Kitchen Parade Extra

Kitchen Parade is on holiday. But never fear, the Veggie Venture continues! We've searched the archives for the best weekly columns featuring vegetables.

Here's my grandmother's favorite, a veggie-loaded gelatin salad, Tomato Soup Vegetable Salad.

Yes, it does include a can of tomato soup! But don't worry, it's delicious and healthful, perfect for both family summer gatherings and for keeping on hand in the frig.

Kitchen Parade Extra

Strawberry shortcake can be a true family ritual. Visit the Kitchen Parade weekly blog for light, lovely Best Shortcake Biscuits and Iowa Shortcake, the "first" way my family eats strawberry shortcake every year.

Kitchen Parade Extra

Kitchen Parade is on holiday. But the Veggie Venture continues! We've searched the archives for the best weekly columns featuring vegetables.

If you find a deal on red and yellow peppers, try this pair of recipes. The first is for a Red, Yellow Pepper Relish with mustard and olives, great with grilled meat. The second is a refrigerator (or canned, if you're ambitious) pickle called Pied Pipers that was featured back on Day 57 with grilled peppers from Trader Joe's.

Kitchen Parade Extra

Kitchen Parade is on holiday. But never fear, the Veggie Venture continues! We've searched our archives for the best weekly columns featuring vegetables.

Love French Fries? Now you can make fries from carrots, not potatoes. Also included is a fast, easy recipe for pork tenderloin.

Kitchen Parade Extra

Kitchen Parade is on holiday. But never fear, the Veggie Venture continues! We've searched our archives for the best weekly columns featuring vegetables.

Here are three ways to use sweet potatoes, in a Chicken Cider Stew, also mashed and roasted. All three are delicious!

Kitchen Parade Extra

Kitchen Parade is on holiday. But never fear, the Veggie Venture continues for we've searched our archives for the best weekly columns featuring vegetables.

Here's a long-time favorite recipe for ratatouille, published back in 2002 as Kitchen Parade's debut.

Day 82: Red Onion Beets ♥

Today's beet recipe: A simple beet salad, just cooked beets tossed with red onion cooked in olive oil and salty capers. Delicious and very pretty!

~ recipe updated &
photo added in 2006 ~

2005: Whaddaya say I get extra credit for this one? The yard is mowed, the suitcases are packed, the Explorer is loaded. Even the dog senses that soon we'll be hitting the road. Yes, tomorrow is the start of a two-week holiday and here I am, using up some of those beets cooked on Sunday. (The rest are in the neighbor's fridge.)

So are they any good? Yep. Are they easy? Yep. Are they pretty? Yep. (Sorry, the camera's docking station is packed, too. But imagine beet-stained onions with sassy-green capers. Photo added in 2006 ... but isn't this a pretty dish?!) Are they a keeper? You bet.

2006: These were even better than I remembered! They make for a hearty, filling side dish but I'd also toss them with pasta for a vegetarian supper.

RECIPE for RED ONION BEETS

Active time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 15 minutes
Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound red onions, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 pound cooked beets, chopped (there are several ways to cook beets in the beet recipes)
Salt & pepper
4 tablespoons drained capers

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the onions until they're very soft but not browning, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. (2006 note: taste an onion to be sure it's cooked enough, there's a lot of 'em!) Stir in the vinegar and the beets and combine until coated. Season with salt and pepper, scatter with the capers and serve.



TODAY'S VEGETABLE RECIPE INSPIRATION
Adapted from French Food at Home by Laura Calder





MORE FAVORITE BEET RECIPES
~ Harvard Beets ~
~ Microwave Beets ~
~ Pan-Pickled Beets ~

~ more beet recipes ~


© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2005


Day 81: Tomato on Rye ♥

The first real tomatoes!It gets no simpler than this. It gets no better than this. It gets no easier than this.

When my nephew visited recently, his grandmother - his oma, a German war bride - sent along a basket of German goodies, black currant jam, Kevli crackers, chocolate and a loaf of rye bread.

Is this a 'vegetable'? I dunno. But today I called it lunch.

TOMATO on RYE
Active time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 5 minutes
Serves 4


8 thin slices heavy rye bread
Butter
1 tomato, sliced
Salt & pepper

Spread thin layer of butter on each slice. Top with tomato slice. Sprinkle liberally with salt and freshly ground pepper.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Serving: 244 Cal (36% from Fat, 10% from Protein, 54% from Carb); 6 g Protein; 10 g Tot Fat; 5 g Sat Fat; 33 g Carb; 4 g Fiber; 55 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 426 mg Sodium; 20 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 5 points

Day 80: Beets with Feta ♥

Beets with Feta
A quick, simple and oh-so-easy way to fall in love with beets. Just dice or slice roasted beets, top with good feta crumbles and add a squeeze of lemon juice.

~recipe & photo updated 2006 & 2011~
~more recently updated recipes~

2005: So simple, so sumptuous! A late stop at a neary farm stand yielded a bonanza: four big bunches of beets, four bucks. (Perhaps other places put things on sale on Sunday afternoon?) I cooked 'em all so look for recipes using cooked beets over the next several days.

2011: Back in 2005, this was the sixth beet recipe I posted in three months. No wonder I was on my way to being named 'beet queen'! But this remains one of the very favorites, so very simple, the earthy beets and the tangy feta, brightened with lemon juice. When I want to introduce people to beets, this is the first choice.

Kitchen Parade Extra

Visit the Kitchen Parade weekly blog for a light pink (light as in calories, light as in color) strawberry ice cream.

Day 79: Carrots in Cumin Dressing

Here's another make-ahead, serve-later refrigerator dish. If you like the idea, check out Day 68 which is similar in approach if not in flavoring.

But I've simplified the process - and to absolutely no ill effect - and there's no big pile of dishes at the end.

CARROTS in CUMIN DRESSING
Active time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 25 minutes
Makes 6 cups


Water to cover
Table salt
2 pounds carrots

DRESSING
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Juice of an orange
1 teaspoon ground cmin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 tablespoon olive oil (reduced from 6 tablespoons! it must have been a typo?)

Fill a large pot or Dutch oven with enough water to completely cover the grated carrots and bring to a boil. Add salt.

Meanwhile, peel carrots and grate in a food processor. Add to boiling water, in batches if necessary, and let cook about three minutes. Drain in a colander.

