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Showing posts from April, 2008

Baba Ganoush ♥ (Recipe for Middle Eastern Eggplant Spread)

Say hello to the traditional Middle Eastern spread that's found on meze platters in Middle Eastern restaurants along with hummus, tabbouleh, olivada and other shareables. This one's homemade, no more than eggplant, garlic, lemon, tahini and a touch of fresh parsley. Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free. Paleo. Whole30 Friendly.
BACK IN 2008 What's Baba Ganoush, you ask? First, let's just put this out there, that if you like hummus, odds are high that you'll like Baba Ganoush. And if you love hummus but avoid legumes, Baba Ganoush is your new savior, it's like a vegan, low-carb hummus: eggplant substitutes for chickpeas. So what is Baba Ganoush, again? It's a simple purée of grilled or roasted eggplant mixed smooth with garlic, lemon juice, tahini and parsley. It's a healthy Middle Eastern spread or dip that's traditionally served with pita bread but is easy to use up in other ways too. We like …

Slow-Roasted Asparagus ♥

Today's unusual asparagus recipe: Spears of asparagus quick-cooked, topped with grated Parmesan and dotted butter, then roasted. Low carb. Delicate, dark and dreamy.
~recipe & photo updated & republished 2012~
~more recently updated recipes~
Original Post 2008: These days, when people talk about slow food, it's generally code for Slow Food, the Italian organization that's become an international movement, one that fights the disappearance of local food traditions, people’s dwindling interest in the food we eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world.

But not me, when I write about slow food, I mean slow food quite literally, that is, food cooked unusually slowly, sloooooow food.

This obsession with all-things-slow, it started with my first forays into slow-roasted tomatoes and really picked up steam with the life-changing slow-baked potatoes. But I would never-ever-ever have guessed that asparagus – so lovely when st…

Never Buy Salad Dressing Again ♥ A DIY Challenge

Pantry with a Purpose: How to stock your pantry with simple ingredients for making easy, delicious and economical homemade salad dressing recipes.
Almost, not quite, but any day now, it will be salad season! Tender spring greens are soon to appear. The weather's turning warm and so we make our annual return to lighter, fresher and "greener" food. So here's my challenge to readers of A Veggie Venture and to salad lovers from all over: Never Buy Salad Dressing Again.

Let's make it a hashtag! #NeverBuySaladDressingAgain!

I'm here to help. Cookbooks and cooking magazines often suggest ingredients for a well-stocked pantry. But how many of us fill our pantries, then forget to empty them?! And we shouldn't. That's because "cooking from the pantry" is the best way to save money on groceries – at the same time avoiding the calories, additives, waste and inconvenience of carry-out, drive-through and frozen food.

So let's stock our pantries w…

German Salad Dressing ♥

Today's recipe: Milk. Vinegar. Sugar. No more. No oil! Low carb. Weight Watchers zero points.
It gets no easier than this. When my brother-in-law visited over Christmas, he mentioned the salad dressing that his mother, a World War II German war bride, makes all the time. They call it 'German Salad Dressing'. Me, I'm tempted to dub it "salad dressing for dummies" because it has just three ingredients.

Three ingredients.

And it's got me to thinking. Why in the world do we buy bottles of salad dressing when it's this cheap and simple and tasty to make? So I'm launching a new series of occasional posts with collections of simple classic recipes for home cooks who want to feed their families economically and healthfully. Look for the first one tomorrow. I'm calling it "Never Buy Salad Dressing Again". Who will take the challenge?

FREE ICONS for BLOGGERS Share your love of fresh produce, whether from the farmers market, your own garden or even…

Eggplant Steaks ♥

Today's vegetable recipe: Eggplant slices brushed with steak sauce and honey, then broiled and topped with Parmesan. Easy. Quick. Tasty.
I love to chat up the produce guys at the grocery store. They're full of good tips. Just yesterday, one was unpacking a lug of gorgeous eggplant. "Do you ever get Japanese eggplant?" I asked, just curious. "Some times," he answered. "Do they sell?" I wondered. Nope. "But the globe eggplants are one of our best sellers."

Really? This veggie evangelist had best catch up! There are several good eggplant recipes here -- but clearly, not enough. I grabbed a couple of eggplants, came home and straight-off made these for lunch -- using pantry ingredients, nothing more. They were just excellent, creamy on the inside, slightly crispy on the outside, lots of flavor. Score one for eggplant lovers, here's another great way to cook eggplant.

