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Archive for the ‘CSA cooking’ Category


I love kale. I don’t know what it is about it, but I love it. I never would have tried it if it hadn’t been in my CSA box last year. And now I can’t seem to get enough of it.

What’s not to love about it? It’s a great anti-inflammatory food (something I need with all the running I’m doing). It’s also high in Vitamins A and K and low in calories.  I really love it in place of spinach in smoothies.

But this might be my new go-to recipe for kale. I saw a similar recipe in my CSA newsletter, but this one from 101 cookbooks just screamed my name. The goat cheese really makes this dish for me. I could not stop eating this right from the bowl.

winter kale 'pesto' with goat cheese

Winter kale ‘pesto’ with goat cheese
from 101 cookbooks

4 cloves of garlic, peeled
4 small shallots, peeled
1 small bunch of kale – 1/2 lb, stalks removed, washed well
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup goat cheese, plus more for topping
2 tablespoons + hot pasta water
fine grain sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
12 oz dried penne pasta

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the garlic and shallots. Boil for 2-3 minutes, stir in the kale and cook for another ten seconds. Don’t overcook. Working quickly, use a slotted spoon or strainer to fish the greens, garlic, and shallots from the water. Use a food processor to puree the ingredients along with the olive oil and goat cheese. Add a couple tablespoons of hot pasta water if needed to thin things out. Then season with a touch of salt and plenty of black pepper. Taste. Set aside.

Reheat the pot of water and boil the pasta per package instructions. Drain and toss immediately with the green sauce. Serve topped with more crumbled goat cheese.

 

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The wonderful thing about soup is that it’s hardly ever bad. You can throw just about any vegetable into a pot with some stock and come out with something pretty darn wonderful.

Which is exactly what I did this week. I had some CSA veggies wilting away in my fridge that I knew would be perfect in a soup. So, I got to chopping and ended up with some tasty vegetable soup.

vegetable soup with baked delicata squash

The sad looking veggies in my fridge included:

carrots
celery
leeks
potatoes
green peppers
garlic
green beans

Add to some vegetable or chicken stock (I used 3 32 oz. containers) and heat until vegetables are cooked through.

I was going to add the squash I had in the fridge, but realized that probably wasn’t going to work well. So I roasted it with a bit of olive oil andsome seasonings instead. And although I read you can eat the skin of a delicata squash, that was SO not happening. The skin was rock hard. Instead, I topped with butter and scooped the squash out.

Totally delicious and simple meal.

What are your favorite vegetables in soup?

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Eggplant parmesan


Eggplant has never really been one of my favorite vegetable (or is it a fruit?), so when I got a large eggplant in my CSA box, I had no idea what to do with it. Thankfully, my aunt recently made this dish and let me try some while I was visiting last weekend. I’m convinced it is the only way to eat eggplant now.

The tomato sauce is amazing. It makes quite a bit, but I’m sure it will freeze well and be a great topping for pasta.

 

 

eggplant parmesan

 

Eggplant parmesan w/ roasted red pepper tomato sauce
Adapted from Bobby Flay

Tomato sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 jar roasted red peppers
  • 4 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add the red peppers and cook for 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes and spices, bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until smooth. (You could leave it chunky if you like it that way.)

You will only use about half of this sauce. Freeze it for later!

Eggplant:

  • dried seasoned breadcrumbs
  • Butter, for greasing the dish
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 medium eggplant,  cut into 1/2-inch-thick round slices
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce
  • 1 package shredded Italian cheese blend

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly butter the bottom of rimmed baking sheet.

Place the bread crumbs into a large shallow bowl. In another medium shallow bowl, whisk the eggs and 2 tablespoons of water together. Put flour into separate bowl for dredging.

Season each eggplant slice on both sides with salt and pepper.Dredge each eggplant slice in the flour, tapping off excess, then dip it in the egg, and finally dredge it in the bread crumb mixture. Shake off any excess breading and transfer the egg plant to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining eggplant.

Working in small batches, pan fry a few of the eggplant slices, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per batch. Using tongs, transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining eggplant.

Cover the bottom of the prepared baking sheet with some of the tomato sauce and arrange eggplant  in single layer over the sauce. Cover the eggplant with some of the sauce and then grated cheese. Bake until hot and just beginning to brown, about 30 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

 

eggplant parmesan

 

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Stuffed cabbage rolls


I’ve probably called my mom a half-dozen times to get this recipe. Then I either lose it or figure ‘that’s simple enough, I’ll remember that’ – which of course, I don’t. So, I made it – finally – and since I’m blogging about it, I won’t have to call her and beg for the recipe a 7th time. See, mom, I told you I’d write it down for real this time!