Mix dressing ingredients in a large bowl. Add hot carrots to dressing, combine well. Transfer to a refrigerator dish and refrigerate, turning occasionally.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Serving: 44 Cal (26% from Fat, 7% from Protein, 67% from Carb); 1 g Protein; 1 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 8 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; 28 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 53 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 1 point


SOURCE
Bon Appetit June 2004

Day 77 - Roasted Romas

Roasted tomatoes, full of promisePerfect, I thought. The recipe from a mailbox-fresh issue of Bon Appetit called for roasting roma tomatoes, then stuffing them with mozzarella balls, pesto, goat cheese -- my plan was to use a cream cheese and wasabi mix with a little diced cucumber and shrimp.

The tomatoes turned out great, even though I'd use far less oil another time. But they were so soft, so wobbly, there was no stuffing them with anything, let alone being able to pick them up to eat.

So ... roasted tomatoes are good, just expect to serve them on the side.

ROASTED ROMAS
Active time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 90 minutes
Serves 8


Non-stick cooking spray
12 roma tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil (see ALANNA's TIPS)
Salt & pepper

Chopped chive

Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a rimmed baking dish with cooking spray.

Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise. Use a grapefruit knife or small knife (serrated may work best) to remove the core and seeds. Arrange cut side up on the baking dish. Brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 50 - 60 minutes or until tender and just slightly charred. Cool on the baking sheet, tilted to let excess oil drain away. Serve sprinkled with chive (or other herb).

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Serving (3 half-slices): 45 Cal (66% from Fat, 6% from Protein, 28% from Carb); 1 g Protein; 4 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 3 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 9 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 4 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 1 point
ALANNA's TIPS
  • The recipe called for 1/4 cup of olive oil. For once, I didn't cut the oil because my experience with roasting vegetables is that more oil is better than less. For these tomatoes, however, a whole quarter cup left the tomatoes dripping in unappetizing oil. After they roasted, I could literally pour oil from each tomato half -- and did. And then I tilted the tray and a huge pool collected at the bottom.
  • Tomatoes may be tender enough that even misting with oil would be plenty -- it's certainly worth a try.
SOURCE
Bon Appetit

Day 77: Carrot Loaf

My cookbook calls this 'savory carrot cake' but a better name is perhaps carrot 'loaf'This didn't turn out the least like I expected ... isn't something called 'cake' light and airy? But if you like 'different' (in the good sense), this qualifies - and it got good reviews at my book club. Still, since it requires considerable time and several pots and pans, it is no doubt better for dinner party or weekend cooking.

CARROT LOAF
Active (hands-on) time: 15 minutes
Active (nearby to stir) time: 50 minutes
Time to table: Nearly 2 hours
Serves 8


1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup fat-free chicken broth (see ALANNA's TIPS)
Salt & pepper
2 handsful basil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 shallot, chopped
1/4 pound white mushrooms, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced

2 eggs, beaten
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated

Salt & pepper

Melt the first tablespoon of butter on MEDIUM heat in a large skillet with a cover. Add the carrots and saute until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Pour the chicken broth over, cover and cook until carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook until the liquid is completely absorbed, about 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer carrots to a food processor and process until smooth. Add the basil and process lightly, just until basil is 'chopped' and evenly distributed.

While the carrots cook, melt the second tablespoon of butter in a small skillet. Add the shallot mushrooms and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft, about another 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook about 2 minutes. Set aside until carrots are ready.

Whisk together the eggs and Parmesan in a medium bowl. Add the carrots and the onion mixture and combine well. Transfer to a bread pan that is lined with aluminum foil. Transfer the carrot mixture to the bread pan and spread evenly inside. Place the bread pan inside a larger baking pan with tall sides. Pour boiling water into the larger pan until it's about half-way up the sides of the bread pan. Bake at 425F for 40 minutes or until firm. Cut into slices and serve warm or at room temperature.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Serving: 101 Cal (47% from Fat, 19% from Protein, 33% from Carb); 5 g Protein; 6 g Tot Fat; 3 g Sat Fat; 9 g Carb; 3 g Fiber; 143 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 187 mg Sodium; 72 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 2 points

ALANNA's TIPS
  • Swanson's Natural Goodness 100% fat-free is rated highly - I buy the large can and keep it in the frig for a week or so after opening

SOURCE
French Food at Home

Day 76: Zucchini with Tomatoes & Cheddar ♥

An after-school favorite~Recipe & photo updated 2007~

One fall a loooooooooong time ago, for some reason the house was overrun with zucchini. My Mom came up with an idea for a quick bite after school. Every day, I'd get off the school bus, head into the house, move straight to the kitchen. I'd slice a zucchini - they seemed exotic then somehow, so firm, so green - then splash on a bit of tomato sauce and throw it in the mike.

Tonight I was cleaning up leftovers so used the doctored tomatoes from Day 69 and the result was delicious. But if memory serves, tomato sauce works great.

2007 Update: Instead of tomatoes or tomato sauce, I used leftover salsa -- the kick was very good!




VEGETABLE RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ more zucchini recipes ~
~ more microwave recipes ~
~ more favorite vegetable recipes (this was my very favorite recipe in June 2005!) ~


ZUCCHINI with TOMATOES & CHEDDAR
Active time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 10 minutes
Serves 1


1 zucchini, sliced
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
One inch square of cheddar cheese, sliced thin

Place the zucchini in a microwave dish and cover with tomato sauce. Cover with a paper towel and cook in the microwave for about five minutes or until zucchini is just cooked. Remove paper towel, top with cheese and cook for another minute.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Serving: 87 Cal (48% from Fat, 23% from Protein, 28% from Carb); 5 g Protein; 5 g Tot Fat; 3 g Sat Fat; 7 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; 125 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 261 mg Sodium; 15 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 1 point

ALANNA's TIPS
  • To serve four, multiply ingredients by four. Place zucchini in a 9x9 Pyrex or similar microwave dish, making sure it's nearly all in a single layer. Continue as above.

Day 75: Spinach with Cottage Cheese & Canned Beets

Always! Always! Always! have a backup ...If I've learned one lesson in nearly 11 weeks, it's this: if you're committed to eating vegetables (or by extension, more healthfully) you've got to have a backup plan, something that takes no thinking, no time, no cooking.

When I finally came inside well after dark last night, even 15 minutes of knives and skillets seemed unfathomable effort.

