Sunday, June 28, 2015

Cabbage Salad

I forgot to post about my CSA last week! This is what I got:

csa

Green onions, garlic scapes, zucchini, 2 1/2 pounds of broccoli, cabbage, fennel, kale, lettuce, cilantro.

I blanched and froze all of the broccoli so I can use it throughout the fall and winter, because I really love broccoli.

I also used the cabbage, green onions, and garlic scapes to make this salad my mom used to make growing up. Yes, it sounds weird. No, it isn't. It's actually really good. While it calls for chinese cabbage, we've always just used regular cabbage. Instead of chicken-flavored ramen noodles, I used the vegetarian "oriental" flavor. It doesn't really make a different in the dressing. I made enough to bring for lunches all week and portioned them out. It was great! The good thing about this salad is that it keeps well, because even when the noodles and cabbage soften, it's still good.

ramen

Cabbage Salad
From my mom

1 head Chinese cabbage, shredded
Bunch green onions, chopped
2 packages Ramen noodles - crushed (chicken flavor)
Sliced almonds
Sesame seeds, toasted

Dressing:
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
Sesame oil
Seasoning packets from noodles
2/3 cup canola oil

Mix all salad ingredients. Mix all dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over salad about 30-45 minutes before serving.

If you want to wilt the salad, heat the dressing. Bring it to a boil for 1 minute. Toss the salad with the hot dressing.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Baked Eggs with Ricotta and Kale

OK first I'm going to tell you about Cookie Monday. This week I made Soft-Batch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies again and they were bomb. I love them so much. They weren't quite as puffy as the first time, and I'm not sure why. But still amazing. I doubled the recipe and got 94 cookies. I froze some of them so I can make them again in the future with minimal effort. Love it. Here's my kitchen with all the cookies:

cookies

OK but now I want to show you the baked eggs.

eggs

I made this for myself for breakfast this weekend. This is a real photo that I took of my real breakfast in my real house. I'm almost as proud of the photo as I am of the food. This was SO GOOD. It was really easy too, because you just dump it all in a bowl and throw the bowl in the oven.

I used eggs and kale from the CSA. I also used garlic scapes instead of garlic. This was just excellent. I will definitely make it again.

Baked Eggs with Ricotta and Kale
Julie's Jazz

10 oz chopped kale
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1/4 cup ricotta
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1/2 teaspoon dried lemon peel
4 large eggs
1/4 cup grape tomatoes (chopped or sliced) (about 6)
Kosher Salt and fresh ground Pepper (to taste)
Cooking spray

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Place two small oven safe bowls on the oven as it heats.

Coat a large skillet with cooking spray. Add the kale and sauté over medium high until wilted down and soft. Add garlic and a little salt and pepper to taste (about 1/4 tsp each).

In a small mixing bowl stir to combine the ricotta, feta, lemon peel, and a pinch of salt and pepper (about 1/8 tsp. each).

When oven is hot remove bowls and place them on a cookie sheet.

Divide the kale in half and fill each bowl with the kale. Make two wells in each bowl of kale and crack an egg into each well (2 eggs per bowl). Divide the cheese mixture in half and dot each kale-egg bowl with the cheese.

Bake the eggs for 20 to 25 minutes (until eggs are cooked to your liking and cheese has started to brown).

Top the bowls with the tomatoes.

Yield: 2 servings

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Ramen Noodles with Tempeh and Spicy Peanut Sauce

There was nothing particularly special that drew me to this recipe; I just had the ingredients available and decided to throw it together. It was quick and easy. It wasn't very different from the many, many other peanut-sauce pastas I've made before, other than the addition of tempeh. If you haven't tried tempeh, it's weird. So prepare yourself. It has a weird texture. But don't be afraid to try it! I really like it.

Anyway so for this recipe I used green onions and garlic scapes from the CSA. That was it. I wanted to throw in some snow peas but discovered I've used them all up. I don't think I'd make this again simply because it isn't very unique. But it was a nice dinner.

tempeh

Ramen Noodles with Tempeh and Spicy Peanut Sauce
She Knows

2 packets ramen noodles (any kind will work since you'll discard the flavor packet) (3 ounce)
1/3 cup warm water
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar or red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons garlic-chili paste
3 dashes hot sauce (more to taste) (3 to 4)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 ounces tempeh, sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, seeds and membrane removed, sliced into thin pieces
1/4 cup chopped peanuts for garnish
2 green onions, white and green parts diced for garnish

To make the sauce, combine the water and peanut butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk together to combine.

