Week Ten: Colorful!

We’ve now gotten to the point where bringing a bag to CSA pick-up certainly isn’t sufficient! When I bring two baskets and a couple of smaller bags, all of our beautiful, fragrant veggies and herbs still burst through the top. We are making and storing pestos from past weeks ‘ recipes with the beautiful basil, enjoying fresh salads and snacking on raw carrots, cucumbers, peppers  and tomatoes when we head to the beach.

This week includes a chicken stir-fry, an asian noodle salad that we always do some version of a couple of times each summer, a great way to use green beans and fennel, a kid-friendly snack and vegan chocolate-zucchini muffins.  Let me know what you’re making and loving!

Asian Noodle Salad
Recipe Credit: The Pioneer Woman

  • SALAD INGREDIENTS:
    1 package Linguine Noodles, Cooked, Rinsed, And Cooled
    1/2 head Sliced Napa Cabbage, Or More To Taste
    1/2 head Sliced Purple Cabbage, Or More To Taste
    1/2 bag Baby Spinach, Or More To Taste
    1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin
    1 whole Yellow Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin
    1 whole Orange Bell Pepper, Thinly Sliced
    1 bag Bean Sprouts (also Called Mung Bean Sprouts)
    Chopped Cilantro, Up To 1 Bunch, To Taste
    3 whole Scallions, Sliced
    3 whole Cucumbers Peeled And Sliced
    1 can (about 10 Oz.) Whole Cashews, Lightly Toasted In Skillet

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FOR THE DRESSING:

1 whole Lime, Juiced
8 Tablespoons Olive Oil
8 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons (up To 3 Tablespoons) Sesame Oil
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
3 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger Chopped
2 cloves Garlic, Chopped
2 whole Hot Peppers Or Jalapenos, Chopped
Chopped Cilantro

Mix salad ingredients together. Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over salad. Mix with tongs or hands and serve on a platter.

Note: dressing keeps for up to three days before serving, without cilantro.

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Green Bean Salad with Fried Almonds
Recipe Credit: Smitten Kitchen

1 pound green beans
1/2 a fennel bulb (about 1/2 pound)
1 stalk celery, trimmed
1/2 medium red onion
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/3 cup (about 2 ounces) whole almonds
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil

If you’ve got an adjustable blade slider, time to make it earn its keep! Very thinly slice half your fennel bulb, your celery and your half onion. If you don’t have a fancy slicer, just slice them thinly with a knife. Toss the fennel with lemon juice to prevent browning and also because it makes it extra delicious.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, water, salt and sugar together. Add the onions and set them aside for about an hour. If you don’t have an hour, 30 minutes will still pickle them to deliciousness but they will only get better with age.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Trim and tail green beans. Boil beans until crisp-tender, about 4 to 5 minutes for regular green beans and about 3 minutes for skinny ones. Plunge in an ice water bath. Drain and pat dry. (If you have no patience for the precision of ice water baths, take the green beans out a full minute early as they will continue cooking as they cool.)

Heat a small heavy skillet to medium heat and add one teaspoon olive oil. Add almonds and toss until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer almonds to a plate, let cool, and cut each almond into half or thirds.

Assemble your salad: Toss green beans with most of fennel, all of celery and half of the pickled red onions. Sprinkle two tablespoons of the red onion pickling liquid and two tablespoons of olive oil over the mixture. Season generously with salt and pepper. Taste, adjust seasonings and ingredient levels to your preferences.

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Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
Recipe Credit: Oh She Glows

1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water)
1 & 1/4 cup lightly packed shredded zucchini, skin left on
1 & 1/4 cup almond milk
2 tsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
1/2 cup cane sugar
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
2/3 cup walnuts, chopped

  • 1. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly spray muffin with oil or grease with Earth Balance.
  • 2. Mix flax egg in a small bowl and set aside. Grate zucchini using a grater box (regular grate size). Set aside.
  • 3. Mix almond milk and apple cider vinegar (or sub fresh lemon juice) in a small bowl and set aside. It will curdle, but this is the point as we’re making vegan buttermilk.
  • 4. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar).
  • 5. Mix together the wet ingredients (flax egg, almond milk mixture, maple syrup, and vanilla) and then pour over dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips, walnuts, and shredded zucchini.
  • 6. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin filling each tin 3/4 of the way full. Bake for about 15-17 minutes at 350F, or until muffins slowly spring back when touched. A toothpick should come out mostly clean. Cool in tin for 5 minutes. With a knife, loosen around the muffin edge and transfer to a cooling rack until completely cool.

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  • Crispy Black Bean Fritters with Cilantro Dipping Sauce
    Recipe Credit: Mia’s Domain

    3 cups black bean, cooked
    1 large yellow pepper, remove seed, chop into small pieces
    1 small white onion, diced
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    1 large tomato, chopped into small pieces
    3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
    1/2 cup all purpose unbleached flour
    2 eggs, room temperature
    Sea salt and black pepper
    Extra virgin olive oil (for frying)
    Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, stir well to combine (add more flour if it’s not binding). Season with sea salt and black pepper. In a large skillet,add three tablespoons of oil to the pan on medium heat. When hot, add tablespoonfuls of the bean mixture. Fry on one side until golden brown and crispy (about 3 minutes). Flip over for a further three minutes. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Season with fresh black pepper and sea salt.
    Serve with dipping sauce on the side
    Cilantro Dipping Sauce:
    1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
    1/2 small green chili, seeded and finely chopped
    1 small garlic clove, crushed
    2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
    1 teaspoon sugar Sea salt and black pepper
    Blend all the ingredients for a smooth consistency. Season with sea salt and black pepper.

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Chicken-Broccoli Stir Fry

Recipe Credit: Food Network

  • Ingredients
    1 pound chicken breast (about 2 breasts), cubed
    3 scallions, whites only, thinly sliced on an angle
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 -inch piece peeled fresh ginger, minced
    1 tablespoon soy sauce
    2 tablespoons sugar
    1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
    1 1/4 teaspoons salt
    1 tablespoon dry sherry
    1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
    About 1/3 cup water
    3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    5 to 6 cups broccoli, trimmed sliced stalks and medium florets (keep the 2 cuts separate)
    3/4 to 1 teaspoon red chili flakes, optional
    1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
    Garnish: toasted sesame seeds, optional
    Serving suggestion: Jasmine rice

In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with the scallion whites, about half the garlic and ginger, the soy sauce, sugar, 1 teaspoon of the cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of the salt, the sherry, and the sesame oil. Marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes. Mix the remaining cornstarch with 1/3 cup water.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and heat. Add the broccoli stems, and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the florets and the remaining garlic, ginger, 2 tablespoons of water, and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Stir-fry until the broccoli is bright green but still crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Get the skillet good and hot again, and then heat 2 more tablespoons oil. Add the chicken and chili flakes if using. Stir-fry until the chicken loses its raw color and gets a little brown, about 3 minutes. Add the hoisin sauce, return the broccoli to the pan and toss to heat through. Stir in the reserved cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil to thicken. Add more water if need to thin the sauce, if necessary. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if you like. Mound the stir-fry on a serving platter or divide among 4 plates and garnish with sesame seeds; serve with rice.

