It's a Veg World After All® https://itsavegworldafterall.com Seasonal Recipes & Nutrition by Lizzie Streit Thu, 28 May 2020 20:05:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.1 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/cropped-VegWorld_SquareLogo_Purple_600x600-32x32.jpg It's a Veg World After All® https://itsavegworldafterall.com 32 32 Lemony Cod en Papillote with Vegetables https://itsavegworldafterall.com/cod-en-papillote-with-vegetables/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/cod-en-papillote-with-vegetables/#respond Thu, 28 May 2020 20:05:52 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=15553 Baking vegetables and cod in parchment paper, known as cod en papillote in French, is the best way to get perfectly tender fish and veggies. This delicious recipe features cod, asparagus, zucchini, lemon, fresh dill, and a homemade shallot butter. It’s a simple and light dinner. The more time we spend at home, the more...

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Baking vegetables and cod in parchment paper, known as cod en papillote in French, is the best way to get perfectly tender fish and veggies. This delicious recipe features cod, asparagus, zucchini, lemon, fresh dill, and a homemade shallot butter. It’s a simple and light dinner.

cod en papillote with lemon slices and green vegetables on a white counter

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

The more time we spend at home, the more opportunity I’ve had to experiment with cooking techniques that I’ve always wanted to try. Cooking fish in parchment packets (“en papillote”) was on my list of methods that intrigued but intimidated me.

I sort of forgot about fish en papillote until my mom told me that she recently tried and loved it! Inspired by her experience, I set out to try my hand at this delicious technique. And boy am I glad I did!

This cod en papillote recipe is unbelievably easy, quick, and healthy. It takes just 30 minutes start to finish AND there’s barely any clean-up.

I always struggle with preparing perfectly tender fish, like they do at restaurants, but not anymore. Parchment packets create the ideal cooking environment. They keep the heat in so that everything cooks evenly and quickly. It’s a game changer.

Not only is this method great for fish, but it also yields amazing vegetables! In fact, if you wanted perfectly steamed veggies for a quick side dish, you could forego the fish and just stick with the asparagus, zucchini, and seasonings. I see many more parchment paper recipes in my future!

zucchini and asparagus on a cutting board next to cod fillets, dill, lemon, and shallot

How to Make Cod En Papillote

  1. Make the shallot butter by mashing together softened butter, herbs, lemon zest, salt, and pepper.
  2. Cut two long sheets of parchment paper, each about 18″ long. Stack half of the veggies on one half of a sheet of paper.
  3. Place the cod on top, followed by a few pats of the shallot butter.
  4. Top with fresh lemon slices and sprigs of dill.
  5. Fold the other half of the parchment paper over the fish and veggies.
  6. Roll up the edges of the paper until you form a packet. Repeat with the rest of the ingredients, and place the 2 packets on a baking sheet to be transferred to the oven.

Expert Tips and FAQ

  • For the veggies to cook evenly and in the same amount of time as the fish, they need to be thin and relatively soft. I used asparagus and zucchini for this recipe, which worked great, but harder veggies like beets or carrots would likely need more cooking time. I’d recommend sticking to the ones I used or subbing in cherry tomatoes, sliced onions, and/or green beans.
  • Feel free to mix up the seasonings and use fresh parsley, thyme, or other herbs. If you don’t want as much of a lemon taste, forego adding the lemon slices on top of the fish.
  • Keep the cooking time short. I used pretty thin cod fillets and found that they only needed 16 minutes in the oven. A good rule of thumb is to cook cod for 8 to 10 minutes per inch of thickness.
  • Cod en papillote can be served on its own or with rice, potato salad (like my Vegan Potato Salad), or another source of complex carbohydrates.
  • If you’re interested, this is the brand of parchment paper that I use.
  • You can make the parchment packets up to 3 hours in advance, but keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to cook them.

How do you make parchment packets for fish?

Physically creating the packets was what intimidated me the most about this recipe, but the process is actually really easy. I read on another blog that the packets should resemble a large potsticker.

It’s helpful to keep that image in mind when you roll the parchment paper to form the packets. The most important thing is cutting pieces of paper that are long enough so that you have enough paper to roll up and form edges that stay closed.

Can you use other types of fish?

Although I have not personally tried it, this technique also works with other fish like salmon and halibut. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fish fillets. Most fish need about 8 to 10 minutes in the oven per inch of thickness.

close up of cod en papillote with fresh lemon slices and dill in a parchment packet

Other Fish and Vegetable Meals

If you like this cod en papillote, check out some of the other easy pescatarian meals on the site.

I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.

cod en papillote with lemon slices and green vegetables on a white counter
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Cod en Papillote with Vegetables

This delicious and easy meal features cod baked in parchment paper with asparagus, zucchini, and a lemon shallot butter.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, French
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 225kcal

Equipment

  • Parchment paper

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp butter softened
  • 1 shallot finely diced
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 zucchini sliced
  • 2 cups asparagus sliced
  • 2 cod fillets
  • Lemon wedges
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut two long pieces of parchment paper, each about 18 inches long.
  • In a small mixing bowl, mash together the butter, shallot, dill, and lemon zest. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Prepare the parchment packet by placing half of the veggies on one side of the parchment paper. Place a cod fillet on top of the veggies, followed by half of the shallot butter. Put lemon slices on top of the fillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and add some fresh sprigs of dill if desired. Fold the other side of the parchment paper on top of the veggies and fish and roll in the edges to form a packet. Repeat with the other piece of parchment and the rest of the ingredients. The packets should look like large potstickers.
  • Transfer the packets to a baking sheet and then to the oven. Let them bake for approximately 15 to 18 minutes. For reference, cod needs about 8 to 10 minutes of baking time per inch of thickness, so you may need more or less cooking time depending on the size of your fillets.
  • Remove the baking sheet from the oven and slice open the packets with a knife (or tear with your fingers). Some steam will escape, so be careful. Eat your meal right out of the packet or transfer the fish and veggies to a plate. Enjoy!

Notes

  • You can sub other veggies, but they need to be soft and thin, like cherry tomatoes, green beans, or sliced onions.
  • The parchment packets can be prepared up to 3 hours in advance. Keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to turn on the oven.
  • Serve this meal on its own or with a whole grain or potato salad.

Nutrition

Serving: 1packet | Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 160mg | Potassium: 919mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1598IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 4mg

Enjoy this light meal! – Lizzie

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Vegetable Garden Diary, Volume 1 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/vegetable-garden-diary-volume-1/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/vegetable-garden-diary-volume-1/#respond Thu, 28 May 2020 00:06:57 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=15541 In this post, I share my first update of the 2020 growing season with details on how I planned, planted, and maintain my vegetable garden. Hello Veg World! Welcome to the first of many posts that will chronicle my backyard vegetable gardening adventures! I’m so excited to create this new category of blogs, and I...

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In this post, I share my first update of the 2020 growing season with details on how I planned, planted, and maintain my vegetable garden.

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

Hello Veg World!

Welcome to the first of many posts that will chronicle my backyard vegetable gardening adventures! I’m so excited to create this new category of blogs, and I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them.

When I started It’s a Veg World After All, it was very much a hobby blog. I posted recipes using vegetables that my mom and I received in a CSA share. I took photos of said recipes on an iPhone 5S (remember those?!). I didn’t even know what SEO was. And I wrote the posts with a “diary” tone. It was a lot of fun, and while I don’t regret transitioning this blog into a business (not in the slightest!), I do miss those days sometimes.

