Day 241: Curried Squash ♥

Cooked squash with aromatic spices
Today's Vegetable Recipe: Pre-cooked winter squash warmed in a skillet with onion and aromatic Indian-style spices.

~ recipe & photo updated in 2007 ~

2005: Wow! If you're roasting squash, roast an extra for this wonderful curry. The inspiring recipe called for more spices than I could imagine - combined, a whole tablespoon of mustard seed, turmeric, coriander and cumin -- but it works, it really works. And it may have possibilities way beyond a side dish too, perhaps making an interesting pizza base, vegetarian supper, maybe even thinned with broth for soup.

2007: If you're wondering about 'too much heat' from all the spices, please don't worry. The squash is just lightly aromatic and flavorful with the spices.



MORE WINTER SQUASH RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ how to roast a whole butternut squash ~
~ Butternut Mac 'n' Cheese ~
~ Squash Puff, from Kitchen Parade ~

~ more squash recipes ~
~ more favorite vegetable recipes (this was my very favorite side dish recipe in November 2005) ~


CURRIED SQUASH
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 20 minutes
Serves 4 generously


START THE ONION (for more detail, see below)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 a red onion, diced
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon mustard seed (2005: I used brown, the inspiring recipe called for black, I think yellow would be fine; 2007: yellow worked just fine)

ADD THE SPICES & GARLIC
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar

ADD THE SQUASH
3 - 4 cups cooked squash (tonight I used roasted acorn squash)
Water
Salt and pepper to taste

DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS
Heat a large, deep skillet over MEDIUM HIGH. Add the oil and let heat. Reduce the heat to MEDIUM, add the onion and garlic, sauté until soft. Add the mustard seeds and cook for a minute or two, until they pop. (My tiny brown ones didn't pop, perhaps because they were cupboard-ancient and pretty dry.)

While the onion cooks, assemble the spices. Add the spices, salt and brown sugar and cook for a minute or two, until the spices are aromatic.

Add the squash, breaking it up with a spatula, adding water as needed to achieve the desired consistency. (Watch the temperature carefully at this point, I suspect that if you're not paying attention, it'd be easy to burn the squash about now.) Cook till hot, stirring occasionally. Season to taste.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Without Coconut, Per Serving: 144 Cal (23% from Fat, 6% from Protein, 71% from Carb); 2 g Protein; 4 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 28 g Carb; 7 g Fiber; NetCarb 21; 87 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 601 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 2 points


CREDIT WHERE CREDIT'S DUE
Adapted from Gourmet, April 1997

Day 240: Pumpkin Corn Bread ♥

Pumpkin Corn Bread
Today's recipe: A moist-crumbed, pumpkin-colored quick bread, not exactly 'cornbread' even though it does contain cornmeal.

~recipe & photo updated 2009 & 2011~
~more recently updated recipes~

2005 ORIGINAL POST The Thanksgiving leftovers are nearing an end, at least those not tucked into freezer bags and casseroles for later. I used 'pumpkin' from a leftover gratin made from canned pumpkin, bacon, onion and Parmesan cheese. The cornbread came out of the oven moist -- and stayed that way -- with an interesting savory-sweet-nutmeg flavor.

2009 UPDATE This is a great recipe for using up a cup of leftover pumpkin purée, adding moisture and a touch of color. The result isn't as 'cornbready' as my very favorite Skillet Cornbread, a long-time favorite published in my food column Kitchen Parade. But it's a lovely nice change of pace, slightly sweet but not anything as sweet as a cupcake, say, or even a sweet morning muffin. It would make a great morning cake, and could even do well baked in muffin tins, especially for making small hearty sandwiches, perhaps with a little ham and tomato, or a layer of cream cheese with some nutmeg and raisins mixed in. It stays really moist and flavorful on the second day, too. The recipe is definitely one to hang onto, I'm just not sure what to call it!

Day 239: Low-Carb Supper Skillet ♥

Low-carb? With pasta? Keep reading!

For a few weeks now, I've been paying attention to carbs. Mind you, I'm no expert on either Atkins or South Beach although I do religiously count Weight Watchers calorie-fiber-fat points.

But as summer's standbys (tomatoes, cucumber) turned to fall's fare (sweet potatoes, squash, potatoes), the carb counts in the nutrition estimates here on A Veggie Venture began to noticeably add up.

With much coaching from Kalyn's Kitchen who has 41 great reasons to follow the South Beach concept, A Veggie Venture is now officially counting carbs.

  • Recipes now include a NET CARB count -- that's total carbs minus fiber, a rough indicator of digestible carbs
  • I've scoured 238 days of vegetable cooking for low-carb recipes -- that is, fewer than 10 grams of net carbs
  • These low-carb vegetable recipes are collected here in the Recipe Box (along with the long-standing Weight Watchers section)


As for tonight's Supper Skillet, it was very good -- not something you'd likely serve for company but a wonderful weeknight quick supper.

And here's another tip from Kalyn, a low-carb pasta from Dreamfields. Unlike early cardboard-tasting products, it's really good. (Am I the last one on earth to know? The very day Kalyn mentioned it, the man ahead of me in the grocery check-out lane had a couple of boxes in his cart. He too recommended it so I ran back to the shelf and grabbed a box.)

Pasta? For 5 carb grams, 5 fiber grams and a low glycemic index too? Yes! Thank you, Dreamfields. (And please, how about a lasagna offering in time for Christmas?)



VEGETABLE RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ more vegetarian supper recipes ~
~ more pasta with vegetable recipes ~


LOW-CARB SUPPER SKILLET
Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 25 minutes
Serves 4


8 ounces Dreamfields low-carb spaghetti
3 cups Slow-Roasted Tomatoes (or Quick Tomato Sauce or a large can of diced tomato)
Fresh spinach (add more than you'll think is needed, it really cooks down, the skillet above should have had 2x or 3x or even 4x as much)
Squeeze of lemon juice
Salt & pepper to taste
Fresh feta, crumbled

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Serving: 256 Cal (37% from Fat, 30% from Protein, 32% from Carb); 10 g Protein; 5 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 10 g Carb; 7 g Fiber; NET CARB 8; 78 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 82 mg Sodium; 2 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 5 points

Day 238: Turkey & Turnip Soup ♥

This Thanksgiving, I may be the happiest person who didn't cook a turkey.

That's because the turkey carcass came home with me -- and after four hours simmering happily away with carrots, celery and onion, it yielded 10 cups of creamy turkey stock and nearly 8 cups of meat.

Tonight's soup is the result of hours in the kitchen, yet took only five minutes to make. THAT is the glory of turkey.

For the record, this is A Veggie Venture's official entry in Lovely Leftovers Day over at SlashFood.

Still using up your leftover turkey? Think about a pot of Saturday Soup or these Veggie Quesadillas.