Notes: The garlic and ginger can be chopped together in a minichopper to save time.

Scallion greens can also be used to garnish, if you like that extra onion-y flavor and you want to use up the scallions.

Week Eight: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

This really is my favorite time of year. Nearly every surface of our kitchen is bursting with amazing produce, thanks to Groundswell! I’m so grateful we are able to have such abundance at our finger tips. I’ve been working away in the kitchen, creating many different dishes to use what we have before we get more! This week includes my all-time favorite broccoli salad, a roasted peach salad, roasted eggplant and pepper relish, shrimp and bok choy stir fry and a simple creamy cucumber salad.

Broccoli Slaw
recipe credit: The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

2 heads broccoli, each 3/4 – 1 lb.
1/2 c. thinly slice almonds, toasted
1/3 c. dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 c. buttermilk, well shaken
1/2 c. mayonnaise
2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
lots of freshly ground black pepper

Trim broccoli and chop into large chunks, then cut each floret chunk into thin slices. Cut the stems into thin matchsticks.  Toss sliced broccoli with almonds and cranberries.

In a small bowl, whisk buttermilk, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar and salt until smooth. Stir in onion. Pour dressing over broccoli mixture and add black pepper. Stir again, so salad is evenly coated. Serve immediately, or keep in fridge for 2 – 3 days.

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The Kitchen Beet - Peach, Mozzarella, Chive Salad

Roasted Peach, Fresh Mozzarella and Chive Salad
recipe credit: The Kitchen Beet 

Roasted Peach, Fresh Mozzarella and Chive Salad
8 oz spicy greens (arugula, mizuna, whatever you have on hand!)
2 firm but ripe peaches, sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 – 8 oz ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced into medium-thick pieces
handful of fresh chives, chopped
1/4 small red onion, as thin as you can slice it

Dijon-White Wine Vinaigrette
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 TBSP white wine vinegar
1 TBSP dijon mustard
1 – 2 tsp. honey, to taste
sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 300 F. Slice your peaches, mozzarella and red onion, and chop your chives. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place your peaches on it so they are not touching. Roast for about 8 minutes, or until warm and juicy. In a bowl or on a platter, toss your clean, dry salad greens and arrange the rest of the ingredients on top.

In a small glass bowl with a spout, whisk together dressing ingredients, tasting as you go, so it is to your liking. (Alternatively, you could shake all ingredients in a small mason jar with a lid.)

Drizzle dressing on top of the salad. It won’t need much to highlight the flavors.

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Roasted Eggplant and Pepper Relish
recipe credit: Seven Spoons 

4 red bell peppers, seeded, cored and sliced thinly
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/4″ batons
1 large onion, halved lengthwise and then sliced very thinly
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil, divided
1/4 cup good quality balsamic vinegar, see note
1 tablespoon capers, drained and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh basil
sprinkle of dried red pepper flakes (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). On a standard rimmed baking sheet or large roasting pan, toss together the peppers and eggplant. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast, for 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Add 3/4 of the onion (reserve the rest) and continue to cook until the vegetables are soft but without much colour, about 25-30 minutes more.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, make the vinaigrette; combine the vinegar, capers, garlic and basil. Slowly whisk in the 1/2 cup of olive oil, until thick and emulsified. Mix in the reserved onion and the red pepper flakes (if using), season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

When finished roasting, tumble the hot vegetables into the vinaigrette, tossing well to combine. Make sure to scrape any caramelized bits off of the pan and any accumulated juices. Allow the vegetables to marinate for 20 minutes at the least, serving the relish warm. My preference is to cool the mixture, then refrigerate in a sealed container overnight. It can then be served at room temperature or warmed gently. You could use to make a great toasted sandwich – perhaps add some cheese, too!

Makes about 2 cups.

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Shrimp and Bok Choy Stir-Fry
recipe credit: Food52

For velveting the shrimp:

  • 1large egg white
  • 1tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2teaspoons rice wine, dry sherry, or rice vinegar
  • 1teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1tablespoon peanut, canola, or vegetable oil
  • Water for poaching
For the stir-fry:

  • 1tablespoon peanut, canola, or vegetable oil
  • 1tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 to 3garlic cloves, minced
  • 1tablespoon chili-garlic sauce, or to taste
  • 4scallions, white and green parts separated and thinly sliced
  • 1pound baby bok choy, washed and thoroughly dried
  • 1/2pound snow peas
  • 2tablespoons rice wine, dry sherry, or rice vinegar
  • 1tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2cup toasted chopped cashews
  • Cooked white or brown rice for serving
  • Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine egg white, cornstarch, wine or vinegar, and soy sauce, and whisk until smooth. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes while you prep the other ingredients. (This step can be done a day ahead.)
  2. While the shrimp marinates, separate the baby bok choy into leaves and, if desired, trim and de-string the snow peas. Set aside.
  3. Bring a pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and reduce the heat to low so that the water is at a bare simmer. Add shrimp and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Drain the shrimp thoroughly, and set aside.
  4. Place a large skillet or wok (not nonstick) over the highest heat the pan can handle. Heat until the pan is very hot: A drop of water flicked on the surface should sizzle and evaporate within a second or two. Swirl 1 tablespoon of oil into the hot pan, then add ginger, garlic, chili-garlic sauce, and the white parts of the scallions, and stir-fry for about 10 seconds.
  5. Add the snow peas and bok choy and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bok choy leaves are wilted. Add wine or vinegar and soy sauce and stir-fry for 1 minute more, or until the bok choy stems are starting to get tender. Add shrimp and stir-fry for another minute, or until the shrimp is cooked through, the veggies are tender, and everything is coated with sauce.
  6. Remove from the heat, and mix in the cashews and the green parts of the scallions. Spoon over rice, garnish with sesame seeds, and serve immediately.

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Creamy Cucumber Salad
recipe credit: Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa)

4 cucumbers, thinly sliced (3 to 4 pounds)
2 small red onions, thinly sliced in half rounds
Kosher salt
4 cups (32 ounces) plain whole-milk yogurt
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/2 cup minced fresh dill
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Mix the cucumbers, red onions, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt in a bowl. Pour them into a colander and suspend it over a bowl. Wrap the bowl and colander with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to drain for at least 4 hours or overnight. Discard the liquid that collects in the bowl.

