Saturday, November 12, 2016

Join our "Eat Your Rainbow Challenge"!

By Victoria Abbott aka Mary Jane and Victoria Maffini

Read to the end to find out about our challenge and GIVEAWAY!  It's easy and worth it!


I don’t know about you, but it’s once again time for me to face the music and improve my health. The secret for that challenge will be veggies. If I want to be healthy and energetic, I have to eat lots of  veggies at every meal.  Let me be clear: the rest of the plate shouldn’t be triple chocolate cake.

I love vegetables, but, face it, they take a bit of planning and prep. And it’s very easy to fall into a boring selection of ‘same old, same old’.  The secret of keeping it fresh, interesting and balanced is to eat all the colors of veggies.

I'm looking to party!  I wonder if Miss Carrot is free to join me?

All to say, my next few posts will be on how to inject variety and ramp up flavor to eat vegetables at their most delicious, without adding a cup of sugar, a handful of flour or a deep-fryer. Of course, that all might be tasty too, but I won’t be doing it.

So over the next four months, I’ll be working toward a better weight and improved blood sugar with my posts here on Mystery Lovers Kitchen, and I hope you’ll be part of my solution. But I don’t intend to give up flavor or enjoyment.  For every recipe, I’ll ask you to come by and offer your own tips and preferences, or just a comment.  At the end, everyone who has commented will have their names in a hat and will be eligible for the ‘grand veggie prize. Every post, I’ll put your names in if you comment. The more often you come by, the more chances you have. Don’t forget your email addies!  

You’ll see the prize after the recipe, although that’s a prize in itself. 

Kicking off the challenge we have two old friends to help us:  Cauliflower and Carrots. Kind of plain folks, but you can dress them up.  And when they team up with brown butter sauce, hang on to your hat:  they are happening in a whole new way.  Talk about Cinderella veggies.

This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite chefs: the brilliant but accessible Ina Garten.  I have all her books and I use them.  I adapted this one from Make It Ahead and used some of our own favorite techniques and I assume you’d be putting your own stamp on it too.  

 So here’s: 

 

Carrot & Cauliflower Purée

Ingredients: 
1 medium head cauliflower, core removed and cut into florets
1 ½ pounds carrots, scraped and chopped into ‘coins’.
4 ounces butter
Juice of one small lemon
¼ fresh parsley chopped
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
We used our pasta cooker to boil the cauliflower, because the strainer insert made it easy to reuse the water for the carrots. If you were in a hurry, you could have two pots boiling, but then you’d have to wash them.






















Bring water to a boil, add cauliflower and cook for 18 - 20 minutes, until tender.  Remove from water and then add carrots to same water.  Cook for about 20 minutes.  Return cauliflower to the water to for one or two minutes to reheat, if you are serving this right away.  Otherwise, just strain the carrots. 

Return drained veggies to pot.
Melt the butter in a small sauté pan over medium low heat until it turns golden brown.  


  Don’t let it burn! Add parsley and lemon and heat through.  

Use an immersion blender to purée the veggies.  




 Then add the brown butter and lemon sauce.  Season with sea salt and pepper.  This was so good that we couldn’t stop eating it.  And yet, it was full of vitamins.

Transfer to a heatproof serving bowl or dish. 


It makes quite a bit so you will have veggies for a couple of meals or for a good-sized group. It reheats beautifully.  Really, the butter is spread over quite a few servings, so I decided to relax about it because  still met my goals for the week. 


We hope you enjoy it as much as we did at our house.
Here’s the grand prize: a beautiful leaf serving dish, for your own veggies. Any color of the rainbow will look beautiful served on it!  Can you just imagine how they will pop?
 

Hope to hear from you. Bring your tips.


The veggie loving duo known as Victoria Abbott is a collaboration between Mary Jane Maffini and her artist daughter, Victoria Maffini.



 They've had a lot of fun with the five book collector mysteries.




The latest one, The Hammett Hex, is now available.

 Come and visit us on Facebook!  CLICK HERE


If you don't have The Hammett Hex yet,  here's your chance:


 CLICK HERE or ask your favorite booksellter

 And: 


CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE TRAILER
  





72 comments:

  1. Glad to hear you will be concentrating on veggies and good health over the next few months. I have to say that when I saw the amount of butter used in your recipe, I almost scrolled on by!!!! But since the recipe makes so many servings, I will give it a try.
    Last night I roasted 5-6 different veggies on a large pan and my husband (the veggie hater) actually loved it. There is hope!!!

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  2. Thanks, Sharon. We love roasted veggies. The taste is totally different! Don't forget to give us your email addy.

