Monday, February 2, 2009

An Unofficial Vegetable Challenge

I know that so many people do some sort of resolution nonsense (well, sometimes they can be practical rather than silly), thus I decided to wait a while until admitting mine even if it is not a resolution, per say. I am considering it more of a challenge to myself.  Just like everyone else, I notice sometimes that I get a little over-enthusiastic in the baking department.  I also realized that I wanted to branch out a little bit more in my eating. Thus, I have been consciously trying vegetables that I had not eaten in a while or try new ones that I don't recall ever eating on a regular basis.  It probably sounds silly, but I am thinking of it as a vegetable adventure.

The first casualty to this experiment was Brussels sprouts.  To many, they are a feared vegetable since youth, but I honestly couldn't recall eating any in my youth.  After consulting my cookbooks, I knew that baking them would be the best option.  Sadly, there are no pictures of this first foray, but that is only because those sprouts did not last long! Using the cornmeal crusted recipe in Veganomicon, I discovered a new favorite side dish.  Even the rest of my roommates couldn't resist the slightly spiced smells coming from the oven!

My next foray took me by surprise, to be quite honest.  On an impulse, I picked up a bag of shredded red cabbage while at the store.  Being somewhat familiar with German dishes, I have tried and occasionally liked the stewed red cabbage side dish stable. (The ones that I've experienced have usually been more on the sour side, which wasn't always pleasing. There was this stewed plain cabbage that I was once given in Prague, but I am not quite sure how that was prepared differently.)  I perused favorite food blogs and cookbooks, unsure of what to do with this vegetable.  There is a recipe on Fat Free Vegan Kitchen that I shall be trying later this week, but for now, my new salad that I can't seem to get enough of is seen below.

I hadn't realized how good red cabbage was raw if you just have the right dressing! Upon seeing the high vitamin C content, I knew that I didn't want to cook it the first time around.  Here, I have it paired with a spicy peanut sauce that I threw together (along with some carrots on top).  The recipe is more of a guideline than anything exact, but I'm including it to give you a general idea.

apple cider vinegar (a tbsp or two)
garlic powder
ground ginger
red pepper flakes (this gives it that kick)
a little lime juice
a few dollops of peanut butter (I use crunchy, since that is what I keep around.)

Just mix it all together with a fork and then add a little water to thin it out.  Add the veggies and coat them well. This simple ensemble turned out to be surprisingly delicious, and I used my whole first bag eating it with dinner several days in a row. I just couldn't get enough of it! (I'll blame it on my peanut butter addiction.)

My next challenge will be to actually do something with cooked cabbage, and I also have an eggplant sitting in the fridge, wanting to be used.  I've cooked with eggplant before in making hummus, a vegetable quinoa dish, or a hungarian paprikash.  This time, I want to try something new, so I'll see what I can find.


Jeni Treehugger said...

Vegetable adventures!
I'm not a fan of Red Cabbage but I'm liking the sound of using it raw in a Salad!
You might have just converted me.

Anonymous said...

That's a great challenge.
I use cabbage way to seldom. I never liked Rotkohl aka. red cabbage that much, but I sometimes make it as a side dish for my bf. He likes it with some sugar and apples.