Reduce the heat to low and add the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, honey, garlic-chili paste and hot sauce. Whisk so all the ingredients blend together into a smooth sauce. Keep the pan on the lowest setting.

Add the vegetable oil to a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the tempeh and cook, flipping, for a few minutes.

Begin to cook the ramen noodles according to the package directions (this should take about 3 minutes).

Add the garlic and red pepper to the tempeh and cook, stirring, just until the ramen noodles are finished.

Drain the noodles and add them to a large bowl along with the red pepper and garlic.

Pour some of the sauce over the noodles and tempeh mixture and toss to combine. Add more sauce as needed.

Serve in individual bowls and garnish with the chopped peanuts and green onion.

Yield: 4 servings

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Two Potato and Beet Hash with Poached Eggs

First of all, I want to share this link with you in case you have joined a CSA (or just are adventurous at the grocery store) and don't know what to do with the weird vegetables you get.

Things To Do With Confusing CSA Vegetables

So, the other night I made a full meal using almost entirely items from my CSA (not counting pantry items, like olive oil). I made Two Potato and Beet Hash with Poached Eggs and Greens. I modified it a little to accommodate what I had available. IT WAS SO GREAT. I loved it the first time, and I love it again. I made extra potatoes and beets so I could eat them as leftovers, and that was a wonderful idea.

So here's what I made:
beets

I added some garlic scapes to the beets and eggs instead of garlic cloves because I have tons of garlic scapes. I didn't use a sweet potato, instead using just all regular potatoes. I used the beet greens, tossed with some red leaf lettuce and arugula, to make the little salad. Every single thing, including the eggs, came from the CSA - with the exception of the sage, which came from my own garden. It was amazingly delicious and I'm so proud of it. The CSA is such a great way to get me cooking and being creative again. I love it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Disappearing Kohlrabi

Another thing I got from the CSA was kohlrabi. I got a couple little bulbs.

kohlrabi

I've cooked it once before - when I got it from a CSA I did a few years ago - but I knew there had to be something better. I did some searching on Pinterest and came across this recipe for "disappearing kohlrabi." It sounded ok, so I made it.

No. Seriously. I ate the whole thing immediately. I meant to keep some for leftovers, but I didn't. It is DELICIOUS. I already sent the recipe to my mom because her CSA starts next week and she might get some kohlrabi too. I LOVE this recipe. Adjust it according to taste. I used Penzeys Roasted Garlic Powder, which was perfect. If you don't like mustard, this is probably not for you, but you could also just omit it. Maybe. Try it and tell me what happens. I like mustard, so I loved this.

kohlrabi

When you're preparing the kohlrabi, cut off the greens (they'll look like little aliens), then peel the whole thing with a vegetable peeler.

kohlrabi

Disappearing Kohlrabi
Cooking Outside the Box

2 kohlrabi bulbs/heads/roots (2 to 4)
Paprika
Garlic powder
Sea salt
Olive oil
Dijon mustard

Peel kohlrabi, cube, and remove woody part around the point.

Season generously with all the other ingredients.

Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Bake around 200 C/390 F until they start getting golden brown, about 20 minutes, then turn off oven and leave in until they are soft.

Kale Pasta Salad

This week's CSA bounty included the following:

csa
Baby turnips (more of them!), green onions, garlic scapes, green cabbage, kale, summer squash, zucchini, beets, lettuce, one quart off shelling peas, and two quarts of strawberries.

Because there were so many strawberries and peas, I decided to flash-freeze them and store them to use after the season is over. Freshly shelled peas are so delicious, and they retain their flavor when you freeze them.

With the kale, I decided to make this quick pasta. I made the full amount so I would have leftovers. It was delicious! Super quick to put together. I did NOT chill it for two hours. I ate it warm. And then I added some white balsamic vinegar for a little extra. I thought about throwing in some garlic scapes but I forgot. Oops. Well, it would have been a good use for them. This is delicious and is great the next day. I would make this again, especially for lunches.

pasta

Kale Pasta Salad
Pioneer Woman

1 pound Bowtie Pasta (farfalle)
3 tablespoons Pine Nuts
1/4 cup Olive Oil
6 cloves Garlic, Minced
1/2 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
1 teaspoon Black Pepper, More To Taste
1 bunch Kale, Finely Sliced
4 ounces Parmesan Cheese, Shaved
2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar (optional)

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and add to a large bowl. Set aside.

