Raw Brussels Sprouts Salad ♥ Recipe

Today's fall salad recipe: A raw salad, this time with raw Brussels sprouts shaved so thin they easily "cook" (if you will) in a lemon vinaigrette and then are tossed with grated romano for a certain lovely "sourness" and pine nuts for a touch of "crunch". Weight Watchers Friendly, WW 3 PointsPlus. Low Carb. Gluten Free. Primal. Vegetarian. Word to the wise, best left to rest for 24 hours before serving. My dear college friends Laurie and Susan visited this week, meeting midway in St. Louis. As Laurie wrote afterward on Facebook, "Thirty years melted away as we honored our loved ones' memories, cooked and schemed together. Still friends of the heart after all these years!" We three had much catching up to do and wondered out loud, how and why, when we had once crossed the state just to have dinner together, did our friendship become relegated to Christmas cards? Children? Careers? Something else? Where did the years go? Funny thing w

Whole-Grain Salad with Beets, Beans & Corn ♥ A Simple Salad

Today's fall salad recipe: A mix of whole grains like wheatberries or bulghur mixed with rainbow-colored vegetables in a simple vinaigrette. Weight Watchers Friendly, just 1 PointsPlus. Low Cal. Not just vegan, " Vegan Done Real ". When visiting my dad in northern Minnesota right on the Canadian border, I let myself “just cook” - happily forgetting that my websites are hungry for new recipes and other endless attention back at home. With proper timing, I can hit the St. Paul farmers market on the way north to stock up on fresh vegetables, then the grocery store in International Falls for staples. My poor father: when I arrive, his fridge will hold little more than a jar of peanut butter, a bag of baby carrots, a little cheese, a bottle of ketchup, a stick of butter. Fifteen minutes later, the shelves are crammed with food, none of it “ready to eat” mind you, all of it needing preparation. And so our visits begin ... Some times though, blog-ready recipes just happen n

Easy Steamed Bok Choy Salad ♥ Recipe

Today's quick and easy recipe for Asian greens: A fast make-ahead and easy-to-carry salad using the healthy but "accessible" (aka easy to enjoy) Asian green called bok choy (or some times pak-choi or Chinese cabbage). Weight Watchers Friendly. WW 1 or 2 PointsPlus. Low Cal. Low Carb. Gluten Free (with GF soy sauce). Not just vegan, " Vegan Done Real ". My friend Naam [rhymes with "tom"] is a-naam-azing. We've been friends for less than a year but oh! it's nice to make a new friend! In our first email exchange last year, she invited me and 25 other St. Louis food bloggers to lunch – not out to lunch , mind you, but to lunch in her home. Turns out, lunch is Naam's "thing" and quite often, she'll invite a friend or two for a sit-down, multi-course light lunch. It's about friendship, about conversation, about connection. Naam is Thai and both times I've been for lunch, she's served Asian food. On Tuesday, three of

Creamy Cucumber-Tomato Salsa ♥ Recipe

Today's quick and easy cucumber and tomato “salsa”: It’s a quick mix of cucumber and tomato plus a little radish for bite and crunch. Serve it as a healthy dip or on the side. Weight Watchers Friendly, WW 0 or 1 PointsPlus. Low Cal. Low Carb. Gluten Free. Vegetarian. "Out the ying-yang.” That’s what I’m thinkin’ about the garden’s dutiful presentation of a basketful of cucumbers one morning after the next now that the temperatures here in eastern Missouri have climbed into the more-seasonal if less-welcome 90s. I’m ruthless about rejects: if there’s even a hint of bruising or biting from creatures-of-the-night, bam, into the compost box those babies go. (And have I told you about the cucumber-loving woodchuck? Okay, encourage me and I will. Tee hee ...) But even the perfect ones stack up, so many we can barely give them away. Some times I fear that if I see even one more cucumber, I might just start wishing away the summer. Instead, I peel and chop and voila, the cucumbers

Garden Eggs "Benedict” Recipe ♥
with Giant Squash, Summer Tomato, Bacon, Cheese and an Egg on Top

Today's tasty breakfast recipe, straight from the garden: It’s a garden version of Eggs Benedict. Low calorie. Low carb. Paleo if you leave out the cheese, primal if you leave it in. Weight Watchers friendly. Gluten free. Okay, so you’re right, of course. This isn’t really eggs benedict, because there’s no English muffin, no Canadian bacon and no hollandaise. Even the egg is fried, not poached. But that’s why I call it Garden Eggs “Benedict”. And it’s closer to traditional eggs benedict than you might think, given all that’s missing! It starts off with a slice of a large zucchini, a good way to use those "baseball bats” of zucchini that emerge from the garden this time of year. Then there’s a layer of warm tomato, isn’t it so good to have tomatoes again?! Crispy bacon is an easy substitute for Canadian bacon. If you keep the yolk runny, it makes a “sauce” that spills all over the whole pile once you dig your fork in. So phooey on the classic version, Garden Eggs “Benedict

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