Raw Tomatillo Salad with Blueberries ♥

Raw Tomatillo Salad with Blueberries, so simple, so lovely, so delish. Low-carb, paleo, gluten-free, vegan, Weight Watchers friendly.
Today's quick 'n' easy summer salad recipe: Anyone else wonder what-in-heck to do with all the fresh tomatillos that are so beautiful right now? Try the tomatillos raw in this simple salad – isn't it pretty?! – just be sure to follow my quick technique for making tomatillos taste extra sweet and citrusy. Weight Watchers Friendly, low-carb, gluten-free, paleo. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".

Every year, I seem to fall in love – head-over-heels in love – with a new vegetable. It's never a new-to-me vegetable, instead an old friend suddenly experienced with new tastebuds. Last fall, it was the tomatillo! When the garden threw off one husk-wrapped, heavy-in-the-hand fruit after another, I tried to figure out how to use so many tomatillos. For a couple of weeks, they sat in a basket on the counter, sure to go bad, waiting on my decision.

By accident, I figured out that the direction that you cut tomatillos makes a difference! If you cut them lengthwise, pole to pole, they taste oh-so-very-very sweet and citrusy! Uncooked! Adorned with no more than a little lime juice and good olive oil! Blueberries? They were in the fridge and lemon and blueberries are a natural pair and bright green and blue look so very pretty together – yes, a match made in heaven!

Green Bean Recipes ♥ Alphabet of Vegetables

Tired of same old green beans? New recipes here! Many Weight Watchers, vegan, gluten-free, low-carb, whole30 options.
graphic button small size size 10 Tired of the same- old same-old green beans? Find new inspiration here! Recipes include insider tips, nutrition and Weight Watchers points. Many vegan, paleo, gluten-free, low-carb and whole30 options. graphic button small size size 10

Hello Vegetable Lovers: Over the next while, watch for some housekeeping with the Alphabet of Vegetables here on A Veggie Venture. The goal is to separate out our "most favorite" vegetables so their pages will load more quickly, handy for all but especially those of us who check for recipes on our phones. ~Alanna

PS Facebook & Pinterest users, if you love A Veggie Venture, be sure to "like" and "pin" this page! More and more, search engines and even real-live human beings rely on social media indicators to identify favorite sources of trusted information.

IN A RUSH? Prefer Another Vegetable?
Skip Straight to the Recipes or Switch to the A-Z of Vegetables.

Also called Bush Beans, Common Beans, Runner Beans, Snap Beans, String Beans and often, y'know, just "beans". (Shall we do a quick poll? What do A Veggie Venture readers call beans? Is there one name from your childhood and another from today? This could be fun!)

Including Romano Beans and Yellow Beans

The growing season for green beans is "mid to late summer". Frozen green beans are often excellent, I nearly always keep a bag on hand for a quick, healthy side vegetable. I especially like the frozen thin beans from Trader Joe's. Canned green beans? No haters, please, because canned green beans have their place too! When I did Weight Watchers the first time, a can of green beans was my go-to snack when I was "really hungry" but had no points left. I bought cans by the case at Sam's Club! I could even make a Satisfying Lunch in One Point (Old Points). A few special varieties can be found on occasion. One special variety is Haricots verts [French for "green beans", pronounced har-ee-coat VER], longer and thinner; they are also called French Beans, French Green Beans, French Filet Beans and Fine Beans. An Italian variety is called Romano Beans, flatter, wider and sweeter; if you find these at a farmers market, snap 'em up! And who's seen a Long Bean? They're just that, long, two or three feet long! Green beans are immature but edible pods. Mostly, the "strings" that gave string beans their name, the fibrous thread that joins the two walls of the bean pod, have been bred out of existence although you'll still find strings in some heirloom beans. Beans are so ubiquitous, it's easy to forget that beans are surprisingly fragile, sending the sugars from the pod walls to their interior seeds as soon as they're off the plant. If ever offered the chance to try just-picked green beans within minutes of the field, say "yes"! Beans and peas are both members of the "legume" family, the second-most important family in the human diet after the grasses. Legumes have two to three times the protein of wheat and rice. Beans originated in Central and South America. SOURCES Personal knowledge, also the most-wonderful On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee.


The trick to cooking green beans is to cook beans in plenty of water with plenty of salt. Per pound of green beans, use two quarts of water and a tablespoon of table salt.

Harold McGee says that beans, like potatoes, should be started in cold water, that this preserves their cell structure, keeping them firm. I haven't done a side-by-side comparison yet but this sounds promising! Anyone have experience here?

Green Bean Recipes ♥ (Sorry, Please Ignore This)

Tired of the same old green beans? Find new inspiration in this collection of Green Bean Recipes from A Veggie Venture, ranging from the simple for every day and the special for occasions.

So sorry, a small technical glitch here, please ignore this entry. Click the photo for the right place, or go here, Green Bean Recipes - Alphabet of Vegetables. Ack, technology, some times!

