Sunday, April 24, 2011

Vegetable love: broccoli salad and curried ratatouille

Now that I'm back at work 8 to 5, I find myself making 2 salads or vegetable dishes on one of my days off. Those vegetables require so much peeling, chopping and slicing. Two days off in a row are rare, too.

I'm trying - and often failing - to resist the temptation of picking up food to eat outdoors. The weather has been SO beautiful. Yesterday after work, I thought the DH would want to eat his usual tantan ramen from Goma Tei, but he had pho for lunch, so he was open to takeout from Kakaako Kitchen or Kua Aina. We decided on the latter, with a bacon burger with Monterey jack for him, cheeseburger with cheddar from me. We had a small order of fries and coleslaw with that.

We made it through hideous traffic - Ala Moana Blvd. narrowed to 2 lanes on the way to Ward, one lane after that! - to the waterfront park. Breezes were soft and westerly, the sea was rather flat, picnickers were grilling, people were walking pets, children, bicycling and just ENJOYING. On days like that, I know I'm fortunate to live in a beautiful city and state. To have a job I love, and a husband who indulges me.

We ate our burgers, greasy fries, and wished we had more coleslaw! Well, DH ate all of his, I took half of mine home!

Tonight, there's a modest piece of salmon waiting to be sauteed, but I've already made a broccoli salad and a large batch of curried ratatouille. I may cook some whole wheat pasta or quinoa for a change from 12-grain rice.

Larry's Broccoli Salad

Larry is Ted’s cigar friend. He got this recipe from a cookbook, and it originated with Denise O. See my modifications.
  • Head of broccoli cut into 1-in. florets, peel and slice stems, too
  • 6+ slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled (I use turkey bacon)
  • ¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds (I used pine nuts, but slivered almonds would be good, too)
  • ½ cup raisins or craisins (I prefer the latter)
Combine the above ingredients, and toss lightly with the dressing below. Stir together:
  • ¾ to 1 cup mayonnaise (I use light mayo)
  • 1 to 4 tablespoons sugar (I think 2 is plenty!)
  • 2+ tablespoons vinegar (I use rice vinegar)
Please adjust dressing to your taste. You may want to add a pinch of salt to the dressing. I added some freshly ground black pepper, too. Note: better to use less dressing than more!

Suzanne’s Curried Ratatouille

Based on one from

Sauté the following in oil in a medium-hot pan: 
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • ½ tsp. black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 12-15 curry leaves - optional but a delicious addition
Cover with a lid to contain spattering. Quickly add:
  • 1 chopped medium onion
  • 2 minced large cloves of garlic
Stir and saut̩ until soft, then add the following ingredients Рall chopped into 3/8 inch dice Рin the following order:
  • One medium zucchini
  • Yellow or orange bell pepper
  • 2 medium long eggplants
  • One medium tomato
Add oil as necessary. Finish with salt to taste. Serve with chickpeas with tomatoes. Leftovers make a great omelet or grilled sandwich filling. Or serve with poached or lightly fried eggs.

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