I know I've done a lot of complaining about the drought this summer. It has been hard to watch the vegetation shrivel up. Last week, the farmers around us began chopping the corn. There is no hope of ears forming now and they might as well get a little silage out of it before the leaves turn to dust.
Though our garden is a dim shadow of last year's abundance and we have not had as much harvest to put up, we have still enjoyed lots of good eating. If our only vegetables were what we ate fresh from the garden, we still would have had much to be thankful for.
I've been searching for new ways to enjoy our veggies. My goal is to stuff as many and as varied of vegetables in our diet as possible. For us, it is easy to fill up on the meat and potato/pasta/rice/bread portion of the meal with only a little vegetables on the side.
Last week, a friend blessed me with two bags of zucchini. Every night I tried a new recipe, or variation of a favorite recipe and we found some new favorites. Many of the recipes were inspired by Simply in Season. If you are looking for creative recipes containing vegetables, you can't fail with this cook book.
One way I've increased our vegetable consumption is with variety. Green beans soon become wearisome, but a medley of vegetables encourage me to eat twice as many vegetables.
Even meals like pizza are not exempt. I'm been stir-frying onion, garlic, peppers, and zucchini and heaping the pizza high! I love when the crust becomes only a thin retainer for the veggies! Ed enjoys it too, but the children are less then excited. I often make a separate boring pizza for them, but hopefully they will come around.
This is hardly a recipe and the variations are endless.
Start with a large bowl (about 10 cups) of fresh vegetables. You could use squash, onions, potatoes, beans, peppers, carrots, mushroom, etc. Cut them in small pieces. Thinly slice vegetables that take the longest to cook like potatoes and carrots.
Toss the vegetables in a T of olive oil and seasoning to your taste. Try a little salt, chili powder, thyme and pepper. Or how about some fresh basil, oregano, and Parmesan cheese. Or you could omit the olive oil and just stir in 3/4 cup of Italian dressing.
Spread your seasoned vegetables on a baking sheet. Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes. I stir the vegetables about half way through the cooking time.
You could also tuck your veggies into tin foil and grill - or thread onto skewers and grill.
The flavor of these veggies are SO much better then boiled or steamed vegetables!
This week, I plan to share some of my favorite ways to enjoy vegetables. I'm hoping that it will encourage you to share your favorite methods and recipes. Write about them in the comments or, if you've blogged about vegetables, share your link.