Monthly Archives: June 2012

What’s for Dinner: June 8

The kid is actually a very brave and curious gourmand.

My daughter just asked me how much longer on the farm share and sighed. “I’ve never eaten so much vegetables Mom!” Too bad kid, it’s good for you! Fortunately, she’s enjoyed what I’ve made so far.

Fridays tend to go like this: work through lunch and go to the farm at 3:30. Load up the bags with goodies and go to the 4:15 class at Jazzercise. (Curious? Want to try? Come to class with us! This class tends to be a little smaller and for the rest of the month, you can try us out for free on a Friday.) I then take the bags into class so they aren’t sitting in a hot car for more than an hour. This brings a lot of questions from my fellow Jazzercisers, such as “what is that green stuff with the yellow veins?” (chard) and “how did you sign up for this?” (I told them last year I wanted to do this and got an email.)

I then head home and sort through the multitude of food and make a point of bagging up the greens. At first, this took me a long time to do this, but I’m getting quicker at it.

Kale before it wilts down to a manageable size

So, what did this week bring? We brought out some favorites this week. Only one really new menu item: the squash crusted pizza.

  • Cabbage (sent to my mother-in-law)
  • Zucchini (3 pounds)
  • Squash (3 pounds)
  • Biscayne peppers (sent half to my MIL)
  • Cucumbers (again, mostly to my MIL not a big fan of cukes)
  • Tomato (one)
  • Green beans (2 pounds)
  • Kale (15 stalks!)
  • Beets (5 of the biggest beets ever) along with their greens
  • Romaine
  • Turnips (3 pounds? Something like that)
  • 1.25 pounds of carrots (sans tops this week)
  • Swiss chard
  • Green pepper
  • Green onions
  • 3.5 pounds peaches
  • 1.5 pounds plums
  • Pint each of blackberries and blueberries

Kale + carrots + ginger = yum

Friday, we whipped up a stir fry, consisting of a green pepper, 3 carrots, some green beans, green onions and kale, in some ginger and garlic, along with the usual mixture of rice vinegar, sesame oil and soy sauce. I also added just a bit of clove and fennel, which are two of the spices in the Chinese five spice. Last time I made this, it was a bit too spicy. This one was just right. I saute the garlic and ginger, then added the veggies (except the kale), then added the kale, put the lid on it and let it steam for a minute or two.

Saturday, the family was very excited to have the Spanikopita again. That went down in one sitting! I followed the recipe pretty closely, with just a few less layers of fillo, which suited the family just fine. The rest of the fillo is still in the fridge. If I get more greens, I’ll probably make some triangles with future greens and then freeze them.

I also made the no-bake brownies. This time, I had a little trouble getting the almonds to ground, so I’d advise grinding these first, then adding the other ingredients. I also rolled them in coconut, which is a lot better than confectioner’s sugar and much yummier too! We then stuck them in the fridge to solidify. These went to the chocolate fest for our interim minister, who is off to his next gig in Bend, Oregon. Good luck Alex! Thanks for your hard work here in Clemson.

Squash Crust Pizza

Sunday, we made more zucchini muffins and a squash-crusted pizza. Thanks to Marla for this idea! I found this recipe and then I totally changed it. Here’s what I did:

  • 4 cups squash, grated (I grate in the food processor, which I’ve used more in the past 6 weeks than the previous 6 years)
  • 1 cup kale, chopped (because we got a LOT of kale this week and even putting it in the stir fry, I had too much for smoothies)
  • Herbs of your choice: I went with salt, oregano and rosemary
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan

Pre-toppings

Mix this mess together and spread it out on a pizza sheet. I spread it out over two sheets. You’re supposed to only grate 2 cups of squash, but I got carried away, what can I say! I still have one enormous zucchini left, so I was inspired to use up what I had. The original also called for more cheese than I thought was really necessary, so that’s your call if you want more cheese or not.

Bake at 400 for 35 minutes. Let sit for 10.

Then, top with whatever you like! We went with beet green pesto (beet greens, walnuts, olive oil, parmesan), sliced tomato and fresh mozzarella.  Just cook until the cheese is nice and browned. Delish! So blessed to have a 12 year old who eats this stuff. We made enough to have it for dinner tomorrow AND freeze another four slices.

