Thursday, December 22, 2011

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Today is the last delivery of the 2011 season. We would like to thank our shareholders for their continued support and our site hosts for their hard work and dedication this year! Have a wonderful holiday - we hope to see you in the new year! (Be sure to check out our blog for information on 2012 share options.) In the meantime, here is a holiday recipe to enjoy...

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Ingredients
1 butternut squash
1 onion, diced
1 cup chicken stock (vegan version: 1 cup vegetable broth)
1 to 2 cups milk (vegan version: 1 to 2 cups coconut milk)
3 tablespoons flour
1 package cooked pasta
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated (vegan version: 1 package Daiya "cheese", cheddar style)
4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
pinch nutmeg, rosemary, OR thyme, to taste (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
breadcrumbs
butter (vegan version: Earth Balance)

Directions

1. Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Place face down in a pan and cover with ¼-inch water. Bake at 350 degrees until squash is tender. Once cool, scoop out flesh and set aside.
2. In a large saucepan, heat 2 to 3 tablespoons of butter or Earth Balance over medium heat. Add onion and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until translucent. Add flour and stir until butter or Earth Balance has been absorbed. Add milk slowly and stir constantly, until the mixture is smooth. Add squash, cheddar cheese, spices (if desired), and salt and pepper to taste.
4. Prepare a 9- x 13-inch casserole dish with butter or Earth Balance. Add pasta and pour butternut squash/cheddar cheese mixture on top. Top with Parmesan (if desired) and then breadcrumbs. Broil in the oven until topping is golden brown. Serve warm.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pan-Roasted Salsify

This recipe comes from New York Magazine, published by Robin Raisfeld and Rob Patronite on February 24, 2008. Let us know what you think!

Pan-Roasted Salsify
Ingredients
4 large salsify roots
juice from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
5 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions
1. Peel the salsify and place in a shallow pan with water to cover, lemon juice, black pepper, 3 sprigs of thyme, bay leaf, coriander, and salt to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook until tender.
2. Remove salsify from liquid and once cooled, cut into small pieces of equal size. Heat sauté pan over medium heat and add olive oil.
3. Add salsify and season with salt and pepper. Cook until golden brown. Add the butter and the remaining sprigs of thyme and toss until the butter foams. Remove from heat and transfer to paper towels. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Komatsuna Greens in Ginger Almond Miso Sauce



Sent to us by Janet Ballatore.


It’s hard to post something fabulous after a bake-off win, but let me introduce you to my new friend, the Komatsuna Green. This delicious little leafy thing came in my first Vegetable Husband basket (a service I’m eternally thankful to Leigh for posting about) and I knew it was the first ingredient I wanted to use this week. After a bit of research, I learned that Komatsunas are a relative of the turnip but are also called Spinach Mustards in the US. Grown almost exclusively in Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and now, apparently, the state of Georgia, it’s a rich source of calcium that can be stir-fried and pickled, or used like bok choi in any dish.


I decided to stir fry it with dry-fried tofu in a ginger almond miso sauce recipe from
About.com. As much as I love cookbooks themselves, I kind of majorly love the internet as well. I would have never used this sauce otherwise. I chopped up the komatsuna greens like I would bok choi, stir-frying the stems first and then the leaves, and the recipe worked perfectly. The flavor is a bit stronger that bok choi–more green? if that’s a flavor…–and the sauce was bit too salty for me–maybe you should use a red miso instead of white–but I like the combination mostly. If you have the chance to pick up some komatsunas, do! I’d love to see them turn up in my next basket!


1 bunch Komatsuna Greens, stems and leaves separated

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

1 lb firm tofu

2 tablespoons soy sauce/Bragg’s Amino Acids

1 tablespoon miso

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

2 tablespoons sliced almonds

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 cup cooked red quinoa (or rice or other grain)



Dry fry the tofu. I divide to tofu into 2 batches to do this. After it is crisped the way you prefer it, set it aside on a plate to add to the stir-fry later. Chop the komatsuna stems into 1/2 inch pieces. Julienne the leaves.

Heat up a wok (without oil) and add the almonds. Stir-fry quickly until fragrant and toasted, about 45 seconds. Remove. Then in the wok, heat up 1-2 tbsp of sesame oil on medium heat. Add the onion, cook for 6-7 minutes or until the onion turns clear and soft. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the komatsuna stems and cook for 5 minutes. Add the leaves and cook for another 5 minutes.


