by Debra on May 31, 2010

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.