Fennel-Apple Salad ♥ with Orange-Zest Candied Black Walnuts

Today's winter salad: Chopped fennel and apple served atop orange rounds. This is a decidedly savory fruit salad but is topped by not-to-be-missed candied black walnuts brightened with orange zest. Vegan. Story goes that Cajun culturist Justin Wilson, when asked what's for supper, will answer with his own question, "Whaddaya got?" and then decide. Do you cook in that inspired, improvisational way? If so, I bow in homage! Me, nearly always I am a "recipe cook" who starts with a list of ingredients, albeit one who then tugs and twists those ingredients to simplify techniques and match my idea of what's good and what's healthy. Last week, the Missouri Organic Association hosted its annual conference here in St. Louis and three local chefs and three local bloggers teamed up for an Iron Chef-style cookoff. Talk about cooking outside my comfort zone – in public! But I must say, talk about a total kick , thanks to my collaborator chef Pat Long from Ca

Special (Useful & Informative) Stuff ♥ from A Veggie Venture

It's easy to find exactly the right vegetable recipe here at A Veggie Venture, my online collection of seasonal vegetable recipes. Most visitors start with the Alphabet of Vegetables or Vegetable Recipes by Course . But A Veggie Venture is more than vegetable recipes! It's also packed with vegetable-inspired extras. So I've created this collection of "Special Stuff" – writing and resources that I hope readers find helpful and informative now that they're in one place and easy to find. Click away, browse around. It's the new "garden" of information for vegetable lovers! PS Are you looking for something specific? Not finding what you'd hoped to find? Let me help! Just leave a quick note in the comments below or via . ~Alanna

Chickpeas with Tomatoes, Spinach & Feta ♥

Today's vegetarian supper, a vegetarian version of one of my favorite suppers of all time. It's made with favorite pantry ingredients (don't we just love chickpeas?!) and fresh spinach and a salty sprinkle of feta cheese. No surprise, I love-love-love cookbooks, especially the ones that teach, the ones that inspire movement to the kitchen now , the ones that introduce new ideas and new techniques but still KISS (you know, Keep It Simple , um, Silly ). So a couple of weeks ago, a new cookbook arrived, one that is getting a lot of attention, one I was so excited to preview. But the truth is, it left me cold. Finding ingredients would require moving to New York or maybe Italy. Fish is great but really, aren't we worried about our fast-depleting fisheries? (Tastes vary. You just might just love this cookbook. But I'm not going to mention it by name because, well, I'm just not.) But one recipe did fit my it's-winter-and-I-crave-simple-comfort-food mentality. B

How to Roast Vegetables ♥
22 Tips & A Master Recipe

It's Veg Ed time, today the focus is roasting fresh vegetables in the oven, the right temperature, the right length of time, the right oil, the right amount of oil. Armed with knowledge, insight and technique, you'll never again need a "recipe" to roast vegetables. Fresh & Seasonal. Cold-Weather Classic. Great for Meal Prep. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special.

How to Cook Sweet Potatoes in Slow Cooker ♥

Ever wonder how to cook sweet potatoes in the crockpot? Just throw them into the slow cooker in the morning, they'll be ready when you get home from work. Real Food, Fresh & Flexible. Just 1 Ingredient! Year-Round Kitchen Staple. Budget Friendly. Little Effort, Big Taste. Great for Meal Prep. Weight Watchers Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real . Naturally Gluten Free.

What Are Bitter Greens? ♥ Vegetables 101

Everything you'd like to know about the dark, leafy greens that are "bitter". Which greens are bitter? What is bitter, anyway? What to make with bitter greens? Plus, so handy, links to bitter green recipes too. So many vegetables, so many that are unfamiliar! Vegetables 101 is an occasional series of posts, quick, easy and practical information about out-of-the-ordinary vegetables.

Steamed Vegetable Medley ♥

Today's healthy recipe: Fresh vegetables steamed over an olive oil-onion-wine-broth mixture that is turned into a rich and flavorful sauce for drizzling or dipping. Not just vegan, " Vegan Done Real ". Hey, word dancers! I'm looking for a word, would you help? In a single word or short phrase, I want to instantly convey that this dish is "a whole pile of beautiful rainbow-colored fresh vegetables, lovely to look at, tasty to consume, all in the same dish". 'Medley' is a word that food writers use, 'cornucopia' too. But they don't quite express the healthy wholesomeness that I'd like to express. Is there such a word, in any language? In the mean time, I'm sticking with "medley", that's the word that Myra Kornfeld used for this recipe for Vegetarian Times' January-February issue. I didn't expect to be knocked over by what is essentially a big plate of vegetables because steamed vegetables, well, aren't