that price, for the …

Summer Borscht ♥

Wouldn't you say this cold borscht is perfect for Race for the Cure, yes?! What a color! And it turned even pinker than shown after sitting for a day -- yes, that's pink.

For winter, there's no beating a steaming bowl of hot beet soup (borscht). But it's too heavy and hot for summer. But cold beet soup, lightened with cucumber, now that's perfect summer food and made for a great light vegetarian supper -- and for the record, is my contribution to Festa Al Fresco 2007, a virtual patio party, hosted again this year by Cream Puffs in Venice and La Mia Cucina.

Once the beets were cooked, something easy to do entirely unattended, the soup itself made up in a flash. The inspiring recipe suggested waiting 24 hours to serve, but I thought it was fine the first night but yes, it improved some after the flavors had a chance to meld.

TOO MUCH SOUR CREAM? The inspiring recipe called for a full 16 ounces of sour cream, which made me wonder if it would taste like big spoonfuls of,…

OOO Zesty Green Beans ♥

In this the third summer of an unflagging obsession with vegetables, the season's surprise love affair is with ... beans. Yes, beans.

Ah sure, I've always liked beans. It's just that given a choice, until now I'd choose nearly anything else over beans. No more. Beans are beautiful! Beans are the best! Beans are ... okay, you're probably getting my new love interest, yes? (I've even recruited 'bean look-outs', friends who're tasting beans from various places and reporting especially good ones. )

What changed? My theory (which requires extensive further taste-testing) is that beans simply taste better when well salted. Salt makes beans, well, beans.

Enter Super Natural Cooking from fellow food blogger Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks, which adds both lemon and lime zest to the equation. Swoon.

NEXT TIME Those little OOOs are cute but fiddly. Next time I'll send them through the slicer in the food processor, though they won't be half so cute that way…

Great Brunch Recipe: Tomato Basil Quiche

Who collects great brunch recipes, especially ones that can be completely or partially prepared the night before? This tomato basil quiche, from a 2003 Kitchen Parade column that's published online for the first time, is a real favorite, one I've served summer and winter for many years. Here's the recipe for tomato basil quiche.

And if you're looking for still more ideas, here's my collection of great brunch recipes from Kitchen Parade columns.


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 ar…

Cream of Zucchini Soup ♥

Julia Child's "master recipe" for a no-cream cream soup, the base is made with onion and rice and is surprisingly full-flavored and rich-tasting. Here, I used Julia's master recipe to make Cream of Zucchini Soup but the same base can be used for other "Cream of" Vegetable Soups too. Just 100 calories per cup!
Until food blogging, I learned all I knew about Julia Child from Saturday Night Live caricatures so honestly, just don't share the typical foodie reverence of all-things-Julia. To celebrate Julia Child's birthday on August 15th, I decided to dip my little finger into the big mixing bowl that is Julia Child.

Lucky! My friend Linda sent me home with a Julia Child cookbook – signed by none other than Julia Child herself!! Linda also shared a new perspective on Julia Child, one different than the boozy and wheedling woman at the stove in my mind. At culinary conferences, Linda reports, Julia was just another foodie and just another cook, albeit a…

Kitchen Parade Extra: Cottage Cheese Pie ♥

Call it my Personal Peach Protest.

You see, if ever there's a lesson on the tension between reward and risk when relying on local food sources, for me it's the peach, the glorious orbs of summer that emerge -- most years, but not in 2007 -- from the peach orchards of Missouri and Illinois, completely within the oh-so-chic 100-mile-diet locavore radius of my home in St. Louis. Although perfect fruit from elsewhere is piled high in the grocery, this year I'm putting my peach dollars into another local product, cottage cheese. Read about it in this week's Kitchen Parade column.

Oh! And this is Kitchen Parade's first recipe in the brand-new 'kitchen' -- so worth an extra gander!


SO WHAT IS KITCHEN PARADE? 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 in…

Melon, Blueberry & Feta Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette ♥

A simple but special summer salad, watermelon balls and blueberries tossed in a gorgeous lime and honey vinaigrette. So summery!