While the komatsunas are cooking, combine the soy sauce, miso, and vinegar until smooth and set it aside. When the greens are tender, add the tofu and then drizzle with miso sauce and sprinkle with almonds. Serve immediately.

Dana Mead's Turnip Recipes

I have two recipes with turnips and other root veggies to share. My family has enjoyed both of these and we hope other members will too.

Sincerely,

Dana Mead

Cheesy turnips and carrots (from allrecipes.com)
Prep time 10 minutes; cook time 20 minutes
4+ main dish servings for vegetarians, 8+ side dish servings.

3 cups diced peeled turnips
2 cups sliced carrots
¼ tsp ground ginger
¾ c water
1 tsp salt, divided
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup diced celery
3 Tbs butter or margarine
3 Tbs all purpose flour
¼ tsp pepper
1 ½ cups milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. Combine turnips, carrots, ginger, water and ½ tsp salt in a sauce pan, cover and cook on med. high heat until tender ~(10-15 minutes). Drain and reserve liquid.
2. In a skillet sauté onion and celery in butter until tender; stir in flour, pepper and remaining salt.
3. Add milk and vegetable liquid; bring to a boil. Stir until thickened and bubbly.
4. Stir in cheese until melted; stir in the vegetables and heat through.


Vegetable Cornish Pastries (from allrecipes.com; I’ve included my adaptations )
Prep time 30 minutes; cook time 45 minutes; great entrée to serve with a salad or soup.

1 recipe whole wheat pastry dough for a double crust pie (I use packaged refrigerated pie crust)
¼ cup butter (I use olive oil)
1 sliced onion thinly
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 turnip, peeled and diced small
1 large potato, peeled and diced small
¼ lb mushrooms, chopped
2 Tbs water
1 tsp yeast extract spread (hard to find outside the UK, but home beer brewers might have some on hand; I omit this one)
¼ cup milk
1 egg
¼ lb shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Divide pastry dough into four equal portions and form into squares.
3. Melt butter in large skillet and sauté onion until translucent and beginning to brown. Add carrot, turnip, potato, mushrooms, and water. Lower heat and cover skillet. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. In a small bowl whisk on egg in milk. Stir into cooked vegetables. Stir until mixture thickens. Add cheese and season to taste. Set aside to cool.
5. Place ¼ of filling on one half of each pastry square. Fold pastry over and seal edges. Brish tops of pastry with beaten egg.
6. Place pasties on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes until pastry is golden brown.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Saag Sauce

Here's a recipe I have been meaning to share. I use it whenever I have a selection of miscellaneous greens. Saag sauce is traditionally made with spinach, but I have been making it with Tatsoi, bok choy, beet, turnip, and radish greens, all of which come out delicious. My husband is not a huge fan of greens, but he'll eat anything I put in this recipe!

Saag sauce:

Ingredients:
-6 cups miscellaneous tender greens, washed and chopped
-1 medium onion, diced
-2 cloves garlic, diced
-1 tsp. of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
-1 cup canned diced tomatoes or 1 fresh tomato, seeded and diced.
-2 Tbsp Garam Masala (an Indian spice mix, available in most grocery stores)
-1 Tbsp tumeric
-1 Tbsp ground coriander
-1/4 c heavy cream -brown sugar and cayenne pepper to taste

Directions: In a large dutch oven, saute the onion in a little olive oil until translucent and soft. Season to taste with salt. Add the garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant, about a minute. Add the ground spices and continue to cook until they release a toasted aroma, again about one minute. Stir in the greens. Cook, stirring to mix the heat through the greens until greens are wilted and becoming tender. Add the tomatoes and about 2 cups of water. Simmer until the liquid is nearly gone, the greens are softened, and the tomatoes have been incorporated. Season to taste with additional salt, cayenne, and brown sugar if necessary to take the bitter edge off of the greens (depends on which kind of greens you use). Remove from the heat and stir in the cream.

This sauce would be great with any protein in it. I tend to add canned chickpeas to keep it vegetarian. Serve over brown or white basmati rice.

Enjoy!
Becca Burnett

Julia's Plain Mashed Sweet Potatoes

This second holiday recipe comes from Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home by Julia Child and Jacques Pepin, originally published in 1999. Enjoy!

