A Northern Girl's Ode to Okra: Skillet Stewed Tomatoes & Okra ♥ Recipe

Today's okra recipe: Summer tomatoes and okra cooked slowly, ev-ah so slow-ly, in a skillet right on the stove, developing nuance and sweetness. Low carb. Gluten-free. Paleo. Weight Watchers 1 or 2 points. Not just vegan, " Vegan Done Real ". Long have I known that my soul looks to the North, where summer nights are long and ice fairies dance atop snow drifts in the brilliant late-winter light. But somewhere along the way, a "southern gene" must have taken hold because lordy-lordy, I do love okra. (And grits. But that’s a story for another day.) In late summer, okra’s small finger-shaped pods come off the plants by the basketful, so precious: the arrival of the first okra is greeted with the same excitement as the season’s first asparagus, the first sweet corn, the first beets, the first tomatoes, the first butternut squash.

Succotash Salad Recipe ♥ with Green Beans, Lima Beans, Corn & Tomatoes

Today's summer salad recipe: A salad version of the American South's succotash, here with the traditional lima beans (just a few, they're precious) and corn, but with green beans added for bulk, celery for crunch, tomatoes for a little sweetness, all married together with a lime vinaigrette spiked with hot sauce. Low carb. Gluten-free. Paleo. Weight Watchers 2 PointsPlus. Not just vegan, " Vegan Done Real ". So here's the thing about lima beans. It takes a whole pile of lima beans still in their pods from the garden to yield a measly half cup of edible lima beans. By my reckoning, it takes nearly 3 pounds of unshelled lima beans to yield a pound of lima beans. No wonder, til now, the only lima beans I've cooked for A Veggie Venture came straight from the freezer section, cheap and convenient. But when a few lima beans showed up in my CSA box, I knew exactly what I wanted to make, succotash. I once made a warm succotash, a Thanksgiving Succotash , but

Roasted Beet Salad with Fresh Mango, Blueberries & Blue Cheese ♥
A Recipe in 140 Characters or Less

Today's vegetable recipe: A simple roasted beet salad with fruit and a few herbs. No dressing required! Weight Watchers 2 PointsPlus. Vegetarian. Primal. Gluten-Free. Your veggie evangelist is a Twitter dropout – back in 2010, I gave up Twitter for Lent and never went back. But I l-o-v-e the concept of recipes in 140 or characters or less, that’s the limit of the message length of a “tweet”. So here’s your recipe, which one would grab your attention?! Reci-tweet #1: Roasted Beet Salad with Fresh Mango, Blueberries & Blue Cheese with a few fronds of fresh herbs. Serve chilled or at room temp. [127 characters] Reci-tweet #2: My favorite salad of the summer. Cubes of earthy beets and wet mango with blueberries that go “pop” and creamy blue cheese. [123 characters] Reci-tweet #3: Summer in a bowl, a contrast in color, texture, taste. Just beets, mango, blueberries and blue cheese. [102 characters] Got it? Now go make it.

Master Recipe: Crustless Quiche with Greens & Garden Vegetables
(Swiss Chard, Green Pepper, Tomatillo & Zucchini)

Today's new "master" vegetable recipe, the latest in a series: A formula for a "skinny" quiche loaded with ribbons of healthy greens (pictured, Swiss chard) and fresh summer vegetables, whatever's on hand (pictured, zucchini, tomatillo, green peppers and cherry tomatoes). Vegetarian, low carb and Weight Watchers just 4 PointsPlus. Wow. Last week we feared this year's garden might be a bust: something is eating the okra, boo hiss; the plants are producing lots of leaves but not much edible. But Sunday morning, the morning's harvest was worthy of a special vegetable quiche, sweet little tomatillos and bell peppers, a couple of miniature zucchini (plus one giant yellow-skinned zucchini!), even a few cherry tomatoes. The vegetables needed cooking beforehand. I might have sautéed each one individually but decided instead to "flash cook" (often called "blanching") the greens and fresh vegetables in a minimum of water, just enough to

Quick Reminder for Google Reader Users

Anyone else procrastinating about the demise of Google Reader? Here's what to do. If you use Google Reader to follow A Veggie Venture and/or Kitchen Parade and all your other favorite blogs, you already know that as of July 1, Google is pitching Google Reader into the compost pile. And if you’re like me, you’ve been procrastinating finding a replacement, hoping against hope that Google would change its mind. Nope … So here’s what to do. Me, I’m doing all three. STICK WITH AN RSS READER Go to either Feedly or Bloglovin quick-quick -- that means, today . Either free service will import your blog RSS subscriptions from Google Reader with a couple of clicks, this will preserve your existing subscriptions, otherwise, g'bye, gone forever. I’m kinda keen on Feedly, myself. SWITCH TO EMAIL For the blogs we care about the most, email subscriptions are best. Click here to subscribe to A Veggie Venture , click here to subscribe to Kitchen Parade . If you already receive emai

Easy Mini Kale Pizzas ♥ (Spaghetti Sauce "Doctored" with Kale)

Today's easy kale recipe: For sweet little mini pizzas, just "doctor" a jar of a favorite spaghetti sauce with cooked kale, then top as you like. Super easy and surprisingly tasty. For anyone who wants to sneak healthy leafy greens into the family diet, mini pizzas are a great place to start. The sauce itself has virtually no calories at all and zero Weight Watchers points and is not just vegan, " Vegan Done Real ". And a Mini Kale Pizza? Under a hundred calories! For cookbooks that really "teach" and "challenge", my favorites tackle a single subject and explore it deep and broad. So it goes with KALE: The Complete Guide to the World's Most Powerful Superfood by Stephanie Pedersen. (DISCLOSURE KALE's publisher provided a complimentary copy but the thoughts, as always, are my own.) Stephanie's personal story is compelling. She was pregnant on 9/11 and was exposed to a "massive amount of toxins" which were passed ont

Sweet Potato Curry with Red Lentils, Roasted Peppers & Spinach ♥
(Slow Cooker or Stovetop)

Today's vegan main dish or side dish, cooked either in a slow cooker or on the stovetop, an almost-creamy mix of chopped sweet potatoes and red lentils, spiked for a touch of heat with green curry paste. Just before serving, stir in roasted red peppers and fresh spinach. Just gorgeous, really. Low carb. Weight Watchers 3.5 or 5 points. A great choice for Meatless Monday, any meal of the day. Not just vegan but " Vegan Done Real ". This recipe is brought to you against all odds and prevailing winds. A "Pinterest Cook" No More I had such great confidence when the kitchen remodeling started. "I'll cook every day," I promised myself. Right. Within days, I turned into a "Pinterest cook" - that's someone who "cooks" by pinning one recipe after another without ever actually lighting the stove let alone chopping an onion. Then the other night, I couldn't sleep, my brain-on-busy overwhelmed by pesky kitchen details like, Wi