Best Vegetable Recipes of 2011

The best vegetable recipes of 2011 from A Veggie Venture, just one per month, all in one handy spot for easy reference.
It's that time of year, the week when we food bloggers look back over a year's worth of recipes and pick our favorites!

I love-love-love this process! It really helps us hone our recipe collections, highlighting the best of the already very good, especially for sites like A Veggie Venture and my food column Kitchen Parade which by design, already post only really good recipes, the ones that work, the ones that are special or especially useful.

But I also love all the many sources of "best of the year" lists for movies, books, gadgets, etc. So this year, I'm collecting "best of the year" lists on Pinterest. (Food bloggers, be sure to let me know when you post your own best of 2011 list.) Follow me there and you'll see all the new entries over the next couple of weeks. And hey! Follow me on Pinterest and I'd love to follow you…

Of Favorite Cookies & Cookbooks: A Christmas Special

For cookie bakers, No-Roll Christmas Sugar Cookies aren't to be missed, they're the best chewy and butter sugar cookies you might have ever tasted but without all the fuss and muss of rolling and decorating. I'm making them for my cookie swap next week, the - get this! - 19th annual.

For home cooks, savory and sweet both, the Food52 Cookbook isn't to be missed either, it's one of two favorite new cookbooks in 2011. It's a collection of "best of the best" recipes from home cooks -- I think it's fabulous and am giving away a copy!

Head on over to Kitchen Parade, No-Roll Christmas Sugar Cookies (or click the photo) for the cookie recipe and cookbook giveaway. It's easy to enter to win -- US and Canadian residents for this giveaway, please, through December 14th.
MORE GIVEAWAYS? I've started posting giveaways (mine and other food bloggers') on a special bulletin board on Pinterest. Follow me there for the latest! And it's Christmas --…

Holiday Baking Tips + A Cookbook Giveaway ♥

Hello Vegetable Lovers!

Anyone gearing up for Christmas baking will definitely want to check out Holiday Baking Tips from a Certifiable Cookie-Baking Fiend. That "fiend" would be me: during December, your 'veggie evangelist' is turning into a part-time 'cookie evangelist'.

Plus I'm giving away a copy of Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies, the award-winning cookie cookbook by Alice Medrich.

Contest open through December 8, 2011 to readers from across the world - hello, Canadian readers! : - ) To enter, click the photo >>>>>>>

Happy Baking!

Healthy Holiday Salad with Broccoli, Cauliflower & Dried Cranberries ♥ Recipe

A "healthy holiday makeover" of that broccoli salad we all know and love, you know the one from church potlucks, right? the broccoli salad with bacon and raisins and cheddar cheese? My recipe uses tiny florets of fresh broccoli and fresh cauliflower for a little green and white holiday color, then substitutes dried cranberries for raisins. And the dressing? It's my favorite light mayo dressing, thinned with a little buttermilk and brightened with lemon zest. (Weight Watchers, just one point for those still counting points in the "old way" and 2 points for those who count with PointsPlus.)
So the first year that all you vegetable lovers abandoned A Veggie Venture in December, my feelings were a little hurt. What vegetable recipe, I wondered, could compete with fancy appetizers and platters of oh-so-pretty Christmas cookies? Last year, I even implored, Let's Give Salads with Abandon!

But the thing is, even during the holidays -- maybe especially during the…

This Page Has Moved (Favorite Recipes for Thanksgiving's Top Twelve Favorite Vegetables)

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Thanksgiving Vegetable Recipes.

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Greek Lentil Soup ♥

Hey Vegetable Lovers, this is my annual "public service announcement" -- the reminder to "make soup first" before starting to cook for Thanksgiving. That way, after a big day of cooking, there will be something in the fridge to actually eat, not just food for Thanksgiving Day. Naturally, I have a recipe to share too ...
A simple lentil soup, cooked in a broth scented with bay leaf, garlic, rosemary and a surprise ingredient, cinnamon. Vegan.
I've been mesmerized by the photographs from a new-ish cookbook by Tessa Kiros. I loved an earlier cookbook, Falling Cloudberries: A World of Family Recipes, mostly because it's an unlikely combination of Finnish, Greek and South African recipes, cuisines I've been lucky to know, in person, right in situ. (And long-time readers have seen two recipes from Falling Cloudberries, Lamb Roast with Lemon & Oregano and Homemade Finnish Mustard which is always -- always -- in my fridge.)

The new cookbook focuses on just…

Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes with Cranberry & Orange ♥

Chunks of sweet potato cooked in a slow cooker in a sauce that's sweet with orange and tart with cranberry. Delicious!
~recipe updated, first published way back in 2011~
~more recently updated recipes~
BACK IN 2011 Okay, so granted, pretty, these sweet potatoes are not, especially on the second day when the edges soften and the chunks begin to merge. But I'm willing to bet, take one bite and you'll be as smitten as I. Delicious? You bet. The sweet potatoes are just slightly sweet, more fruity really, nothing like a traditional sweet Sweet Potato Casserole but considerably sweeter than 2010's favorite new Thanksgiving recipe, the Savory Sweet Potato Casserole.

Even a picky eater, ahem, let's instead call him a young man whose palate is still developing liked them. At first, he eyed his very first sweet potatoes with suspicion but after taking a bite or two, was surprised to admit, "These aren't half bad." And then he cleaned his plate. (Hi, Benito!)�…