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Vegetable Partners

 


Tomato and parsley, eggplant and pepper, onion and potatoes, garlic and dill. We will remind you of some and introduce you to new combinations that not only tickle your palate, but increase your nutritional benefit.

Tomatoes, garlic, and oregano or basil are common buddies in Italian food. Beans, rice, and cheese are comfortable associates in Mexican dishes. However, new combinations are emerging as people seek new culinary experience to put a spark to eating, particularly vegetarians. Here are some: 

Asparagus, Green Beans, & Sprouts 

Bean Sprouts and Veggies in a Pancake
Pancake: Whisk together 1 c. egg substitute with 1/4 tsp. ground coriander, 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper; then stir in 1 c. bean sprouts (fresh or canned), 2 T. minced scallions, and 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger. Set aside.
Veggie mixture: In a large non-stick frying pan you can use in the broiler over medium high heat, warm a tsp. of olive or peanut oil. Then add:

1 c. snow peas
1 c. sweet red pepper strips
1 c. thinly sliced mushrooms
1 T. low-sodium soy sauce
2 minced garlic cloves. 

Stir frequently, cooking for 4-5 minutes or until veggies are tender. 
Set aside; preheat broiler. Wipe out pan, add 1 tsp. oil and warm over medium heat. Add the egg mixture, coat bottom of pan to cover evenly. Cook for 4-5 minutes until golden and top is almost set. Sprinkle the top of the pancake with the veggie mix. 
Broil about 5" from heat source for 2 minutes or until egg is completely set. Cut in 4 wedges to serve. Approx. 81 calories. 
 
Asparagus and Mushrooms
Prepare asparagus by snapping off woody ends and blanching in boiling water for 3-5 minutes, then drain and chill.
Prepare a viniagrette by mixing:

2 T. white vinegar wine or balsamic vinegar
3 1/2 oz of olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 snipped chives
1/4 tsp. fresh thyme
1/4 fresh oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
Pinch of ground black pepper

Pour over asparagus and let sit for 20 minutes.
Then slice fresh mushrooms over the mix.
 
Green Beans and Potatoes with Zing
Parboil small white potatoes (if thin-skinned, do not peel) until tender but not soft; drain and set aside (save the water for another recipe so as not to waste vitamins). Cook 1 lb. fresh, uncut string beans until tender but still crisp--3-4 minutes; plunge in cold water and drain well. 
Whisk together:

2 T. olive oil
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 crushed garlic clove
1 chopped spring onion
1 tsp. red chillie pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. salt

Coat the potatoes and beans together and chill for 2-3 hours before serving.

Sprouts
There are many varieties of sprouts that enrich recipes with protein and the immunity enhancer, chorophyll. 
Freshly picked sprouts, grown on your kitchen counter, are best. You may buy the seeds in packages that have explicit directions. Be sure to follow the recommendations for cleansing the seeds in a bleach solution before preparing them in the sprouter kit.
NK Lawn and Garden has mixtures and individually packaged varieties. Check them out.


The Cauliflower, Broccoli, Cabbage Collection

 
Cauliflower, Raisin, and Couscous:
[A curried dish with several ingredients]
In a large non-stick frying pan melt 1 T. margarine over medium heat and add:

1/2 c. chopped onions
1/2 c. chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, minced

Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Then add:

1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. tumeric
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. ground cloves. Then add:
1 medium head cauliflower separated into small florets; broccoli may be substituted.
1 sweet red pepper, sliced
1/2 c. water.

Cook for 5-7 minutes until tender. then stir in 1/2 c. raisins, 2 T. unsweetened shredded coconut and 1/4 c. water.
Continue to cook for 6-8 more minutes while stirring. When vegetables are tender but not mushy, remove and stir in 2 tsp. lemon juice mixed with 1 T. honey.

Serve over cooked couscous. 
 
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Squash:
Preheat Oven to 350°.
In a small bowl mix: 1/2 c. apple juice, 1 T. honey, 1/4 c. raisins, 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds, and a pinch of dry mustard. 
In a 9" x 13" baking dish, arrange 2 c. halved brussel sprouts, 2. c. peeled and cubed butternut squash, 1 1/2 c. cut green beans, and 1 c. sliced carrots.
Pour the juice mixture over them and sprinkle with pecans a T. sesame seeds, and grated coriander.
Cover with foil and roast for 25 minutes. Stir. Roast uncovered for 15 more minutes.
 


Greens

 Salad Greens Combinations:
Spring green combinations, Romaine lettuce, Bibb lettuce, and spinach are great candidates for the salad bed. Add thinly sliced red or Vidalia onion rounds, walnuts and your choice of canned Mandarin orange sections (drained) or chopped fresh mango, or craisins or quartered fresh figs with a few parts of Nasturtium blossoms. 
Sprinkle with balsamic vinaigrette or a mixture of herbed olive with a tincture of balsamic vinegar. 
A sliced hard-boiled egg (one per serving) may replace the fruit.
 


