Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Veggin Out

One thing I can say that I love about summer is the over abundance of fresh vegetables.  Justin and I are growing our own tomatoes, peppers, butternut squash, zucchini, asparagus, and rhubarb.  I've given away a majority of the rhubarb.  I just haven't gotten adventurous enough to make anything with it yet.  I have had a lot of fun experimenting different ways to prepare the rest of them though: 

  1. Grilled in a foil pocket.  Tear off a decent size sheet of aluminum foil.  Rinse asparagus and place into the center of the foil.  Drizzle olive oil over the asparagus stalks.  Sprinkle generously with Lawry's Lemon Pepper Seasoning.  Optional: sprinkle with minced garlic or garlic powder as well.  Fold foil around asparagus to create a nice little pouch.  Throw on grill (medium flame) while you have burgers or whatever else cooking.  Flip once. Total time: 10-15 minutes and you are good to go.
  2. Sautéed. Chop asaparagus into two inch pieces.  Chop zucchini into bite size hunks, skin and all.  Throw into a large skillet or wok type frying pan.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Add about 1/2tsp to 1tsp of minced garlic.  Sprinkle generously with Mrs. Dash and lightly sprinkle in some Lawry's Seasoned Salt.  Optional: add four tablespoon hunks of salted butter to the pan as well for additional flavor.
  3. Oven roasted.  Lay out fresh asparagus on any baking pan/sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with minced garlic and salt-n-pepper.  Cook at 375 for about 20-25 minutes depending upon thickness of stalks.  Just keep an eye that they don't get too crispy.
Squash (zucchini, butternut, etc):
  1. Grilled in a foil pocket (see above).
  2. Sautéed on the stove with olive oil and seasonings (see above).
  3. Kabobs! I like to cube up chicken, various squashes, and large portobello mushrooms into slightly larger than bite-sized hunks and marinate for an hour in a mixture of equal parts Italian dressing and Franks Red Hot BuffaloWings sauce.  For the same period of time I have the kabob sticks soaking in luke warm water.  Assemble in whatever order you desire on the kabob stick and grill on the bbq over low to medium heat turning occasionally.  YUM!
  1. Kabobs (see above.)
  2. Sautéed on the stove olive oil and seasonings (see above).
  3. Slice thin on a big, juicy burger.
  4. Diced up in pasta salads.  Maybe one day I'll share my dad's top-secret macaroni salad recipe. He and I don't use measurements though, so I really have to think about how to put it into recipe format.
  5. Open faced sandwich. Coat a slice of white or wheat bread (or whatever bread you prefer) with mayo, sprinkle with salt and pepper, put a thin slice or two of tomato on and top with a slice of american or provolone.  Toast in toaster oven until cheese is all melty.  Enjoy, rinse, repeat. You get the picture.
  6. Chicken roll-ups.  Take some boneless, skinless, thinly sliced chicken breasts and layer on thinly slice tomato and any form of shredded cheese.  Roll up gently, so as not to lose your filling.  Hold with a toothpick or two.  Coat outside with a thin layer of mayo.  Sprinkle with italian seasoned bread crumbs.  Bake for about 35 minutes at 375. 
Now that I'm good and hungry for a veggie filled dish, I will go attempt to enjoy the Special K Vanilla Almond cereal I packed for lunch.  Bon appetit!

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