October 26, 2009

colorful vegetables & salads

Colorful vegetables and salads, which I try to serve at least 2-3 times a week, make a healthier alternative to rice and pasta in our everyday meals. Three of our favorites are shown below.

Stir-fried mixed vegetable side dish (shown above) works great with Asian inspired dinners. Carrots, young corn, red bell strips, sliced onions and edamame were tossed and sauteed together in a mixture of light soy sauce and oyster sauce slightly thickened with a little cornstarch and water mixture.

This refreshing chilled vegetable salad (above) has been in my list of favorites ever since my mom-in-law made it for Thanksgiving Day a few years ago. Corn kernels, green peas, chopped red bell peppers, onions and sliced green beans were blanched then drained well. A dressing made with simple syrup, apple cider vinegar, vegetable oil, seasoned with salt and pepper was poured over the blanched vegetables. It's much better made a day ahead to allow the flavors to blend well together. Great idea for the busy holiday season. It also goes well with summer picnic food and barbecues.

I've been a fan of this crunchy Vietnamese style green salad and I've been making it to go with spring rolls, chicken satay and grilled beef and pork. I've made several versions of this but
the one I like best has vermicelli or mung bean noodles. The noodles may be blanched or soaked in boiling water to soften. Carrot and bell pepper strips add vibrant color to this salad along with sliced cucumbers and romaine lettuce. The noodles are cut then added to the salad. Sliced green onions are sprinkled on top just before serving. For the dressing, whisk together rice wine vinegar, a little sugar, minced garlic, sweet chili sauce, lemon juice, salt or fish sauce and ground pepper until well blended.

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