So that’s what inspired me to add a new, diary-like series to my content calendar. Every so often, I’ll pop in with a post about my vegetable garden. Since vegetable gardening is very hot right now (#StayHome), I thought it would be fun to engage with those of you who are also experimenting with growing your own food. In addition to my diary series, I plan to write some how-to posts that will hopefully help fellow amateur gardeners.

In other words, I’m getting back to the “roots” of the Veg World. You’ll hear more about my personal experience with vegetable gardening, and my tips will stem from my trial and errors, rather than a degree in horticulture. And of course, I’ll still be creating a ton of recipes with my homegrown (and store-bought) veggies this summer!

Planning our Vegetable Garden: Seeds, Companion Plants, and Critter Control

Will and I moved into our house a little over a year ago. Since we were just getting settled at the start of the growing season, we didn’t do much planning. Our summer was very busy with travel, and we decided to take it easy, get to know the perennials we inherited, and save any landscape design until the following year.

However, we did have the opportunity to do some vegetable gardening. The couple who owned the home before us left behind 3 raised veggie beds, and I was PUMPED about this. I planted a whole slew of tomatoes, some zucchini, eggplant, herbs, and beets.

My harvest was fairly fruitful, but the beds were overcrowded, and the darn rabbits ate all of my beet leaves. I didn’t even get a single beet! (For those of you who don’t know, beets are my favorite vegetable.) I was determined to take the time to plan my garden this year and not repeat my mistakes.

Which brings me to April 2020. We had an early spring in Minneapolis this year, and I got the itch to plan my vegetable garden right around Easter. Plus, we were under a Stay Home order at this time, and I knew that the summer would be low-key, with lots of time spent at the house. It’s the perfect scenario to experiment with veggies!

After spending a few hours on the University of Minnesota and Farmer’s Almanac websites, I had a good idea of the veggies that do well in our growing zone (4b in Minneapolis). In addition to this info and our personal veggie preferences, here’s what else I kept in mind when planning the vegetable garden.

  • Spacing: Last year, I did not pay attention to spacing, and my plants suffered as a result. This year, I measured out the square footage of the veggie beds and planned accordingly. I also figured that I would grow plants in pots to create more room.
  • Seeds vs. Seedlings: I’m not at the level yet where I start seeds indoors, put them under a grow light, and then transplant them outdoors. Maybe next year?! Instead, I spent some time identifying seeds that I could sow directly into the ground in early spring. After I figured out those, I made a list of a few other veggies that I would plant from seedlings later in the season.
  • Ease of Growing: As much as I would like to grow the most unique veggies on the planet, I wanted to stick with the basics. I asked myself (and Google) which vegetables I thought I could handle and went from there. Then I made sure these veggies would fare well in growing zone 4b.
  • Companion Plants: The concept that some veggies don’t grow well near others is intuitive, but I had no idea about the specifics. TG for the Internet, am I right? After some research, I figured out which veggies work well with each other (and which ones don’t!) and was able to solidify my garden plan.
  • Critter Control: Oy vey, the bunnies and squirrels did a number on my veggies last year. So much so that I was compelled to come up with a plan to keep them away as much as possible before we even got anything into the ground. With the help of my husband, we created cages made from PVC pipes and wire to place on top of the veggie beds. The cages are removable, so I can get to the veggies when needed. (See this post for details and a photo of the cages below.) Six weeks into this year’s garden, and there hasn’t been a single veggie casualty at the hands of wildlife! The cages work great. The addition of these cages also informed my planning. We made one taller cage for a bed that would house my pea plants and other veggies that grow high, and I put root veggies and smaller plants in the other beds.
raised vegetable beds covered with a wire and pvc pipe cage

Considering all of these factors, I came up with the following plan for this year’s vegetable garden. I added links to the seeds I used and provided the names of the varieties I chose where I could.

  • Raised Bed 1 (tall cage): sugar snap peas started from seed in one half, Early Wonder beets from seed in the other half. These two are good companion plants, according to my research.
  • Raised Bed 2 (smaller cage): alternating rows of Easter Egg radishes from seed and yellow onions from bulbs. According to my research, Easter Egg radishes do well in the early spring. So do peas. Like I said, I wanted to get started early this year!
  • Raised Bed 3 (smaller cage): a small bush variety of tomatoes (known as Husky Red Cherry; apparently it doesn’t grow as tall as others), cucumber, green bell peppers, and a row of rainbow chard and arugula.
  • Pots outside of the beds/cages: herbs (mint, rosemary, basil, and Fernleaf Heirloom dill this year), an experimental pot of sugar snap peas (to compare how they grow to the ones in the beds), and a bonus pot of tomatillos (from a friend!). In my experience, critters don’t touch herbs, so I figured they will be safe outside the cages. I put the pot with the tomatillos on the tallest shelf of a tiered plant holder. I hope that deters the bunnies, but we’ll see if the squirrels get to them!
  • Window boxes at the front of the house: I’m considering planting chard and arugula in our window boxes in June. While some greens don’t do well in the summer heat, these two tend to do OK and can be sowed throughout the season. I’ll keep you posted! Rainbow chard is so pretty, that I thought it would be a great option for an edible but decorative window box display. Plus, greens can grow in window boxes since they don’t have deep roots.

Putting our Vegetable Garden Plan into Action

Once we had our plan, I was so excited to start the garden! On a warm day in mid-April, we placed a pick-up order from Home Depot for soil and fertilizer. We used this soil to fill the raised beds, with the appropriate amount of Garden-Tone fertilizer mixed in.

Once the beds were tilled and ready to go, I planted the sugar snap peas and beets in the bed that would have the tall cage. Then I planted four rows that alternated between yellow onions and radishes in another bed. I left the last bed open for the veggies I planned to get as seedlings.

The weekend after we put the seeds in the ground, we built the cages. It took a LONG time…a full weekend. And it was difficult. But I have to say that it was SO worth it…they work so well! If you plan to build something similar, make sure to plan your time accordingly.

A week or so after I put the first seeds in the ground, I started to see some seedlings. That’s always an exciting moment! As of right now, things are looking great, but we’ll see how the season progresses.

Fun Surprises and Helpful Tips

As I mentioned, I’m a newbie when it comes to vegetable gardening. I learn something new pretty much every day. Here are the most fun and helpful things I’ve come to know so far.