TURKEY & TURNIP SOUP
Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 5 minutes


Leftover mashed turnip & potato
Turkey stock
Leftover turkey meat
Spinach
Dab of cranberry chutney

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan -- but only enough for one meal for there's no having leftover leftovers!

Day 237: Marinated Vegetable Salad ♥

This easy make-ahead refrigerator salad was a hit at a casual supper tonight. Even a two-year old thought it was yummy, eating the peas with his fingers, one at a time.

It's an old recipe and yes, if you look closely, it uses, errr, dare I say? canned corn and canned peas. The note on the recipe card is dated 1986 and reads, "too much oil": even then I was 'Alanna-sizing' recipes with reduced fat.

This time, I dramatically:
  • increased the crunch factor with extra celery and carrot
  • reduced the sugar by a quarter (by half was too much)
  • reduced the oil by half.

The balance, I think, tastes light and perfect. That said, the pea/corn combination added up to more calories and Weight Watchers points -- and carbs -- than I'd have guessed. This makes it best for small portions.

I love 'refrigerator salads' that keep in the frig for several days for easy additions to quick suppers and fast lunches.



VEGETABLE RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ more refrigerator salad recipes ~


MARINATED VEGETABLE SALAD
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 24 hours minutes (this batch was made 3 days before serving and turned once a day)
Makes 3 cups


COMBINE MOST OF THE VEGETABLES (for more detail, see below)
15 ounce can white corn, drained
2 ribs celery, diced (another would be good)
1 carrot, peeled and grated (another would be good)
1 bunch green onion, chopped

ADD THE DRESSING
1/2 cup vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

ADD THE TENDER PEAS
15 ounce can LeSeur small green peas, drained

DETAILED DIRECTIONS
Combine all the ingredients except the peas and stir until well combined. Gently, so not to mash, stir in the peas. Refrigerate at least 24 hours before serving. Enjoy!

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Half Cup Serving: 186 Cal (23% from Fat, 11% from Protein, 66% from Carb); 5 g Protein; 5 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 33 g Carb; 6 g Fiber; Net Carb 27; 40 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 404 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 3 points


CREDIT WHERE CREDIT'S DUE
Shirley Y, an Iowa farm homemaker

Veggies for Kids: One Very Sneaky Mom

That Sweetnicks!

Twice this week, she's sneaked vegetables into Little Nick's tummy.

And not just any vegetables -- green vegetables!


Sunday it was the broccoli rabe and sausage pasta dish that's pictured. Then Thursday (Thanksgiving no less), it was a broccoli and cranberry salad that this grown-up intends to try soon.
Very impressive! If there are other similarly sneaky Moms, just let me know and I'll be happy to share your success with others!

VEGGIES for KIDS is a continuing crusade here at A Veggie Venture,
a forum for parents wanting to encourage healthful eating habits at home and school.

What works for you?
What would you like to fix at your own table?


Kitchen Parade Extra: Sweet 'n' Hot Chicken ◄

Every good recipe collection needs one-pot suppers like this Sweet 'n' Hot Chicken that tastes so great PLUS is so easy on the clock, the waistline and the family budget.

It's
featured in this week's Kitchen Parade column.


Curried Cauliflower ♥ Recipe

Curried Cauliflower
Today's Vegetable Recipe: Fresh cauliflower florets braised in low-fat coconut milk and curry spices. Easy. Weight Watchers 1 point. Low carb. Vegan.

~recipe & photo updated 2008 and 2011~
~more recently updated recipes~

2005: After yesterday's Thanksgiving food excess, nothing appealed except hot, flavorful and virtuous comfort food. And did I ever luck out with this terrific cauliflower curry inspired by The Remarkable Palate. It was excellent! It worked as a side dish, even with most of the rich-tasting coconut milk left in the pan to further lighten the calories. But it would also make a great vegetarian supper, paired with, say, brown rice to soak up the coconut 'gravy', and maybe a few carrots tucked into the cauliflower.

2008: This is a really good cauliflower dish. I let it cook some longer this time so that the coconut milk was absorbed into the cauliflower and some of it broke down to form a coconuty-cauliflowery gravy - very good.

2011: This time I used the whole can of coconut milk, rather than a mix of coconut milk and chicken stock. To my taste, all coconut milk turns out way too rich, detracting from the inherent deliciousness of the cauliflower itself.

Day 235: Sweet Potato Biscuits

Vegetables at the breakfast table? With a little imagination, sure!

As an idea, sweet potato biscuits seemed an inspired choice for a late-fall-feeling Thanksgiving morning.

In practice, the sweet potato added color but not flavor. The biscuits were good enough and I might make them again if ...
  • leftover mashed sweet potato needed using up (or hmmm, how about a jar of baby food?)
  • biscuits were in order but a touch of color was needed too
Otherwise, straight biscuits would be the order of my day.

The experts say that a light touch is needed for light biscuits. I'm no expert but these turned out light enough though I'm a real fan of my grandmother's trick of adding an egg. There's a few in the freezer (a trick from King Arthur Flour's Baking Companion, my favorite go-to reference for baking) so fresh hot biscuits will be a welcome treat over the next few days.



VEGETABLE RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ more sweet potato recipes ~
~ more baking recipes with vegetables ~


SWEET POTATO BISCUITS
Hands-on time: 20 minutes (if the sweet potato is cooked, otherwise add 15 minutes)
Time to table: 35 minutes (add 75 minutes)
Makes 24


1 cup mashed sweet potato (see ALANNA's TIPS)
6 tablespoons butter, melted in microwave in 10-second increments
1/2 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cups cake flour (see TIPS)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Additional flour

Preheat the oven to 425F.

In a medium bowl, stir together the sweet potato, butter, milk, sugar and egg with a wooden spoon.

::: Warning: unorthodox time- and dish-saving tip follows ::: Before measuring, stir the flours with a spoon right in the canister. The 'lightening' effect will be palpable and reduces the weight of the flour by as much as 25%. Doing this makes all baked goods lighter and less floury. Now measure the flours, baking powder and salt on top of the wet mixture but without incorporating it in. With a fork, stir them together lightly, still without incorporating them in. This replaces the sifting that recipes usually call for to lighten the flour.

Incorporate the flour mixture into the wet mixture. Knead it briefly in the bowl to form a dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead two or three more turns. With a rolling pin or bottle, roll out the dough to about 3/4 inch thick. Cut with a biscuit cutter (a can or glass will do but won't 'cut' the sides in a way that promotes high, fluffy sides that are so desirable in biscuits) and transfer to an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Biscuit: 92 Cal (32% from Fat, 8% from Protein, 60% from Carb); 2 g Protein; 3 g Tot Fat; 2 g Sat Fat; 14 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; NET CARB 14; 59 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 207 mg Sodium; 18 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 2 points


ALANNA's TIPS
  • A scant two pounds of sweet potato yielded a generous three cups of mashed sweet potato. I boiled them, skin on, then peeled and mashed. They were big and it took FOREVER. Next time I'd peel and boil or steam. Or check out the baby food section!
  • Cake flour has less gluten than all-purpose flour so once again, lightens the biscuits. Oddly enough, even a good grocery doesn't always carry it so grab a box when you see one.


