Tag: vegetables

Simple eggplant, corn and feta salad

simple eggplant, corn and feta salad

Sometimes it amazes me how simple recipes turn out to be the best ones. Most people often think that complicated cooking techniques, a slew of exotic ingredients, and a lot of time make a good recipe, and sometimes they do. But many times it’s just the opposite. Dishes that utilize only a few, good quality, local ingredients can turn out just as well as the fancy, complicated ones. Sometimes, they turn out even better. And that’s what happened when I made this simple eggplant, corn and feta salad. When I took my first bite, I was honestly surprised at how good it turned out because it’s too easy! (more…)

Spaghetti squash and kale with bacon and parmesan

spaghetti squash and kale with bacon and parmesan cheese

This is my new favorite vegetable dish. When I started making this I really didn’t think it would turn out as well as it did. I kind of just needed to use up half a bag of Trader Joe’s kale and a spaghetti squash that had been sitting in my fridge for some time. I like vegetables. In fact, I love them, but I literally could not stop eating this. I ate it the same way I usually eat fried rice or pasta. I almost finished the entire pan in one sitting, which is okay because it’s relatively healthy. It’s salty from the crispy bacon pieces and the parmesan cheese and a little bit spicy from the red pepper flakes. It’s a veggie dish I’ll be making again and again. I know spaghetti squash is not a substitute for actual pasta but it’s still delicious in its own right. (more…)

Shaved brussels sprouts salad

Shaved brussels sprouts salad

When I originally bought this bag of shaved brussels sprouts, I thought I would sautee it with some bacon, or roast it in the oven like I usually do. But it’s summer and I decided to make a shaved brussels sprouts salad instead. Plus the work was already done for me, thanks to Trader Joe’s. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you and can’t find pre-shaved brussels sprouts somewhere else, You can chop them thinly with a knife or (carefully) use a mandolin slicer. You may be able to even chop the brussels sprouts up very finely in a food processor. Although, I haven’t tried that yet so don’t quote me on that! (more…)

Grilled eggplant and corn salad

grilled eggplant and corn salad

I feel like I’ve been cooking a lot with eggplant lately. Hopefully you’re not sick of it yet! It’s just so good this time of year and I can’t seem to get enough of it. I love it. It’s probably one of my favorite vegetables. Hence, the plethora of eggplant recipes. I also can’t get enough of the local sweet corn around here. It makes me sad to think summer is almost over and that a lot of the fresh vegetables and fruit I love so much will be out of season in a month or so. But, summer’s not over yet! So let’s enjoy it while we can and take advantage of all the delicious food this season brings. This grilled eggplant and corn salad is one way to do that.  The hot, grilled eggplant absorbs the tangy vinaigrette and the combination of that with the sweet corn is SO good. I wish I made two batches of the stuff because between my husband and I, it vanished in a couple of hours. (more…)

Roasted Delicata Squash

delicata squash

Del – a – what?? I had never heard of delicata squash either but when I stumbled upon this lovely little squash in the grocery store I was intrigued. I wish I had taken a picture of the squash before I chopped it up and cooked it so you could see what it looks like. I didn’t think ahead. Plus, to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I would share this recipe because I had no idea how it would turn out. A delicata squash is a white or cream colored oblong squash with green stripes. They are pretty AND turns out, they are delicious. Delicata delicious. If I had to describe the taste and texture I would say that delicata squash taste like a combination of butternut squash and sweet potato.

The other awesome thing about these squash is that they are so much easier to prepare than butternut squash. The skin is thinner and the squash is smaller so it doesn’t require a lot of dangerous hacking with a sharp knife. I don’t know about you but preparing butternut squash is always a challenge for me. The knife always gets stuck in the squash and I wind up having to use all my strength to pull it out, all the while praying that it doesn’t go flying out of my hand. It’s a stressful process. Preparing delicata squash as opposed to butternut is a cinch. You still need a sharp knife but you can definitely cut into these little guys without risking your life or your fingers. (more…)

Roasted vegetable couscous

couscous 3

I truly love couscous and if you follow my blog you probably already know that (I have posted quite a few couscous recipes). I love cooking and eating it. It’s so versatile. You can flavor it with so many different things. I almost always put lemon juice in mine, and this roasted vegetable couscous was no exception. This was the perfect accompaniment to my chicken with wine and thyme sauce (recipe to come). The lemon juice brightens the flavor so it’s still light and fresh enough for summer, but the roasted vegetables give the dish a nice depth, so it also works for fall.

