Blog Archives for category Vegetable Recipes
I really can’t think of a single vegetable that isn’t more delicious when roasted. Ok, I didn’t think about that very hard, so I’m sure there’s at least one out there, but roasting is a great trick to have up your sleeve to feed your herbivorous side. Here’s how to roast vegetables: Preheat the oven. Cut up the food. Drizzle olive oil over it and season with salt and pepper. Place on a cookie sheet. Cook, flipping once. Doesn’t get much easier, hey? Here are my Top Ten I Heart Roasted Vegetables tips for success.
So there’s a chance that I might be an official Seattleite. It hit me 4 miles in, as I was running down the street with 2 fistfuls of snow peas. Pull up a chair, this is a good one. I’ve been on the waiting list for a P-Patch garden since moving here, and finally snagged a plot this spring. Seattle has an amazing network of neighborhood gardens, and for about $25 a year, you can have a 10′ x 20′ patch of dirt to call your very own. I’m sure you can understand how I have an aching in my bones to do this…
When we were little and in Capital “B” Big trouble, the big gun was called in for disciplinary purposes. The Capital “B” Big gun was my Dad. He’d come in from a long (long) day out in the barn, and really, the last thing he had was the mental energy to deal with my brother and I bickering over back car seat territory or my (alleged) smart mouth. Poor SUE!, at her witt’s end, she’d send us to sit on the hope chest at the end of my parents bed, and wait for him to come in for dinner and deal with us. I found myself sitting on that hope chest frequently.
But it brings up a good point, and one that people ask me about all the time: how do you get to that culinary zen where you don’t need to follow a recipe, and you can just wing it? Well, it’s not something you learn overnight, that’s for sure. But there are a few things you can do to tweak a recipe into a winner, salvage a broken dish, or anticipate what’s going to work and what’s not:
Now before you get all bent out of shape and protest to drinking spinach or kale at 7:00 in the morning, let me make one, very bold statement. I promise you, you will not taste it. Seriously. I’m telling you, I have no idea how it works, but somehow the spinach is cancelled out and it is all nutritional goodness and no vegetable taste. I love sneaking leafy greens in all sorts of food, because who doesn’t need more kale? But this spinach-in-the-smoothie is one pretty legit trick.
Nothing beats a your favorite neighborhood takeout’s pad thai, but this dish is a good alternative. And it comes together in about the same time it takes to call in delivery. The best part is that it doesn’t use any of the authentic (read: hard to find and never in my pantry) asian ingredients. There’s a very good chance you’ll have almost everything on hand, or can source the missing ingredients from your favorite grocery store’s ethnic aisle. While the authentic versions are fairly consistent, this recipe is totally flexible. One of those great “clean out the fridge” dishes that tastes good no matter what you throw in it – use whatever vegetables and/or meat you like and have.
Of course I became friends with the Chef there, and he gave me a tour of his beautiful garden. We talked about what I liked to cook, and American markets, and how much comparable produce costs in the United States. He asked the english names of some of the plants he only knew in swahili, and I had to guess what some of the foreign bounty actually could be. He made this vegetable curry that will go down as one of my favorite food experiences – I’m quite sure – of my entire life.
Of course there’s no rhyme or reason to this tumultuous love affair. Today? Sign me up for the fan club, I’m on a quinoa-kick. I mixed it here with kale and sweet potatoes and a shot of balsamic vinegar for a forkful of nutty, sweet, earthy, sour, salty goodness. It’s a weeknight workhorse of a recipe because I keep all these ingredients around anyway, and it took just under 30 minutes to make.