Day 124: Jealous Marys ♥

A low-cal, low-sugar cocktail, perfect for sipping poolside during hot summer afternoons. Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real . Naturally Gluten Free. ~recipe updated, first published way back in 2005~ ~ more recently updated recipes ~ Lovely color, yes? And it tastes great, too, perfect for a small soirée on the patio in real life. It's a cucumber rendition of a tomato bloody mary, puréed in a blender then strained, at my house in a [ tool whose name I can't remember but will insert later, that would be a chinois ] that lives in the basement until moments just like this. And this is my first-ever contribution to a virtual blog party, where food bloggers from all over the world will make and post cocktail food and drinks. Check The Happy Sorceress for a recap! PERSONAL NOTE See those big male hands? :-) Here's who that is, The Man With the Hands (I Married Him!) !

Day 123: Cucumber Salad with Lime & Fresh Mint ♥

Today's simple cucumber salad: Thin slices of cucumber tossed with fresh lime juice, fresh mint and just a touch of heat. Weight Watchers Friendly, just PointsPlus 1! Low Carb. Gluten Free. ~recipe updated from the Recipe Box, first posted 2005!~ ~ more recently updated recipes ~ SO. WAY BACK IN 2005? This salad had "good bones" but turned out to be, let me be frank, a loser. Even after doctoring a recipe from a reliable recipe source? Nothing special. BUT. NOW TEN YEARS LATER? I played with the recipe until finally, it earned a hard-won ♥. Now? It's like a spicy cucumber mojito, a mix of wet cucumber, fresh lime juice and a smattering of fresh mint. Drink up, cucumber lovers!

Tool Tip: Box Grater

There on the bottom, that's my long-time favorite flat grater, an old faithful. But when the stars aligned - that is, when Cook's Illustrated highly rated a $25 box grater and when I ran across a $6 version - I decided to give the box version a whirl. Pros: Easier to grate bigger batches. Collects grated material inside so easier to measure. Cons: Takes up a lot of room in the dishwasher. Harder to grate things straight into the mixing bowl. Net: I'll keep the flat grater for regular use, due to a perpetually full dishwasher. But I'll hang onto the box grater, too, since it will be handy on occasion and cupboard space isn't a problem! 2007 Update: I haven't used Old Faithful in forever. Hmm. I'm not even sure where Old Faithful is .

Day 122: Quick Green Bean Soup

Look familiar? It might for it's a green bean-version of last week's Quick Broccoli Soup and yesterday's Quick Cauliflower Soup. (A combined recipe is posted here .) Yes, I'm seriously addicted to this easy soup -- bigger batches are in order! Today's cook-lunch-while-working-in-the-other-room pot was made with a bag of frozen beans and a half-gone bag of freezer-burned corn. It was good -- but not delicious like the broccoli and cauliflower renditions, perhaps because: of using frozen vegetables? beans aren't so conducive to soup? (Sure there's BEAN soup but who's heard of GREEN BEAN soup? Okay, of course, Google has. It found 7500 references -- but 42x that for bean soup. Point made.) of using homemade (and thus less salty) chicken stock that needed using up? If history's a guide, answers will be forthcoming.

Quick Cauliflower Soup ♥

A couple of days ago, I cooked a simple broccoli soup, it was incredibly delicious. So tonight I used the same technique with a head of cauliflower though left in a few chunks for texture. And the cauliflower soup is even more delicious than the broccoli! It's so extraordinarily creamy, you'd think it were laden with fat. But it's not – it's definitely a Weight Watchers friendly soup. One recipe, two completely different soups! I combined them in a Kitchen Parade column, two healthful vegetable soups on the table in minutes! Here's the column! Quick Cauliflower Soup or Quick Broccoli Soup Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables . Join " veggie evangelist " Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salad

Greek Greens ♥

This is my favorite method for cooking dark leafy greens like chard (a personal fave, also mustard greens, turnip greens, leafy spinach and other greens) by just dropping them into hot boiling and well-salted water to "flash cook" or "blanch" the greens for a few minutes today to be eaten later. Real Food, Fast & Healthy. Year-Round Kitchen Staple. Budget Friendly. Great for Meal Prep. Low Carb. Low Fat. Weight Watchers Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real . Naturally Gluten Free. Whole30 Friendly.

How to Freeze Tomatoes ♥

Hey, all. Meet my buddy CJ, he's the "tomato man" at my local farmers market and I've learned so much from him this summer. Last week he taught me how to freeze tomatoes! Let me share all the details. Real Food, Fresh to Freezer. Not Just Easy, Summer Easy . Budget Friendly.