I love vegetables! Not all, but most (sorry Brussels Sprouts). Every year I start a vegetable garden~ I imagine myself with a bushel basket in my arms, overflowing with the fruits (& veggies) of my labor...sharing with my neighbors.... "why, YES! I did grow these myself.....no-no....I have plenty...please enjoy!"
In reality, this is what I get:
Yes, it's true.....I have yet to eat a single berry, bean or melon from my own garden! Every year the same optimism~ every year I am dealt a crushing blow from Mother Nature. I guess that is what comes from a Big City gal trying to be Fanny Farmer. I am hoping that some of you out there can help me by telling me what it is I can do to fend off
rodents sweet little bunnies, swarms of locusts, the stealthy possum and grow food in drought combined with searing heat. One thing you do learn early on in Texas gardening is when the tag on the plant says 'full sun' it hardly ever means 'full Texas sun'. Is it any wonder I rely on the local markets for my produce?
I do love to cook. I love my kitchen! I love chopping, kneading, baking, grilling and most of all- eating! So what if this was not my reality:
I can still enjoy veggies! Luckily, my kids love them as well, and my poor husband who was raised by someone who's cooking skills shall we say....were lacking?....has come around to crave them as well.
As our schedules fill up this fall with obligations, bunco parties, pot-lucks and family get-togethers it is nice to have a quick, go-to recipe that is a hit. If you notice, there is always a lot of pasta, baked goods and worse yet, stuff brought directly from the deli counter. I am not one to poo-poo convenience, but I will tell you, it totally rocks to bring an awesome, homemade dish for people to ooh and ahh over. So- let me share one with you that is easy, delicious, and is actually better the next day, so making it ahead is absolutely the way to go. Even kids love this one- making it easy to get them to eat their veggies! Up front I will tell you that I omit the peas, and add a few extra peanuts. If someone has a peanut allergy, or there is a peanut ban at your school, you can substitute chopped pecans just fine.
Raw Vegetable Salad
6 slices bacon (I buy precooked slices)
3 cups chopped broccoli
3 cups cauliflower, chopped
3 cups chopped celery
1 (10 ounce) package frozen green peas, thawed
1 cup sweetened-dried cranberries (craisins)
1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons grated onion
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups Light Miracle Whip
Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
Note: If you use precooked- just microwave and crumble
In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, cauliflower, celery, peas and cranberries.
Wisk together the sugar, salt, vinegar, grated onion, cheese and mayonnaise. Pour dressing over the salad; add nuts and bacon and toss well. Cover and refrigerate- serve cold.
So, seriously....how easy is that??
And tomorrow......I announce the Great Giveaway!! So, stay tuned!