My Vegetable Picadillo

I have always referred to this dish as vegetable picadillo, but as I proceed to blog on this, I googled the word picadillo just to see what I would get...Well, it almost always seems to include ground beef mixed with various things (depending on the Latin decent), which is not what my recipe is at all! I remember my Ex mother-in-law cooking the ground beef picadillo with peas and potatoes (which was also very good) but I also remembered a vegetable picadillo, which in my mind basically means, 'a mix of whatever vegetables thrown together with garlic, tomato, cilantro, and chile peppers.' And at this point, I don't care anymore if the terminology is right. It has been in my head for all these years as such and so it is...My Vegetable Picadillo! (This is the kind of thing that happens when you become fluent in foreign language without ever actually taking a class.) I called a friend of mine whose first language is Spanish and she confirmed that there is no such thing as 'Vegetable Picadillo,' and that the dish I am referring to is actually called 'Calabazas a la Mexicana.' So, call it what you will, but this recipe is easy and delicious!

Olive Oil
Garlic (crushed or finely chopped)
Tomatoes (chopped)
Cilantro leaves
Serrano chiles (finely chopped or whole)

Your choice of the following vegetables:
Chayote squash
Yellow squash
Green Beans
Sugar snap peas
Snow peas
Corn (frozen or fresh)
Peas (frozen or fresh)

Salt and pepper to taste

Chop garlic, tomatoes and your choice of veggies into bite size pieces.

Pull the leaves off the cilantro stems.

*I like to leave the chiles whole so that those who do not like spicy can easily see and avoid them and those of us who do enjoy spicy can cut off as much of the chile as desired to eat with our vegetables.

Heat olive oil in frying pan and add garlic and chiles first, then add your chopped veggies. (I put the vegetables in the order they should be added in the ingredient list, due to how fast they cook.)

Finally add tomatoes, cilantro leaves, season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

Serve as a side to fish, chicken, beef, eggs or by itself as a warm veggie snack on a cold winter day. Feel free to tweak this recipe...maybe add oregano or thyme instead of cilantro? Make up your own version of 'My Vegetable Picadillo!' Enjoy your veggies, they should be a treat to eat not a boring chore! And as always, let me know what you think, I would love to get your feedback!

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