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.


  1. Congrats to beautiful Avery and your family!

    We are trying to eliminate some meat dishes from our diet, so I will remember this as a lovely alternative.

  2. gado-gado, oh yum and I love sriracha…

    congrats to Avery!!


  3. It APPEARS exotic Marly, but what I love is that this is that these are veg we’re pretty familiar with, steamed crisp and now you change up the dip – fab!

  4. I cannot WAIT to try this. I love exotic dishes and this sounds perfect. And what doesn’t taste better with peanut butter? Mmmmm!

  5. Kristen ~ It’s such a nice change from the standard crudite – don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

  6. I have never had gado-gado, but after this post I think I have to try this,

  7. I would like to be a fly on the wall when you do Rowdy! ;o)

  8. Gado-Gado, hmm? So simple, but so exotic sounding! I love it! I think I’d like to serve this at my next party and ever-so-casually refer to it by name…

  9. Barbara ~ I don’t know why, but the shoe photo just makes me laugh! And the veggie dip is terrific!

  10. Congratulations to Avery! What lovely photos….the one with the variety of shoes was fun!

    Gado-Gado looks delicious! I’ve never heard of it before so have never tasted it. Looks like a super veggie dip!

  11. I will pass that along Maria – she will LOVE your site! And that Edamame Guac – wow!

  12. Congratulations to your gorgeous niece. I am a vegetarian, minus sushi:) I have lots of favorites. If she needs ideas, have her check out my blog. If she has any questions, she can always contact me too! I love grilled portobellos and stuffed portobellos. I just made an edamame guacamole that is incredible too.

  13. Sasa, this is exactly what I love about you! I have no idea what Chirashizushi is, but reading your blog, I’m certain it’s fabulous!

  14. Happy graduation Avery!
    I was vegetarian for 6 years and I still lean into that direction – I love vegetables far more than meat…Hard therefore to say what my favourite dish is, chirashizushi maybe?

  15. I love that the veggies are changed up a bit – and that peanut sauce is to die for!

  16. That looks delish!

    Congrats to Avery! What a beautiful family!

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