Fresh & Seasonal. A Summer Classic. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Scales from Small Plates to Large Platters. Vegetarian. Naturally Gluten Free.

Watermelon, Cucumber & Feta Salad ♥

Today's summer salad recipe: A summery watermelon salad, one of summer's classic salad treats, an easy no-measuring-required combination of sweet ripe melon, crisp cucumber, a touch of savory onion and crumbles of salty feta. With good watermelon, this salad is way more than the sum of its parts!

Fresh & Seasonal. A Summer Classic. Great for Last-Minute Supper Salad. Easy Weeknight Salad. Low Carb. Low Fat. Weight Watchers Friendly. Vegetarian. Naturally Gluten Free.

More News!

For all who follow my food column, Kitchen Parade -- well, it's got a brand-new 'kitchen'!

Check out the new digs, finally, over at KitchenParade.com!


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 recipes feature easy-to-find ingredients, clear instructions and because I believe so strongly in informed food choices, nutrition analysis and Weight Watchers points. Want to know more? Explore the brand-new Kitchen Parade, including Kitchen Parade's Recip…

Ripe-Tomato Relish with Peaches & Pears ♥
aka Sharon's Pickle

Today's vegetable recipe: Our old-old family recipe for Ripe-Tomato Relish. It’s a day’s production but there’s nothing the least it “hard” about it either. My mom and I used to make this together, now I manage it alone and it’s so very satisfying, hearing the canning jars go “pop” and storing away jars for later. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".
Ripe-Tomato Relish is almost but not quite as thick as chutney. It's made from perfect summer tomatoes, peaches and pears. Even with fruit and sugar, it’s a savory relish, not a sweet jam.

In my family, we call Ripe-Tomato Relish "Sharon's Pickle" because my cousin Sharon has loved it so much for so long. The recipe comes from her Grandma Miller so it's now in at least the third generation. I need to work on the fourth generation, who are busy bearing babies aka the fifth generation!

Ripe-Tomato Relish is spectacular paired with pork, especially. But I often throw a tablespoon or two into chicken salad…

Delicious Microwave Sweet Potato ♥

Today's microwave recipe: How to cook a sweet potato in the microwave. It's quick-quick and easy, whether for a fast at-home or office-kitchen lunch or a vegetable for supper.
I didn't mean to mislead. So many readers have clicked on 'microwave sweet potato' -- but wait! don't waste a click, that link leads only to a review of a plastic-wrapped 'microwave sweet potato' that costs twice as much and just isn't necessary.

It is so easy to cook a regular sweet potato in the microwave. It's my new go-to lunch! Plus since so many offices have microwaves, this could be a great lunch for work, too - though beware, it takes 10 minutes (or more) to cook a sweet potato in a microwave so might violate office etiquette during prime 'leftover reheat' times.

The source of this microwave technique for cooking sweet potatoes is the always reliable Vegetable Love by Barbara Kafka. Her vegetable cookbook is just so completely thorough! Barbara writes tha…

Fresh Tomato Sauce ♥

How to make tomato sauce, not for canning, but fresh for supper. Make it with summer's best tomatoes and eat it straight-away, still warm from the stove, laced with the essence of basil.
WAY BACK IN 2007 In the years I was digging my roots as a cook, I had the great fortune to move to Texas – nothing to do with Texas itself and everything to do with the fact that my mother's best friend from grade school lived all of two miles away. Phyllis and her husband tucked me under their culinary wings and on occasion, I'd spend a Sunday on a stool in their working gourmet kitchen, some times helping, mostly wide-eyed and soaking up the possibilities: I'd never heard of the stove-maker Viking, had never known a house with two ovens let alone a third dedicated as a warming oven, didn't know that pastry rolls out best on stone-cold marble.

So I have a whole collection of recipes bearing Phyllis' name. This is one. You'll see, it's not fancy food (though Phyllis …