Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Veggie Odds 'N Ends
With a little imagination, the odds and ends in the fridge can be quickly turned into a satisfying meal or side dish.

This supper for one used up the last of a fresh head of cauliflower, half an orange bell pepper, half a sweet onion and a handful of frozen peas. Start the onion and pepper first. For a fat free dish, sweat the aromatics in a little water, adding a bit more as needed. Don't boil them, just gently sweat them to semi-soft state over medium heat in a pan large enough to give them breathing room. Slice the cauliflowerets and add them along with a pinch of sea salt when the aromatics have started to cook down. The onions will become translucent and the pepper will soften. While these are gently cooking, rinse the frozen peas in a colander with water and let them drain. Add the peas when the pan of veggies is cooked to your liking. I prefer everything to retain some crispness.

This melange can be drizzled with a bit of balsamic or given an Asian twist with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil and a few drops of tamari.

Or keep it undressed and toss it all with a big bowl of fresh crisp greens. The warm veggies combined with the cold, crisp lettuce provides a different take on the standard dinner salad.
Of course, the dish is also a hit with a nice vinaigrette. But for those who are trying to eat in a healthier manner or more fat free, give the lightly sautéed veggies with fresh greens a try.