Julia's Plain Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Serves 6

Ingredients
2 lbs. sweet potatoes
1 teaspoon or more salt
freshly ground white pepper
2 tablespoons or more room temperature butter
half-and-half or heavy cream or milk
a few gratings of fresh ginger, to taste (optional)

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Meanwhile, scrub the potatoes under running hot water, remove any blemishes, and plunge a small sharp knife down about an inch into each potato in 5 or 6 places, to let out baking steam.
2. Arrange the potatoes a prepared baking pan, in 1 layer. Bake in the lower middle level of the preheated oven for about an hour, or until they are thoroughly tender when squeezed and a knife pierces through them easily. Cut each potato in half lengthwise and then open up to cool.
3. Scrape the flesh into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, and mash with a mixing fork or potato masher. Or put them in your heavy-duty mixer to break out at slow speed with the paddle attachment--careful not to go too fast and turn them gluey. Blend in salt and pepper, and the butter and/or cream or milk. Taste very carefully and correct seasoning, folding in the optional fresh ginger to taste.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Mushrooms and Cream

Happy Thanksgiving from Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative! A few holiday favorites for some of our share items this week. This first recipe is another favorite adapted from Fine Cooking.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Mushrooms and Cream
Serves 6

Ingredients
5 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise (5 cups)
olive oil
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ lb. mushrooms, halved if small or cut into 1-inch wedges
1 large shallot or 1 small onion, thinly sliced (½ cup)
¼ cup dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
freshly ground black pepper

Directions
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450 degrees.
2. Put the Brussels sprouts on a rimmed baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Spread in an even layer and season generously with salt. Roast until tender and browned, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
3. Heat a skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, add a tablespoon of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter. When the butter has melted, add the mushrooms in an even layer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden-brown and tender and the mushroom liquid (if any) has evaporated, about 5 to 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and transfer to a plate.
4. Set the skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. When the butter has melted, add the shallot or onion, season with a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, about 1 minute. Return the mushrooms to the pan and add the Brussels sprouts and cream. Stir in a few grinds of pepper and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the cream thickens and coats the vegetables nicely, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Yummy Tatsoi Recipe

(E-mailed to us from Laura, CSA Shareholder.)

Ingredients

6 cups tatsoi, chopped
1½ cups carrots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 additional tablespoon
1 tablespoon season oil
¼ onion, chopped 5 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Egg noodles

Directions

Sauté oil and garlic for 5 minutes. Add carrots and onion sauté for 5 mintues. Add tatsoi and sauté till tender. In a bowl, mix together peanut butter, white wine vinegar, and soy sauce. Poor over vegetables and fry for a few minutes. Serve over egg noodles.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Easy Broccoli-Cauliflower Stir Fry

This is one of my favorite ways to prepare broccoli and cauliflower when I don't have much time to cook. It's simple yet delicious.

Easy Broccoli-Cauliflower Stir Fry
Ingredients
1 head broccoli, broken into florets
1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 onions, finely diced
butter or olive oil, depending on preference
soy sauce

Directions
In a large saucepan, heat butter or olive oil over medium heat. When the butter/olive oil is hot, add onions and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent. Add broccoli and cauliflower and cook until lightly browned. Add a few dashes of soy sauce for flavor and serve hot.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Curried Cauliflower with Chickpeas

This recipe comes an NPR article titled "Cauliflower: A Love Story", by Nicole Spiridakis, published on April 9, 2008. Read the article here. Nicole notes that if you have the time, this dish is even more delicious if the cauliflower is pre-roasted with garlic.

Curried Cauliflower with Chickpeas
Serves 4

Ingredients
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons peeled, minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon salt
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 medium or large head cauliflower, washed and broken into florets
¼ cup water
1 8-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
rice or couscous

Directions
1. In a large frying pan, cook the garlic, ginger, and spices in olive oil over medium heat for 1 minute to form a paste.
2. Add the onions and turn heat to low; cook for about 5 minutes until onions begin to soften.
3. Add the cauliflower and ¼ cup of water, and cook on high heat for 1 minute, then turn heat to low and simmer gently. Cook for about 10 minutes until cauliflower becomes tender, but not mushy.
4. Add chickpeas and cook a few minutes more to let the flavors blend and the dish is hot.
5. Serve over brown or white rice, or couscous.

Raspberry Angel Food Dessert

LFFC Red Raspberries

This recipe comes from LFFC member farm Maple Valley Organics, one of the Co-op's raspberry growers.