Maybe that new pizza place? I strategized.

I'll cook two vegetables tomorrow, I justified. Really, I promised.

Sure you will, my vegetable conscience countered.

But I DID have a backup, a couple of cans of beets in the pantry.

So supper was simple yes, just some spinach and cottage cheese and beets. It was plenty. It took all of two minutes to throw together. It was delicious - as Nana said so often, hunger is the best sauce.

Always, always, always: have a backup.

Day 74: Oven-Fried Eggplant

Eggplant, again?!Sorry, yes, that eggplant kick continues!

These slices grew on me - perhaps it's better at room temperature than hot? But for a fair level of fuss, it needed to be great to become a keeper - and to be worth 3 points.

Still, if you're on an eggplant kick, give it your own try.

OVEN-FRIED EGGPLANT
Active time: 15 minutes, virtually all up-front
Time to table: 40 minutes
Serves 4


Cooking spray

1/3 cup matzo meal (or bread crumbs as the original recipe suggested)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon chopped onion

1 pound eggplant

Preheat oven to 425F. (See ALANNA's TIPS) Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Mix the matzo meal, Parmesan and Italian seasoning in a bowl (pick one that'll be easy to dip the eggplant slices into). Mix the mayonnaise and onion in another bowl. Remove the stem end of the eggplant, then cut in half-inch slices. Spread a thin layer of the mayonnaise on both sides of each eggplant slice, then dip into matzo meal on both sides, then arrange on baking sheet. (It's a little messy but not bad.) Bake for 12 minutes, turn the slices over and bake for another 12 minutes or until brown and crispy.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Serving: 153 Cal (41% from Fat, 14% from Protein, 45% from Carb); 5 g Protein; 7 g Tot Fat; 2 g Sat Fat; 17 g Carb; 4 g Fiber; 105 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 250 mg Sodium; 8 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 3 points


ALANNA's TIPS
  • The temp/times shown are what the original recipe specified. The version I cooked was done at 400F -- what tonight's ribs needed -- and for 17 minutes.

SOURCE
Cooking Light, May 1994

Kitchen Parade Extra

Visit the Kitchen Parade weekly blog for another healthful hot-weather dish, a chicken salad laced with chickpeas.

Day 73: Brushed Eggplant II

Original photo showing the internal structure of eggplant
Today's vegetable recipe: Sliced eggplant brushed with vinaigrette, baked, then topped with cheese. Low carb. Weight Watchers 1 point.

~ recipe & photo updated in 2008 ~

2005: I seem to be on an eggplant kick so had high hopes for this after Day 71. This time, however, I wanted an easy way to roast eggplant without a lot of oil so I brushed the slices with fat-free Italian dressing from the fridge. Too bad: not so good, even the addition of a bit of feta didn't help. Who knew that cheese couldn't save nearly anything?! The eggplant are pretty, though, yes? I had no idea what the internal structure of an eggplant looked like until these came out of the oven.

2008: This time I used a homemade vinaigrette of 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard and a clove of minced garlic (plus lots of salt and pepper) for a beautiful two-pound globe eggplant. Straight from the oven, the slices still tasted quite plain so again, I went the cheese route, for comparison topping a few slices with grated Parmesan. Too bad: still so-so. Interestingly enough, later I found the plain slices -- the ones without the cheese -- quite good when cold. Temperature somehow allowed the creaminess of the eggplant to emerge.





VEGETABLE RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ more eggplant recipes ~
~ more recipes for roasted vegetables ~


BRUSHED EGGPLANT II
Active time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 55 minutes
Serves: 4


Cooking spray
1 pound eggplant
1/3 cup non-fat Italian dressing (2008: homemade vinaigrette)
Few sprinkles of feta (2008: Parmesan)

Set oven to 375F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Slice off the stem end of the eggplant, then cut into 3/4 inch slices. Pour dressing into a small dish, brush both sides of each slice with the dressing. Arrange slices on the baking sheet. Put the baking sheet into the oven, even if it's not fully preheated, for 25 minutes plus the remaining pre-heat time. (For example, if your oven takes 10 minutes to preheat and has been warming up for 3 minutes when you put the tray in, set the timer for 32 minutes, 25 minutes plus 7 minutes.) Remove from the oven and turn the slices over and bake another 20 minutes. If desired, add a few sprinkles of feta for the last few minutes of baking.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
With feta, Per Serving: 65 Cal (29% from Fat, 15% from Protein, 56% from Carb); 2 g Protein; 2 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 10 g Carb; 4 g Fiber; 56 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 367 mg Sodium; 8 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 1 point

Without feta, Per Serving: 41 Cal (5% from Fat, 11% from Protein, 85% from Carb); 1 g Protein; 0 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 9 g Carb; 4 g Fiber; 10 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 262 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 0 points

Day 72: Shredded Zucchini with Thyme ♥

Just this week, the produce sections in grocery stores seem to be bursting with new fruits and vegetables. The scent of first peaches fills the air, begging to be bagged for home. Who needs farmers markets?!

This zucchini is good -- very good -- and ever so simple. The trick is to salt the grated (or, I suppose, julienned) zucchini for 15 minutes, then to squeeze the liquid out. Then it cooks in just a couple of minutes, tonight, with a splash of the vinaigrette from Day 71 and a bit of fresh thyme.

SHREDDED ZUCCHINI with THYME
Active time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 25 minutes
Serves 4


1 1/2 pounds zucchini
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon Day 71 Dressing (see ALANNA's TIPS)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (see TIPS)

Remove the stem ends from the zucchini, then grate. (see TIPS) Transfer to a colander, stir in the salt. Let rest for about 15 minutes in a sink or over a dish. Grab a handful of zucchini and squeeze out the liquid, repeating until no more can be easily extracted.

