Thursday, August 27, 2009

A few favorite vegetable recipes

I'm not a huge vegetable eater. Growing up and even into my freshman year of college, I avoided them or took very small portions. In fact, on our first date, my now husband teased me, "if you don't eat your veggies, you can't get dessert!" Little did I know how well he could cook vegetables, so now I actually enjoy them...occasionally.

Here's a few recipes that I make from the Everyday Food Magazine and Martha Stewart:

Steamed Eggplant with Peanuts and Scallions

Serves 4. Prep Time 10 minutes. Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed and peeled
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Chinese, graffiti, or small Italian eggplants, quarter lengthwise and cut into 4 inch lengths
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped unsalted roasted peanuts
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced [although I have substituted 1 cup of chopped cilantro]

1. In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, garlic, and oil. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half, approximately 3 minutes.

2. Set a steamer basket in a saucepan filled with 1 inch simmering water. Add eggplant, cover, and steam until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a platter and top with soy dressing, peanuts, and scallions. Serve warm.

per serving: 104 calories, 6 grams fat (0.8 grams saturated fat), 3.9 grams protein, 11 gram carbohydrates, 3.8 grams fiber



Sweet Zucchini Cupcakes

Prep Time 20 minutes. Total Time 1 hour, 30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 zucchini (10 ounces), coarsely grated (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    Cream Cheese Frosting

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cups of a standard (12-cup) muffin tin with paper or foil liners. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Mix in nuts.
3. In another bowl, combine zucchini, oil, eggs, and vanilla; add to flour mixture, and mix just until combined (do not overmix).
4. Divide batter evenly among cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.
5. Cool in tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes; turn cupcakes out, right side up, and cool completely. 6. Meanwhile, make frosting. Using an offset spatula or butter knife, spread frosting on cupcakes. The frosted cupcakes are best eaten within 1 day.

I also enjoy fresh asparagus steamed for 3 minutes in the microwave and then sprinkling lemon pepper on top. It's super quick, easy, and yummy.

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