CREDIT WHERE CREDIT'S DUE
Kwanzaa by Eric V Copage

Day 234: Green Beans with Lemon & Pine Nuts ♥

Gorgeous green beans, brightened with lemon zest & juice
Today's vegetable recipe: Fresh or frozen green beans cooked in well-salted water, then tossed with lemon juice, a little oil and if you like, toasted pine nuts.

~recipe & photo updated in 2007~

2005: After several days in a row of cooking Thanksgiving-appropriate vegetables (you know, those with sugar and cream and butter) and Thanksgiving tomorrow -- "just plain beans" tasted soooo good.That said, this bean recipe isn't so plain -- those are toasted pine nuts peeking out, plus lemon brightens the whole experience. If you're looking for a last-minute simple vegetable for your Thanksgiving table, these beans would be great.

2007: This simple 'lemon zest, juice & olive oil' has become my favorite treatment for every-day green beans. And when the fresh beans are good, they're simply fabulous, otherwise, yes, frozen still works. In my sensibility today, the pine nuts add more expense and calories than they contribute in flavor or texture -- I call them unnecessary.

RECIPE for GREEN BEANS with LEMON & PINE NUTS

Hands-on time: 5 minutes for frozen beans, 15 minutes for fresh
Time to table: 25 minutes for frozen beans, 35 minutes for fresh
Serves 4

Water to cover
Table salt

1 pound frozen (or in 2007, fresh) green beans (see KITCHEN NOTES)
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (see NOTES)
Zest of a lemon
Juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Bring the water to a boil on MEDIUM HIGH. SALT the water (see TIPS). Add the beans, cover and let cook til done, about 10 minutes. Drain and return to hot pan. Stir in remaining ingredients. Serve and enjoy!


KITCHEN NOTES
It's my experience that fresh grocery store beans are often woody -- so I really do PREFER frozen. And of course they're inexpensive and convenient, too. (2007 That said, when fresh green beans are good, there's no beating them.)
Toast pine nuts at 350F for 5 - 10 minutes. I set the timer, even for 1 or 2 additional minutes because I'm prone to getting busy with something else and before you know it, you've got pine nut crisps on your hands and the fire department at your front door.
By right, salt should be added to the water AFTER it boils. But once again, because I'll likely forget, I add it to the water when I first put it on the stove. I've never done taste comparisons but I sure don't think there's a difference. It does seem, however, that I've read that one reason to add the salt after the water has begun to boil is to avoid pitting a non-stick surface.

A Veggie Venture - Printer Friendly Recipe Graphic







© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2005


Day 233: Secret-Ingredient Cookies with Pecans ♥

This blog's about vegetables, right? So you think a mere cookie rates an exception? No way!

Just like Day 199's Secret-Ingredient Chocolate Cake, today's cookies are moistened by a root vegetable. This one is orange. This one is ... sweet potato!

And the cookies are great! The sweet potato replaces fat in the way applesauce is so often called upon to do in low-fat baking. And the orange zing really shines through -- these are a definite keeper! *** yes, Domestic Goddess, these taste great ***

I experimented with a real short-cut for the sweet potato: baby food. In fact, the baby food puree had lots more flavor than the sweet potatoes cooked a couple of days ago for Sweet Potato Puff and Sweet Potato Biscuits.

For the Record:
  • This is A Veggie Venture's official entry in the online Cookie Swap going on over at Domestic Goddess through November 27th. There's still time for YOU to bake! That said, as good as they are, these cookies wouldn't work for a cookie swap: too messy to package up and carry home.
  • December 1 Update: Move over Martha Stewart -- all around the world, food bloggers have been baking with pounds of butters and kilos of flour and they're all summarized here.




VEGETABLE RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ more sweet potato recipes ~
~ more recipes with vegetables in desserts ~


SECRET-INGREDIENT COOKIES with PECANS
Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 60 minutes
Makes 30 cookies


4 tablespoons (1/2 a stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature
12 ounces sweet potato baby food (Stage 2 seems better suited than Stage 3) or 1 cup cooked, pureed sweet potato
1 teaspoon vanilla
Zest of an orange (don't skip this)

1 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans

GLAZE
1/2 cup powdered sugar
About 1 tablespoon orange juice, a few drops at a time

Pecans pieces or halves

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until very soft and creamy. Add the egg and beat well. Add the sweet potato, vanilla, zest and combine well.

::: Warning: unorthodox time- and dish-saving tip follows ::: Before measuring, stir the flours with a spoon right in the canister. The 'lightening' effect will be palpable and reduces the weight of the flour by as much as 25%. Doing this makes all baked goods lighter and less floury. Now measure the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt on top of the wet mixture but without incorporating it in. With a fork, stir them together lightly, still without incorporating them in. This replaces the sifting that recipes usually call for to lighten the flour. ::: Now incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet until just mixed, then gently stir in the pecans.

With two spoons, one to scoop and one to scrape, spoon about a tablespoon of dough onto a cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes or until golden.

Meanwhile, mix the glaze ingredients. Spoon a spoonful over the warm cookies, then press a piece of pecan into the glaze.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Serving: 79 Cal (35% from Fat, 5% from Protein, 60% from Carb); 1 g Protein; 3 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 12 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; NET CARB 11; 19 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 132 mg Sodium; 12 mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 2 points


CREDIT WHERE CREDIT'S DUE
Around the Southern Table by Sarah Belk, a "new" favorite cookbook, that is, one long relegated to the bookshelf but now getting much-deserved attention!

Day 232: Sweet Potato Puff

Another possibility for the Thanksgiving table ... though whether served as a vegetable? or a dessert? is in question.

Two things, however, are for sure: while baking, the house fills with the scent of cinnamon! And if the sweet potato's already cooked, it makes up in minutes. (Or perhaps try a jar of baby food?)

I do recommend creating some sort of design or texture on top before baking. It's hard to see in this (sorry, badly lit and out of focus) picture but there's a cute little curlicue in the middle that I thought would bake out. It didn't!

Caution: It's unlikely that the alcohol cooks entirely out of the rum so this puff may not be appropriate for all tables.




VEGETABLE RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ more sweet potato recipes ~
~ more casserole recipes ~


SWEET POTATO PUFF
Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 55 minutes
Serves 6


3 cups mashed, cooked sweet potatoes (from a scant two pounds)
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter (if the potatoes aren't hot, melted in the microwave in 10-second increments)
4 eggs
1/4 cup light rum (I used up "well aged" Captain Morgan's from some long-forgotten party)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix all the ingredients in a medium bowl with an electric mixer. Transfer into a buttered quiche dish. Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Serving: 252 Cal (38% from Fat, 11% from Protein, 51% from Carb); 6 g Protein; 10 g Tot Fat; 5 g Sat Fat; 30 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; NET CARB 28; 62 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 66 mg Sodium; 179 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 5 points


CREDIT WHERE CREDIT'S DUE
Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant

Day 231: Egg Muffins ♥

What I had for breakfast ... it's the Meme of the Moment in the food blogging world (sponsored by Andrew at SpitoonExtra) and here, yes, is what was on the breakfast menu here this morning.

