"Chip, eat your vegetables.” “No Mom, I don't like them."

That was me, circa 1960. Then in 1969, at the age of 16, I got caught up in the whole "live off the land" thing. I bought the Foxfire books (the younger readers will have to Google that), I studied survival techniques, and more surprisingly, I grew my own vegetables. My parents always credited that for my sudden interest in vegetables. Now, I am the farthest thing from a vegetarian. I crave meat. I could never give it up. But every now and then, I like vegetables. Not just to complement a meal, but AS a meal. The late fall is a good time to make your veggie recipes because most varieties are still available and you will have your soup in time for the winter. I make enough to last me the whole winter season. Those who know me know that I can't do anything halfway, so here's how it started about 10 years ago.

One cool fall evening, I decided I wanted vegetables, lots of vegetables; so I went out to the local market just before it closed and grabbed some of just about every variety of vegetable I could get my hands on.
There were different types of peppers, carrots, corn, onions, broccoli, kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, spinach, turnips, escarole, potatoes, green beans, peas, garlic, napa, asparagus, leeks and who knows what else. All these veggies are optional. You can use all, more, or just a few, it's your choice. Well, here is what I came up with:

In addition to the veggies, you will need bread crumbs, chicken broth, Tabasco sauce, soy sauce, sesame and olive oil, cayenne, salt, black pepper and garlic powder.


Cut up the veggies.
Slice (2) 3" turnips into 1/4" x 1/4" x 1 1/2"+/- sticks, or dice.
Slice (4) large or (8) small leeks into 1/4" sections.
Chopped head of napa, escarole, spinach, &/or cabbage.
Cut 2" sections from top of (1) bunch of asparagus and thinner slices from further down the stalk.
Chop some fresh garlic.
In about 2" of water and a big pot, REAL BIG, steam/boil the leafy veggies and the broccoli, cauliflower, etc and carmelize the onions and peppers.
Sauté all of the above lightly in olive oil, add garlic powder and spices to taste.

To Make a Stew or Soup:

Add chicken broth to sauté mixture until you have the consistency of stew or soup.
Add salt, black pepper, Tabasco and soy sauce (to taste) and some sesame oil (4-5 drops).
Thicken with seasoned breadcrumbs.
Garnish bowl with sliced scallions.

To Make a Vegetable Ricotta Pie:

Add only enough chicken broth to sauté mixture to keep it moist and juicy.
Add salt, black pepper, Tabasco and soy sauce (to taste) and some sesame oil (4-5 drops).
Thicken with seasoned breadcrumbs.
This mixture can be enjoyed as is or it can be used as a filling for your pie.

The Pie:

1 (10") or 2 (8") pie shells
20 oz. ricotta cheese, regular or low fat
6 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/3 c - 1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese        
3 eggs   
2 cups veggie mix, liquid drained off
1/2 tsp. salt
black pepper to taste

In a large bowl, mix the ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses with the eggs, salt and black pepper. Stir in veggie mix and combine.
Pour mixture into pie shells and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.
These pies freeze well after cooking.