Heat a skillet over MEDIUM HIGH. Add Day 70 Dressing and zucchini. Toss gently. Cook until zucchini is hot and cooked through, turning occasionally. Stir in thyme. Serve immediately.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Serving: 50 Cal (45% from Fat, 14% from Protein, 41% from Carb); 2 g Protein; 3 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 6 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; 31 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 921 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 1 point


ALANNA's TIPS
  • Mix 1/4 cup white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil.
  • Thyme was good, dill or tarragon might be better.
  • You'd think a 'lazy cook' would use a food processor, right? I'll never give up my Cuisinart but there are times, like tonight, when it's just easier to use a small hand tool that can be ever-so-easily tossed into an already-nearly-full dishwasher. Besides, isn't hand-grating a form of upper-arm exercise? Tee hee ...
SOURCE
Adapted from Sara Moulton Cooks at Home

Day 71: Brushed Eggplant ♥

~recipe & photo updated in 2007~

2005 Original Text: "There must be a lighter way ... these are addictively good - a problem when they're loaded with olive oil! It may not be the recipe's fault. I couldn't find the pastry brush so dipped the first several eggplant slices into the dressing. I switched to my fingers, which used less of the dressing, but the damage was done."

2007 Recipe & Photo Update: With a silicone pastry brush, 'too much oil' was no problem, in fact, I brushed all the cut surfaces once then had so much leftover that I brushed them again after 20 minutes in the oven. So yes, there is a lighter way and yes, they're still addictively good.

2007 KITCHEN NOTES: While slender Japanese eggplant may be more tender (so I read but I can't tell the difference), the standard 'globe' eggplant is preferable here, because it has a lower skin:flesh ratio. That said, the skin isn't unpalateable so use what you have on hand.

BRUSHED EGGPLANT
Active time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 50 minutes
Serves 4


DRESSING
1 tablespoon good vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon good olive oil

1 pounds eggplant, stem removed, cut in 3/4 inch slices
Salt & pepper
Fresh herbs (optional, in 2007 tarragon was great)

Preheat oven to 375F. Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Arrange eggplant on a baking sheet cut-side up (you might cover with foil unless it's non-stick). Brush the up-facing side of each slice, turn those with two cut sides upside down and brush the cut sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, turn slices over and bake another 20 - 25 minutes or until golden and soft.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Serving: 60 Cal (50% from Fat, 8% from Protein, 42% from Carb); 1 g Protein; 4 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 3 g Mono Fat; 7 g Carb; 4 g Fiber; NetCarb3; 3 g Sugar; 14 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 341 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 1 point

SOURCE
Sara Moulton Cooks at Home

Day 70: Confetti Potato Salad ♥

Isn't it pretty?! And it tastes good -- make that great -- too! Since it has no mayonnaise, it would be perfect for outdoor eating and potlucks, to say nothing of half-way healthful.

The funny thing, however, is that I was little impressed after making it. It was okay ... but nothing special. Whoa, was I surprised when it went on the table with babyback ribs - a great combination, by the way. And the next night, it tasted even better.

I lightened the original Gourmet recipe and added crunch and salt. Next time, I won't change a thing -- except to allow ample chilling time.

CONFETTI POTATO SALAD
Active time: 45 minutes (with about 10 minutes to do something else)
Time to table: 5 hours (including 4+ hours in the frig)
Makes 8 cups


1 1/2 pounds potatoes, skins on (see ALANNA's TIPS)
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled

1 large onion, chopped finely
1 red pepper, chopped finely
4 stalks celery, chopped finely

DRESSING
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Salt & pepper to taste

Place a steamer basket in a large pot or Dutch oven, then fill with water just below bottom of steamer. Bring to a boil. Cut the potatoes in about half-inch cubes and arrange evenly in the steamer basket. Cut the sweet potatoes in about half-inch cubes and arrange evenly over the potatoes. Cover and cook for 15 - 20 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through.

Chop the onion, red pepper and celery and set aside. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a large bowl, then add the cooked potatoes and the onion mixture. Combine well. Season to taste. Refrigerate for at least for hours before serving.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per 1/2 Cup: 116 Cal (27% from Fat, 6% from Protein, 66% from Carb); 2 g Protein; 4 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 20 g Carb; 3 g Fiber; 26 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 368 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 2 points

ALANNA's TIPS
  • Use a yellow-fleshed potato such as Finn.
  • The potatoes need just a bit more heat to cook than the sweet potatoes, make sure to put them in the steamer first.
  • Hot potatoes will absorb more of the sauce's flavors. But since they're still soft, you'll want to use a gentle touch when combining.
SOURCE
Adapted from a recipe from Gourmet, July 1991

Day 69: Tomato Bread Pudding ♥

Oh man oh man. This was soooo good. Good enough for company. And easy. Easy enough for every day. And fast. Fast enough to leave time for putting together the rest of the meal.

And made with ingredients that are around 99% of the time.

How can this not be a winner? Well, it's not low-cal, that's for sure. This is the highest calorie dish in 69 days.

Using half the butter would drop each serving to 4 Weight Watchers points, still a lot for a vegetable and might not be as enjoyable. I'll try this with half the butter.

But either way, in my diet regimen, this is for special occasions, enjoying every single bite!

TOMATO BREAD PUDDING
Active time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 30 minutes
Serves 4


28 ounce can petite dice tomatoes, including juices (see ALANNA's TIPS)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 pinches cayenne

4 slices bread (see TIPS)
4 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 400F. Mix tomatoes, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne in a medium saucepan on MEDIUM HIGH. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice crusts off bread and cut into small cubes. Divide among four one-cup ramekins. Melt the butter in the microwave and pour over the bread. Scoop out a half-cup tomatoes and arrange on top of one of the ramekins, then scoop out a bit of juice and add that as well. Repeat with remaining ramekins. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve in ramekins or turn over on a plate.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Made with 4 tablespoons butter, Per Serving: 282 Cal (42% from Fat, 6% from Protein, 51% from Carb); 5 g Protein; 14 g Tot Fat; 7 g Sat Fat; 38 g Carb; 5 g Fiber; 12 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 724 mg Sodium; 31 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 6 points

Made with 2 tablespoons butter, Per Serving: 231 Cal (30% from Fat, 8% from Protein, 62% from Carb); 5 g Protein; 8 g Tot Fat; 4 g Sat Fat; 38 g Carb; 5 g Fiber; 10 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 683 mg Sodium; 15 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 4 points


ALANNA's TIPS
  • I used Red Gold which published taste tests say are better than other brands
  • The recipe called for a heavy, country-style white bread which I think would be delicious. That said, I loved the nuttiness and crunch from the Health Nut bread that was in the freezer - and it adds fiber as well.
SOURCE
Gourmet

Day 68: Carrots with Dill

Carrot with dill, tastes great and creates a pile of dishesI thought this'd be a snap. The lawn needed mowing, a storm was coming and needed to be beat. And the carrots needed to sit before serving. I chose the stove over the lawn mower.

