Tag Archives: Vegetables

Asian Napa Cabbage Slaw

1 large head Napa Cabbage, shredded
1 (3 ounce) package chicken ramen noodles
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 cup slivered almonds
6 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/8 cup white sugar

Crush ramen noodles, place them in a medium skillet and brown in butter over medium heat. Add almonds and sesame seeds. Stir often to prevent burning and add powdered seasoning mix from ramen noodles. Toss in a large bowl with cabbage and onions.
Prepare the dressing by whisking together the vegetable oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar. Pour over salad, toss and serve.

This slaw is my current obsession (and a recipe that calls for ramen noodles-it has to be delicious)! Don’t freak out because of the ingredients just yet because there are a couple alterations we do when making this. In trying to still keep down the calories and carbs, we use one packet of sweet-n-low instead of the sugar, and some non-stick spray instead of the butter. Of course, you can play with using something different other than almonds if you prefer, as well as the oils and vinegar.
Enjoy this cold slaw/salad at your next BBQ or even as a quick side dish during the week. Try it out and let me know what you think!


Broccoli, Tomato and Cheese Strata

In the past, we’ve made several variations of quiches and frittatas for breakfast and brunch get-togethers but Erin thought we should try something different this past weekend. Similar to a frittata or a quiche, this casserole has an egg base with several other ingredients to make an all-in-one meal.

4 1/2 cups French Bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
6 oz. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 cup Grape Tomatoes, halved
1 cup Broccoli Florets
1 1/2 tbsp. Fresh Parsley, chopped
8 Eggs
3 cups Milk
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp. Pepper
4 oz. Ricotta Cheese
1 tsp. Basil, chopped

Place cubed bread in a buttered 9×13 inch baking dish. Top bread with 1 cup cheddar cheese, tomatoes, broccoli and 1 tbsp. parsley.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Pour egg mixture over break and gently press to soak every cube. Add dollops of ricotta over top of dish. Sprinkle strata with basil and remaining cheddar cheese. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Remove strata from refrigerator and bring to room temperature (about 1 hour).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees farenheit. Bake until strata is puffed and lightly golden brown, about 1 hour. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes before serving and garnish with remaining parsley.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Think of this as a breakfast bread pudding; warm, rich, filling, and delicious! This was a huge hit at this past weekend’s brunch and was the first dish that was gone. There’s always room for a hot casserole-type dish whether your hosting or going to someone’s house; this recipe was very good and will definitely be used again for our breakfast/brunch outings.

This variation had several kinds of vegetables but it would be very easy to mix it up – you could make the same recipe with spinach and feta, or with onions, peppers, and mushrooms, or really any other variation that your family likes. In this variation, we didn’t add meat to keep the dish kosher, but it would be very easy to add breakfast sausage or chicken to really make this a one dish breakfast.

For the cuts that can be made, you can always use Egg Beaters or Egg Whites (the kind that come in the pre-made container) that contain almost no calories, fat or carbs but still have protein, you can use fat-free milk or fat-free half and half, you can always use reduced fat cheeses, and you can even find whole grain French bread at grocery stores like Balducci’s or Whole Foods.

Regardless whether or not you make a couple calorie cuts, this dish is an easy way to prepare for a meal if you’re having company or even if you’d like to sleep in a little longer since all the prep work is done the night before. Enjoy the idea and share your family’s variations!

Spaghetti Squash — Get it while it’s in season!!

If you’ve never tried Spaghetti Squash, you need to do it… fast! Spaghetti squash is a GREAT alternative to spaghetti noodles and is even a great side dish with chicken or fish, but is only around in the autumn months. And if it’s time to cut a couple calories after Thanksgiving weekend, this is a great way to do it!

There are a couple ways to cook the squash – regardless of how you cook it, you will need to cut it in half, length-wise, and scoop out the seeds and strings (just like a pumpkin). After it has been cooked, take a dinner fork and run the prongs down the inside of the squash and you will get long strings of squash that resemble spaghetti (hence the name). For best results, let the squash sit in a colander to rest/drain for about 10 minutes.

Ways to cook it…
If you want to boil it, get a big pot of water to a rolling boil and stick in the halves for 20 minutes; when you take it out, let it set for about 10 minutes then take a fork and run it down the inside until nothing is left but the skin. Let sit so moisture drains.

If you want to microwave it, put the halves in a glass, microwave-safe dish, add about a ¼ cup of water and cook for 12 minutes; once the timer goes off, take a fork to the inside. Let sit so moisture drains.

If you want to oven roast it, bake the halves at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, in a baking dish, for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and run your fork through the squash. Let sit so moisture drains.

Ways to prepare it…
We like to use spaghetti squash as an alternative to spaghetti noodles so we normally put meat/red sauce over it, but you can also have it as a delicious, fall vegetable side dish. Add salt and pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon and/or allspice, and a little butter to your liking and it will pair great with chicken or fish. If you’re looking for a vegetable side dish for red meat, use something a little heavier like a roasted butternut squash or a sweet potato.

Let me know how you used spaghetti squash at home!

Roasted White Asparagus

1 bunch White Asparagus
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Pepper
1 Teaspoon Oregano
1 Teaspoon Basil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat asparagus with Olive Oil in a baking dish, then add spices. Ensure all spices are distributed evenly and move asparagus to a baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until asparagus is at desired tenderness.

If you’ve not had white asparagus, you need to try it — it tastes completely different than green asparagus (it’s sweeter, more meaty, and doesn’t have that typical asparagus smell). I couldn’t find this at the local Giant, but walked right into Whole Foods and found it within a couple seconds. This recipe is a really simple way to serve asparagus (the recipe can really be used for any type of vegetable you are looking to roast) and a much better way to cook vegetables instead of boiling them or drowning them in butter.