Four Veggie Recipes. That’s All. No Real Insights.

I’m a vegetarian married to a carnivore who prefers “traditional” veggies. Oh, and okra.

Larry grew up in the south, far removed from the vegetables I grew up with in Minnesota. He’s also partial to steamed veggies, and he considers peas, corn and lima beans “vegetables.” I personally don’t consider the starchy variety “real” veggies because of their carb content, but if Larry wants a side of peas and corn and call it a veggie, I’ll still love him. I refuse to eat okra, so that makes us even.

Because of Larry’s penchant for steamed veggies, I’m always looking for ways to jazz them up so he doesn’t fall asleep during dinner. Here are four of my favorites, and I admit I’m posting this to generate perhaps a few more steamed ideas from all of you? Please? I can only be so creative on my own!

Broccoli in Spicy Orange Sauce (From the Mayo Clinic Cookbook)
6 servings

2 pounds of broccoli, or pre-cut broccoli florets
1/2 C orange juice
2 teaspoons honey
1 t of Dijon mustard
1 t of grated orange zest (you can substitute orange oil if needed)
1/2 t of reduced sodium soy sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1½ t cornstarch
1 T water
1 t of toasted or raw sesame seeds

Trim the broccoli into small florets so that each one is around 4 cm each. If you want to use the stocks, trim them so they are about 1/2 inch thick.

Place a steamer basket into a large pot, bring 2 inches of water to a boil. Add the stalks to your steamer basket and cover and steam for 2 minutes. Add the florets and then steam for an additional 3 minutes. If you don’t have a steamer basket, you can also microwave the broccoli in a bowl with a couple of tablespoons of water.

While the broccoli is cooking, add the orange juice, honey, mustard, orange zest, soy sauce, garlic, and pepper flakes to a small saucepan and boil over medium high heat.

In another bowl, combine and whisk together the cornstarch and water. Once the cornstarch is dissolved, stir this mixture into the orange juice mixture, and cook both until thickened (should take about 1 minute) stirring constantly.

In a new bowl, toss the broccoli with the sauce. Sprinkle sesame seeds to taste.

Asparagus (From Taste of Home)

1. Cut 1 pound of fresh asparagus into 1½ pieces and sauté for 2 minutes in 1 T light butter with one (or more) minced garlic cloves.
2. Stir in ½ C chicken broth (I use vegetable broth), cover and cook on low until crisp-tender.
3. Remove to serving dish with a slotted spoon and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Sautéed String Beans with Almonds (from Weight Watchers)
8 servings (or if you’re me, about 3 or 4 servings)

2 t olive oil (I leave this out and sauté with 1 T vegetable broth)
½ C slivered almonds
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
8 C green snap beans, fresh, trimmed, or thawed if frozen
½ C canned chicken broth, or vegetable broth (you know which one I use)
¼ t black pepper, freshly ground, or to taste
½ t table salt, or to taste (I leave this out)

Place almonds in a large dry skillet and place pan over medium heat. Cook until nuts are golden brown, shaking pan frequently, about 2 to 4 minutes. Remove nuts from pan; set aside.

Heat oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook , stirring, 1 minute. Add string beans and sauté 1 minute. Add broth to pan; cover and steam until string beans are crisp-tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper; stir to coat. Remove from heat; stir in toasted almonds. Yields about ¾ cup per serving.

I just discovered this one last night:

Spicy Carrot Coins (from Taste of Home)
4-6 servings

2 pounds carrots, sliced
1¼ C water
1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)
1 t ground ginger
1 t ground cumin
½ t ground coriander
¼ t salt (again, I left this out)
1/8 to ¼ t cayenne pepper
¼ c honey
4 t lemon juice

In a large nonstick saucepan, combine the first 8 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Discard cinnamon stick. Add honey and lemon juice to carrots. Bring to a boil; cook, uncovered, for 5-8 minutes or until carrots are tender and liquid has evaporated (more or less).

And this one isn’t about steamed veggies, but it’s still one of my favorites.

Broccoli Slaw Sauté (From Health, Jan/Feb 2007)
3-5 servings

1 T olive oil (tastes just the same with or without oil)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 julienne-cut red bell pepper cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 sliced green onion
1 (12-ounce) package broccoli coleslaw
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt (again, I leave this out)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Warm oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the garlic and cook, stirring 1 minute or until garlic is fragrant. Add the red bell pepper and onion; cook, stirring, 2 minutes.

Add the broccoli coleslaw, salt, black pepper, and vinegar. Cook, stirring 4-5 minutes or until the slaw is tender but not mushy.

Transfer mixture to a serving bowl, and sprinkle with grated cheese, if desired. Can be served warm or cold.

If you’ve got some favorite “traditional” veggie recipes, I’d love you more than chocolate if you’d send them! Well, maybe not more than chocolate, but definitely almost.

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