Raspberry Angel Food Dessert
Makes 3 desserts (9"x13"x2" pans)

1st layer: broken pieces of angel food cake
2nd layer: vanilla pudding with cream cheese
3rd layer: raspberry mush

Angel Food Cake Ingredients
2½ cups egg whites (approximately 12 eggs, separated)
¾ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons cream of tarter
1¼ cups evaporated cane juice organic sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour

Angel Food Cake Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat egg whites with salt until foamy. Add cream of tarter and continue to beat until very stiff. Fold in ¾ cup of sugar, a little at a time and add vanilla. Mix together the remaining ½ cup of sugar and flour and sift 3 times. Fold into egg whites, 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time. Pour into greased cake pan and bake for 40 minutes or until golden on top.

Vanilla Pudding Ingredients
9¼ cups milk
¾ cup evaporated cane juice organic sugar
½ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup brown sugar
4 eggs, well beaten
½ cup flour
½ cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter

Vanilla Pudding Directions
Pour 9 cups milk into large saucepan and add sugar and salt. Heat, stirring until hot but not boiling. Meanwhile, mix brown sugar, eggs, flour, and ¼ cup milk. Beat until well mixed. Pour this into hot milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, then add 1 teaspoon vanilla and 2 tablespoons butter. Properly cool the pudding by setting in cold water and stirring every 5 minutes. This will prevent a "skin" from forming on the top. If you feel the pudding is too thick or make it more creamy, add some cold water after it has cooled completely and beat well.

Raspberry Mush Ingredients
2 quart raspberry juice (unsweetened)
1½ evaporated cane juice organic sugar (or more or less, to suit your taste)
1 cup thermflo or clear jel

Raspberry Mush Directions
Heat juice until hot, but not boiling. Meanwhile, mix sugar and thermflo or clear jel. Slowly add water until it is free-flowing. Pour into hot juice, stirring constantly until it boils and thickens. Cool.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Roasted Turnips with Maple and Cardamom

This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite resources, Fine Cooking. (Originally created by Susie Middleton.)

Roasted Turnips with Maple and Cardamon
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 bunch/bag of purple top turnips, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes (about 4 to 5 cups)
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons butter
1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
a generous pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro (or a mix of parsley and mint) (optional)
salt, to taste

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat turnips with olive oil and spread out evenly on a baking pan. Sprinkle with salt bake until tender and nicely browned.

2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the maple syrup, vanilla, and red pepper flakes, and then the coriander and cardamom, until the sauce is heated, about 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat.

3. Transfer the turnips to a large mixing bowl. Gently reheat the sauce, if necessary, and stir in the lemon juice. Toss the sauce with the turnips. Add half of the cilantro and salt to taste and toss again. Transfer to a warm serving dish and garnish with the remaining cilantro.

Turnip and Potato Mash

This recipe comes from a December of 2010 issue of Martha Stewart's Everyday Food. A simple and delicious way to enjoy two fall favorites!

Turnip and Potato Mash
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 pound turnips (about 2 medium), peeled and diced large
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes (about 2 medium), peeled and diced large
1 dried bay leaf
coarse salt and ground pepper
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon butter

Directions
In a medium saucepan, bring turnips, potatoes, and bay leaf to a boil in a salted water over high and cook until vegetables are tender when pierced with a knife, 20 minutes. Drain, discard bay leaf, and return vegetables to pan. Add sour cream and butter and mash until mostly smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hey all, it's fall!

Hey everyone!

Our fall season is upon us, and along with the changing blog background (hello speckled hound squash!) and the new fall produce additions, I wanted to announce a new recipe blog addition.

Raven, an LFFC fan from the San Francisco Bay area, has her own recipe blog, the link can be found on the rightside of the page. I'm also posting it below for all to enjoy.

http://www.cookeatdelicious.com/

As always, thanks to everyone who contributes time, ideas, and love to our recipe group and CSA. We're changing the world, one organic meal at a time!

Warmly,

Evan

LFFC CSA Manager

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sweet Potato and Pear Soup

Chris, LFFC's CSA Operational Coordinator, shares this fall favorite with us. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato and Pear Soup
Ingredients
4 tablespoons butter
1 large white onion, finely chopped
1 small white onion, finely chopped
5 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
3 firm pears, plus 2 to 3 more
3 cups vegetable stock
½ cup cream
nutmeg, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add the onion, and cook for 5-6 minutes or until softened but not brown.
2. Add the sweet potatoes and pears and cook, stirring, for 10-12 minutes with the lid on.
3. Add the stock to the pan - just enough to cover the vegetables, and bring to a boil. Cook for 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes and pears are soft.
4. Remove half the liquid with a ladle - keep to add back in after blending.
5. Blend the mixture until smooth with an immersion blender. Stir in cream and reserved liquid.
6. Add nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Serve hot.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sweet Potato Peanut Soup

The following is adapted from an Emeril recipe, courtesy of www.planetgreen.com, and it's perfect for a chilly fall evening! A few of us are still getting Roma tomatoes in our shares, but if you don't have them on hand you always can substitute with canned tomatoes.