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    1. oops....forgot!!!! sharonquiltsatyahoodotcom

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  3. Thanks for the recipe, Mary Jane! Since I'm allergic to potatoes this looks like a nice substitute for Thanksgiving's mashed potatoes :) I like to add a handful of broccoli, carrots, and spinach to my fruit smoothie every morning (although the color takes a bit of getting used to), or make a pumpkin spice smoothie with frozen mango chunks for the sweetness instead of fruit juice. Your veggie platter is a gorgeous giveaway, thanks for the chance! kimdavishb (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Thanks, Kim! I love your smoothie ideas. I must start to do that. I hear you about the color. Hugs.

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  4. I admit it. I don't eat at all healthy and I don't care for veggies, especially cooked. I really should at my age, but, there you go! Perhaps I can give this a try. I do like raw carrots, but don't like them cooked.

    I did just try a sweet potato item, and I don't like them-but this was amazing. A Sinister Spud cupcake from Sinful Sweets bakery...probably not what you had in mind for adding healthy veggies though!

    cozyupwithkathy @ gmail dot com

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    1. Deat Katreader. Your cupcake sounds great. Veggies can add a lot to baked treats.

      I am not a fan of cooked carrots and I liked this recipe because it didn't taste like carrots. Thanks for coming by. Your name's in the hat.

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  5. This recipe sound so good, only problem for me is that there are just two of us and hubby does not like either cooked cauliflower or carrots and that would be way too much for me unless it freezes.
    Nancy B
    nlb1050@yahoo.com

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    1. I think it will freeze, Nancy B. We'll try it! The neat thing about it is that it doesn't taste like either veggie. But as a person who worked HARD to like veggies, I understand your hubby's challenge. Hugs. MJ

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  6. I love all kinds of mushrooms, especially cooked in browned butter. Simple but delicious! lkleback@hotmail.com

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    1. Yum! We love mushrooms too, sauteed. Never thought of the browned butter. Will give it a try. Hugs. MJ

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  7. I like to cut carrots into strips like shoe string fries, toss them with olive oil, a little sea salt, chopped fresh rosemary and just a sprinkle of brown sugar and roast them in the oven until they are tender.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

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    1. Oh my,Sandy! That sounds wonderful. Thank you. Hugs. MJ

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  8. MJ, this is a great series you're starting -- and of course, a beautiful prize. My tip? Spices. (Surprise!) Roast veggies with a little oil, salt, and a handful of herbs -- herbes de Provence, an Italian blend, a curry or garam masala (Indian cooking isn't all about heat -- there's a lot of flavor!) Or steam your veggies and dress with oil and spices in your serving bowl. I'll post about creating some of those spice blends soon!

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    1. Thanks so much, Leslie! I think your spice blend post will be dynamite. Yum!

      XO MJ

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  9. I love this contest! How very clever of you. As a matter of fact, if my plan works, I may be posting a veggie recipe myself. Can't wait to see your recipes. We need to eat more veggies here, too.

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    1. I'm actually down FIVE pounds so far, so I love it too. I look forward to your veggie recipes too. You always have very tasty takes on ingredients. XO MJ

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  10. I recently made this Ina Garten recipe for my MIL's birthday, and it was a hit but oh so much butter. In our house the amount of butter makes this a special occasion recipe. We eat a lot of salads, stir fries, and roasted veggies. Also, in our house potatoes, corn, winter squash, and other starchy veggies don't count as veggies when I'm meal planning. They get lumped in with the other carbs on the plate. I look forward to you upcoming posts.

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    1. Thanks, Daniele! We will be making this again and will probably try it with different amounts of butter (and lemon and parsley). Look forward to seeing you again here. Don't forget email addy! You can leave out the @ and the . before com to disguise it from trolls. Hugs. MJ

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  11. I am not much of a veggie person (I drink V-8's), but I know that's not the best option. I will give this a try! bobandcelia@sbcglobal.net

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    1. Thanks, Celia! Let us know what you think. Hugs. MJ

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  12. A suggestion about the butter. I am dairy allergic. I have found a plant based substitute that tastes the same as butter and can be used in almost anything made that calls for butter. LIKE THE RECIPE! I use cauliflower as a substitute for potatoes a lot. Can rarely tell the difference. And never throw away your water you use in cooking veggies. I reuse it for cooking other foods that call for water, i.e. mashed taters, rice, noodles. Also use left over water [especially water used for cooking pasta's] for watering plants. there is a recipe for using cauliflower that I want to give a try. A lovely give away that I could really use. A certain little kitty cat broke mine a couple months ago, haven't been able to replace it yet. Della at deepotter at peoplepc dot com

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    1. Thanks, Della! I love the water tips. We use our veggie water in soups and gravies (not that we often have gravy). I will give our plants a treat.

