Archive for the ‘veggies’ Category

I worry that a lot of my side dishes gross people out with their Midwestern-ness. But those are the things I crave the most when I’ve been away from home for a while. They’re cheap, they’re tasty, they’re filling and I can usually make them a hair healthier. Plus, you know, vegetables (usually with a whole mess of cheese).

I’ve been hankerin’ for this broccoli slaw, aka ramen salad, for a few weeks. Trader Joe’s had broccoli slaw on sale this week, so I finally had the opportunity to get at it. Hooray!

You’ll need:

1 16-ounce bag of broccoli slaw

2 3-ounce packs of chicken flavored ramen noodles

1 bunch of green onions

1 C unsalted peanuts

1 C sunflower seeds

1/2 C white sugar (I used 1/4 C and it was fine)

1/4 C oil (I used Smart Balance omega-3 veggie oil)

1/3 C cider vinegar

So here’s what you’ll do:

Mix the slaw, crushed up ramen and green onions in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the sugar, oil, vinegar and ramen flavor packets. Pour that over the slaw. Mix together and refrigerate. Top with nuts and/or sunflower seeds before serving.

This goes with basically any barbecue or Asian dinner. I’m going to have it with pork and broccoli tomorrow night. You can have it whenever.



Read Full Post »

Saturday marked the first day in my summer farmshare! This is my second year of veggies from Stillman’s Farm CSA program. I paid in February (with my student loan $$$, natch) for a weekly half-share of fresh fruits and veggies that I pick up each week from the end of June to the middle of October.


I was a newbie last year, which meant quite a bit of tossed food. Tragic, I know. This year, though, I am putting a priority on Eating Everything In That GD Box.

Even the beets.

I thought it might be fun to use this space to share what I got in my magic box and what I plan to do with each tasty veggie. Fun for you because who doesn’t love 700 Way to Make Kale Your Bitch, fun for me because I’ll forget what’s in my fridge otherwise.

Week One: June 18 – June 24

Saturday – Wilted some spinach into my Green Goddess Pasta, shredded a little lettuce for a side salad.

Sunday – Trying out some peasant beets alongside some of Jamie Oliver’s cauliflower mac & cheese. Recipe calls for chard as well. (And fancy cheese… and 3 tbspns of butter… to make the whole experience more palatable)

Monday – I work late, so I will probably just eat some lettuce with my lunch, or leftovers of beets if they don’t make me gag. Also, I’m thinking about doing this thing where I eat kale for breakfast. We’ll see if I get up the gumption.

Tuesday – Baked ziti with spinach. No recipe – just throw cooked pasta, marinara, ricotta, and spinach in a casserole dish, top with mozz and bake!

Wednesday – See Monday.

Thursday – Eggs in a nest, a la Barbara Kingsolver. More chard! A quick meal before heading out to some free happy hour thing The Boy won, which coincides with his last day of school for the year.

Friday – Homemade pizza with mozz, parm,  goat cheese, and the rest of the spinach. Also a good day to heat up that kale that I will supposedly be eating for breakfast (but maybe won’t want to eat so early in the a.m.)

All Week – A little half pint of fresh, local strawberries for munching. Maybe I’ll throw next week’s in a salad or a dessert, but I really can’t resist fresh berries all by themselves. Best part of the summer! I’m already dreaming about the blueberries….

Read Full Post »

So, as this blog’s resident vegetarian, Jessica handles most veggie-based entries. However, I’m going to have to pick up the slack because A) it’s farmers market season and B) all baking and no salads makes me pudgier than usual.

I have always liked most veggies, but I never tried brussels sprouts until I moved to DC. Part of that was because we never had them when I was growing up, and part of it was, I think, their reputation as The Worst of the vegetable kingdom. My friend Jessie proved otherwise.

I’ve had the roasted sprouts at Zaytinya, Jose “PUT YOUR NOSE IN THE BOX OF PEACHES” Andres’ small plates place. Mine are not as good as the ones there. But mine are pretty good, and adapted from Ina “The Barefoot Contessa” Garten’s recipe.

You’ll need:

A bunch of brussels sprouts

Olive oil

Maybe some garlic

Tons of salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash your sprouts. Chop off the butt ends and then cut ’em in half. Take off any leaves that look yellow or less than delicious tiny cabbage things.

Ew. See ya, guys.

Toss the good halves in olive oil, salt and pepper. You could add some garlic here if you wanted. Maybe a little onion powder.

Spread ’em on a cookie sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes, tossing a couple of times so they don’t stick to the sheet and do get all brown and delicious.

I make these when I’m too lazy to make anything else for dinner. They are delicious as a side or a main course. Get your greens in, friends.


Read Full Post »

Read part one here

Michael Pollan’s take on American-ized industrial food is clear: stay away, vote with your food-dollars, don’t eat food your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as edible just because it’s what you grew up on.

Factory-produced meat is part of this problem. But Pollan isn’t anti-meat, at all.

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

So why did I decide to cut it out of my diet?

Blame Jonathan Safran Foer.

So I read In Defense of Food. Last January, I read The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Consider the first book to be an introduction to the food-dissertation that is the second. The first third of Omnivore is an in-depth look at the meat industry in America, which expounds upon the corn conundrum I mentioned earlier and begins to describe the things we just don’t want described – how your meat gets on your plate.