Sweet Potato Peanut Soup
Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients
1½ pounds sweet potatoes
5 tablespoons peanut oil
8 each Roma tomatoes, halved and seeded
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 cup onions, julienned
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
½ to cup smooth peanut butter (depending on preference)
1 cup unsweetened light coconut milk
1 quart vegetable broth
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped, roasted peanuts (optional)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Coat the sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil and roast in the oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until the potatoes are fully roasted and fork tender. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skin from the potatoes and discard the skins. Reserve the sweet potato flesh until ready to use.
3. Place the tomatoes in a small mixing bowl and coat with 1 tablespoon of peanut oil. Lay the tomatoes on a baking sheet, skin side up, and season with salt and pepper. Place the sheet pan in the oven and roast the tomatoes until the skins are caramelized and wilted, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the tomatoes from the oven, discard the skins, and set the tomatoes aside until ready to use. (Disregard this step if you are using canned tomatoes.)
4. Set a 4 quart stockpot over a medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons of peanut oil. Add the curry powder to the pot and toast for about 30 to 45 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the onions and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the minced garlic to the pot and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
5. Add the roasted sweet potatoes and tomatoes to the pot. Add the peanut butter, coconut milk, and vegetable stock to the pot and stir to blend. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Blend in batches until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with the chopped peanuts. Serve hot.

Low fat, Full flavor Broccoli Mushroom Soup

This soup is great way to incorporate all the items we willing receiving this week and leftovers from last week! I am not a fan of cream soups so this recipe was created inan effort to get a creamy texture without the heaviness of a cream and its fat.I also had leftover mashed potatoes at the time and they became the creamyelement in the soup. Broccoli andmushrooms are a great combo and sautéing the mushrooms in Marsala or Sherry cookingwine and some evo before incorporating them into the soup, in the end gives thesoup a rich full bodied flavor. Anotheradded richness is the roasted garlic. When I get a sleeve of garlic, I roast half the heads so I always havesome on hand in the frig. It is soft andcreamy, like butter and the flavor is incredible! Kick it up with some truffle oil when bakingand it’s really awesome. Another addedgarnish that I am going to use this time is some oven roasted potato chips tonestle in the bowl when serving to resurface the creamy potato base of thesoup. This is one of my husband’s favsbecause he really enjoys creamy soups and this is one that he doesn’t miss thecream!


Low fat, Full Flavor Creamy Broccoli Mushroom Soup
8-10 servings
3lb organic broccoli heads
4 cloves roasted garlic
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2T Extra virgin olive oil
Splash of white balsamic vinegar
2 T of basil pesto (prepared or homemade)
1 heaping cups of mashed potatoes
32 oz. container + 1 cup of organic chicken broth


1 cup thinly sliced portabella or cremini mushrooms
Marsala or Sherry cooking wine
2T Extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
fat-free half and half or 2% milk (optional)


1. Lightly steam the broccoliheads to retain bright green color, roughly chop. Reserve 1 cup of the broccoli for finishing.


2. Heat 2T of oil inyour soup pot. Add the onions and celeryand sauté until soft. Add the splash ofbalsamic vinegar while tossing over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until the garlicbreaks down into the onion and celery mix. Add the broccoli (reserve 1 cup) and potatoes; stir to combine over lowheat. Add the broth slowly, gently foldingeverything together. Let the soup simmeron low heat for about 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat 2T of evo in medium sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms, cook until they start torelease their liquid and add at least a ¼ cup of cooking wine to pan. Keep sautéing on the higher heat, until thewine is absorbed into the mushrooms. Sautéthe mushrooms until they are almost golden and somewhat caramelized. You could add a 1/2T of butter while sautéingthis if you feel you need it.
4. When all the soup ingredients arebroken down, turn off heat and use a hand blender to puree it. If you feel the soup is too thick at thispoint, add a little water or you could add fat free half & half, 2% milk, etc.to thin it out to your liking. Stir inthe reserved chopped broccoli and the mushrooms. Give the soup about two quick hits with theblender if you want to incorporate them a little more. You could also serve them on the side to beplaced in individual servings, as well as a cheddar cheese or oven baked potatochips.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Spaghetti Squash Pancakes

