So exactly what is it with little boys and trains? And for that matter,
And what is it with me and vegetables? :-) I borrowed a few extra wood train tracks to assemble railroad cars from bell peppers and cucumber slices, then stuffed the train cars with other vegetables. Twas fun! Thanks to my sister Adanna for the inspiration!
THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE VEGETABLE TRAINS
Time to table: 60 minutes
Serves a few to many
Large cutting board or another flat surface
Wood tracks, borrowed from a set like this
For CARS – bell peppers, preferably multi-color, round and full
For WHEELS – Persian cucumbers or another "wheel" sized cucumber or zucchini
For CARGO – carrots, celery, pepper strips, etc.
EXTRA STUFF Get everything together, arranging the train tracks on the cutting first. Place the peppers on the tracks to estimate the number of peppers, to make sure that the curve is open enough for the peppers to make the turn. You may end up shortening or lengthening the track. This can be done ahead of time.
CARS An hour or so before serving, place the peppers on their sides, then cut off the top third, leaving the stem intact. Remove any membranes and seeds inside.
WHEELS For each car, slice a cucumber to form four wheels and attach with toothpicks, angling the toothpicks upward from the inside, this leaves the most room inside the pepper for vegetables and also attaches the cucumbers more securely.
CARGO Arrange the peppers end to end on the tracks, then fill with "cargo".
MAKE-AHEAD Best made at the last minute, just before putting serving, since the edges of bell peppers and cucumber both turn a little soft/slimy sitting out.
ALANNA'S TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
Do allow yourself some time to assemble the trains, you get better as you go along. You might even want a practice run with a car or two.
Persian cucumbers are more dense/less watery than English cucumbers. I see them in well-stocked grocery stores now, Trader Joe's also carries them.
More train ideas, people are so creative!
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SEASONAL EATING: THIS SAME WEEK ACROSS THE YEARSGreen Beans with Basil Beet Röesti Acorn Squash Stuffed with Quinoa & Cherries Zucchini Mushroom Hominy Tacos (<<< Meatless Monday staple) Cream of Dandelion Soup English Peas with Fresh Mint How to Cook Artichokes in the Microwave (<<< Pinterest loves it!) Edamame in the Shell Greek Bread Salad with Toasted Pita Chips (<<< this week's healthy favorite!) Bourbon-Glazed Roasted Carrots Savory Muffins with Sweet Potato & Feta How To Steam Broccoli (Step-by-Step Photos) Kale Recipes
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