Crashing the Veggie’s Masquerade Ball

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

Avocado and Heirloom Tomato Toast with Balsamic Drizzle

Tomato Pie

Tomato Pie

Caprese-Style Stuffed Tomatoes with Balsamic Reduction

Caprese-Style Stuffed Tomatoes with Balsamic Reduction

Roasted Tomato Soup with Broiled Cheddar

Roasted Tomato Soup with Broiled Cheddar

Roasted Tomato Salsa

Roasted Tomato Salsa

Tomato Cobbler with Cornmeal-Cheddar Biscuits

Tomato Cobbler with Cornmeal-Cheddar Biscuits

Burrata with White Wine and Garlic Sauteed Tomatoes

Burrata with White Wine and Garlic Sauteed Tomatoes

Summer Tomato Jam

Summer Tomato Jam

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It Grows In Snack Form

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

BBQ Flavored Crispy Green Beans

Roasted Garlic Green Beans with Lemon

Roasted Garlic Green Beans with Lemon

Sesame Garlic Green Beans

Sesame Garlic Green Beans

Oven-Baked Green Bean  Fries with Garlic Aioli

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 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 Mushroom Tart with Blue Cheese and Crispy Shallots

Green Bean Salad with Herb-Tahini Dressing and Toasted Almonds

Green Bean Salad with Herb-Tahini Dressing and Toasted Almonds

I Hope That’s a Zucchini In Your Pocket

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

Salt and Pepper Zucchini Chips

Garden Zucchini Parmesan Biscuits

Garden Zucchini Parmesan Biscuits

 

Baked Parmesan Zucchini Sticks

Baked Parmesan Zucchini Sticks

Garlicky and Cheesy Quinoa Zucchini Fritters

Garlicky and Cheesy Quinoa Zucchini Fritters

Zucchini Parmesan

Zucchini Parmesan

Eggplant and Zucchini Gratin

Eggplant and Zucchini Gratin

Lemon-Garlic Zucchini

Lemon-Garlic Zucchini

Zucchini Frittata with Mozzarella, Feta, and Parmesan

Zucchini Frittata with Mozzarella, Feta, and Parmesan

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

A Favorite of the Underworld

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.

 

Balsamic Galazed Cauliflower "Wings"

Balsamic Galazed Cauliflower “Wings”

Cauliflower Au Gratin

Cauliflower Au Gratin

Parmesan Cauliflower Bites

Parmesan Cauliflower Bites

Cauliflower Tots (with a How-To video!)

Cauliflower Tots (with a How-To video!)

Spicy Cauliflower Sitr-Fry

Spicy Cauliflower Sitr-Fry

Creamy Cauliflower Garlic Rice

Creamy Cauliflower Garlic Rice

Curried Cauliflower Soup

Curried Cauliflower Soup

Lemon Garlic Roasted Cauliflower

Lemon Garlic Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower Chowder

Cauliflower Chowder

Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

Crispy Orange Cauliflower

Crispy Orange Cauliflower

Put Them Peas in My Pod!

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

Garlic Snap Peas

Creamy Pea Salad

Creamy Pea Salad

Peas with Mushrooms

Peas with Mushrooms

Parmesan Peas

Parmesan Peas

Pea, Mint and Fet Fritters with Yogurt Mint Dipping Sauce

Pea, Mint and Feta Fritters with Yogurt Mint Dipping Sauce

Toast with Lemony Pea Mash

Toast with Lemony Pea Mash

Pea Pesto Pasta

Pea Pesto Pasta

Polka-Dot Pea Soup

Polka-Dot Pea Soup

 

Garlic Sesame Snow Peas

Garlic Sesame Snow Peas

Grilled Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon Oregano Butter

Grilled Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon Oregano Butter

Let’s Do It

Recently, I was asked if I would be interested in teaching a group of teens some basic cooking skills. Apparently they were doing some service projects and during a “feed the homeless” project one of them was injured because they lacked the basic kitchen skills.

I already had a cooking curriculum made up for younger kids but I’ve changed it from 16 weeks to 6 weeks to fit into the summer. While I can barely remember my early teen years and high school was a very short 2 year blur I know all to well how easily I get bored so I’ve decided to try and use gastroporn to try and rope ’em in and keep ’em round. Imagery is how the cigarette companies do it so why not me?

One website that I love for cooking related slide shows, articles, and videos is Kitchen Daily. I’ve been going through several of the tutorial videos and here are a few I think are pretty awesome:

 

 

How To Make Your Own Butter (and buttermilk)

Knife Skills

Flan

Dark Chocolate Mousse With Candied Orange