Sweet Potato & Banana Purée ♥ Recipe

Today's Thanksgiving recipe idea: A luscious smooth purée of sweet potatoes and ripe bananas.
Oh my. OH MY. Oh my oh my OH MY. This lovely orange-hued sweet potato dish nearly didn't make it into the oven, I wanted to scoop it straight out of the dish with a spoon and into -- well, my mouth. It half reminded me of a warm smoothie -- in fact, honestly, I think sweet potatoes and bananas mixed with milk in a blender would make one terrific smoothie. Did I say this stuff is good?

BUDGET IDEA The inspiring recipe called for butter-toasted almonds on the top. To save a few calories and some expense, I opted for a topping mix of whole-grain dry bread crumbs (panko would work too) and a few nuts. It was a good call, since the sweet potatoes themselves taste quite rich -- an all-nut topping would be gilding the lily. SWEET POTATO & BANANA PURÉEHands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 1 hour
Makes about 4 cups
3 pounds sweet potatoes (about four large sweet potatoes), peeled and cut …

Win Big with O Olive Oil During November!

Especially for the readers of A Veggie Venture, the good folks at O Olive Oil are offering three great ways to experience hand-crafted citrus-crushed olive oils and premium barrel-aged wine vinegars.
These are truly gorgeous olive oils and vinegars. During taste tests last summer, my nephew -- a teenager! -- declared, "We could drink this!"

He was right -- and food professionals and others agree -- which makes me extra-pleased to offer three great ways for readers to experience such immensely satisfying olive oils and wine vinegars.

Why am I doing this? It's my small way during the season of Thanksgiving (don't miss this year's Thanksgiving vegetable recipes!) to thank readers, for trusting in me, for encouraging me, for sending favorite recipes, for inviting me into their kitchens. Plus, it's no secret that I believe that learning how to make homemade salad dressing is a healthful and frugal habit for families and individuals both. If good olive oils and go…

Scalloped Green Tomatoes ♥ Recipe

Today's vegetable recipe: Thin slices of green tomatoes baked in a gratin dish with garlic and a small measure of cream and fresh Parmesan. Savory. Simple. Low carb.
When do we pick green tomatoes? Only when they're at risk of being lost to frost! This is the lesson learned early this summer, when I thought I was being oh-so-smart about getting 'out ahead' of green-tomato fans with Old-Fashioned Green Tomato Pie. Ha! My pal StephenCooks -- who, sadly, has lost his yen for blogging -- gently wrote, "In my world, the only time I make anything from green tomatoes is when the first frost threatens ... a farmstand operator told me that she never sold a green tomato before October until that movie made people want them 'out of season'."

Oops. From now on, green tomatoes at the end of the growing season, okay?

FAITHFUL READERS may recognize a pattern: few new recipes during the month of October. For the third year in a row, October is the time when I test Th…

Slow Cooker Peanut Soup ♥ Recipe

Today's soup recipe: An easy soup made with little more than peanut butter and chicken stock with a little rice for thickening. Will win no beauty awards but is surprisingly delicious and quite hearty.
With this recipe for peanut soup, I'm stretching the idea of 'vegetable'. Peanuts are, of course, not vegetables but legumes -- though they are not nuts, they're seeds of a small bush and actually -- did you know? I didn't! -- grow below ground.

Starting off, I had little hope for this soup, it tasted pretty flat. But after a few hours in my new programmable slow cooker, wow, what a change, the flavors really developed. Don't skip the jalapeños and red pepper flakes, they're needed to offset the peanut creaminess.

It is rich so for those watching calories, plan on a half cup serving and a big salad for lunch or supper.

SLOW COOKER PEANUT SOUPHands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 6 - 7 hours
Makes 6 cups
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 r…

Autumn Slaw with Apples & Bacon ♥ Recipe

Today's coleslaw recipe: A cabbage slaw with apples, chives and bacon stirred in. Low carb. Weight Watchers 0 points.
Do you belong to the Bacon Club? You know, where members sign onto the idea that everything -- everything -- tastes better with bacon? You know, like Candied Bacon Ice Cream and Breakfast Cookies and Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies and Dark Chocolate & Bacon Cupcakes, even Bacon Vodka and a Bacon & Marmalade Sandwich or Bacon Cheddar Cream Cheese Icing. I'm not kidding.

Sign me up. This coleslaw was so-so ho-hum tasting without the bacon but moved into gobble-it-up territory once the bacon was stirred in.

[Note to Vegetarians]

AUTUMN SLAW with APPLES & BACONHands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 20 minutes
Makes 7 cups
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Red pepper flakes to taste

1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons chopped chives…

Save $5 at Whole Foods Through October 22

No recipe right now but I'm going to go out on a limb here -- won't many of us be happy to save $5 after spending $25 on groceries?

If so, don't miss this downloadable coupon from Whole Foods that's good for one purchase a day per customer through October 22. (Me? I'm off to buy ink for my printer. I wonder if there's a coupon for that!)

How did I learn about Whole Foods' offer? I 'follow' Whole Foods on a service called Twitter. You can, too and if you like, you can follow me on Twitter too.

DISCLOSURE: For anyone who's wondering, I have no relationship with Whole Foods (except as a regular occasional customer) and get no compensation from Whole Foods to share this information. They don't even know I'm doing it! But as you know, I'm committed to helping people save money on groceries and if you already shop at Whole Foods, this is a great offer.

ASIDE: Whole Foods recently sponsored a budget meal challenge for food bloggers. Several…

Peperonata with Potatoes ♥ Recipe

Today's simple recipe: "Peperonata" is the classic Italian dish made from peppers, onion, tomato and potatoes. It's a rustic, Italian antipasto cooked slowly on the stove, then served either warm or at room temperature. We love the richness of Peperonata with Potatoes, once it's you'll love having it on hand, it's very easy to use.

A Classic Vegetable Dish from Tuscany. Beautiful Color. Fresh & Seasonal, Perfect for Late Summer & Early Fall When Peppers Are Plentiful. Great for Meal Prep. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free. Whole30 Friendly.