Archive | April, 2011

Kermit, an Adulterous Eggplant

23 Apr
There is an old joke, one of my favorites- Why do Kermit The Frog’s fingers smell like pork? Miss Piggy. (ROFLOL!!) Well, this week Kermit stinks like fish! Explain that one to Miss Piggy!

Being a sneaky matchmaker, I tempted Kermit with some Sexy Shrimps this week. Guess what, he dove right in – just call me Ashley “Muppet” Madison (if you don’t get this joke check out – screwed up, right?!). Let me explain more about our pal, Kermie.

When I was in Pittsburgh I picked up some cute little Thai Eggplants, better know as the Kermit Eggplants – cause they are cute and green like Mr. Frog.

I planned on cooking up a kickin’ pork chops topped with a curried veggie mix, including the thai eggplant. After ransacking the freezer I came to find, no porky, sorry Piggy. I looked at the Kermit Eggplant and he was getting ripe and wanted it bad (that is to be cooked). Between you an me, Kermit has never forgiven Piggy for that outbreak of swine flu. So, I took a leap of faith and curried up Kermit with a sexy, slutty set of Shrimps. They got together nicely in the pan, so nicely that Kermit is dropping Miss Piggy, check out it out.

Easy, Fishy Kermit Curry

You Need:
-A handful of thai eggplants (5-6)
-1 medium bell pepper, diced
-1 medium onion, halved and diced
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1-2 teaspoons Jamacian curry powder, to taste (you will need to add more of this depending on how strong you like your curry)
-1-2 TBS of milk (coconut milk is best but I used regular and it was fine)
-30 shrimp, defrosted, and cleaned
-Brown Rice

What To Do:
-Bowl water, cook brown rice to package directions
-Heat saute pan, spray with non-stick cooking spray
-Add all veggies & garlic, saute veggies till tender
-Add curry powder and milk to saucy consistency
-Add shrimp, if pre-cooked, otherwise add when you add veggies to pan
-Put over rice, enjoy!

Veggie at ya’ later!!

Hairy Potato, Toxic If Eaten Raw.

7 Apr

Back in 1972, hairy taters were all the rage, but once ladies started skinning their potatoes few went back. (If this is not funny please go read my post, Potato Needs a Bath, then return here). Today’s veggie comes from an Asian market on the Strip in Pittsburgh. It is called Taro, but really it is just a hairy potato. Now, based on my interaction with Pittsburgh residents (Steeler’s fans, Eat N Park patrons and a few middle-age iron workers with too much black eyeliner) – I can only guess that there are many (too many) throw-back, hairy ‘taters roaming the streets of downtown Pittsburgh.

Ok, ok enough with the Skintimate talk and on to the taro. Taro is a hairy skinned, root veggie that is popular in Hawaiian cooking. It is similar to the white potato, mild in taste, but a little less body then the real white potato. To be honest with you, I was not incredibly impressed with this hairy potato.

As I researched our hairy gal, Taro, I uncovered some pretty interesting facts:

1) Taro can be toxic, if eaten raw. Moral: Don’t eat raw, hairy potato, you may die.

2) Your razor gets clogged when you peel the hair away to expose shaved potato. Moral: Peel your potato often to avoid razor clog-age.

3) Poi, is the most popular way to eat it, see recipe below. Moral: Peel the muffy potato and boil that b*tch.

4) It has very little taste, which is why the Hawaiians often feed it to sick children and why I combined it with blue cheese. Moral: Any way you slice it, hairy potato is just not that tasteful.
That all being said; hairy potato is better than no potato at all.

Poi Boy, You’re Eating Hairy Potato

What You Need:

  • Taro (I used 3 small taro of 2 people adjust as needed)
  • Orange (Half an orange for each person served)
  • Blue Cheese (1oz for each person served)
  • Soy Sauce (1 tablespoon for each person served)

What To Do:
-Take taro and wash, peel, wash again.
-Slice taro into even pieces.
-Place in a small pot and cover with water. Bring water to a boil and then reduce heat and cook until tender.
-Cut orange in half and remove guts, reserving juice. Slice off a bit of orange rind from the bottom of the orange so it does not roll around plate.
-Remove taro from heat and drain water.
-In a bowl combine: cooked taro, soy sauce, blue cheese (broken into small chunks), and the juice from 1 orange.
-Use immersion wand blender to blend all ingredients to mashed potato like consistency.
-Reheat if necessary.
-Congrats you now have Poi, scope mixture into orange halves, garnish with green parsley, basil or whatever (all I had at hand was spinach leaves).

