Category Archives: Veggies

Meatless Monday: Tomato Pie

Tomato pie

The trick to this tomato pie is to peel and dry the tomatoes by blotting with paper towels.


Advocate-Tested Recipe
Tomato Pie
Serves 6 to 8. Recipe is by Beth Colvin.
1 (9-inch) refrigerated pie crust
5 to 6 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, dried and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄8 cup basil, chopped
Dash of white pepper
2 cups cheese, any kind, but I like a Parmesan-Romano mix
3/4 cup mayonnaise, low-fat is fine
2 tbls. Dijon mustard

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LSU AgCenter Garden Fest

Yellow watermelon

A variety of yellow watermelon awaits tasters at Saturday's LSU AgCenter Garden Fest.

The LSU AgCenter Garden Fest at the Burden Center was the land of yellow watermelons and tomatoes called potato. Of bloody Marys and omelets. Of hayrides and field tours.
I spent most of my time test-driving different watermelons and tomatoes in the taste-testing tents. Kiki Fontenot, the AgCenter’s tomato expert, said the taste-test was more than just a fun activity, it helps researchers decide what produce farmers should grow. We were collecting data. Tasty, tasty data.

Meatless Monday: Okra Bean Stew

Okra Bean Stew

Get creative with slow-cooker stews, like this Okra Bean Stew.

Okra Bean Stew
Serves 4 to 6. Recipe is by Julie Kay.

1 lb. stew beef
2 cups cut okra
1 (15.5-oz.) can pinto beans, drained
1 (16-oz.) can kidney beans, drained
1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained
2 (14.5-oz.) cans stewed tomatoes
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 (6-oz.) cans tomato paste
6 tbls. dry gravy mix
¾ cup water

1. Place all ingredients, except gravy mix and water, into slow cooker and stir together.
2. Mix dry gravy mix into water and pour over all other ingredients in slow cooker.
3. Cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours.

From this week’s Food section: Ratatouille


Richly textured Ratatouille, a dish originating in southern France, combines eggplant with zucchini, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and garlic.


Makes 6 to 8 servings. Adapted by Cynthia LeJeune Nobles from a recipe by Sir Robin Hixson in LSU Press’ forthcoming “Delta Queen Cookbook.” Ratatouille originated in southern France’s Provençe region, where produce is abundant. It is cooked in stages and layered, resulting in a dish with a rich texture.

2 lbs. eggplant, peeled and diced
3 medium zucchini (1½ lbs. total), peeled and diced
¾ cup olive oil, divided
2 onions (1 lb. total), thinly sliced
3 bell peppers (1½ lbs. total), any color, seeded and cut into thin strips
3 large tomatoes (1½ lbs. total), peeled, seeded and diced
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic (3 minced and 1 whole, peeled)
2 bay leaves
1 small bouquet garni (fresh parsley, thyme and oregano tied together in a cheesecloth bag)

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Zucchini Ribbon Pizza — hello there, summer

Zucchini Ribbon Pizza

Photo provided by A Cozy Kitchen

Pizza seems too heavy for a South Louisiana summer. Bread, thick tomato sauce, cheese, meat, more cheese, 90-degree-plus heat, 1,000% humidity, even more cheese, bread, sauce. It makes me feel a little queasy.

But I live with a husband and a two-year-old who love pizza. And probably love making me queasy.

It’s a good thing, then, that I met this pizza, festooned with ribbons of my favorite summer squash and a kick of salt from shaved Parmesan, from A Cozy Kitchen. I think I’m in love …

Summer means pickles

Growing up, the return of hot weather meant it was time to tend the garden. Tending the garden meant it would soon be time for canning — tomatoes, squash, beans and, above all, bread and butter pickles.

Freshly canned pickles and squash

If you have leftover juice, put up some tender, sweet baby squash.

Fights would break out over homemade bread and butter pickles, but when it was time to make them, it was hard to find good help. The combination of a hot summer’s day and an enormous cauldron of boiling water for processing the finished jars was too much for most people. Nowadays, I’m fortunate to have a working and quite efficient air conditioner, and pickling has become much easier. As temperatures warm up, I get the itch to start putting up pickles as soon as I get my hands on enough cucumbers. This past weekend, I noticed farmers markets and grocers pricing and putting out enough cucumbers for a good batch.

Here’s the recipe I use. If you end up with some extra juice, as I usually do, I put up a small jar of pickled squash or carrots. Continue reading

Wednesday morning food news round-up

L.A. Times says Americans are eating more whole grains, produce.

CNN serves up a weird-snack quiz.

MSNBC: Bagged lettuce recall spreads.

The Advocate: Companies charged in shrimp scheme.

NPR: Judge finds POM Wonderful claims dubious.

Lifehacker: Fiction = better cooking.


It’s starting to look like summer at farmers markets

Purple beans, green beans and new potatoes.

Purple beans, green beans and new potatoes are among the produce that will be available at this week's Red Stick Famers Markets.

The downtown Red Stick Farmers Market will celebrate butterflies this Saturday as Gary Ross, naturalist and lepidopterist, will conduct a workshop on attracting and caring for butterflies. Get a complete listing of activities, vendors and products here.

I lunched, I learned at LSU’s LaHouse

Chef David Tiner and his sous chef, Joseph, cook up a Vegetable Risotto at Friday's Lunch & Learn at LSU AgCenter's LaHouse on Gourrier Avenue.

Chef David Tiner and his sous chef, Joseph, cook up a Vegetable Risotto at Friday's Lunch & Learn at LSU AgCenter's LaHouse on Gourrier Avenue.

We had a great time yesterday at LSU’s LaHouse Friday Lunch & Learn. Chef David Tiner from the Louisiana Culinary Institute cooked up a creamy, comforting Vegetable Risotto with fresh vegetables from the house’s garden.

Vegetable Risotto
Serves 4. Recipe is from the Louisiana Culinary Institute.
2 tbls. unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup onion, diced small
2 cups arborio rice
4 cups hot chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh cut green beans, cut

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“Glass Gem” corn a beautiful genetics lesson

Glass Gem corn

Greg Shoen of Seeds Trust grew this vibrant Glass Gem corn last year.

This gorgeous Glass Gem corn is a vibrant genetics lesson. According to Discover Magazine, the corn of many colors is created because each kernel is an individual seed that bears a unique genetic mix from each of its parents.