  • Peas need support to grow. You may have heard of a pea trellis or know that peas need some type of supporting structure to grow up. I came upon this in my research, but instead of purchasing a new pea trellis, I used upside down tomato cages for support. This seems to be working great! I planted the peas in a circle at the base of the tomato cage so that they would grow up the middle of the cage, and I’m “training” any wayward sprouts up the sides. Also, did you know that pea “seeds” are just shriveled up peas? Amazing!!!
  • Radishes and beets need to be thinned. Spacing is key when planting root vegetables, since they need room to expand underneath the soil. I was very particular when I sowed the seeds for my radishes and beets this year, and even brought out my ruler to make sure I adhered to the recommended distances. What I didn’t realize is that you also need to thin these veggies before they get too big, or else you end up with immature and tangled roots that don’t grow to their fullest. I used a small pair of garden scissors to thin clusters of radish seedlings once they were a couple inches tall, leaving just one seedling every inch. I’ll write a post on this sometime soon with more info.
  • Radishes don’t grow as quickly as I thought. I put the radish seeds in the ground at the end of April, and I thought we’d have some to eat at this point. We still don’t, even though most sources say that you can harvest radishes 3 to 5 weeks after sowing. They look healthy, though, so that’s a good sign!
  • Mint is a perennial! Say whaaaa??? I didn’t know this, and it was the most exciting development in our garden thus far. My husband’s boss was looking to get rid of some mint last year and gave us some. Knowing that mint can take over its growing area and thwart the growth of other veggies, I transplanted our borrowed mint to a pot and then buried the pot in the soil of one of the veggie beds. I didn’t think it would grow, because it didn’t look healthy when we planted it. But to our surprise, it grew beautifully until the fall. When I cleaned out the beds at the end of last season, I unintentionally left the pot that had the mint in the bed instead of cleaning it out. I was shocked to see small mint leaves growing in the pot again this April. I’ve since transferred the pot out of the veggie beds to be with the other herbs, and we already have several inches of fresh mint to harvest!
  • Don’t cover dill seeds with soil when sowing. I decided to plant some dill from seed this year, mostly because a lot of the nurseries around us were out of seedlings for other herbs and I read that dill was very easy to grow from seed. (Plus, I’ll need some for when I make pickles out of my cucumbers!!) Before planting, I read the back of the seed packet and was surprised to see that you sow dill seeds directly on top of soil without covering them. Apparently they need sun to germinate. A few days later, I checked on my pot of dill and saw that the seeds sprout in a really cool way. A little green sprout grows out of the seed and pushes the seed upwards. Unlike a lot of other veggies, the seeds don’t grow down into the ground. Very cool.
a large pot with dillweed seedlings

Here’s our pot of dill. You can barely spot the seedlings. I’m putting it here so we can compare this photo to what it looks like later! (Side note, I bought my first pair of Jordans, pictured here, after watching the Last Dance, #LikeMike.)

Helpful Resources

I mentioned some of these already, but here’s a summary list of the resources that helped us plan and implement this year’s vegetable garden. I hope they’re useful to you too!

  • Growing Zone Finder – Very helpful in the initial stages of planning, so that you can do more specific research into what grows in your zone.
  • University of Minnesota website – Helpful for pretty much every aspect of planning, but I especially enjoyed the tabs on growing radishes and peas.
  • Building a raised bed – I specifically liked the info about what soil combos to use for raised beds. We were lucky to inherit veggie beds, so we didn’t need to build them, but there’s some good info on building beds in there too.
  • Companion planting chart – Planting veggies together helped us make the most out of our raised beds, and I’m glad we figured out which veggies work well together before planting.
  • Info on making cages to protect against critters – Our cages are amazing and work really well! But it is quite a process to make them. This post was hugely helpful.

And that’s a wrap! I’d LOVE to hear if you’re growing your own food this summer too! Let me know how it’s going in the comments section. And while you’re here, subscribe to the weekly newsletter so you don’t miss a post. If you already have some veggies to harvest, check out my recipes.

Happy veggie growing! – Lizzie

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Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad with Butter Lettuce https://itsavegworldafterall.com/butter-lettuce-strawberry-salad-with-poppy-seed-dressing/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/butter-lettuce-strawberry-salad-with-poppy-seed-dressing/#comments Tue, 26 May 2020 22:14:53 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=8383 Fresh, flavorful, and light, this Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad is made with butter lettuce and tossed in a poppy seed dressing. It’s a delicious recipe for the spring and summer. This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure. Growing up, I remember eating the MOST delicious strawberry and spinach salad...

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Fresh, flavorful, and light, this Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad is made with butter lettuce and tossed in a poppy seed dressing. It’s a delicious recipe for the spring and summer.

Butter Lettuce Strawberry Salad with goat cheese on a white plate on a counter

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

Growing up, I remember eating the MOST delicious strawberry and spinach salad with homemade poppy seed dressing that my mom made in the summertime. I’ve loved the combo of strawberries and poppy seeds ever since! Something about the two together just screams warm weather, family dinners, and sunshine.

Inspired by that salad of my past, I set out to make a grown-up rendition for all of you. The result of my experimentation is today’s Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad with Butter Lettuce. It still has a classic poppy seed dressing but gets a little fancy with goat cheese crumbles and butter lettuce. (Tangy goat cheese and sweet, tart strawberries are one of the best duos in the culinary world, after all.)

For those of you who aren’t familiar with butter lettuce, also known as Bibb or Boston lettuce, it’s pretty much the most DELISH variety of lettuce out there. As the name implies, it literally has a buttery mouthfeel. It’s very fresh-tasting and has a wonderful light green color. I love to use butter lettuce leaves as natural “cups” in recipes (see my Grilled Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Lettuce Cups and Rotisserie Chicken Salad Lettuce Cups for examples). 

But butter lettuce really shines as the base of a light salad. So, I hope you’ll give it a try and make this recipe!

head of butter lettuce next to a carton of fresh strawberries on a counter

Expert Tips

Throwing together a salad is easy, but here are my tips for making the best possible strawberry goat cheese salad!

  • I use olive oil as the base of the dressing, but I recommend using a fairly neutral variety of olive oil. If you use a rich olive oil, the dressing can be slightly bitter. You can sub light olive oil, avocado oil, or even canola oil if you want to prevent any bitterness.
  • I like to use honey as the sweetener for my poppy seed dressing, but you can also sub white sugar.
  • When selecting butter lettuce in the store, see if you can find a head of butter lettuce that still has the root intact. They often come in circular plastic containers near the packaged salads and lettuce greens at the grocery store. Loose heads of butter lettuce are also available, but the ones with the roots attached stay fresh for a lot longer.
  • The salad and dressing both call for onion, and you can use any variety. I especially like sweet onions or shallots in this recipe, but it also works with red onion.
  • To prep this in advance, make the salad dressing and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can prep the salad up to a day in advance, but wait to dress it until right before serving.

two plates with the finished salad on top of a gray napkins on a white counter



 

Oh, and before I forget, another great thing about this strawberry goat cheese salad is that it can be served as a side or main dish. It goes great on the side of fish for dinner or even as a companion to an egg bake for Mother’s Day brunch. You can also serve it as part of a bridal shower spread!

To make it a main dish, add a piece of grilled chicken or salmon. For a vegetarian option, add some white beans or chickpeas. There are so many great options!

Butter Lettuce Strawberry Salad on a white plate on top of a gray napkin

More Healthy Salad Recipes

If you like this strawberry goat cheese salad, you may also enjoy the following recipes.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear how you like it! Please rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments section. While you’re here, sign up for the weekly newsletter.

Butter Lettuce Strawberry Salad
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Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad with Butter Lettuce

This refreshing salad is perfect for warm spring and summer days. Sweet strawberries pair well with fresh butter lettuce, goat cheese, and homemade poppy seed dressing.
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 salads
Calories 280kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 head butter lettuce
  • 1 pound strawberries sliced
  • 1/2 onion sliced into half-moons, recommend sweet onions or shallots
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese crumbled, plus more to taste

For the poppy seed dressing:

Instructions

  • Wash and dry the butter lettuce. Use your hands to rip leaves into pieces of desired size. Add lettuce pieces to a large bowl and add the sliced strawberries and onions. Top with goat cheese crumbles.
  • To prepare the dressing, combine ingredients in a small bowl and whisk vigorously until well combined. Pour the dressing over the salad, and toss well. Transfer to plates, and enjoy!