The bad news is the storm hit before the carrots were done. (That's why they say, Tomorrow is another day.) The good news is the carrots turned out great and there wouldn't have been enough time to finish the yard anyway.

But oh what a pile of dishes!
  • #1 the food processor
  • #2 the pan for blanching
  • #3 the collander
  • #4 the ice water bowl
  • #5 the mixing bowl
I did, half successfully combine #2 and #4. And #2 or #4 could be used for #5 if time weren't an issue. At least I made a double recipe, 2X the results for 1X the dishes. But this may not be a keeper (only because of all the dishes it requires) even if it does look beautiful in the refrigerator. (I just love glass containers!)

CARROTS WITH DILL
Active time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 1 - 2 hours
Makes 6 cups


Water
Table salt

2 pounds carrots (prepeeled probably okay, I peeled my own)

1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

Fill a Dutch oven or large pot with enough water to cover the carrots once they're grated. Add salt and bring to a boil. Prepare a bowl of ice water.

Grate the carrots in the food processor. When the water boils, add the carrots. Leave them in the water for just enough time to cook lightly, maybe 1 minute. Drain and plunge into the ice water until cold. Drain again.

Meanwhile, mix remaining ingredients. Stir in the carrots. Chill for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally if needed..

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Serving: 57 Cal (37% from Fat, 6% from Protein, 57% from Carb); 1 g Protein; 2 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 9 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; 36 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 348 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 1 point

SOURCE
The Old Farmer's Almanac

Day 67: Sherry Slaw ♥

A slaw with an unusual sherry-mustard dressing with peanut undertonesSupper preparation started late tonight. This slaw took a mere 10 minutes and was different than anything tasted before, still slaw, but different somehow. And good!

The defining ingredients were the sherry and the peanut oil though substitutes of course would work.

SHERRY SLAW
Active time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 10 minutes
Makes 7 cups


DRESSING
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons sherry (or balsamic vinegar, the original recipe suggests)
1/4 cup peanut oil (reduced from 1/2 cup and next time I'd use 1 or 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon sugar

6 cups (about 8 ounces) shredded cabbage (a supermarket bag works great)
1 red pepper, chopped
1 small sweet onion, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste

Whisk together dressing ingredients. Stir the cabbage into the dressing, about a third at a time. (see ALANNA's TIPS) Chop the pepper and onion and stir in. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
With 1/4 Cup Peanut Oil
Per 1/2 cup: 51 Cal (69% from Fat, 4% from Protein, 27% from Carb); 0 g Protein; 4 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 3 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 12 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 28 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 1 point

With 2 Tablespoons Peanut Oil
Per 1/2 cup: 34 Cal (54% from Fat, 6% from Protein, 41% from Carb); 0 g Protein; 2 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 3 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 12 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 28 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 1 point

With 1 Tablespoon Peanut Oil
Per 1/2 cup: 26 Cal (38% from Fat, 8% from Protein, 54% from Carb); 0 g Protein; 1 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 3 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 12 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 28 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 0 points


ALANNA's TIPS
  • If you're making this in advance, you can stir in the cabbage, pepper and onion at the same time. Starting early, however, helps the flavors begin to meld, a small head start, no doubt, but I think it made the salad very good in 10 minutes -- even if I suspect it'd be delicious in an hour.
  • Lots of additional ingredients come to mind: chopped apple, cucumber, pineapple, cilantro, and most of all, peanuts


VEGETABLE RECIPE INSPIRATION
Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything -- it's one of my favorite cookbooks, just the right amount of teaching with easy-to-find ingredients and easy-to-understand recipes

Kitchen Parade Extra

Visit the Kitchen Parade weekly blog for a terrific summer salad made with quinoa, a fast-cooking, protein-packed sort-of-but-not-really-grain and black beans. Not long ago, I delivered a dish to a neighbor who called later to ask, What was that? and reported that she'd eaten half a bowl at first sitting! Tis good ...

Day 66: Sunflower-Sprout Inspired Salad ♥

A salad as beautiful to behold as eagerly eaten, inspired by sunflower sproutsTonight's supper was more inspiration than recipe.

The start was plucky sunflower sprouts from yesterday's green market. I didn't know how to use them beyond the obvious: the greens in a sandwich, a salad topper. Home, I turned to www.epicurious.com for ideas. I'd wondered about a salad plate and a recipe there clinched the idea, even though I didn't follow it. The frig was full of possibilities. Instead I kept it simple.

First the dressing. There was a garlic/rosemary/olive oil rub, left over from last night's lamb. I added good vinegar and a bit of cream -- it's so obvious, of course, but I didn't know til today that the transformation of a vinaigrette to a creamy vinaigrette requires only, well, cream. There was a bit of that leftover from last night's supper too.

And some salmon from the night before. And some home-grown strawberries the size of fingertips. And goat cheese. And a few capers for salt. All on a bed of butter lettuce, baby spinach and yes, the inspiration, the sunflower sprouts.

The lesson: If you find something interesting in the produce section or the farmers market but don't know what to do with it, take it home, spend 15 minutes on the web. Start with Epicurious' treasure trove of recipes, nearly all rated by other cooks so you get a head start knowing if it'll be a hit or a miss. If need be, return to the store for anything extra that's needed. But chances are, with vegetables, you'll have the ingredients or substitutions on hand.

Here's what I threw together tonight. But find your inspiration and make it your own.

SUNFLOWER SPROUT-INSPIRED SALAD
Active time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 20 minutes


DRESSING
5 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vinegar (preferably white wine, champagne or cider)
2 tablespoons cream

Butter lettuce or other lettuce
Baby spinach
Sunflower sprouts

Poached or grilled salmon
Strawberries tossed with sugar
Goat cheese
Capers

Salt & pepper

Process garlic, olive oil, rosemary and salt until smooth. Add vinegar. (Make ahead to here.) Stir in cream.

Toss lettuce, spinach and sprouts with part of the dressing, then the salmon with the rest. Arrange greens on the plates, top with salmon, strawberries, goat cheese and capers.Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Nana's Cucumbers with Sour Cream ♥

Worth a few calories!
Today's old-fashioned recipe: Cucumbers sliced thin, salted, then tossed with sour cream and fresh chives. Low carb. Weight Watchers 2 points.