The muffins weren't perfect texture-wise but the concept is worth developing: an egg per person, a splash of milk, some vegetables, a chunk of cheese, baked for 30 minutes.



VEGETABLE RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ more breakfast recipes ~
~ more recipes for vegetables with eggs ~


EGG MUFFINS
Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 40 minutes
Serves 6 or fewer


6 eggs (or 1 per person)
2 - 3 tablespoons milk (or maybe not, these were a tad spongier than I'd prefer)
Leftover Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
Leftover cooked potato
Chopped onion
Minced garlic
Salt and pepper
Chunks of feta or other cheese

Preheat oven to 350F. Whisk together eggs and milk, then stir in other ingredients. Pour into well greased giant muffin tin and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool 2 - 3 minutes, then slide knife around edge of muffins. With two forks along each side, gently lift and transfer to serving plates. Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Serving: 90 Cal (62% from Fat, 34% from Protein, 3% from Carb); 8 g Protein; 6 g Tot Fat; 2 g Sat Fat; 1 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; NET CARB 1; 35 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 93 mg Sodium; 247 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 2 points

Day 230: Slow-Roasted Tomato Salad Dressing

I'm ever on the look-out for ways to use the Slow-Roasted Tomatoes that live in the freezer. Last night's Steak & Tomatoes was delicious.

Tonight's dressing was only so-so, especially since the vinegar overpowered the smoky tomato goodness.



VEGETABLE RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ more ways to use slow-roasted tomatoes ~
~ more salad dressing recipes ~


SLOW-ROASTED TOMATO DRESSING
Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 5 minutes
Makes 2/3 cup (enough for two salads each serving four)


1/2 cup Slow-Roasted Tomatoes (see ALANNA's TIPS for an alternative)
1 tablespoon good vinegar (I used a fig vinegar that's a little sweet)
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup water
Salt & pepper to taste

Salad greens

Whizz in the food processor attachment of an immersion blender. Toss with greens. Enjoy!

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Dressing only, per Serving: 10 Cal (36% from Fat, 5% from Protein, 59% from Carb); 0 g Protein; 0 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 2 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; NET CARB 0; 2 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 29 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 0 points

ALANNA's TIPS

  • The inspiring recipe suggests roasting 4 plum tomatoes (halved, arranged cut-side up in a single layer on a baking sheet and seasoned with salt and pepper) for 35 minutes at 450F.


CREDIT WHERE CREDIT'S DUE
Adapted from Gourmet May 1996

Secrets of a Long Life

[Many thanks to the photographer*cook at LuminousLens for the photo!]

"Residents of Okinawa, Sardinia, and Loma Linda, California, live longer, healthier lives than just about anyone else on Earth. What do they know that the rest of us don't?
" - National Geographic

Check out National Geographic's November issue (especially the wonderful interactive feature here) which shares the secrets to living longer, including:
  • Honor Family
  • Drink Red Wine
  • Stay Active
  • Find Purpose
  • Keep Friends
  • EAT VEGETABLES!
  • Have Faith
  • Take Time Off

Day 229: Steak & Tomatoes ♥

Amazing.

I've never been much of 'a smidge of this and a sprinkle of that' kind of cook.

So when fourteen trays of Slow-Roasted Tomatoes began to emerge from the oven in September, I had no idea what would come next -- it was even possible that the treasure of tomato taste would remain forever lost in the deep, dark depths of the freezer.

(After all, those murky recesses are already home to a two-year collection of lobster carcasses intended, some vague time in the future, for stock.)

Yet I might be hooked for Steak & Tomatoes (get it?) is one of the fastest, simplest and most delicious combinations ever to make its way to my table.

The tomato sauce is slightly sweet and almost smoky, the fennel fresh and pungent in the background. Paired with the beefy steak, it's well, simply amazing.



VEGETABLE RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ more ways to use slow-roasted tomatoes ~
~ more main dish recipes ~


STEAK & TOMATOES
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 15 minutes
Serves 4


PAN-FRY THE STEAK (detailed instructions follow)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound inexpensive steak such as sirloin steak, flank steak or hangar steak
Salt & pepper

MAKE THE SAUCE
2 cups slow-roasted tomatoes
Splash of marsala
Splash of cream
Salt

DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS
Heat the oil in a heavy skillet (I used cast iron) on MEDIUM HIGH until it just begins to smoke. While it heats, season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper. Add the steak to the skillet and let cook, without moving, for two minutes. Turn the steak over, reduce the heat to MEDIUM and cook for another 5 minutes for medium rare or 6 minutes for medium (or internal temperatures of 125F and 130F respectively). Transfer steak to heated plate and tent with foil.

Add the tomatoes to the skillet and cook down the liquid, breaking up the tomatoes with a spatula. When the liquid has cooked away, add the marsala and the cream and let cook down a bit again. Season to taste.

Transfer sauce to heated plates. Slice steak and arrange atop the sauce. Garnish with capers. Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Serving: 346 Cal (51% from Fat, 41% from Protein, 8% from Carb); 34 g Protein; 19 g Tot Fat; 6 g Sat Fat; 7 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; NET CARB 6; 27 mg Calcium; 4 mg Iron; 305 mg Sodium; 103 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 8 points

Kitchen Parade Extra: Squash Puff ◄

Every family has its Thanksgiving traditions and this savory squash puff, an old recipe from my Auntie Gloria updated with toasted pepitas, is one here. It's featured in this week's Kitchen Parade column.

And from the column archive comes Cranberry Chutney which, by special request, I'll make again next week.

There are other possibilities for Thanksgiving tables here.





Day 228: Acorn Squash with Mustard & Honey ♥

Recipe updated & republished in 2007

This is an easy-easy-easy and delicious-delicious-delicious way to roast acorn squash.

At the same time, I recommend caution if it's important for the squash to be ready for the table at some exact moment -- this is because, in my experience, acorn squash is completely unpredictable time-wise. It always takes more or less time than recipes state for the squash to be properly cooked, something I found frustrating in 2005 during my various attempts to cook squash in various ways and at various temperatures and for various lengths of time.

