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Showing posts from August, 2009

Perfect Stovetop Brown Rice ♥ New Recipe for Cooking Brown Rice

Today's recipe: A new technique for cooking brown rice, yielding moist and flavorful grains of rice. No more gummy brown rice!
Who's noticed? If you follow the directions on a bag or box of brown rice, it turns out tough and gummy and unappetizing. It's no wonder that people turn to rice cookers for help -- or worse, douse brown rice with butter; or worse still, stick with the far less healthful white rice whose nutrients have been stripped away.

For winter, there's the oh-so-popular Oven-Baked Brown Rice that's just oh-so-perfect, yielding almost-nutty bites of moist, flavorful rice. Frankly, it's my favorite way to cook brown rice. But here it is, summer, and turning on the oven for an hour while the air conditioning runs seems to defeat the purpose. So I was intrigued to see Saveuer's new technique for cooking rice on the stovetop. It's dead simple and takes only an hour to get to the table, 15 minutes faster than the Oven-Baked Brown Rice.

Another goo…

Cool-as-a-Cucumber Avocado Soup ♥ A Low(er)-Calorie Recipe

Today's vegetable recipe: a quick blender soup recipe, just four ingredients and served cold. Low carb. Vegan. Lower calorie than a typical avocado soup.
Sigh. Do your eyes go dreamy too at the thought of avocados? There's simply no matching their silkiness, their smoothness. Pillow makers? How about avocado, not the color, but the cool slipperiness.

Blending cool cucumber with smooth avocado, it was a recent inspiration. The cucumber adds liquid but flavor too, unlike plain water (as most avocado soup recipes specify) or broth (which strikes me as too heavy for summer). Better still, the cucumber adds volume but few calories, keeping the avocado soup in reasonable territory, diet-wise but still tasting like an indulgence.

This soup is served cold, its own cool pillow against summer's heat. I like to serve it in small bowls with small spoons, all to encourage savoring every single silky spoonful. So much for that idea -- when I made this last, my favorite taste tester, who …

Tomato Platter with Olives & Feta ♥ An Easy, Impressive Summer Recipe

Today's vegetable 'recipe' - wait no, let's call it vegetable 'serving inspiration': A platter of perfect summer tomatoes, topped with olives and crumbled feta. Perfect for one or two or a crowd.
My friend Mary brought a big plate of tomatoes to supper on Friday. I loved her tomato serving idea so much, I re-created it on Saturday! So this isn't so much a 'recipe' as a serving suggestion, for it really did work beautifully and flew together in minutes.

Mary made a homemade vinaigrette (carrying it in a handy-dandy salad dressing mixer) to drizzle over the tomatoes just before serving but I went a step simpler still by purchasing an olive-feta mix from the olive bar at the grocery store (where it's quick to pick up just a few olives for a salad or whatever), already moistened with a little olive oil and it was quite delicious already.

Since ours was a small group on Friday, Mary also built 'stacks' of cucumber and thick beefsteak tomato, e…

Grilled Pepper & Tomato Salad ♥ A Reader Recipe

Today's vegetable recipe comes from a reader: Familiar tomatoes and familiar peppers combined in a salad that somehow manages to turn out entirely different. Low carb. Weight Watchers 2 points.
Sold! It took about 10 seconds to buy into this recipe, sent by a reader just last week. Here's what Laurie B. wrote about her salad recipe that combines roasted peppers (bell peppers and hot chilis both) and roasted tomatoes:

"It hits all my flavor sensors - heat, salt and garlic, well, tomatoes, peppers and onions. Oh wait, that's the recipe, isn't it?!"

She went on. "It's easy to throw together and is so much more than its parts. I got the recipe from a neighbor (she said it was her mother's recipe) when it was served at their son's graduation party. I've never had anything like it and I'll bet I've made it a dozen times since then. We were taking a big bowl of it to a party and I asked my husband to taste a bit; he ate almost half of it a…

Julia Child's Cucumber Salad ♥ Recipe

Today's quick cucumber salad recipe, from no other than Julia Child: How to soak large, seedy cucumbers so they'll be not just edible but tasty! Low carb. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real". Weight Watchers 1 point!
~recipe republished 2012~
to honor the 100th anniversary of the birth of Julia Child,
a world-wide celebration happening online, in restaurants and in homes
~more recently updated recipes~
Summer 2009: Seems we can't turn around without stumbling over another story of Julie & Julia, the blog-turned-book-turned-movie that opens nationwide on August 7. Just yesterday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch climbed aboard the Julie & Julia wagon with a story about four St. Louis food bloggers whose blogs are also 'projects', including yes, A Veggie Venture! (Update, sorry, the Post-Dispatch has removed the online story but here's more about the bloggers in the story.)

Summer 2009: Seems I can't turn around without stumbling over a cucumber,…