Monday, June 1, 2009

A nod to Weight Watchers: Vegetable recipes from my files

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So last week I joined Weight Watchers - again. For the third time, actually. It's kind of hard to be a food blogger when food is suddenly the enemy, I'm discovering.

Unfortunately for my blogging career, the recipes that have gotten the most attention historically have been the sweets. Well, I hate to break it to you, readers, but vegetables are better for us than brownies or caramel sauce. It's time to concentrate on veggies. (And if you insist on sticking with the sweets, take pity and don't tell me about it.)

I looked through my files and found some really interesting vegetable recipes. You may think I'm nuts, but I find these as appealing as dessert. At least that's what I'm telling myself....

Radish salad - thinly sliced radishes dressed in lemon, good olive oil and sea salt. This is good plain as a side dish or as a sandwich topping. The radishes wilt a bit from the salt and acid, and the whole salad turns a lovely pink.

Cauliflower vinaigrette - warm steamed cauliflower dressed in a tangy, mustardy vinaigrette. This recipe uses an orange cauliflower, but the regular white ones work just as well. I've served this both hot and cold and it's a hit either way.

French lentil salad - tiny French lentils, dressed with that same mustardy vinaigrette and tossed with fresh chopped herbs. This version has a little chopped cooked bacon, but I'll probably leave that out if I'm trying to make this diet-friendly. (It's a lot better with the bacon, to be honest.)

Sauteed kale or chard with curry sauce or tahini - two vegan recipes from personal chef Missy Costello, who cooks for fitness guru Tony Horton and thus knows her way around a bunch of kale. I prefer the tahini, my 10-year-old son likes the curry. Try them both and decide for yourself.

Tunisian carrot salad with fennel seeds and turnip salad with red peppers - two unusual and refreshing salads (originally posted for Passover, but good all year round!) from chef Alain Cohen of caterer Got Kosher? near Beverly Hills.

Carrot-sweet potato soup with fresh ginger - a delicious orange puree from TV chef Nathan Lyon. The recipe calls for a little half-and-half, but leave it out if you're trying to slim down the recipe - it won't hurt the final product too much.

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