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

GastroPorn Menu: June.2013

GastroPorn Menu: June.2013

It’s getting warm and slightly uncomfortable weather wise but things are also growing in the garden and we’re planning to get an umbrella for our back yard so we can actually enjoy our outdoor furniture. Now if only my back yard looked a little something like this:

Santorini-blue-and-white-paradise

This month’s menu is inspired by a little Mediterranean Island sun. Meant to be enjoyed outside with with lots of loud friends and family.

Goat Cheese with Olives, Lemon, and Thyme

“Goat Cheese with Olives, Lemon, and Thyme” From Leite’s Culinaria

Beefsteak Tomato Salad

“Beefsteak Tomato Salad” from Martha Stewart

Eggplant Salad with Chickpeas and Feta

“Eggplant Salad with Chickpeas and Feta” from Martha Stewart

Mini Spiced Chicken Burgers with Mint Greek Yogurt

“Mini Spiced Chicken Burgers with Mint Greek Yogurt” from Applemint

Zucchini Patty Sandwiches

“Zucchini Patty Sandwiches” from Whole Living

Lamb

“Lamb” from Joseph De Leo Photography

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Honey-Lime Dip

“Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Honey-Lime Dip” from Our Best Bites

Lime, Yoghurt and Olive Oil Cake

“Lime, Yoghurt and Olive Oil Cake” from Simple Provisions

Honey-Ricotta Turnovers

“Honey-Ricotta Turnovers” from Martha Stewart

Ridin’ the Serotonin High

Lemon-Arugula Potato Salad

“Lemon-Arugula Potato Salad” from More Than Burnt Toast

My mother occasionally has to go on these extended business trips overseas for weeks or months at a time. When I was in college, all my professors knew when she was gone because I would always come in to work or class starving and asking for something to eat or drink. The chair of the Communication/Journalism department at the time would come to work in the morning and see me sitting there all droopy while sipping at coffee and get this sad look on her face before telling me “I feel like I should take you grocery shopping, you poor motherless child.” I told my dad that on our way home that evening and he decided that maybe we should stop and at least buy some vegetables.

You see, my dad is strange. Like really strange. I sometimes wonder and worry about where he got his mentality about food from because Apo (my paternal grandma who lives with us) says that they had no problem with food when my dad and his siblings were growing up and she has no idea where any of his weirdness comes from. So, every time my mom would go away for an extended trip (usually with my brother since he was still little at the time) my dad would announce that we were going to “clean the fridge”. This mean eating what we had and not buying anything until it was empty. Well, in theory that sounds great. Until you realize that half of the stuff in our fridge is pickles, spices, or some sort of chili paste. After about a week of finishing up the bread, fresh produce, and dairy products, my dad would be eating plain rice and chilies and I’d be living off coffee. And THEN I found out that he and a coworker were going OUT for lunch during the day. I Skyped my mom who had a good yell at my dad and soon there were potatoes and veggies and even a loaf of bread. I brought a sandwich to school and showed all my professors that I was being properly fed and cared for before they called child services (I started college young so I was still a minor at the time).

Somewhere in one of these “dark ages” in my younger life I remember my dad trying to make “potato salad”, which he interpreted to mean a salad with potatoes in it. I wasn’t sure what to make of the concept until I tried his warm potato salad made with romaine lettuce. I’m not sure what exactly he did to make that salad taste so good but that night we each ate a mixing bowl’s worth of salad for dinner and then we had more for lunch the next day. I thought it was just because I’d had nothing but plain rice and coffee for the last 4 or 5 days but I’ve had a similar salad since then I’m glad to say that the salad really was that good. So this post’s salad is in honor of the days when my mom left me alone with my dad during my developmental years and why I learned how to cook for myself.