Saturday, March 12, 2011

Eat Your Vegetables! (yes mother).

Why are Americans (in general) getting so fat?  That's an easy one: too much fat, starchy carbs, sugar, not enough exercise, not enough protein and whole grains, and not enough VEGETABLES.  I can just hear people clicking away from this post because most peoples' idea of a vegetable is something that is akin to mush. The vegetables I grew up with were things like broccoli cooked within an inch of it's mushy life, tater tots, head-lettuce (almost devoid of nutrients but I admit I love it) and canned asparagus. There's only one word for canned asparagus - BLLLLLLEEEEECCCCHHHHH.  Ok two words - BLECH and UCK.  I love my mother....more than many of you will ever know, but she is an admitted bad cook which is fine because somehow or another, I managed to discover the amazing world of vegetables on my own.

So, in honor of Spring, which is almost upon us and my mother's birthday which is the first day of Spring, I'd like to share a few of my favorite vegetable recipes for you.

The first is too simple to even be called a recipe but here goes~

Grilled FRESH Asparagus

Heat Grill pan to screaming hot over medium high heat for about 5 minutes.

Break off bottom ends of asparagus where it naturally breaks (take one spear and holding each end, gently bend until it breaks. Then line it up with the rest and cut them all at that point. can break them all but I don't usually have the patience).

Put them on the grill pan. NO OIL.  Grill, turning, until grill marks appear and spears are cooked, about 8 minutes.
Put spears into dish. Drizzle with olive oil (I use about 2 TBL) and season with S&P and fresh lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice.  YUM.

This next recipe is from Ina Garten. Lee and I love this one - very easy. Thank you Ina!

Garlic and Herb Tomatoes

3 TBL Olive Oil
2 minced garlic cloves
2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
2 TBL chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
2 TBL chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
2 TBL chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a saute pan large enough to hold all the tomatoes in one layer. Add the garlic to the oil and cook over medium high heat for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, basil parsley, thyme, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5-7 minutes, tossing occasionally until the tomatoes begin to lose their firm shape. Sprinkle with a little fresh basil and parsley and serve hot or at room temperature.

Here's the link if you'd like to look at Ina's recipe directly:

 I know this will sound like an Ina-fest, but here's another one of her recipes that I have made countless times. In fact, Lee says that if this were the only way I ever cooked potatoes again, he'd be happy with that. It's SO easy.

Ina's Dill Fingerling Potatoes

2 TBL unsalted butter
1 1/4 lbs fingerling potatoes, rinsed but not peeled
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 TBL chopped fresh dill

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot. Add the whole potatoes, salt and pepper, and toss well. Cover the pot tightly and cook over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender when tested with a small knife. From time to time, shake the pot without removing the lid to prevent the bottom potatoes from burning. Turn off the heat and allow the potatoes to steam for another 5 minutes. Don't overcook. Toss with the dill, and serve hot.

Now.....for one more. I dare you to try this recipe for Brussels Sprouts. This one comes from Martha's Everyday Food Magazine.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with bacon

1. Trim 1 lb brussels sprouts (slice off bottom end and peel off hard, outer leaves); shred in a food processor fitted with a slicing blade. Set aside.
2. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook 3 slices bacon until crisp, 4-5 minutes; transfer to paper towels to drain.
3. Discard all but 1 TBL rendered fat from skillet. Add brussels sprouts and 1 cup water; season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; cook, stirring occasionally, until sprouts are tender, 20-25 minutes (add more water if pan becomes dry).
4. To serve, crumble bacon over sprouts, drizzle with just a bit of cider vinegar, if desired.

(I don't have a link for this one....)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Cassie,

    I LUV brussel sprouts but alas, Don doesn't. Maybe with bacon though...

    The cauliflower recipe was great (Don even made it all by himself!), and Augie liked it too.