Here's what I've learned:

  • Squash size makes a difference, naturally.
    • Small acorn squash (four halves fitting into a 9x9 pan) are hard to find but seem to cook at 350F in an hour, 30 minutes face-down, then 30 minutes face-up. Leave them face-down for the entire if there's no filling.
    • Big acorn squash (weighing a pound or more) are more commonly found but take a good 90 minutes to roast, 45 minutes face-down, then 45 minutes face-up.
  • Freshness makes a difference but it's hard to know how fresh the squash is, even if purchased at a farmers market because winter squash is not so perishable. Moisture makes a difference, as does variety, but again, these are difficult to recognize ahead of time.
  • I brush a little oil on the skin and cut edge before putting winter squash into the oven, then partway through the baking time, brush a little butter on the rim. I think keeps the rim moist and uncharred but helps the sugars caramelize.
  • Recipes often suggest removing a tiny slice from the bottom of each half so they'll sit straight. But this means that if the cooked flesh is thin and breaks open, the filling (for example, this recipe's butter-mustard-honey mixture) spills onto the baking sheet, sacrificing the goodness and rousting the fire department. So while the slice makes the squash look all neat and nice, I no longer do this.




For more recipes ideas for winter squash, see all the Winter Squash recipes in the Alphabet of Vegetables in the Recipe Box.

ACORN SQUASH with MUSTARD & HONEY

Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 60 - 90 minutes
Serves 4


2 acorn squash
Olive oil

Per half -- stirred together
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon good mustard
1 teaspoon honey
Salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 350F. Cut squash in half cross-wise and scrape out the seeds and inner gunk with a spoon. Rub the skin and cut edge with a little olive oil. Place cut-side down on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn cut-side up and add butter-honey-mustard mixture, brushing inside walls and the top rims. Continue baking for another 30 minutes or until done. Serve and enjoy!



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Eat more vegetables! A Veggie Venture is the home of Veggie Evangelist Alanna Kellogg and is the award-winning source of free vegetable recipes, quick, easy, and yes, delicious. Start with the Alphabet of Vegetables or dive into all the Weight Watchers vegetable recipes or all the low carb vegetable recipes. © Copyright 2007

Day 227: Acorn Squash Roasted Face Down ♥

Acorn Squash Roasted Face Down
How to roast a winter squash face down. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".

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

2005: And so continues the exploration of how to realiably, consistently, cook acorn squash. It should NOT be this hard! On Day 212, I roasted acorn squash, face-up, for an hour at 400F -- and another half hour was needed before they were ready. (Dontcha just love eating one course at a time?) So today I roasted acorn squash, face-down, for an hour at 400F -- and the flesh was perfectly ready to eat and quite delicious. The rim, however, had passed from caramelized into charred and certainly wasn't edible. Is there no definitive way to consistently successfully bake an acorn squash? It shouldn't be this hard! I'm not done yet. (Good thing squash are cheap, now!) But if anyone's got tips -- chime in!

Day 226: Shredded Brussels Sprouts ♥

Cook in salted water first, then in the skillet
Today's vegetable recipe: Fresh Brussels sprouts cooked first in well-salted water, then chopped and sautéed with onion and tossed with toasted walnuts and balsamic vinegar. Not pretty but delicious!

~ recipe replaced in 2008 ~

2008: Truth is, something called 'shredded Brussels sprouts' was one of just two dishes from the first year of A Veggie Venture -- when I was cooking a vegetable in a new way every single day -- that was such a failure I didn't bother publish the recipe. This recipe, however, is good, very good, delicious even! It's like a Brussels sprouts hash.

The 2005 recipe called for slicing the Brussels sprouts in a food processor, then cooking them with olive oil in a skillet -- but they just refused to cook, even after cooking and cooking and cooking. The 2008 recipe tackles that problem by cooking the Brussels sprouts in water, first (ahead of time if that helps) and only then moving to the skillet to finish cooking. Oh these are good! I contemplated leaving out the toasted walnuts - they do add calories after all - but the nuts provide great texture contrast and taste-wise, really complement the Brussels sprouts.

I'm happy to report: this recipe I'm proud to publish. It's one I would definitely serve for company, so long as the rest of the plate looked pretty!



VEGETABLE RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ more Brussels sprouts recipes ~

SHREDDED BRUSSELS SPROUTS

Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 35 minutes
Serves 4

4 cups water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 pound Brussels sprouts

1 tablespoon olive oil (plus another 1 tablespoon later)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt & pepper to taste

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 toasted toasted walnuts (the inspiring recipe called for toasted pine nuts)

Bring the water and salt to a boil in a large pot. (I don't recommend steaming Brussels sprouts.) Meanwhile, wash the sprouts and slice off a bit of the stem end. This will release the outer layer of leaves, go ahead and discard these unless they're in perfect shape. With a knife, cut an X into the core. (This helps heat get into the center core so they cook evenly.) Turn into the boiling water and cook until nearly done. (They'll finish in the skillet.) Drain. (If needed, cook ahead to here, even a day or so.) Slice cross-wise.

In the same pot (or another to start the onion while the sprouts cook), heat the olive oil on MEDIUM til shimmery. Add the onion and garlic, stir to coat with fat. Let cook til beginning to turn gold, stirring often. If needed, add another tablespoon of oil, then stir in the sliced Brussels sprouts and stir to coat with fat. Let cook, stirring often, til sprouts begin to brown. SEASON to TASTE. Stir in balsamic vinegar and let cook a minute til liquid cooks off. Stir in walnuts and let warm through. Serve immediately.


KITCHEN NOTES
I don't recommend using frozen Brussels sprouts for this dish.


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© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2005


Day 225: Roasted Potatoes with Garlic & Pimenton

Believe it or not, I've never made roasted potatoes and garlic. Not just in the last 225 days but ever. Ever.

I know! It's about time!

And WHAT a disappointment. They were fussy and hardly garlicky and didn't crisp.

I threw them out. They weren't bad, mind you. But you know how some times you can't keep your fingers out of bad, cold French fries? They weren't worth it.

I did make several changes, including substituting my favorite pimenton for chipotle powder.

You decide if it's their technique or my changes. Next time, I'm going with Rachael at Fresh Approach Cooking who writes with reverence about roasting.



VEGETABLE RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ more potato recipes, including Lavender Potatoesworth every calorie, every carb ~
~ more recipes for roasted vegetables ~


ROASTED POTATOES with GARLIC & PIMENTON
Hands-on time: 15 minutes (including intermittent attention while potatoes roast)
Time to table: 60 minutes
Serves 4


TOSS & START POTATOES at 400F (detailed instructions follow)
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, cut in eighths
1 tablespoon olive oil (reduced from 2 tablespoons)

SEASON & CONTINUE ROASTING
1 teaspoon pimenton
2 teaspoons garlic (yes, I know, from a jar, yes)
LOTS of salt and some pepper

MAKE SAUCE
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon pimenton
2 teaspoons lemon juice (the recipe specified lime)

DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 400F. Toss the potatoes and olive oil in a large bowl, coating the potatoes on all sides evenly with oil. Transfer to a non-stick rimmed baking sheet. (I don't recommend covering it with foil unless, possibly, you use a lot more oil.) Arrange potatoes with one cut side down.

