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Day 107: Pasta with Zucchini Noodles, Ricotta & Basil Pesto ♥

A summer classic, hot pasta tossed with ricotta and basil pesto. But here I've added zucchini noodles, both lightening the dish and somehow making it more substantial. And besides, it's zucchini season! It makes a light pasta side dish (it made a great base for Italian sausage) but also works as a pasta entrée for Meatless Monday, say.
~recipe updated, first published way back in 2005~
~more recently updated recipes~

So Full Disclosure. Way back in 2005, I hated this recipe. It just didn't work, the proportions were too far off. It called for a pound of pasta and a pound of zucchini and left it all swimming in oil. Not good. (And yeah, during A Veggie Venture's first year of experimentation, learning how to cook vegetables by cooking one in a new way every day, some of the recipes weren't up to my current standards. It's half surprising to me that so many did work really well even if others were complete duds.)

But that was then and this is now. I've co…

Black Bean & Corn Salad ♥

Summer in a bowl, just fresh vegetables and a can of black beans, brightened with a cumin-lime vinaigrette. So good! A great salad for dinner or a potluck and just to keep in the fridge.
Well, hello, friends. It's been awhile, more than three months truth be told although not without reason. Since New Years, I've been caring for our 90-year old father, first long distance and then in March, he came to live with us. Oh, the time it's taken to get him settled in, making our home senior-safe with ramps and grab bars, finding/working with new home health caregivers and doctors – we love Dr. Milta Little! – and the thousand-and-one details that insist on instant attention.

Day to day, time moves in a sort of slow motion now. Often I just like to sit with my dad in a sunny spot outside the kitchen, just "being" – watching the birds at the feeders, basking in the sunshine, knowing he'll soon nod off but glad he's safe and comfortable and finding a measure of …

Falafel Burgers ♥ (Lentil Burgers)

Meaty lentils formed into vegetarian (and easily vegan-ized) veggie burgers, like falafel except shaped into burgers. Naturally Gluten Free. Very Weight Watchers Friendly, just four SmartPoints! Hello, Meatless Monday!
So here's the story.

Just days before Christmas one year way way back, my big Cuisinart food processor gave up the ghost. Quit. Failed. Died. Went kaput. And I panicked! How would I cook without a food processor?! I know, I know. #FirstWorldProblems. My mom and I trekked from one Christmas-packed mall to another to seek out a mini Cuisinart, the little prep food processor.

But that little guy was completely unimpressive. I couldn't figure out why Cuisinart would attach its name to a worthless inferior product and off it went to Goodwill. (There was good news. Believe it or not, it took some weeks but Cuisinart was great about fixing my food processor. Since then, I've needed another bowl or two but that now-30-year old Cuisinart remains an old workhorse!…

Day 312: Cape Breton Cabbage ♥

A quick and easy way to cook cabbage, yielding a gobble-it-up delicious side dish. Low Carb. Gluten Free. Vegetarian. Weight Watchers friendly!
~recipe updated & republished 2016~
~more recently updated recipes~
WAY BACK IN 2006 This is one more simple cabbage recipe, just like Day 295's Cabbage with Winter Pesto. If you haven't had cooked cabbage for awhile, it's worth a retry. I remember cabbage being kinda icky – but these last two recipes have turned out cabbage that's sweet and wonderfully fresh tasting. This recipe makes a low-carb, low-calorie and high-fiber side dish: simple, delicious AND healthful. Next time, I'll skip the egg, it just doesn't seem necessary. The trick seems to be the vinegar.

UPDATE Cabbage lovers will love this, I think. I know I sure do! The cabbage is so creamy and sharp at the same time, almost like a gentle Sweet 'n' Sour Cabbage. VERY good! I do now indeed skip the egg, it isn't missed. An egg does make the sau…

Maple-Glazed Chicken ♥ with Easy Skillet Creamed Carrots & Onions

No more mid-winter supper blues, I've got you covered. Chances are good, you've got everything it takes to make this tonight. So simple! Oven-baked chicken with a maple syrup and rosemary glaze, served alongside carrots and onion cooked together in a skillet. So good! Low Carb and Weight Watchers, you'll love a hearty dinner for just 6 points.
Culinary archeology, that's my new hobby obsession, slowly paging through old issues of Gourmet magazine. Back in December, I started with a stack of Januarys, oldest to newest, looking for easy dinner ideas, wondering if, some 25 years later, the recipes would still appeal.

First up, Gourmet January 1992. The ads collectively profile Gourmet's target readers, a snapshot of a heady time: expensive watches; hotels and travel destinations; wines and liquor; plus one financial service ad with the unfortunate headline, "The unfortunate burden of making money". Gail Zweigenthal's name and face were familiar but r…

Egyptian Kamut Salad ♥ with Roasted Carrot & Pomegranate

A hearty main dish salad to celebrate Christmas Day in Egypt, that's January 7th according to the Julian calendar followed by Egyptian Coptic Christians. The whole-grain salad starts with the ancient grain called "kamut" [pronounced ka-mutt, rhymes with a mixed-breed dog, not a moot point], a chewy, nutty grain. From there? Gorgeous roasted carrots and some kale for color plus a basketful of Middle Eastern fruits, dates, apricots and pomegranate, all drizzled with pomegranate molasses. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".
"We'll never eat all this," my head-talk worried. I'd just spent three hours in the kitchen concocting a massive whole-grain salad. The labor of my love sat on the counter before me on a white oval platter, a splendid pile of kamut, roasted carrots and kale plus more fruity jewels than a binge of Bejeweled. So beautiful! But my salad had formidable competition. I'd made it for the annual Christmas feast for some foodie fr…

Best Everyday Vegetable Recipes of 2015 from A Veggie Venture

A Veggie Venture's Best Recipes from 2015, just one per month, all in one handy spot for easy reference, all "everyday vegetable recipes" to make again and again.
I'm going out on a limb this year. For the first time ever, A Veggie Venture's "Best Recipes" of 2015 are not the most clicked, pinned, shared or even the most liked recipes.

Forget popularity. I'm standing up usefulness!

So this collection of recipes are the most every-day recipes, special in their very every-day-ness, recipes destined to be made and remade so often they'll fast lose recipe status and become "just a little something you whipped up."

Truth is? I've personally made all but two of these recipes more than once, three many times, seven of the twelve many-many-many times. And I wasn't "recipe testing". I was just putting breakfast on the table. Or making lunch. Or a salad. In my kitchen? Those are the best recipes of all, the ones you pull o…