Pour the yogurt into a sieve lined with a paper towel and suspend it over another bowl. Wrap the bowl and sieve in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Discard the liquid that collects in the second bowl.

When the cucumbers are ready, roll them up in paper towels or a kitchen towel and press the towel lightly to remove most of the liquid. Place the cucumbers and yogurt in a large bowl with the sour cream, vinegar, dill, 2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper. Toss well and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and serve chilled.

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Week 11: CSA Food Heaven

Hello members! It’s an exciting time in the share right now.  Tomatoes are coming in, and summer squash, cucumbers, carrots, and beets are weighing down our produce bags, not to mention the abundance of basil and salad greens we get each week.  Here are five recipes we hope will send you to Food Heaven:

The Day Before Pickup Stir Fry (this edition featuring broccoli)

broccolistirfry1 broccolistirfry2 broccolistirfryplate3

Serves 4, possibly more or makes leftovers.

This week I noticed we had not gotten to the broccoli in our share, and the next day was pickup, so we decided to go with a stir fry.  I also noticed there was an almost empty barbecue sauce bottle, so I decided to make that my sauce base. Don’t forget to start some rice in a rice cooker before frying!

  • .5-1 lb. Broccoli, stems chopped into small pieces and florets (use 1-2 weeks worth)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic or scapes, diced
  • 1 bell pepper chopped into small pieces
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil
  • cooked chicken, steak, tofu, seitan (protein of your choice, pre-cooked)

For the Sauce:

  • Barbecue sauce.  In this instance, there was about a teaspoon left on the bottle walls that I could not shake out or get with a spatula.  So I added a few tablespoons of water, shook the bottle around, and poured it into a mixing bowl.  Most stir fry sauces call for some water or stock for the sauce anyways. Now the bottle is clean to go in recycling and your ancestors who lived through various times of hardship in history are smiling down at your resourcefulness of not wasting food.
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp Cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp Honey, or sweetener of your choice
  • 1 tsp corn starch (optional for thickener)
  1. Heat oil in a large frying pan or skillet to med-high or high.  When droplets of water sizzle in the pan, add the onion, cook for one minute.
  2. Add the garlic, cook for one minute, then add the broccoli and bell pepper, cook for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the the protein and the sauce, mixing well.
  4. Remove from heat, plate with rice. Enjoy and take leftovers to work.  Coworkers will be envious.

 Beet Pesto Pizza with Kale and Goat Cheese

A creamy and nutritious pizza! Don’t be intimidated by the beet pesto – it takes a little more prep than using canned tomato sauce, but it’s well worth it! Makes 1 12″ pizza.

To Make the Beet Pesto:

  • 1 cup of red beets, chopped and roasted (about 1 medium beet)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup of walnut, roasted
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Wash and scrub the beets, pat dry. Chop into 1/2″ pieces and wrap in foil (into a packet) on a baking sheet.
  3. Roast for 50 minutes, or until beets are soft.
  4. Allow beets to cool.
  5. Add all ingredients except the oil into the food processor and pulse several times.
  6. Leave the processor running and slowly add the oil. If the consistency is too thick, add a little bit of water.

To Make the Pizza:

  • 1 lb. pizza dough (or pre-made pizza crust, naan bread, french bread, etc. – there are lots of choices for your base. )
  • 1 cup beet pesto
  • 2 cups kale leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1.5 cups mozarella cheese, grated
  • 2 oz goat cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees.
  2. Bake the dough for 5-7 minutes without toppings.
  3. Remove from the oven and add the toppings. First spread on the beet pesto. Then add the kale and cheeses. (If it seems like a lot of kale, don’t worry, it will cook down.)
  4. Bake 20-25 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Mozzarella and Basil Bites

A delicious snack or appetizer, starring your fresh basil! Makes 30 bites.

  • 1 package of ovoline fresh mozzarella (15, cut in half to make 30)
  • 1 egg plus 1 Tbsp water to make egg wash
  • 15 fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup of your favorite tomato sauce, or make your own, warmed.
  1. Drain the mozzarella and gently pat with paper towel to remove moisture.
  2. Prepare the egg wash by whisking the egg and water with a fork.
  3. Wash and dry the basil leaves and place them in stacks of 5. Here’s the fancy, professional way to chop basil: Roll up each stack and chop finely, to make little basil strips.
  4. To make a wonton: place half of an ovoline on the wonton wrapper, sprinkle with basil. Brush the center with egg wash and press the edges together and tuck under the ends. Let sit for about 1 minute.
  5. Heat the oil in a large shallow pan until it reaches 350 – you are going to want to use a thermometer than clips onto your pan.
  6. Gently place 8-10 wontons in the pan and cook for about 1 minute, making sure both sides are browning. Drain on paper towel.
  7. Sprinkle with grated cheese and serve with warm tomato sauce.

Note: If you prefer, you can bake these instead of frying them. Spray the baking sheet with non-stick spray. Try 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, keeping an eye on them. You don’t want burnt edges.

Cucumber and Nappa Cabbage Coleslaw

makes 6 servings (1.5 cups each)

  • 1 nappa cabbage (chinese cabbage) finely chopped, about 8 cups
  • 4 small cucumbers, julienne cut (about 6 cups)
  • 1/2 cup chopped, salted, roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup of peanut or canola oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • red chili flakes to taste (optional)
  1. Combine cabbage, cucumber, peanuts and cilantro in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk remaining ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the vegetable mixture and toss.

Carrot and Chickpea Salad

  • 6 carrots, washed and peeled
  • 6 cups chickpeas
  • half a bunch of fresh cilantro
  • a handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 2 Tbsp whole cumin seeds, toasted
  • 1 Tbsp whole coriander seeds, toasted
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and whole cracked pepper to taste
  1. If using dried chickpeas, cook them (We prefer to soak them overnight in water, and then cook for 2 minutes in our pressure cooker.)
  2. Slice carrots on the bias (diagonally) no more than 1/4″ thick
  3. Combine carrots, chickpeas, herbs and toasted seeds.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Dress with lemon juice, olive oil and garlic.

The Sweet and Savory Harvest of Summer

Do you like some fruits with your veggies?  Or a little sweet to go with savory?  Check out these recipes!