Fritters, latkes, pancakes, call them what you will, they have endless potential and make a unique alternative for an appetizer, side dish, snack, lunch, or just about any time!  I was on a real kick with zucchini fritters a few years ago when my son absolutely loved them (now won’t touch them).  A recent recipe I used was Mario Batali’s Zucchini-Ricotta Fritters.  He uses fresh sheep-milk ricotta but I used my own homemade cows-milk ricotta and they were fantastic!  But now that zucchini season is past, I charge into fall looking for new frontiers in fritters!  We have been getting spaghetti squash in our farm share and while I like it, I seem to always treat it like pasta or make fritatas with it, and I’m bored with that.  I took a look at a recipe for Gingered Carrot Latkes from Epicurious and came up with Spaghetti Squash pancakes.  I call them pancakes because the consistency of the batter because of the difference in texture of a carrot versus roasted spaghetti squash is quite different.  The squash releases a little bit more moisture and the batter is like wet pancake batter.  With the addition of potato starch, these get a nice lift and are light and airy, with a slightly buttery taste.  They also have a little kick to them, so serving them with a Greek yogurt sauce or sour cream is advised.  These really taste good!  I have many times just looked at a recipe and switched out the ingredients to utilize what ingredients that I have to work with, try it, it’s fun and they are so easy to make!  They freeze well too!
Spaghetti Squash Pancakes
adapted from Gingered Carrot Latkes, Gourmet, December 2004
Makes about 18
1 medium sized spaghetti squash , cut length-wise in half, inside cleaned
1 chile pepper in adobo sauce (finely chopped)
1 t garlic chili sauce
1 t fresh thyme
½ cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded
1T stone ground mustard
6 T all-purpose flour
3 t potato starch
1 1/2t salt
¾ t baking powder
½ t ground black pepper
2t garam masala
1t paprika
3 t finely grated peeled fresh ginger
3 t finely grated peeled fresh turmeric (optional)
2 eggs, beaten to blend

1.   Preheat oven to 350.  Place the squash halves ,cut side down, in a baking dish with a water bath just covering the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 35 minutes.   Cool slightly and scoop out the inside flesh into a large bowl.  Press the squash with paper towels to absorb any moisture. 
2.  In another large bowl, whisk flour through paprika to blend.  Mix in squash, chile pepper, chili sauce, thyme, and cheese, then eggs.

3.  Lightly butter or oil a griddle or heavy large skillet and heat over medium heat.  Working batches and adding more oil/butter as needed, drop the squash mixture by scant ¼ cupfuls into the skillet or griddle.  Fry until golden, about 4-5 minutes per side.  Check after a few minutes and adjust heat accordingly.  You may adjust amount of batter used to accommodate desired size.  Transfer pancakes to rimmed baking sheet.  (Can be made 6 hours ahead.  Let stand at room temperature.  Rewarm in 350 degree oven until crisp, about 10 minutes.)  These do freeze well, just make sure to place wax or parchment paper between them.
Serve pancakes with sour cream and fresh thyme or the relish and salsa in the Epicurious recipe would also work well if you have the time to prepare them.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Meat Stuffed Collard Cakes

 In this month’s issue of Food and Wine Magazine, I found a recipe for “Meat Stuffed Cabbage Cakes”.  I made some adaptations to the recipe, mainly using my collards instead of cabbage and replacing the ground veal in the filling with ground turkey.  This dish is delicious, packed with nutrients, and one cake with the broth is very filling and satisfying.  Perfect for a fall night!
I personally think that the collard leaves were much easier to roll and prepare than cabbage in this recipe.  They wilt in a matter of seconds and do not require the hassle of peeling apart a head.  My addition of fresh turmeric added another flavor level to the broth that the cakes bath in as well as jacking up the health benefits of the dish. 
This definitely made a lot of filling so I placed the rest in a loaf pan and froze it as a meatloaf main for another meal, bonus!


