Thursday, August 19, 2010

Home-style Vegetables and Useless Kitchen Gadgets

Do you find yourself hungry for familiar flavors? I love trying new things, but there are some old standbys that I keep coming back to. I recently tried to choose a favorite recipe to submit to a contest and asked Alex what he thought might do well. He suggested chili, pot pie, and lasagne. All of that is stuff we’ve made dozens of times and all of those are variations of meals I grew up eating.

One thing I love in the summer is making fresh vegetables the way we would when I was growing up, with the slight variation of leaving out the animal fat flavoring. I haven’t missed it, and Alex doesn’t know any better. I told his mom that I’d never had crisp green beans before I had hers.

038 Yes, my plate is very, very full. I can’t get enough of this!

My plate is a little starch-heavy, but I had some potatoes I wanted to use up and the corn and squash looked really, really good. Plus, I couldn’t find any fresh beans I liked. Instead, I went with collards to get some more green on the plate.

I cooked the squash up like my mom does, although I didn’t get it quite as browned as she does. Maybe when I get older, I’ll have more patience for browning squash. It’s sliced and steamed along with a sweet onion, then mashed and pan-fried with some Earth Balance. This is the star of the plate for Alex.

I’ve made the smothered okra before. This time, Alex tried it, but he left most of it for me! I just can’t get over how sweet these fresh tomatoes taste when they’re cooked down, even when I don’t add any sugar.

I made the creamed corn by using the most pointless kitchen device, the corn zipper, to remove the kernels from two cobs of corn. Then I cooked them with some Earth Balance and soy milk.


I think I remember buying the corn zipper because it’s cute. It has a smiley face on it. It takes off two rows of kernels at a time. That is a lot of work! I can understand why I forgot about this little device when I was making my roasted tomato and corn soup and removing the kernels with a knife!

Me, smiling with the corn zipper.

Alex doesn’t quite get as excited as I do about this kind of supper, but he enjoys it. He tells me that he never had greens before he met me, but he likes them now.

Another meal I loved growing up was called Beanie Burger Biscuit Pie. Maybe this was an early sign of my annoying love of alliteration, or maybe it was a sign of my early love of beans. My mom, who is an awesome cook, doesn’t like that I remember that as the highlight of my childhood, but maybe that’s just what kids do. I think I’ll try to make my own Beanie Burger Biscuit Pie.

How about you – what are your favorite food memories? Do you still enjoy them?


  1. I think this looks great--not too starchy at all, very summer-y.

  2. You're making me want the Smothered Okra! What a borgaschmord!

  3. Everything on that plate looks so perfectly tasty. I love huge plates of veggies.

    I'm interested in that Beanie Burger Biscuit Pie too!

    My fav from chilhood was my mom's ricotta filled lasagne...and I do still love it; easily veganized by swapping out the ricotta with cashew cheese or tofu ricotta.

  4. I can't wait to hear about the Beanie Burger Biscuit Pie. Especially because I am an alliteration fan, as well. Since I didn't eat meat when I was little, my mom's most go-to meal for me was macaroni noodles with sauce and peas, covered with melted cheese in a casserole dish. She did make something called Cheesey Round Steak that always looked good to me, but I never ate it. Maybe I'll try to veganize that!

  5. Oh, and I love the corn zipper. Never heard of those!

  6. That picture of you and the corn zipper is adorable! My first reaction to the corn zipper was that it looks like the "comedy" look of comedy/tragedy drama masks. hehe

    My favorite food memory is the chicken my mom used to make for us. She would roll chicken pieces around in egg wash, then in bread crumbs, then fry them up (forgot if she pan-fried or deep-fried). Also, my sister and I LOVED General Tso's chicken from Chinese restaurants... Of course I don't eat chicken anymore, but (pressed) tofu sounds like a good alternative. Besides, I think I just liked the bread crumbs and sweet/sour-ish sauce from those chicken dishes anyway!

  7. Beautiful meal! I love dinners that consist of several different kinds of veggie dishes. My favorite food memory is baking pumpkin pie every year for Thanksgiving when I was younger. I used to make at least 4 or 5 of them and give them to my family, friends, and neighbors. That was when I discovered how much I love to bake!

  8. What a variety of great favorite foods. I'm glad to see that many of us aren't feeling deprived at all! We'll see if I can create a Beanie Burger Biscuit Pie.