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Veggies

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Apples, Pomegranate and Pecans

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Apples, Pomegranate and Pecans

I never fully committed to the cauliflower rage of 2013, but I’ve somehow unintentionally joined the brussels sprout bandwagon. They’ve graced more than three holiday parties I’ve attended in the past few months, and Christmas hasn’t even hit yet. Good thing this recipe’s perfect for that occasion, decked in all the red and green cheer you could ever want on one spoon.

Brussels Sprouts

I like to ensure that there’s at least one healthy item on the holiday table, meaning I usually show up to every party with a vegetable in hand. Don’t get me wrong, I love, love, love to bake, and the occasional holiday decadence as well. But that’s why I have two hands. One for plates of cookies, the other for bowls of veggies.

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Apples, Pomegranate and Pecans

In the event that everyone else fills their two hands with decadence (no judging, I promise!), I’m coming prepared. This winter, that means brussels sprouts for every occasion.

The dish pictured above is topped with a double crunch, stemming from beautiful red pomegranate seeds and fragrant toasted pecans. A simple citrus vinaigrette with subtle notes of orange furthers its festive energy, and completes its salad-like semblance.

Next up to plate is New Years Eve, a day I have yet to plan out in terms of sprouts. Any ideas? I’d love to hear your favorite ways to enjoy them, and how you’ve been cooking/roasting them up lately. Do tell!

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Summer Sides: Creamed Collards with Fresh Corn

Creamed Collards with Fresh Corn

If there is a time to eat raw corn, it’s in the summer. For the home-grower, you arrive straight from the garden. Your shoes get kicked off, mud washed from your hands, and then barefooted, you head straight back outside. From there, you start tearing. First it’s the rough husk that falls to the ground, then the silky strands that lay beneath.

This was my childhood. If you can’t tell, I’m still a little nostalgic for the days when a backyard existed just outside my bedroom. Especially one with a small corn forrest in its corner.

Currently, as I live out my urban dwelling days, I’m more of a farmer’s market shopper. Although, this too can open up opportunities for raw corn consumption. In this instance, you truck home with a boundless bounty of dinner options, and with no room left in the fridge, Cholula bottles and dirty mugs get thrown aside. A local-grown bag of corn takes the counter-side space. And from there, you get shucking your mid-afternoon snack while dreaming up what to make for dinner.

In either situation, your stomach will be empty, your corn sweet. Summertime is the only time that corn is ever sweet enough, and not too starchy, to eat straight from the cob, no cooking in between. In times of ravenous impatience, fresh corn becomes a luxury.

Collards

As I’ve told in recent posts, I’ve been working a farmer’s market every Saturday throughout the summer. After hot mornings spent outside, I generally return home famished, with little desire to turn on the stove. This past weekend proved no different, which left me delving straight into my newly acquired 1/2 dozen of corn. Taking ten minutes to boil water? Get real. I went straight for the raw cobs with little time to waste. Two ears later, I felt alive again, and decided I should really start cooking some of the other produce I left sitting out on the table. Like the collards that were quickly beginning to wilt. I mean…who has time to put greens in the fridge when there’s corn waiting to be eaten? Obviously not me.

I continued on with the raw corn theme, tossing it with some lime and butter to top off this summer side. Feel free, however, to steam the corn beforehand, especially if your cobs aren’t particularly fresh. Either way works to add some sweet crunch to this creamy, but light, nutrient-packed dish. It’s a bowl you can easily pass around at a potluck or friend/family dinner, and an excellent way to get some veggies onto the plate.

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Radishes

Radishes

This summer, I started a new photo project involving veggies and people – two of my favorite subjects to shoot, of course. Once I complete the series, I’ll give you all more details. It will likely take a bit of time, but so far it’s been a blast and I’m excited to eventually share it with you guys!

For my latest shoot, I got a hold of some radishes fresh from the ground, green tops intact. The peppery veggie was and is a truly lovely ingredient to photograph. Stare at one, from tops to tail, and you’ll notice it has so many aesthetic elements to display. Beautiful.

It’s also a rather beautifully unique ingredient in the kitchen, and somewhat of an infrequently utilized subject of my cooking. Which is why I’d love your help.

I think I’ve featured radishes just once my blog, in this Brown Bread with Radishes recipe. Twice if you count them in this Asparagus Feta Wrap, but here radishes really weren’t the main star.