Add pine nuts to a small skillet over low heat. Toast slowly over the course of 8-10 minutes, tossing regularly. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil and garlic over low heat so that the garlic slowly infuses the oil. When the oil starts to cause the garlic to sizzle, stir around so the garlic doesn't get too brown. When garlic starts to turn golden, add salt and pepper, stir, and set aside for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, pour the oil mixture (scraping the salt, pepper, and garlic) all over the bowtie pasta. Toss to combine and set aside.

Set the same skillet (without cleaning it) over medium-high heat. Add the kale and cook for 5 minutes, or until partly wilted.

Add kale and pine nuts to the pasta and toss it all together. Check to make sure it's no longer warm, then add Parmesan shavings and toss. Taste for seasonings and add more salt and pepper if needed. May add 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar if desired.

Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Yield: 12 servings

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Roasted Baby Turnips

I signed up for a CSA this year. I was a member of one a few years ago when I lived at my old house, and I was excited to try a new one. I found Good Work Farm in Zionsville, PA, and decided to go with them. In conjunction with the vegetable garden I'm growing on my deck, I will be inundated with fresh produce this summer. Here is an example of one of the weekly pickups I've received so far:

csa

This one had strawberries (self-pick), snow peas, snap peas (also self-pick), red leaf lettuce, bok choy, pea shoots, arugula, spinach, baby turnips, and radishes. In subsequent pickups, I've gotten more of the above, plus some potatoes, kale, and kohlrabi. So look for more posts about how I'm going to use my fresh produce. I promise I'm going to update this more.

I didn't know what to do with the baby turnips, so I turned to Pinterest. Apparently they can be eaten raw, which I did try, but I decided to roast the rest. I chopped off the turnip greens and sauteed them. I made some couscous with some lemon, as well as some tarragon and parsley from my garden. For the turnips, I adapted the following recipe a little. It was delicious!

turnips

Roasted Hakurei Turnips with Israeli Couscous
Not Eating Out In NY

1 bunch hakurei turnips with fresh-looking greens
1 cup Israeli couscous
1 garlic clove, minced
pinch of optional red chili flakes
1/4 cup chopped red onion
juice from half a lemon
4-5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Trim radishes from greens leaving a small stub of the stems attached. Wash both well to remove dirt. Halve each turnip, keeping the long tails intact. Finely chop the greens.

Toss the turnips with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, pinches of salt and pepper, and the optional chili flakes. Place flat side-down on a roasting pan. Roast for 5-10 minutes, or just until the bottoms are lightly browned. Toss around in the pan with tongs, and continue roasting another 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of 3 cups water to a bowl and add the couscous. Continue to boil for 8-10 minutes until couscous is tender. Drain.

Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high flame and add the garlic. Once fragrant, toss in the leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sautee until just wilted, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.

Combine the chopped onion with the cooled couscous and greens. Add fresh lemon juice, an extra tablespoon or so of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the roasted radishes on top.

Yield: 3-4 servings

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Spaghetti Squash Mac & Cheese

I'm really loving spaghetti squash lately, and this recipe from Pinterest seemed like it would be an interesting new way to try it. Basically it's just a cheese sauce poured over baked spaghetti squash and broccoli. Fairly simple. But it is not in any way, shape, or form "macaroni & cheese." I understand it's a low-carb recipe. But - just like I said about the zucchini noodle - let's not pretend it's something it isn't. This is pretty good, not excellent, and in no way resembles pasta or macaroni. I felt like the cheese sauce was a little watery and should have added some more flour or some cornstarch to thicken things up. In general, this was just okay. I wouldn't make it again.

mac

Spaghetti Squash Mac & Cheese
PopSugar

1 large spaghetti squash
Canola oil spray
2 cups broccoli florets, steamed
1 tablespoon ghee
1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour
1 cup low-fat milk
1 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional garnish
1 teaspoon grated parmesan, optional garnish

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Cut spaghetti squash in half, and scoop out and discard seeds. Spray the center of both halves of squash with cooking spray, and place cut side up on a cookie sheet. Roast until tender when pierced with a knife, about 50 minutes.

Remove squash from oven, and let cool. Once it's safe to handle, scrape flesh into a large bowl. Add in steamed broccoli florets to bowl and set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt ghee on medium heat and whisk in whole wheat flour. Add milk and whisk quickly. Turn heat down to low, add both cheeses to saucepan, and stir until melted. Remove from heat.

Pour cheese sauce over spaghetti squash and broccoli mixture, and toss until all the squash is covered.

Dish into 4 portions, and top off with red pepper flakes and extra cheese if you wish!