Vegan since 1975, I decide to answer the question, "What DO you eat?" These posts tell about some meals and recipes my family and I have enjoyed over the years.

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Greek Vegetables

GREEK VEGETABLES don't take long to cook and use up a lot of garden produce.

Wash and prepare to chop about two cups of string beans, six medium potatoes, two medium zucchini and a couple of carrots. Chop them all into half inch to one inch sized pieces.

In a large pot saute one chopped onion and three chopped garlic cloves in a tablespoon of olive oil. In the winter or if you have people who don't like the texture of onions and garlic, you could use a tablespoon of onion powder and a teaspoon of garlic powder and just add it with the water and other seasonings. However, if you use an onion and garlic, add the other vegetables after a minute or two, and add two cups of water. 

Chop up small handfuls of basil, oregano and parsley, or in the winter use a teaspoon of each of the dried herbs. Cover the pot and cook until the vegetables are soft. The beans will probably take the longest.

At that point add in a cup of tomato sauce, a tablespoon or so of olive oil, and salt to taste, simmering the vegetables until they are nicely coated with the sauce. Serve with rice and some beans on the side.

Since it was summer and there were fresh tomatoes, I decided to use five whole tomatoes instead.

The day before, my neighbor had offered me a box of organic tomatoes since she had been given three boxes and was tiring of canning them. I decided to try out the method of freezing them I had read about in my newspaper to see if it worked. It did.

Wash the tomatoes and dry them with a dishtowel. Place them whole in freezer bags, removing as much of the air as possible as you close the bags. Freeze. They won't stick together if you dry them. When you want to use some tomatoes, take out as many as you need from a bag and wash them under warm water. 

You will feel the skin is loose. Break through the skin and very easily peel it off the frozen tomato. This way, you don't have to blanch the tomato before freezing to remove the skins, so it is hardly any work at all. 

Use a paring knife to remove the stem end. Defrost or stew the tomatoes and use them in recipes. I just cooked the five I needed in their own juices until my other vegetables were softened, then added them in. This is a more watery version than the greek vegetables I've made with precooked pasta sauce in the winter, but everyone thought it very yummy over the rice.

Along with the rice and greek vegetables I served some canellini beans I had cooked with sauted onion and garlic, cumin, turmeric, tamari, basil and nutritional yeast. You could add some hot pepper if you wanted to. 

Rounding out the meal were some steamed greens. The house smelled yummy that night and all were satisfied.

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