Both are recipes I’ve repeated on several occasions, but this year, I’m looking for new ideas. I’d love to hear how you use radishes. What are you favorite ways to eat them? Raw? Cooked? Sliced, diced, buttered, braised, pickled? You tell me.

Share with me your standby radish recipes. I’d love to hear them. And make them too!

Summer Veggie Breakfast Tacos

Summer Veggie Breakfast Tacos

No, I’m not sick of tomato sandwiches yet. However, I did want to start whipping up some new recipes again. With so much fresh produce in my fridge, it was bound to happen. Creativity strikes when variety is abundant, happily attained through the perks of working at a farmer’s market.

I wasn’t too sure how I’d feel about crawling out of bed before 7 a.m. every Saturday morning to sell vegetables. Bags of summer squash and ears of corn later, the foodie in me has decided the weekly weekend gig is totally worth it. Saturday mornings spent working bring Sunday morning breakfasts. Delicious ones at that.

This past Sunday, that meant these breakfast tacos, filled with buttery yellow squash, vine-ripened tomatoes and sweet corn. Worth it, don’t you agree?

Summer Squash

I love summer because the days the season brings along are rarely ever dull. There are always new ingredients to to be experimented with for wrapping into tacos. There are always new swimming excursions to be found. There is always outdoor fun to be had. My favorite kind, for sure.

Lately I’ve been doing plenty of pool jumping, lots of jacket-less night time bike riding, and occasional ice cream eating. Summer has been treating me well. I wish it’d never leave. Perhaps, one day, my future career path will lead me to an endless warm locale. That certainly wouldn’t be a bad job perk either.

Anyway, I leave you with these Summer Veggie Breakfast Tacos. Although these make a perfect Sunday, late morning meal, they’d also serve as breakfast-for-dinner that can be pulled together quickly any night of the week. Perhaps make them now, and then repeat once the weekend rolls around.

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Veggie Summer Rolls with Crispy Tofu

Veggie Summer Rolls with Crispy Tofu

There are two times when I really miss having a TV. One is when any of the major tennis championships are airing. In this case, Twitter is giving me the play-by-play, which becomes more annoying than missing the match all together. The other time is when I get home from a long day and want to do nothing else but mindlessly flip on the Food Network. Like the Bachelorette has become for certain boys I know (yes, boys), the Food Network was once my dirty little secret. I knew the personalities of every one of the networks’ celebs. I acted like Giada and I were friends, and like Ina Garten would one day invite me to one of her fancy dinner parties. I even got suckered into the crazy reality game shows, which are rarely ever my thing.

A year ago I moved into a new apartment, and with it I got rid of my cable bill. What came next was ridding myself of my Food Network obsession. No more cooking sessions spent in front of a screen watching other people’s cooking sessions. No more drooling over greasy Diner, Drive-Ins and Dives eats — most of which, in reality, I’d never actually want to order. (Also, no more gagging over the way Guy Fieri would inhale those eats himself. Thank god.) No more tensing and clenching from watching people compete over…cupcakes. No more going to bed on an empty stomach from too much food-filled TV. No more Food Network.

While my withdrawal symptoms were brief, I still have a guilty pleasure for the Food Network. Any time I’m near a powered on TV, I try to get the FN on the screen. My mom will tell you, if I’m at her house at night, it’s on, meaning she’s often forced to bear some anxiety through an episode of Chopped.

Veggie Summer Rolls with Crispy Tofu

I visited my mom this past Wednesday, and yes, to her slight displeasure, we watched an episode of Chopped. One of the secret ingredients was spring roll wrappers. A competitor on the show decided to cut them up into noodles. Creative, I thought. But like half of what I see on the Food Network, something I’d never do myself. Spring roll wrappers are just too good in their traditional use of packaging up ingredients that I have little desire to transform them into noodles. I do, however, have a strong and frequent desire to utilize them for summer rolls.

These are my favorite. I order them nearly every time I’m at a spot that serves them, and I try to make the rolls at least a few times per summer on my own, when my ingredients are fresh.

Like the Food Network, they are a pleasure (though not a guilty one) of mine. Working with the rice paper takes some getting used to, but it’s not rocket science by any means. Don’t worry about forming the perfect roll. As long as you’ve got a mix of fresh ingredients sealed inside, you’re good to go.

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