Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Vegetables, Vegetables, and More Vegetables

Shall I not have intelligence with the earth? Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself.

--Henry David Thoreau--

I am really learning to love my vegetables. Well, actually, that's not exactly true. I've always liked my vegetables; it's fruit that I had a hard time with. What I am loving is trying new recipes instead of just boiling and serving. Since I have been on this low sodium diet, many dinners can be bland, but playing around and spicing up my vegetables has made my meals a bit more interesting.  I've also been dressing up my recipes with multi-colored peppers. 

In fact, I bought the greatest cookbook for my Kindle this past week.  It's called 'Serving Up the Harvest' by Andrea Chesman, and it is just full of recipes...all for vegetables.  Vegetables and recipes are arranged by season, and all of them look so easy to make and tasty.  I couldn't wait for this weekend to try some out.  I've also been  testing some of the recipes from "Celtic Folklore Cooking" by Joan Asala.  Fantastic is all I can say about it.

On Sunday I made some Roasted Spicy Cauliflower. It called for cardamon, but I couldn't find it.  Also called for some cayenne, but when I got home from the market, I realized I had forgotten it, so basically I substituted and created a recipe of my own, and it still came out good. I just add things to taste when I create so there is no way to judge the amounts. I did take a picture, but it really made the dish look unappetizing.  Cell phones are not the best way  to get a true representation of a food.

1/4 cup canola oil
Garlic powder
Curry powder
Ground ginger
Paprika for color
Cracked black pepper
...and of course, a head of cauliflower.

Preheat the oven to 450. Lightly grease a large sheet large shallow roasting pan with oil. I use Pam olive oil spray. Combine the oil with the garlic powder, curry powder, cumin, ginger, and cracked black pepper in a large bowl. Mix well. Add the cauliflower and toss to coat. Spread the cauliflower on the prepared pan in a single layer. Sprinkle with Paprika and roast for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the florets are tender-crisp and browned. 

I also made some low sodium Colcannon on Sunday.  Not difficult at all to do.  I just left out the salt.  Colcannon has always been one of my favorite Irish dishes and paired with some herbed carrots and a sauteed chicken breast it made for a great Sunday meal. In Ireland colcannon was associated traditionally with Halloween; in fact, no Irish Halloween was complete without a huge serving of Colcannon. Of course, it remains on my Halloween menu, but I eat it year round whenever I get the urge.

The Irish also used the dish as a form of divination. Traditional charms   that symbolized different things were placed in a pot of Colcannon. For example, a ring  would traditionally be hidden in a dish of Colcannon and the lucky girl who found it in her helping would be the next to receive a marriage proposal. Finding a coin symbolizes wealth while a thimble and button symbolize that one would remain a spinster or a bachelor throughout the coming year.  Another Irish custom was to set a plate of colcannon outdoors on Halloween night for the fairies and ghosts to munch on.

Pray for peace and grace and spiritual food,
For wisdom and guidance, 
for all these are good,
but don't forget the potatoes.
--John Tyler Pettee--


  1. I loved roasted veggies; a whole different flavor from boiled, for sure.

  2. Hiding charms in the colcannon reminds me of hiding foil-wrapped coins in a birthday cake -- very common when I was a kid. I wonder if people still do that? Finding a dime is not the big thrill it used to be, LOL!

  3. That cooking veggies, according to season book, sounds like something I need! Because I am not a veggy lover. And of course, everyone knows we need lots of veggies.



  4. Good morning Friend......sound like you are making some yummy things. I don't know what colcannon is......I have never heard of it.....going to google and find out!



  5. Your cauliflower recipe sounds delish and I think I'm going to try that. :) I'm a big raw vege eater so cooking them like this will be a nice change.

    Glad you had some time to rest and enjoy yourself weekend my friend. :) It's been hot here...to hot to go out but the end of the week looks like my kind of weather so it will be coming your way. In the 70's...good outside working weather. Autumn has arrived!

    Sending radiant love and blessings your way...

  6. I have been roasting up a veggie storm recently! I can get the kids to eat them better that way.

  7. I love veggies and I like cauliflower raw and cooked. I think I might try your new recipe.

    Best wishes for a great coming week Mary.

    hugs and love Sharon