Two quick summer vegetables recipes, one with beets, one with zucchini, both made quicker still by grating the vegetables into small bits.
A war chest, that’s how I think of the arsenal of vegetable recipes I’ve been collecting, weapons against our 21st century battle of the bulge.
I’ve logged lesson after lesson since April, when I began to cook vegetables in a new way every day, that’s right, every single day. (Yes, that was the accidental start of what's now my food blog, A Veggie Venture.)
Here are a few:
Quick and easy are important, even on weekends. When you find a favorite, save it and make it often.
Plan on a pound of vegetables to serve four. Plan on one tablespoon of fat (total) for one Weight Watchers point per serving.
Always have a backup when time or energy give way. Mine is a bag of beans in the freezer, ready to steam at a moment’s notice.
Salt enhances flavor, be generous unless it’s medically unwise.
Small pieces cook faster than big ones so, for example, pick French-cut not whole beans if you’re in a rush.
Most of all, make vegetables an adventure. Try something new every week. You’ll eat what you pay attention to, what becomes fun.
Here are a favorite two, both relying on vegetables that can be picked up over the weekend and still be frig-fresh on Thursday, both that cook quickly, thanks to being grated.
CLASSIC VINAIGRETTE For the vinaigrette, shake or whisk together 1/4 cup white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil. It’s a classic salad dressing made simple and used in a resourceful way. It’ll keep in the frig for a week or more so can be used with other vegetables as well.ALANNA'S TIPS The beets call for rosemary, the zucchini for thyme but dill is a delicious substitute in either.
BEET RÖESTI with ROSEMARY
Time to table: 15 minutes
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 pound beets, peeled and grated
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
Melt butter in large skillet over medium high until just starting to brown. Mix remaining ingredients in medium bowl, combining well. Transfer to skillet in four piles. Use spatula to shape round patties from each pile, flatten until quite thin. Let cook about 5 minutes, pressing occasionally, until bottom is crisp. Turn over and repeat. Serve immediately topped with dollops of sour cream and additional chopped rosemary.
SHREDDED ZUCCHINI with THYME
Time to table: 25 minutes
- 1 pounds zucchini, grated
- 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon Classic Vinaigrette (see LEFT)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
Toss zucchini and salt in a colander, let drain for about 15 minutes. Squeeze zucchini in handfuls, repeating until liquid is gone. Heat a large skillet over medium high. Add vinaigrette and zucchini. Toss gently. Cook until zucchini is hot and cooked through, turning occasionally. Stir in thyme. Serve immediately.
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