Microwave Summer Cream Corn ♥ A Reader Recipe!

Fresh 'plain' sweet corn cooked in the microwave, the results are hardly 'plain'. So easy, so summery.
Today's "plain" corn recipe with "hardly plain" results: Just fresh sweet corn cooked in the microwave, tossed with butter, a little milk or cream and seasoning. So easy, so summmery! Real food. Paleo.

I was thrilled to see this easy recipe for cooking fresh sweet corn in the microwave pop up in my InBox. Thank you, Janet! I love it when readers share their favorite recipes! Let's let Janet herself tell the story.

"Summer Cream Corn was my mother's recipe. I've never written it down until now but I've been making it for forty years. Yesterday my granddaughters ate two helpings – they love grandma's corn! You can tweak it the way you would like it – it's just too easy."

"Take twelve ears of white delish summer corn (or more for a larger amount). Cut the corn off the ears, then scrape down the ears to get all the milk out. Put in a microwave for 6 minutes, then add a little water, stir and cook another 6 minutes. Do this until the corn is tender but not over cooked. Add a tablespoon of butter (optional) and milk (I don't like it runny so add the milk a little at a time). Stir and cook 3 more minutes. Taste for salt and pepper (I use white pepper). Make sure you cook the corn with water before you add the milk – it just works better."

Vegetables 101: What Is a Tomatillo? What Are Tomatillos?

Vegetables 101: What Is a Tomatillo?
graphic button small size size 10 So many vegetables, so many that are unfamiliar! This is the latest in an occasional series of posts, quick, easy and practical information about out-of-the-ordinary vegetables. Recipe suggestions included! Today's subject? One of my very favorite summer vegetables, the tomatillo! If you've never seen a tomatillo growing on the plant, you're in for a treat, they are so pretty!

WHAT ARE TOMATILLOS? A tomatillo may well look like a "green tomato" (that is, an immature, unripe tomato) and is some times even called a green tomato. But a tomatillo is not a tomato at all, despite its outer appearance! First, a tomatillo is smaller than a tomato, ranging from the size of a golf ball to a baseball. Second, a tomatillo stays green, where an immature green tomato will eventually ripen and turn red.

HOW TO PRONOUNCE TOMATILLO? The word is pronounced [toe-muh-TEE-yo]. The plural of tomatillo is tomatillos [toe-muh-TEE-yoz].

OTHER NAMES FOR TOMATILLOS A tomatillo is also called a husk tomato, jamberry, husk cherry, or Mexican tomato.

TOMATILLOS & MEXICAN CUISINE Tomatillos are a staple in Mexican cuisine, especially in green sauces. If you've eaten "salsa verde" on enchiladas then chances are, you've eaten tomatillos; if you've tucked into a "green chili burger" with gusto then chances are, you've eaten tomatillos. With so many Mexican-Americans in the U.S., I suspect that most supermarkets carry tomatillos but if no luck, find a Mexican grocery, you'll be sure to find tomatillos.

Red, White & Blue Potato Salad ♥

Red, White & Blue Potato Salad (red-skinned, white-skinned and amazing blue potatoes)
Today's festive potato salad recipe, made with a mix of red-skinned, white-skinned and amazing blue-colored potatoes. Packed with summer vegetables: red bell pepper, radishes and sweet corn. Perfect for 4th of July and other American patriotic holiday gatherings. Not "low carb" (it's potato salad, after all) but still, a "lower carb" potato salad, thanks to so many vegetables and a higher measure of protein thanks to the addition of eggs and Greek yogurt.

Happy Canada Day to my Canadian family, readers and visitors! Happy 4th of July to my American family, readers and visitors! I'm so proud of my "mixed" heritage!

Call it the "Finnish potato effect" but since returning from our trip to the Baltic last month, we've cooked potatoes left and right, inside and out, forwards and backwards.

Ten days ago, I mixed up a big batch of potato salad for the summer potluck with our "mushroom club" friends: all the dishes followed vegetarian recipes from Molly Katzen and her Moosewood cookbooks. Just for fun, I made the potato salad with red, white and blue potatoes and it turns out, they really were fun! The blue potatoes, especially, are truly blue and when you don't use too many of them, they don't seem "weird" at all, just special. Once you add other "red" ingredients – radishes and red bell pepper, roasted red peppers would work too – the potato salad takes on a special festive look that really works for American-style patriotic holidays like the 4th of July, Memorial Day and even Labor Day.

But a red, white and blue potato salad is more than a colorful gimmick: it's a really good potato salad! I started with the Moosewood recipe but adapted it to my own taste, much like my Mom’s Potato Salad. It's full of summer veggies so has great crunch. I found it to be one excellent potato salad and so did others: it "went" in a flash at the potluck and the next day our friend Barb wrote, "I can't stop thinking about your potato salad!" I've made two batches in two weeks, apparently I can't either!