Posts

Whole Cauliflower with Homemade Cheese Sauce ♥
How to Cook a Whole Head of Cauliflower

How to cook a whole head of cauliflower, it's surprisingly unfussy! I like to drape mine in homemade cheese sauce, it makes for dramatic presentation, yes?
~recipe updated & republished for a little weekend cooking inspiration 2015~
~more recently updated recipes~
2010: The sheer beauty of the vegetables arriving in the markets — that would be arriving from California and Mexico; that would be arriving in supermarkets, given that I write from Missouri, where gardeners worry whether there's still time to get cool-weather lettuces, peas too, into soggy gardens — some times stops me in my tracks. If I close my eyes, I can conjure them again, even many weeks later. Last winter, purple-topped turnips glistened in the mist. (Does your supermarket announce the start of the produce misters with a lively rendition of "Singin' in the Rain"? Mine does!) A couple of weeks back, the eggplants were baby-bottom smooth, there was no not running a hand along their smoky curv…

Crazy-Good Cooked Cabbage ♥

Yeah, I said cabbage and "crazy good" in the same sentence. Hmmm, wait, I see those eyes rolling! I hear you thinking, "Yeah right. Cooked cabbage." But really, cooked cabbage is something special! It so belongs on the list of today's best trendy vegetables, right up there with cauliflower and kale. Weight Watchers Friendly, just 2 PointsPlus. Low Cal. Low Carb. Gluten Free. Vegetarian. And CrazyGood.
Quick-Quick. Name March's top vegetable. What, you give up? It's cabbage, of course! Yep, during March, the grocers put big heads of cabbage out there front and center – all famous-like, as prominent as avocados in January and pumpkins in October.

And yeah-yeah, I know that many of you are scoffing at the idea of "crazy good" cabbage. But the thing is, cooked cabbage is crazy good and it's too bad that mostly, cabbage is relegated to coleslaw. So give cabbage a chance, cooked and crazy-good, remember!

Kalamata Tuna Salad Bok Choy Wraps ♥

Homemade tuna salad made with kalamata olives, wrapped in leaves of peppery bok choy. Weight Watchers Friendly, just two or three PointsPlus. High Protein. Low Cal. Low Carb. Gluten Free. Paleo.
I'm always on the hunt for quick, healthy, low-calorie, low-carb make-ahead lunches. Protein is a real priority, so is a healthy vegetable. Enter the tuna salad that for a year now, has captured my heart, one lunch after another. The tuna salad is based on the
Italian Tuna Salad from Viviano’s Festa Italiano in my column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Like the rest of us, until now I dashed together tuna salad without thought, a little onion, a little celery, a spoonful or two mayonnaise and voila, there it is, tuna salad.

WORD DANCERS Last week a blogger wrote not voila but viola. Ooops. Ever since, the word dancer in me is entertained by intentionally using the wrong word. With tuna salad, I'd say something like, "Viola! That's it!" Tee hee. #ButIDigress #Sorry #Not…

Spinach Recipes ♥ Alphabet of Vegetables

IN A RUSH? Prefer Another Vegetable?
Skip Straight to the Recipes or Switch to the A-Z of Vegetables.

Spinach 101: THE BASICS
Pronounced [SPIN-itch]. Spinach is a "leafy green" and also a bitter green.

The Origins of Spinach. Spinach is thought to have originated in the Middle East. It was grown in Spain as early as the the 8th century and the Spaniards brought it to the New World. Spinach contains oxalic acid, providing the slightly bitter taste prized by some and despised by others. Spinach's dark green leaves may be either curled or smooth.
The Season. Spinach is a "cool season" crop, its growing season is "late winter" through "late spring." In climates with long summers, a second crop is planted in "late summer" for harvest before winter. Luckily for those of us who aren't gardeners (or in our off-seasons), fresh spinach is a year-round staple in modern grocery stores.
Fresh Baby Spinach. I love-love-love bags of already-w…

Roasted Eggplant Soup ♥

Today's inexpensive, healthy winter soup recipe: Take a pretty eggplant, roast it and add a few pantry ingredients. You've got Roasted Eggplant Soup! Weight Watchers Friendly, just 2 PointsPlus. Low Cal. Low Carb. Gluten Free. Paleo. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real" (when made with vegetable stock).
Eggplant this time of year, it's just so pretty! So plump, so perfect and oh-so-pretty – so pretty that last week, not one but two eggplants jumped into my grocery cart. The next day, My Favorite Cook stopped by the grocery for milk and (y'know where this is headed, right?) another one jumped into his cart! "It was so pretty!" he said. I had to laugh: we're so alike when it comes to vegetables, we can't resist the pretty ones. And then I wondered, What in good gravy am I going to do with three eggplants?

#1 Eggplant Soup. It was, um, shall we say, Not-So-Pretty? But I loved the silky texture and the smoky flavor. Win!

#2 One of these eggplan…

Cream of Broccoli & Carrot Soup ♥ Recipe

Today's broccoli soup recipe: A creamy broccoli and carrot soup, broccoli for good health, carrot for a little color and sweetness. The soup uses evaporated milk for creaminess so I thought I'd take a look at the calorie and nutrition differences between canned milk and fresh milk.
Vegetable soups are a staple in my kitchen so no surprise that over the years, I have collected a veritable "stable" of soup recipes. (Wanna check the size of said stable? Check the Kitchen Parade soup recipes and A Veggie Venture soup recipes.) I love the soups that are full-full of all kinds of vegetables, so much so that I created a master recipe, Master Recipe: How to Make Homemade Vegetable Soup, it's never the same twice and includes soooo many tips about extracting flavor the vegetables. But I also like the soups that star just a single vegetable, here it's broccoli but I've added carrot for a little color and sweetness.

EVAPORATED MILK Do you keep evaporated milk (a…

Lasagna Soup with Fresh Spinach ♥ Recipe

Today's hearty soup recipe: Homemade lasagna in a bowl, all the flavors, but for post-holiday dieters like me, skipping the cheese. (No missing it, promise.) Weight Watchers 4 PointsPlus.
The new year is a sort of relief, isn't it? Not so much that last year was so bad (for me, though I know was a hard-hard year for many) but because it just feels sooo good to leave behind the too-much, too-rich, too-sweet, too-tempting foods that are hallmarks of the holidays. I've made soup every day this week, broth-based soups packed with vegetables and protein and nutrients. A cup at a time, they are reviving my holiday-logged body and spirit, preparing me for the fullness of the new year.

PLUS I'm cleaning out the basement freezer and the pantry! So when I spied the recipe for "Cheesy Spinach Lasagna Soup" in one of my favorite cookbooks from 2009, The Spice Kitchen, I knew that I'd skip the cheese and amp up the spinach. Better still, it was a great way to use u…