Archive for the ‘Vegetable’ Category

I’m on an egg-white omelet kick for lunch these days.  It’s a love I share with my Dad, who has happily eschewed egg yolks for most his adult life.  Dad takes his egg white omelets with spinach, bell peppers, onions, and a touch of ham.  Me, on the other hand, I love shredded cabbage.  Stuffed into a whole wheat pita and topped with hot sauce, I couldn’t think of anything better after a long run or some weight training.

Since the boys in my house can’t stand the thought of egg whites alone (unless they’re used for meringues or marshmallows), I can understand if you’d prefer to use whole eggs here.  It’s definitely richer in flavor.  This recipe is loosely based on a Japanese okonomiyaki, of which there are infinite varieties.  Generally, though, the omelette or pancake is made from flour, nagaimo (yam), water or dashi broth, eggs, shredded cabbage and some meat or shellfish.  It’s quick, healthful and filling.  Today, mine is filled with cabbage, shredded carrots, mushrooms, and a few pieces of chopped shrimp.  Probably more cabbage and vegetables than anything else – just the way I enjoy it.

Cabbage Omelet, inspired by Okonomiyaki



5 large eggs

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/3 cup AP flour

2 cups cabbage, shredded with a mandoline or finely chopped

1 bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped

3/4 cups (roughly) baby or chopped shrimp

canola oil for frying

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs with the soy sauce, sesame oil, and salt. Gradually add the flour until incorporated. Fold in cabbage, scallions, and shrimp.
  2. Warm canola oil (or cooking spray) in a skillet over medium-high heat until glistening. Ladle the batter into the skillet as you would for regular pancakes. Cook on each side for about 3 minutes or until golden brown. Keep pancakes covered in a warm oven as you make the rest.

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I love shrimp – the texture, the taste, and all that protein for very few calories.  This recipe is perfect for the cold of winter because it offers a warm salad.  I wasn’t sure how Rice Kernel would receive it, so I mixed in some raw romaine hearts for a familiar touch.  (I could hear him in my head asking, “a hot salad?!?!”)  His plate was served simply with some avocados, cucumbers, and a slice of baguette. 

Recipe inspiration here.


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Simple, hearty, and satisfying – and entirely failproof in the crockpot.  Perfect, even for baby!

 Red Lentil Soup with Lemon

3 tablespoons olive oil, more for drizzling
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of ground chili powder or cayenne, more to taste
1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup red lentils
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
Juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


1. In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons oil over high heat until hot and shimmering. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes.

2. Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt, black pepper and chili powder or cayenne, and sauté for 2 minutes longer.

3. Add broth, 2 cups water, lentils and carrot. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover pot and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer until lentils are soft, about 30 minutes. Taste and add salt if necessary.

4. Using an immersion or regular blender or a food processor, purée half the soup then add it back to pot. Soup should be somewhat chunky.

5. Reheat soup if necessary, then stir in lemon juice and cilantro. Serve soup drizzled with good olive oil and dusted lightly with chili powder if desired.

Yield: 4 servings.

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As part of a rainbow diet, “white” foods don’t exactly have favored status.  But cauliflower is one of those white foods you can certainly consume in excess.  Here, it is seasoned with brightly-colored and aromatic spices.  It’s delicious freshly cooked, but even better the next day, after the flavors have a chance to meld together.

Spicy South Indian Cauliflower


1 large cauliflower (1 3/4 to 2 pounds), broken into florets
2 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled, sliced and cut into thin slivers or minced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted and crushed
1 to 2 serrano chiles, to taste, seeded if desired and minced
1 cup chopped fresh or canned tomatoes
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, lightly toasted and ground
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Salt to taste
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 lime, cut in wedges, for serving

1. Place the cauliflower in a steaming basket above one inch of boiling water. Cover and steam for one minute. Lift the lid and allow steam to escape for 15 seconds, then cover again and steam for five minutes or until the cauliflower is just tender. Remove from the heat and refresh with cold water. Quarter the larger florets, and set the cauliflower aside.

2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy nonstick skillet or wok above medium heat. Add the ginger, cumin seeds and chiles, and stir-fry for one minute. Add the cauliflower and stir-fry for two to three minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, ground coriander, cayenne, turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, for five minutes, until the tomatoes have cooked down and the mixture is fragrant. Taste and adjust salt. Stir in the cilantro, stir for another 30 seconds and then serve, passing lime wedges for squeezing.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6


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There’s been so much baking and sweets in our kitchen the past few weeks, I’ve been hankering for extra vegetables.  We’ve resorted to easy standbys, like bags of broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and chard.   While I would never tire of the aforementioned repertoire, I know the boys could use a shake-up. 

Pea shoots and tendrils are more of a spring / summer offering but in our part of the country, you can find them fairly easily, particularly in Asian markets.  Pea shoots and tendrils are tender enough to serve with no or minimal cooking, although I mostly prefer them lightly sauteed with garlic.  Rice Kernel isn’t always open to a dish of pea shoots by themselves, so tonight we’ve mixed in some shredded cabbages, carrots, and several cloves of garlic.  Sauteed simply with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper, it is the ideal, detoxifying vegetable dish after a month of candy and pumpkin baking projects!

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Broccoli Beef Udon Bowl

1 lb udon noodles, fresh
3 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup beef broth
4 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp sherry or sake
2 tbsp honey or agave (more or less to taste)
1 cup carrot, sliced or shredded
1 lb ground beef
1-2 cups broccoli florets

green onions or sesame seeds, for garnish, optional
  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with a couple tsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook ground beef until cooked thoroughly. 
  2. Add broccoli and cook for 3-4 minutes, until tender but crisp.  Add carrot and garlic, saute 2 minutes.
  3. Combine soy sauce, sake, and honey in a small bowl, stir with a whisk. Stir in soy sauce mixture with the vegetables, cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Stir in noodles and broth.  Cook noodles 3-4 minutes, until al dente. Top with green onion or sesame seeds, if desired. Serve immediately.

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I love brussels any way.  But Rice Kernel won’t touch more than a couple (“They taste funny,” he says.)  One of the healthiest vegetables, brussels are similar to cabbage and broccoli, both of which Rice Kernel consumes happily.  But, clearly, he is bothered by their somewhat strong flavor and smell.  Carmelizing the little cabbages with some sweet syrup, however, transforms the nutritional powerhouse that makes them much more palatable for the non-sprout lover.

Mapled Brussel Sprouts, from Bon Appetit


4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved lengthwise
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature (or oil)
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh chives
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh sage


  1. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches and adding 2 more Tbsp. oil between batches, cook brussels sprouts, cut side down, in a single layer in skillet until deep golden brown, 4–5 minutes. Season brussels sprouts with salt and pepper and toss; cook until tender, 3–4 minutes longer. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Remove skillet from heat; add maple syrup, butter, and herbs to pan. Once butter has melted, add brussels sprouts to skillet and toss to coat. Transfer brussels sprouts mixture to a large serving platter and drizzle lightly with oil.


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