This week’s organic delivery box had watermelon, eggplant, radish, cilantro, carrot, fennel, chard, baby mixed lettuce, shishito pepper, yellow globe zucchini, and tomato.
You’re looking for easy vegetable recipes, so I took the carrots, fennel, eggplant, and green beans and gave you a warm dinner salad, a mixed veggie main dish, a pasta sauce, and a side dish.
I made the green beans 2 ways since there was more than a pound of them. First I made a warm dinner salad and then hearty roasted vegetables that could be a meal in itself.
The carrots and fennel were roasted in a simple, elegant side dish.
And both eggplants were used in a vegan bolognese sauce. Yum!
My Yorkie, Bodhi loves green beans so he snagged a few that I dropped while taking them out of the bag to break them. Yuki doesn’t have any interest in green beans for some reason.
They both love watermelon though.
Wilted Spinach Salad with Green Beans, Cranberries and Walnuts
I started with the inspiration of this recipe and then decided to turn it into a spinach salad.
Changes I made:
I only used a handful of green beans for my salad.
I made the beans earlier in the day before I made the salad. I cooked them for 3 minutes and scooped them out of the pan and into a bowl to cool. I cooked them less time because I knew I wasn’t going to put them in cold water since I didn’t need to use them right away.
I used a big clove of garlic because I like garlic.
I didn’t use any butter, just enough olive oil to saute the garlic.
I didn’t toast the walnuts, just because I didn’t feel like taking the time to do it.
I used a handful of walnuts, a little less than a handful of cranberries. I judged it by sight of how it looked when I sprinkled them on, gauging it by my indifference to cranberries.
I juiced half a lemon.
After everything was warmed together to mix the flavors I added a bunch of chopped spinach and stirred it in just long enough to wilt it slightly.
Then I drizzled olive oil over the top.
I didn’t use the feta or lemon zest. If you’re not vegan and you don’t like feta, goat cheese is a good alternative.
So much of cooking is subjective, depending on what you like and what you feel like doing. With a salad, even more so.
I saved the rest of the green beans for my next recipe.
When you go to the recipe pages, you’ll see that my food is never as pretty. I’m not a food photographer and I only make the recipe once and then eat it. So don’t judge yourself if your food doesn’t look like their photos.
Changes I made:
I bought tiny potatoes so I only cut them in half. I really wouldn’t have been necessary on some a lot of them that were tiny, but I did it to expose more flesh to being roasted.
I used 8 ounces of cremini mushrooms because I didn’t want that many mushrooms.
I used close to a pound of green beans.
I like garlic, so I stuck with the 8 cloves, but that’s a lot. You may want to cut back to 4.
I added oregano to the thyme because my oregano plant is growing like crazy and the 2 go so well together. So my herbs were doubled.
Go to the store and get fresh herbs. They don’t cost a lot and they add so much flavor.
If you must use dried, just sprinkle on as much as you’d like. And then toss.
This is a meal in itself, although you can also make it as a side dish.
Another thing I like about roasting is that it’s simple and so easy to do. It’s almost as easy as my Instant Pot, but not quite. 😉
This is a hearty meal, but it does take more time than most of the recipes I share with you. That doesn’t mean you’re in the kitchen all that time or that the recipe is difficult. It’s an easy recipe, it just cooks longer than most.
You could prepare the eggplant and the lentils the day before and put them in the refrigerator.
What I changed:
I roasted my eggplant cut in half, brushed with olive oil and then cut side down.
Instead of 350 for 1.5 hours, I roast at 400 for about 45 minutes. Check at 30 minutes.
I made my lentils in the Instant Pot while the eggplant was roasting.
You could make this whole sauce in the Instant Pot, including sauteing the veggies. I will do that next time.
When I see a list of vegetables that need to be chopped instead of diced or cubed, they all go into the food processor and are done in less than a minute.
That’s what I did with the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic.
In this case, since the garlic goes in right after the other veggies, I dropped it in the food processor to save time mincing it separately.
I always make sure to chop onions and garlic at least 10 minutes before they need to be cooked. It allows their vital nutrients to become more bioavailable.
Use a wine you want to drink. If it’s so cheap you won’t drink it, you won’t like how it flavors your sauce either.
If you use fresh herbs, you’ll use 3 times the amount of dried herbs. Fresh herbs always go in at the very end.
In a long cooking recipe like this where you want to develop deep flavors, it’s better to use dried herbs…just this once. 😉
Extra tomato paste can be saved by freezing it in a baggie or making ice cubes, which are 2 tablespoons. Once you have frozen cubes, you can put them in a baggie.
The easiest thing to do is use tomato paste in a tube. That way it stays fresh and it’s easy to use as little or as much as you want.
I used the Instant Pot for the pasta. The whole bag is cooked to perfection in 4 minutes.
The other thing I made this week was carrots with fennel.
This is the very first recipe I made when fennel showed up in my box last year and I had never even tasted it before.
I thought it would taste like licorice, but it doesn’t when you roast it. It’s really good.
This tastes so good with fresh organic carrots. It really is a simple, elegant dish.
And it couldn’t be easier. Just cut up the veggies, a little salt, pepper and olive oil and pop it in the oven for 20 minutes.
So now you have a warm dinner salad, a mixed veggie main dish, a pasta sauce, and a side dish.
You can find last week’s recipes here.
Health and nutrition are a big passion of mine because, without your health, all the success you can achieve is meaningless. In 1981 I started seriously studying health, nutrition, and the mind/body connection. I stopped eating meat in 1990 for health reasons and compassion for animals. In 1999 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. In 2005, the day after Christmas, I lost my mother at the age of 69 to lung cancer. Since then, helping others to regain their health by making simple changes has become a driving force in my life.
Until next time, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Just comment on this post here or on Facebook.
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With over 40 years in sales and marketing, along with 45 years studying human behavior, Lynn Pierce, “The Voice of Women Empowered to Create an Ageless Body, Mind & Soul After 50” mentors soul-based entrepreneurs to reach your own personal version of success and an ageless lifestyle. Tell Lynn what the life of your dreams looks like, and she’ll create the blueprints to get you there, along with the sales system to fund it. Lynn is the author of, “Breakthrough to Success; 19 Keys to Mastering Every Area of Your Life”. Claim your free special report, “What Do You Stand For” here