Tuesday, April 17, 2012

top eleven vegetables, mid-week pick-me-up

first, how much do we WORSHIP reggie watts?  here's a little something to brighten your week.  i know it's only tuesday, but what with spring fever & all it really feels like wednesday, doesn't it?

second, julie complimented my lists, so i'm gonna go with a list today again, what with spring fever, inability to focus for too long, and all.  today's list features the top eleven vegetables that my kids and the adults in the house love equally well (again, in reference to julie's post today about needing spring recipes & making a dinner her kids hated--nothing worse than cooking for your fam & they hate it.  happened to me way more times than i care for.)

1.  cucumbers sliced and peeled with lime & salt.

2. seared cauliflower (got the idea from alice waters):  make small florets, cook on high heat in an olive oil/vegetable oil mix with minced or grated garlic and s&p.

3. broccoli with daddy's dipping sauce ("trees").  this one has a caveat in my house:  if i make the dipping sauce rather than c. aka daddy, the kids don't like it as much.  here's the process:  steam the trees (i leave a lot of stem, or trunk, on so the kids can eat & dip with their fingers) and run them under a quick cold water bath so they remain bright green.  dip in a sauce of honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice wine vinegar.

4. asparagus with butter, lemon & salt.  again, don't overcook.  the kids hate mushy vegetables almost more than the adults, unless of course it's:

5. bam's caramelized carrots:  steamed carrot sticks (she peels the carrots and slices them in half then in half lengthwise--quarters.  i think the heft of the carrot stick is key here.  steam until very tender.  add butter, salt, and brown sugar and toss until all melted & caramely.  these are cecily's all-time favorite.

6.  spinach and cheese omlettes.  the adults like mushrooms & tomatoes, but the kids really like the simplicity of one vegetable at a time.

7.  red pepper flowers.  when i'm prepping sweet red peppers, i slice the cap off and remove the stem so a perfect intact flower remains.  something about the flower shape is extra cute & appetizing.

8. seared green beans.  similar to the cauliflower in preparation.  these are great off-season using a good quality frozen green bean, and if your kids don't mind a little spice, you can add some red chile flakes.

9. seared corn with green chiles.  in the summer, i slice the kernels off the ear and cook with a mild green chile and tomatoes.  in the winter, nix the tomato and used canned chiles and frozen corn.

10. anything raw dipped in ranch.  my mom makes what she calls french salad.  it's like a crudite platter with olives, raw vegetables, and the best part, deviled eggs.  the kids love discrete piles of vegetables, unmixed, that they can choose and dip in ranch (we buy ours at the creamery--in these parts "creamery ranch" is legendary and can be purchased by the quart or 1/2 gallon for family reunions and ward dinners).  the adults can sneak in some more adult-like olives, antipasti type vegetables, radishes, etc.  in the summer we do this as an entire meal, with bread.

11.  artichokes with homemade mayo.  lula (who's 13) can make the mayo now & loves doing it.  it's a great thing for a budding young cook to master.  not hard, but cool.

lastly, our super rad guest blogger and resident yogi kelsey hannon is almost in the finals for her yoga photo--vote for her today--it's the last day--to help her get her picture into yoga journal.  i can't think of a more deserving person to do something nice for today.  you can vote five times today, from each computer or mobile device.  i'm sure your karma will increase if you vote from all your devices!

legwear:  black tights & black boots--april chill

looking forward: to making artichokes & homemade mayo with lula

inspiration:  trees in blossom juxtaposed against mountains shrouded in low april clouds.

p.s.--early tomorrow morning (i have to be there at 6.55 a.m.) i'll be on byu radio talking about poetry for national poetry month.  here's how to listen, from the program assistant:

Hi Lara!
The Morning Show is so excited for you to come by tomorrow to talk about Poetry! If your fans want to listen in, here is how:
1) BYURadio (not Classical 89) satellite #143
2) Stream it (via the link) The show is on LIVE from 7-8:00 am, or listen to the rebroadcast, from 9-10:00 am http://www.byuradio.org/about/
3) Download the BYURadio app for your smart phone.


  1. Re. #8, I'm obsessed with green beans right now! My favorite variation includes toasted almonds and crispy crumbs of bacon, with butter & browned lemon slices ... Oh, yum.

    1. omg--browned lemon slices? what the heck? that needs to happen immediately.

  2. I'm gonna miss your broadcast--at the ref desk now as you're prepping! Dangit! I've never browned lemon slices. Must!