Archive for the ‘green beans’ Tag

Top 10 Vegetables   1 comment

VegetablesIt was another creation from Velda’s kitchen … and it got me thinking. What are my favorite vegetables?

Mind you, not a conversation with self that I would have had 30 years ago. But what is age if you can’t enjoy a bit of perspective?

So what are my favorite vegetables? 30 years ago, the answer would have been easy: green beans. Today, it’s a little murkier. Still, here are my Top 10 Favorite Vegetables, in classic Top 10 style:

Number 10: Black Beans. I’m pretty sure I’d never even seen a black bean until I moved to California. No matter; they are infinitely better than pinto beans, and will always be my choice at every Mexican restaurant that gives me a choice.

Number 9: Lima Beans. This forlorn vegetable would have probably been ranked more favorably … but Velda hates them. She will condescend to make me lima beans about once every 6 months … and that means she doesn’t really put much creativity into the presentation. I really like lima beans, but Velda cooks so many other vegetables so much better, I have no choice but to rank them poorly. Yes, it’s her fault.

Salt & pepper to taste. Sprinkle with finely minced fresh parsley, if desired.

Salt & pepper to taste. Sprinkle with finely minced fresh parsley, if desired.

Number 8: Carrots. If you haven’t tasted her wonderful Honey Glazed Carrots, then you don’t know carrots. Try them; they will rock your world.

Number 7: Brussel Sprouts. This is actually the much-maligned vegetable that got me to thinking this evening. The recommended recipe is MrsMowry’s Brussel Sprouts. Get them fresh – not bitter – and these will do you right.

Number 6: Green Beans. No vegetable dish from Velda’s kitchen has drawn as much ire from the children as Green Bean Casserole: the only demanded vegetable on the holiday table. The kids went into open rebellion when Velda began to mess with the recipe. I really thought we’d have a violent incident the year she substituted fresh green beans for Del Monte. That was simply not acceptable. Don’t mess with the recipe: French’s Green Bean Casserole.

Number 5: Tomatoes. OK, OK. Tomatoes are a fruit. I don’t care. They are a garden vegetable, and there is nothing like flavorful, fresh tomatoes on burgers. Or with cottage cheese. Or on a salad. Tomatoes. Love’em.

Number 4: Chocolate. The kids were taught that chocolate was a vegetable by Aunt Sis, and that makes as much sense as the vegetable machinations performed by your local school system. If they can say that ketchup is a vegetable, then this makes sense. Chocolate should be a part of a balanced diet. ’nuff said.

Green Bean 51Number 3: Green Beans. When not in a casserole, green beans should be sautèed and served with onions and bacon. Here’s the recipe: Velda’s Green Beans. You can thank me later.

Number 2: Spaghetti Squash. This must be the dark horse candidate, as this vegetable has never been mentioned in the blog before. However, its a wonderful addition to just about any meal. If only Velda served Spaghetti Squash more often, I might be able to photograph the process and share a recipe. You can only hope (with me) that I can do this some day.

Mushroom 34Number 1: Mushrooms. This a no brainer. I’ve written about my favorite morels, in Hunting Mushrooms With Grandpa. And then, of course, there was Wild Mushroom Cobbler. Don’t deprive yourself: get you some ‘shrooms. Swiss & mushrooms are now a part of my favorite burger. Stuffed mushrooms are my favorite appetizer (and ask Velda to make them again, please, for Superbowl Sunday … and I’ll blog the recipe!).

What’s missing from my Top 10? Onions & garlic. Though they’re a part of just about every good meal … I simply could not include them in this list. In my eyes, they are flavors. Spices. Not a vegetable to be requested as a side dish.

This is a wonderful soup, but the presentation makes it better!

This is a wonderful soup, but the presentation makes it better!

I probably should have included celeriac. However, since I’m in America where no one knows what the heck that is, it’s out. Americans don’t know celeriac … unless they’ve had this wonderful recipe: Velda’s Celery Root Soup. If you think it’s time for soup … make this soup. And thank me later.

