First, let us compare the large difference between pictures by a fancy camera versus my crappy digital camera. It will be a fun learning experience.
Wasn’t that enlightening!? Now none of my posts will ever look quite as pretty to me.
Anyways, props to Kerry for taking some marvelous pictures that will make this post look like one from a legit food blog. Also props to Kerry for making some really delicious cookies. I give kudos, however, to Chelsea for her delicious vegetarian tortilla soup. May I add that her tasty soup is only 15 calories per serving (Chelsea’s words, not mine. It tasted waaaaay better than normal 15 calorie foods like raw celery. And raw tomato bits. Etc.) Snaps (I’m running out words like kudos and props, obviously) to Shelley for her Eggplant Parmesan. I wish it had been my first introduction to that dish, instead of the fried cornmeal mush I had at the dining hall last year.
Obviously, we ate copious amounts of vegetables last night, while watching the Golden Globes, I might add (TRUE BLOOD AND THE OFFICE SHOULD HAVE WON…). Along with Eggplant Parm, Shelley provided some leftover coleslaw and salad. I provided some (organic) green beans and glazed carrots/onions.
I bought the green beans from a “farmer’s market” for $2.00. I have no idea if that’s a good price for organic green beans, but I thought it was a steal, so don’t tell me if I was grossly overcharged. I put farmer’s market in quotations because it was really a tent, a dude, and a few crates of vegetables.
It was not as sketchy as that description makes it sound.
Anyways, I used/altered a recipe for fresh green beans from PW’s website. Obviously you need to snap off the stem end of the green beans before cooking them. It reminded me of the days when my sister and I would slave away in my great aunt’s vegetable garden, wearing handkerchiefs like babushkas and carrying Disney character Barbies.
Yep, those were the days.
PW’s Green Beans
– 1 lb. green beans
– 1 cup chicken broth
– 2 cloves garlic (aka eyeball the jarred stuff….)
– 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
– 1 cup chopped onion (I’ve never actually measured how much of an onion 1 cup is, but I’ve always assumed half an onion = 1 cup)
– kosher salt
I also added some Italian herbs and ranch dressing mix. I wanted to use Italian dressing mix, but it was hiding from me in the depths of our cabinet. Italian mix would have tasted much better, but ranch got the job done alright. Oh yeah, it was about two tablespoons.
Anywho, pour about 1-2 tbsp olive oil in a pot (or pan, I only had a pot available at the time) and let it heat up. Then dump in the onions and let those brown for a little bit. Add the green beans, shaking the pan around to make sure all of the beans are coated in the oil. Add some kosher salt and pepper, then the garlic, herbs and peppers. I let them hang out for a couple of minutes, then added the chicken broth and ranch dressing mix. I lowered the oven temperature down to medium, then covered the pot, but make sure to leave a crack so the steam escapes. It keeps the beans semi-crunchy. Stir occasionally for 20-25 minutes. The chicken broth will have evaporated, allowing the beans and onions to caramelize slightly. This is bueno…it means FLAAAAAAAAAAAVOR! The beans were still slightly crisp, and they made that squeaking sound squash makes when you bite into it. That was a new for me, since most of the green beans I eat are from a can. I definitely think I’d like them with the Italian Dressing mix better, so I’ll be doing that next time. Here’s a picture (from my crappy camera) of the finished product:
The other dish I made was glazed carrots and onions. Very tasty. I’ve seen various recipes for glazed carrots, and I kind of combined the bits I liked from each one, sooo I don’t really have one set source. I know some of my, uh, “inspiration,” came from the Food Network show Alex’s Day Off,so props to you, Alex!
Glazed Carrots and Onions
This makes a VERY small amount of carrots/onions. I didn’t want to make too much since we were having so many other vegetable dishes, so you should probably double the recipe.
– 3 whole carrots, cut into coins (Mine (sadly) did not have tops, but Alex used her carrot tops as garnish for the finished product…you should too)
– 1/2 sliced onion
– 2 tsp brown sugar
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– kosher salt
– 1 tsp maple syrup
– 1 tsp butter
– 1/4 cup water
Heat the oil in a pan, then dump in the onion slices. Have your eye set on medium high and let the onions start to soften, 8(ish) minutes. Once the onions begin to brown, add the salt and turn the heat down to medium low and let them hang out for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once they start to caramelize, add the carrots. Let them soften for two to three minutes, then add the water, brown sugar and maple syrup. The water keeps the sugars from burning, by the way. Mine needed another 15 minutes to fully soften and absorb the sugar, but then again, my oven is crappy. If the water won’t evaporate (like mine), turn the eye up to medium high and let some of it evaporate out. Add the butter last – it makes everything shiny and glorious. These carrots are seriously delicious, even though I added too much brown sugar (I adjusted the recipe to fix this). Kerry also took the most beautiful picture of the carrots:
LOOK AT THE GLOSSINESS OF THOSE CARROTS AND ONIONS!!! It’s the butter, you have to add it.
So yeah, we decided vegetable night has to happen more often. Next vegetable project = veggie chips??