Note: If you don’t have taro at your local grocer you can so try this with white potatoes.

A special thanks to Sonia Martinez, Poi Expert.

I thank everyone who has been on the potato journey with me, I hope you aren’t sick of potatoes yet, my husband say you can never have enough potato, but who knows? Anyway, I promise to get back to greener pastures with Thai Eggplant and some greens in the next few posts.

Peas & Love, VEGina

Stripping in Pittsburgh with Ann!

3 Apr

I was lucky enough to spend today with the folks who work and hang-out in Pittsburgh’s Strip District.  No, these Yinzers were not named Bambi, Candy and Alexis and they did not dance on a pole for dirty dollar bills, sorry boys.

The Strip District is  one-half square mile area northeast of downtown Pittsburgh and lined with shops, vendors and restaurants. My favorite part, of course, was the grocers peddling interesting veggies at awesome prices (NY is so a rip off!) Besides showing you the lots of picts I took the three things I can tell you about Pittsburgh are:
1) Heavy black eyeliner is the biggest trend amongst middle-age women (I sooo wish I had a picture).
2) Everyone is a freaking Steelers Fan, if I never see yellow and black again it will be to soon.
3) Guy Fieri could do his show from here permanently cause there are tons of greasy spoon diners, drive-ins and dives , my local guide and friend Ann took me to a few.

Enjoy my photo journey and stay tuned for a Thai Eggplant Recipe and Taro Adventure this week.

A big thanks to Annie for being my private guide and holding all my shopping bags – I owe you a beer and a soda pop! – VEGina


Nasty Girl! – Batata

1 Apr

If you read my last post Potato needs a bath – and I can’t stop laughing! you will remember that for me, growing up potato was a euphemism for my private girlie bits. So, if you want a giggle think about that as you read this post about my new girlfriend, Batata – ugly potato!

Batata is  one nastiest looking b*tches I have ever seen. She is brown, scaly and nasty on the outside. Batata is not caress-able like your garden variety red-bliss potato.  She also fights with you when you try to unpeel her to reveal her inner beauty. So, where did this nasty street whore of a potato come from and is there inner beauty lurking behind her gnarly exterior?

The Batata is basically a root veggie, from the potato family mostly closely akin to the sweet potato. Batata is often used in Spanish and Middle Eastern recipes but to be honest she can be used in place of  sweet potatoes in just about any recipe. The Batata herself while rough on the outside has a potato and yucca like consistency on the inside and a warm, sweet, beautiful chestnut flavor to her. Had I realized her flavor profile I may have gone with a sweeter recipe than the one I posted below, perhaps with some sort of nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon. However, the recipe is really tasty and also filling for vegetarian meal if that is your persuasion.

So, the next time you meet a woman with a nasty potato exterior stop and think of the Batata – she might just be tasty on the inside – if you dare to unpeel her!

Tasty Tata Recipe

You Need:

  • 2 medium Batatas (peeled, cooked, and cut into 1/4 inch slices)
  • 1 cup of mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sliced onions
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups spinach leaves (fresh is best, but I cheated and used a half a bag of frozen spinich)
  • 1 navel oranges, peeled and sliced into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, taste and add a touch more as needed
  • 1-2 teaspoon coarse mustard, taste and add more as needed (I used mustard powder but feel free to use what you have on hand)

What to Do:

  • Wash & peel the Batatas
  • Take a nap, have a beer, stretch – you will need to relax after this process!
  • Place the Batatas in microwave (yeah so what I cook potatoes in the microwave) cook for 6-8 minutes until tender but not mushy.
  • In large non-stick skillet, brown mushrooms in oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add onions and garlic, cook several minutes, stir often.
  • Remove Batata from microwave, slice and add to skillet (the white skin will be brownish, don’t be alarmed this is normal not a potato STD)
  • Add remaining ingredients.
  • Toss to blend and heat. Add a touch more olive oil if dry.
  • Serve immediately.

Enjoy your batata feast!

I have to give a quick note of recognition as this recipe is not 100% orginal. (I do promise to follow with a tata recipe that is now that I know her more intimately). A special thanks to the NC Sweet Potato website for inspiring the Batata cooking journey through one of their vegetarian dish, sweet potato recipes.