what's the healthiest, vegetabliest dinner you can think of?
I need to catch up on my vitamins and lose a few pounds this week. My healthiest, vegetabliest dinner is usuallly just a big pile of steamed vegetables with tahini dressing on them, but I'm bored and uninspired. What do you like to eat after your weekend overindulgences? Soups, big salads, hippie food...
Believe it or not, the simplest vegetables you can prepare in a microwave with maybe a sprinkle of salt and a dribble of olive oil, maybe a scant couple of tablespoons of water. That includes zucchini, green beans, squash, carrots, greens of all kinds, you name it. Easy to make, healthy, no leaching of flavor by the boiling water. Add herbs if you like. Limited only by your imagination. The olive oil and touch of sdalt makes all the difference.
Soba noodles cooked and cooled with ice water. Piles of thinly sliced veggies - whatever is in the fridge. Sauce of soy sauce, rice wine, garlic, Sriracha sauce, ginger, sesame oil - I keep mixing and adding until it tastes good. Then a handful of sesame seeds and sliced green onions on top.
Obviously a better warm-weather dish than cold weather.
Fusion Ethiopian, so to speak - serve any or all of the following with injera:
Cottage cheese (dry curd or drained for a while)
Rutabaga (yellow turnip) pureed with a bit of butter
Cabbage/Carrots cooked per Ethiopian recipe
Kale (or collards) with Ethiopian spices or right out of the can (but drained very well)
Lentil salad (lentils cooked and drained well, toss with just a little vinegar or Italian dressing and add chopped fresh jalapeno and onion)
In this weather as it gets colder, vegetarian chickpea stews like:
lebanese vegetable stew:
On the cabbage soup idea, sautee a bunch of onions, add most of a head of cabbage shredded, stir around and let soften, then add broth to cover, 1/2 & 1/2 beef & chicken is good, plus 1 c white wine and (this is the kicker) the juice and yellow peel of a whole lemon. Use a sharp vegetable peeler to take it off in big strips & throw them right in. If you feel inspired, use a meyer lemon. Simmer briefly then puree--man, I love those wand blenders.
If you feel like enriching it, a dollop on top of mixed sour cream (n/f is ok), dijon mustard, and chopped herbs, esp tarragon. Yum, yum, yum.
Lentil soup is also pretty wholesome and guilt free, and it will absorb a lot of veggies. My German cookbook calls for a whole onion, a small celery root, a couple carrots, a parsnip, a couple stalks celery, and at your discretion, a small turnip. The best thing, you can use the shred disk of a food processor on all the veggies, then dump them in the pot with 1/2 lb lentils picked over and a quart or so of water, broth if you are feeling intrepid, and just simmer it til done. Talk about easy. And with this crummy weather, wouldn't something hearty hit the spot?
If you haven't checked out soupsong.com, you will find it full of ways to make vegetables interesting.
It's the wrong season for gazpacho, but I nominate goi ga (vietnamese cabbage & chicken salad). A recipe is floating around among the past posts here oh CH, but you mix sliced poached chicken with chopped cabbage, mint, cilantro, sliced shallots, roasted peanuts, all dressed with lime juice and fish sauce.
I've become slightly addicted to the Indian-style braised cauliflower recipe from All About Braising. I can't remember the recipe exactly, but it involved frying a spice mix of cumin seed, coriander seed, turmeric, jalapeno and ginger, then adding cauliflower, onions, cabbage and potatoes plus a little chicken stock and letting it simmer for 20 minutes or so. I eat it with brown rice, and a little yogurt and Indian lime pickle on the side. It's easy enough for a weeknight and the leftovers taste even better next day. It's a very healthy,very easy and very tasty dinner. I've just convinced myself to make it tonight!
Spaghetti squash with tomato sauce and steamed/roasted veggies.
Veggie stir-fry (use little oil) wrapped in lettuce leaves.
Meatless taco salad - crunchy greens topped with chopped peppers, diced cucumbers, chopped red onions, fat-free refried beans, chunky salsa and chopped cilantro.
Cabbage soup (yeah, I know, not very original).
Tofu and veggie hotpot - lightly steam veggies and tofu (they need to have bite), then dunk them in simmering seasoned broth.
Steamed veggies topped with thick lentil/split pea soup.
Cottage cheese mixed with sliced radishes, bean sprouts (not the long kind, the round crunchy kind), chopped cucumbers, scallions, chopped broccoli, and either salsa or hot sauce. (This looks gross but tastes great.)