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Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Orange ♥ Recipe

Today's "vegetable" (yes, those are quotes) recipe: One of those Midwestern classics, a zucchini chocolate, very chocolate-y and very orange-y thanks to both orange liqueur and fresh orange zest and juice. Virtuous only on the goodness scale.
Parlor Tricks. That's what 99.99 percent of all dessert recipes with vegetables are. So now you think I'm gonna tell you that this Chocolate Zucchini Cake beats the odds, right? Nope. This is pure cake. The fact that there's zucchini in there matters not one whit in fact I suspect you could leave it out and not a soul would notice. I shake my head when I see you-know-the-type cookbooks talk about "sneaking" vegetables into kids foods. Like C.A.K.E.

Still. This cake is so chocolate-y. And so orange-y. And extra-moist, even on Day Three. A keeper? You bet. But with full understanding, the zucchini is a parlor trick.

Armenian Vegetable Stew ♥ Recipe

Today's vegetable recipe: A simple vegetable stew, a mélange of late-summer and early-fall vegetables like eggplant, peppers, summer squash, tomatoes, okra. Very Weight Watchers Friendly, just WW 1 PointsPlus for a whole cup. Low Cal. Low Carb. Gluten Free. Paleo. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".
Every couple of weeks during late summer and fall, you'll find a big pot of vegetable stew a-simmerin' on my stove. (In winter? It's usually soup, not the thicker stew.) Then during the next week, it's my "go to" convenience food, just a minute or two in the microwave for a small, healthy and plant-based meal (in 100-calorie servings, the best thing I learned when I switched from Weight Watchers to Medifast) or a supper side dish, no cooking required.

Here's the latest! It's a mild stew – those of you who hanker for heat will want to grab the hot sauce! (Or for built-in heat, try the wonderful Chickpea Gumbo or Vegetable Chili with Sweet Po…

Seasonal Vegetable Stews ♥ 10 Killer Recipes, 10 Tips & Techniques

Ten favorite vegetable stew recipes for all seasons, summer, fall, winter and year-round. These are "killer stew recipes" – tried & true, healthy, great-tasting, easy to incorporate the vegetables you love and leave out the ones you don't. Some recipes work best with a cornucopia of fresh summer vegetables from your CSA, garden or farmers market; others work beautifully with year-round supermarket vegetables.

Clean eaters, take note! All the recipes are for vegetarian stews. Most are vegan stews or easily made vegan. Every one works as a side dish or a vegetarian/vegan main dish perfect for Meatless Monday meals. Some take a little time to prep the vegetables, others are quick-quick. Two use a slow cooker!

Healthy eaters, these recipes are for you! A satisfying cup usually adds up to about 100 calories (more if the stew calls for beans). For Weight Watchers, this is usually two or three PointsPlus.

Plus ten tips and techniques for perfecting your own killer vegetab…

Twice-Roasted Beets with Fruit and Avocado Feta Cream ♥ A Five-Star First Course!

My latest beet salad recipe: Roasted beets roasted a second time, this time with summer fruits like grapes and cherries and blueberries. Served warm! On the side? A gorgeous-green creamy sauce of no more than avocado, feta and buttermilk mixed in minutes in the blender. Weight Watchers Friendly. Gluten Free. Primal. Vegetarian.
Do you have a certain way you like to "entertain"? There are so many styles that work!

This summer, we've become enamored with simple but sumptuous suppers at the kitchen table (or on the patio, heat permitting), just two couples, room and reason for real conversation. Food-wise some times I wonder if we hit the repeat button a little often but the rhythm works for us. A small nibbly. A first course salad – all summer it's been a variation of Twice-Roasted Beets. Beef from the freezer, simply cooked. A simple vegetable or two or three, at least one from the garden. A fruity dessert. It's easy to prepare, effortless to serve, quick to cl…

Spiral Zucchini Noodle Salad with Homemade Catalina Dressing ♥

The Recipe: A simple zucchini salad, just zucchini noodles and carrots tossed in a lovely Homemade Catalina Dressing, all made with accessible pantry ingredients. Weight Watchers Friendly, WW 2 PointsPlus. Low Cal. Low Carb. Gluten Free. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".
The Conversation: How I finally came to use the spiralizer purchased almost two years ago.
Amazon, the chiding conscience: "You purchased this item on August 25, 2012."

Me, hanging head in shame about the object of Amazon's reminder, the spiralizer I purchased two whole years ago but never once pulled out of the box let alone used.

Me, grateful to Mari Moilanen, the Finnish food blogger who blogs in English at Something Tasty. It was Mari's Zucchini Spiral "Noodle" Salad salad, which she served at the photography workshop I attended in Helsinki in June, which inspired me to dig out the long-neglected spiralizer on our very first day back!

Raw Tomatillo Salad with Blueberries ♥

Today's quick 'n' easy summer salad recipe: Anyone else wonder what-in-heck to do with all the fresh tomatillos that are so beautiful right now? Try the tomatillos raw in this simple salad – isn't it pretty?! – just be sure to follow my quick technique for making tomatillos taste extra sweet and citrusy. Weight Watchers Friendly, low-carb, gluten-free, paleo. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".
Every year, I seem to fall in love – head-over-heels in love – with a new vegetable. It's never a new-to-me vegetable, instead an old friend suddenly experienced with new tastebuds. Last fall, it was the tomatillo! When the garden threw off one husk-wrapped, heavy-in-the-hand fruit after another, I tried to figure out how to use so many tomatillos. For a couple of weeks, they sat in a basket on the counter, sure to go bad, waiting on my decision.

By accident, I figured out that the direction that you cut tomatillos makes a difference! If you cut them lengthwise,…

Microwave Summer Cream Corn ♥ A Reader Recipe!

Today's "plain" corn recipe with "hardly plain" results: Just fresh sweet corn cooked in the microwave, tossed with butter, a little milk or cream and seasoning. So easy, so summmery! Real food. Paleo.
I was thrilled to see this easy recipe for cooking fresh sweet corn in the microwave pop up in my InBox. Thank you, Janet! I love it when readers share their favorite recipes! Let's let Janet herself tell the story.

"Summer Cream Corn was my mother's recipe. I've never written it down until now but I've been making it for forty years. Yesterday my granddaughters ate two helpings – they love grandma's corn! You can tweak it the way you would like it – it's just too easy."

"Take twelve ears of white delish summer corn (or more for a larger amount). Cut the corn off the ears, then scrape down the ears to get all the milk out. Put in a microwave for 6 minutes, then add a little water, stir and cook another 6 minutes. Do thi…