Dialog? or Diatribe?

You think politics and religion get people fired up? I’ve discovered something even more apt to generate extreme views and robust “discussion,” and it has nothing to do with the economy or same-sex marriage. Yup, I’m talking about food.

It seems that everyone has decided they’re an expert. They do or do not eat [fill in soy, bacon, sugar, etc., etc.], and they’re convinced that you should, or should not, eat it as well.

I was chatting with a group of women a few days ago, and someone asked if anyone had a good cold veggie salad recipe. I offered that I make a broccoli salad that is pretty popular at pot-lucks, and started to list off the ingredients. Since we’re all on diets of one form or another, I mentioned that I often substitute turkey bacon for higher-fat “real” bacon—and a lady I did not know, sitting across the table, started screaming at me!

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Mexican Corn & Zucchini

It’s August, summer produce is at its peak—and the veggie most in abundance is zucchini!

Since I garden, I usually have plenty of zucchini to use and to share. As a result, I’m always searching for new recipes to put this profusion to good use. My standard zucchini recipe is to sauté it with caramelized onions and garlic, then top it all with Parmesan cheese. While that’s definitely delicious, a little variety helps keep everyone enthusiastic.

At the same time, we love to eat Mexican food. While rice and beans are great, most Mexican menus are very short in the veggie department. We all need to eat more veggies.

This recipe for sautéed corn and zucchini solves both problems. It uses up plenty of squash, and pairs beautifully with enchiladas and other Mexican main dishes.

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Vegetable Korma

This recipe is adapted from The 30-Minute Vegetarian Indian Cookbook, by Mridula Baljekar. I would like to put in a plug for this book. I absolutely love Indian food, but the long preparation time most dishes require isn’t compatible with my busy schedule. Baljekar simplifies traditional recipes to the point where I can make them every week. For this, the author deserves a medal!

This is wonderful with fresh warm chapaties for scooping. (Silverware isn’t used in most parts of India. Instead, you scoop with your right hand.) I serve it as an accompaniment to a meat dish, but you could give it top billing in a vegan meal.

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Sweet Potatoes with Pineapple Sauce

If you’ve been at all conscious lately, you realize that Thanksgiving is a mere twenty days away. I like being helpful, so I thought I’d share one of our family’s Thanksgiving recipes. About ten years ago, in an effort to eat a bit healthier, I decided to trim a lot of fat and sugar from the  traditional “Candied Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows” that most of us grew up on. In spite of the lack of sugar high, everyone liked my alternative so much that I received nary a complaint. I’ve served it every year since.

The recipe is easily doubled, but allow more time for the potatoes to cook (a bigger pot with more water takes longer to heat).

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