Day 149: Roasted Tomatoes with Fresh Herbed Ricotta ♥

There's something special going on here, the salty, garlicky, nutty cherry tomatoes, still warm from the oven, contrasted with the cold, chive-spiked ricotta. I served the tomatoes schmeared on bread but later, cleaning up, found that it stood on its own, just a tomato dipped into the cheese. That's how I'll do it again – and I definitely WILL do it again. It'll be messy but the bread won't distract from the warm/cool and acidic/creamy pleasure of each tomato/cheese bite.

And I can only imagine how wonderful it would be tossed into hot pasta: hmm, speaking of tomorrow night's supper.

PS The color's fabulous, too!

Time to table: 60 minutes
Serves 4 as an appetizer
1 pound red and yellow cherry tomatoes
A good mist of olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 bay leaf, torn in half
Good salt
Good pepper

1 cup fresh ricotta
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon fre…

Day 148: Nutmeg Carrots ♥

So simple, so straight-forward. What's not to like?

These weeknight-easy carrots are a definite keeper!

Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 25 minutes
Serves 4

1 pound carrots
1 tablespoon pineapple juice (or apple juice, as the recipe specified)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon butter (this is just enough for mouth-feel and a tiny sense of richness)
A sprinkle of nutmeg

Steam the carrots by pouring about an inch or so of water (it's an inexact science but too much means time wasted heating unneeded water, too little means burning and perhaps even wrecking a pan especially if non-stick) into a large pot with a lid and bringing to a boil over MEDIUM HIGH. Meanwhile, peel the carrots, remove the stem ends, then cut into 1-inch chunks on the diagonal. Place over the water and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes or until a knife inserts easily into the center of the carrot chunks.

Meanwhile, combine the juice, brown sugar and butter in serving bowl. Add the cook…

Day 147: Zucchini Pizza with a Twist ♥

Looks like a veggie pizza with sausage, right? Wrong.

The sausage -- and the twist -- is 100% Bran cereal.

When I happened upon the recipe in a 1984 church cookbook, I knew it would either be awful or delicious. Wrong. And wrong.

It was however quite good and somehow hit just the right retro note on a warm Friday evening.

The bran is barely detectable except on top where it's chewy, crunchy and delightfully nutty (in more ways than one).

Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 45 minutes
Serves 6

Three ingredients are used in different steps. Midstream, I wished I'd assembled them first, something I rarely do. You'll need a total of:

3 cups grated zucchini (from 1 pound)
1 cup 100% Bran cereal
2 cups grated mozzarella (I used a 2% version)


2 eggs, whisked
2 cups grated zucchini
1/4 cup 100% Bran
1/2 an onion, chopped (this was accidentally forgotten but should be included)
1/2 a green pepper, chopped
1/2 a red pepper, chopped
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 tea…

Kitchen Parade Extra: Panzanella ◄

Act fast, while the tomatoes are still good! This week's Kitchen Parade column features Panzanella, the luscious tomato'n'bread salad first discovered here in A Veggie Venture back on Day 89.

It's one of several that qualify for special status, ones so good we might Easily Make a Meal Out of 'em.

Day 146: Roasted Zucchini with Feta ♥

Today's easy vegetable recipe: Zucchini and green onion roasted with feta cheese. Yeah, that simple! It's Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly. And seductively delicious!
What a history, this recipe.

Way back in 2005, I was cooking a new vegetable recipe every day for an entire year. I was in full experimental mode and posted all the results, good or bad. Day 146's recipe for roasted zucchini had so much promise: it was simple and cheesy, then brightened with fresh mint. Instead, it was awful. I made it again, just to see: not awful, but forgettable.

Way back in 2008, it was time for an overhaul, a fresh start, a new recipe. The zucchini and feta remain, garlic and onion are added, the mint is nixed. The results? Delicious!

And now, all these years later? I roast zucchini with feta all the time.

Day 145: Microwave "Baked" Potatoes ♥

Yee-Haw! How easy is this?

It's one of those new microwave baked potatoes, wrapped in special plastic.

Seven to eight minutes in the mike, there's a "baked potato", cooked, steamy, tasty.

A second one cooked at the same time adds 5 minutes.


Hands-on time: 2 minutes
Time to table: 15 minutes
Serves 4 (as a side dish, could also serve 2 as a main dish)

2 microwave baked potatoes (8 ounces each)

Follow instructions to cook in the microwave, then to carefully slit open. Add toppings to taste!

Per 1/2 Potato Serving: 105 Cal (1% from Fat, 10% from Protein, 88% from Carb); 3 g Protein; 0 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 24 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; 17 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 277 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 2 points

Day 144: Black Radish Salad

Wouldn't you think a black radish might, you know, be BLACK? Well maybe not, since red radishes are only red on the outside.

Silly me, I thought a black radish would taste considerably different than a red radish. It doesn't.

It IS however much bigger, more the size of a large sweet potato. The one in the photo weighed half a pound.

This was good enough but I wouldn't go out of my way to have again. The salad itself was the same, fresh, light, enjoyable even, just not something to have again.

I CAN see how it might be a refreshing to the palate, however, if paired with fatty meat.

And I've got three more like this to go so look for more ideas.

PS I did use some of the salad along with egg/sour cream to make a fritatta for supper. It was quite good.

Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 15 minutes
Serves 4

8 ounces black radish, peeled and grated
1/4 white onion, sliced thin, then diced
Zest and juice (about 2 tablespoons) from a lemon
1 tablespo…