Notes

  • To make this a main dish, add a piece of grilled chicken, salmon, or some white beans or chickpeas.
  • I recommend using a light variety of olive oil, or one that you know has a fairly neutral taste. This will prevent the dressing from having any bitter undertones.
  • If you're looking for the freshest possible butter lettuce (that can last longer than other varieties), see if your store carries heads of butter lettuce that still have the root intact.
  • You can prep the dressing up to 5 days in advance and store in the fridge (shake well before using). The salad can also be prepped up to a day in advance, but wait to add the dressing until right before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 280kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 400mg | Potassium: 291mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 1656IU | Vitamin C: 69mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 2mg

Enjoy your Tuesday! – Lizzie

This post was originally published in April 2018. The recipe was updated and republished in May 2020.

 

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Blueberry Rhubarb Bars https://itsavegworldafterall.com/blueberry-rhubarb-bars/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/blueberry-rhubarb-bars/#respond Fri, 22 May 2020 18:27:25 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=15494 Blueberry rhubarb bars are the perfect dessert for spring and early summer! Made with rolled oats, their texture is reminiscent of rhubarb crumble but in bar form. Nothing signals the start of warm weather quite like rhubarb season. And as a veggie blogger, I like to give my fair share of attention to this tart...

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Blueberry rhubarb bars are the perfect dessert for spring and early summer! Made with rolled oats, their texture is reminiscent of rhubarb crumble but in bar form.

blueberry rhubarb crumb bars spread out on a counter with oats and rhubarb slices

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

Nothing signals the start of warm weather quite like rhubarb season. And as a veggie blogger, I like to give my fair share of attention to this tart stalk that’s technically a vegetable!

Since it’s usually paired with strawberries, rhubarb often gets mistaken for a fruit. But I was so thrilled to figure out that it was actually a veggie and that I could therefore add it to more blog recipes, especially since I like to offer both sweet and savory dishes on the site.

So, welcome to my annual ode to rhubarb! This year’s creation is a delicious twist on rhubarb crumble. I created these Blueberry Rhubarb Bars using my Blueberry Rhubarb Jam (that I posted last year) and an amazing gluten free, oat-based crust.

The result? REALLY good!! The bars are sweet, tart, and just the right amount of crumbly. Make sure you capitalize on rhubarb season while you can and make this dessert before it’s over! You won’t be disappointed.

oats, salt, brown sugar, blueberry jam, and butter on a white counter

How to Make Blueberry Rhubarb Bars

The process for this recipe is really easy. Honestly, the most difficult part is blending half of the oats to make oat flour. If you make the jam in advance (see this post for details), you can whip these up in less than an hour.

Here are the steps:

  1. Combine the oat flour, oats, and slices of butter in a mixing bowl.
  2. Use a pastry cutter or your hands to mix the batter into a crumble.
  3. Press half of the batter into a greased 8×8 baking dish. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until lightly brown.
  4. Pour the jam on top of the crust.
  5. Spread it out into a single layer.
  6. Press the rest of the batter on top of the bars. Pop back in the oven!

Expert Tips

  • You can make the jam up to a week before making my Blueberry Rhubarb Bars. Store it in the fridge in an airtight container until you make the recipe. You can also freeze the jam and make these at a much later time. Let it thaw in the fridge before using.
  • Let the bars cool completely before slicing. The jam will thicken up a little more while they cool, making them easier to slice. Please note that the bars are intended to be crumbly, like a rhubarb crumble.
  • Store the bars in an airtight container at room temp for up to a week. I haven’t tried freezing them, but I imagine it would work.
  • You can sub other jams for the filling, like a strawberry rhubarb jam instead, if desired.
  • If you need these bars to be gluten free, use certified gluten free rolled oats.
6 blueberry rhubarb bars on a white counter with oats and rhubarb slices

If you like these bars, you may also enjoy the Sweet Strawberry Rhubarb Salsa and the Strawberry Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal Muffins. For other recipes with blueberries, check out the Blueberry Sweet Corn Frozen Yogurt Bark and Sweet Potato Blueberry Flax Muffins.

three blueberry rhubarb bars on top of each other on a white counter

I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.

blueberry rhubarb crumb bars spread out on a counter
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Blueberry Rhubarb Bars

These delicious, gluten free crumb bars have a sweet and tart blueberry jam filling. They're reminiscent of rhubarb crumble, but in bar form!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 9 bars
Calories 293kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rolled oats divided; use certified gluten free if needed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter cut into slices
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup Blueberry Rhubarb Jam see notes for recipe link

Instructions

  • If you have not prepared the jam, follow the instructions in this post. Once the jam is ready, follow the next steps.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 baking dish and set aside. Add 1.5 cups of the oats to a blender and blend until you have a fine oat flour. Transfer the oat flour to a mixing bowl and add the rest of the whole oats, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the butter, and using a pastry cutter or just your hands, mix the butter and oat mixture together until it's crumbly.
  • Press half of the mixture into the greased baking dish, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until fragrant and lightly brown. Remove from oven and pour the jam on top. Use a spatula to spread it into an even layer. Press the rest of the oat mixture on top of the jam, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until lightly brown.
  • Remove from the oven and let it cool completely before slicing into 9 bars. The jam will thicken up as it cools, making the bars stay together better.

Notes

  • Plan for longer prep time if you haven’t made the jam in advance. You can keep the jam in the fridge for up to a week, or you can freeze the jam and make these bars at a much later time if desired.
  • Store the bars in an airtight container at room temp for up to a week.
  • Please note that the bars are intended to be slightly crumbly, like a rhubarb crumble.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 134mg | Potassium: 200mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 347IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 2mg

Enjoy rhubarb season! – Lizzie

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Grilled Stuffed Mushrooms with Caprese Salad https://itsavegworldafterall.com/grilled-stuffed-mushrooms/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/grilled-stuffed-mushrooms/#respond Fri, 22 May 2020 16:46:19 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=15469 For a delicious vegetarian meal that you can make on the grill, look no further than these grilled stuffed mushrooms! Perfectly tender portobellos are filled with caprese salad in this fresh, summer-inspired dish. Happy Memorial Day weekend, aka the unofficial start to summer! In one of my posts earlier this week, I told you that...

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For a delicious vegetarian meal that you can make on the grill, look no further than these grilled stuffed mushrooms! Perfectly tender portobellos are filled with caprese salad in this fresh, summer-inspired dish.

stuffed mushroom with caprese salad on a white plate on a counter

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

Happy Memorial Day weekend, aka the unofficial start to summer! In one of my posts earlier this week, I told you that I’ve been experimenting with tons of grilled vegetable recipes. So…surprise!! Here’s another one!

These grilled stuffed mushrooms have all of the best characteristics of portobellos. They’re meaty, tender, and juicy. But the tastiness doesn’t stop there!

I filled the mushroom caps with fresh caprese salad, made with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. The resulting flavor combo is nothing short of amazing and basically oozes summer. After all, summer is here, folks, so we might as well act like it!

