It seemed like time to post some more veggie recipes in case you’re running out of ideas on how to fit them into your daily diet without seeming boring. These are some of my favorites, I hope you enjoy them, too!
Broccoli Stir Fry with Ginger and Sesame
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce (use gluten-free soy sauce for gluten-free option)
- 1 Tbsp dark sesame oil
- Grapeseed oil, or some other high smoke-point cooking oil
- 1 pound broccoli florets, rinsed, patted dry, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 Toast the sesame seeds by first heating a small, stick-free sauté pan on medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and jiggle the pan so they spread out in a single layer. Let them cook until lightly browned, stirring occasionally, about 3-5 minutes. Do not walk away from them while cooking, as once they start to brown they can easily burn. Once lightly toasted remove from heat and put into a small bowl, set aside.
2 Mix the stock, soy sauce, and dark sesame oil together in a small bowl, set aside.
3 Heat 1 Tbsp of grapseed oil in a large, covered sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the broccoli florets, stir to coat the florets with the oil, Sauté for about a minute. Clear a space in the middle of the broccoli and add the ginger and garlic. Add a little more oil to the ginger and garlic (about a teaspoon) and sauté for half a minute, stirring just the garlic and ginger, until fragrant. Then stir the garlic and ginger in with the broccoli.
4 Add the chicken (or vegetable) stock mixture to the pan. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and cover. Let cook for 2-3 minutes, until broccoli is still firm, but can be pierced with a fork. Remove from heat. Remove broccoli with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Return pan to heat, increase heat to high and boil down the liquid until just a couple tablespoons remain. Turn off heat, return broccoli to the pan, add the toasted sesame seeds, toss with the liquid. Put into a serving bowl.
Yield: Serves 4.
Caramelized Fennel and Onions Recipe
- 2 large onions, halved then sliced lengthwise (root to tip) in 1/4-inch thick slices
- 2 large fennel bulbs, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 Heat olive oil and butter in a large, uncovered, wide pan on medium high heat. Add the sliced fennel and onions and stir to coat. Stir occasionally. After about 10 minutes, sprinkle the onions and fennel with salt. Lower the temperature to medium. You want to strike a balance between allowing the pan to get hot enough so that some caramelization (when the natural sugars in the onion and fennel start to brown) and keeping the pot from getting so hot that the onions and fennel dry out. If it becomes an issue, you can add a couple tablespoons of water to the pan to help the onions and fennel to keep from drying out too much.
2 Stir occasionally, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Note that the browned bits are the tastiest parts. Cook for another 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how much of a hurry you’re in, and how caramelized you want your mixture to be. The longer you cook, the more caramelized and browned. Taste test along the way to see if the cooking has been sufficient for your taste. By the way, the onions and fennel will have plenty of flavor without having to be completely cooked down and browned all over.
3 When ready to serve, remove from heat and toss in the freshly grated Parmesan cheese, the chopped parsley, lemon zest and lemon juice. Taste and add more lemon juice if necessary.
Serve alone as a side to chicken or seafood, or on crackers or thinly sliced toasted baguette for a crostini. You can also use it as a filling for a rustic tart.
Yield: Serves 4.
Cauliflower with Pine Nuts and Bacon Recipe
- 1 cauliflower head, cut into florets
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 pound bacon, cut into small pieces
- 4-5 garlic cloves, sliced thin
- 1-2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Lemon juice to taste
1 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the cauliflower for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2 While the water is heating, toast the pine nuts in a dry sauté pan until lightly browned. Keep an eye on them, as pine nuts go from toasted to burnt quickly. Set the pine nuts aside when they are toasted.
3 Add the bacon to the pan and fry gently over medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside with the pine nuts. Sauté the garlic for 1 minute on medium-high heat, then add the cauliflower, pine nuts, bacon, oregano and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Do not let the garlic burn.
4 Turn off the heat and add salt and lemon juice to taste.
Yield: Serves 4-6 as a side dish
Creamy Green Beans and Mushrooms
- 1 pound green beans, fresh or frozen, cut into 1-inch pieces (if fresh, remove ends, if frozen get pre-cut)
- 1 pound mushrooms (cremini, button, shiitake), thickly sliced
- 1/2 cup onions, chopped
- 2 Tbs butter
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp freshly chopped parsley for garnish
1 Put 2 quarts of water, salted with 1 tbsp of salt, in a pot to boil while you cut the mushrooms and onions.
2 Heat a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the mushrooms to the pan and dry sauté them until they begin to release their water. Sprinkle them with a little salt. Once they have released most of their water, remove them to a bowl and set aside.
3 Add the green beans to the boiling water, and time them for 5 minutes, or until just tender. (No need to defrost frozen beans.)
4 Add butter to the hot sauté pan. Once the butter has melted, add the onions. Cook until the onions are beginning to brown.
5 As soon as the green beans are cooked just tender, strain them. Add the mushrooms to the pan with the onions, then add the green beans.
6 Remove from heat. Stir in the sour cream. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Taste and add more salt if needed.
Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Yield: Serves 4 to 8.
- 2 pounds fennel bulbs (3 lbs with fronds), about 3-4 bulbs
- 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs (herbed or plain)
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (about 2 ounces)
- Chopped fennel fronds, for garnish
1 Cut off the fronds and stems of the fennel and save them for another dish; they are a great addition to stocks and broths. Cut the bulbs in quarters, then 1-2 inch pieces; discard the woody cores.
2 Grease a casserole pan or gratin pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil and preheat the oven to 375°.
3 Boil the fennel in a medium pot of salty water for 5-6 minutes, or until the fennel is just about tender. Drain well and toss with a tablespoon of olive oil.
4 Mix the parmesan, thyme and bread crumbs, then mix half of that mixture with the fennel. Add the fennel to the casserole in an even layer. Top with the mozzarella cheese, then the rest of the parmesan-bread crumb mixture. Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top.
5 Cover the casserole and bake for 20 minutes. Take the cover off and bake until the cheese is well browned, about 15 more minutes. Let the gratin rest for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped fresh fennel fronds.
Yield: Serve 6-8 as a side dish.
Green Bean Salad with Basil, Balsamic, and Parmesan
- 1 1/2 pounds trimmed green beans, cut to 2 to 3 inch long pieces
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion (or shallots)
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces)
- Freshly ground black pepper
1 Place the chopped onions in a small bowl of water. This will help take the edge off the onions. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the salad.
2 Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans to the water and blanch for about 2 minutes or so, until the beans are just barely cooked through, but still crisp. While the beans are cooking, prepare a large bowl of ice water. When the beans are ready, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the boiling water to the ice water to stop the cooking. Drain the green beans and the red onions.
3 Place the green beans, red onion, and chopped basil in a large bowl. Sprinkle in the olive oil, toss to coat. Sprinkle in the balsamic and Parmesan cheese. Toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Chill until ready to serve. (I actually prefer this warm so I skip the ice water step and assemble while still warm.)
Yield: Serves 6.