Posted in Saute`, Vegetables

Garden Vegetables

Our dinner tonight is a classic Italian recipe that makes good use of our garden vegetables.  Giambotta is classically made with potatoes and I have included them in the recipe below.  However, you may notice that the picture is showing a vegetable stew over pasta.  This is because we did not have any potatoes in the house so I substituted with 8 ounces of penne.  You can do the same if you prefer. 

This is always a vegetarian meal but if your family likes to include meat at, this is a great accompaniment on top of grilled chicken breasts.



Italian Vegetables Stew (Giambotta)

Serves 8

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving (without bread and cheese):

Calories: 80                           Fat:  trace                               Points: 1


1 large onion – chopped

1 bell pepper (green or red) – chopped

2 cloves garlic – minced

1 large (or 2 medium) zucchini – cut into 1 inch pieces

1 cup white wine

½ pound string beans

2 cans (28-ounces each) diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons fresh basil – chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

2 potatoes – diced


  1. Heat a large saucepot on medium heat, spray with cooking spray and add onion.  Sauté onion for about 5 minutes until soft.  Add pepper and sauté.  Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
  2. Add zucchini, wine and string beans and sauté for 5 minutes. 
  3. Add tomatoes, basil, oregano and salt and pepper, cover and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Add potatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes longer or until potatoes are soft.
  5. Serve with Italian bread and parmesan cheese on the side.
Posted in Casserole, Side Dishes, Vegetables

Getting Back…

It’s been a while but we are finally home from traveling and have completed our holiday entertaining.  When we returned home from our travels, we saw that the green beans in our garden had overgrown.  To make them tender, I stewed the green beans in tomatoes.  Otherwise, they are too chewy.  Here is the recipe:

Italian Style Green Beans

Serves 6

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time 45 minutes

Preheat oven 325o

Estimated Values per serving:

Calories: 70                           Fat: trace                                Points: 1


2 pounds green beans – ends removed

2 cloves garlic – minced

1 onion – chopped

¼ cup white wine

1 can diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil


  1. Cut green beans into 1-inch pieces and set aside in a bowl.
  2. Heat a skillet on medium heat and spray with cooking spray.  Add onions and sauté for about 5 minutes until slightly browned and softened.  Add garlic and sauté an additional minute.  Transfer onions and garlic into a Dutch oven.  Stir in white wine, tomatoes, green beans, oregano and basil.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes until green beans are tender.
  4. Serve hot.
Posted in Sauces, Saute`, Side Dishes, Vegetables

So easy that you just have to try it…

Asian Style Vegetables

This vegetable side dish is so quick and easy that you can make it at the last minute without any planning.  The best part is that if you need to make this as a main dish, take out some chicken breasts or shrimp, sauté them and just toss with the sauce and vegetables.  You’ll have a complete dinner in 15 minutes.

Asian Style Vegetables

Serves 4

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Estimated Values preserving

Calories = 130                                              Fat = 4 grams


1 clove garlic – minced

½ cup soy sauce

¼ cup rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

Juice of ½ lime

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger root

Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

2 12-ounce bags of frozen Asian style vegetables


  1. Place frozen vegetables in a microwave safe bowl (or keep in steam bag if using) and heat for 5 minutes (each bag).
  2. While vegetables are heating, combine garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, lime juice, cornstarch, ginger and pepper (if using) in a small pot.  Set pot on stovetop on high heat and cook until thickened and bubbly, stirring frequently.
  3. Remove vegetables from microwave and stir in sauce.  Top vegetables with sesame seeds and serve hot.
Posted in Beef, Grilling, Main Courses, Poultry, Sauces, Tips/Hints, Vegetables

Turkey/Beef Burger Twist…

Tonight Dean made dinner.  He grilled hamburgers and sautéed string beans.  To keep the hamburgers light and delicious, I combine half of the burger meat with 93% lean ground beef and turkey breast meat.  I emphasize the breast in the turkey meat because it only has 1 gram of fat per serving, unlike just ground turkey meat which has about 10 grams of fat per serving.  Combining the two types of meat gives you a tasty yet lighter burger.

To make the burgers a little more interesting, I cooked onions and ketchup sauce as a topping to the burgers.  It’s a little tastier than just ketchup and doesn’t add any fat to the dish.  Try it out…

Onion and Ketchup Sauce

Prep and cook time: 45 minutes

Makes about 2 cups


1 large sweet onion – thinly sliced

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup ketchup

3 – 4 drops Chipotle sauce


  1. Heat a saucepot on medium low heat and spray with cooking spray.  Add onions, cover, and cook slowly for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  (TIP: if the onions stick to the bottom, add a little water and stir).
  2. Add sugar and Worcestershire sauce and cook, uncovered, for about 2 minutes until liquid reduces to ½.
  3. Add ketchup and Chipotle sauce, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and serve room temperature with burgers or meat.