Whether you’re staying in or stepping out for a socially distanced cookout with friends this weekend, this recipe should be on your menu.

portobello caps, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil on a white counter

How to Make Grilled Stuffed Mushrooms

  1. Remove the stems from each portobello cap, then use a spoon to scrape off the gills. This opens up more space for the filling. Be careful not to tear the caps, because you want them to keep their shape as much as possible.
  2. Brush the portobellos with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place on the grill, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes on each side.
  3. Stuff with the caprese salad. You can either fill the caps while they’re still on the grill and cook for a few more minutes to melt the cheese, or take them off the grill and keep the caprese salad cold.

Expert Tips

  • Try to get the largest portobello caps you can find. The more room for stuffing, the better!
  • I highly recommend using mesh grill mats for this recipe, especially if you want to fill the mushrooms while they’re on the grill to melt the cheese. The mats make it easier to keep the tomatoes from rolling off the top, and they make clean-up a breeze.
  • Whether you want the filling to be warm or cold is personal preference. If you fill the mushrooms on the grill, you may want to slice the tomatoes into smaller pieces. Whole cherry tomatoes can become slippery and may fall off the mushrooms.
  • The dish also tastes great if you keep the caprese salad cold. Filling the mushrooms after you remove them from the grill is a good option if you want to prevent the stuffing from slipping over the edges on the grill. Either way, this is a knife-and-fork kind of meal, so a little mess is no big deal at all!
  • These grilled stuffed mushrooms taste incredible with a drizzle of balsamic reduction and a dash of flaky sea salt before serving. While balsamic vinegar does the trick, using reduction or glaze (if you can find it) really adds something. I also like to add more fresh basil and ground black pepper to taste.

Man, I’m hungry just thinking about this dish! I’ll definitely be making it on repeat this summer.

caprese stuffed mushroom with balsamic reduction on top on a white plate

More Stuffed Vegetable Recipes

If you like these grilled stuffed mushrooms, you may enjoy:

grilled stuffed mushrooms with caprese salad on a plate and tray on a white counter

I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.

stuffed mushroom with caprese salad on a white plate on a counter
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Grilled Stuffed Mushrooms with Caprese Salad

These easy stuffed portobello caps are grilled to perfection and filled with fresh caprese salad.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 3 caps
Calories 228kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Prepare the portobellos by removing the stem and scraping off the gills with a spoon. Brush each side of the caps with half of the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Place the portobello caps directly on the grill racks or on grill mats. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes on each side until tender.
  • While the caps are cooking, prepare the caprese salad by mixing together the cherry tomatoes, chopped mozzarella, basil, the other tablespoon of the olive oil, and the balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Next, stuff the mushrooms. If you want the caprese filling to be warm and the cheese to melt, stuff the mushrooms while they are on the grill. This doesn't work as well if the caps lost some of their shape while cooking. If you do it this way, you may also want to slice the tomatoes into smaller pieces so they don't roll off the top while the mushrooms are cooking. Close the grill and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to warm the filling/melt the cheese. Remove and transfer to a serving dish.
  • Alternatively, you can remove the portobellos from the grill and transfer them to a serving dish before stuffing with the caprese salad. Either option is delicious, but the latter method is usually easier/less messy.
  • Drizzle the mushroom caps with balsamic reduction (if you have it) or more balsamic vinegar. Add flaky sea salt, ground black pepper, and more fresh basil to taste.

Notes

  • Serve this with grilled asparagus, green beans, or zucchini, or a fresh salad.
  • You can also eat the stuffed mushrooms as a sandwich in between a hamburger or sandwich bun.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cap | Calories: 228kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 252mg | Potassium: 443mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 604IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 200mg | Iron: 1mg

Happy summer! – Lizzie

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Mango Corn Salsa with Black Beans https://itsavegworldafterall.com/mango-corn-salsa/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/mango-corn-salsa/#respond Thu, 21 May 2020 22:32:10 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=15436 This refreshing mango corn salsa gets some added protein from black beans and tons of flavor from jalapeno, cilantro, and lime. It’s a great dish for grilling season and summer cookouts that can be eaten with chips or on its own! Since summer has arrived a little early this year, I’m already experimenting with sweet...

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This refreshing mango corn salsa gets some added protein from black beans and tons of flavor from jalapeno, cilantro, and lime. It’s a great dish for grilling season and summer cookouts that can be eaten with chips or on its own!

close-up of mango corn salsa in a gray bowl surrounded by chips and limes

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

Since summer has arrived a little early this year, I’m already experimenting with sweet corn recipes! This recipe for Mango Corn Salsa with Black Beans is the first of many to get you excited for corn season, and I think you’re really going to like what else is in store.

The fresh flavor in this salsa makes it simply irresistible, whether you’re enjoying it on a crunchy tortilla chip, as a main or side dish, or on top of fish or tacos. I honestly can’t figure out what I like most about it.

The slightly charred sweet corn? Juicy mango? Spicy jalapeno? Or maybe the fresh cilantro and lime!

In every spoonful, there’s so much going on. It’s basically the perfect dish to bring to a cookout or whip up as a snack for a summer evening on the patio. If you’re really in a mango salsa mood, be sure to check out my Double Pepper Mango Salsa while you’re here!

a cutting board with a mango, red onion, cilantro, jalapeno, and grilled corn

How to Make Mango Corn Salsa

Salsa is simple to make, but it does require a little chopping. This dish in particular also requires you to turn on the grill, but believe me, it’s SO worth it. Throwing the corn on the grill for a few minutes brings out their sweet, delicious taste.

First, preheat the grill to medium-high. Remove the husks from each ear of corn and brush the kernels with olive oil. Season with a little salt and pepper. Place them on the grill, cover, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Transfer to a plate and let cool.

Combine all of the other ingredients together in a large bowl. Slice the corn off the cobs and add to the bowl. Toss in lime juice, cilantro, and salt. The end!

diced red onion, jalapeno, mango, grilled corn, and black beans in a large mixing bowl

Expert Tips

  • You can cook corn directly on the racks of your grill, but I like to use mesh grill mats.
  • Use a serrated knife to slice the kernels off the cob. It comes off really easy this way!
  • Adjust seasonings as desired. Add more jalapeno for a spicier salsa and extra salt or lime juice if you want.
  • You can serve this mango corn salsa right away, but it tastes especially delicious after it sits in the fridge for a few hours. Taste and adjust seasonings before serving. Leftovers last for up to three days in the fridge.
  • Eat it with tortilla chips, on its own as a salad, or on top of fish and tacos. I’d love to hear what you do with your salsa!
  • While fresh sweet corn (especially at the height of summer) makes a really flavorful dish, you can use canned corn instead.
  • For info on how to cut mangoes for salsa, check out this post I wrote for Healthline. Using a mango slicer is a great way to speed up the process.

Oh, and I before I forget. Here are a few of my favorite recipes that you can serve with this mango corn salsa: Sweet Potato Black Bean Meal Prep Bowls (omit black beans from one of the recipes), cauliflower steaks, and kohlrabi steaks.

mango corn salsa in a gray bowl with blue and yellow chips surrounding it

Other Salsas and Dips

I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.

close-up of mango corn salsa in a gray bowl surrounded by chips and limes
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Mango Corn Salsa with Black Beans

This refreshing vegan mango salsa features grilled corn and black beans. It's a great dish for summer cookouts.
Course Appetizer, Condiment, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 188kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 ears corn shucked
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • 1 mango peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 jalapeno finely diced
  • 1 15.5 ounce can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 3 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 to 2 limes juiced
  • 1/4 tsp salt more to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat grill to medium-high. Brush each ear of corn with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place them on grill racks or mats on top of the racks, cover, and cook for 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until the kernels are cooked and slightly charred. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the diced mango, red onion, and jalapeno. Add the black beans and cilantro. Use a serrated knife to cut off the corn kernels from each cob and add them to the bowl. Mix together, add the lime juice and salt, and stir. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  • Serve immediately or transfer to an airtight container to keep in the fridge for a few hours. Taste before serving, and add more lime juice, cilantro, and salt as desired.

