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One night a week or two ago we found ourselves short on veggies for dinner. One thing we did have was a half a head of cabbage left over from when we made fish tacos. While Billy was out grilling, I decided to (attempt to, at least) throw something together with the cabbage. The results turned out better than either of us could have expected — we even decided to make it again (only, on purpose this time) the next week!

Here’s what you’ll need
– 3 tbsp butter, divided
– 5 cloves garlic, minced
– red pepper flakes
– dried, minced onions (you can use real onions, I was just in a pinch and the dried onions actually worked really well)
– salt and pepper
– 1/2 head cabbage, cut into strips (or however you prefer)
– 1/4 cup white wine

Melt two tablespoons of the butter in a medium saute pan over medium heat. When the butter begins to bubble, add the garlic, red pepper flakes, minced onions and salt and pepper. Saute until the garlic becomes fragrant, one to two minutes. Make sure not to let it turn too much because it will continue cooking while the cabbage is sauteing. Add the cabbage to the pan and saute until it begins to cook down, about three to five minutes. Once the cabbage is heated through and has cooked down (you’ll notice a considerable difference in how much room there is in the pan), add the wine. Deglaze and let the wine reduce. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter, check for seasoning and you’re done!

Sauteed Cabbage

We were totally amazed at how flavorful this cabbage was. We’ve had it two or three times since the first time I threw it together, and it goes well with pretty much everything (I think it goes great with steaks). The leaves of the cabbage pick up a ton of flavor from the garlic and wine, and you get just a hint of butter in each bite. We love this because it’s really simple to throw together and it’s different than a lot of other veggie side dishes that can get old after a while. It has become one of our go-to favorites for weeknight dinners.

When I was a kid, I loved a lot of veggies that other kids despised — brussels sprouts, asparagus, okra. In fact, I’d rather (then, and now) eat a plate full of veggies instead of meat. (The complete opposite of most Americans, right?) Fried okra has always been one of my favorites. Okra isn’t exactly something we think of making all the time, but every time we do make it I wonder why we don’t buy it more often. Okra is deliciously crunchy on it’s own, but adding a breading of corn meal to it makes it even crunchier — and quite tasty!

Here’s what you’ll need:
Serves: 2
– 12 (or so) okra pods, cut into slices
– 1 egg
– 1 cup cornmeal
– salt and pepper to taste
– 1/2 cup vegetable oil for frying

In a small bowl, beat the egg and toss the okra to coat. Let the okra pieces soak in the egg for 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the cornmeal, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and set aside. Also, heat the oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.

Remove the okra pieces from the egg bath and dredge in the cornmeal mixture. Test the oil with one piece of okra — if it sizzles when you drop it in, the oil is ready. Carefully place all the okra into the hot oil. Make sure to keep the pieces moving otherwise one side will burn. Once the coating begins to brown, reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook until all pieces are golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt while still hot.

Fried Okra

This was some of the best fried okra I’ve ever had. We had never used cornmeal as the dredging vehicle before, but it worked out much better than flour (it stuck a lot better and stayed on while it was frying up). The texture from the cornmeal gave the okra a whole new dimension and added a nice crispy layer. Inside, the okra was nice and tender and burst in your mouth. Considering the only seasonings that we used were salt and pepper, the crust (and the okra itself) had a great flavor (I loved the extra salt that was added after it came out of the oil). I personally really like the texture of cornmeal, but if the grittiness is too much, you can probably mix in some flour. I wouldn’t suggest skipping the cornmeal all together though, because it really makes this version of fried okra what it is.

I love brussels sprouts. Even as a kid, they were one of my favorite veggies. When I once suggested to Billy that we make them as a side dish, I got the weirdest, most disgusted look. Apparently he wasn’t a fan. Somehow I got him to try them anyway, and now he can’t get away from them! Our favorite way to prepare them is to roast them in the oven. It’s simple, but oh-so-delicious.

Here’s what you’ll need:
– 1/2 lb fresh brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
– 2 tsp butter, melted
– salt and pepper
– garlic powder (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Place the brussles sprouts on the baking sheet and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Pour the melted butter over the brussels, making sure to get a little butter on each one. Toss everything together (it’s easiest if you use your hands, they get coated better that way) and throw in the oven until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I really wasn’t joking when I said these were super simple (yikes, Sandra Lee). Roasting the brussles sprouts in butter gives them a delicious caramelized, sweet flavor. They become tender, a bit crispy on the outside and totally mouthwatering. We usually end up making these a few times a month because we just can’t get enough of them. They’re great when roasted with potatoes, as well.