Roasted Beets and Carrots with Lentils

serves 6-8

  • 2 1/2 cups French lentils (they are darker and more nutritious than brown lentils)
  • about 12 small-medium carrots
  • about 12 medium-small beets
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (basil, chives, parsley, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot tops
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese

for homemade (eggless) aioli:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • juice from the lemon you zested (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Wash and scrub the beets and carrots. Place them in a large enameled iron pot and coat them with the 2 Tbsp olive oil.
  2. Roast at 375 for 30-45 minutes, until tender. When cool, you may remove the beet skins by rubbing with your hands.
  3. Rinse the lentils and check for small pebbles. Put them in a saucepan, cover them with water and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered on medium for 30-40 minutes. You may need to add additional water as they cook. Drain the lentils and place in a large shallow serving bowl.
  4. In a blender or food processor, puree the garlic, lemon juice and salt to make the aioli. Add the olive oil and puree until thick. Pour this over the lentils.
  5. Add the carrot tops, herbs, lemon zest and salt and pepper. Toss.
  6. Place the carrots and beets on top of the lentils, and sprinkle the feta on top.

Fruit and Veggie Juice Popsicles

These are a healthy, kid-friendly treat that’s fun to make and eat. This works best if you have a juicer at home, but a blender will work with some fruits and leafy greens.

For specifics, it really depends on what fruits and veggies you would like to use. Here are some parings we suggest.

  • Orange with Carrots (you could make your own orange juice in the juicer or use store bought, but you’ll need the juicer for the carrots. It really depends on the size of your carrots for how much you want to add. We suggest starting with the orange juice and try one carrot at a time, tasting until the desired outcome.)
  • Berries with Beets (The berries will also work in the blender, especially if you like having chunks of real fruit in your popsicles. Again, I’d start with the berries (raspberries, blueberries, etc.) and go with one beet at a time, tasting as you go.
  • Kiwi, Apple, Banana and Spinach – if you’re feeling adventurous to make a green popsicle. (If you don’t have a juicer, you could use these fruits, or your favorite combination in the blender and add green like kale and spinach. You could even add some yogurt to make a frozen yogurt pop.)

To make the popsicles:

  1. Prepare the juice to your liking. If you don’t have popsicle molds, just pour the juice into small paper dixie cups and add a popsicle stick.  Stick them in the freezer for a few hours. When they’re frozen solid, just peel off the paper cup and enjoy.

Honey Balsamic Bean Salad

beansalad

  • 4 cups (or 2 cans) of chickpeas
  • 4 cups (or 2 cans) of back beans
  • 2 cups green beans, halved
  • 1 cup bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of red onion thinly sliced (or use your scallions)
  • 2 Tbsp chives, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • salt and pepper to taste

for the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  1. Drain and rise beans if using cans. Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl. Make the dressing in a small bowl or jar and whisk or shake. Pour on top and mix well.

Beet, Plum and Ricotta Salad

Serves 4

We just got our first plums of the season from the farmer’s market!

  • 3 medium beets, scrubbed and quartered
  • 3 plums, pitted and cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 3 tsp champagne vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh  basil
  1. Place the beets in a steamer basket or colander inside a saucepan with 2 inches of water. Cover and steam for about 20 minutes, until tender. Let cool, remove skins, and cut into small slices.
  2. Place the beets, plums and ricotta on a plate/platter. Drizzle with vinegar and oil, salt and pepper and top with basil leaves.

Refrigerator Pickles

(recipe modified from the Smitten Kitchen)

Hoping to make pickles, but not up for the challenge of fermenting or boiling jars all afternoon? These refrigerator pickles are perfect for you. We modified the recipe so it only takes 4 cucumbers. Feel free to double (or triple) it if you’ve got extras.

  • 4 cucumbers
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher or pickling salt
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic, lightly crushed but still in the skin (optional)
  1. Slice cucumbers very thin into medallions. Add to a lidded jar or tupperware container, and pour in the liquid. The liquid won’t look like enough, but the salt will draw the moisture out of the cucumbers and it will be the perfect balance. Close the lid and give a good shake now and every few hours. The pickles will be ready in 6-8 hours, and last up to 3 weeks in the fridge with this method.

 

 

 

Here’s to you, Benedict Cucumber-batch

In case you’re wondering where the inspiration for this week’s title came from, Benedict Cumberbatch is the star of the BBC show Sherlock.  It’s a fun show to watch, and these are some fun recipes to make: Hoorah for cucumbers! Here’s a great fresh salad that features them. Cilantro-Lime Cucumber Salad

  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic,  finely minced (or those lovely scapes)
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cucumbers, very finely sliced (use a mandolin or a very sharp knife)
  • 4 Tbsp minced cilantro
  1. Add the jalapeno and garlic to a medium bowl.
  2. Add the lime juice, red pepper, salt and pepper. Use a whisk to mix in the olive oil.
  3. Add the cucumbers and stir.
  4. Add the cilantro and mix it up nicely. You can serve it immediately, or chill it in the fridge. Note: if you chill it, let it sit out for a few minutes as the oil will tend to solidify when chilled.

Carrot and Zucchini Bars 

Satisfy that sweet tooth with a fresh dessert that’s packed with some nutrition. Please go to http://www.mykitchenescapades.com/?s=carrot+and+zucchini+bars for the recipe, or click on the title above the picture.

Rigatoni with Ricotta and Roasted Beets

My pasta turned a little bit beety-pink when I made this, which I actually thought made it kind of fun.

  • 4 beets, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb rigatoni pasta
  • 5 cups baby spinach (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • grated peel from 1 lemon, plus 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 450. Line a baking sheet with foil, toss the (peeled and cut) beets with 1 Tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap tightly in the foil and roast for 15 minutes. Unwrap and arrange in a single layer. Add the red onion to the baking sheet, after tossing with oil and seasoning with salt and pepper. Roast another 8-10 minute until tender, and tossing  halfway through.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. Return pasta to the pot and toss with spinach.
  3. In a bowl, whisk the ricotta, pasta water, lemon peel, lemon juice and remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add to the pasta along with the beets and onion. Season to taste and toss.

Peach and Blueberry Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Yum! We got our first batch of local blueberries from the farmer’s market yesterday and fresh peaches should be here soon too! This is the kind of salad the feels like you’re eating desert. Serves 5.

  • 3 cups of lettuce, chopped (or any combination or spinach or salad greens)
  • 3 small cucumbers, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium avocado, sliced
  • 2 small peaches, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced (optional)
  • 3/4 cup blueberries

for the dressing: (combine in a jar and give it a good shake)

  • juice of 1/2 an orange
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  1. Toss the ingredients in a large bowl. Add the dressing and enjoy!

Here’s a salad with a similar flavor palette: Peach and Cucumber Salsa

  • 4 peaches, washed, pitted and sliced into small pieces
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, diced (optional)
  • 2 mini cucumbers (or 1/3 of a normal sized one), finely chopped
  • 1/3 small red onion, finely diced 1 handful of fresh cilantro leaves, washed and chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons of a great quality balsamic vinegar
  1. Put all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. This is great with tortilla chips, or on grilled chicken or pork.

