Friday, July 22, 2011

Marinated Summer Vegetables

This month I have been doing a cleanse, a special fasting diet to improve my general health. Whenever I do a cleanse, which isn't as often as I should, (it's been a couple years) I only do it in the summer when there is an abundance of healthy fresh fruits and vegetables to tempt me. This time I am doing the cleanse program from a supplement company that I have found to be very good, Standard Process.

I decided that this month would be a good time to be on a special diet because my little boys were gone for almost two weeks and Mr. D. was gone for a few days of that too. So during that time I didn't have to feed anyone but myself. Not having to cook good stuff like pastas and potato salads for other people that I wasn't going to be able to eat was a huge help in getting started on this thing. I've been so, so busy with wedding season. The days that I am icing cakes and delivering to weddings were made easier by just grabbing something simple and nutritious to eat. Because I normally spend many hours in my kitchen preparing meals for many people, not cooking has been very liberating! What I am missing most is my iced coffee while I'm working and a glass of wine when I am done. But I'm on day 15 and so far so good!

Last weekend I had a birthday party for my mother and a houseful of people to cook for. I was challenged to make a meal that was enjoyable for everyone, including me. I decided to go back to a dish that I haven't made in years but is easy, delicious and healthful.

Marinated Summer Vegetables


This could be made with any favorites from the garden but I chose broccoli, cauliflower, yellow sweet peppers, grape tomatoes and green onions and herbs from the garden. I love the color palette of this bowl.

Here's how to make this simple summery dish.

First blanch the broccoli and cauliflower florets (from one head of each) in boiling water for four minutes. This tenderizes them a bit and releases their vitamins. After four minutes put them directly into cold water to stop the cooking and cool them. Drain until ready to use in the salad.

Cut a yellow (or orange, green or red) pepper into short strips, and slice and dice two or three green onions.

In a large bowl mix some marinade: for a healthy combination I used organic apple cider vinegar, about 1/2 cup, 2 tablespoons real maple syrup (a healthy alternative to sugar and packed with minerals), 1 teaspoon salt and some ground pepper. Whisking vigorously, drizzle in 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil until emulsified. To this marinade any combination of herbs can be added. I used some dried parsley (2 teaspoons), dried basil (1 teaspoon) and garlic powder (1 teaspoon). I also finely chopped some fresh basil from the garden and tossed that into the vegetables. Unfortunately, because we are having a very cool summer (sorry to rub that in for you folks suffering in the heat wave) I am not getting much for fresh basil or parsley in the garden. I had to resort to some dried.

Put all the vegetables into the marinade in the bowl and toss until everything is thoroughly coated with the marinade. Refrigerate for at least two hours. Toss again before serving.

These vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals. Eaten with the apple cider vinegar and the good fat of the olive oil they deliver a health building punch.  Even if you are not eating a special diet this dish is a delicious way to eat vegetables on a hot summer day.

I wish we had one or two of those around here.

2 comments:

  1. Perfect timing! I'm going to go out to the garden and get that broccoli that is two days overdue for picking and I'm gonna make this! I think I'll add some bacon and feta and call it supper. My basil needs pinching, too, so I think I'll use lots of that, too. Yum!

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  2. Sounds yummy! Don't forget the onions with the bacon!

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