You can really use whichever veggie combination sounds good to you, whatever you have on hand, as long as they roast well (obviously don’t use veggies like cucumbers or celery). I happened to have asparagus spears, sliced baby portabella mushrooms (another item I cook with frequently), red bell pepper, leftover yellow squash, and some red onion. All the veggies should be cut into bite sized pieces. (more…)

Veggie Pasta aka Pasta Primavera

pasta primavera 3

I was watching reruns of Pioneer Woman the other night (exciting night, I know) and on one of the episodes she made a pasta primavera that inspired me to come up with my own version of the dish. I used a lot of the same vegetables she used in her recipe as well as her cooking method. I cooked the vegetables in batches for a short amount of time, just like she recommends. She’s right, if you cook the vegetables too long they get mushy because they continue to cook when you add them back into the sauce. So the veggie part of the dish is very similar to her recipe but the sauce in my version is entirely different. Mostly because I didn’t want to go out and buy heavy cream and half and half, which are two important players in her version of this classic pasta dish. I think my version, although it does call for cream cheese, is probably a tad bit healthier as well.

pasta primavera 1

This is a pasta you can, or at least I can, feel good about eating because there is so much nutrition packed into the dish, especially if you use whole grain or whole wheat pasta like I did. It’s also packed full of veggies like carrots, squash, broccoli, and mushrooms. So even though the sauce is a bit decadent the dish is actually pretty good for you. The ratio of pastas to veggies is pretty equal. It’s also so tasty and very colorful. Just looking at the pasta with all those beautiful, vibrant vegetables is enough to cheer me up. Another bonus of making pasta primavera is it’s a great way to use up veggies in the fridge. (more…)

Spaghetti squash with cheesy mushroom and leek sauce

squash 4

I’ve been wanting to cook with spaghetti squash for a while. Spaghetti squash recipes are all the rage on pinterest right now. I think that’s what got me thinking about cooking with it. I also have TONS of fresh vegetables in my fridge right now that I need to cook up ASAP before they all go bad. I always do this. I buy too much fresh produce because everything looks so good in the store and because I love vegetables. Portabella mushrooms and leeks were among the veggies I purchased this time along with the spaghetti squash. I also bought cabbage, carrots, iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, regular tomatoes, baby zuccini and a vegetable stir-fry mix from Trader Joes (which had tons of yummy fresh vegetables already chopped up for me). Needless to say, I’ve been eating A LOT of veg.

This was my first time cooking with spaghetti squash and it was fun, very easy, and obviously a healthy alternative to pasta. Also, because I wasn’t eating actual pasta, I felt like I could make the sauce a little more decadent. The sauce started out as a classic bechamel sauce (a white sauce consisting of milk thickened by a butter and flour roux) and then I added a whole bunch of sharp white cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese to the already thick and creamy sauce. I also sauteed some leeks and mushrooms and added that to the sauce. It was the perfect accompaniment to the spaghetti squash. If you don’t like spaghetti squash, you can obviously serve the sauce over pasta but really spaghetti squash is so much fun! It’s also so versatile. This will not be my last time cooking with it. (more…)

Cabbage with cumin, turmeric, and red pepper flakes

cabbage 2
Back to veggies! I bought some savoy cabbage with the intention of making Alex Guarnaschelli’s braised cabbage. However I found another recipe for Ethiopian cabbage that sparked my interest so I decided to go that route instead. I wound up changing the recipe quite a bit but the outcome was delicious! This cabbage is spiced with garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric and lots of red pepper flakes. I’m always looking for unique ways to cook vegetables so I’m really glad this worked out. (more…)

Balsamic roasted mushrooms and eggplant

eggplant and mushrooms 2

Sometimes some of my best creations in the kitchen happen by accident. This was one of them. I had one lonely leftover eggplant that was in danger of going bad and a whole pack of sliced portabello mushrooms that I hadn’t used yet. I had already decided that I was going to be cooking up some mahi mahi burgers from the freezer that night because I really didn’t feel like cooking but then I remembered that I had these vegetables and the thought of food going bad and then throwing it out makes me really sad. So, I thought I’d just try roasting them. I roast veggies all the time and I think it’s the best way to cook them. They get carmelized and crisp on the outside but tender on the inside. Delicious. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how eggplant and mushrooms would turn out if I just roasted them in the oven like I do so many other favorite vegetables. Sometimes eggplant can be bitter if it’s not cooked the right way so this was a gamble. But, as I said, I didn’t feel like cooking and roasting vegetables is so easy that it almost doesn’t even count as cooking. The oven does all the work.

Let me just say that what I thought would be an average maybe even bad dish turned out to be one of the best vegetable side dishes I’ve ever made. And it is SO easy. I am going to stop at the grocery store after work today to pick up more eggplant and mushrooms because I’m going to make it again tonight. It was THAT good. (more…)

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