Dress up your dressing with fresh herbs

CSA Week 7

Greetings members! Were you surprised as we were for a green pepper in the share this week? We have more dressings and salad recipes for you, including dressings that utilize parsley and dill, which were the herb selections last week.

Honey Mustard Apple Cider Vinaigrette 

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (or a couple fresh leaves from the share)
  • 1 small shallot, minced (or scallions/bulb onion from the share)
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper

 

1. Whisk together honey, apple cider vinegar, mustard powder, shallot and dried basil.

2. Slowly pour in olive oil while whisking.

3. Season with salt and pepper.

Kohlrabi Chicken Salad

  • 3 chicken breast ( small, grilled and chopped )
  • 1/4 red onion ( diced )
  • 1 celery ( rib of celery chopped )
  • 1/2 cup kohlrabi ( chopped )
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill ( chopped )
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise (or greek yogurt)
  • to taste sea salt ( coarse )
  • to taste ground black pepper
  • to taste garlic powder (or finely chopped garlic scapes! :)

1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour before enjoying.

Orzo Salad with Yogurt Dill Dressing

Serves about 8

(We haven’t seen cukes and carrots in the share yet, so you could substitute chopped greens, kohlrabi, radishes, etc. this time, and make this salad again in a few weeks when the hot season crops come in.)

  • 1 pound orzo
  • 1 cup peas
  • 3 roma tomatoes, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 English cucumber, diced
  • 2 medium carrots – diced
  • 1 medium red onion – minced

for the dressing:

 

  • 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 6 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook orzo according to package direction. In the last 2 minutes of cooking time, add the peas to the pot with the orzo. Strain peas and pasta and set aside to cool.
2. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine all ingredients for the yogurt dill dressing and whisk to combine.
3. In a large serving bowl, mix together orzo, peas, cucumbers, tomatoes, and dressing until everything is coated with dressing. Check for seasoning, add more salt and pepper as needed and serve immediately or store covered in the refrigerator.

Carrot Fries with Honey Yogurt Dip

1. Cut carrots into sticks and lightly toss with olive oil.

2. Spread into a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

For the Dip: Swirl together 1 Tbsp honey with 1/2 cup of plain or Greek yogurt. You could add a little more sweetness by adding a pinch of cinnamon and/or brown sugar.

Three Vegetable Lasagna

Serves 12

  • 8 oz dried lasagna noodles (9-10 noodles)
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 4 cloves of garlic (or use those scapes)
  • 2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning, dried
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • 1 8oz package cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1-2 cups chopped broccoli
  • 1-2 cups chopped spinach

1. Cook noodles according to directions. Drain and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, cottage cheese, ricotta and Italian seasoning.

3. In a large skillet, cook mushrooms, onion and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in flour, pepper and milk and cook until thick and bubbly.

4. Remove from heat. Stir is spinach, broccoli, carrot and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese.

5. To assemble, in a greased 13x9x2-inch baking dish or 3-quart rectangular casserole, layer one-third of the noodles, folding or cutting to fit as necessary. Spread with one-third of the cottage cheese mixture, then one-third of the vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with one-third of the mozzarella. Repeat the layers 2 more times. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.

6. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree F oven for 35 minutes or until heated through. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Get Your Green On

CSA Week 1

Hello! This is Josh and Beth, and we are excited to be sharing lots of recipes and ideas for using your the goodies in your CSA share this season. We plan to include some simple but delicious dishes that make a good snack or appetizer if you’re on the go with fun summer events. We’ll also share recipes to create a great lunch or dinner entree. You might even find some drinks and desserts here, too. Here’s to a season of amazing, local, organic veggies!

The sunshine and warm weather has us inspired to make colorful salads and use lots of green things for light but satisfying nourishment. This week we’ll be enjoying lettuce, bok choy, spinach, salad mix, green garlic, herbs, kale and maybe some kohlrabi in the share. Here are some ideas to help you get your green on.

Kale Chips

On the left: spinach chip. Right: kohlrabi chips with some parmesan cheese.

On the left: spinach chip.
Right: kohlrabi chips with some parmesan cheese.

Okay, we know these are super simple. But for a long time, they just weren’t turning out for us. All the recipes we found looked so easy, but our chips were always turning out too soggy and limp, or too crispy and brown…until we discovered the secret. Low and Slow. Thank you chef Anne Burrell from The Food Network. You can try this with other greens too.

  • kale (or spinach, kohlrabi leaves, or other greens)
  • olive oil
  • salt (and other spices you like)
  • parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 250. Remove kale stems. (When washing your kale, we highly recommend spinning it in a salad spinner to thoroughly to dry it.)
  2. We like to lightly drizzle the leaves with olive oil and mix them to make sure the leaves are coated. Spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet. (We like them so much we make two trays at once.) Too much oil makes them limp. Add salt and add any spices your heart may desire.
  3. Bake the kale at 250 degrees for about 20-30 minutes. We like to sprinkle them with a little bit of parmesan cheese sometimes.  (The timing really depends on your oven. When we make two trays, the lowest tray cooks faster. The bottom is usually done at 20 minutes and the top at 25 minutes.)

Honey Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

This is sweet dressing that tastes great on a garden salad.

  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Pour all ingredients into a mason jar and give it a good shake (with the lid on.)

When we make salads, we start with whatever greens we have (lettuce, kale, spinach, etc.) Then we just start grabbing whatever veggies we have on hand. Some of our favorite salad ingredients are sugar snap peas, cucumber, carrots, chopped apples or other fresh fruit, craisins or dried cherries, walnuts or pecans, hard boiled egg, and some kind of cheese. You could also add chicken or steak to make it more filling.

Bok Choy Salad

photo from webmd.com

photo from webmd.com

This is a fun salad with some sweetness and a little bit of zing. Serves 6

  • 2 bunches of small bok choy or 1 large (about 6 cups, washed and chopped)
  • 1 bunch of green onions, washed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted (we sometimes skip these if we don’t have them on hand)
  • 1 80z can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce (we like to use Bragg’s Amino Acids)

Tip: for toasting almonds: You can do this on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 for 10-15 minutes. You will need to stir them with a wooden spoon every few minutes. They will smell warm and nutty when they are ready, and the edges will be slightly golden brown.

  1. In large bowl, combine bok choy, green onions, almonds and mandarin oranges.
  2. For the dressing we like to use a mason jar to combine olive oil, vinegar, sugar and soy sauce. Shake (with the lid on) and serve with the salad.