While the 'Eggplant Steak' name suggests something meaty and su…

How to Cook Artichokes in the Microwave ♥

Today's vegetable recipe: Fresh whole artichokes cooked in the microwave. Dead easy. Quick. Low carb. Weight Watchers 1 point.
~recipe & photo updated 2012, republished 2013~
~more recently updated recipes~
ORIGINAL 2008 POST So the Year 2008 will go down as the Year Alanna Finally 'Got' Artichokes. When I stuffed artichokes, my friend Cindy wrote, "Your artichokes look great. But please don't tell my girls because all I do is throw them in the microwave."

My friend Ann, too, after we both received an artichoke primer at our bookclub last week, found cooking artichokes in the microwave pretty interesting exciting. "OMG!!!" she wrote. "I bought an artichoke today and cooked it for lunch. Seven minutes in the 'wave and ten minutes 'rest' and then I devoured it!!!!!! Wow! I will fix another one tonight!!!"

The microwave? Can dense and prickly thistles really cook in the mike? Yes, said my source of all questions about vegetab…

Sweet Cornbread ♥ Recipe

A classic cornbread sweetened with honey. Sweet but not too sweet. Rich but not too rich. Ever so tender. Absolutely delicious! Bake it in the traditional round shape or, for great sliced cornbread, a loaf pan.
WAY BACK IN 2008 I worried that readers might fear that the appearance of a cornbread recipe might signal a diversion from this blog's recipe vegetables-vegetables-vegetables focus. But wait! Cornmeal originates with a vegetable, it's just field corn that's been dried and ground! I'm embarrassed to admit: cornmeal's humble origin just never registered.

Luckily, despite the lapse, it turns out that a real cornbread lover can nose out another cornbread lover. Crescent Dragonwagon, cornbread lover extraordinaire (who else would write an entire cookbook expressing one's love for cornbread?) looked me up when the Country Cornbread recipe posted to help people use up their leftover ham from Easter. Just a couple of weeks earlier, I'd shared my recipe f…

Weight Watchers Asian Zero Points Soup Recipe ♥

Today's Weight Watchers recipe: One of three new zero-point soup recipes from Weight Watchers. Asian-inspired ingredients: bok choy, Chinese cabbage, fresh ginger, bean sprouts, snow peas. Weight Watchers 0 points.
When Weight Watchers UK introduced brand-new zero-point soup recipes, I couldn't wait to try all three. First I tested the 'Mexican-inspired' zero-point soup and now today, the Asian-inspired zero-point soup recipe. (What's left to try? The Italian-inspired soup!)

How do these two new soup recipes compare to Weight Watchers' original zero-points Garden Vegetable Soup?

All three are alike in these ways: all have (1) lots of low-calorie vegetables, (2) no-calorie broths and (3) lots of flavor. To my taste, the Garden Vegetable Soup and the Mexican-inspired soup are more substantial tasting than the Asian-inspired soup. But that's okay, for that makes the Asian soup an especially good choice for days -- after an indulgent weekend, say -- when we want o…

Asparagus Noodles ♥

Today's vegetable recipe: Thin strips of asparagus stems, gently sautéed. Quick. Low carb. Weight Watchers 1 point.
The local asparagus won't arrive for a couple of weeks but there's no avoiding the temptation of the first asparagus from the supermarket.

These quick-cooked asparagus 'noodles' were absolutely delicious. I used a vegetable peeler to 'noodle-ize' fat spears of asparagus, then cooked them in nothing more than butter -- a splash of lemon juice might be nice too. SO simple. SO good.


VEGETABLE RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ more ways to cook asparagus~
ASPARAGUS NOODLESHands-on time: Maybe 10 minutes
Time to table: Maybe 15 minutes
Serves 4
1 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus (fat spears are best)
1 tablespoon butter
Splash of lemon juice (if you like)
Salt & pepper to taste

Snap woody ends off asparagus and discard. Slice off the tips and if you like, save for something else. With a vegetable peeler, slice lengthwise along each spear, creating a 'noodle'…

Free Icons for Bloggers: Let's Celebrate Fresh & Local Produce!

Finally! The advent of spring may mean cherry blossoms in Washington but for vegetable lovers, it's the return of fresh, local produce that stirs our spoons.

So I commissioned some icons to help myself -- and my fellow bloggers -- showcase fresh vegetables and fruits whether from farmers markets, a CSA, a you-pick farm, even our own gardens. (Sound familiar? Who remembers Blush the Sweet Tomato?)







So yes, fellow bloggers, you are invited to use these icons in your own blogs in posts and places that feature fresh and local produce. Together, let's help spread the word about the many sources of fresh and healthful produce.

Each icon comes in 400px, 125px and 100px sizes. You're free to use one or more of the icons as you see fit: in posts; in sidebars; to link to a list of your own favorite farmers markets; to link to Local Harvest or your own CSA -- anything creative you come up with that's related to fresh, local produce.







Use them once, use them a hundred times, it's …