~ recipe updated 2008 ~

This is a reprise of Nana's Cucumbers, the classic summer dish of sliced cucumbers in sour cream. Back on Day 45 I made them with non-fat yogurt, a health- and calorie-conscious choice -- and they were good, decent, in fact.

With sour cream on hand and the chive needing a good clip, tonight was the night for the real thing, cucumbers with real sour cream. And oh my -- ever ever so good, so simple, so simply perfect on a hot summer night.

Surprise: For an easy, unusual appetizer, place a slice or two of sour cream-drenched cucumber on a bit of bread with butter or goat cheese. Even after dessert tonight, this is what people wanted 'just one more, please'.



VEGETABLE RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ more cucumber recipes ~
~ more family recipes ~
~ more vegetables with sour cream, all worth the calories! ~


NANA's CUCUMBERS with SOUR CREAM

Active time: 10 minutes
Time to table: Just over an hour
Serves 4

1 English cucumber, tips sliced off
1 tablespoon sea salt or kosher salt

1/2 cup sour cream
Generous bunch of fresh chive, snipped with scissors (See ALANNA's TIPS)
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt & pepper to taste

Slice the cucumber in thin rounds. Combine with salt and let rest for an hour in a colander. Rinse well in water and let drain. Combine with remaining ingredients and serve.


KITCHEN NOTES
Green onion might work as a substitute for fresh chive.
If the cucumber is thick at one end, consider cutting just the end in halves or even quarters before slicing thin.
I am much-attached to a 2007 acquisition, a Japanese mandoline, a device that makes creating thin, perfect slices a breeze.


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© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2005


Spinach with Roasted Pepper ♥
Another "Red and Green" Vegetable Recipe

Spinach with Roasted Pepper
Today's nutritious, delicious and eye-appealing recipe: Simple spinach sautéed with roasted red pepper. Low carb and just one point for Weight Watchers. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real". Plus, just in time for Christmas, another "red and green" recipe!

~recipe & photo updated & republished 2012~
~more recently updated recipes~

Original June 2005 Post on "Day 65": Isn't it pretty? And it just tastes like summer! The original recipe called for three time more fat and roasting peppers. I dismissed the former, planned for the latter. But as time ran out, I turned to one of the great convenience products in the vegetable world, a jar of roasted peppers. For a couple of bucks, a jar holds 5 - 6 peppers. They're not quite so delectable as just-roasted (How to Roast Peppers) but for the time and money, can't be beat. In just a few minutes, supper was on the table, including this plate-brightening spinach, a beautiful bed for grilled lamb chops.

2012 Update: This is so simple, it's hardly a "recipe". Nonetheless, it's a tasty way to eat more greens and appeal to the eyes as well. Very good, in summer, yes, but even in the middle of winter when our bodies becomes so starved for fresh produce.

Day 64: Sautéed Broccoli Coleslaw

This was a clean-out-the-frig-before-going-to-the-farmers-market-tomorrow night. And a simple hit!

Some droopy green onions and a bag of 'broccoli coleslaw', one of those wonderful bags of ready-to-use vegetables from the produce department, needed attention.

Wondering exactly what to do with julienned 'hearts of broccoli, carrots & red cabbage', I checked the package for an idea. A mayo-type slaw didn't appeal so I visited the web site. Get this, the address is broccoli.com!

(As a lark, I checked a few other 'vegetable' sites. Who'd guess that www.greenbeans.com is a video production company and www.cucumber.com a phone company? Poor www.squash.com and www.cauliflower.com, no one wants them.)

Anyway, the site didn't have a recipe that suited -- and I was already mid-sauté so needed to continue in that vein.

And it was good! The broccoli is in tiny slivers so cooks quickly. In fact, for anyone watching carbs, it would be a terrific substitute for rice or pasta.

SAUTÉED BROCCOLI COLESLAW
Active time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 15 minutes
Serves 4

1/4 cup 100% fat-free chicken broth (I like the Swanson's 100% fat free Natural Goodness product)
a few green onions, sliced
1 16-ounce bag broccoli coleslaw (such as Mann's Broccoli Coleslaw)
Salt & pepper

Heat chicken broth in a large, deep skillet over MEDIUM HIGH. Add green onions, stir and let soften a bit. Add broccoli coleslaw, cover and let cook until soft, about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste and serve.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Serving: 38 Cal (0% from Fat, 29% from Protein, 71% from Carb); 3 g Protein; 0 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 8 g Carb; 4 g Fiber; 9 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 398 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 0 points


Day 63: Swedish Red Cabbage & Apples ♥

Swedish Red Cabbage & Apples
Red cabbage softly cooked with tart apples, adding such welcome color and texture to a plate.

~recipe & photo updated 2008 & 2010~

2005: Couldn't get enough of this tonight! It's another winter-ish dish. But then again, served at room temperature or cold, Swedish Red Cabbage & Apples is perfect for summer, especially as a side to fish or grilled sausage, I think. And the color is fabulous. The recipe says it's a traditional Christmas dish in Sweden. It would definitely brighten a plate! and also be easy to make ahead of time.

Helsinki, Finland is perched on the Baltic Sea. When I was a student there, the favorite school lunch was batter-fried fish with mashed potatoes and a warm cabbage slaw, a sumptuous combination. Everyone took large helpings and many went back for seconds! This cabbage reminds me of those lunch-time luxuries.

Making it does take awhile, nothing complicated, just takes time - make sure your favorite knife is sharp! But the good news is that it makes a bunch and that it keeps - perhaps improves - in the fridge.

2008: This recipe has become one of my very favorites from A Veggie Venture. Two years in a row, now, I've served it with Finnish Meatballs for our supper on Christmas Eve. It can be made a day or so ahead and then just easily and quickly reheats. The apples make it slightly sweet and the butter mellows both the cabbage and apples. This is a complete winner!

TESTIMONIALS
"This reminds me of the red cabbage we had as part of a traditional Danish Christmas Eve supper-your recipe is terrific, Alanna!" ~ Kirsten
"... this recipe is one of the most popular in my kitchen" ~ Stephen

Day 62: Cauliflower with Wasabi Cheese Sauce ♥

Cauliflower with Wasabi Cheese Sauce, comfort food kicked up a small notchAnd so we launch into the third month of Kitchen Parade's Veggie Venture! It remains an adventure, fun to explore new vegetables and new ways of cooking. I can't imagine stopping now! And the traffic energy has kicked up, thanks to recent mention in Kiplog and the Cheap Veggie Gourmet.

