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Jan 26, 2007 02:09 PM

I went crazy with vegetables. What do I do with them now?

Hi Hounds--- I'm trying to eat a little healthier, cooking more at home, avoiding eating so much meat. I went a little nutty at the market over the past few days and now find myself with a fridge full of veggies that I have no idea how to cook.

Here's my inventory... can you give me some suggestions on what I should make? I should tell you that my fiancee is Taiwanese, and as such has a bias against eating raw veggies. (She prefers pan fried.)

The only rules are that I'd like to use as many veggies as possible... maybe I could make some of them into a flavorful stock? I've never made a veggie stock before, but I have had great luck making chicken stocks. What would you suggest?

I was thinking we could probably make a delicious chinesey dish of bok choy and shiitake mushrooms, but I have no idea how to make a sauce for it.

Also, I'm not opposed to adding other ingredients, but if it is meat I would prefer to stick with chicken and fish.

Lastly, I've marked with a ** those veggies which are getting a little sweaty and that I should probably use right away.


2 shallots
TJ's "Emperors New Cloves" (funny little 1-clove garlic bulbs)
Sliced lotus root
** diced onions
yellow and orange pepper
** Fresh herbs (Rosemary, mint, sage, thyme, marjoram)
Shiitake mushrooms (package of 8)
3 heads baby bok choy
1/2 bag arugula
TJ's "fresh harvest medley" (cubed mix of raw yam. butternut squash and turnip)
bag of carrots
** bag of celery
1/2 bag diced stir fry veggies (bok chow, sugar snaps, snow peas)
** small box of fresh red currants, which are too sour to eat straight

Thanks 'hounds!

Mr Taster
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  1. Bok Choy & Shitake Mushrooms in Oyster Sauce - Saute the mushrooms in a little oil, ginger and lots of garlic. Add about a 1/4 cup of chinese rice wine. Then add Bok Choy and stir-fry for about a minute. Add 1/2 cup of water and more chinese rice wine. In a separate bowl, combine 4-5 tbspns of oyster sauce, 1 tbsp of cornstarch and a tsp of sesame oil. add to pan and let come to a boil.

    You could also use the rest of the veggies to make a garlic fried rice. scramble a couple of eggs, set aside. stir fry all the veggies in oil, and lots of garlic. add salt and a dash of soy. you may need a little more oil to accommodate the rice you are about to throw in. mix in the rice, add more salt/soy/garlic salt to taste, a little cayenne and in the end, some fresh bean sprouts, scallions, and the egg.

    btw, pardon my avatar.

    1. I would make a random vegetable pasta dish - saute diced onions, a little bit of diced celery and diced yellow or red pepper in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil until soft - season with salt and pepper, then add the garlic and shortly after the mushrooms (unless you use them in the above recipe which sounds good). Saute until the mushrooms are almost done, then add the arugula and some fresh herbs (I would use a bit of rosemary, thyme and marjoram) and a splash of white wine and/or squirt of lemon. Take off the heat and stir in a little bit of heavy cream (1/4 cup or even a bit less) if you've got it - if not, just use a bit more olive oil in the beginning or use an olive oil and butter mix (maybe 2T olive oil and 1 T butter) (do NOT use milk - especially if you put in the wine or lemon juice), mix with cooked pasta, adjust salt and pepper and top with a little bit parmesean.

      1. I am always trying to rescue my vegs before they get too sweaty. Veg stock or chix stock is a good problem solver, esp. b/c you have two ingredients that I always have trouble using up, celery and sage, although a bag of celery is always a good excuse for bloody marys. The sage you could use with your carrots and make carrot fritters -->

        about 1-2 cups grated carrots
        chopped/pulsed sage
        1 egg
        about 1/2 cup flour
        1/4 tsp baking powder
        about 1/2 cup milk

        Mix dry ingredients together. Mix wet ingredients with carrots, add dry ingredients and mix, cook in pan in sesame oil. Mini ones make a good snack, bigger ones are almost like a carrot burger, good w/dipping sauce like seasoned rice vinegar. Also goes nicelyw/salad, I like butter lettuce (or your arugula) and tomato w/goat cheese and vinegrette --> you can use your shallots to make the vinegrette.

        Veg stock uses a bunch of your ingredients, or can. I make variations on Bittman's (How to Cook Everything p. 50) and Deborah Madison's (Veg. Cooking for Everyone pp. 196-198). Also, her garlic and herb broth is easy, not too heavy, and nice to cook little potatoes, kale etc.

        Also, here is an easy stir fry sauce a friend gave me, goes w/your vegs and brown rice or soba noodles:

        Whisk and let stand 15 mins:
        1/2 cup tamari
        1/2 cup water
        1 Tbs. dry sherry or rice wine
        1Tbs. grated ginger
        1/2 cup minced scallions
        1 sm. clove crushed garlic
        2 tsp. sesame oil

        Optional (add both or neither):
        2 tsp. dark vinegar
        2 tsp. sugar

        Also, while my stock is simmering, I sometimes clean out the fridge of whatever didn't make it in there and cook up little veg. dishes so they'll keep for a little more, like sautee mushrooms or make roasted red peppers to use in sanwiches or salad.

        1. I'd go with one of the above suggestions (or a combination of them) for the mushrooms, bok choy, and mixed stir fry veggies.

          I'd definitely try to roast the yam, squash, and turnip collection. Toss with some oil (olive oil if you have it) and a little salt. Roast in a very hot oven -- 400-450. The timing will vary with your oven and the size of the veggies (they are cubed, right?). Check after 8-10 minutes and watch. They should get a little carmelized -- then stir and roast until tender. I didn't eat sweet potatoes, but now love them roasted with rutabagas (also called yellow turnips or wax turnips).

          1. harvest medley and carrots plus the yellow/orange peppers, along with some of the onion and herbs to make a pureed veggie soup.

            macerate the currants in red wine or port and make a sauce for chicken. or soak them in grand marnier, cinnamon and cloves and pour that over vanilla ice cream, or plain pound cake.