Charlette wrote to me and asked,
Could you tell me how you prepare your side vegetables (the broccoli, carrots etc) that you show often with the main dishes? They look so bright and inviting. I'd love to know your recipe and how you prepared them. Thank you.
Charlette, thanks for asking! Most of our meals involve at least one cooked vegetable, and most of the cooked vegetables I serve are prepared very simply.
My main tip is not to over-cook vegetables. I used to add salt and pepper to our cooked vegetables, but I somehow got out of that habit and we still enjoy them. It's one less step for me! :)
Here's a run-down of the veggies we eat:
I always buy frozen green peas. We can't stand the canned ones! We eat peas several times a week, because we both love them. We also buy a frozen carrot/cauliflower/broccoli mixture from Aldi.
We eat either canned or frozen green beans and corn. These garlic green beans call for frozen green beans; this easy green bean casserole uses canned green beans. Of course, when we have fresh green beans from the garden, I use those in either recipe. :)
We like broccoli best when it's freshly boiled/steamed to crisp-tender. Frozen broccoli just isn't as good, in my opinion!
Carrots taste best when they're freshly coooked, too. I love cooked baby carrots tossed with butter and salt!
We also eat some seasonal veggies from the garden -- asparagus (almost always prepared as Asparagus and Onions), cabbage (here's my quick and easy fried cabbage recipe), yellow squash (usually cooked accrding to this recipe, but also in this summer squash casserole), and sugar snap peas (cooked until crisp-tender, or added to egg noodles).
This time of year (March), you're seeing a lot of frozen peas, cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli on our plates. I remember last June/July, almost every meal that we photographed had asparagus on the plate. ;)