Legumes

 

 

 


Southwestern Black Bean Cakes
(Scrumptious little meal)
You will need: One 15-ounce can black beans, fresh tomatoes, guacamole and seasonings.
In a food processor, place 8 cilantro leaf clusters and 2 cloves garlic and whiz until chopped. Then add rinsed and drained black beans, 1/3 c. Mexican pepper of choice (fresh or cooked), 2 T. olive oil, 1 tsp. cumin, 1 egg. Blend until beans are coarsely chopped. Add plain fine bread crumbs to consistency for forming patties.
 
Grill or fry ½ inch thick patties in olive oil on both sides for approximately 8 minutes at medium heat. Serve with a large dab of guacamole on top and sliced tomatoes surrounding it. Serves 4.

Curried Eggs with Rice and Lentils
(There are several colors/types of lentils: the common brown ones, yellow lentils, and the smaller red lentils can be found in most grocery stores. Look for the small, round dark green French lentils . . . Very tasty.  Observe the cooking time on the package.)
This recipe makes 4-5 servings.
In a large saucepan, heat 2 T. of olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 c. chopped onion and 2 tsp. curry powder; cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add 1 c. uncooked basmati rice, cook and stir for 3 minutes; add 3 c. vegetable stock, canned vegetable broth, or water and ½ c. dry lentils. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20-25 minutes, or just until lentils are tender and liquid is absorbed.
Meanwhile, pour 1 T. olive oil into a wok or large skillet. Heat the wok over medium heat. Pour 3 beaten eggs into it; lift and tilt the wok or pan until eggs form a thin sheet. Cook without stirring about 2 minutes or just until eggs are set. Slide out onto cutting board to cut into ¾ inch strips; set aside. 
In a small bowl combine ¼ c. sour cream, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg, ¼ tsp. black pepper and then stir into the rice mixture. Stir in the egg strips until just combined. Serve sprinkles with snipped cilantro or parsley on top.

Beans with Spaghetti Squash
You will need: 1 2 ½- to 3-pound spaghetti squash, halved and seeded; 1 10-ounce package frozen baby lima beans or edamame (green soy beans), 1 15-ounce can red kidney beans, and ½ of a 7-ounce jar (1/2 c.) roasted red sweet peppers.
Bake squash halves face down in a large Dutch oven or conventional oven in 1" of water. Cook covered for 15-20 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan cook lime or soy beans according to package directions, adding kidney bans at the last 3 minutes of cooking; drain. Return beans to saucepan, then stir in ½ tsp. salt and roasted red papers that have been rinsed, drained and cut into small strips. Heat through.
Dressing: Combine in a lidded container ¼ c. balsamic vinegar, 3 T. olive oil, 1 T. honey mustard, and 2 minced garlic cloves. Shake well and pour over warm bean mixture; toss to coat.
You may loosen the spaghetti strands of the cooked squash before spooning the bean mixture into each shell. Cut shells in half again to serve 4.
[From BHG Vegetarian Cooking, 2002] Find it at Amazon.com 

Vegetable, Soybean, and Cashew Stir-Fry
You will need: 1 package of edamame (frozen green soybeans), a 1-inch knob of gingerroot, cashews, broccoli, carrots, scallions, and seasonings.
Mix a broth together of ¾ c. water or vegetable broth, ¼ c. lite soy sauce, and 1 T. cornstarch.
After coarsely chopping 2 c. red pepper into small slices and rinsing the edamame under cold water and chopping the ginger, heat 1 T. peanut oil in large non-stick wok or deep skillet over high heat. Add these ingredients to 2 c. broccoli florets, 1 c. shredded carrots and stir-fry until broccoli is tender. Then add ½ c. unsalted roasted cashews and 1 c. chopped scallions and stir for 2 minutes. Stir the broth mixture into the vegetables; bring to boil, cover-stiring frequently-for 2 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened and bubbly. 
Serve over 4 rice servings in bowl or plate.  Serves 4.
[From MinuteMeals-Vegetarian]  

Poached Eggs with Polenta and Beans
(Polenta is cooked corn meal in a tube in the produce aisle of your grocer)
Fresh salsa:
Combine: 3 medium tomatoes which have been chopped and seeded, if desired; ½ c. canned black beans, rinsed and drained; 2 T. chopped red opion; 1 Fresh jalapeno pepper, sseeded and finely chopped. Set aside.
Unwrap the polenta and cut into 12 slices. Fry in 1 T. olive oil over medium heat for 14-16 minutes or until lightly browned on both sides.
Poach 4 eggs according to your preferred style.
Assemble in a shallow bowl for each person first the salsa mixture as a bed, then arrange 3 polenta slices, and a poached egg in the middle on top. Garnish with sprigs of cilantro or parsley.
[From BHG Vegetarian Cooking, 2002] Find it at Amazon.com  

