More Ways to Be Creative with Fruits & Veggies

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | April 24th, 2017 | Tasty Thoughts

Last week I shared two new produce-centric recipes. One was for a salad, and the other was for a jam. Both of these recipes provided the feel of summer, but neither really screamed of new, unusual ways to cook with produce.  Sometimes sticking with the basics is good. Other times we need to mix things up.

For example, too often when menu planning occurs we consider three parts of the meal: meat, starch, and veggie. There’s nothing wrong with this formula, but there’s also nothing wrong with reorganizing it. In our house we tend to skip the starch portion quite often, opting for double veggies when we’re having a traditional dinner instead of a tapas-style menu. Of course, when presenting two servings of veggies, creativity needs to be infused. No one wants to eat steamed broccoli and steamed carrots; that’s quite boring.

I also have been known to eliminate the meat portion of the meal and replace it with something else. Whether it be tofu, legumes, or a veggie, these items can make a hearty focal point to your dinner. One does not need chicken, beef, or seafood to center a meal. Many a fine dinner has been created around lentil cakes, marinated tofu, and other vegetarian dishes. In fact, making this switch is a great way to add more veggies to your diet while reducing calories. You’ll also be pleasantly surprised to find that many of these dishes are quite filling.

This week I’ll be sharing two recipes that make you think about produce differently: a sandwich that has fruit as its main ingredient and a side dish that switches from being starch-filled to veggie-filled.

To kickoff a second week of produce-based dishes, I wanted to share one of my favorite veggie entrées- buffalo cauliflower florets. A few words of advice on this dish: First, don’t try to pretend that these are buffalo chicken bites. It’s plainly evident that it’s cauliflower. Second, due to the vibrant nature of buffalo sauce, the cauliflower flavor is masked, making this dish an easier way to convert people from cauliflower avoiders to cauliflower advocates. Third, give my “no thank you” serving rule a try, and be sure to serve them with dipping sauce. You might be surprised to discover that your fellow diners ask for more. 

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