      Hugs. MJ

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    2. PS Della - what is the plant-based butter substitute? I'd love to know! MJ

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  13. Sounds really good, I stir fry vegetables with olive oil, that's good too.donamaekutska7@gmail.com.

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    1. We also love stir-fries with olive oil. Thanks for reminding me, Donamae. Hugs. MJ

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  14. We have a lot of veggies here my oldest daughter is a veggie person she makes a lot of veggie dishes using olive oil and fresh veggies. She will love this recipe thank you
    Penney penneyw(AT)sbcglobal.net

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    1. Thank you, Penney! I hope she does love it. Keep us posted and thanks for coming by. Hugs. MJ

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  15. I so enjoyed this blog entry and I have every intention to make this dish. It looks wonderful!!

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    1. Thank you! Visit us next time and remember the email addy because your name is in the hat. Hugs. MJ

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  16. I love eating vegetables. Your recipe sounds very interesting. I might add some additional spices to the recipes, such as a pinch of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon.

    CherinFL54@hotmail.com

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    1. I think that would really be good! Thanks for your comments. Hugs and good luck!

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  17. That looks like an excellent recipe, I wwonder if I could add milk and turn it into a soup as well.

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    1. I think you could, Marie. And you could just turn some of the leftovers into soup as well. All it would take is some milk or extra stock and a whir with a blender, or immersion blender. Hugs.

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  18. I enjoy toasted broccoli that is mixed with an Asian dressing after roasting.

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    1. Oh yum, Sue F! That sounds fabulous. Thanks for your comment. Hugs.

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    2. I left out my email. suefoster109 at net zero. Net

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  19. I bought a 3 tiered steamer rently and I am able to cook several vegetables at a time, adding carfots to the bottom tier and cooking first and then adding faster cooking veggies to the top tiers later. This might work in this recipe, to make it come together quicker. I'm going to try it.

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    1. Good thinking! Let us know, Sally. It would be more efficient, I think. Hugs.

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  20. Congratulations on such a wise plan of action. And 5 pounds already? Well done, you! We will cheer you on.
    I agree about roasted vegetables. It transforms them. Cleo Coyle's roasted cabbage was a revelation to me. Who knew cabbage could be soft and sweet?!
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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    1. Exactly, Libby. I find out all kinds of great stuff on Mystery Lovers Kitchen and that cabbage recipe was super. Good luck in the draw. Hugs.

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  21. My husband would love the vegis and I am slowly getting to like them. This is such a good idea. We use platters for everything he brings in the food off the BBQ with a platter. When he brings the food from the stove it's a platter we feel it is a nice look and also easier to get the food off. ptclayton2@aol.com

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    1. Nice! We use platters too. I think they are easy and attractive and a very nice look. Things taste better when they look better. Hugs and thanks for coming by.

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  22. I'm with you! Must increase veggie consumption for my health. Like all foods, their presentation is important, and bright, multi-hued veggies would look their best on a beautiful white platter like the one you are featuring.

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    1. Good luck, Gailanne! Don't forget your email addy!

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  23. Darling plate, darling veggies. I love how you "dress them up." Hugs, Daryl

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    1. Thank you, Daryl! I am always so impressed with your posts and presentation, so that's nice to hear. XO

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  24. I hate to say it but my family would never eat the puree...but I do like crunchy veggies...vickiela3@hotmail.com

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    1. Some of my relatives wouldn't either and some friends too. LOL, but my hubby and I really were surprised by how much we loved it. Different strokes. Thanks for coming by. Hugs.

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  25. I really like that you are doing this challenge !! I love veggies, but, mine are probably boring to everyone !! I love my veggies raw. Love the crunch !!! But, I think I will try some of what is posted. Wish me luck !!! Thank you for doing this !! beatle95 (at) Hotmail (dot) com.

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    1. Thank you, Sally! We all like different things and if we get some ideas from each other, that's just great. So glad you came by! Hugs.

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  26. Most of us should be adding more veggies to our diets for our health sake. If we have an opportunity to try new recipes like this, we'll be healthier for our next checkup. I'm willing to take on the challenge.
    6186pep(at)msn(dot)com

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    1. So glad, Darlene! We hope we have fun ideas for you! And we are looking for ideas from our readers too.
      Hugs.

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  27. Veggies are yummy! Bobbipad at gmail dot com

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  28. I know it may be silly, but I have an aversion to the food processor and things like it. Dont ask me why, but there I admitted it. I love veggies though. Recently I have been making up some cabbage veggie soup in the crockpot. Just throwing the cabbage, carrots, onions and whatever else I have on hand in there with seasoning of choice and low salt tomato sauce, soup, paste or whatever. Turns out wonderful every time. kayt18 (at) comcast (dot) net Thanks for the recipe and chance to enter

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    1. I have aversions to some things too! I love the immersion blender, but hate a food mill. Your soup sounds out of this world. Thanks for sharing that. We'll try it! Hugs.

