Raw Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad

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If you asked me to eat a Brussels sprout in any form thirty years ago you would have gotten a sourpuss face from me. There was never a vegetable I hate more. Many a Brussels went in the trash in my paper dinner napkin. How my taste buds have changed. Now I even like them raw. This little salad, which could be considered almost a slaw – I put some cold sliced steak on mine and it made the perfect lunch.

 

1 large shallot- grated on a micro plane

Zest and Juice of one lemon

1 t. Dijon Mustard

3 T. red Wine Vinegar

2 t. olive oil

2 packets of Splenda

Lots of Black Pepper and a little salt

1 Bag of shredded Brussels sprouts form Trader Joes – or a pound of whole Brussels shredded on a mandolin

½ cup. Grated Parmesan Cheese

 

In a large bowl mix up the shallot, lemon juice and zest, mustard, vinegar, oil and Splenda. Add the shredded sprouts and mix well. Crack a bunch of black pepper and add the Parmesan Cheese. Taste and see if any salt is needed.


Vegetables From My Garden, Mostly, Hash

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The one bad thing about going away for five days is that my garden did one of two things, one over produce giant zucchini or plants die all together. I have had years of trouble with tomato plants, they grow bear fruit and then wither and die after one round of tomatoes. Before I left for the boat the tomatoes were doing fine, except for the parts eaten by dear. I came home yesterday and the plants are about to expire with a load of fruit, some ripe, others still green. If I were not on such a strict diet I would make fried green tomatoes, but not now.

 

I am eating zucchini as fast as can, but I am getting a little sick of the quick sauté method. Tonight I decided to use some of everything I harvested in a hash, sans potatoes. My only refrigerator staple I added was mushrooms.

 

3 large Mushrooms sliced

1 medium Zucchini diced

2 handfuls of green beans, steamed and cut in thirds

20 cherry Tomatoes, halved

Sprinkling of Oregano

Dashes of garlic powder

Salt and Pepper

 

Heat a hot fry pan on high and spray with Pam. Throw the mushrooms in the pan. Cook for two minutes and then flip them over and cook another minute.

 

Add the zucchini and cook for three minutes, stirring once or twice. Add the garlic and oregano. Add the green beans and cherry tomatoes and cook another two minutes. Season with salt and pepper.


Grown Too Big Zucchini Bread

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For no other reason than plain laziness I did not harvest my garden everyday this week. I have no excuse. I was spending plenty of time watering it since we have had little to no rain, but I just did not look under the giant leaves of my many squash plants.

 

Yesterday I pulled four baseball bat zucchini out of the garden followed by two more today along with two bowling pin yellow squash. I’m not sure if I am going to be able salvage the yellow squash, but I was determined to use the zucchini, even if it meant making something I could not even take one bit of.

 

I made three loaves and begged Russ to taste it to let me know if it worked. I got two thumbs up so I made three more loaves. It was the perfect way to use the otherwise inedible vegetables.

 

Normally I would grate a zucchini with the skin on to make bread, but in this case I peeled them first so that I did not have any toughness. I also cut the peeled flesh in half and scooped out the seedy center before I ran the crescent shaped squash pieces in the Cuisinart with the grating blade.

 

3 cups flour

1 cup of sugar

1 ½ t. baking powder

1 ½ t. baking soda

2 t. cinnamon

½ t. freshly grated nutmeg

 

4 large eggs beaten

1 cup of oil

1 t. vanilla extract

 

4 cups of grated Zucchini

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

 

In a large mixing bowl mix together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients, minus the zucchini. Pour the wet into the dry and mix just until all the dry is moist. Add the zucchini and stir until it is well distributed.

 

Prepare two small bread pans with pam or other grease. Divide the batter between the two pans. Place in the oven and bake for 50-55 minutes.

 

I doubled the recipe and divided the batter between three larger bread pans and baked for 60 mins.

 

Remove from oven and let cool on a rack on the counter.


Dressing Doctoring

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In my attempt to lose the weight I gained in the month of December, on our trip to Italy and during May, otherwise known as the month of me, I enrolled in a weight loss program that was different than my own self designed plan. I needed to hand my problem over to someone else who could just tell me what to do.

 

So far it is working great. I have lost all the weight I gained since returning from Italy and that is just on the pre-conditioning diet. Wednesday I start the real diet, which will be harder than the pre-conditioning. What I eat is not so different, except I don’t eat cheese or vinegar in unlimited amounts like I used to. I have been instructed to use Walden Farms zero calorie dressing and it is a basic affront to everything I am about.

 

I have not been a bottled dressing kind of gal for years and years so to ask me to eat this stuff has been hard on my palette. I would just use lemon juice, but that too has been limited to 1 teaspoon a day and I need every drop of it for my tea. I finally came up with the answer, I doctored the bottled dressing with some things I am allowed to have. I have to say I am fairly happy with the outcome.

 

Sesame Ginger Dressing Redone

 

In a blender put the following

 

¼ cup of Walden Farms 0 calorie Sesame Ginger Dressing

Ten fresh basil leaves

Handful of fresh cilantro including the stems

2 t. limejuice

1 clove of garlic

½ inch of grated fresh ginger

 

Whirl that mother up until the herbs are just tiny bits. If you like spicy add a few red pepper flakes.  It is infinitely better that the stuff right out of the bottle.

 

I may be able to survive being told exactly what to eat for a few weeks now.


Healthier Red Beans and Rice

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I am in charge of bringing a vegetarian main dish to a church supper for new members tomorrow. I decided to go all out and even make it vegan just in case. I have a giant bag of rice that I can’t eat on my current diet so I wanted to use some of that, and then it hit me, Red Beans and rice, the perfect vegan dish that I can make ahead. Of course I usually would make red beans and rice with a smoked ham hock to add flavor and then fat too, but that was out of the question. The answer was to use smoked Paprika to bring that smoky flavor without the meat. The other oddity is I added light grape juice to bring sweetness and a little bit of, “Hmm, what is that?” So here is my vegan version

 

Spice Mix

 

2 T. kosher salt

1 t. garlic powder

2 t. onion powder

1 t. dried oregano

1 t. dried basil

1 t. cayenne pepper – less if you a spicy adverse

1 t. black pepper

2 t. smoked paprika

 

The rest

2 large sweet onions chopped

3 stalks of celery chopped

1 green bell pepper chopped

 

4 cans of dark red kidney beans drained and rinsed

32 Oz. of vegetable stock

1 cup of light grape juice

2 T. apple cider vinegar

 

Big pot of cooked rice- you can figure that out

 

Mix all the spices in a bowl, you can vary the amounts to make any flavor profile along the heat spectrum you like.

 

In a large Dutch oven on the stove top on high put the onions, celery and green pepper with half the spice mix and cook, stirring every so often for five minutes. Add a cup of stock and continue cooking for five more minutes.

 

Add the Beans and the rest of the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat a little and cook for 30 mins at just under a boil and above a simmer. Add the grape juice and cook at least another 45 minutes stirring every five minutes to scrape anything off the bottom of the pot. You want it to reduce to a thick beanie gravy.

 

Add the vinegar right before serving. Put a scoop the beans in a bowl and top with a scoop of rice. YUM


Garden Club Picnic Salad

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I could not remember if I was assigned a salad or a side dish for our annual Garden Club Picnic tonight so I made a vegetable salad that could be consider either.

I had bought a beautiful pound of green beans at the farmers market on Saturday so I just added some other veggies to those.

 

I made a lemon thyme dressing with our new Vitamix since I feel compelled to use it as often as possible to help amortize the cost of the crazy machine. If you don’t have a Vitamix you can make the dressing in a jar. You will just need to zest the lemon and squeeze the juice out to make it by hand.

 

Lemon Dressing

 

2 whole lemons – quartered

¼ c. olive oil

2 T. Champagne Vinegar

4 packets of Splenda

Handful of washed fresh Thyme

Salt and pepper

2 T. water

 

Put the lemons in the blender and on the lowest setting start chopping them up. Add the oil and water and increase the speed one notch every 10 seconds for three notches. Add the thyme, vinegar, Splenda, a pinch of salt and three turns of the pepper grinder. Run the blender for 30 more seconds.

 

Put a fine sieve strainer over a bowl and pour the contents of the blender in it. Using the back of a spoon push as much as you can through the sieve. You will have a lot of solids left in the sieve, which you will throw away. Taste the dressing in the bowl and add more salt and pepper if needed. Set the dressing aside.

 

Salad

 

1 Pound of green beans – cut in thirds

1 pound of cooked lentils – Traders Joes has them in the vegetable fridge

½ pounds of cooked and shelled edamame

10 small cooked beets diced

½ pound goat cheese

½ c. walnuts

 

Cook the green beans in pot of salted water for about four minutes and then drain them and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Chill the beans.

 

Add the lentils, beets and edamame to the chilled green beans and toss with the dressing. After everything is well-coated toss in the crumbled goat cheese and walnuts right before serving.


Coconut In This Salad Is The Bomb

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I made a blanched green vegetable salad yesterday with some shaved coconut and fried onions in it. It was fine then, but today when I went to have the leftovers it was fantastic. The sweetness of the coconut and the tang of the lime had married beautifully with the chili in the salad.

 

I used broccolini because I found some at Trader Joes, but I have to say it was the disappointing part of the salad, at least the tough stalks. Next tie I might just use the tops of regular broccoli.

 

Big bunch of Broccoli- lightly steamed and shocked in cold water to stop the cooking

Big bunch of green beans lightly steamed and shocked

Cup of cooked and shelled Edamame

Cup of Cilantro leaves- chopped

¾ cup of chopped coconut – not the flaked sweet kind. I used Trader Joes Coconut sticks that I chopped

1 large sweet onion

1/3 cup of Wondra Flour or rice flour

¼ cup of olive oil –for dressing and more for frying

Juice of 2 limes and zest of one

2 small dried red chilies

1 t. mustard seeds

 

Make the fried onions first my very thinly slicing the onion and dredging it in the wondra or rice flour. Pour a bit of the oil in a frying pan just to coat the bottom of the pan and heat on medium heat. Use a fork to pick the onions up out of the flour so you shake any excess off the onions and put in the fry pan and cook quickly, turning to keep them from burning. Remove from the pan to a paper towel covered plate and salt while still hot. You make need to fry the onions in batches.

 

Make the dressing by putting ¼ cup of oil in a small pan with the mustard seeds and red chilies and heat it up on medium. Cook until the mustard seeds burst, about two or three minutes. Mash the chilies with a fork and break them into small bits. Set the oil aside to cool. Add the limejuice and zest when cool and mix well.

 

Put all the green vegetables in a big bowl and pour the dressing over it. Tossing everything to coat. Add the coconut – It tastes better if it can marinate overnight. Add the onions right before serving.

 

You can add cooked chicken or shrimp to make it a whole meal.