Veggie Tales

~by Nikki

Ok so I had all these veggies to use up. Long story short, I visited this grocery store called “Harvest Fair.” They had these packages of fresh veggies that I’m guessing were approaching their end (but weren’t quite there yet). I scored oodles of tomatoes, patty pan squash, eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and onions for like $3 (and, on a side note they had these HUGE things of Tribe Hummus 2/$5!).

So I bring it all home and it didn’t look like much…until I chopped it all up. Then I said to myself, “Self? What the HELL do you plan to do with all of these veggies?”

My brain likes these challenges though. Here are three ways I used this mixture of vegetables. My apologies for only having one picture. The dishes literally went THAT fast!

Remix #1: Chicken and Veggie Alfredo

I heart Alfredo. What’s not to love? Cheese…cream…mmmmmm…I tend to use low-fat Alfredo sauce (just cuz it makes me feel better about the whole thing). This was super easy to make and super good to eat! For the divas, I paired this with whole wheat penne. I ate it by itself. The entire pan was gone that night, no lie. Usually, however, when I make this I have enough left over to slap on a high-fiber tortilla for a pizza set up or as the fillings for an omelette!

Nik’s Chicken & Veggie Alfredo

2 c. of whatever veggies you want to use, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 chicken breasts, cubed

Salt and Pepper

1 jar of low-fat Alfredo sauce

Directions:

1. Cook chicken in a sprayed pan until done through, then remove to a bowl

2. In that same pan, add veggies (so they get all that chicken love stuck to the pan) and garlic and cook until tender

3. Return chicken to the pan, stir thoroughly and add Alfredo sauce

4. Simmer for 15 minutes

If serving with noodles, boil them separately, drain them and then toss with the chicken mixture.

Remix #2: Veggie Hash

I was thinking what I want for breakfast one morning and decided I wanted some hash. You ever just been in the mood for some hash? (I realize for people who lived through the 60’s and 70’s that statement has more than one meaning, but I mean FOOD hash…)

Since I don’t do potatoes (I CAN do them…I just don’t…because Nik=ZERO self control around taters…), I decided to make a hash out of my big ass pile o’ veggies.

The thing about squash is that you kinda have to give it the right environment to become crispy. It gives up its water pretty quickly but you have to pan cook them a good while before they crisp up for you. But the nice thing is they turn out just how I like it: crispy on the outside, soft on the inside! YUMMY!

Nik’s Veggie Hash

2 c. of whatever veggies you have (I used patty pan squash, zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant and onions)

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a pan and add veggies

2. Allow veggies to cook a few minutes on one side (time varies but about 4-5 minutes), then flip the other side and let it cook the same amount of time. You should see some caramlization of the veggies when you flip them.

3. Add garlic when veggies are almost done through to avoid burning

4. Let all liquid reduce from the pan and they are done!

Remix #3: Re-invention of my mom’s corn, okra and tomatoes

Jen says corn, tomato and okra. Or is it okra, corn and tomato? Hell, I can’t remember but she says it in a different order than I do! I am convinced that the order of the wording says something about your regional upbringing. At any rate, my momma used to make corn, okra and tomatoes all the time. And I loved it. Somehow the okra wasn’t slimy and the smoky flavor of the bacon and kick of the chili powder and red pepper flakes came through so perfectly.

Since I was on this veggie kick though, I decided to make a vegetarian version of this to see how that would go over.

This is not my veggie dish, but mine looked pretty much like this. Except my camera sucks!

Nik’s “Corn, Okra and Tomatoes” Remix

2 c. whatever veggies you have on hand

1 onion, chopped

2-4 slices of bacon (or, if doing vegetarian, 1 tbsp liquid smoke)

1 can of diced tomatoes (you can use whole, which is what my mom uses. I prefer diced)

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 tbsp chili powder

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (or red pepper flakes…or you can skip both if you don’t like the heat)

Salt and pepper to taste

If you want to try the traditional recipe, use:

1 bag frozen, cut okra
1 bag frozen corn
1 can of diced tomatoes
Same seasonings as above

Directions:

1. Fry up your bacon in a pan and remove. Reserve drippings in pan.

2. Sautee your veggies (except tomatoes) in bacon drippings with garlic (if you are doing vegetarian, start with this step and add liquid smoke in step 3)

3. Add tomatoes and seasonings

4. Crumble excess bacon into mixture

5. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Verdict: YUMMY! At the same time, I FINALLY explored the Asian market near my surgeon’s office (where I am doing a Pouch Party™ in just two weeks!) and scored a bottle of fish sauce.

If you’ve never tasted this Asian condiment, you are missing out! It’s made of anchovies and…salt. And is used in place of salt. Don’t use too much, as it has a fishy smell to it, but it makes savory dishes sooooo yummy. I splattered some on my veggies and went to TOWN!

Veggie Tales
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Veggie Tales
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