Friday, March 2, 2012

Fresh Friday: How to Prepare Vegetables and Love Eating Them

So I haven't been doing a lot of cooking lately. (Bad blogger.) And what little cooking I have done, hasn't been blog worthy. Although who knew cauliflower pieces tossed with garlic powder, salt, pepper and olive oil roasted in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes could be so. damn. good? Vegetables can be tricky to cook and often they get a bad rap, mainly from kids and vegetable fearing adults like Adam, but if prepared properly you can turn something Adam won't touch with a ten foot pole into something he actually enjoys. So I got to thinking, if throwing together something so easy as roasted cauliflower ends up being so yummy, what other ways do I prepare vegetables that are simple yet delicious? Turns out I've got a few "methods" up my sleeve. I'm hesitant to call these "recipes" because they work best when you do a dash of this, a squeeze of that, and let your imagination join in on the fun.

First up, my tried and true, Zucchini with Almonds.

This tasty "zucchini medley" as Adam calls it (although it's not really a medley since it only features one vegetable and one nut), is so simple and only requires a little knife work. Julienned zucchinis get tossed in a hot pan with toasted almonds, olive oil, salt, pepper, cayenne, and a little lemon juice for about 2 minutes and voila - side dish done! I usually toast my sliced almonds in a pan with heated olive oil first and then add the zucchini and seasonings, finishing with the lemon juice.

Next, the best way to quickly prepare brussels sprouts. Caramelize them. This recipe is from Eat Live Run and it is truly delicious.

{photo from Eat Live Run}

Simply shred the tiny cabbage heads using a mandoline or a knife cutting from tip to stem. Heat some olive oil in a pan and toast almonds and some garlic, sliced shallots are nice in this as well.  Toss in brussels sprouts shreds and cook for about 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice and finally add a tablespoon of brown sugar and cook for another minute. Or if you're feeling naughty - cook up some bacon pieces and add brussels sprouts shreds to the rendered bacon fat with the bacon pieces and walnuts. Skip the lemon juice, but keep the brown sugar for a nice salty sweet combo.

And then we have green beans, specifically haricot verts - french cut green beans. I LOVE these things.  And I'm convinced if I serve them enough, some day Adam will too.

I get mine from Trader Joes, they are washed and ready to go. The great thing about french cut green beans is that they require no trimming and are skinny enough that you can sauté them.

One of my favorite ways to prepare them is what I call Green Beans a la Erica. Since this is how my friend Erica prepares them and they are delicious.

First, heat up some olive oil in a pan. Toss in some sliced or silvered almonds or even pine nuts and toast them up. Then through in your green beans. Sauté for 5 to 10 minutes. Add some minced garlic and let it get toasty. Finish with feta cheese, a squeeze of lemon, and a healthy grind of pepper. Add salt if you need it, but the feta should give you some saltiness.

And lastly, if all us fails and you've run out of ideas for how to prepare veggies, just roast them. Roasting brings out depth and sweetness in most vegetables and adds a nice crispyness that is satisfying and delicious. 

My favorite roast vegetables feature the fabulous haricot verts, yukon gold potatoes, onions, and lots of garlic.

What's your favorite way to prepare vegetables? I'm always looking for new ways to prepare them and new vegetables to try! Has anyone tried kohlrabi? I recently had it at a restaurant and it was freaking delicious!

Peace, love, eat your veggies, and happiness!


  1. I love veggies!

    I love the way your site looks in mobile version. Can I ask which plugin you use? Mine doesn't show photos and I wish it would. Thanks :)

    1. Thanks! I'm just using what is available through google blogger. You inspired me to make olive oil cupcakes last night! I used this nice meyer lemon olive oil that I had and they turned out delicious with a cream cheese frosting.


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