Now, as I said, Pollan isn’t anti-meat at all. I think that’s really smart and wise. Meat, in itself, isn’t bad for your health, bad for the environment, bad for the world. And asking a meat-eating country to change the food industry/national health by giving up on an entire food group (one that is caught up in family and cultural tradition, found in most restaurant meals, and is so tasty), is probably a bad strategy.

But then I read Eating Animals.

Where Pollan is kindly and diplomatic, Foer pushes buttons. Where Pollan looks for the best route for the most people, Foer asks you to reexamine your own choices.

Part memoir, part expose, part manifesto, this book grabbed me and pulled me in. There were lots of shocking descriptions of what goes on inside the meat industry. I know – big news, right? Read about some disgusting animal slaughters and then you can’t look at meat the same way again. Right?

I think that that was partly true. There are passages from Foer’s book that I still remember vividly, that not only revolted me but disturbed me on some kind of primal, human level. But what really bothered me was how hard the meat industry works to keep this a secret. Foer’s book is peppered with anecdotes from vigilante animal rights groups who resort to midnight breaking and entering, just to SEE what is going on in a chicken house.

Nobody WANTS to see how their meat gets to their Big Mac.

Especially the meat companies.

Because if you knew, then it would be difficult to reconcile continuing to purchase their product.

On a personal level, knowing what I then knew about the American food industry, the dangerous and sometimes horrific path “required” to turn animal into food, I was willing to listen to what Pollan so carefully skirted in his books, and what Foer wasn’t afraid to ask me.

Are you morally okay with causing the willful and malicious destruction of another life for the SOLE purpose of pleasing your tastebuds?

The answer was no.

Not a resounding, life-changing, screaming-vegan-from-the-mountaintops NO, but a “I would rather not take part in that process right now,” kind of no.

So I took my future-roommate out to dinner for her 24th birthday – February 19th, 2010 – ordered a cheeseburger with the works, and the next day I stopped eating meat.

Read Full Post »

Friends, the holidays make me sentimental. Thanksgiving, especially, gives me the warm fuzzies you only get from hanging with your grand-folks and Norman Rockwell paintings.

Like this one (via 5000moms.com)

But, alas, I’m going to be an orphan this Thanksgiving. Not that I’ll be alone; I’ll just be spending my holiday away from my adorable and beloved family.

I’m a little bummed, because I love Thanksgiving at our house. Mom and Dad have both sides of the family over (we’re a small clan). My little cousins play games with us. My mom and grandmas are both amazing cooks, so we get to eat like kings. The men tend to drift toward the TV, the ladies stick around the kitchen table for gossip, and everyone goes away warmer, fuller, happier.

I’m hoping to achieve that with my Orphan Thanksgiving Rounds 1 and 2 this week!

A friend is interning here in DC, and her parents are coming here for ye olde Turkey Day. They offered to take me out to a restaurant, but isn’t the beauty of Thanksgiving really about gathering at home and eating something someone made with love? And also leftovers? I think so, so they’re coming here.

Let’s see how bad I can screw this up!


-Turkey breast stuffed with apple and raising dressing from Whole Foods (I didn’t want to try to cook a whole bird the first time in my tiny oven, for four people.)

-Sour cream mashed potatoes (use half the butter you normally would and dump in a thing of sour cream. Done.)

-Green beans, sauted with garlic and slivered almonds

Grandma H’s cranberry salad

-Caramel apple red wine pie with a crumble crust, based on the recipe here

Pretty good, right? I kind of hate stuffing (I know I love bread, but WET bread? Nah, thanks) so the bird comes with it, negating one dish I’ll have to make. I can make the pie crust tonight and the cranberries tomorrow and the pies Wednesday, so on Thursday morning I can go to yoga and chiiiiiiilll while my taters and turkey do their thing.

After Michelle and her folks take off, I’ll visit the vegans for Vegan Thanksgiving, which I don’t think I could fully support (I need that white meat, guys), but I will support for dessert.

I’m going to veganize the chocolate bourbon pecan pie here. I’ve never made pecan pie, but it’s one of my favorites, and I’ve been feeling warmly toward all things Southern lately, so this will hopefully be a huge hit.

Am I missing anything? Are you ready to throttle me over the lack of appropriate stuffing? What are you making for Thanksgiving?

May the Butterball Hotline answer all your questions in a timely manner!


Read Full Post »

Potato Soup with Kale

because we’ve got a farmshare,

so we’ve got potatoes

and foreign greens

and it’s just too dang hot to use the oven

Recipe from New York Times

I used some veggie broth for water,

and ignored the “bouquet garni” because I don’t like spending 5 dollars on fresh herbs

for one meal

and because I used flavorful broth, instead.

Greek Pasta Salad

because it’s summer,

and I had some feta cheese,

and because I love love love pasta salads

Recipe from Three Many Cooks.

I used brown rice pasta, because it sounded fun.

It was, but the noodles stuck together, and you could probably up the oil & vinegar a little.

Oh, and no olives.


Radishes instead.


But they came in Ye Olde Farmshare, and I figured this was the most tasteless way to be rid of them.

Read Full Post »

  • Big, green leafy lettuce
  • Farmshare tomatoes
  • Farmshare cucumbers
  • Cabot Seriously Sharp cheddar
  • Marzetti’s Classic Ranch dressing
  • Hard-boiled egg

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »