Lovely For Gifts

I went to a neighborhood dinner party recently and was asked to do the vegetables. The January weather in Arizona was so perfect I opened all the doors and prepped, chopped, cooked, roasted, grill and combine many of my favorite flavors to create a platter filled with veggies. My goal is always to share veggies with people who think they don’t like them.  Everyone at the dinner party said “I have never liked beets nor brussels sprouts but tonight you have changed my mind – clearly I have just never had them cooked right” Goal achieved!


Everyone at the dinner party asked me for the recipes – Here are all of the recipes for everything on the platter. NOTE: I don’t really measure stuff I just eyeball it!



Brussels  Sprouts: Wash brussels sprouts, steam them in a steaming tray on the stove top just until you can start to smell them. Then immediately take them off the burner and run them under very cold water to stop the cooking. On a cutting board cut each brussels sprouts in half and chop a half inch high stack of salami into small chopped pieces. Place a large pan on the stove top with the burner on medium. Heat Olive oil (around 2 TBLSP) and garlic (1 TBLSP) , add in brussels sprouts, salami and a handful of slivered almonds. Brown everything in the pan then transfer to a plate.


Roasted Beets: Using fresh beets, wash them thoroughly  *NOTE: save the greens on top for cooking too – they are delicious! On a cutting board cut raw beets into quarters, next cut an onion and a few cloves of garlic into small pieces. On your counter lay down a large piece of tin foil, top the tin foil with an equal size piece of parchment paper. Dump the beets, onions and garlic on top of the parchment paper/tin foil combo. Drizzle everything with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, season with salt and pepper. Fold outer tin foil around everything to make a ‘boat’  throw on the grill for 40 minutes or until everything is caramelized. You could do this in the oven too but it caramelizes better on the grill.


Cucumber, Avocado, Celery, Apple, Pomegranate Salad: Remove outer skin from Cucumber and  Avocado, discard pit.  Wash and chop Cucumber, Avocado, Celery and Apple (I prefer a Gala Apple for this). Toss in a bowl with Coconut oil and Coconut Vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Pour onto a plate and top with Pomegranate seeds.


Spicy No Mayo Coleslaw: This recipe is adapted from Mark Bittman’s recipe. I have simplified it for my tastes. Shred any kind of cabbage you like (Note don’t use bagged – it doesn’t taste as good and has sulfur and other chemicals on it to keep its color – yuck!) On a cutting board chop green onions and one Anaheim pepper.  In a bowl combine olive oil, apple cider vinegar, chopped garlic, Dijon mustard, fresh parsley, chopped Anaheim pepper  and chopped green onions with salt and pepper. Wisk together,  pour over cabbage and fold together – add more salt and pepper if needed. Chill in the fridge and serve when ready. This recipe tastes even better the next day after it has time to marinate.

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