While it's hardly 'summer' food, I gave in to a craving for cauliflower and cheese sauce tonight. My mom made it all the time when my sister and I were kids, cheese sauce on anything, always made with Velveeta. My contemporary addition is wasabi - skip this, however, for the simple comfort food, just cheese sauce on cauliflower.

The cheese sauce took more minutes of attention than I'd have guessed. If you (or your kids!) like cheese sauce, however, double or triple the sauce, keep it in the frig for other vegetables on other nights.

CAULIFLOWER with WASABI CHEESE SAUCE
Active time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 25 minutes
Serves 4 (with 3/4 cup sauce leftover)


1- 1/2 - 2 pound head of fresh cauliflower

1 tablespoon bacon fat (for flavor, butter is great too)
1/4 cup minced onion
2 teaspoons prepared wasabi (see ALANNA's TIPS)
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup skim milk
2 ounces good melting cheese (a sharp cheddar was on hand tonight), in large chunks
Salt & pepper to taste
2 ounces good melting cheese, diced (see TIPS)

Fill a large saucepan or Dutch oven with 2 inches or so of water and bring to a boil over MEDIUM HIGH. Remove the cauliflower's outer leaves. Using a sharp knife, cut a cone shape into the tough stem to remove it. Cut cauliflower into individual florets, then cut these into bite-size pieces. Place in a steamer basket atop the boiling water. Reduce heat to MEDIUM and steam for 10 - 12 minutes or until a knife can be easily inserted into a thick stem area. If the cauliflower is cooked before the sauce is ready, remove from the heat and let rest, covered.

While the cauliflower steams, heat the bacon fat in a medium saucepan over MEDIUM heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, stirring occasionally. Stir in the wasabi, then the flour and cook about 1 minute, stirring continuously. Slowly add the milk, stirring completely into the onion/flour mixture after each addition (see TIPS). Let milk heat up but don't let it boil or the sauce will curdle (see TIPS). Add the chunks of cheese and let melt completely, stirring occasionally. When the sauce is hot, taste and season (see TIPS). Immediately before serving, stir in the diced cheese (see TIPS). Pour 1/4 cup sauce over each serving.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Serving: 148 Cal (47% from Fat, 23% from Protein, 30% from Carb); 9 g Protein; 8 g Tot Fat; 4 g Sat Fat; 12 g Carb; 5 g Fiber; 200 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 161 mg Sodium; 20 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 3 points


ALANNA's TIPS
  • Garlic also works well in cheese sauce.
  • The wasabi in my frig is a new product, a tube of paste. I know it's sold in powder form but don't know what to suggest substitution-wise since I've not used it. Two teaspoons seemed like a lot when first added, but once the sauce was served, it didn't seem like enough.
  • If too much milk is added at first, there'll be no ridding the sauce of lumps. So start with a single tablespoon, work it in, then add another and work it in. Each time you work in another tablespoon, the flour/milk mixture will become increasingly liquid. Soon you'll be able to add more than a tablespoon at a time. Near the end, you can throw in whatever milk remains.
  • If the sauce curdles, it's not a train wreck -- it will taste fine, just won't look as good.
  • When seasoning the sauce, it pays to remember the cauliflower itself will not be salted.
  • Melt all 4 ounces of cheese if you like but I like small 'bursts' of intense cheese flavor in the sauce. It seems to create a bigger cheese flavor with less cheese.

Day 61: Asparagus with Creamy Mustard Dip

A last-minute dip for asparagus or other vegetablesEasy, simple, ingredients on hand - there's nothing better!

ASPARAGUS with CREAMY MUSTARD DIP
Active time: 5 minutes (dip only)
Time to table: 5 minutes
Makes 7 tablespoons

3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise (original recipe suggests non-fat)
2 tablespoons sour cream (original suggests non-fat)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons dried tarragon

1 pound steamed asparagus (see ALANNA's TIPS) or other vegetables

Stir together dip ingredients. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Dip only, per tablespoon: 31 Cal (83% from Fat, 4% from Protein, 13% from Carb); 0 g Protein; 3 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 1 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; 10 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 104 mg Sodium; 4 mg Cholesterol Weight Watchers 1 point

One tablespoon dip with 1/4 pound asparagus: 55 Cal (46% from Fat, 19% from Protein, 36% from Carb); 3 g Protein; 3 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 5 g Carb; 3 g Fiber; 37 mg Calcium; 3 mg Iron; 107 mg Sodium; 4 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 1 point


ALANNA's TIPS
  • I love my new asparagus steamer, first introduced in Day 3 but also discovered a decent alternative on Day 7
SOURCE
Weight Watchers 5 Ingredients 15 Minutes Cookbook (available at newsstands until June 21, the cover says)

You Found It Here, First!

Mark Bittman cooked for an NPR All Things Considered segment tonight - including his recipe for Beet Roesti that we cooked way back in April and still a Veggie Venture personal favorite!

But hey, you discovered it here, first, way back on Day 22!

Day 60: Pan-Roasted Broccoli

Pan roasting browned the broccoli beautifullyTonight's broccoli was easy enough, especially using broccoli crowns right from the supermarket. And the color was good - very good in fact.

But two things turned me off. Make that three.

First, the flavor was bland, like broccoli crying out to be unleashed, even with plenty of salt and pepper. And the balsamic vinegar added nothing. Second, the broccoli was decidedly chewy, not to my liking. Third, the house smells terrible, like burned broccoli!

UPDATE I've now posted a really good recipe for pan-roasted broccoli, it's called Perfect Pan-Fried Broccoli. It's delicious!