For some reason, cabbage rolls remind me of my grandma. I don’t know why. Probably because I remember eating them at her house. They always seemed like a “treat” or something to have on a special occasion because they kind of require a lot of work. When my CSA box included a head of cabbage, I figured this was the perfect thing to make with it. This is a pretty cheap recipe too – especially if you have ground beef on hand.

stuffed cabbage rolls

Stuffed cabbage rolls

1 lb. ground beef, raw
3 cups rice, cooked
1 onion, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
1 head cabbage – blached so leaves come apart intact
1 large can tomato soup – family size – or 2 regular cans

Mix ground beef, rice, onion and salt and pepper in large bowl until well mixed.

Take a cabbage leaf and put some of the stuffing into the leaf, pulling sides over stuffing, then rolling closed. Kind of like a burrito. Place in 9×13 pan. Repeat until you run out of stuffing. I got about 12 rolls in the pan before I ran out of stuffing.

Pour soup over top of cabbage rolls and cover with tin foil. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes. Then remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes.

I’d love to figure out how to make this with lentils instead of ground beef.

What are your favorite ways to use cabbage?

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Ever have one of those kitchen experiments where half-way through you’re looking at it and thinking “this is a total failure. I’m going to have to throw this out.” It usually happens to me when I try to make up my own recipes. But, this time, despite thinking that half-way through, it turned out pretty darn well.

See, I had this huge zucchini to use up. So, I shredded it thinking I’d make zucchini bread or something. But then, I remembered this recipe I made before for zucchini cakes with Old Bay seasoning. So, I kind of threw things together. Only I added one too many eggs. So when I started cooking them, it was more like a hash than a cake. So, I dumped it all in the pan and figured, what the hell – it just won’t be formed in a cake.

Then, I had the genius idea to add the leftover quinoa in the fridge. (Had I thought of this earlier, they may have stayed in cake-form.)  Either way, it was actually really, really good.

zucchini quinoa hash

Not sure I have a real “recipe” for this – especially since it was mostly a total screw up. 🙂 But, I’ll try.

1 large zucchini, grated
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 onion, shredded
1 cup cooked quinoa
a few shakes of Old Bay Seasoning

Mix everything together and form into patties and pan fry in olive oil or butter. Or throw entire mix into pan and cook like a hash.

I even put this on bread and had it as a sandwich – was SOOO good! I’m sure I won’t be able to recreate it.

Have you ever had a kitchen “failure” that really wasn’t?

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Cheap and easy


I suffer from buyers remorse – a LOT. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought a pair of jeans while shopping with friends, only to return them a few days later because I feel guilty about spending the $20 on myself. If I buy something that costs more than $5 and could possibly be returned, chances are good that I’ll think about returning it.

I bring this up because I’m feeling some serious buyers remorse after checking my credit card balance. Were those new glasses ($200) – that seem to be giving me headaches – really necessary? How about the AADP certification for my health counseling businesses ($200)? OK, that was necessary. However, I found out that the deadline was extended and I could have put it off a few more weeks. Then add my trip to the Healthy Living Summit (total cost about $250) and a trip to Whole Foods ($50), and I want to cry every time I check my bank statements. Oh, and let’s not forget the $80 for a new car battery. 😦

But, with the exception of the glasses – and maybe the 4 (yes, FOUR) pints of ice cream I bought at Whole Foods – nothing can be returned. So, I’m back to being super thrifty in the kitchen and using pantry items to make dinners this week. Which is how I came up with this rediculously simple (but tasty!) meal.

roasted pattypan squash and chickpeas

Roasted pattypan squash and chickpeas

Cut 4 pattypan squash into wedges and drizzle with olive oil. I used garlic olive oil from The Olive Cellar. Toss with your choice of seasoning – I use Yah’s Best seasoning (aka Crack at my house). Roast in 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. While squash is roasting, drain a can of chickpeas and toss with olive oil and seasoning.

When squash is done, either mix together with the chickpeas or serve separate. I got about 3 meals out of this and served with sliced heirloom tomatoes or a salad.

I’m usually not very good at throwing meals together, but this turned out well!

So, do you ever regret purchases or trips after the fact?

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Have you ever tried green garlic? Green garlic is young garlic that’s been picked before the cloves start to form. Actually, while I was slicing this up, you could see the beginnings of the cloves. It’s milder in flavor and doesn’t have the sharp bite that garlic has. You have to use more of it to really be able to taste it and once it’s cooked, it adds a bit of sweetness to the dish. It looks a lot like green onions or scallions.

I wanted to make something that would allow the green garlic to kind of shine through. So, I went incredibly simple: pasta tossed with steamed broccoli and the green garlic sauteed in butter.

pasta with green garlic

It was amazing. I used fresh squid ink pasta I had in the freezer which made for an interesting visual. Try this out if you ever come across green garlic at your farmers market.

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