Musical pairing – Hello, Goodbye by Glee Cast
Our niece, Avery, just graduated from High School as co-Salutatorian of her class and we headed over to Cincinnati to join in the festivities; it was quite the night – happiness, joy and tears – all roller-coastered into one evening. How did that happen? I married The Professor when Avery was just 5 years old; she was our flower girl who, after the ceremony declared, ‘I’ve waited my whole life to be a flower girl!’ Smile. I love that girl. Her sister, Lydia, loves that girl. All her family loves that girl. A gifted writer, she’ll be attending Indiana University in Bloomington this fall – WOOT!
Avery has also been a vegetarian for the last couple of years and it’s been a wonderful experience for me, ‘Miss-meat-and-potatoes-forever’, to fall in love with vegetables and experience all the memorable dishes that she and her family create. Having a vegetarian in the family has been good for me, good for my own health, as I eat less meat and lean more towards vegetable dishes. Don’t get me wrong – I still LOVE a great burger but more often than not, you’ll find my plate filled with veggies.
And here’s one of my new favorites – Gado-Gado (pronounced GAH-doh GAH-doh) from the Indonesian island of Java, this main course salad is sold by street vendors. Gado-Gado doesn’t necessarily translate ‘salad’ to me, more along the lines of a crudite’ which is the way I served it for our Mother’s Day brunch. But I would totally eat this as a main course! The vegetables are steamed ever so slightly so they are crisp-tender and then served with a spicy peanut sauce. I swapped out tofu for some sliced red pepper (raw) but you can use any vegetable you like. And can I just say, there are potatoes on this plate – potatoes dipped in a spicy peanut sauce, people! Memorable indeed!
What’s your favorite vegetarian dish?
Adapted from Fine Cooking, Fresh & Quick 2010
Serves 2 to 3 as a Main Course
4 medium Yukon gold potatoes (12 oz) cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 medium carrots (4 oz) peeled and cut on the diagonal into 1/2-inch slices
1 small crown broccoli (7 oz) cut into 1-inch florets
3 oz green beans, trimmed and halved crosswise on the diagonal
1 red or orange pepper, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/2 cup natural unsalted peanut butter (I used chunky)
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1-1/2 teaspoon Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce (add more to taste)
Put a steamer basket in a large pot and fill the pot with water to just reach the bottom of the basket.
Put the potatoes in a single layer in the steamer basket, set the pot over medium-high heat and bring the water to a boil. Cover the pot and cook for 4 minutes, then carefully remove the lid, move the potatoes to one side of the pot and add the carrots in a snug, slightly overlapping layer. Cover the pot and steam until the carrots and potatoes are just tender, another 6-7 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a platter. Put the broccoli and beans in the steamer; cover and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer to the platter with the other vegetables. Don’t discard the water, you’ll use a bit in the sauce below.
In a medium bowl, combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, hot chili sauce and 1/2 cup hot water from the pot. Whisk to combine, adding more water as needed to create a thick but fluid sauce. Add more hot sauce and salt to taste. Serve sauce on the side.