PAN-ROASTED BROCCOLI
Active time: 5 minutes plus occasional stirring
Time to table: 20 minutes
Serves 4


1 teaspoon olive oil
Butter-flavored cooking spray
1 pound broccoli florets, cut in halves or quarters for quicker cooking and easier serving
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper

Heat large, deep skillet over MEDIUM HIGH. Add oil and cooking spray, let these heat up while cutting the broccoli. Turn the broccoli over a few times with a spatula to distribute the oil. Roast the broccoli for 8 - 12 minutes, stirring often, until the broccoli is lightly browned and crisp tender. Remove from the heat. Add balsamic vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Serving: 40 Cal (27% from Fat, 26% from Protein, 47% from Carb); 3 g Protein; 1 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 6 g Carb; 3 g Fiber; 64 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 617 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 0 points


SOURCE
Weight Watchers 5 Ingredients 15 Minutes Cookbook (on sale at supermarkets through June 21, this is the first of several recipes from this cookbook that hasn't met the taste test)

Day 59: Sautéed Cabbage with Dill

Cabbage sautéed with leek, freshened with dill and lemon juice<br />A simply cooked, simply eaten dish, easy to imagine aside scrambled eggs or pan-fried fish. It's not one to rave about but it's certainly a keeper, especially given the ease of preparation.

SAUTÉED CABBAGE with DILL
Active time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 15 minutes
Serves 4


2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 large leek
1 8-ounce bag shredded cabbage and carrot
2 tablespoons fresh dill
Bit of lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice (about half a small lemon)
Salt & pepper to taste (I didn't feel any was needed)

Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet with a cover on MEDIUM HIGH. While it melts, clean the leek (see ALANNA's TIPS). Add the leek and the cabbage mixture to the pan and turn them with a spatula several times to evenly distribute the butter. Cover, reduce the heat to MEDIUM and let cook for about five minutes or until the cabbage is cooked, stirring occasionally. While the cabbage cooks, chop the dill and grate a bit of lemon zest. (Use a microplane if you have one.) Remove the cabbage from the heat, stir in dill, lemon zest and lemon juice. Season and serve. (The recipe suggests it can be served warm or at room temperature.)

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Serving: 45 Cal (37% from Fat, 10% from Protein, 54% from Carb); 1 g Protein; 2 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 7 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; 42 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 15 mg Sodium; 5 mg Cholesterol


ALANNA's TIPS
  • As leeks grow, grit collects between their layers. Luckily, cleaning is easy. First slice off the dense part of the root end, crosswise. Then slice off the leaf end, leaving about an inch of pale green leaves. The cut piece will probably be about six inches long. Now cut the leek in half, lengthwise. Wash each half under running water, using your hand to loosely separate but still gather the layers. Cut leek halves crosswise into 1/2 inch half-rounds.
  • Many Weight Watchers recipes (as this is) specify 2 teaspoons fat. As regular followers know, for simplicity, I nearly always specify 1 tablespoon fat per pound of vegetables which equates one Weight Watchers point per serving, the same as this recipe. Two teaspoons is obviously only 2/3 the fat of a tablespoon and thus of course results in reduced fat consumption, a good thing. And I will say that for this particular recipe, 2 teaspoons was plenty of fat and produced a soft, buttery cabbage. As a matter of course, however, I think I'll stick to 1 tablespoon as the standard - knowing that those who need/want to adjust on their own, will.
SOURCE
Weight Watchers 15 Minutes 5 Ingredients Cookbook (the cover says it's on sale at supermarkets until June 21)

Kitchen Parade Extra

If you still haven't gotten enough of spring rhubarb, visit the Kitchen Parade weekly blog for a recipe for Country Rhubarb Cobbler.

Day 58: Roasted Asparagus with Browned Butter

Picked yesterday, the man at the farmers market saidWhat a lesson: Perfect, ultra-fresh need little - any? - adornment.

The browned butter sauce is perfectly good - really good, in fact. But the asparagus were so perfect, all on their own, that the sauce actually detracted.

The roasting process (without the browned butter) is a great zero-point way to roast asparagus and presumably other vegetables. Usually it seems to take more oil than I'd like to coat vegetables headed to the oven for roasting AND it's sort of an oily mess, I usually just dig in with my hands for simplicity and speed.

The cooking spray (or a mister with your own oil) makes light, er, work of the process and calorie impact.

ROASTED ASPARAGUS with BROWNED BUTTER
Active time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 25 minutes
Serves 4


1 pound asparagus
Butter-flavored cooking spray
Salt & pepper

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400F. Clean and trim asparagus, removing the woody ends. Place asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and mist with cooking spray. Apply salt and pepper generously. Roast 12 minutes or until the asparagus is cooked (thick spears will take longer).

While the asparagus cooks, melt the butter in a small saucepan on MEDIUM until it browns a bit - watch carefully, once the butter starts to brown, it can burn quickly. (I had to make it twice tonight.) Remove the butter from the stove and stir in the soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Pour over the cooked asparagus and serve.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Serving: 50 Cal (48% from Fat, 19% from Protein, 33% from Carb); 3 g Protein; 3 g Tot Fat; 2 g Sat Fat; 5 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; 29 mg Calcium; 3 mg Iron; 449 mg Sodium; 8 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 1 point


SOURCE
Weight Watchers 5 Ingredient 15 Minutes Cookbook (at groceries until June 21, the cover says)

Day 57: Pied Piper Refrigerator Pickles ♥

Pied Pipers on a turkey sandwich class=These are a refrigerator pickle adaptation of my favorite Pied Piper Pickles from a 'canning crusade' three summers ago when in the course of a few weeks, I canned something like 200 jars of 30 different things!

This version keeps in the frig for a week or so versus being canned. The inspiration came from a wonderful Trader Joe's product, frozen grilled peppers. I've been looking for more ways to use them -- they're cheap, convenient, nutritious, oh, and taste great too!

June 1 Taste Report: I've used Pied Pipers in several ways, all good. The favorite so far is as a tomato stand-in on sandwiches, especially since real tomatoes are still several weeks away. Try these:

  • Atop grilled / roasted chicken / turkey sandwiches
  • Chopped, in an omelet
  • Chopped, added to tuna salad
  • Chopped, added to potato salad

  • PIED PIPER REFRIGERATOR PICKLES
    Active time: 15 minutes (6 hands on)
    Time to table: 24 hours
    Makes about 20 slices


    1 cup water
    1 cup tarragon vinegar
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 teaspoon celery seed
    1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    1 teaspoon kosher salt

    1 16-ounce package Trader Joe's grilled red & yellow peppers

    Bring all ingredients except peppers to boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat and let simmer about 5 minutes. Place frozen peppers in a glass jar with a lid. Pour hot liquid over the jar. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours.

    NUTRITION ESTIMATE
    Per Slice: 16 Cal (2% from Fat, 7% from Protein, 91% from Carb); 0 g Protein; 0 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 4 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; 3 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 121 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 0 points