MrsMowry will probably hit me in the face when she sees me next, as I’ve left potatoes off the list. Sorry, m’lady. Mashed potatoes are fabulous. Your potato pizza is the bomb. But … not a Top 10 item. Make me some and change my mind. Please.

If I missed your favorite, PLEASE add your Top 10 list below. I really want to see if any of my dear readers can find a place on their list for kale. Or okra. Or beets. Or asparagus. Or turnips. Or peppers. Or pumpkin.

So, what’s your list???

More Thomas Jefferson’s Favorite Vegetables A Dietician’s Favorite Vegetables Everyone’s Six Least Favorite Vegetables Top 10 Grilled Vegetable Recipes Most Of Our Favorite Vegetables Are Not Vegetables Favorite Recipes For Thanksgiving’s Top Twelve Favorite Vegetables

Posted January 22, 2014 by henrymowry in Living Life

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Velda’s Green Beans   2 comments


  • Two slices of bacon
  • 1/4 of a medium onion
  • 1 pound of fresh green beans
  • Season salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste


Slice & dice bacon into small pieces. Brown in medium skillet until golden. Add finely minced onion. Saute until translucent. Snip stem ends off of green beans. Leave whole, or cut into 2″ pieces. Add to skillet. Season with season salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir fry 2-3 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water. Cover & cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until green beans are tender.

Posted January 9, 2014 by henrymowry in Recipes

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Roasted Garlic Tomato Pasta Sauce   7 comments

California still has fresh tomatoes in November! These beefsteaks were seconds … perfect for sauce!

The best ingredients make the best dinner!  Tomatoes from our local grower inspired this meal.

Roasted Tomato Garlic Pasta Sauce

Basil from Velda’s garden!

  • 10 ripe beefsteak or roma tomatoes (or substitute 2-28 oz cans of whole tomatoes)
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 1 shallot
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T sugar
  • garlic salt
  • pepper


Heat oven to 400*.  Do a 1″ rough chop on the tomatoes.  Dice onion and shallot.  Peal and rough chop garlic.  Spread 2 T olive oil in the bottom of a 11″x17″ jelly roll pan.  Spread tomatoes, onion, garlic, shallot and basil over.  Drizzle with remaining olive oil and the balsamic.  Sprinkle with sugar, garlic salt and pepper.  Toss to coat.

Place on top shelf of oven and roast for 20 minutes.  Stir, and roast for an additional 30 minutes until most juices are evaporated and carmelization has begun on the tomatoes.  Volume should reduce by about 50%.

Taste and adjust salt and pepper to preference.

Serving Suggestion

Prepare bow tie pasta per package directions.  Stir 2 T of the Roasted Garlic Tomato Pasta Sauce into the pasta to coat.

Plate, and cover pasta with additional sauce as desired.

Top with fresh mozzarella. Sprinkle pine nuts. Shave parmesan to taste. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Fresh pasta sauce + fresh green beans. It’s what’s for dinner.

Side Dish: Green Beans with Mushrooms and Onions

  • 1 lb fresh green beans
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 4 oz Cremini mushrooms
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 c water
  • salt & pepper

Melt butter with olive oil in heavy skillet.  Saute sliced mushrooms and onions until soft and edges start to carmelize.  Add whole green beans with stems removed.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Stir to coat with olive oil and let saute for 4-5 minutes.  Add balsamic, water, and cover for 10 minutes.  Remove lid, stir, continue to heat until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Taste for doneness, salt and pepper to taste.  Green beans should be crisp and tender.  If more tenderness is desired, add more water, cover and cook a few more minutes.

Salad: Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

  • 1 lb fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 8-10 strawberries, quartered or sliced
  • Slivered almonds
  • Panera fat-free Poppyseed Dressing

Toss spinach and onions with 2-3 T of dressing to coat.  Top with strawberries and almonds.

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