Showing posts from February, 2008

Scalloped Swedes & Finns ♥

Today's vegetable recipe: Scalloped potatoes and rutabagas. A 'concept' recipe. Weight Watchers 3 points.
What, you're worried that a veggie evangelist bears a grudge against Scandinavians? Not me! It's just a little Leap Year fun, something allowed once every four years on the 29th day of February -- but of course, this really is for scalloped swedes & finns because ugly rutabagas have a pretty second name 'swedes' plus the potatoes were of the yellow Finn variety. Besides, a dish this simple, this reliably delicious, this variable -- well, it deserves a clever name, yes? to receive its just due. Happy February 29th, all! May your day stand out!

CONCEPT RECIPE It's easy to 'scallop' root vegetables. Grease the baking dish, then wet the bottom with cream or half & half. Add a layer of thin-slice root vegetables (a Japanese mandoline / benriner helps), another small splash of cream, salt & pepper, a tiny sprinkling of cheese. Repeat as…

Carrot Dip ♥

Today's healthy appetizer recipe: Carrots cooked with cardamom and bay leaf, then puréed with orange syrup and yogurt. Weight Watchers zero points.
Earlier this month, Lara from the beautiful Seattle food blog Cook & Eat shared recipes for some tasty vegetable dips. I could have dipped a chip into any one of Lara's dips but somehow, the simple carrot dip called to me most plaintively.

It was the cooking method: chunks of carrots oven-simmered with cardamom pods and a bay leaf. Oh people, let me tell you, the scent that filled the house was heavenly ...

Even with the cardamom and orange syrup and yogurt, the dip remains distinctively 'carrot', just slightly sweeter, slightly lighter, slightly ... may I say, improved?

~ appetizer & snack recipes ~
~ vegetable dips & spreads ~
~ more carrot recipes ~

~ one year ago this week, my recipe for Homemade Mushroom Soup ~
~ two years ago today, Sun-Dried Tomato & Fennel Salad, the last of a collectio…

Quick Corn & Coconut Soup ♥

Today's soup recipe: Bell pepper and frozen corn warmed in coconut milk and rice milk, spiced with curry and Thai curry paste. Weight Watchers 3 points. Vegan.
Want to eat more vegetables? Cook soup. There are just so many great soup recipes and nearly all of them call for large quantities of vegetables. And even if they don't call for vegetables, adding them is a no-brainer.

Today's soup recipe is inspired by Nava Atlas' new Vegan Express. Her version calls for frozen corn, I substituted an enticing bag of roasted corn from Trader Joe's with my perfect one-item ingredient list: "Corn" -- and grown in Washington State, not in China. The coconut-corn-curry combination really works - especially with a bit of heat from the Thai curry paste.

And it's definitely another quick soup -- just 10 minutes of prep time and on the table in 25 -- and way tastier than a canned soup.

NEXT TIME I prefer soup with more substance so next time I will either use half the liq…

Kohlrabi & Apple Slaw with Creamy Coleslaw Dressing ♥

Step aside, cabbage slaw, there's a new vegetable for slaw in town! The vegetable called "kohlrabi" makes an unusual and refreshing coleslaw, especially paired with tart apple and fresh mint. And this creamy coleslaw dressing? It's made from scratch, whisked by hand in seconds and tastes n-o-t-h-i-n-g like the stuff from a bottle.

Fresh & Seasonal. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Great for Meal Prep. Weight Watchers Friendly. Low Carb. Low Fat. Naturally Gluten Free.

Pepper Sandwiches with Goat Cheese Pepper Spread ♥

Today's product tips: Jarred peppers from the grocery and fresh mini peppers from Costco. Today's recipe: A 'vegged up' ham sandwich with an easy goat cheese-red pepper spread.
Pound for edible pound, fresh peppers are increasingly expensive. Here in St. Louis, the everyday supermarket price ranges from $1.50 to $2.00 a pepper -- per pepper! Demand is high, so sale prices are rare. For a few weeks in early fall, locally grown peppers are plump and plentiful (and cheap, say $.25 each) at the farmers market -- even while the grocery stores are charging the same $1.50 to $2.00 for peppers imported from somewhere. (Wouldn't you know it? This week my local supermarket has peppers on sale for $1 apiece. I bought several!)