Meat-Stuffed Collard Cakes
Adapted from F&W magazine, October 2011 issue
http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/meat-stuffed-cabbage-cakes
1.5 pound ground turkey
1/2 pound (2 link)  sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 1/2 cups cooked Arborio rice (I sautéed it with onion and a little diced peppers)
1 medium shallot, minced
1 onion, chopped
2 black garlic cloves, minced
½ cup green peas
3T Dijon mustard
½ cup grated parm cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
½ t paprika
At least 14-16 large, flat collard leaves, rinsed with ribs cut out
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, finely diced
¾ cup chopped celery
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
2 t fresh minced turmeric
3 cloves chopped white garlic
1/2 cup dry white wine or Marsala cooking wine
2 cups chicken stock
1. In a bowl, combine the turkey, sausage, rice, shallots, garlic, green peas, cheese, mustard, eggs, 2 tablespoons of the cilantro, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and the paprika. 
2. In a large pan of boiling water, submerge the collard leaves, a few at a time. Simmer until the leaves are softened, about 30 seconds. Using tongs transfer the leaves to paper towels and pat dry. 3. Line a small bowl with an 8-by-10-inch piece of plastic wrap. Drape a leave in the bowl.  Spoon 1/2 cup of the stuffing in the center of the leaf and fold the leaf over to enclose the stuffing. Cover with the overhanging plastic wrap and twist to form a compact, round cake. Unwrap the cake. Repeat with the remaining collard leaves and stuffing.

4. Preheat the oven to 350°. In an enameled cast-iron casserole, melt the butter. Add the onion, celery, garlic, turmeric, and carrot and cook over moderately low heat until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the stock and season with salt and pepper. Add the collard cakes, seam sides down.5. Cover and bake for about 35 minutes, until the filling is cooked through.  * I had to add a little water to my broth because the veggies had absorbed it. Transfer the cakes to shallow bowls and ladle in the broth. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of cilantro and serve.  * A little freshly grated cheese was nice with this too.



Thursday, September 29, 2011

Portabella Mushroom "Fries"

Fried vegetables, in my opinion are a nutritional oxymoron.  Maybe after a few hours of happy hour at the bar, they may seem like a “healthy” munchie, but let’s be real.  The draw of the “fries”, are their crunchy and crispy exterior and added flavor to just about anything.  The problem with most fried veggies is that the veggie is lost inside a glob of greasy breading or fried batter.   I am not a fryer, so I set out on a mission to find a healthy alternative!
So if you seek the crunchy without the fat and fryer, try this method of making veggie “fries”. 
The prep is a two-fold cooking process but it is worth the effort, and can be made in the background of preparing other things for your meal.  Organic mushrooms are not necessary but my choice.  You can vary your seasonings and type of bread crumb, but the rice flour is a must for the breading to adhere to the roasted mushrooms. 

Organic Portabella Mushroom “fries”

Time:  40-50 minutes         makes Four side dish servings
5-6 organic portabella caps or baby bella caps (could use cremini mushrooms as well)
(Mother Earth Organics are amazing!)
FOR ROASTING the shrooms
Olive oil, kosher salt, pepper,  a splash of balsamic or red wine vinegar, fresh thyme

FOR BREADING the shrooms: (about 1 cup of each) rice flour (sweet white or brown rice),  buttermilk, bread crumbs (I use a mix of homemade bread crumbs and panko, herbs, and sometimes a few tablespoons of finely grated parmesan-romano cheese)
FOR GRILLING:
a veggie grill basket-type pan or a slotted broiler sheet pan may work (anything that lets the veggies get some directed heat.

STEP ONE:
  Cut stem off mushrooms and wipe them off.  Toss mushrooms with a coating of olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper (don’t overdo!), a splash of the vinegar.  Place on a baking sheet prepped with cooking spray or some olive oil, and lay the thyme on top of the mushrooms.  Bake, uncovered, in a preheated 350-400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.  They will look a little shriveled but, will not release their water.
STEP TWO:  In the meantime you can set up your breading station.  You will need 3 shallow dishes- first is the rice flour.  If you don’t have rice flour, get it!  All-purpose flour is too heavy and that’s the reason why breading slides off things!  Rice flour is finer, has nice flavor, and adheres/coats evenly.  Next dish is for is the buttermilk.  I use 2% organic milk mixed with 1 T of apple-cider vinegar to make it.  The third dish is for the bread crumbs.  Have some extra breadcrumb mix available, you may need to replenish this dish depending on the size of your caps.
STEP THREE:  Once the mushrooms are cooled, you can cut them into the fried shape of your choice.  I like steak-fry style for the mushrooms because they are meaty, but you could do more of a mc d style too.  Place a baking pan lined with parchment or wax paper at the end of your assembly line.
STEP FOUR: Dredge the mushrooms through each bowl, making sure that any excess is shaken off before dipping in the next dish.  (You will notice how the roasting process has brought out enough water content to allow the mushrooms to coat easily and evenly.)
Place them on the baking sheet.  At this point you could freeze them for another time.  Just place the sheet in the freezer for about an hour and when they are somewhat frozen, transfer them to a container.
STEP FIVE:  Place the grill basket pan on a preheated 400 degree gas grill.  Place the mushrooms on the basket pan and close the grill.  These are great to make if you are grilling meat of other meal items at the same time.  The ‘shrooms should take about 20 minutes.  Turn them occasionally.  They should become a nice golden color and may become slightly charred, depending on the height of your grill flame.  Remove from the heat. 
Drizzle with olive oil and season more to taste.  Serve as a side, with your fav condiments.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Healthy Homemade Medjool Date Caramel

