Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Whatever Vegetables

Whatever vegetables you have on hand, chop them up, add a little something to jazz them up and you have a dish to satisfy your healthy, you know - good one, craving for vegetables.

Blog's Category: My Own Fast and Easy, My Staple Food

Whatever Vegetables


Don't be fooled by my picture above of these vegetables - looking wishy-washy and innocent, they have a lot of flavor and some awesome kick to them.

These Whatever Vegetables are really regular on our menu. The idea is to take a few vegetables (see possible list below), cut them in a same manner (all thinly or all very coarsely or even all julienned) and then cook them on rather low heat without any additional water. As they cook they give away a lot of juices. Then add some acidity (lemon, lime, or vinegar), and some basic sharpness (black pepper, chili pepper) and you have a great, full of natural vegetable essences, dish.

Do not be tempted to add your favorite spices such as cumin (believe me I love cumin too!). They will overshadow delicate natural taste of vegetables. On the other hand, addition of some acidity will help to bring those flavor up and shine.

What is it

Variety of vegetables + lime + whole chili pepper + heat = flavorful cooked vegetables

Taste Description

Tender, tantalizing natural taste of vegetables is brought here to another level by right amount of acidity of a lime. Lime zest and parsley, both, supplement faint vegetable flavors without knocking them out. Whole chili peppers won't release their fire up until you bite them. This way, each eater can regulate level of kick he is willing to take on. Who's the chicken?!

How to Serve

Serve warm or cold, as vegetable side to your meat or over the rice or noodles. I like to have it for a lunch with a thin plain cheese sandwich. But I think the best application would be with noodles - they will soak up all that beautiful vegetables juices.

Whole chili peppers are real fun - pick them up by stem, make a tiny exploratory bite, following by nice full fork load of vegetables. Then make another brave chili bite + veggies and enjoy dance of fires and flavors in your mouth.

List of vegetables that is perfect fit for this recipe

Yellow squash, zucchini, onion, eggplant, carrot, sweet potato, sunchoke, bell pepper, cauliflower, turnip, rutabaga, fennel, leek, cabbage, brussel sprouts, peas, broccoli, parsnip, asparagus, kohlrabi, bamboo shoots, burdock, potato, taro, daikon, parsley root, etc.

Whatever Vegetables 
  • Vegetables I had on hand at a time (onion, carrots, green bell pepper, yellow squash, sunchoke)
  • 4 green chili peppers, fresh, whole (optional)
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • fresh parsley (optional)
  • 5 tbs olive oil
  • salt to taste

- Place large skillet on a low-medium heat and start adding thinly sliced vegetables (1/6") one by one as you slice them starting from those which cook longer. For me it was in this order: onion, carrot, bell pepper, sunchoke. The last, add chili peppers - don't cut them open and don't cut the stem off.

- Add some salt.

- Cook vegetables on a low heat, occasionally stirring them lightly, just until desirable tenderness. For me it took about 15 minutes at most. Add lime juice, zest and parsley. Stir, cook for another minute - it's done! Enjoy!


Sunchoke is a new vegetable to me - visually it disguises as a ginger but its taste has nothing to do with a ginger's taste. Sunchoke, when cooked, is slightly sweet, soft but not mushy, with a vaguely distinguished flavor. Sunchoke is pleasure to eat but, oh boy, pain to peel :)

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