Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Peas with Caramelized Onions and Bacon
This year, I've been trying to make vegetables more...exciting. My family has always been good at eating their side of veggies, but I've been trying to turn the focus on the vegetables themselves.
This first started with our summer garden. I had such an abundance of home-grown produce (even though I have a very small yard, and live in the desert, where every single thing had to be grown in a container), that we had fresh vegetables every night. They tasted so good, that often I didn't have to do much with them. Big salads and grilled veggies filled our table every night. But as fall approached, our vegetable consumption began to go down. And as the holidays approached, we found ourselves back to our old ways of big-piece-of-meat-big-starch-small-veggie-portion. We were stuck in a winter food rut.
But then I read this article in the February issue of Real Simple and started getting vegetable inspired again. It was a great article, which had lots of fantastic tips from nutrition and food experts. But the main one that stuck out to me was not to worry so much about the "food groups." Instead, focus on half your plate being vegetables, a quarter being a protein, and a quarter whole grains, plus a small amount of healthy fats. So simple to remember. A little harder to actually do though, especially with a carnivore husband. and during the winter, when a variety of fresh veggies can be harder to find. Thankfully, I have no problem using good frozen vegetables.
I'm working on bring veggies into the spotlight of our dinner plates. These peas do the trick.
1 package of frozen peas (I like Birds Eye Steamfresh Sweet Peas)
1/2 onion, sliced into thin strips
4 pieces of bacon
1 Tbsp of butter
1. In a heavy bottom pan, fry the bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and set aside on paper towels to cool.
2. Wipe out pan, leaving about 2 Tbsp. of bacon grease in pan. Heat pan over medium heat, add butter, and melt. Add sliced onions. Reduce heat to low and saute onions, stirring often, until very soft, about 15-20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the peas according to the package, either microwaving or boiling. Set aside in a a covered dish to keep warm.
4. Once onions are soft, increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until very browned, about 10 minutes. Scrape the browned bits up from the bottom of the pan and mix in with the onions.
5. Crumble the bacon and add bacon and onions to peas. Serve warm.