Now help me get creative w/veggies


#1

great ideas on the meat, guys, although in spite of my whining I will probably not load up on alligator and ostrich at HEB this week.

now introduce me to the wide world of veggies. I buy pretty much the same thing all the time
bagged salad mixes
cabbage red and white
seasoning vegs (celery, onion all colors, peppers all colors, parsley, etc.)
herbs I grow
tomato, tomatillo, fresh, canned and sauces
broccoli, cauliflower
carrots, yams, winter and summer squash
some potatoes, not alot
beans of all kinds, usually canned, except for fresh green beans
watercress in season
asparagus and artichoke (usually frozen except when in season)
mushrooms, usually button and portobello

eat much less raw since developing prob w/slow digestion

salads more likely to be “composed” of various cooked veggies, rather than raw w/greens

I buy frozen bagged mixes of various components above since I only cook for one person

so what is new in the veggie world I should know about?


#2

Peas!! English peas, sugar snap peas… wonderful peas.


#3

I find that it isn’t so much the variety of veggies, but how you cook them. My kids were big squash eaters from day one. However for my step dd we had to revise things a little to get her to eat them. Acorn squash is absolutely wonderful with the typical pumpkin pie spices added and a little butter, or with italian spices (garlic, oregano, dill, parsley, etc.). Spaghetti squash is great with butter, mozzerella, parmesean and garlic… butternut can be used in place of pupkins in pie but I like it best stuffed with sausage, peas, rice, dried tomatoes and italian cheeses.

I was never big into egg plant when mom grilled it on the grill, but I love eggplant parmesean!


#4

Artichokes.

Buy a few artichokes, rinse well, cut off stems so they’ll sit up on their bottom in a pan. Put about 1-2" of water in a pan with the chokes. Heat to boiling then turn to a very slow simmer, steam (make sure you keep checking the water level and add more if needed) covered for an hour, or until the leaves pull out of the choke easily. I mean really easily, not a hard tug, but a simple pull.

Make a dip out of 1/4c. mayo and the juice of half a lemon, plus a tsp of dill weed.

Dip artichoke leaves in dip, and eat by placing in mouth, using teeth to pull the flesh of the bottom half of the leaf. Once you get down to the middle you’ll see very thin, inedible leaves, and some flowery strands/strings, clean all those out and discard. Then cut apart and eat the “heart” of the choke where the stem was.

Delicious!


#5

I love stuffed bell peppers myself. You can make a meat filling, or a veggie filling - using something like couscous, lentils, other grains, with some dried fruits, vegetables or spices.

There are lots of great soups out there too. I would definitely check out some cooking webistes (food.com, epicurian.com, allrecipes.com - stuff l ike that).


#6

And this recipe which includes eggplant is by far one of my FAVORITES. My DH’s too! My kids eat it up despite all the veggies. :smiley:

Orzo With Roasted Vegetables (Barefoot Contessa)

And this recipe for collard greens is incredible too:

Collard Greens With Red Onions And Bacon
:thumbsup:


#7

You a brussel spouts gal?
Slice them in half and baking them at 400 degrees for about 30 min with ground pepper and sea salt generously sprinkled on them.

Or cut them in half and cook them in a fry pan with olive oil till soft - just a few min.

The flavor is amazing compared to plain 'ol boiling them. Blah - ick.

Problem is they really do have a frightful smell. :shrug:


#8

Have you tried courgette and aubergine lasagne? Perhaps, some Chinese veg as well? Blanched and drizzled with olive oil and a spot of oyster sauce. They go well with grilled meats or fish.


#9

keep it coming, these are great
most recipes are hard to cook for one, tho
I love artichokes, my fave, but expensive, even now when they should be in season, I buy at least one a week for a treat. Same with asparagus, why is it stil expensive in April?

brussel sprouts are one thing I simply cannot eat

again I like early June peas but never see them in the market here, maybe I will have them shipped from Michigan

like eggplant as baba ganoush

what is courgette?

I have been spoiled by having a veg garden most of my life, and fall back on grocery store is sad, truck farming is just not done here, and even corner farm stands just sell produce picked up from the central market, same as the grocery stores sell, altho sometimes fresher (not always).

I agree heartily that bacon, butter, sour cream, cheese etc. make anything better but have to remember the underlying reason for eating vegs, lo in fat, better for you etc.


#10

Zucchini is really good, yellow is even better than green, of course it has to be in season. It taste pretty good steamed or fried with a little olive oil.

Also, sugar-snap peas are great! Just rinse them and eat, maybe with a little ranch, but they’re fine plain.

Parsnips are great too! They are kind of like carrots except they are white and taste better :D. You pretty much can just chop them up and fry them in olive oil, maybe add some fresh parsley and salt.


#11

Acorn squash -although it is a winter squash. You can be simple or creative.

Simple: cut in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff, put face down in a baking dish with about 1/4 inch water. Bake 30 minutes at 400 degrees, flip over spray insides with butter spray bake an additional 30 minutes (or longer -until the flesh is soft). If the edges start to look like their burning you can cover with foil. To eat you can spray a little more butter and salt (and pepper if you like pepper-I don’t) and just eat it by scooping it out of the skin with a spoon. You can also do cinnimon and brown sugar instead if you prefer it sweet.

If you want to get more creative you can fill the center with stuff. After the first 30 minutes, I flip them and fill with mushrooms & chopped onion and top with shredded cheese. If you check out recipezaar or allrecipes online, there’s all kinds of variations.

They also can be microwaved. Cut in half like before and scoop out the center. Put in deep microwave dish face down, add a few table spoons water, and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave 8 to 10 minutes. If your microwave doesn’t rotate the food, turn the dish once half way through cooking.


#12

Hey KC, I went to high school in the town that is the Artichoke Capitol of the World…love artichokes.


#13

Puzzleannie, do you have any farmer’s markets near you? I find that going and browsing what is fresh is the best way to get inspired and excited about veggies. And there is all the difference in the world between what is just-picked fresh and what’s been sitting around for a week.


#14

Once I had some odds-n-ends veggies to get rid of, so I threw them in a pan with some olive oil and fried them up:

  1. asparagus
  2. tomatoes
  3. mustard greens

You’d be amazed at how good those little greens taste when fried … just don’t let them turn too crispy or all they become is black flecks of charcoal. Also, don’t use turnip greens instead … turnip greens have a weird texture and taste when fried (IMHO).

Along with the olive oil, you can toss various herbs and spices in the frying pan, as follows:

  1. garlic
  2. celery seeds
  3. onion powder
  4. cumin
  5. oregano
  6. parsley
  7. red pepper flakes

Okay, now that I’ve just eaten dinner, am officially gettin’ hungry again! :rolleyes: :smiley: :o

~~ the phoenix


#15

My SIL likes to thinly slice eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, mushrooms, and onions and layer them in shallow baking pan, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle a little salt and some herbs and throw it in the oven until crisp tender. Then she just sets the pan on the counter, calls the kids and hands out forks, then washes the pan about 10 minutes later!

Fresh asparagus and broccoli and cauliflower florets will also work with this.

And puzzleannie, surely you’ve heard of calabacitas? That zucchini-like squash, usually cooked with fresh tomatoes, corn, green chile and asadero cheese? Que rico!

You once mentioned learning to cook nopalitos… how’d that go? Did you like them?


#16

no farming here is about quantity and most is picked and shipped out, as I said, truck farming for local market is almost unknown, and even fruit stands buy from the produce warehouse. you an get broccoli, cauliflower, onions, spinach, melons etc. cheap in picking season, and of course citrus, but there is only so much one person can use. also organic farming is almost unknown here, and organic produce in markets comes from elsewhere.


#17

yes the little calabeza come out a bit firmer than zucchini and can be bitter, I remove the strip with most of the seeds.

nopal, no no, like okra, I just can’t take the gumminess, guess it is an aquired taste, too bad it is supposed to be good for you.


#18

Well, try 'em with red chile sauce, maybe a few chunks of pork (you know, like chile colorado) to mask the “gumminess”. That’s about the only way I have been able to “acquire” the taste (asking myself, “why in the world am I eating cactus? it’s not like I have no other choices!”)

And, hey, red chile is loaded with vitamin C! Put it on ALL your food!


#19

how about sweet potatoes?

They are a great potato alternative high in vit A fiber etc. etc.

The kids and I like ‘sweet potato boxes’ the kids call em…peeled and diced sweet potatoes tossed with salt, pepper, nutmeg, coriander and oil of your choice (I use coconut or olive). Roast at 425 tossing once until fork tender and browned. Yummy.

They are also good pricked then cooked in the oven like a baked potato, when cool scoop out the flesh and mash with juice of an orange, a tad of honey, S and P and some butter or olive oil.


#20

As for the brussel sprouts…my hubby wasn’t really into them either…the fresh ones…then I bought some frozen “baby” brussel sprouts and just boiled them in a good bit of water , drained them and added salt, pepper and a pat of butter…kinda saute a minute just to get the butter bubbly…he loves them that way…the baby ones aren’t so bitter and boiling them in a good bit of water helps, too…


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