Yes, those are SOUTH CAROLINA peaches on top, thank you very much

Plum Granita

We only got 3.5 pounds of peaches this week, but 1.5 pounds of plums. I haven’t eaten a lot of plums in my life, so I decided to make a dessert out of some of them for starters. I found one on Epicurious, then I halved it. I then put it in ice cream dishes, stirred it up every once in a while and we ate for dessert. Since it was in smaller dishes than the recipe called for, it didn’t take the entire 4 hours to firm up. YUM. I also ate the pulpy mess left behind. TART to say the least, but yummy.

Beet Salad

Five of the biggest beets you’ve ever seen, so I’ll be eating beet salad this week. You just grate a little raw beet with grated carrots, romaine, walnuts, feta and a little oil and balsamic vinegar. SO GOOD!

Bulgur Salad with Beet Greens

This little baby I found from fellow farm share friend Amanda, who made it with kale. I then promptly made it with what I presumed to be kale, but now understand are collards. It was delicious with the collards, and presumably with the kale, so why not beet greens? Turns out that works well too. I used one of the biscayne peppers (sweet not hot) instead of a jalapeno, added a dash of chili powder and a little coriander. And I had to skip the cilantro, as I didn’t have any. Oh, and used white balsamic instead of wine because there wasn’t a bottle of white in the house. FYI: do NOT try to swap red for white wine in recipes. Trust me on this! I did this once. ONCE. Never again. Skip the wine all together or use about half the amount of vinegar if you want the tang wine will bring.

BTW, bulgur is a favorite grain of mine for several reasons: it has a nice nutty taste to it AND it’s super easy to make. You just take whatever quantity of bulgur you want, pour twice as much boiling water on it and let it sit for 20-30 minutes with a lid on it. Seriously, that’s it. Might be the easiest grain ever to make. Only disadvantage is for those that are gluten-free as it’s a wheat grain and thus contains gluten.

This would be an excellent dish to then put in zucchini boats as the stuffing and I totally planned to do that for Wednesday, but then I realized we wouldn’t be home until late. So, I’ll just chop that baby up and put a little parmesan on it. That never fails.

Roasted Veggies

Wondering what to do with the rest of your farm share at the end of the week? Roasted root veggies with quinoa works just fine! We chopped: turnips, beets, an onion (not farm share), garlic (not farm share), carrots and green beans and poured a little oil, some thyme, a shake of smoked paprika, some salt and some soy sauce, along with some walnuts. Then we roasted at 400 for 45 minutes. This was excellent eating!

What’s for Dinner: June 2

“I wonder if you can eat carrot tops.” That was my thought when I looked at those very pretty greens on top of gnarled carrots. Seemed a waste to toss them. I mean, we eat turnip greens and beet greens, right?

To Google it is. YES, you can eat carrot greens. They are incredibly nutritious too, full of Vitamin K and chorophyll. And the coolest thing here is that they don’t necessarily recommend you eat carrot greens unless you buy organic, which is what we’ve got here!

So, the list this week:

  • Carrots (with tops)
  • Kale (a bunch of curly kale)
  • Lettuce (romaine)
  • Squash (3 pounds)
  • Zuchinni (3 pounds)
  • Broccoli (a gigantic head)
  • Cucumbers (3)
  • Cabbage (red AND green)
  • Beans (1 pound)
  • Peppers (1 green, 1 something else probably hot)
  • 5 POUNDS of peaches (which is a lot of them!)
  • 1 pint of blackberries
  • 1 cup of blueberries (that fruit share rocks)

Friday was my birthday, so we went to Brioso, which is always yum and didn’t fail to deliver. I had the spinach salad, because it had local strawberries on it AND because we also ordered up a slice of the Italian cream cake. Holy smokes, that is a decadent piece of cake. It wasn’t big, necessarily, but it was delicious. Walnuts, coconut and the icing was cream cheese. An excellent birthday cake and it was only one slice, so it’s not hanging around the house now.

Thursday, we had gone to SideTracked, another local favorite, and the kid had their catfish po boy. She ate that sucker up like it was, well, a slice of Italian cream cake. So, the husband (who still worries about the vegetarian thing) suggested we try this. After I picked up the farm share and saw you could use the carrot tops AND the pesto was really good on fish, well, we had a meal. Here’s what we did:

  • 4 white fish fillets (we used cod, bc it was USA fresh caught)
  • 1 pound of shrimp (couldn’t resist NC wild caught shrimp!)
  • 3 rolls (bought from the deli, meh, it worked)
  • Romaine lettuce (from the farm, of course!)
  • Carrot pesto
  • Mayo, if you like

I lightly seasoned the shrimp with some adobo (which is garlic salt) and the husband seasoned the fish fillets with the cajun seasoning from Emeril. BAM! Then we grilled them. Then, we assembled them. Done.