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  29. We love vegetables at our house and I am always looking for a new way to serve them, so I will definitely try this. I also like the idea of using the leftovers as a soup starter as suggested in another comment. Thanks MJ and Victoria.
    Nancy R
    jw.nl.reid@sympatico.ca

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    1. I have enjoyed veggies at your house, Nancy "anonymous" R. Good luck in the draw and thanks for including your email. Let us know what you think! xo

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  30. I love veggies and so does my family. My son used to hide mushrooms in his room so his dad wouldn't find them, lol. I have puréed cauliflower before to make cheesy rice and it is delicious. You use a little cauliflower and milk plus a little cheese. It's also a good way to hide veggies from your kids.

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    1. We call it fautatoes around here, Sara. It fools even teenagers. I love the mushroom story too. Hugs.

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  31. I love this time of year since the house can get warmed by the oven as I roast my veggies. I found out how to do this a few years ago and LOVE IT! I started with Brussels Sprouts and went from there. Cut them up, toss them in olive oil and whatever savory spice mix that looks good at the time from my spinning spice rack. Place it all on an aluminum foil lined cookie sheet and roast for 30 or so minutes. I love how the house smells while it's roasting. I roast cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, broccoli, asparagus. YUM!
    VWinship at a o l dot com

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    1. Sounds amazing. We roast individual veggies, but will give the mix a try. Yum indeed. Thanks so much!

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  32. I love roasting vegetables. It really brings out the flavor and is so easy to do. Brussels sprouts are one of my favorites.

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    1. My email is diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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    2. Thanks Diane.I would never eat Brussels sprouts until I had them roasted. It's a great way to cook and so healthy. Hugs.

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  33. I like veggies. But they are a pain for one person. Fresh ones don't come in one person sizes. They spoil or you have to cook/freeze them so what's the point of fresh? I've never really liked cooked carrots of any kind. And lately, I find I don't care for raw ones either. I guess I'm getting picky in my old age. Sigh.
    pmettert@yahoo.com

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  34. Thank you for the recipe I am going to try this. I love vegetables... so perfect...and as fall is my favorite I like the vegetable holder...
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

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  35. Over the years, I have made pureed vegetables but the only one that my family really likes is my mashed turnip and carrot. It isn't pureed but has small chunks which is acceptable to them. Most of us like roasted veggies and those are far more popular but I do want to try this one for myself. I love veggie dishes that can be warmed up if they get cold which happens when you have a lot of company and not evenyone can be served immediately. This is a lovely platter and I would use it often. I love to put my platters on the back of my counters in the kitchen as they are available quickly and also look good as décor.

    Love your books ladies.
    Thank you for the recipe and for the lovely giveaway too. Happy Thanksgiving.

    Cynthia

    ceblain AT tmlponline DOT net

    And Merry Christmas too as that seems to come faster each year. We celebrate our 53rd wedding anniversary on November 28th so this is a special month for us each year. On our 50th wedding anniversary we actually celebrated on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday) the same date as we were married (on Thanksgiving Day itself).

    Love Thanksgiving Day.

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  36. I love veggies and the recipe. Thank you! areewekidding@yahoo.com

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  37. Spritz the veggies with olive oil, drizzle a little balsamic vinegar over them and dust with Italian seasoning. Then roast for 25-30 minutes at 425 degrees. Yum! I will definitely try the cauliflower and carrot puree recipe!

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  38. We've upped the veggie servings so I'm always looking for new ideas. I was a little bit shocked when I saw you pureed the veggies but then I thought...what a great idea! And I bet you could make "veggie pancakes" with the leftovers. asthenight at gmail dot com

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  39. So EXCITED to see you have featured Veggies! As a Vegan the last 5 years & Vegetarian the prior 32, I have NO problem with getting enough of those bad boys :) My family eats Vegan/Vegetarian 80% of the time! Of the 10 of us, 6 are Vegan/Vegetarian & the rest are Omnivorous. We love to add Fresh Basil or Cilantro & Lime- Hummus or Tahini sauce really jazz things up- Coconut oil is SUPER healthy & very buttery tasting- the perfect trifecta for pasta & veggies is garlic, onion & sage- Gnocchi tastes fab with veggies- I could go on all day! Have a Fantabulous Holiday <3
    Cheers-
    Kelly Braun
    Gaelicark(at)yahoo(dot)com

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