Wednesday, February 1, 2012

2012 Resolutions: More Vegetables

I like to tell Lance fairly often that no one ever died from eating too many vegetables. He doesn't believe me. If you know someone who ate too many vegetables and died, let Lance know. I'm sure he'd like a "I told you so" moment.

Here are a few ways I'm approaching this resolution:

  • I like to throw fresh spinach or shredded zuchinni into spaghetti sauce. It's not hard to sneak in extra vegetables into sauces.

  • But with my resolution to incorporate more vegetables into our daily diets, I've been looking at reducing the amount of meat we use and trying new vegetables. Meat is expensive. If we are having chicken breasts, we'll cut them in half and put them in leftover containers from the very get-go.

  • If I cut back on the amount of meat I use in a recipe, I'll try and substitue some beans in. Beans are cheap and add some heft.

  • Last weekend I put carrots in our muffins. Granted, they were Morning Glory muffins, but I still think it counts. The were excellent. I highly recommend. I go so far as to admit they were eaten so quickly that I didn't have any left to take pictures of them.

  • The week before I bought some bok choy. I had no idea what to do with it, but I successfully incorporated it into two dishes: a soup and Sesame Peanut Noodles. Sadly, I under cooked the noodles and didn't measure how many I needed to boot, so they turned out slightly crunchy and dry. But the flavor of the sauce was excellent. Next time will go better.

  • I'm thinking about buying parsnips. Again, I have no idea what to do with them, but I've heard good things about them. I think I should probably just buy a random vegetable and pledge to myself to figure how to incorporate it somehow.

Here are two recipes incorporating my "more vegetables" resolution:

Morning Glory Muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups grated carrots
1 apple - peeled, cored, and chopped
1 cup raisins
1 egg
2 egg whites
1/2 cup apple butter (I used applsauce)
1/4 c canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly oil 18 muffin cups, or coat with nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, apple butter, oil and vanilla.
In a large bowl, stir together flours, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in carrots, apples and raisins. Stir in apple butter mixture until just moistened. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them about 3/4 full.
In a small bowl, combine walnuts and wheat germ; sprinkle over the muffin tops.
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and spring back when lightly pressed.

Peanut Sesame Noodles

For peanut dressing
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup warm water
1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 medium garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons Asian toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes or a splash of the hot sauce or chili paste of your choice

For noodles
3/4 lb dried soba or rice noodles (dried linguine fine or spaghetti will work in a pinch)
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips
Edamame, bok choy, carrots, cilantro
Peanuts for topping
3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

Put dressing ingredients in a blender until smooth, about 2 minutes, and then transfer to a large bowl.
Cook pasta in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until tender. Drain in a colander, then rinse well under cold water. Add vegetables to wok and stirfry briefly, add dressing, tossing to combine. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and serve immediately.
You could also stir fry some chicken, shrimp or tofu to add protein to the dish.

1 comment:

*carrie* said...


We're not super adventurous with veggies around here. I think we get enough servings, but we pretty much stick to basics like peas and carrots, because those are what the kids will eat.

As Lucan gets older, you might see if your library has the Deceptively Delicious cookbook. I was glad to discover that when Nathan was about 14-16 months and only wanting things like muffins.