Black Beans and Eggplant on Pizza
You basically need: 2 c. cooked black beans, 3 small Japenese eggplants, pizza crust, 3 oz. goat cheese, 1 tomato, little onions, cheeses.
Beans: Use 1 can (2 cups) black beans (cooked) or prepare 1 c. dried washed black beans by soaking overnight, then drain and place in a 2-qt. saucepan, cover with cold water. Bring water to boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low, partially cover pan, and simmer for 1 1/2 -2 hours till tender. Then drain well.
Eggplant: Preheat broiler, coat large baking sheets with no-stick spray. Slice 3 small eggplants lengthwise. Sprinkle with minced garlic or garlic powder and freshly ground pepper. Broil for 3 minutes; turn over and broil for another 4 minutes until tender.
Preheat oven to 475°.  Prepare Boboli pizza crust, or your choice, with 3 oz. crumbled goat or feta cheese. Top with eggplant, diced tomato, 1/2 c. chopped scallions or spring onions, and beans. 
Sprinkle with mozzarella or Parmesan cheese and drizzle with 1 T. olive oil.
Bake for 6-8 minutes or until the cheese is golden and slightly melted.
 

 


The Squash Collection and Carrots

Butternut Squash Stuffed with Wild Rice
Preheat oven to 375°
Halve the squash lengthwise; remove and discard the seeds. Place face down in 1" water in a baking dish and bake for 45 minutes or until just tender. Flip over and sprinkle 1/2 tsp. of no-salt herb blend.
While it is baking, mix 1/2 c. fresh bread crumbs, 1/2 tsp. dried thyme, and 2 tsp. margarine in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside in a small bowl.
Cook 1 c. wild rice according to package directions.
In same pan cook 1 c. sliced mushrooms, 1/2 c. chopped celery, and 1/2 c. chopped sweet peppers for 4-5 minutes until tender. Stir in the cooked wild rice and 1/4 c. low-sodium vegetable stock and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 c. nonfat or low-fat sour cream and 1 T. grated parmesan cheese.
Spoon the filling into the squash cavities. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs and bake for 10-15 minutes. 

Carrot and Zucchini Puff
Preheat oven to 350° and coat a 4-quart baking dish with vegetable spray.
In a large bowl mix:

5 c. shredded carrots
2 c. shredded zucchini
2 c. chopped scallions
2 c. egg substitute
1/4 c. packed brown sugar or 2 T. honey
2 T. grated orange peel
4 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

Bake in prepared dish for 1 hour, or until puffed and golden and a knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Carrot and Peanut Soup
To 2 c. vegetable stock or broth add 1 1/2 c. shredded carrots, 1/4 tsp. cumin, 1/4 tsp. minced fresh basil, 1/4 c. chopped onion, and 2 minced garlic cloves and simmer for 8-10 minutes until carrots are soft. Stir in 2 T. smooth peanut butter and simmer for 2 more minutes. Add 1/2 low-fat sour cream and stir until well mixed. (Mashed potatoes may be added to thicken soup.)
Serve with broccoli florets, steamed until tender (Only partially cover broccoli while steaming to preserve the bright green color.) 


The Tomato Collection 

 
Tomato, Avocado, Onion, Limes, Cilantro, & Corn
This tasty combination crosses Latin culture and is popular with all Americans. Here we will combine them into a delicious toastado.
 
Guacamole: After peeling 4 ripened avocados and llifting them from the large seed, chop the meat of 2 into 1/2" chunks and mash the rest. Combine with 1/2 c. diced red onion, 1 garlic clove, 1/2 c. chopped cilantro, 2 T. fresh lime juice, and season with a pinch of salt, cumin, and dried red chile flakes. Mix together gently, cover, and let sit for a couple hours.

Homemade Corn Tortillas: [This recipe is in the Wrap feature because of their versatility] 
You may use store-bought tortillas and quickly heat them in a lightly oiled skillet just before loading them with the goodies.
Preparing the Toastado: Once the tortillas are ready, spread a thick layer of Guacamole edge to edge. On top of that, add finely chopped or shredded green lettuce or spinach. Then a layer of finely chopped fresh tomatoes. Some will wish to top with a dab of sour cream or hot sauce. Others will want to make a double-decker. Whichever, it is a plateful. Enjoy.

Eggplant, Tomatoes, Onions, and Sunflower Nuts
You will need: 1 large eggplant, 2 large tomatoes, 1 or 2 large onions, seasoned stewed chopped tomatoes, 1/2 c. sunflower seeds.
Peel eggplant and slice into 3/8" crosswise slices. Soak in cool salt water (1 tsp./qt) for a 1/2 hour to reduce the bitterness of the acid in the vegetable. Remove and dry with paper towel. Dip each slice in beaten egg and coat with seasoned bread crumbs; fry until light brown and tender in olive oil. 
In the meantime, prepare slices of large round tomatoes of equal number to the number of eggplant slices. Do the same with a large onion or two. Toast 1/2 c. of sunflower seeds in 200° F oven for 20 minutes.
In an oiled round or oblong casserole dish, stand alternating eggplant, tomato, and onion slices; sprinkle 1/2 can of seasoned chopped stewed tomatoes over them followed by sunflower seeds. 
Bake for 1/2 hour at 350°F.