The carrot pesto was as follows:

  • 1.5 cups of carrot tops, leaves only. Don’t use the stems.
  • A handful of walnuts
  • 2-3 garlic cloves (ours was VERY garlicky)
  • Some salt
  • Olive oil to get to the consistency you want
  • Maybe some water if you don’t want to use that much olive oil (which I did add water)
  • A bit of maple syrup (the greens are very sharp and tangy and this helps take the edge off while still being very warm)

Toss everything in the food processor except the oil and water. Add those until you get the consistency you want.

And, the trifecta, we used the red cabbage too. That’s from a cookbook my daughter bought at McClure’s for a Christmas gift: Coastal Living Cookbook. You slice half a head of that into ribbons and toss with dressing:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil (use good oil here)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar (I used white balsamic)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Basil and oregano to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garlic clove, minced

Drizzle the dressing and mix in 4 ounces crumbled feta.

Dessert? Why a peach of course!

Adding raisins and pumpkin seeds to the slaw made it super delicious

Cabbage

Sunday is a big cooking day for me. I’ve been freezing at least one meal, so that we can enjoy these great veggies later on in the fall. So far, it’s been a lot of soups and pestos. Ready made soup in the fall is going to rock! Now I’m not the biggest cabbage fan in the world, so I figured these two recipes might be a good way to deal with the massive amount we got this week. (I mean, seriously, who eats two heads of cabbage in a week?)

Cabbage White Bean Soup

This one is from a blog a friend of mine pointed out to me: fat-free vegan. Now I don’t necessarily follow her rule of “no added fat” but she does have some excellent recipes out there. I’ve made the broccoli rice casserole and everyone loves it. It made an excellent Thanksgiving entree last year.

I made this in the crockpot, which this recipe makes SO MUCH SOUP that I had to add the beans later on. That was simple enough: we all know how I did this: pressure cooker! Is there any other way? Oh, and I didn’t use parsley, so I used … wait for it … CARROT GREENS!

The family jokes that this one can only be eaten on the weekend, when we won’t make public appearances. A little Beano will help too.

Before rolling

Sweet Potato Cabbage Rolls

My first attempt with cabbage rolls was kind of disappointing, so I thought I’d try again. (My husband is urging me to give this food away, but I swear, I think I’m cheating if I don’t use at least some of everything.) I love sweet potatoes, so I googled and lo and behold, someone’s already done this. Husband doesn’t like sweet potatoes, so we made two sets: one with the sweet potatoes and one more traditional: corned beef and potatoes (if you want that recipe, you’ll have to ask him.) Since it was a small head of cabbage and my husband was using half of it for his corned beef rolls, I only did one sweet potato and a small apple. I also didn’t use quinoa. Not because I have a problem with quinoa; rather, there just weren’t any more burners to use! We were cooking up a storm! So I used bulgur instead. These went straight into the freezer: each wrapped in foil and then put in a baggie, with a label.


Bella helped me with the labeler and had a little fun with it herself.

Kale Stir Fry

But NONE of this cooking was what was for dinner. Dinner was a stir fry, using the carrots, broccoli and kale. Here’s what I did:

  • 1 leek
  • Carrots (in this case, the bunch from the share)
  • Broccoli (in this case, the bunch from last week)
  • Kale (in this case, a little more than half of the kale we got, the other half being used for smoothies)
  • Ginger … I probably used a good tablespoon, but it was very gingery
  • Garlic, a clove or two
  • Stir fry oil (or oil of your choice)
  • Sesame oil, a teaspoon
  • Rice vinegar, a couple of teaspoons
  • Soy sauce, to taste
  • Chinese five spice, a teaspoon

Chop up all the ingredients. Heat the oil and saute the ginger and the garlic. Add the spice. Toss in the leeks, carrots and broccoli and stir fry for a minute. Add the kale and toss until covered. Add the oil, vinegar and soy sauce and cook until kale is tender. You could cover it to wilt it more, but we didn’t.

It was really good! Nothing like fresh veggies to make a stir fry shine.

The rest of the week: zucchini noodles in peanut sauce (except with tofu instead of chicken) and green bean farro. (Closet Cooking has great recipes!)