Notes

  • Serve with tortilla chips, on its own, or on top of fish or tacos.
  • This dish tastes best with fresh sweet corn, but you can sub canned corn.
  • Leftovers can last up to three days in the fridge.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 188kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 630mg | Potassium: 511mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 655IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2mg

Happy summer! – Lizzie

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Grilled Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Lettuce Cups https://itsavegworldafterall.com/buffalo-cauliflower-lettuce-cups/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/buffalo-cauliflower-lettuce-cups/#respond Wed, 20 May 2020 21:38:56 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=8448 In this delicious meal, refreshing butter lettuce cups are filled with crispy buffalo cauliflower that’s cooked on the grill! The cauliflower bites in this vegetarian recipe are made without flour, making the dish gluten free. This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure. Whew, what a week it’s been! I...

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In this delicious meal, refreshing butter lettuce cups are filled with crispy buffalo cauliflower that’s cooked on the grill! The cauliflower bites in this vegetarian recipe are made without flour, making the dish gluten free.

two plates with butter lettuce and buffalo cauliflower on a white countertop

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

Whew, what a week it’s been! I feel like I blinked and Memorial Day weekend was staring right at me!

This spring was…interesting…to say the least, and I’m really looking forward to a new season. With longer days, warmer temps, and a whole slew of new veggies to work with, I have a feeling that summer 2020 is going to shape up better than I thought. 

I’ve also been experimenting with a new category of recipes for all of you – grilled vegetable dishes. And I’m kicking it off with these Grilled Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Lettuce Cups. The crunchy, refreshing butter lettuce in this dish perfectly complements the spicy buffalo sauce. Plus, preparing the buffalo cauliflower on the grill adds a smoky flavor and yields a crispy yet tender texture. I’m hooked.

This meal is super easy, fully vegetarian, and downright delicious. I know I’ll be making it again and again this summer, and I think it’s the perfect dish for you to make if you’re grilling this weekend! (PS – be sure to check out the Grilled Stuffed Mushrooms with Caprese Salad for another vegetarian grilling recipe.)

one crispy buffalo cauliflower lettuce cup on a white plate with other dishes in background

How to Make Grilled Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower

  1. Break up a head of cauliflower into florets. Toss them in some olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  2. Grill for 15 to 18 minutes, turning occasionally, until tender and slightly charred.
  3. Pour in the buffalo sauce!
  4. Toss until coated.

While the cauliflower is on the grill, you can prep the other components of the recipe. Separate the leaves of a head of butter lettuce, put out ranch and/or blue cheese, and slice some red onion. Put it all together, and dinner is served!

Craving more buffalo? Check out the Buffalo Chickpea Salad Celery Sticks while you’re here!

cauliflower florets in a silver mixing bowl tossed with olive oil cauliflower florets on a veggie grilling mat on top of a grill grilled cauliflower in a silver mixing bowl with buffalo sauce on top buffalo cauliflower in a silver mixing bowl

Expert Tips

  • I highly recommend using nonstick, mesh grill mats to grill the veggies. My mom turned me onto this grilling technique, and it makes all the difference! No more veggies slipping through the cracks (see picture 2). You can also grill cauliflower directly on the grill racks, but make sure you break it up into large florets that won’t slip through.
  • Add the buffalo sauce after you grill the cauliflower. If you want to make sure the cauliflower stays warm, heat the sauce in the microwave or on the stove before you pour it over the florets. I like to use Frank’s Buffalo Sauce. If you can’t find that, you can also make buffalo sauce by combining 2 tbsp melted butter with 1/4 cup hot sauce and 1/4 tsp garlic powder.
  • Grilling is the best way to make crispy buffalo cauliflower, but you can use an oven for this recipe. Preheat to 400 degrees F, spread the cauliflower onto a lined baking sheet, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, flipping halfway through, until tender.
  • My favorite toppings for these lettuce cups include diced red onion, blue cheese, and ranch. You can also add tomatoes, diced celery, grilled onions, fresh dill, and more!


Buffalo Cauliflower Lettuce Cup on a white plate drizzled with ranch and dill

More Cauliflower Recipes

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear how you like it! Please rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments section. And while you’re here, subscribe to the weekly newsletter.

Buffalo Cauliflower Lettuce Cups
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Grilled Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower Lettuce Cups

Grilled buffalo cauliflower adds the perfect amount of spice to these vegetarian and gluten free lettuce cups.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 271kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower separated into florets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup buffalo sauce
  • 1 head butter lettuce AKA bibb or Boston lettuce
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion

Instructions

  • Preheat the grilled to medium-high. Toss the cauliflower florets in the olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Transfer to a nonstick mesh grill mat. Cover the grill and cook for 15 to 18 minutes, turning occasionally, until tender and crispy. Adjust the heat as needed to get your desired texture.
  • While the cauliflower is cooking, separate the leaves of the butter lettuce. Prepare the blue cheese, red onion, and other toppings.
  • Remove the cauliflower from the grill, transfer to the mixing bowl, and toss in the buffalo sauce. Fill the lettuce cups with as much buffalo cauliflower as desired. Feel free to cut the florets into smaller pieces if you want. Sprinkle on the toppings, and enjoy!

Notes

  • If you can't find or don't have buffalo sauce, combine 2 tbsp butter, 1/4 cup regular hot sauce (Frank's Red Hot works great), and 1/4 tsp garlic powder in a small saucepan. Heat until melted.
  • Other topping ideas include diced celery, tomatoes, and ranch.
  • If you don't have a grill mat, separate the cauliflower into large florets to prevent them from slipping through the cracks.
  • You can also make the cauliflower in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, spread the cauliflower florets onto a lined baking sheet, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until tender. Toss them in the buffalo sauce after roasting.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 271kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 1482mg | Potassium: 1169mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2957IU | Vitamin C: 143mg | Calcium: 270mg | Iron: 2mg

Have an awesome week! – Lizzie

This post for crispy buffalo cauliflower was originally published in June 2018. It was updated with expert tips and new photos in May 2020.

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Paprika and Garlic Roasted Peas https://itsavegworldafterall.com/roasted-peas/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/roasted-peas/#respond Tue, 12 May 2020 17:37:51 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=15378 These crunchy roasted peas make a fantastic snack for kids and adults alike! Frozen green peas are thawed then seasoned with paprika and garlic salt before being baked to perfection in the oven. Hey Veg World! I’m back this week with another recipe that uses frozen, but still seasonally relevant, produce. This time, I’m celebrating...

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These crunchy roasted peas make a fantastic snack for kids and adults alike! Frozen green peas are thawed then seasoned with paprika and garlic salt before being baked to perfection in the oven.

bowl of roasted peas in the center of a piece of parchment paper

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

Hey Veg World! I’m back this week with another recipe that uses frozen, but still seasonally relevant, produce. This time, I’m celebrating spring peas!