Black Bean Tacos with Goat Cheese and Avocado 

makes 12 small tacos (serves 4)

recipe adapted from here

  • 1 15oz can of black beans, or about 8 oz dry beans if you like to cook them yourself (We soak them overnight and cook them in the pressure cooker)
  • 2 avocados (you have the option to grill them, but we like them raw)
  • juice and zest from 1 lime
  • 2 tsp honey
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 oz from a goat cheese log
  • fresh cilantro
  • tortillas of your choice
  • red onion, chopped (optional)
  1. Prep the ingredients by chopping/cutting onion, cilantro, and the avocado. Rinse the canned beans or let freshly cooked beans cool.
  2. Juice and zest the lime and add the honey in small bowl. Season with a dash of salt and pepper.
  3. We use corn tortillas, which need to be cooked or they tend to fall apart. We like to use our cast iron pan. Pour 1/4 tsp olive oil in the pan and let it heat up. 3 corn tortillas fit in the pan at a time. Let them cook 1-2 minutes, and then flip and cook another 1-2 minutes. After they are cooked, wrap them in a towel to keep them warm until you are ready to assemble tacos.
  4. Assemble the tacos. We like to put goat cheese as the base layer on the torilla because it helps the other ingredients stick. Add black beans, avocado, onion, cilantro and the honey lime dressing.

Kale Guacamole

serves about 4 people

  • 5 leaves of kale
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1 clove of garlic (you can use your green garlic from the share)
  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp cumin (optional)
  • chopped tomato (optional)

Tip: leaving one of the avocado pits in the bowl help keep it from turning brown.

  1. Steam or boil kale for about 7-9 minutes. Drain well and allow to cool.
  2. If you like smooth guacamole: Once kale has cooled, process onions, kale, and garlic in a food processor until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until desired consistency.OR, if you like chunky style guacamole, just chop and mix in a bowl.
  3. Add lime juice and salt to your taste.

Herbed Cream Cheese with Cucumber

  • 1 cucumber, chilled
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh herbs (dill, parsley, chervil, chives, etc.)(or 1 1/2 Tbsp dried herbs)
  • 2 Tbsp dill pickle juice
  • 3/4 tsp onion powder (or mince some onion)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder (or try mincing your green garlic this week)
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 green onion (green part only, minced) (You could use the white part in the bok choy salad)
  1. Add the softened cream cheese, dill weed, dill pickle juice,  onion powder, garlic powder, and freshly ground black pepper to the bowl of a stand mixer, a large bowl with a hand mixer, or a bowl with a sturdy spoon. Mix on high (or mix aggressively by hand) until the cream cheese is soft, smooth, and all other ingredients are evenly distributed.
  2. If you’re feeling fancy: scrape into a pastry bag fitted with whichever tip you prefer. You can also use a ziplock bag, or even a bowl. You just need to cover it. We love to use these lilypad lids.
  3. Slice the chilled cucumber and squeeze or spread the cream cheese on top. You can store any leftover cream cheese mixture in the refrigerator for about a week.

The Bibimbap is oh, so Bibimgood!

This dish is my favorite recipe this summer, hands down. Bibimbap is a signature Korean dish. The word literally means “mixed rice”. Traditionally it is served as a bowl of white rice topped with sautéed vegetables, chili paste and sometimes beef or another meat. The whole dish is then topped with a runny fried egg. It is a creative way to use your “leftover” veggies and meat of the week in a most tasty dish! This recipe is a vegan version, but you can be as creative as you wish (using brown rice instead of white, or adding tofu, cooked meat and/or a fried egg on top).

IMG_5554

Vegan Bibimbap with Spicy Greens and Zucchini
adapted from Food and Wine
(serves 4)

quick-pickled cucumbers (can be done the night before)
2 Tbs rice vinegar
2 tsp sugar
2 small/medium cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tsp peeled and grated fresh ginger, divided
1/2 tsp salt

1-1/2 cups basmati rice
4 Tbs peanut oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
 2 large Portobello mushroom caps, chopped into 1/2″ pieces (you can also shiitakes)
1 Tbs toasted sesame oil
25 kale leaves, stems removed and chopped fine (use any spicy green or combination of whatever cooking greens you have on hand)
2 small/medium size zucchini, cut into matchstick pieces
2 Tbs of soy sauce
1 tsp of molasses
4 scallions, thinly sliced, for serving
 Sriracha, for serving

  • In a small bowl, combine the vinegar with the sugar, salt and 1tsp ginger, toss with cucumbers and set aside in fridge to marinate.
  • In a medium saucepan, cook the basmati rice per the instructions, until tender. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes, fluff with a fork.
  • In an iron skillet or nonstick skillet, heat 2 Tbs of the peanut oil. Add the garlic, and portabellos, season with salt and cook over high heat, stirring, until browned, about 6 minutes. Scrape onto a large plate.
  • Heat 1 Tbs of the peanut oil and add the remaining 1 tsp of grated ginger and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the sesame oil and the spicy greens, season with salt and cook until the greens are wilted and just tender, about 4 minutes. Scrape the greens out onto the plate with the mushrooms, keeping them separated.
  • Heat the remaining 1 Tbs of oil in the skillet, add the zucchini and cook over high heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the mixture of soy and molasses and cook until the zucchini is glazed, 2 minutes. Scrape the zucchini onto the platter.
  • Mound the rice into individual bowls, and arrange the cooked vegetables in separate piles. Using a slotted spoon, add the pickled cucumbers to the bowls. Garnish with the scallions and a couple squirts of Sriracha. Serve and enjoy!!

Another fantastic dish that plays with sweet and savory! This is a great way to use up your red cabbage and it is easy to prep beforehand. The dressing can be made the night before as well as the toasted nuts.  You can also add fresh apples or pears, cut into bite size pieces, to get a seasonal fruit into your diet!

IMG_5691

Red Cabbage Slaw
adapted from The Cleaner Plate Club, by Beth Bader & Ali Benjamin
(serves 4-6)

Dressing
1/3 cup walnut oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon orange marmalade ( I used apricot, any citrusy jam will work)
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 medium head of red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (I do it by knife, even though the food processor shreds it doesn’t cut the cabbage into small enough manageable pieces for a toddler/young child)
3/4 cup of dried fruit: raisins, cranberries, blueberries, cherries, apricots; whatever you have on hand
3/4 cup of pecans, walnuts or almonds, toasted
scallions, finely chopped, for garnish

  • To make the dressing, whisk together the walnut oil, vinegar, honey and marmalade in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  • Place the cabbage, dried fruit and nuts in a large bowl, pour the dressing over, and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours, or for as long as overnight.
  • Keep in mind that the dried fruit will hydrate a bit so it will be softer and less hard and chewy. I have a funny “texture thing” about partially rehydrated fruit so I always wait until I am ready to serve the dish before adding the dried fruit. That way it remains texturally as I enjoy it most.