Place in the oven, even if only partially preheated. Roast for 15 minutes plus whatever time's left to preheat. Remove from oven, turn potatoes over so the other cut side now faces down. (This was slightly tricky since the potatoes hadn't browned at all.) Roast another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer back the mixing bowl. Add the pimenton, garlic and salt and pepper. Toss very well. Return to the baking sheet. (The recipe said to arrange them skin side down but they were too soft for the slices to stand on their skins so I left them every which way.) Salt again! Roast for another 10 minutes.

Combine the sauce ingredients. Serve with sauce on the side and enjoy!

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Serving: 142 Cal (46% from Fat, 10% from Protein, 43% from Carb); 4 g Protein; 8 g Tot Fat; 3 g Sat Fat; 16 g Carb; NET CARB 13, 3 g Fiber; 62 mg Calcium; 4 mg Iron; 31 mg Sodium; 8 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 3 points

ALANNA's TIPS
  • When you see this in the title and the Recipe Box, you know the recipe's a personal favorite. Tastes vary, of course, but the mark is one indication of another vegetable recipe that's worth paying attention to.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT'S DUE
Bon Appetit March 2002

Day 224: Broccoli Potato Kugel

Until recently, I've only noticed the sweet kugels with noodles and sugar and sour cream and raisins. Surely these are like kitchen crack, something so good that once started, there'd be no getting enough of?

But just before Rosh Hashana, I came across several recipes for vegetable kugels and decided to give this one a try.

There's a freedom when cooking outside your familiarity zone for there:
  • Are no expectations, so raisins-or-not never comes up
  • Is no comparing, so Mother's or last year's version can't be better


And so it was with this, what my home-state Minnesotans would call a 'hot dish', broccoli cocooned in something soft and not-quite recognizably potato. It's good! And because it can be made ahead, it's a good candidate for Thanksgiving tables. Next time, I will add a spoonful of horseradish to the potato mixture.



VEGETABLE RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ more broccoli recipes ~
~ more casserole recipes ~
~ more Thanksgiving recipes ~


BROCCOLI POTATO KUGEL
Hands-on time: 10 minutes if potatoes are cooked, 40 minutes if not
Time to table: 55 minutes if potatoes are cooked, 90 minutes if not
Serves 8 (standard serving size, assumes 4 servings per pound of vegetable) to 12 (smaller servings for a big meal with other side dishes)


IF NEEDED, COOK POTATOES (detailed instructions follows)
Water to cover
Salt
1 pound potatoes, skins on (I used red potatoes, see KitchenSavvy for helpful tips on picking the right potatoes for the right dish)

SAUTÉ THE ONION
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (reduced from 3 tablespoons)
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 tablespoon garlic (from a jar, of course!)

COMBINE
1 pound cooked potatoes (either from the frig or as cooked above)
3 eggs
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons matzo meal
Horseradish (how much? maybe a tablespoon?)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 pound broccoli florets, cut in small bites (it took 1 1/2 pounds of broccoli to yield a pound of florets, use the stems for something else)
The onion mixture

TOP & BAKE at 350F
2 tablespoons panko

DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS
Bring the water and salt to boil in a medium saucepan, add the potatoes, cover, reduce heat to MEDIUM and let boil til cooked, about 20 minutes. Drain.

While the potatoes cook, heat a skillet on MEDIUM HIGH, add the oil and let heat til shimmery, then reduce heat to MEDIUM. Add the onion, sauté til soft and just beginning to brown. Add the garlic and let cook for 1 minute.

Preheat oven to 350F.

While the onions cook, mash the potatoes in a large bowl with an electric mixer. One at a time, add the eggs and beat well after each addition. Add the mayonnaise, matzo meal, salt and pepper. Stir in the broccoli and the onion mixture.

Transfer to a well greased quiche pan or casserole dish and top with panko. (May be made ahead to this point. Return to room temperature before proceeding.) Bake for 45 minutes or until golden.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
8 servings, per Serving: 145 Cal (32% from Fat, 17% from Protein, 51% from Carb); 6 g Protein; 5 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 19 g Carb; NET CARB 16, 3 g Fiber; 58 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 541 mg Sodium; 92 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 2.5 points

12 servings, per Serving: 97 Cal (32% from Fat, 17% from Protein, 51% from Carb); 4 g Protein; 4 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 13 g Carb; NET CARB 11, 2 g Fiber; 38 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 360 mg Sodium; 61 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 2 points

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT'S DUE
New York Times, 9/28/05, adapted from Shimmy Rosenblum

Day 223: Chayote Soup

And so continues the exploration of no-cal, low-carb and high-fiber chayote (chee OY tay), the summer squash whose fat folds are, er, suggestive of babies' bums ...

When I first sautéed chayote for Day 221, warnings of mild-verging-on-bland seemed unfounded.

In this simple soup, however, bland is the descriptive word -- though not unpleasantly bland. This soup isn't without flavor; instead it is delicate and spare, the simplest of the simple.

Admission #1: I did omit the serrano or Thai chilis called for in the inspiring recipe.
Admission #2: What flavor there was might have come from the frozen Light Vegetable Stock.

It is good. And it'd be absolutely perfect some night when you crave something warm and comforting and easy on the stomach.



VEGETABLE RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ more chayote recipes ~
~ more soup recipes ~


CHAYOTE SOUP
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 90 minutes (I think the soup was done in an hour but was busy and let it simmer away)
Makes 6 cups


MIKE THE BROTH (detailed instructions follow)
5 cups chicken broth, vegetable stock (or Light Vegetable Stock)

START THE ONION
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic (from a jar, of course)
1 teaspoon ginger (from a jar)
1/4 teaspoon minced serrano or Thai chili (for heat and flavor)

COOK THE SQUASH
2 chayote squash, quartered and seed sliced out, diced (about 1 1/2 pounds)

PURÉE & SEASON
Salt & pepper

DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS
Bring the broth to a boil in the microwave. (This is a time-saving technique that can be skipped if there's no hurry.)

Heat a large pot or Dutch oven on MEDIUM HIGH. Add the oil and let get hot. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilis as they're prepped and sauté until the onions begin to soften. Dice the chayote, add to the pot along with the hot broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to MEDIUM and simmer until chayote are fully cooked. Puree with an immersion blender (leave some chunks so it's not just a muddled mess) and season to taste. Enjoy!

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Serving: 78 Cal (30% from Fat, 19% from Protein, 52% from Carb); 4 g Protein; 3 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 11 g Carb; 4 g Fiber; 10 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 479 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, NetCarb 7, Weight Watchers 1 point


CREDIT WHERE CREDIT'S DUE
Adapted from Gourmet April 2003

Day 222: East African Pea Soup ♥

Another fall and winter winner -- and a filling and satisfying soup for 2 Weight Watchers points! Yippee!

The temptation comes from Full Bellies (now defunct), who advised a double batch. If only I'd listened! This is a definite keeper, one to make again soon to freeze for quick lunches over the busy holidays.

The ingredient list is long on spices and they are what makes this soup delicious -- can't imagine skipping a one. But spices are often half price before the holidays, making it a great time to both freshen up what's on hand and to try some new ones too.

The soup originates with Sundays at Moosewood (where it's called East African Sweet Pea Soup), a cookbook packed away in some box in some corner of the basement. Based on this soup, I'd best hunt it up!




EAST AFRICAN PEA SOUP
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 60 minutes (but would likely be less another time)
Makes 6 cups


MIKE THE WATER (detailed instructions follow)
3 cups water

START THE ONION
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 teaspoon garlic (from a jar, of course)
1 teaspoon fresh ginger (from a jar)

ADD THE SPICES
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cardamon
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (which gives the soup a small but pleasant kick of heat, to my taste, not too much)
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

ADD THE VEGETABLES & LET SIMMER
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (Full Bellies uses fresh tomatoes)
1 sweet potato, diced (about 2 cups)

ADD THE PEAS, PUREE & SERVE
16 ounces frozen green peas -- use 2/3 of the bag at first, then add the rest later

DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS
Bring the water to a boil in the microwave. (This is a time-saving technique that can be skipped if you're in no rush, I didn't do it tonight and figure not doing so added 10 minutes to the time to get to the table.)

Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over MEDIUM HIGH. Add the olive oil, when it's hot, add the onion and stir to coat with the oil. Add the garlic and ginger and combine well. Saute until the onions soften, about 5 minutes.

Add the spices and combine well. Let cook for about 1 minute.

Stir in the tomatoes, sweet potato and hot water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to MEDIUM, cover and let simmer until sweet potato is cooked, about 30 minutes. (Stop here if making ahead to serve later or to freeze.)

Add 2/3 of the peas and let cook for about 5 minutes. (Adding the peas now means they don't overcook.) Use an immersion blender to partially puree the mixture. Stir in the remaining peas (adding some peas very near the end makes sure some remain bright green and pretty) and let warm through. Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per cup: 148 Cal (16% from Fat, 15% from Protein, 69% from Carb); 6 g Protein; 3 g Tot Fat; 0 g Sat Fat; 27 g Carb; 6 g Fiber; 49 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 626 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, NET CARBS 20, Weight Watchers 2 points



CREDIT WHERE CREDIT'S DUE
Full Bellies & Sundays at Moosewood

Kitchen Parade Extra: A Pair of Mashed Vegetables ◄

If you missed the first appearance of Mashed Potatoes & Carrots way back in April (193 veggie posts ago!) here's another chance.

These would be great for Thanksgiving tables and are so good you may never make plain ol' mashed potatoes again.

Last spring, they took my Canadian family by storm, sweeping from Winnipeg to Toronto and then all the way west to British Columbia. Now it's your turn!

Along with Mashed Rutabagas & Apples, they're featured in this week's Kitchen Parade column.


Day 221: Chayote Squash ♥ Recipe

A simple, simple way to cook chayote squash, light and easy.

Move over zucchini. Move over yellow squash. Helloooooooooo, chayote!

[And thank you, A Veggie Venture, for without this year-long venture of cooking a vegetable in a new way every day, I'd never in the world have noticed, let alone cooked, these delicious slices.]

It's a summer squash, native to Latin America. It's pronounced chee OH tay and also goes by the names mirliton (Creole?) and christophene (French) and chokos (Australian, you know, that whole other language).

Here's the skinny (and skinny is indeed the operative word for a serving has only 25 calories, 5 carb grams and still manages to pack in 3 whole grams of fiber):

No peeling required.
There's a soft seed inside -- a snack for the cook!
Good raw, perfect for crudites.
Good cooked.
Fast-cooking.
Delicate tasting, like a zucchini with punch and no sponginess.
Cheap, about $1.25 a pound.

And it seems to cook without losing structure so there's no mushiness like happens with overcooked zucchini or summer squash. I can definitely imagine using one or two to add volume and volume to a soup or stew.

OH: did I say, I liked these? I really liked these! Most of the recipes online suggest/complain that chayotes are bland and thus need "aggressive seasoning". With just salt, I found them delicious, just as is, simple, spare and entirely refreshing.

CHAYOTE SQUASH

Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 15 minutes
Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium chayote squash, about 1 pound, quartered, seed sliced out, and sliced (or better yet, diced, I think)
1 cup milk (the inspiring recipe called for cream, I only had vanilla soy milk on hand and it worked great, it's only a cooking liquid and gets discarded so chicken broth would be good, too)
Salt
Fresh chives (the garden chives were sheared to the nubbins over the weekend so tonight I used the last of the garden's basil, next time I'd stop with just the salt)

Heat a large (especially if slicing, these are a little bulk and don't cook down) skillet on MEDIUM HIGH and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the chayote and stir to lightly coat with the oil. Cook through, stirring occasionally. Add the milk (or other liquid) and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the chives or basil if using, let cook another minute. Remove chayote from milk. Enjoy!



A Veggie Venture - Printer Friendly Recipe Graphic




MORE VEGETABLE RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ more chayote recipes ~
~ recipes for all the new-to-me vegetables ~




© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2005

Day 220: Curried Rice "Vegged Up" ♥

Couldn't get enough of this rice!

It's a great example of how easy it is to transform a familiar dish -- anything really, an entrée, a soup and here a starchy side -- into something entirely new just by adding a few vegetables.

"Vegging up", I call it:
  • Adding nutrients and fiber and volume to otherwise vegetable-free dishes
  • Increasing the proportion of vegetables in a semi-veggie dish (done so often here on A Veggie Venture that it rarely warrants a mention anymore)


The principle can be applied to many dishes -- but this rice is spoon-lickin' good!



OTHER 'VEGGED' UP RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ Tuna Salad ~
~ Summer Lentils ~
~ Spicy Thai Noodle Salad ~

~ more recipes with rice and vegetables ~


CURRIED RICE "VEGGED UP"
Hands-on time: 15 minutes (including cooking the rice, probably 10 minutes with leftover rice)
Time to table: 25 minutes (including cooking the rice, probably 15 minutes if using leftover rice)
Makes 3 cups


2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup uncooked rice (or 2 cups cooked rice)

1 tablespoon butter (Lisa uses 2 tablespoons, I found just one plenty rich and flavorful)
1 small onion, chopped fine
1/4 cup slivered almonds (Lisa uses toasted almonds sprinkled on top, I wanted to skip the toasting step/pan and so cooked them in the butter, first; I really liked the buttery crunch of the almonds throughout)
2 carrots, peeled, quartered lengthwise, then sliced crosswise as thin as possible (this speeds up the cooking time)
1 sweet pepper, chopped (red would be pretty, I used up a green one tonight)
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

COOK THE RICE
In a medium saucepan, bring the water and salt to a boil on MEDIUM HIGH. Add the rice, stir lightly, cover and reduce the heat to MEDIUM. Cook until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

COOK THE VEGETABLES
While the rice cooks, in a medium skillet (use a large skillet if using leftover rice), melt the butter over MEDIUM heat. Add the onion and almonds and saute til the onions begin to soften. Add the carrots and pepper as they're prepped and cook til cooked through but still firm. Stir in remaining ingredients.

