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Showing posts from March, 2008

Roasted Zucchini with Orange & Lemon ♥

Today's vegetable recipe: Easy roasted zucchini recipe. Tossed with citrus zest and juice. Low carb. Weight Watchers 1 point.
Spring is upon us: any day now, really truly positively. Already my seasonal sensibility for vegetables and other foods is doffing the winter, donning the spring.

This easy zucchini hit just the right spot on a cusp-ish day, spring-ish in the morning, wintry-ish in the afternoon. Laffodil-daffodils, where are you?!

NEXT TIME I will try-try-try to remember to line the baking sheet with foil!

THE QUESTION IS Will Freddie and Alex like the zucchini? Their Mum, my pal Charlotte, is collecting "S is for summer squash" recipes this week. Big news! Their own veggie venture will soon be a book. "The Great Big Veg Challenge" -- how to get your children eating vegetables happily -- will be published in July. Congratulations to my vegetable-curious friends all the way in England! I couldn't be prouder!

THE ANSWER IS Apparently Freddie likes it! His …

Stuffed Artichokes ♥ Recipe

Today's recipe: Fresh artichokes stuffed with a simple bread-crumb mixture, then baked.
Until now, anyone searching A Veggie Venture for artichoke recipes might well come away disappointed. In three years, I've collected only four recipes -- not one calling for fresh artichokes. Nil. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

I just didn't 'get' artichokes. They were eeeh, okay, hardly worth the fuss. "Here, just eat the heart," I heard time after time. Eh.

I did buy artichokes, half-writing posts in my head right there in the produce department. Two years in a row, their spiked leaves dried to nothing in the fridge. This year, they languished a good week before I forced myself to do something -- anything -- with them. Suddenly, one warmish spring evening, I was inspired to pull out the weapons that anyone veggie averse should have at hand, bacon and cheese.

And oh glory, I get it, I finally get it. And yes, artichokes are a tad fussy (especially stuffed) but way easier to trim and…

Tool Tip: Asparagus Steamer

One of my favorite kitchen gadgets, a tall narrow pot to steam asparagus.
By today's standards, my kitchen is small. Whenever I peer longingly into beautiful new kitchens and wish mine were bigger, more open, more something, I think of my 70-something west-door neighbor who cooked and fed husband and six kids in the same space -- and once again feel content with my kitchen, just the way it is.

Few kitchen tools are allowed a permanent home in my kitchen, especially tools that are single-purpose. But my commitment to an asparagus steamer started early in this vegetable recipe odyssey. On Day Three's Lemon Asparagus, I sang the praises of an asparagus steamer. By Day Seven's Asparagus Tapenade, I'd finagled a decent alternative using a 9x13 pan. By Day Seventeen's Ginger Asparagus, I'd rigged one up -- very inexpensively -- using a tall narrow pot from Target and an everyday expandable vegetable steamer.

Now, upon the first asparagus sightings, I move this makeshif…

Country Cornbread ♥

Today's recipe: Homemade cornbread made supper-substantial with ham, sun-dried tomatoes and cheese. A 'concept' recipe.
Who's looking for good ways to use up leftover ham? Me too, it seems, always. Add a bowl of soup and this homemade cornbread makes for a filling supper. [Note to Vegetarians]

NEXT TIME I'll use bigger chunks of cheese so there are pockets of cheesiness.

LEFTOVER REPORT Don't forget to refrigerate any leftovers, there's meat in this cornbread! This cornbread remained fresh and moist for the second day.

NEW PRODUCT ALERT I love-love-love what I call 'fresh' sun-dried tomatoes. They're not the dried and dusty sun-dried tomatoes that require reconstituting in boiling water, neither are they the sun-dried tomatoes soaked in oil and calories. 'Fresh' sun-dried tomatoes are fat and plump, more like dried plums/prunes. They last in the fridge for several weeks - except that they're easy to snack on, too. Good news, they've …

Carrot Cake Cupcakes ♥

My cupcake adaptation of a Cook's Illustrated recipe for carrot cake, it has a light cupcake crumb and is lightly spiced with carrot-cake flavors. I especially like the cream cheese frosting! Great carrot cake flavor with perfect cupcake texture!
People! As if we need one more reason to share our very best recipes, it's this: should we lose a recipe, we can call to ask, "By chance, did I give you my carrot cake recipe?" and then sigh with relief when hearing, "Yeah! It's our favorite."