IMG_5781

Green Beans, Bacon and Blue Cheese w/Apple Cider Dijon Dressing
adapted from Vegetable Magic
(serves 4 as a side dish)

1 lb fresh green beans, washed, destemmed and left whole
water bath: medium size bowl filled with water and ice
4 strips thick-sliced bacon
4 oz. blue cheese or Roquefort cheese, crumbled

Dressing
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tsp honey
salt and pepper
1-1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/3 cup grapeseed oil (you can use olive oil if you prefer)
1 Tbs finely chopped shallots

  • Place all dressing ingredients into small bowl and whisk until well emulsified.
  • Heat an iron skillet to medium and add the bacon slices. Cook over medium heat until well cooked. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and place on a wood cutting board. Set aside till cool enough to chop up into small pieces.
  • Bring a saucepan of water to a boil, and add the beans. Simmer for about 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Do not overcook! Drain and immediately submerge in the water bath to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside in a large bowl.
  • Toss the beans with the dressing. Sprinkle the bacon and blue cheese crumbles on the beans, toss and serve.

Who doesn’t love the comfort of a warm, cheesy serving of lasagna? This lasagna dish is sooooo delicious, gluten-free and much lower in calories than the typical pasta recipe. It only takes 30 minutes to bake and the cabbage, sauce and cheese can all be prepped the day before to make assembly a cinch. This recipe is an absolute winner!

IMG_5832

Cabbage Lasagna Casserole
adapted from Weight Watchers
(serves 6)

1 large head of green cabbage, sliced thinly to 3/4″
4 Tbs butter
salt and pepper

2 quarts of your favorite tomato sauce, (a sauce that is thick and meaty is particularly good!)
1 large block of mozzarella cheese, grated
 fresh basil leaves, washed and spun dry
1 pint of cherry tomatoes washed and sliced in halves
Parmesan cheese, grated

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Heat the butter until melted in a large iron skillet. Add the cabbage and stir to coat with the butter. Cover, lower the heat and cook gently for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender. Season lightly with the salt and pepper. Pour into a large rectangular 9″ x 13″ pyrex and spread evenly.
  • Pour the sauce over top and then sprinkle with the mozzarella. Place in preheated oven and back for 25 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with chopped cherry tomatoes and grated parmesan cheese, bake for another 5 minutes just to heat the cherry tomatoes and melt the parmesan. Remove from oven and toss the basil leaves on top. Serve immediately and enjoy

In our house, we call this next one “Cheesy Soup in a Mug” because it looks cheesy and we make it fun by serving it in big mugs! The catch is…no cheese in the recipe and the secret is the carrots. The best part is that one full mug contains your quota of veggies for any given meal and serving veggies as “cheese soup” is a total winner with the kids! Yes, moms around the world, you can now relax knowing that you have gotten veggies down the hatch!  (my photo is of the soup in a bowl, forgot to take it in the mugs…we ate it too fast!)

IMG_3801

Sunshine Soup (known in our house as Cheesy Soup in a Mug!)
by Deanna Robbins
(serves 5)

1 Tbs coconut oil
1 Tbs dried tarragon
1 medium size head of cauliflower, coarsely chopped
2-3 large carrots, chopped (try to use the orange ones, they tend to be sweeter when cooked like this whereas the purple and yellow ones tend to work better roasted in the oven)
1/2+ tsp chipotle adobe pepper, finely chopped (found at Meijer in the International Foods aisle)
1/2+ tsp curry powder
cashews for topping, lightly toasted (optional
sour cream for topping (optional)
tortilla chips for serving (optional)

  • In a large saucepan over low heat, melt the coconut oil, add the tarragon and allow to cook for a minute.
  • Add the chopped carrots, cauliflower, curry and pepper, fill with water just until covered. Raise the heat to medium/high and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer 15 minutes, until vegetables are just tender.
  • Turn off the heat and set aside for a couple of minutes to release some heat. VERY CAREFULLY puree in blender until creamy. Serve with toasted cashews or a dollop of sour cream and tortillas on the side to dip!

Hope you enjoy your veggies this week!

Lisa McLean

Happy Labor Day!

Every Friday for the last 6 or so years in our house is Pizza Night. Mitchell and Katie look forward to this all week partly because kids love routine and what kid doesn’t love pizza? The first couple of years were fairly traditional pizzas for my husband and I but I started to tire of pizzas laden with cheese and pepperoni. About this time, we joined Groundswell. Pizza is a good way to use quite a few different vegetables. So, now I saute whatever veggies we get that I think we might enjoy on the pizza (spinach, onions, veggies, sweet peppers, etc) and then throw on some fresh garlic, sliced tomatoes and basil. Maybe pepperoni if we feel like it or mushrooms if I have them around. You can buy a premade crust or a crust mix but we make our own. This recipe makes 6 medium pizzas for us so I freeze any extra and defrost it the following Friday. Here is the crust recipe for our pizza that a friend gave me years ago.
DSCN3556

Pizza Dough
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons dried yeast
7 fluid ounces lukewarm water
3 2/3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
Put sugar and yeast in a small bowl. Stir in 3 fluid ounces lukewarm water. Leave in draft free space to activate. If it doesn’t bubble and foam in 5 minutes, throw away and start again. Mix flour and salt. Add olive oil, rest of water and yeast mixture. Mix until it loosely clumps together. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead 8 minutes, adding flour or water if necessary until you have a soft dough that isn’t either too dry or too sticky. Grease a bowl and roll ball of dough around bowl to coat. Leave dough in bowl with a clean dish towel to cover the bowl in a draft free location for 1.5 to 2 hours to double in size (or 8 hours in the refrigerator to rise slowly). Punch down dough. Divide into 6 portions. You can freeze any unneeded dough at this point. Working with one small portion, roll out to desired size. I use a rolling pin because we enjoy thin crust pizza. Place crust on a well oiled cookie sheet. Bake at 475 degrees for about 5-6 minutes. Remove from oven, Flip crust. Top with desired toppings. Cook another 5-6 minutes or until cheese melts.
Our toppings of choice are:
Chopped cherry tomatoes
Sliced, sauteed onions
Sauteed spinach with sauteed garlic
Raw chopped garlic
Chopped basil
Roasted or sauteed sweet peppers
DSCN3554

When I was growing up, I didn’t like stuffed peppers. That was because my mom stuffed green peppers with ground beef, stewed tomatoes and rice. Not a tasty combination if you ask me. Thankfully one day about 15 years ago I found this recipe in Bon Appetit and realized how tasty stuffed peppers could be. My daughter loved this until she became a vegetarian so it is definitely kid friendly.

