Move over butternut, acorn, and spaghetti squash and make from for the cute little delicata, an heirloom variety of squash with a thin edible skin, which makes it much easier to work with and take less time to cook. It is an heirloom variety with a pale yellow or beige skin and shallow ridges with dark green mottled stripes. As its name suggests, the delicata’s lack of a tough outer skin means that it is more fragile and doesn’t last as long in the produce section as most winter squash, which can make it hard to find.
I recently discovered the delicata and it has become my new favorite. It’s smaller size and thin, edible skin make it perfect for stuffing and roasting. For a quick and easy weeknight meal, try this Stuffed Delicata Squash with a hearty filling made with sausage, kale, and cheese. Continue reading →
I grew up a full-fledged carnivore, and, as a kid, I successfully avoided most vegetables. It helped that my parents weren’t the sort who made me sit at the dining room table until I finished everything on my plate. If they were, chances are that I’d still be sitting there! Haha! One vegetable I especially disliked was Brussels sprouts. The only time I tried them they were mushy, bitter and had a weird smell. Yuck!!
While grilled corn is delicious with just some butter and sea salt, try this Mexican version, called elote, grilled corn that is smothered in crema Mexicana or mayonnaise, cotija cheese, chili powder seasoning, and freshly-squeezed lime. This is a popular snack sold by street vendors in Mexico. Some ingredients are Mexican staples but are widely available in grocery stores and Hispanic markets here in the US.
Growing up, I wasn’t a particularly picky eater. Like many kids, I just didn’t like vegetables. I would always grumble at my mom’s insistence that I eat something green and/or leafy. Thank goodness she never made me sit at the dinner table until I finished all my vegetables because I would most likely have sat there until I turned 18. I’m proud to say that I’ve come a long way since then. I am certainly much better at eating vegetables now. In fact, I enjoy eating a variety of them and even grow some in my garden.
A couple of weeks ago, I attended Camp Blogaway, a conference for food and recipe bloggers run by Patti Londre of Worth the Whisk. Special thanks to Christina Peters, of MDR Photography Classes, for telling me about the camp in the first place, and for graciously sponsoring me to attend. The camp, limited to about 100 bloggers, speakers, and sponsors, is held annually at Camp de Benneville Pines, located at about 6,800 feet in elevation in the picturesque San Bernardino National Forest in Southern California. All weekend long, we heard from top notch speakers who spoke about their careers in food, their experiences writing cookbooks and e-books, and their experiences working with PR agencies, literary agents, and brands.
Vietnamese Spring Rolls are essentially are bundles of salad wrapped in rice paper. They are very versatile and may be made with whatever fresh ingredients you have on hand. It takes a little bit of time to prepare all the ingredients and a little practice to wrap, but the resulting spring rolls are certainly worth the time and effort. Make these for your family or serve them at your next party and they are guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser.
…traditionally filled with shrimp and pork, noodles, and an assortment of vegetables and herbs. They are eaten dipped in either a spicy peanut sauce or nuoc cham, which is made with fish sauce, garlic, and chilis, or both. What I love about them is that they are fresh, healthy, and a lot of fun to make (and eat!).
Today’s dish showcases beautiful homegrown radishes from my garden. Radishes, one of the easiest vegetables to grow, are also one of the most nutritious root vegetables and a great source for Vitamin C and calcium. When eaten raw, radishes are crunchy and has a sharp, pungent flavor. However, when cooked, radishes become mellow and lose their spicy zing. For this recipe, the radishes are first roasted, then their greens are added and the whole thing is finished with butter and lemon. Prepared this way, radishes lose their crunch, but instead, takes on crisp, yet tender texture. Their flavor is reminiscent of roasted turnips. The greens, which are slightly bitter, retain their peppery zip and they make a great substitute for arugula. Roasted radishes make a great side dish for roast chicken or a grilled steak. Continue reading →
Having a vegetable garden has been such a joy to me! I know I’ve said it a few times before, but it’s worth repeating. The weekly harvest of tomatoes, zucchinis, peppers, string beans, and radishes has really inspired me to cook in a way I’ve never done before. Take the zucchini, for example. It is actually one of the few vegetables I don’t dislike, but I usually only ate it breaded and fried, with gobs of ranch dressing. The very fact that, in the last week, I’ve made zucchini muffins, zucchini chips (ok, this is not a surprise to anyone who knows my penchant for fried stuff dipped in fat), and now, zucchini fritters, is a testament to the power of home grown vegetables and organic gardening. Continue reading →
Knowing that I was going to be cooking zucchini a lot this week, I bookmarked this recipe from fellow blogger, Miranda, of Cupcakes and Cardigans. These zucchini chips are simple and easy to prepare. They are healthy, too, since they are baked instead of fried. Just don’t serve them with a side of ranch dressing (like I did!).
I didn’t have any breadcrumbs so I used some herbed croutons that I coarsely processed in the food processor, which turned out wonderfully. Otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly as Miranda had shared in her blog. Yummy!
Last weekend, Chris went camping and I was home alone. I was too lazy to go to the grocery store, so I decided that I would make do all weekend with whatever food was already in the house. So for dinner that Friday, I had bacon, eggs and rice. I love breakfast for dinner. I sat in front of the television all night, watching the two Sex and the City movies. FUN!!! Not so fun was what happened on Saturday morning. I turned on my computer and after a couple of seconds, the flashing folder with a question mark appeared. Hhhhmm! I’m home alone and no internet. Bummer!!! I’m still too lazy to go to the store so I’m determined to eat whatever is in the fridge or pantry. I moped around for a bit and then went outside to check on my garden. Lo and behold…overnight, the little zucchini plants have produced a whole bunch of blossoms.
Chris & I devoted most of the last week of August working on our new garden. Chris tilled and leveled the soil and removed some tree roots left by two huge trees in preparation for the placement of four new raised beds he built. I had it fairly easy; I was in charge of selecting, buying and planting all the vegetables and flowers. I included flowers around the vegetables to add splashes of color amidst all of the green foliage. I also transplanted all the herbs that were scattered around in different pots to a single raised herb bed. Now most of my herbs – French tarragon, Greek oregano, Italian parsley, rosemary, sage, lemon thyme, and garlic chives are together. I also have basil but I read that it is the perfect companion to tomatoes so I planted them together in a separate pot. The basil is supposed to keep insects away and even enhance the flavor of the tomatoes.