My sad story: I've lost my carrot cake recipe. It wasn't even my recipe, it was my grandmother's, the carrot cake recipe she made for my 17th birthday the year it was just the two of us; the carrot cake recipe I made for her 80th birthday when family gathered from all over the country; the carrot cake that I made, after she died a few months later, year after year after year to commemorate her birthday, delivering fat squares to friends, neighbors and in her…

Comfort Food: Reuben Casserole ♥ Recipe

Today's easy casserole recipe for St. Patrick's Day or afterward to use up leftover corned beef, a reuben sandwich, deconstructed in casserole form using corned beef, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese.

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When the butcher asked if I wanted the "big" piece of Kobe corned beef for our St. Patrick's Day feast, I was sure a "small" one would be plenty. "Are you sure?" he encouraged. "It's really good." So I charged ahead, "Sure, a big one, it is." Good advice, good decision. The Kobe beef was spectacular, moist and meaty and fork tender in my long-time favorite Corned Beef & Cabbage. The only downside to lots of meat turns out to pure upside: great leftovers. This casserole, it's a keeper. [Note to Vegetarians]

This recipe is a big favorite on Pinterest! It's so easy to throw together, just a handful of ingredients. It makes for a nice light supper one night and with just the two of us, gets…

Swedish Pickled Beetroot Salad ♥

Even though pickled beet salads are traditional Christmas food in Scandinavia, today's recipe works for a quick Easter vegetable, too. It's just pickled beets and orange slices in a light mayonnaise, sour cream and horseradish sauce. Just look at that bright pink color! Very tasty! Naturally Gluten Free.
~recipe updated, first published way back in 2008~
~more recently updated recipes~
This easy beet salad was one of three favorite new recipes last Christmas. It works so beautifully with ham, it's already on our Easter menu.

The combination of beets, sour cream and horseradish makes it much like Borscht Beets. But Swedish Pickled Beetroot Salad is special (better? perhaps!) because of the extra spark from pickled beets and the texture/flavor/color contrast from orange slices.

WHERE TO FIND PICKLED BEETS? Our Christmas salad used up the last of some homemade pickled beets but look for pickled beets in the grocery store alongside canned beets. I also supplemented the homema…

Farm Pie with Whole Wheat & Lard Crust ♥

Today's recipe for a savory pie, my contribution to a collection of pie recipes at Kitchen Parade, in celebration of Pi Day. Crust made with whole wheat flour and lard.
First, the innards: good but not outstanding. I did feel like quite the farm wife, creating supper out of 'air', just cabbage, onion and hard-boiled eggs, especially here on the cusp of winter and spring when farm cellars would be running on empty.

Second, the crust. I experimented with two new ingredients, farm-rendered lard and whole wheat flour. (Do these strike anyone else as incongruous, one not as good for you, one very good for you? Do you suppose they cancel themselves out to a neutral?)

LARD in PIE CRUST Forever and ever, lard crusts have been coveted for their tenderness. But for the last 20 or so years, lard, as an animal fat, was considered 'bad' for us. These days, the belief is that lard is as good for us as -- butter, say -- so long as it's not hydrogenated. (Want more info about w…

Weight Watchers Mexican Zero Points Soup Recipe ♥

Say hello to the new Weight Watchers zero points soup recipe, the "Mexican" soup. It has a delicious tomato broth with lots of vegetables and some underlying heat. Low Carb. Gluten Free. Whole 30. Paleo. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".
A reader tipped me off that Weight Watchers UK just introduced three brand-new recipes for new Zero Point soups. Since A Veggie Venture readers are such fans of the original Weight Watchers Zero Points Garden Vegetable Soup, I couldn't wait to try them! The only question was, which new soup recipe to make first? Asian? Italian? Mexican?

A few of the Mexican-inspired recipe's ingredients were already on hand, so Mexican it was. And good news: this new soup recipe is a great soup for people who follow Weight Watchers. But it's also a great vegetable soup overall – definitely a keeper!

The positives: It's packed with both vegetables and flavor, no wan blandness here. It tastes like it has far more calories than it d…