So I keep my eyes peeled for pepper products -- and have two to recommend.

JARRED PEPPERS - For $2 to $3, I find jars of (slightly pickled) peppers and jars of roasted peppers. Each jar holds six or more whole peppers, so they'll go a long way. But fo…

Kitchen Parade Extra: Tiapinno ♥

Today at, look for one of my oldest favorite recipes, one for tiapinno, the classic Italian fish stew. It's perfect for meatless Fridays during Lent, also for dieters since a hearty serving has only 3 Weight Watchers points. It's making me hungry, just looking at the photo!

Note to Vegetarians

Who missed last week's recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Cookies? If you learn about new Kitchen Parade recipes via an announcement here on A Veggie Venture (which didn't happen last week, by accident), may I suggest a separate subscription? I'm going to phase out making Kitchen Parade announcements on A Veggie Venture since the two sites have increasingly different readers. Just sign up for Kitchen Parade via e-mail or Kitchen Parade via RSS. Many thanks!

Don't forget the special event for Pi Day the week of March 10 - 14th at

SO WHAT IS KITCHEN PARADE, EXACTLY? Kitchen Parade is the food column that my mom started writing for our family newspa…

Stir-Fried Brown Rice ♥

Today's 'concept' recipe: Cooked brown rice stir-fried with edamame, bell pepper, bok choy, then tossed with tangerine and cashews.
What a great rice dish! With cooked rice using the great oven-baked brown rice from Kitchen Parade, it flew from stove to table in just 15 minutes. I call it a 'concept' recipe because it will adapt easily to what's on hand. But the combination of edamame beans, bell pepper, bok choy, tangerines and cashews was as flavorful as it was colorful, a definite keeper.

THE COOKBOOK Today's recipe comes from the brand-new cookbook from Nava Atlas, Vegan Express. During my vegetarian years, I cooked one recipe after another from Nava's Vegetarian Celebrations; later, it became the one vegetarian cookbook among many that continued to appeal to a new omnivore. I think the new Vegan Express will have similar cross-over appeal, in part because recipes call for ingredients that are 'whole' and 'real' (i.e., no processed …

Meyer Lemon Crème Fraîche Pasta with Broccoli Rabe ♥

An easy, romantic side dish or entrée. Pasta tossed with lemon zest, lemon juice, crème fraîche, Parmesan and broccoli rabe. Vegetarian.
All myfavoriteCaliforniafoodbloggers rave about Meyer lemons, those little 'droplets of California sunshine' that appear in their back yards and roadside orchards this time of year.

Thanks to the miracle of our modern food distribution system -- aka the non-local bandwagon that sustains a 2000-mile diet -- some appeared right here in the middle of the country. Just like that, I snapped up a dozen. Lemon curd, yum. Lemon meringue pie? Oh yes. And now, here, a lemon pasta dish.

If you happen onto Meyer lemons, perfect. But honestly, this recipe is as much about the magical blend of toothsome pasta and slightly bitter broccoli rabe and creamy crème fraîche as lemon. Use any lemon, I think you'll fall in love. (Valentine's Day, anyone?)

HOW TO MAKE CRÈME FRAÎCHE AT HOME Don't waste $5 when all it takes to make crème fraîche at home is a …

High-Fiber & Low-Fiber Vegetables

"All the experts tell us to eat high-fiber vegetables. But which vegetables are high in fiber? Are all vegetables high in fiber? Aren't there low-fiber vegetables too?"

So queried a reader recently, frustrated by nutrition advice long on principle and short on specifics.

For those who follow a high-fiber diet or those wondering how to increase fiber in their diets (or even those who must avoid fiber in their diets), here's a quick reference list of the fiber grams for common vegetables. I hope it becomes a useful reference!

