fresh carrots

There is an assortment of uses for vegetables that make irresistible appetite stimulators. Relish trays can consist simply of carrot and celery sticks, assorted pickles, and olives. Artistic cutting into attractive designs - curls, fans, and accordions, for example - and neatly arranging on a serving tray enhances their appearance. Vegetable pieces can function as dippers for hot or cold dips or in the dips themselves. Favorites include carrot, celery, green pepper, and cherry tomatoes. For formal occasions prepare appetizer soup and salad combinations.

This recipe can be changed to your own vegetable preferences easily. If you do not like green beans, substitute fresh snow peas or English peas instead. You can also add other fresh vegetables to this dish, such as fresh mushrooms, halved cherry tomatoes, small pearl onions, or sliced bell peppers.


1 pound fresh green beans

1 pound carrots, cut in thin strips

2 teaspoons dried dill weed

2 teaspoons mustard seed

4 cloves garlic, halved

1 cup vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

Snip the ends from the beans and wash thoroughly. Do not snap the beans but leave the beans whole. Place the beans in a medium size pot and cook the beans in boiling, salted water for about 5 minutes and then drain them well. You can use the same pot again and cook the carrots in boiling, salted water for about 3 minutes and drain them well. Combine the two vegetable together in a large casserole dish. Add the dill weed, the mustard seed, and the garlic and gently toss the vegetables together.

Combine 2 1/2 cups of water, the vinegar, and the sugar and bring these to a boil over medium heat. Pour this liquid over the vegetables and cool. Cover and let this vegetable mixture chill overnight. The vegetables will last for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

This recipe will makes about 8 cups.

fresh green beans

Most people associate vegetables with side dishes or salads served with entrees. However, vegetables can function in much more versatile fashion by themselves, as part of a dish, and in many cases as garnishes, too. And with all of the talk lately about healthy food choices, you just can't go wrong when adding more ways to serve delicious vegetables into your menu planning.

With the many seasoning possibilities for vegetables the diversity of these palate pleasing foods is even greater. And this may even be a kid pleaser to get the kids to eat more vegetables without complaining.