Monthly Archives: September 2013

Sweet Potato Kale Frittata

Sweet Potato and Egg Stack

Sweet Potato and Egg Stack

The family worked out hard today: I ran 10 miles for the first time since the marathon back in March and they went to Kuk Sool Won for tournament training, which was four hours long. So an easy meal that had a lot of protein seemed to be in order. Along with that, the farm share had given me kale and sweet potato, which reminded me of making that before. Earlier in the week, I’d made this dish from Vegetarian Times, which was so absolutely delicious. Sweet potatoes with cumin are unbelievable. With that in mind, I concluded that instead of dicing the potatoes and then boiling them, I’d just grate them and saute them in the oil with the other ingredients, before adding the egg. This was a true win. You get the sweet potato flavor throughout the meal, instead of in chunks.

I also made a second frittata at the same time, much smaller, for my husband, who hates sweet potatoes. Compromise is what makes a marriage work, right? He made himself some pork chops to go with it. My daughter and I passed on those.

photo 2Now before you start a frittata, you really need a cast iron pan. I love mine so much, it’s really the only kind of pan I have now. (Bonus: they are cheap compared to other pans.) You can use an oven-safe pan, sure, but it’s just not as good as the cast iron. Since I made two, I have a small and a large version of the frittata.

Here’s what I did:

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato, medium (large dish) OR 1 smallish potato (small dish), grated
  • 3-4 kale leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Half an onion (I always use sweet), diced
  • Oil
  • Thyme
  • Smoked paprika
  • Splash of vinegar. I used rice vinegar.
  • Salt
  • 6 eggs (large dish) OR 4 eggs (small dish) [You could go up two eggs for each dish too if you really like eggs.]
  • Couple tablespoons of milk
  • Parmesan cheese (I had the grated and the sliced and both worked well, so take your pick)

Method:

  1. Prep the ingredients as above to get ready. Preheat oven to 400. Heat the oil in your skillet. Crack your eggs in a glass container (I have about eight of those Pyrex cups and use one of those.) Add the milk and scramble your eggs.
  2. Add the onion and saute for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds.
  3. Add the potatoes and saute until well coated. You may need to add more oil.
  4. Add the spices and mix into the potato mixture. Cook for about 3-4 minutes.
  5. Add the kale and your vinegar and continue to saute until the kale is properly wilted. This is about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the eggs, mixing with the ingredients until you have a fairly even distribution of ingredients. Cook for about 3-4 minutes or until the bottom has settled.
  7. Put the skillets in the oven and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove and add cheese on top.
  8. Cut into triangles and serve!

Feel free to change the seasoning. Heck, change the veggies! I have a friend who says when she’s at a loss as to what to do, it goes in a frittata. Very versatile, and quicker than a quiche. Plus, you don’t have the crust of a quiche, which let’s face it, isn’t usually all that great to begin with and is the least healthy part of the dish.

Veggie Gumbo

So the farm produces a lot of okra. We’ve roasted it and that’s pretty good, but my husband keeps saying “gumbo!”

Now the truth is that my husband loves me, but he’d love me a whole lot more if I ate a steak once in a while, or loved chicken every night. And the truth is that I used to eat chicken, but then my daughter and I went vegetarian. I’m not going to say it’s been easy, but we make it work. Still, he was aghast when he saw I made gumbo without any seafood.

I would have thought about that, but I knew the soup was going to be sitting around for more than a few days, and I was worried that the shrimp would turn before the veggies. Besides, I had enough chopping facing me as it was.

I turned to my trusty friend Vegetarian Times for a recipe and they did not disappoint. This recipe was my starting point.

  • ½ cup vegetable oil (yes, it is a lot of oil, but it really does make the soup worthwhile. Just use a good oil. I went with grapeseed.)
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • 1 onion, chopped (Vidalia, what else?)
  • 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups fresh green beans
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 parsnip, diced
  • 1 cup fresh or sliced okra
  • 1 ear corn, kernels removed from cob
  • Box of veggie broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbs. paprika
  • 1 Tbs. dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

1. Stir together oil and flour in Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot until smooth. Cook over high heat 10 minutes, or until roux turns a dark caramel color, stirring constantly.

2. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery, and cook 5 minutes, or until vegetables are softened. Stir in all remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 40 minutes, or until carrots are tender.

