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Healthy, Low-Calorie, Enjoyable Vegetable Dishes

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What I've been cooking about once a month and actually have in my 'fridge right now.

 

Roast in oven your favorite selection of coursely chopped fresh vegetables, tossed with a bit of olive oil and salt. Mine has

 

1 red onion

1 fennel bulb

1 eggplant

1 carrot

1 zucchini

1 turnip

1 orange bell pepper

handful of mushrooms

 

While roasting, cook 1 cup of your favorite grain. The one I have right now is Forbidden Black Rice.

 

Toss together. Dress if desired. Sometimes I'll make an oil/vinegar/mustard dressing and right now, I'm happy with it just as is; just vegetables and rice. Works hot or cold.

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Salad.

 

And by salad I mean, fresh greens, sliced apple, chopped carrot, diced onion, maybe some avocado and a hard boiled egg.

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1) Take a bunch of escarole, or dandelion greens or even arugula. Blanch until just tender, then shock with cold water. Sautee diced shallot in olive oil until translucent, then add greens and some salt. Sautee for about five minutes or so. Squeeze some lemon over it and scoop up with pita bread. Goes particularly well with lentil dishes.

 

2) Peel and slice some oranges. Slice fennel crosswise, then again lengthwise very thinly and use to top the oranges. Dress with the reserved orange juice, a little vinegar and oil, a little salt and cracked black pepper.

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Braised Kale:

 

Slice up some shallots and garlic, let that saute for a little while in some olive oil.

 

Add some kale and pour a lot of chicken stock on top. Add some white wine too, if you have it. Let it simmer, then put it at medium heat with a lid on the pot. I don't know for how long - I just do it until the kale seems soft enough.

 

I usually have this with jasmine rice, scrambled egg whites, and a side of kimchi.

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Is this a nutritional off-set for your duck confit?

 

Braised greens. Trader Joe's sells bags of mixed greens (collards, mustard, turnip). Sweat some shallot, garlic and red pepper flakes in a little olive oil. Add the greens gradually, adding more as they wilt down, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go. Cover with low-sodium chicken stock (homemade is best, of course) and simmer for a couple of hours. Add a few shots of cider vinegar and you're good to go. You probably could even leave out the sweating in olive oil part if you're an anti-fat fanatic. And water works almost as well if you're anti-animal products. I've also done this with a frozen mix of turnip greens and turnips that came out fine.

 

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We need to give him something besides braised greens!

 

Okay, roast an eggplant. Over a gas stove or under a broiler until the skin is charred black. Peel and dice. Sautee garlic, ginger, onion, tomato, add eggplant, cumin, coriander, turmeric, salt pepper and a little fresh cilantro right at the end. Great with yogurt.

 

For the summer:

 

gazpacho !

 

Also, lots of summer vegetable salads:

blanched green beans with red and yellow cherry tomatoes

boiled new potatoe and green bean salad

boiled potato, roasted red pepper and tuna

asian style slaws

etc...

 

Oh, and the asian stuff:

 

blanched mustard greens (or most other greens) with oyster sauce

charred eggplant and diced tomato with soy, sesame oil and black vinegar dressing

thinly sliced cucumbers rubbed with salt, let sit for 10 minutes, then rinsed and seasoned with rice vinegar

stir fried green beans with ginger and garlic

 

spring: asparagus is really healthy. The green kind is great stir fried, roasted, grilled etc.

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Pour a tablespoon of canola oil into a frying pan. Add a teaspoon each of black onion seed,(nigella), brown mustard seed, whole fennel seed, whole cumin, whole fenugreek and ground turmeric. Also a couple minced garlic cloves, a few slices of minced fresh ginger and half a serrano pepper, minced.

 

Turn on the heat and saute gently. Add chopped greens, eggplant, whatever you want. I do a lot of chard and spinach. Add a splash water, cover and simmer on the lowest heat you can get. Take the cover off, give it a few minutes on higher heat. Serve with brown rice.

 

Sounds like a lot of work but I just buy my spices in bulk, keep them all their plastic baggies in one place in the pantry. Pull them out when needed.

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lentil or chickpea-spinach soup with a little tahini and cayenne

 

zucchini carpaccio salad with arugula and parmigiano (Gourmet recipe)

 

boiled artichokes with a little olive oil with garlic & parsley to dip the leaves in

 

escarole salad with mint & basil, sprinkled with a little parmigiano

 

carrots with a touch of honey and basil (cook sliced in little water, heat some olive oil, add honey and carrots, finish off with basil)

 

endive & arugula salad with toasted pecans and pomegranate seeds (something i once had at Zuni Cafe)

 

broccoli and cauliflower steamed, tollsd in a little olive oil with minced garlic and black olives, then baked with a little grated cheese and breadcrumbs on top

 

this is terrific - i can't wait for asparagus: asparagus, peas and oyster mushrooms with tarragon (Melissa Clark's recipe for the Times)

 

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We need to give him something besides braised greens!

 

You know that's what he really wants, someone to cook for him. Must be lonely at the country estate.

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