Stuffed Peppers (Bon Appetit)
1.5 pounds sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1.5 cups coarsely grated zucchini (about 1 large)
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 large egg
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
4 medium-sized sweet bell peppers, halved lengthwise, seeded
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix first 9 ingredients in large bowl until well blended. Fill pepper halves with sausage mixture, dividing equally and mounding slightly. Arrange in 13x9x2 inch baking dish (Can be made one day ahead. Cover. Chill)
Bake peppers uncovered until tops are browned and thermometer inserted into filling registers 165 degrees, about 1 hour. Transfer peppers to platter.

Last week I shared one of our favorite potato recipes. Here is another one that is quite simple and yet quite tasty.

Flavors’ Roasted Potato Salad (Food and Wine)
3 pounds unpeeled new potatoes, quartered
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill
1 garlic clove, minced
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium roasting pan, toss the potatoes with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 40 minutes, tossing occassionally, until tender and browned. Let the potatoes cool completely.
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, dill and garlic. Toss with the potatoes and season with salt and pepper.
Serve at room temperature.

DSCN3549
Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes. How we, my husband and I, love fresh picked, sun-ripened tomatoes. Yum! As I’ve said before, I didn’t used to have an appreciation for heirloom tomatoes but now every summer I can’t wait to start getting the delicious heirloom tomatoes from Groundswell. I want to eat them at every meal and love snacking on the cherry tomatoes. Unfortunately, my kids are just like I was as a kid and though they like tomato sauce, pizza sauce and ketchup, they don’t like raw tomatoes at all! Alas, more for me to eat. Last week, I shared an heirloom tomato salad. This week is another favorite– Tomato Bread Salad. This is a great use to any fresh tomatoes you have and any bread, fresh or stale.

Tomato Bread Salad (adapted from The New Basics Cookbook)
3 pounds ripe tomatoes, cut into large cubes
2 cups thinly sliced red onions
1 cup slivered fresh basil leaves
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Dash of red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 cups Herby Garlic Croutons

Herby Garlic Croutons
4 to 5 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups bread cubes (about 1/2 inch thick)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon snipped fresh chives
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the bread cubes and cook over medium-high heat, tossing them constantly with a wood spoon, for 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the garlic and herbs. Continue to cook the croutons, tossing frequently until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature. The croutons can be stored in an airtight container until you are ready to use them.
To assemble the salad, combine the tomatoes, red onions, basil, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Just before serving, toss in the croutons. Don’t toss ahead of time or the croutons will get soggy.
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For those of you who aren’t into the big chunks of tomato in a salad, another way we enjoy our tomatoes is gazpacho. A fair amount of ingredients but a fairly easy prep and you have a lovely cool summer soup. This recipe makes a lot so halving it makes sense since the raw eggs make it something you would want to eat sooner rather than later.

Gazpacho (The New Basics Cookbook)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 large ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped, with their juice
1.5 cups canned tomato juice
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 onions, coarsely chopped
2 large shallots, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 large cucumbers, coarsely chopped
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, reserved fresh tomato juice, canned tomato juice and eggs. Puree the vegetable in small batches in a blender or food processor, adding the tomato juice mixture gradually to keep the blades from clogging. Do not puree completely; the gazpacho should retain some of its crunch. Stir in the cayenne, salt and pepper and dill. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours. When you are ready to serve, stir the soup, taste and correct seasonings and ladle into chilled soup bowls or mugs.

Cool and Refreshing Salads!

Cucumbers in cool sour cream; so simple and refreshing! This recipe has been in our family going back to when I was a small child. It somehow became a Christmas tradition and my Aunt Janis makes it every year. We really enjoy it in summer when the cukes and onions are plentiful and we can sit down and eat a whole bowl full!

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Aunt Janis’ Cucumbers and Sour Crème
(serves 4)

4 medium size cucumbers
spoonful of sugar, more or less, depending on how large the cukes
1 small/medium white onion
1 Tbs white vinegar (don’t use white wine vinegar, too sweet, just use plain white vinegar)
1 cup sour cream
salt and pepper

Peel cucumbers and slice very thin. Sprinkle the spoonful of white sugar and gently mix, set aside.
Slice the white onion very thin and mix in with the cucumbers.
Whisk the sour cream and white vinegar together, add salt and pepper to taste. Taste the dressing; it should not be overly tart but should have a slight tang to it from the vinegar. Add more vinegar if you can’t quite taste it.
Mix the dressing in with the cucumber/onion mixture and put back in the fridge for a few hours.  Mix before serving and enjoy this refreshing dish!

I have been carrying around this recipe for about a 5 months, patiently waiting for the blueberries and the kohlrabi to be in my fridge in the same week. I must confess, after all that waiting I really had built up quite an expectation for this recipe! After making it this week, I debated on whether to include it or not. It was very interesting but I was not blown away. But wait… the next day I ate the leftovers and now I am obsessing about whether there will be kohlrabi at the pick up this week so I can make it again! Absolutely delicious and gets super high marks for being a fabulous leftover and make-ahead-friendly dish!

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Kohlrabi, Fennel and Blueberry Salad
(adapted from Food & Wine, makes 4 servings)

1/2 cup almonds, toasted
1 large kohlrabi, or two small, peeled
1 fennel bulb, trimmed
1 cup blueberries, washed
2 Tb mint leaves
1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled

Dressing:
1 Tbs fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 Tbs minced shallot
1 Tbs white balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs mayonnaise
1-1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp maple syrup
1/4 cup grape seed oil
salt and freshly ground pepper

Toast the almonds in a preheated oven at 350 for 8-10 minutes, checking to make sure they don’t get too dark. Pull out and cool on a separate plate.

Whisk the dressing ingredients and set aside.

Thinly slice the kohlrabi with a mandolin or cut into matchstick size pieces and place in a medium size bowl. Thinly slice the fennel, coarsely chop the almonds and add both to the bowl. Pour in the dressing and toss to coat. Add the blueberries, goat cheese and mint, gently mixing them in, being careful not to mash the berries. If you can wait until the next day to eat it you won’t be disappointed! 

NOTES:
You can toast the nuts days beforehand and store them in a plastic baggy.
The dressing can be made ahead, as well.

Enjoy the rest of August!

Lisa McLean

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Groundswell Community Farm grows over 40 different crops and 200+ varieties, to provide our CSA members and Michigan restaurants with an amazing array of colorful and flavorful veggies.

Copyright © 2018 Groundswell Community Farms. All rights reserved. Site by CurlyHost.

Groundswell Community Farm grows over 40 different crops and 200+ varieties, to provide our CSA members and Michigan restaurants with an amazing array of colorful and flavorful veggies.

Copyright © 2018 Groundswell Community Farms. All rights reserved. Site by CurlyHost.