~ Alanna
Quick List
High-Fiber Vegetables

Vegetables with Eight+ Fiber GramsSeven Fiber GramsSix Fiber GramsFive Fiber GramsFour Fiber GramsThree Fiber GramsTwo Fiber GramsOne Fiber GramZero Fiber Grams

About the Fiber Gram Calculations
The vegetable nutrition information here was calculated using Accuchef, which relies on the same USDA database used by all similar nutrition analysis programs. Still, the information here should be considered estima…

Tonight, in One Small Town Called Kirkwood

Tonight, the dog and I walked downtown. It should have been a quiet walk, just footsteps echoing along dark streets. Instead, helicopters throbbed overhead, police cars flashed, television cameras and reporters gathered. The Kirkwood City Hall so many will see on the morning news is just a block from the farmers market where I buy so many of the vegetables you see on this site. The five people who were murdered there tonight, the two police officers, the three city employees, the two who were injured, the mayor critically -- and the gunman, too -- they and their families, they're all from my small town.

But aren't we all from some small town, even those in cities where streets and neighborhoods and buildings are the communities in which we live our lives. Countless times I've sobbed to hear of lives lost to suicide bombers, to natural calamities, to inexpressible tragedies. Tonight I spoke with a man from Lebanon who knows that in the morning, his parents will newly worry…

Lemony Leaves of Love ♥

Today's vegetable recipe: Leaves of Brussels sprouts sautéed with shallot and pistachios, drizzled with Meyer lemon juice. Vegan. Low carb. Weight Watchers 2 points.
I've been captivated by the innovative vegetable recipes in the February issue of Bon Appetit. (Remember the salt-roasted beets?) With this recipe, the magazine promises to convert all who hate Brussels sprouts. Me, I make no such promise but this, for baby-cabbage lovers, is one more good way to cook Brussels sprouts.

The technique is to remove the leaves and discard the cores. Task-wise, this felt like teeeeeeedious prep, sprout by sprout, leaf by leaf, core by core (although a glass of wine might have helped!) and resulted in considerable waste: a generous pound of Brussels sprouts trimmed down to half that.

It also took a good 20 minutes. Some forewarning from the magazine about prep time would have been appreciated, especially since the stated cooking time of 4 minutes created the impression of a 'quick'…

Brown Rice Pancakes ♥

Pancakes for supper, a Shrove Tuesday "Pancake Day" tradition. Here made with cooked brown rice and corn meal and served with a delightful contrast, cranberry sauce or lingonberry sauce.
~recipe & photo updated 2015~
~more recently updated recipes~
2008: We interrupt this recipe for a Missouri weather report: Two January Sundays warm enough for raking leaves in shirt sleeves. And now, two weeks in a row, two 24-hour periods ranging from hot 70s to hard snow. Despite 8 inches of that fluffy white stuff I love just four days ago, yesterday people filled the streets in shorts and t-shirts, and kids, bare feet even – 75 it was.

Faced with such a winter, what's a seasonal cook who chooses salads on summery days and soup on wintry ones to do? Well, on a Tuesday in February, this Tuesday in February, this day before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, whatever the weather, there's just one thing for supper and that's pancakes. It's a Christian tradition but…

Parmesan Sweet Potato Fries with Horseradish Sauce ♥

Today's vegetable recipe: Homemade sweet potato fries. Wedges of fresh sweet potato dusted with chili powder and grated Parmesan, then roasted.
OH MY. If you've not found Superbowl 'endzone appetizers' yet, grab some sweet potatoes and turn on the oven. These disappear in minutes and taste great with a beer. There's just enough spice, just enough sweet (from the sweet potatoes, my favorite variety, Red Garnet) and just enough oven time that they almost melt.

NUTRITION NOTES Not that sweet potato fries are, ahem, diet food, especially dipped in a dusky horseradish sauce, but I was able to really limit the fat. By melting the bacon grease, then using my hands to distribute it among the pieces of sweet potato -- it just went further and thus the recipe maintains my standard fat:vegetable ration, 1T:1lb.

Time to table: 1 hour
Serves 4
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into wedges
1 tablespoon baco…

Pi Day - Let's Make Homemade Pie!

No recipe today -- just an announcement about a food blog event centered around Pi, whoops, make that Pie!

See today's Pi Day announcement at

Eat more vegetables! A Veggie Venture is the home of Veggie Evangelist Alanna Kellogg and is the award-winning source of free vegetable recipes, quick, easy, and yes, delicious. Start with the Alphabet of Vegetables or dive into all the Weight Watchers vegetable recipes or all the low carb vegetable recipes. © Copyright 2008