Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sautéed Veggies

I've made a discovery: I can add sautéed vegetables to almost any meal I make, and love them. I have long struggled with finding easy ways to incorporate more veggies into my meals, overcooking them in the oven or undercooking them in the steamer (or vice versa). We eat a lot of salad, and there are endless variations of that (my current favorite is low on the lettuce, high on the cabbage and broccoli, with nuts and cheese), but I do get a little tired of salad every day after a while. So lately, I've been trying out just cutting up a couple of veggies and adding them to whatever I'm cooking on the stove top. I generally prefer cooking in a cast iron skillet on the range because I have the best luck with avoiding both burning and undercooking when I can closely monitor my food. Many of our dinners include either potatoes or meat that is cooked in olive oil in a pan. Others will often include rice or pasta, which, when we eat them as leftovers, are refried in oil or butter. It's easy to add vegetables to all of those things, and make a well-rounded meal without dirtying extra dishes. Most commonly I've been adding peppers, onions, zucchini, broccoli, carrots, or green beans to the pan in the last 5 minutes or so of cooking, although you could use pretty much any vegetable, and cook it to your own taste. Tonight we had chicken thighs, cooked in olive oil, tamari, and with a few garlic cloves, and I added carrots and zucchini. Sweet Pea enjoys cooked vegetables on occasion, but can't quite handle gnawing most of them in their raw form. This way I don't have to make something separate for her, that she might not end up eating (yes, her fickle eating habits have continued although the amount she is eating has definitely increased). Now that it is barbecue season, and our garden is in the early stages of production, I will be experimenting with grilled veggies too.

What's your favorite way to incorporate vegetables into your meals?


  1. I am going to try this while I have a massive supply of summer squash: make vegetable based soup that freezes well. Soup is a little more time consuming than many other ways to prepare vegetables, but when you can make a pot and freeze some left overs for later, it can be a good way to mix it up.

    Last night's "recipe" adapted from several found online:

    Saute an onion and a clove of garlic and a chile pepper (if you like) in the bottom of a large pot in olive oil.

    Add a lot of summer squash, chopped. Saute a little while more.

    Add the broth of your choice (I used chicken) and simmer until the squash gets kind of soft.

    Add a good handful of fresh basil and oregano, and the juice of 1 lemon. Simmer a few more minutes.

    Throw it all in the food processor and process it until it reaches the desired consistency. I had a good bit of ingredients so it took a 2 or 3 batches to get it all through. Salt and pepper to taste. I liked that the ingredients came mostly from either my garden or the garden of my friends and neighbors (squash, chile de arbol, oregano, basil and lemon). It tasted good, is very healthy, and really is very easy, especially considering the "mileage" I'll get out of the one pot.

  2. Thank you for sharing this excellent, and easy-sounding squash soup recipe! I have been buying cartons of squash soup lately, since all three of us like it and it is an easy dinner, but I can't wait to make it with ingredients from our garden!