Fifty Shades of Green

First, An Apology

I must admit I feel a tiny bit guilty for the title of this Hub. I've no doubt mislead you with a blatant play on the title of the erotic novel by E. L. James which was recently released to the big screen.

But, if you've read any of my posts in the past four years, you know that most of my focus is on cooking--creating wonderful meals for you, your family, and friends. I occasionally discuss travel, kitties, and my thoughts on Christianity. But, I'm mostly a food lover and food sharer.

So, of course, this Hub is about food. Green food. Yummy green food in the form of vegetables....which many of you might think are not quite so yummy.

Why?

In the words of Kermit the Frog "It isn't easy being green."

Maybe the thought of green vegetables evokes sad memories of your childhood. "Young man, you are not leaving this table until you finish your green beans!" (...your hopelessly overcooked, grayish-colored green beans).

But be not dismayed! Vegetables (even the GREEN ones) don't have to be mushy, overcooked, and some color other than green). Here are fifty recipes for bright green, healthy and tasty vegetables.

broccoli soup (Photo: Nancy Rose)
broccoli soup (Photo: Nancy Rose)

Broccoli

Easy Cream of Broccoli-Cheddar Soup

ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 pound broccoli florets (about 5 cups)
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated

directions

  1. Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and celery and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add broccoli and sauté 2 minutes. Add broth. Cover and simmer until broccoli is tender, about 25 minutes.

    Working in batches, transfer soup to blender and purée until smooth. Return soup to pot. Stir in milk. (Soup can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate.) Bring soup to simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add grated Cheddar and serve.

Green Beans

Crisp Green Beans with Walnuts and Gorgonzola


ingredients

  • One 12-oz bag frozen whole green beans
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (or other blue cheese)
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • salt and pepper to taste

directions

  1. Cook green beans according to package directions. Drain and return to pan.
  2. Add olive oil, cheese, and walnuts. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts

Kale, Cabbage, and Brussels Sprouts

Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Brussels sprouts
  • 1 large bunch Tuscan kale, center stems removed
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup onion, minced
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Juice and zest of 2 lemons
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

directions

  1. Thinly slice the brussels sprouts with a sharp knife or food processor
  2. Thinly slice the kale.
  3. Whisk together the cheese, olive oil, nuts, dijon, lemon juice and zest, and salt and pepper.
  4. Add the brussels sprouts and kale and toss to coat the vegetables with the cheese/lemon dressing.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Slice the end off of each brussels sprout and remove any torn or discolored leaves.
  3. Place in a large mixing bowl with the olive oil. Toss to coat evenly.
  4. Place in a single layer on a jelly roll pan . Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 35-40 minutes or until the edges are browned and beginning to crisp and the inside is tender (test with the tip of a sharp knife).

Creamy Brussels Sprouts with Bacon


ingredients

  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tsps. Olive oil
  • 3 slices turkey bacon, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup cream

directions

  1. Slice the end off of each Brussels sprout and remove any torn or discolored leaves.
  2. Cut in quarters lengthwise (from bottom to top).
  3. Add olive oil to large sauté pan. Cook turkey bacon in pan over medium-high heat until crispy. Set aside.
  4. Add onions and Brussels sprouts to the same pan. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until the sprouts are crisp-tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Reduce heat to low.
  6. Add cream to the pan and simmer until heated through.
  7. Serve sprouts with cooked crisp turkey bacon.

creamy spinach soup
creamy spinach soup

Spinach

Spinach Souffles for Two

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups water
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 4 teaspoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons finely minced onion
  • 1 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon flour
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten in a small bowl until foamy
  • 2/3 of a 10-oz package of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove all moisture
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 egg whites

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Bring 3 cups of water to boil in a medium saucepan. Set aside.
  3. Coat bottom and sides of ramekins with non-stick cooking spray.
  4. Place dry bread crumbs into ramekins. Tap the ramekins on your countertop while rotating to evenly coat the bottom and sides of the ramekins with crumbs. Set aside.
  5. Melt butter in bottom of small saucepan over medium heat. Add finely minced onions and sauté until onion is softened, about 3 or 4 minutes.
  6. Add flour and stir until onions, butter, and flour are mixed.
  7. Using a whisk, slowly stir in milk. Turn heat to low and simmer until mixture thickens--about 2 minutes. This is a béchamel sauce.
  8. Remove saucepan from heat. Let sit for 2 minutes to cool slightly. Place several spoonsful of the bechamel into the beaten egg yolks and whisk to temper the yolks.
  9. Add the yolk mixture to the remaining béchamel and quickly whisk until incorporated.
  10. Stir in spinach, Parmesan cheese, and nutmeg.
  11. In a separate mixing bowl beat egg whites until stiff.
  12. Spoon about 1/4 of egg whites into spinach mixture. Stir with spatula until blended.
  13. Pour spinach mixture into remaining egg whites and gently fold until well mixed.
  14. Spoon spinach/egg mixture into prepared ramekins.
  15. Place in 8- or 9-inch baking pan.
  16. Pour boiling water into pan until water reaches half-way up the sides of the ramekins.
  17. Bake until firm, about 25 minutes.


Peas

Chicken Salad with Snow Peas


ingredients

  • 1 pound cooked chicken breast, bones and skin removed, diced (can use leftover roast deli chicken or leftover roast turkey)
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoons dark sesame oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (available in jars in the condiments section of most grocery stores)
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 pound snow peas

directions

  1. Wisk together vinegar, soy sauce, 2 teaspoons of the sesame oil. and the peanut butter in a large bowl until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Remove the tops (stem end) of the snow peas and cut the peas lengthwise into thin strips.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 tsp. of sesame oil in a large non-stock sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the snow peas and continue to cook, stirring, until bright green in color and tender-crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Place the cooked peas in the bowl with the dressing. Add the diced chicken; toss to combine.


Zucchini

Zucchini Quick Bread

  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups baking mix (such as Bisquick)
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • non-stick cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray 9x5-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray
  3. Cream together shortening and sugar.
  4. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into prepared baking pan.
  5. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in middle of loaf comes out clean.


© 2015 Carb Diva

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Comments 4 comments

Carb Diva profile image

Carb Diva 21 months ago Author

poetryman6969 - vegetables (even spinach) are a vibrant green if you don't cook them within an inch of their lives. I hope you will give it a try. Thanks for stopping by.


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 21 months ago

The spinach soup is so green it looks dyed. Love creamy vegetable soups and dishes.


Carb Diva profile image

Carb Diva 21 months ago Author

Bill, there's nothing as wonderful as a fresh green bean--I love them right off the vine. Don't even bother with cooking.

As for your hatred of spinach, I forgive you as well (and that just means that there is more for the rest of us to enjoy). Thanks, as always, for your kind words and for stopping by.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

I was with you all the way until you said spinach. Yuck!!!! But I'll forgive you, and I'll even say the title was very, very clever.

We had so many green beans grow last year that we are still eating them. Yum! That's the opposite of yuck, by the way. :)

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