I’ve been dropping tips for making the most out of long-lasting veggies while we all try to limit trips to the grocery store. Check out the Roasted Frozen Broccoli (with 5 seasoning ideas!) and Roasted Frozen Brussels Sprouts for some inspiration.

But while I love both of those recipes, I’m REALLY smitten with these roasted peas! They’re seriously so delicious. Will and I ate the whole tray within minutes. This, by the way, is totally fair game, because peas are loaded with fiber and make a great healthy snack. #Winning.

Just remember to dry the peas off as best you can before baking, so that they can dry out even more in the oven and transform into a crunchy snack. Don’t skimp on the paprika and garlic salt either. These seasonings make roasted peas super flavorful and pretty addicting, to be honest.

side view of a pink bowl with roasted peas on parchment paper

How to Make Roasted Peas

  1. Let the peas thaw in a bowl, colander, or on a paper towel. This can take anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes at room temp.
  2. Place the peas between two paper towels and gently press the top towel down to soak up excess moisture. Repeat until the peas are noticeably drier.
  3. Transfer the peas to a lined baking sheet and toss in olive oil, paprika, and garlic salt. Bake!

Expert Tips

To get the best possible result for this recipe, follow these tips:

  • Let the peas thaw completely. Partially frozen peas have too much water in them. They’ll steam in the oven instead of crisping up.
  • Press as much water as possible out of the thawed peas in between paper towels. But do this gently…you don’t want the peas to be smushed.
  • Feel free to mix up the seasonings. I love the combination of paprika and garlic, but you may prefer salt and pepper, chili powder, cayenne pepper, or other spices.
  • Don’t overcrowd the peas on the baking sheet. They need room to release moisture.
  • Shake the baking sheet every 10 to 15 minutes to promote even cooking.
roasted peas spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper

Ok, I’m getting hungry just looking at these photos. I hope you love this crunchy pea snack as much as I do and that it helps you get more creative with frozen produce!

More Pea Recipes

I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.

bowl of roasted peas in the center of a piece of parchment paper
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Paprika and Garlic Roasted Peas

This crunchy snack uses frozen green peas and basic pantry seasonings.
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Thawing time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 139kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Thaw the peas in a colander or on a paper towel. When they are no longer frozen, spread them out on a clean paper towel and gently press another towel on top. Blot out any moisture and repeat this step as needed until the peas are noticeably drier. Be careful not to smush them.
  • Transfer the peas to the baking sheet and toss in the olive oil, paprika, and garlic salt. Spread them out in a single layer, being careful not to overcrowd.
  • Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the peas are browned and some of the smaller ones are shriveled. Shake the baking sheet every 10 minutes to promote even cooking. Remove from oven and enjoy!

Notes

  • Do not skip thawing and blotting the peas. If the peas are holding excess water, they will steam in the oven instead of getting crunchy.
  • Other seasoning ideas include salt and pepper, chili powder, cayenne pepper and garlic powder, and even nutritional yeast.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 139kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 589mg | Potassium: 354mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1356IU | Vitamin C: 58mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 2mg

Happy spring! – Lizzie

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Ancho Chile Black Bean Sweet Potato Tacos https://itsavegworldafterall.com/black-bean-sweet-potato-tacos/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/black-bean-sweet-potato-tacos/#comments Tue, 05 May 2020 22:48:25 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=15355 These easy black bean sweet potato tacos are on the table in 30 minutes and seasoned with ancho chile powder for maximum flavor. Learn how to make this vegetarian twist on stewed tacos from my husband/sous chef Will in his first ever guest post! Hello Citizens of the Veg World! I’m Will, Lizzie’s husband, and...

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These easy black bean sweet potato tacos are on the table in 30 minutes and seasoned with ancho chile powder for maximum flavor. Learn how to make this vegetarian twist on stewed tacos from my husband/sous chef Will in his first ever guest post!

three tacos in corn tortillas on a black plate on top of a yellow napkin and counter

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

Hello Citizens of the Veg World! I’m Will, Lizzie’s husband, and I’ve been called on as a probably-underqualified guest poster.

When people talk to me about Lizzie and her website, they tend to beat around the bush for a while before finally asking what they really want to know, so I’m going to spare you the wondering and answer your questions right here at the top:

  • Yes, I do get to eat all of the recipes. My sack lunches are the envy of my office. 
  • Yes, I’m extremely grateful for this. 
  • Yes, we still have junk food in the house. 
  • No, I am probably not as helpful to Lizzie’s general process as I’d like to think I am, but she hasn’t burst my bubble yet.
  • No, I really don’t have to cook very often, but yes, I do like to cook.

I’ve loved to be in the kitchen since I was a toddler.  My mom is a great cook, and when I was little I would hang around and “help” by measuring and stirring and making requests, which were generally for baked goods or for tacos.

My favorite food was (and is) tacos, which we didn’t eat nearly as frequently as I would’ve liked. I have a vivid memory of my mom telling me (probably more than once), “I’m not making tacos for you everyday, but when you grow up and have a home of your own, you can eat tacos for every meal if you want to make them.”

I showed her!!! From the time I left home until Lizzie and I moved in together, I made sure I kept myself well-stocked on tortillas, salsas, and a variety of proteins, which allowed me to achieve my childhood dream. I really did eat a form of tacos for at least a third of my meals. It was a glorious time.

In terms of feasibility, I lucked into a favorite food. Tacos are very accepting of a variety of inputs. If you have the ingredients I listed above, you’re about 75% of the way to a meal, and while I’ve lessened the pace, I’ve kept up my love for the taco genre over the past few years as well. 

Every week I keep making the same contributions to our grocery list: corn tortillas, black beans, cheese, and green and red salsas. So a few weeks ago, when Lizzie had a late night at the blogging factory and I was called in from the bullpen to cook dinner, I was prepared and stocked to make some pantry tacos.

These tacos fall under the subcategory of Tacos Guisados. Guisado translates to “stew,” and can contain pretty much any combination of meats, beans, and/or vegetables.

Throw the ingredients into a pot with some spices, wait, put the stew into a tortilla, and you have yourself a hot meal. You can do it. I believe in you.

black beans, diced sweet potato, cilantro, scallions, spices, and lime on a counter

How to Make Black Bean Sweet Potato Tacos

This particular version of black bean sweet potato tacos is very simple and keeps well, so you can cook it up for an easy meal at the end of a long day or in a batch over the weekend as meal prep. The short ingredient list makes for simple steps, and the result is delicious, filling, and vegetarian.

To make this recipe:

  1. Dice the scallions about half of the way up, starting at the white, root end (get rid of the tip with the little stringy things), and discarding the leafy green section at the top. You’ll be able to feel the scallion getting less dense as you move up – stop once the concentric circles of the scallion no longer appear very tight.
  2. Scrub or peel a sweet potato and dice it into cubes that are about ¾ of an inch wide. The width of your thumb is a good eyeball test.
  3. From there, it’s just a matter of adding everything in the right order: fry the scallions until they’re soft, then add your spices, the potato, and finally the beans and some water, and let it stew.

