Saturday, September 13, 2014

Seven Day Veggie Challenge

I suddenly got sick of salads so every day this week I will pick up a different vegetable and figure out how to prepare it. 

Saturday, Breakfast
Whipped egg, garden tomatoes, Edamame, Cob's Chia bread

Here's the thing. For the past few months I have been putting together fresh salads from the Buttercrunch lettuce in my garden. Fall has arrived, the lettuce is done and I have been replacing my garden lettuce with the bagged stuff. It's just not the same. Definitely not the same a day old. I figure my sudden dislike for fresh salad is not the veggie's fault.  Respect the vegetable. Instead of trying to pick together a salad with day-old ingredients, I will pick fresh then decide how to prepare. 

Sunday, Dinner

Kale with pasta, bologna, tomatoes, and sunflower seeds. I racked up some PC points at Superstore for buying two bundles. Here is the recipe
I substituted the bacon, the sun dried tomatoes, and the Parmesan with bologna, fresh tomatoes, and sunflower seeds. I added a tablespoon of olive oil to make up for the missing bacon fat. I was surprised that hubby gobbled it up, since he has told me many times he does not like his pasta green. It just goes to show that everything goes with bacon. 

Monday, Lunch in my Bento Box
Kohlrabi coleslaw with mustard and carrot. Fine and crisp, great texture. Next time I will peel the Kohlrabi. My coleslaw looks different from the recipe because I grated my vegetables funny. I used my Mandoline to slice the Kohlrabi and my extra fine grater for the carrot. Served with Finn crisps that I tolerate nicely, along with home-made hummus. I freeze mini portions that are just right for lunches. 

Tuesday, Breakfast
Stuffed Bell Pepper with Egg

Here's the recipe I modified with impunity, to my tastes and what was available in the cupboard. Instead of squash I microwaved a potato with the garlic, olive oil and onion. Instead of feta and ricotta I used quark. I scrambled the egg because that is how we like it, and I skipped the marinara sauce. This is served with a bit of reduced sauce from the Kale recipe a few days ago. I could not convince hubby that this was a breakfast, but he promised to try it later. We shall see.        

Why seven days? Wouldn't a thirty day or a 365 day challenge be punchier? Sure, but I have fallen in love with winning. A lesson learned from my year-long weight loss is that goals must be achievable. Seven days I can do. 

Wednesday, Dinner, Okra with Lemon Basil dip and honey baked lentils
I wondered when a web description mentioned, "slimy". But I hardly noticed with these crisp, grilled Okra. The lemony smooth dip might have hidden the slippery part. I replaced the strained yogurt with Quark; much faster to prepare. 

Why all the substitutions you ask? I am watching the budget. If there is a replacement readily available in the fridge, that's what I do. I figure necessity is the mother of invention, far more creative than the canned recipes that Martha Stewart offers. Like all adventures, sometimes the substitution works, sometimes it doesn't.

I was right about the stuffed peppers. Hubby managed to avoid them completely, so I am sending the leftovers home with my daughter. She loved them, by the way. 

Two more days. These last few days will be an extra challenge, as I will be on the road. How does Cheez Whiz on celery sound? Veggie gummies don't count.

Thursday, Breakfast, Fried Green Tomatoes and Peppers with Lemon Basil Dip
I replaced the sour cream with the ubiquitous Quark, and rounded out my supply of green tomatoes (the final fall offerings from the tomato plant) with a bell pepper. The dip is fresh and delicious so I used up the remainder from last night. After this I will not be in my own kitchen, so we shall see what vegetables will be available on the road. 

Friday, Breakfast, Green Onions on Scrambled Eggs

Saturday, Breakfast, Omelet with Tomatoes, Green Pepper, and Onions

I was quite right. Great vegetables are hard to find on the road, though I can't complain about the buffet offered at the Executive Royal Hotel in Calgary. 

That's it! My seven day challenge is over. My confidence in vegetables is restored, as long as I seek them out fresh and in season. And step out of my comfort zone now and again.

During the long winter season, my sister points out that frozen is freshest. That's when I will seek out ways to prepare Edamame and spinach along with the tried-and-true "mixed vegetables".  

This recipe for Spaghetti Squash and Kale Gratin looks intriguing...