Eating better food for less and other tales from a no-moneymoon

Friday, May 21, 2010

Confessions of a Shopaholic

Hello, my name is Lady Lemon and I am a vegetable shopaholic.

I was just minding my own business (honest!), running out for some more yogurt, when I was blindsided by vegetable deals. So last night, the fridge overstuffed with green perishables, turned into a veggie night.

I'm a big meat eater, so veggies usually can't compete.What I like about the occasional veggie night is that I find I pay more attention to making our green friends more interesting. So here's the menu from last night:

Citrus-Celery Salad: grapefruit and orange sections + 1/2 small onion + celery hearts/leaves + olive oil + ground pepper + 1 teaspoon mustard + 1 T. rice wine vinegar (champagne vinegar would be great, too.) Refreshing and tangy. Tarragon or thyme would be a nice addition.

French (Bean) Fries: slim French green beans + salt & pepper + 1 T. olive oil + 1 T. water; 400F for 12 minutes on a foil-lined baking sheet; they will wrinkle and get brown and go slightly nutty.

Stuffed Mushrooms
I always look for good stuffed mushroom recipes, and they seem to inevitably include a lot of ingredients that I don't have. That's how this recipe came about because I prefer to stick with what's on hand. If you have red pepper, breadcrumbs, other herbs, cheese, etc -- all would be good to add.

Makes 10-12 mushrooms

1 package white mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 T. olive oil
1/2 rib celery heart, finely chopped
1 T. parsley, chopped
3 stems thyme
1 T. flour
1/4 c. whole milk
Salt & Pepper

Wipe mushrooms and stems with a damp towel. Remove stems and mince (as small as you can cut them!). Reserve caps.

Heat olive oil in a small saute pan over medium heat and add chopped mushroom stems. Add garlic and celery and cook until vegetables soften and begin to look translucent. Add parsley and thyme and cook for a minute or two more.

Sprinkle mixture with flour and let cook 1 minute. The flour will start to absorb some of the moisture from the vegetables.

Pour in milk while stirring mixture. Add the milk a little at a time so it can be absorbed. The flour and milk combine to bind the mixture together. You will not have a white sauce -- just a sticky veggie mixture which is what you want to hold together in the mushroom.

Stuff the mushrooms with the mixture and place on a foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet for 20 minutes in a 375F oven.

The mushrooms will still be juicy and the stuffing is garlicky. If you want something less messy, add breadcrumbs.

Once again, my photography doesn't do the colors of this justice, so you'll have to take my word that this is a bright pretty plateful of green goodness.

Satisfying meal that's low in fat
Lots of variety with mostly on-hand ingredients
More veggies than I can count

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