Expert Tips

These will turn out best if you:

  • During the last 5 minutes or so of cooking, take off the lid to let the stew steam off some water. This thickens the mixture, which will prevent the dreaded soggy/broken tortilla.
  • Stir in the lime juice at the last minute to keep the citrus flavor fresh.
  • If you can get it, use ancho chile powder instead of regular chili powder. Both work, but the ancho chile adds amazing flavor.
  • Don’t take your tortillas for these black bean sweet potato tacos for granted. Buy good tortillas (La Perla and Maria & Ricardo’s are two of my favorites) and warm them up – heat a pan as hot as you can, then heat each tortilla for 30-60 seconds on each side or until you see bubbles forming inside the tortilla (BONUS: this is a great, low-risk environment to practice your pancake/fried egg flipping technique).
  • Keep the warmed tortillas wrapped in a clean towel or in a tortilla warmer until serving. [You can also warm tortillas by placing them directly onto a grill or gas-burning stove top to get a little bit of charring, but this requires full attention – it’s very easy to really burn them/yourself this way. But! If you’re bored of being at home and looking for ways to live on the edge, this might be the adrenaline rush for you.]
close up of black bean sweet potato tacos on a black plate on a yellow napkin

Similar Recipes

If you like these black bean sweet potato tacos and want more from Sous Chef Will, let us know in the comments below! If you’d like to know more about what goes on behind the scenes of the Veg World, you can email me at will@itsavegworldafterall.com or find me @WilliamJStreit on Instagram.

three tacos in corn tortillas on a black plate on top of a yellow napkin and counter
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Ancho Chile Black Bean Sweet Potato Tacos

A vegetarian twist on stewed tacos, this recipe is easy to make and full of flavor.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 tacos
Calories 165kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sweet potato cubed
  • 3 scallions sliced halfway up the stalk
  • Dash of salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano or dried cilantro
  • 1.5 tsp ancho chile powder can sub regular chili powder
  • 1 15 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • 1/2 lime juiced
  • 8 corn tortillas warmed
  • Cotija cheese for serving

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add diced scallions, salt, and pepper. Cook until softened – about 3 minutes.
  • Add oregano or cilantro, cumin, and ancho chile powder together. Immediately add sweet potato and stir until potato pieces are coated in spices. Fry for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Stir in beans, water, and a few dashes of hot sauce. Bring to a boil, cover the pot, reduce heat, and simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. While this is cooking, warm the tortillas for 30-60 seconds on each side in a pan over high heat.
  • Take the lid off the pot and cook for 5 more minutes to allow extra condensation to escape. Stir in lime juice and serve in tortillas.

Notes

  • Serve with cotija cheese, salsa, sour cream, and/or a squirt of lime.
  • This can also be served over cooked rice. To do this, skip the last 5 minutes of cooking with the lid off. This will keep the liquid in the pot, which will help to provide flavor to the rice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1taco | Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 240mg | Potassium: 334mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 4164IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 2mg

Happy taco day! – Will

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Easy Refrigerator Pickled Asparagus Recipe https://itsavegworldafterall.com/pickled-asparagus-recipe/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/pickled-asparagus-recipe/#respond Thu, 30 Apr 2020 22:27:15 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=15320 Learn how to preserve spring’s headliner veggie with this quick and easy pickled asparagus recipe. These zesty spears have a subtle kick from red pepper flakes and delicious flavor from dried dill. Pickled veggies are definitely having a moment right now, and I’m here for it! Pickling not only contributes a delicious, tangy flavor to...

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Learn how to preserve spring’s headliner veggie with this quick and easy pickled asparagus recipe. These zesty spears have a subtle kick from red pepper flakes and delicious flavor from dried dill.

side view of pickled asparagus upright in a quart-sized glass mason jar

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

Pickled veggies are definitely having a moment right now, and I’m here for it! Pickling not only contributes a delicious, tangy flavor to vegetables, but it also significantly extends their shelf life.

Each pickled veggie tastes slightly different compared to the next, but they all can be used in a variety of ways. Sandwiches, tacos, nachos, burgers, charcuterie boards…you name it…and a pickled veggie can be added to it!

Asparagus spears, with their long, lanky shape, take on an especially delicious crunch that’s hard to resist. I made this pickled asparagus recipe a couple of weeks ago, and have been enjoying a spear straight from the jar every afternoon as a snack.

If you have been experimenting with ways to stretch out your perishable groceries while we all stay at home, I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

a bunch of asparagus spears spread on a bamboo cutting board next to spices

How to Pickle Asparagus

The following method will teach you how to make homemade refrigerator pickled asparagus that’s intended to be consumed within a few weeks. Keep in mind that this recipe does not give instructions for canning asparagus…there is no boiling or vacuum sealing involved.

To make quick pickled asparagus:

  1. Snap off the ends of the asparagus spears so that they fit in a quart glass jar without their spears pointing out of the top. Add the smashed garlic cloves, dill, and red pepper flakes to the jar.
  2. Combine the salt, sugar, water, and apple cider vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and carefully pour over the asparagus spears.

Leave about 1/4″ at the top, and don’t fill the jar all the way with brine. Let everything cool down, seal tightly, and transfer to the refrigerator.

Expert Tips and FAQ

  • This pickled asparagus recipe works best with a quart-sized mason jar, because it’s tall enough to fit the asparagus spears without having to snap off too much of their stems.
  • If you have thick asparagus spears, you may find it easier to fit them in the jar if you put some spears tip-side up and some tip-side down.
  • The asparagus will change color in the brine and possibly develop pink or purple tips. The garlic cloves may also turn blue. This is all perfectly safe…and pretty!
  • Don’t throw out the asparagus trimmings after the recipe. Save them to use in stir fries or even my Baked Brown Rice Risotto with Asparagus.

How long before you can eat pickled asparagus?

Wait at least 24 hours to try one of the pickled asparagus spears. They taste even better three or more days after you make the recipe. You can keep them in their sealed jar in the fridge for about 3 to 4 weeks, but they probably won’t last that long.

How do you eat pickled asparagus?

I like to eat it straight out of the jar or with a cheese board for an appetizer or snack, but it also tastes delicious chopped up and served over fish, burgers, or tacos.

overhead shot of asparagus in a jar with pickle brine and dill

More Pickled Veggie Recipes

I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.

side view of pickled asparagus upright in a quart-sized glass mason jar
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Pickled Asparagus Recipe

Easy refrigerator pickled asparagus with red pepper flakes, garlic, and dill.
Course Condiment, Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Resting time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 38kcal

Equipment

  • 32 ounce (1 quart) glass jar

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch asparagus ~1 pound or ~20 thin spears
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1.5 cups apple cider vinegar can sub red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Instructions

  • Snap the ends of the asparagus and pack them inside the glass jar. If any of the spears stick out of the top of the jar, trim off more of the ends. Add the garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, and dried dill to the jar.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, stir until the sugar dissolves, remove from heat, and carefully pour the brine over the asparagus spears. Leave at least 1/4" at the top of the jar to avoid overfilling with brine.
  • Let them cool for approximately 30 minutes at room temperature before sealing with the jar lid and transferring to the fridge. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before eating. These taste even better after 3 or more days of refrigeration.

Notes

  • The asparagus will change color as it sits in the brine. The tips may become slightly pink or purple, and the garlic may turn blue. This is perfectly safe, and the asparagus is OK to eat.
  • If your asparagus is thick and wide, try alternating the spears (tip-side up vs. tip-side down) to fit them into the jar more easily.
  • Please note the sodium content in each serving is likely a lot less than listed here, since the nutrition calculations include the entire brine, which most people do not consume.

Nutrition

Serving: 3spears | Calories: 38kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1173mg | Potassium: 195mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 626IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 2mg

Happy pickling! – Lizzie

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