Thursday, January 26, 2017

Let's Talk Vegetables

I'm taking a break from political topics (although I have more to say on that subject, but I'm getting too wrapped up in it all) - so I thought I'd talk a bit about something I love.  Vegetables!  Try not to get confused because I love vegetables but I hate cooking.  I cook only because I like to eat.

What is it with men and vegetables?  I've been married coming up on 39 years.  I have expanded my husband's palate from carrots, canned green beans, canned corn and iceberg lettuce to include broccoli and cauliflower pretty regularly.  He tolerates (and by tolerates I mean he will eat these things maybe once a month....) asparagus, artichokes, peas, fresh green beans, zucchini and summer squash and raw spinach.  However, he is pretty good with starchy vegetables such as winter squashes, turnips, rutabagas and parsnips, and of course any kind of potato, but I can't push the potato alternatives too much.

I have been experimenting recently with other vegetables just to see if I can get a little more variety into my diet, and maybe into his.  Here are two hits for me; he tolerated the celery dish and took a "no-thank you" helping of the beets.

The beet recipe is an adaption from something I saw on The Chew.  I'll just call it "Sweet Beets".

Preheat oven to 400.  Peel and dice 3-4 medium sized beets.  (If you've not diced raw beets before, warning your hands will turn pink.  It may take a few washings to get rid of it).  Lay the beets in the center of a large piece of heavy duty foil.  Drizzle with EVOO.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Shake some dried thyme once over lightly (or top with a few springs of fresh thyme).  Bundle up the foil to make a package, leaving some air space for the steam.  Cook for 30-40 minutes.  Remove from oven, carefully open the package and add a handful of chopped dates.  Either fresh or dried, I don't think it matters.  I used dried because I'm lazy and can buy a package of already chopped dates.  They used fresh on The Chew.  Reseal the package, and return to the oven for 5 more minutes.  Stir and serve.

(Warning:  Don't be surprised if you have pink pee and poop in the coming days......)

For those of you who are more into cooking, you may want to see the original recipe which includes a horseradish sauce.  Here it is:

Roasted Beets Recipe From The Chew

Next up is the Braised Celery recipe which I found on Pinterest.  I will add a link to the original recipe below.

Wash and trim 4 stalks of celery and then cut them in about ¾ inch pieces on the diagonal.  Add 1 tbsp of butter to a medium hot skillet.  When the butter has melted, add the celery.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Cook, stirring now and then, for about 5 minutes.  Add about ¼ - ⅓ cup of vegetable or chicken stock.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 5 more minutes.  Remove the lid and allow any remaining liquid to caramelize.  This made 2 servings, and was a great way to use up celery.  Next time I may add some sliced onions or chopped cabbage just to see how it turns out.  And mushrooms - everything is better with mushrooms!

The original recipe is for 4 servings and comes from A Girl Defloured.

If you are a vegetable lover like me, or just looking for something a little different, I hope you enjoy the recipes.  I continue to be on the hunt for new (and easy) ideas.  Feel free to share if you have any!

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