During my recent trip to Scottsdale, AZ, for work which included a day trip to Sedona and enjoy the ridiculously amazing weather and the gorgeous red rock landscape with my very sweet Filipino aunty of a cubicle mate, Lourdes. If you’re following my gastrogasmic adventures on the accompanying Facebook page you’ll have seen some of the incredible meals from that trip.
My lunch at SaltRock Southwest Kitchen in Sedona, AZ
One of those meals followed me home when, a few weeks ago, Lourdes showed me that she had attempted to make these roasted sweet peppers we had ordered for lunch at a small resort in Sedona. She shared one with me and regardless of what they say about food always tasting better on vacation it’s very difficult to mess up oven-roasted mini sweet peppers. The one thing she hadn’t been able to get was the aioli. I was so inspired that I decided to stop by the Aldi that just opened up down the road (bringing back some fun memories).
Goat Cheese Stuffed Mini Peppers, from Foodfanatic
My own method for cooking up these little babies is to
Toss with (very little) avocado oil or olive oil,
sprinkle with some coarse salt and fresh ground pepper,
You can also add a sprinkle of garlic powder if you want a little extra something,
Roast on a baking tray at 400 F for 20-30 minutes turning about halfway through (fair warning I like them lightly charred so adjust the time as desire).
Simple right? And unlike some other roasted vegetables these taste really good on their own with very little help. But if you’re looking for something to go with them you can mix this aioli up:
Crush 1 large clove of garlic into a small bowl,
Add about a teaspoon of lime juice and a teaspoon of harissa,
Mix in a heaping spoonful of mayonnaise (or I use vegenaise) and an equal amount of sour cream.
Alternatively, and I’ve done this a couple of times, you can just use a butter knife to cut through one side of the pepper and put about a 1-2 teaspoons worth of goat cheese and just consume that heck out of those babies!
Most of us have done it. We promise we’re going to have more vegetables and then end up eating one of this post’s featured featured items. Avocados, eggplant, bell peppers, okra…. oops. Guess I should go back and ammend that earlier post about okra…
I’m gonna go with the saying about if three people agree on a defninition it is one. If you agree with me that we’ll call these guys vegetables and Jesus knows what I mean in my prayers when I refer to them as vegetables that should count, right?
So to round up this *POW!* of veggies we’ll end with the fruit that dreamed of being a vegetable (and one I just happened to have way to many of this summer): The Tomato.
Avocado and Heirloom Tomato Toast with Balsamic Drizzle
Caprese-Style Stuffed Tomatoes with Balsamic Reduction
Roasted Tomato Soup with Broiled Cheddar
Roasted Tomato Salsa
Tomato Cobbler with Cornmeal-Cheddar Biscuits
Burrata with White Wine and Garlic Sauteed Tomatoes
This post’s feaured veggie may grow in snack form but personally I don’t find it to have that raw appeal. But then I really don’t care for the majority of my vegetables raw and… Ugh… crunchy. Just… No.
But my favorite preparation of these little guys is to sautee with garlic, tomatoes, a squeeze of lemon, and a dash of soy sauce (with salt & pepper) until tender but still crisp to the bite. And no, I’m not talking about bugs. I’m talking about the hard to destroy: Green Bean!
BBQ Flavored Crispy Green Beans
Roasted Garlic Green Beans with Lemon
Sesame Garlic Green Beans
Oven-Baked Green Bean Fries with Garlic Aioli
Green Bean Casserole (Warning: I looked at the receipe and even though I may talk smack about all those food-free dishes I’ve been an Adventist long enough to know that in this case it probably works.)
Green Bean Mushroom Tart with Blue Cheese and Crispy Shallots
Green Bean Salad with Herb-Tahini Dressing and Toasted Almonds
I’m pretty sure that the title of this post is one of the early sentences I translated into French because I felt like it was relevant to my future success. Such a sexy veggie that zucchini. I don’t suggest keeping them in your pocket (if you do, indeed, have one there) but I do recommend trying one of the following recipes (and giving me feedback for my own experimentation).
Salt and Pepper Zucchini Chips
Garden Zucchini Parmesan Biscuits
Baked Parmesan Zucchini Sticks
Garlicky and Cheesy Quinoa Zucchini Fritters
Eggplant and Zucchini Gratin
Zucchini Frittata with Mozzarella, Feta, and Parmesan
I can’t remember which retelling of the classic Persephone being dragged down by Hades to his underground kingdom but it was probably some seedy romance that tried to fill in the gaps of the storyline while enforcing the somewhat lingering fad of the whole dominating man being too proud for his own good but actually having a cuddly center that just needed to be loved by some “headstrong” woman with amazing hair and the ability to forget how headstrong she is when in the presence of the sulty dark god of the underworld. But enough about my bedtime reading for now. Whichever book it was talking about he ghostly gardens of the underworld. Of plants that mimic those above ground but requiring no sunlight to grow. When I look at steamed cauliflower I always think that it looks like the ghost of broccoli. Or maybe the vegetable garden fairies just spilled some bleach and human are all like “Ooooo!”.
Either way (because these are both valid option as to why cauliflower is the way it is), cauliflower is an interesting vegetable that has recently taken on new heights. It has the unique personality of being rather bland in the flavor department but being able to take on a rariety of textures depending on how it’s prepared. While some of the attempts at making cauliflower cool clearly fall short of the goal I’m impressed with the way that it manages to take on new flavors easily and holds up to some experimental treatment. So far one of my absolutely favorite dishes is from Woodlands, a vegetarian Indian restaurant with a buffet on the weekends that could make a lover of deliciousness die with happiness. Not sure what it is but something like battered and fried florets then mixed with other sauteed vegetables in a sauce. I really do need to find out what it’s called.
But in the meantime here are some other forms of this ghostly source of nutrients that I thoroughly approve of.
Yes I recognize that there’s both a friendly and sinister connotation to the title of today’s post. The sinister one being that I’m procreating and that’s a very scary place to take a very happy little vegetable. I prefer to think of my rather forceful exclamation as a futuristic reference to when I live in a space pod with a nice hydroponics corner where I can grow things like peas. My favorites are snow peas but overall pease are pretty good across the board. From fresh off the vine (you can really taste the chrolophyll!) to smashed into a pulp as a side for fish & chips (not my preferred way of eating them) to crunchy and wasabi coated these tasty little guys are almost always welcome in my space dwelling!
Garlic Snap Peas
Creamy Pea Salad
Peas with Mushrooms
Pea, Mint and Feta Fritters with Yogurt Mint Dipping Sauce