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Corn and Green Bean Salad

14 Dec

This summer we had a farm share and boy did we get a lot of corn! I searched for some different recipes that incorporated corn and I found this great one on one of my favorite blogs, Girls Gone Child. Her blog is awesome and she has the most adorable kids (with the coolest names). She sometimes features recipes from her mom who seems like an amazing cook. That’s where I found this recipe and it’s delicious.

Corn and Green Bean Salad 
from Girls Gone Child

Ingredients:

2 lbs fresh green beans
2 ears of corn, shucked
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
1 clove chopped garlic
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons fresh basil

Directions:

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the ears of corn.
  2. Cook corn for 5 minutes, remove from the water and put in a colander. Rinse with cold water to cool the ears down.
  3. Using the same water you cooked the corn in, cook the green beans for just about 2 minutes so that they are still crisp.
  4. Drain the beans then put them into a bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking further.
  5. Cut beans into smallish pieces and cut the corn kernels off the cob. In a large bowl, add the beans, corn, tomatoes and onions.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, red wine vinegar, olive oil, fresh basil, and salt and pepper.
  7. Pour liquid mixture over the vegetable mixture and toss to coat.
  8. Refrigerate and enjoy!

Corn and green bean salad

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Beet Salad (for those who don’t love beets)

24 Jul

I’m not a huge beet fan but we’ve been getting TONS in our CSA this summer. And it’s been so hot that I dread turning the oven on to cook them. But then I found this amazing recipe from The New York Times and we have been loving beets ever since. Even though this salad includes raw beets, it doesn’t taste beet-y – it’s refreshing and citrusy and I love it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch beets (maybe a half pound)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot, or chopped zucchini, summer squash or whatever other vegetable you have handy
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley or rosemary

Directions:

  • Wash the beets and cut off the ends. Use a food processor to chop the beets up small
  • Chop or food process the onion, the carrot or other vegetable of your choice, and the parsley or rosemary. I’ve also used shredded carrots from Whole Foods (like in the photo below)
  • Add all the chopped ingredients to a bowl
  • In a separate smaller bowl, combine the orange juice, lemon juice and olive oil and stir well
  • Poor the citrus liquid mixture over the vegetable mixture and stir well
  • Chill for an hour or so (but you could also eat this right away)
  • Serve over salad greens

Take on a picnic and enjoy.

Beet Salad

Spicy Chickpea and Vegetable Casserole

14 Apr

This recipe is from my Essential Vegetarian Cookbook, but there it calls for pumpkin and button squash. I’ve made it lots of times, but actually never with pumpkin and button squash. I always swap those out and add in some other vegetables. I’ve tried it with lots of different combinations, but the below recipe is one of my favorites. Whatever vegetables you have on hand will usually do.

Ingredients


1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas, or 1 14.5oz can of canned chickpeas

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

3 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1 14.5oz can of crushed tomatoes

1 1/2 cups vegetable stock

3 purple potatoes, chopped bite-size

1 carrot, chopped

1 cup chopped green beans

1 summer squash

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon oregano

Soak the chickpeas overnight or, if you forget to set them out the day before, you can quick soak them. There is a lot of differing information online about how the quick soak works, how long to boil for, then how long to let sit for, but the general jist is that you add three times as much water as you have beans and bring to a boil. Some sites say boil for a minute, some say as long as 10 minutes. Then you set the beans aside for an hour to an hour and half and they should be ready to add to your recipe. Or, you can just use a can of chickpeas (rinsed), which is a ton easier than all that soaking.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the onion and the garlic, stirring for a minute or two. Add the cumin, chili powder, and allspice and stir well. Add the soaked chickpeas, can of tomatoes, and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Let that simmer for an hour, covered.

You're right - these are not chickpeas. I substituted dried heirloom beans that were at the Farmer's market.

About 15 minutes before the hour of simmering is complete, add the purple potatoes and the carrot. When the hour is up, add the green beans, squash, tomato paste, and oregano.

Stir well and simmer covered for another 15 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for another 10 minutes to let the sauce thicken.

I like to eat this with a whole grain roll or slice of bread, since it’s perfect for dipping in the sauce. We ate ours with a piece of garlic naan because we didn’t have any other bread and, well, who doesn’t like naan?

Breaded Haddock with Sweet Potatoes and Snow Peas

12 Mar

The Somerville Winter Farmer’s Market is where I’ve been spending my Saturday mornings. From 9:30am until 2pm, you can find all the freshest vegetables while also supporting local farmers. Plus, there’s milk from Shaw Farm, cheese, bread, meats, cider, and fish. Along with my usual haul of vegetables, last week I decided to get some local fresh haddock from Globe Fish.

I’m not really that good at cooking fish at home, so I googled a few recipes and came up with something simple, but promising. I decided on baking the haddock and serving it with baked sweet potatoes and some steamed snow peas.

Start by poking holes in the sweet potatoes, wrapping them in aluminum foil, and popping them into a 350 degree oven for an hour. Sit back and read a book or watch an episode of House Hunters because the rest is so easy that you don’t have to start it until the potatoes are nearly done.

Parmesan Crusted Baked Haddock

Ingredients:

  • 2 haddock filets
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • butter

In a small bowl, combine the milk and salt. In another bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and thyme. Make an assembly line where you dip the haddock fillets in the milk/salt mixture, then drop into the crumb mixture and coat evenly, then put the filets in a baking dish. I wanted to make sure they were good and breaded, so I took any breadcrumbs that hadn’t landed on the fish and poured them on top of the filets. (This could be directly related to later setting off the smoke alarm).  Top the fish with pats of butter. Bake in a 500 degree oven. I know, I know. It’s crazy. I never turn up the oven that high. But it works, so I did it. Bake for 15 minutes.

By now the sweet potatoes should be done, so take them out of the oven when you put the fish in, but leave them in the foil so they stay warm. On the stove top, steam a cup or so of snow peas until crisp-tender. In a frying pan, melt 1 Tbsp of butter and add juice from 1/2 lemon, and a bit of pepper and thyme. When the snow peas are done, toss them in the butter mixture to coat. Remove from heat.

Enjoy!

Easy Japanese Curry

31 Jan

Andrew and I longed to be able to make good curry. We love going out for curry, but never could manage to make anything close to good at home. My friend Tomoko had made Japanese curry years ago using S&B Golden Curry and it was amazing. One day I was walking near Porter Square when I stepped into a small Japanese market. I perused a bit and when I saw the familiar package, I just had to buy it and try to recreate Tomoko’s fabulous curry.

Photo: the food pornographer

Making the curry is insanely easy. Slice an onion and brown it in a skillet with a little olive oil. Add in whatever vegetables you like – we had cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, and green pepper. Then add 2-1/2 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil and cover and simmer 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender, but not soggy.  Remove vegetables from heat.

When you open the box of curry sauce mix, it looks kind of like a block of chocolate. Break up the block (it comes apart very easily) and stir the pieces gradually into the vegetable/water mixture. It blends in really quickly without leaving any chunks in the mix. Stir until the sauce is a little thicker.

Serve over rice and enjoy!

 

Week 51: Golden Beets

1 Jan

Here it is, the new year, and I’m still finishing up my 52 new things to eat from last year. It’s not that I haven’t done the last two foods; i I just haven’t blogged about them yet because things have just been busy. So here goes week 51, two weeks late!

Photo from Specialty Produce

My friend Laura loves beets. Every time I see them at the store or on a menu I think of her. So when I saw golden beets at the grocery I decided I should give them a try and thank her for inspiring me.

Gold beets are available year round, but are most popular in the autumn. According to nutritionholistic.com, “the health benefits of golden beets (as well as other interesting varieties such as white beets and peppermint beets) are the same, or nearly the same as the health benefits of red beets.” Taste-wise, golden beets have a “milder, sweeter flavor than the more earthy red beets.” Unlike red beets, golden beets don’t contain anthycyanins, a beneficial antioxidant. But all beets are a good source of manganese, potassium, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorus, fatty acids, amino acids, and fiber.

Interestingly, beet greens are actually more nutritious than the beets, and have twice the potassium and are really high in beta carotene and folic acid. Another random fact is that beets have the highest sugar content of any vegetable.

I wasn’t sure how to prepare the beets, but I ended up just tossing them and some brussels sprouts in olive oil and garlic and popping them in the oven for 20 minutes or so.

They were fantastic! I love brussels sprouts, but the highlight of this dish was totally and completely the beets. They were kind of sweet and had a much milder flavor than red beets.

So, thanks to Laura and her beet-love, I have a new vegetable that I love. Now to just get a little more interested in red beets. Maybe Laura has a recipe I could try…

Week 50: Purple Potatoes

19 Dec

I have a recipe for spicy chickpea and vegetable casserole from The Essential Vegetarian  Cookbook that I often make in the winter. It’s really just a slew of vegetables and chickpeas in a tomato sauce flavored with cumin, allspice, and chili pepper. While at Whole Foods picking up the vegetables, I ran across purple potatoes and decided to throw them into the mix since I’d never had them before. I assumed that their skin would be purple but the inside would be white, just like red bliss potatoes have redish skin but are white inside. I was wrong:

While I cooked, Andrew googled “purple potatoes” and found this cool website, Specialty Produce. That site filled us in on how purple potatoes and white potatoes differ. Unlike the traditional white potatoes, purple potatoes are rich in the antioxidant, anthocyanin. This is the same antioxidant found in blue, red, and purple produce like blueberries and pomegranates. It’s “an immune system booster and aids in the prevention of certain cancers.” Purple potatoes can help lower blood pressure, are low in calories, and are a good source of fiber.

I added a whole bunch of other vegetables to the casserole – broccoli, red potatoes, onions, brussels sprouts, and carrots:

The recipe calls for everything to simmer for an hour or so, and then we finally tasted the purple potatoes. They were excellent! They were actually more potato-ish than regular white potatoes, if that’s possible. They were earthy and kind of nutty tasting, I thought, but very similar to your standard potato. A bunch of websites I found said that purple potatoes can be substituted for white potatoes in just about every way you can imagine – mashed, grilled, fried, baked. They are usually available year-round, but may become more difficult to find in the January-April time frame.

I loved the purple potaotes and Andrew REALLY loved them. The spicy chickpea casserole with the purple potatoes was a perfect winter meal:

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