“July is the only time of year when country people lock our cars in the church parking lot, so people don’t put squash on the front seat. I used to think that was a joke.”
I did not realize until I was in my 20’s that I was hopelessly in love with zucchini, squash, onions, sprouts and a great many other veggies… How does one not know they love veggies? I haven’t a clue. I’m sure I’ve tried many of them a time or two before. Maybe my tastes had matured or shifted or maybe I just plain had not been paying attention to what I ate, until I was cooking for myself and my family daily. I often feel like I’m obsessed about a veggie until I find just the right way for me, to cook it. The right way for me is often the one that is quick, easy and highlights the natural flavor of the veggie of choice. Bonus points if my kids eat it without Mom begging and giving the ” Oh you best be taking that polite taste bite” dagger eye thing that ALL Mom’s have MASTERED!
I was sitting, waiting at soccer practice, letting a rolling ticker of all the things left to do in that day play through my head. Ugh! Dinner. Dinner can feel like a bad word sometimes, like that thing that shall not be named that sucks of your time, money and leaves a huge mess to clean up.
Adding clean up dinner mess to the ticker, too.
That was my Ah Ha Oprah moment!
If I simplified and stream lined what I was doing in the kitchen, I wouldn’t feel the pull of the Golden Arches… don’t judge, you know every busy parent can’t help but feel the desperate pull of fast foods or take out when your family is on the run, all in different directions. However, the cost of fast foods is shocking to feed our large family and the health impact of those high fat foods is very sad. I want better for my family! You want better for your family! It’s up to us to be the change we want to see. Change starts with us, start your revolution in your kitchen!
I took a look at the fresh veggies I keep on hand and tossed different combinations together, looking for faster yet full flavor recipes.
This rapidly became a staple veggie dish in our house that can be used with any variety of veggies you can think of. This is just the basic dish I make, add what ever extra veggies to it that you enjoy.
This is also a great dish to toss together to use up veggies before they become sad and soggy in the fridge.
10 Minutes start to finish, chop it, put it in your pot and enjoy a healthy tasty side in no time!
I am drawn to zucchini and squashes. It’s a good bet that I have some on hand, most of the time.
Wash your zucchini and squash and cut them lengthwise down the center. Put those two halves together and chop them into bite size chunks. Remember, cutting them super thin will cause them to cook too quickly but if you make them too large, it wont cook well and may be to large to eat without cutting first.
I take my favorite pot… Le Creuset French Oven Series http://www.williams-sonoma.com/shop/cookware/cookware-le-creuset/ William Sonoma is my favorite retailer of the Le Creuset Cast iron pots. William Sonoma is my high end happiest place on earth to window shop at or oogle their catalogs. Love Love William Sonoma!! Find it on Amazon or Sur la Table. You can even find them on QVC. If you have ever owned a Le Creuset pot, you understand how someone could both love and respect a piece of cookware. You can read my ode to my Blue Pot HERE.
Well, yes I do need a vacation but no, not to a padded room. I’m serious, BEST BEST BEST pot I ever owned! I wish I could afford to own them in all sizes, but they will come over time and each one will be that much more special. They are wonderful and worth every single penny in my not too humble opinion. 😉
In my pot I add 2 tablespoons of butter and my desired amount of crushed garlic. I tend to be heavy on the garlic but normal humans tend to enjoy a tsp or 2 of crushed garlic. I set the heat to medium and let my butter and garlic melt down and tango into a delicious sauce that will flavor ALL of your veggies. A little bit goes a long way with flavor.
I was making other dishes and had set aside a variety of bell peppers and some onion. I included about a handful of each of them. The peppers and onions bring such a wonderful flavor to the other veggies.
Toss all your veggies into your pot. This is where you can add what ever you have on hand. Bean sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, what ever floats your boat! Sprinkle your pot with Seasoned Salt, Garlic Salt or Kosher Salt and pepper if you wish. I include a couple dashes of soy sauce or the equivalent of a take out package of soy sauce. I totally save take out mustard, ketchup, soy sauce, etc… they are great in a pinch or for lunches and picnics.
Mix the veggies up so that your buttery garlic tango lightly coats everything.
Put the lid on your pot and turn the heat down to simmer.
File your nails, update on Facebook, read your kids a story, work on the rest of the meal… do what ever you like for 7-10 minutes & then eat!
I do tend to stir it at least once but you really don’t want to disturb the steamy hot action going on in your pot. It’s a love connection in there! All of those wonderful flavors and colors are falling in love and transforming the flavor of my dinner with zero help from me. Love it when things really are that easy.
It’s quick and great as a side, tossed with plain pasta or tossed into your spaghetti.
Many of us are watching portion sizes and doing our best to make the healthier choice. When I mix these veggies into a small portion of spaghetti, I can’t come close to finishing it. It’s very filling and gives the illusion that your eating more than you are. It’s a great trick I use when I’m trying to shed my winter coat.
There are so many vegetables out there to eat our way through. Every bite you take of a fruit or veggie is a bite in the right direction for health, longevity, overall happiness and because they taste so dang good!
I’m not a rabbit but we don’t have to be to enjoy new health giving practices every time we sit down at the table together.
Don’t be afraid to try to cook something new. It’s totally OK to learn as you go. If you never try, you’ll never fail but then again you’ll also miss out on all the possibilities that could come from it as well.
Chopping my way to cheaper and easier dinners!
With Lots of Colorful Veggies,