Monday, January 14, 2013

52 in 52: Black-Eyed Peas and Serrano Peppers

During my second week of "52 in 52," I tried two new vegetables in the same dish! I'm counting them separately because it's my meme, so I get to make the rules here.

3. Black-Eyed Peas. Yummy!
4. Serrano Peppers. I used these in place of the jalapenos in the original recipe. They have similar heat to jalapenos and must be handled in the same way:  wear gloves, discard seeds and don't touch your eyes when working with them!

I loved the recipe I tried; it makes a great lunchtime side dish and will be terrific for picnics. The original recipe is a Paula Deen healthy recipe--that's right, a Paula Deen recipe that contains no butter! I discovered that the vinaigrette is delicious over a green salad as well, and it was really easy to make.

I cut the recipe in half, substituted a serrano pepper for jalapeno, added some red onion and used grape tomatoes because they looked nicer than the sad plum tomatoes at ShopRite. Here it is as I made it:

Makes 3 servings

3 TBL olive oil
2 TBL balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

Use a whisk or immersion blender to mix the vinaigrette. Use half for this recipe and the other half for an individual green salad.

1 can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 handful grape tomatoes, cut in quarters
1/2 small red bell pepper, diced
1/2 serrano pepper, seeds removed, chopped finely
1/4 cup red onion, chopped finely
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Mix all salad ingredients except parsley in a large bowl. Toss with vinaigrette and top with fresh parsley. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

52 in 52: Apples and Squash

My New Year's Resolution this year is to try to eat more fruits and vegetables. To make it a little more interesting, I thought I'd mix in trying some new-to-me fruits and vegetables. So the goal is to taste-test 52 new varieties of produce by the end of the year--one for each week.

I'll probably be spending a lot of time at Wegman's this year, and I'm posting here for accountability.

I've already gotten in two new ones, and it's only January 3:  Macoun apples and butternut squash.

Both of them get only 2 stars in the All-Star Produce Lineup. Here's why:

Macoun apples are probably better for baking than eating out-of-hand. They are like a Macintosh apple, with very white flesh, but are kind of sweet and the flesh is not very firm and crunchy. (I prefer Winesap and Granny Smith apples for eating).

Butternut squash deserves another trial, perhaps with a different recipe. I tried it spiced, with garlic, cumin, cinnamon, pepper, brown sugar and olive oil, and roasted. I think there was too much going on in that recipe. Next time I will just roast it with a little butter and a little olive oil and let it caramelize a bit more.

I'm open to suggestions for that butternut squash.

Here's to 52 in 52 and a healthier 2013! (And if I manage to lose 25 pounds this year, so much the better!)

Would you like to join me in this venture? Let's make it a recipe party!


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