Vegetable Melange

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I never knew quick and easy could be so DELICIOUS and I’m sure you will agree.  I stumbled across this wonderfully simple recipe on a quest to take simple common ingredients, but make them spectacular. The thinly shaved veggies sautéed lovingly with butter and olive oil then sparked back to life with lemon!  5 ingredients later, the plates were clean and smiles were on the faces of everyone. Enjoy

Ingredients:

1 large zucchini, shaved

1 large carrot, shaved

2 large leek (white part only), cut into strips

1 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Shave the zucchini and carrot into ribbons using a vegetable peeler to make long thin strips. A mandolin may work but it’s more difficult to control the thickness of the strip. Heat a medium saute pan over medium high heat and saute the leek in the butter and olive oil mixture for 1 minute.  Add the zucchini and carrot and continue to cook for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and toss the vegetables with the thyme and the fresh lemon juice.  Serve immediately.

 

 

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Spicy and Sweet Potato Salad

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Now that the holiday festivities are over, I am more than ready to get back to healthier eating. This contribution to “Healthy Sides” week starts off with the yummy goodness of sweet potatoes! It’s more than the usual roasted yams or whipped sweet potato, it’s a unique twist on a familiar veggie that will leave a big impression.  The natural sweetness of the potatoes, the crunch of the pecans, combined with the added kick of the crushed red peppers creates an unexpected “party” at first bite! Taste and enjoy this delightful recipe that boasts a mere 207 calories and 25 grams of carbs per 1/2 cup serving.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes (5 cups)

1 Tbsp sugar

1 Tbsp canola oil

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

3 strips thick-sliced bacon, chopped

1/2 c. red onions, slivered

1/4 c. honey

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 c. pecans, toasted

2 Tbsp fresh lime juice

2 Tbsp scallions, thinly sliced

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. While the oven is heating, toss the chopped sweet potatoes with the sugar, oil, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes and roast for 30 minutes.  Saute the bacon until crisp and remove the fat, but leave the chopped bacon in the pan.  Add the  silvered red onions and saute for 3 minutes.  Add the honey and vinegar until thoroughly combined.  Place the roasted sweet potatoes in a bowl and combine the bacon mixture, pecans, lime juice, and scallions.  Salt and pepper to taste!

adapted from Cuisine at Home

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

Many years ago, my children and I decided we DID NOT want to eat the same thing we just ate four weeks ago (Thanksgiving Dinner in the form of Christmas Dinner); therefore, our Non-Christmas Dinner Tradition began!  It started with a very Mexican Buffet, progressed to Sushi, and an elegant and super easy Standing Rib Roast–the sky’s the limit–and our imagination can get pretty creative (as long as there are no leftovers 🙂 )

So I am on a personal quest!  Think outside the box with holiday meals, try something you’ve never heard of, it’s okay, you may like it. This leads me to the beloved BRUSSELS SPROUT (trumpet sounds)! Let’s face it, it looks like a baby cabbage. I’m convinced it’s HOW they’re cooked that gives them a “bad boy” reputation. Come on look at them…

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…aren’t they beautiful….awww…

That leads me to my first Non-Christmas Christmas side: Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

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Ingredients:

2 lbs brussels sprouts

3 shaved garlic cloves

1 Tbsp Canola oil

8 oz pancetta, cut into 1/4 inch wide strips

2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 Tbsp white wine

Salt and fresh ground Pepper to taste

Directions:

You have two options here, first, thinly slice the brussels sprouts with a knife crosswise and discarding the root ends OR pierce the end of the brussels sprout with a fork and shave it across the mandolin into thin ribbons. The finished product will look like confetti. Shave the garlic in a similar fashion.

Heat the saute skillet with the canola oil on high heat and add pancetta, stir until slightly crisp, 3-5 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium-high adding the shaved brussels sprouts and shaved garlic, stirring consistently until the sprouts are bright green and tender 3-5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and white wine, cook for an additional 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve. #BonAppetite