Between the okra and the barley, this makes a fierce, thick stew. My husband bought some sausage and ate that along with it and that seemed to work. This made an enormous amount of stew, so if you make it, get ready to enjoy it a lot!

The Easiest Grain: Bulgur

Once I discovered bulgur, I had to wonder why I hadn’t found it earlier. It’s really the easiest thing in the world to make. Seriously. It’s on the level of instant ramen noodles. The only tricky part is getting the bulgur water ratio correct. And even then, if you add too much water, well, you drain off the excess. It’s a parboiled whole wheat grain, so it’s ready to go.

When I make bulgur, I do this:

  1. Pour a cup of water in a bowl and microwave the water until it boils. (So a minute and a half.)
  2. Dump half a cup of bulgur in and put a lid on the bowl.
  3. Come back in five minutes.
Bulgur salad

Peas and carrots and bulgur threesome

Then you get creative. Add whatever you like to the grain and you’ve got yourself a salad. Here’s the one I made last week:

  1. Make the bulgur as described above, except add English peas to the mix.
  2. Take some julienned carrots that you usually use in salad (or at least I do) and chop up a little finer. Throw that in when the bulgur is cooked and you’ve drained whatever water might be left.
  3. Add some dill and soy sauce, along with some feta and walnuts.
  4. Eat.

Seriously, bulgur and some veggies in the fridge can easily make a quickie meal. As for where you get it? Try the section with the beans or with the rice, or the bulk section at your grocery store. My current batch is from the Dekalb Farmer’s Market. It ran me $.99 a pound.

Try it in place of rice, why not. (And no this message is not brought to you by the board to promote bulgur.)

The UUFC Religious Education Covenant

For those of you that read my posts because I share recipes, you might not know that I’m also a religious liberal. That makes me an oddball in this part of the world, but after nearly 50 years of it, I’m quite comfortable with it all. Here’s the latest article I wrote for my church newsletter.

The Religious Education Covenant

Perhaps your child’s school year started like my daughter’s. Our first day ended with a conversation about why we attend UUFC. You see, two of her four classes began with teachers proclaiming their love of Christ to the classroom.  (No, I did not report this. For one thing, I felt doing so would only alienate her teachers. For another, I felt the Universalist in me should honor their personal beliefs. I knew when we settled in South Carolina that we’d have to learn to live in the buckle of the Bible belt.)

Having been raised by two college professors, I knew that education was the best tool with which I could arm my child. So, when she was old enough, we began attending UUFC. Most of those years, I’ve been back in a classroom along with her. My 10 years in RE have been sometimes rocky, but I’ve never regretted taking my child. After a decade of religious education, she is confident enough to have opinions that don’t always mesh with her classmates. She believes strongly in the rights of gays, as the first principle has taught her. At age 11, she became a vegetarian (OK she still eats some fish), as she believes in the seventh principle. We have found her signing online petitions, as she believes in social justice, the sixth principle.

Could we have done this at home? Could we have just taught her this by ourselves, and enjoyed Sunday morning in our PJs? After all, I was the one that was often teaching RE. Why didn’t I just do this on my own and save myself the time and trouble of teaching it to others?

Perhaps, but I honestly believe that not only sharing our beliefs with her, but surrounding her with a community of others that shared many of the same beliefs has made her a stronger person. Yes, it wasn’t always easy to drag ourselves out of bed to get to church, but in the end, it’s been worth it. I remember one Sunday teaching to our middle schoolers and finding that they had given a great deal of consideration to what it meant to be a UU in a heavily Christian atmosphere. I found all of them to be grateful for those beliefs, and proud to be a UU. I am proud to have introduced my child to other members of UUFC, including Kathy and Gordon Crain, Meg MacArthur, Tom and Karen Hiebel, our ministers Alex and Terre and countless others that have been a part of her life.

Bringing your child to religious education should be a covenant between you, your child and the RE program. We’ve done our part and built a great program this year. Many hours have been spent selecting TED talks, Spirit Play lessons. Saturdays have been sacrificed for training and preparation. UUFC has done all this because they believe that RE is the foundation on which congregations are built. We ask that you take RE as seriously as you might dance lessons or soccer practice. If you do that, you will find your child ready to face a world in which they might be different than their peers, and they might find themselves grateful that you’ve prepared them for that reality.