COMBINE
Stir in the rice if it's done or reduce the heat to LOW to hold the vegetables until it is. Or if you're using cooked rice, stir it in now. Let the rice warm through, stirring occasionally. Enjoy!

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Serving: 123 Cal (30% from Fat, 9% from Protein, 61% from Carb); 3 g Protein; 4 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 19 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; 33 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 109 mg Sodium; 5 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 2 points


ALANNA's TIPS
  • It's just as fast to cook two cups of rice as one so make extra to use another night.
  • Garlic and ginger would be delicious additions.
  • Substitute other on-hand vegetables, even cooked veggies leftover from other meals.
  • Add the vegetables that require longer cooking time first (tonight, for example, the carrots before the green pepper). Stir them often to distribute the heat but keep as much as possible directly on the pan rather than piled up on the side.


CREDIT WHERE CREDIT'S DUE
The recipe (before vegging up) comes from my long-time friend Lisa -- she calls it Betty Crocker's Curried Rice. How Lisa's recipes haven't shown up on A Veggie Venture until now is a mystery because we've traded favorites longer than any other person except my mother.

Day 219: Stir-Fried Broccoli with Tofu

This started off to be simple stir-fried vegetables. But when I fetched the broccoli from the frig, a packet of tofu tagged along.

And suddenly the supper plan moved from leftover salmon to a vegetarian entrée. It was good enough but could certainly have used a kick of heat. And if only I'd thought to make rice to soak up all the lovely garlic-ginger juice!



VEGETABLE RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ more broccoli recipes ~
~ more recipes with soy, including tofu ~
~ more vegetarian supper recipes ~


STIR-FRIED BROCCOLI with TOFU
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 30 minutes
Serves 4


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic (from a jar)
1 tablespoon ginger (from a jar)

1/2 an onion, cut in strips
16 ounces extra firm tofu, cut in cubes
1 red pepper, cut in strips
1 pound broccoli, aggressively trimmed, stalks chopped and tops cut into small florets

1/2 tablespoon garlic (from a jar)
1/2 tablespoon ginger (from a jar)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
LOTS of salt and pepper
Sprinkle of cayenne pepper

Heat the oil in a wok (or high-sided skillet) on MEDIUM HIGH. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a minute. Add the onion and tofu and let cook until onion begins to soften, stirring often. Stir in the red pepper and broccoli. Cover and let cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes. Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over vegetables, let cook 2 - 3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Enjoy!

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Serving: 168 Cal (31% from Fat, 29% from Protein, 40% from Carb); 13 g Protein; 6 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 18 g Carb; 4 g Fiber; 104 mg Calcium; 3 mg Iron; 631 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 3 points

Day 218: Creamed Turnips ♥

~ recipe, nutrition & photo updated in 2007 ~

2005: Stop! Even if you turn up your nose at turnips, there's a great-tasting white sauce in that bowl. If you like the idea of creamed anything, you'll want to keep reading.

Me, I happen to like the turnips. But the white sauce is extraordinary, the result of adding simple flavor (bay leaf, whole clove and peppercorns) to the milk as it scalds.

The recipe's inspiration comes from Simply Recipes whose homey culinary approach I admire. There are few recipes there that I wouldn't love to reproduce in my own kitchen. Who else writes about turnips, for goodness sake! (For the record, my take on Creamed Turnips is a bit simpler and a tad lighter than Elise's; you may want to compare the two approaches to see if one better matches your own taste sensibility.)

So these are good. Really good. So good that, ahem, one might make a meal out of 'em. Did I? I'll tell if you'll try them ...

VEGAN CREAMED TURNIPS See Fatfree Vegan Kitchen's Creamed Turnips. Now there are three of turnip-lovin' folks! Or maybe Susan's almost-nine-year-old E makes four?

2007: These turnips are just as good as remembered! This time I used skim milk in the white sauce, which drops the Weight Watchers points to just 1 point per serving.



VEGETABLE RECIPES from the ARCHIVES
~ more turnip recipes ~
~ more recipes for creamed vegetables ~


CREAMED TURNIPS
Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 35 minutes
Serves 4


Water to cover, salted
1 pound turnips, peeled and quartered (the sauce volume below can handle 2 pounds)

1 cup whole milk (even though I often make white sauce with skim because it's what's on hand)
2 bay leaves (Turkish bay leaves are less bitter than California)
2 whole cloves
2 black peppercorns

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
Kosher salt to taste
Sprinkle white pepper (white pepper doesn't mess up the color but black would be fine for taste)
Sprinkle nutmeg (fresh is always good but regular is just fine)

Bring water to boil in a small pot (if possible, use something other than non-stick so you can mash the turnips in the same pan later) on MEDIUM HIGH. Add the turnips and return to a boil, then reduce heat to MEDIUM to maintain a simmer. Cook until cooked through, about 15 minutes.Drain and return to pot.

While the turnips cook, combine the milk, bay leaves, cloves and peppercorns in a microwave container. Bring it just to a boil in the microwave, starting with 30 seconds, then 15 seconds at a time until just before boiling. Let rest until ready to use. Remove the bay leaves, cloves and peppercorns.

While the milk is warming, melt the butter in a small saucepan on MEDIUM. Stir in the flour until the mixture is thick and silky and without lumps. Slowly -- that means a drop at a time at first, up to a tablespoon at a time -- add the hot milk (have you removed the bay leaves, cloves and peppercorns?), stirring all the time, incorporating the milk completely before adding more. Once all the milk is incorporated, continue to stir for a couple of minutes, finishing the cooking process. It's okay if small bubbles form but don't let the mixture boil. Once the white sauce is cooked, reduce the heat to LOW to hold. Season with salt, white pepper and nutmeg.

When the turnips drained, add the sauce to the pan and mash with a hand masher or hand mixer (it's too big a job for an immersion blender) until somewhat smooth -- though they won't be as smooth as mashed potatoes. Spoon into a serving bowl, then top with another sprinkle of nutmeg.

Enjoy!
NUTRITION ESTIMATE
2005: Made with whole milk, 1T butter, 1T flour, Per Serving: 95 Cal (46% from Fat, 12% from Protein, 42% from Carb); 3 g Protein; 5 g Tot Fat; 3 g Sat Fat; 10 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; NetCarb8; 39 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 71 mg Sodium; 16 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 2 points

2007: Made with skim milk, 1/2T butter, 1/2T flour, Per Serving: 66 Cal (22% from Fat, 20% from Protein, 58% from Carb); 3 g Protein; 2 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 0 g Mono Fat; 10 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; NetCarb8; 3 g Sugar; 126 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 65 mg Sodium; 5 mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 1 point