YOUR VEGGIE’S BEST FRIEND – MORE RECIPES – Part 2
As I promised in last week’s post, Your Veggie’s Best Friend, we’re going to continue the conversation this week with added ways to enjoy your veggies.
This week, I’m sharing recipe ideas for sauces, dips, and a few other bonus creations. When it comes to putting together veggies in the kitchen with other delectable tastes … the ideas and possibilities are endless.
It’s just a matter of empowering yourself to CHOOSE to experiment in the kitchen. Put on your apron (and crank up the tunes) and boogie on down to your kitchen. And, don’t forget to give your expectations a break. When you’re in the experimentation mode, recognize ahead of time that results may vary.
Sometimes, they’re WAY better!
Sometimes they’re WAY not.
Here’s an example from my own kitchen. For years now, I’ve been searching (more off than on) for a recipe for one of my favorite treats found in Oahu. It’s officially called an oatcake, but I call ‘em Hawaiian Hockey Pucks. They’re very dry (not cake-like at all), not sweet, extremely dense, and feature bits of cranberries and walnuts. Of course, they’re shaped just like hockey pucks.
I’ve hiked to various bakeries in Waikiki trying to wheedle the recipe out of them, to no avail. I found one online stating it’s the “Official Hawaiian Oatcake” recipe, but the ingredients didn’t look right. I tried it anyway with unfavorable results. That’s what experimentations are all about. They actually didn’t taste all that bad, but I tossed ‘em anyway. To say they crumbled was an understatement. Each muffin tin held a pile of oaty-flavored rubble.
But next time … I’ll get it just right.
That’s the fun of experimentations. Most of the time, my kitchen escapades turn out good if not great. The point is — they don’t always turn out as expected.
My kitchen experiments include a lot of substitutions. A friend of mine (thanks Karen!) emailed me recently asking for healthier substitution ideas for a Shake ‘n Bake mix. That’s a great question because almost none of the ingredients in Shake ‘n Bake are found in my kitchen, or probably yours either. (The exceptions would be salt, vinegar, and paprika – I have those.) Do you cook with partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils (i.e. trans fats), wheat flour, caramel colorings, beet powder, or sodium silicoaluminate? Didn’t think so.
I shared with my friend my favorite meal planning phrase – experiment! I Googled a few recipes and made suggestions for substitutions (*i.e. replace ‘bread crumbs’ with almond meal and/or flax meal, omit dairy, etc.*).
Here are the two recipes I tripped over:
While both of these recipes happen to suggest using chicken, the coatings would be equally delicious on sweet potatoes, zucchini, onions, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots or other veggies you’d like to bake.
And, there’s more! The following recipe really packs a tasty punch. Pair your veggies with something sweet, spicy and tingly via this chutney-like dip. Of course, it would also be great served as a sauce on top of grilled items such as veggies and fish.
2-3 Mangos, diced and peeled
½ C Apple Cider Vinegar
½ C Golden Raisins
½ C Red Onion
Fresh Ginger (grated – approximately 1 TB)
1 Minced Hot Pepper (Anaheim peppers are relatively mild with jalapeno or Serrano peppers kicking it up a notch)
½ C Coconut crystals (or preferred natural sweetener)
Place all ingredients into a heavy pan and boil. Cook for about 15 minutes until it reaches desired thickness. Make sure the mangos have softened. Cool and serve.
This recipe is completely flexible. Add or omit ingredients to your preference. Can substitute and/or add pineapple, peaches, melons, veggies, nuts, and seeds.
Looking for a cool as a cucumber dip for your next party? Try this:
1/2 Cucumber, chopped
½ C Salsa
2 Avocados, pits removed and chopped
¼ C Red Onion
Diced Fresh Herbs, flat leaf parsley, basil, cilantro, or mint
½ C Lemon Juice
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
Mix with a fork and enjoy! This is just a basic guacamole-like recipe. Can add fruits if desired such as mangos, peaches, pineapple, grapes, or strawberries. Also, experiment with chopped veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, or zucchini, or add cooked black or white beans.
Did this post get your creative juices flowing? Dips, sauces, and chutneys can make any meal feel like a party. What veggies will you try with these recipes? Do share below!