Here’s a great, simple way to turn the season’s amazing apples and pears into a dessert (or anytime) treat. I served this date caramel drizzled on top of a pear and apple tart at the raw dinner/demo at Fresh Thymes last week. But it is so good just drizzled on fresh fruit slices (or even on its own – naughty!), you don’t even need to go to the effort of making a tart! Tastes just like the caramel apples I used to love to get at the fair when I was a kiddo…even better! Dip some slices and sprinkle on some crushed nuts or coconut for an extra tasty treat.

Date Caramel
Makes about ½ a cup
½ cup (packed) of medjool dates, pitted and soaked for at least an hour
1 heaping tablespoon almonds (or cashews) (soaked for a few hours is best – not the end of the world if you forget!)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
½ teaspoon vanilla (or more, to taste)
2-3 small pinches of sea salt
Several teaspoons agave nectar, to adjust sweetness (optional)

In a blender, combine almonds or cashews with 3 tablespoons of water. (You could also just use 3 tablespoons of an already-prepared nut milk or soy milk, and skip the blending.)
Blend to a milky consistency, straining out solid particles if necessary (if there are only nut tiny particles, and you aren’t picky, don’t sweat it).
Add soaked and drained dates, coconut oil and vanilla, and blend until smooth, pausing frequently to scrape down sides. (This step can also be done in a food processor.)
Add salt – a pinch at a time, so you don’t over salt – and blend again. Taste for salty/sweet balance, adding a little agave or a date or two more if you prefer a sweeter caramel.
Refrigerate in an airtight container to chill the caramel prior to using, if desired.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mizuna Salad with Kohlrabi and Pomegranate Seeds

Martha Stewart Living, February 2005
  • Yield Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 large celery stalks
  • 1 medium kohlrabi bulb (8 ounces), trimmed and peeled
  • 1 small pomegranate
  • 3 1/2 cups mizuna (3 ounces) or other tender, bitter salad greens such as arugula or dandelion
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, thinly slice the celery and kohlrabi. Cut kohlrabi slices into 1/4-inch-wide strips.

  2. Halve pomegranate; remove enough seeds to yield 1/2 cup (reserve remainder for another use). Add seeds, celery, kohlrabi, and mizuna to a serving bowl.

  3. Whisk together vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar, and mustard. Whisking constantly, add oil in a slow, steady stream; whisk until emulsified. Toss with salad.

Edamame Spread



This recipe comes from Martha Stewart
's Everyday Food (March 2006).

Ingredients
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 cups shelled edamame
3 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
radishes (or other vegetables) and rice crackers, for serving

Directions
1. In a medium saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the edamame and garlic until edamame are tender, about 5 minutes. Drain.
2. In a food processor, puree edamame, garlic, lemon zest and juice, oil, and 1/2 cup water until very smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl. If needed, thin by adding water one tablespoon at a time. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
3. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day. (If needed, add additional water.) Serve with radishes and crackers.

Baby Bok Choy with Chile and Garlic

This side is easy enough to make for the holidays or any night of the week. It goes well with tofu, steamed fish, or meatloaf.

Everyday Food, November 2010
  • Yield Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds baby bok choy, leaves separated
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • Soy sauce

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, 10 seconds. Add baby bok choy and cook, stirring frequently, until leaves are wilted and stems are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Add red-pepper flakes and sesame oil. Season to taste with soy sauce and toss to combine.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sweet Dumpling Squash Stuffed with Quinoa


There are two main ways that I prepare squash -- the quick and easy way (microwave), or the slow and tastier way (oven). Microwaving it cooks the insides faster and makes the vegetable easier to cut with a knife. But baking it in the oven gives it the tasty caramelized flavor and brings out the natural sweetness of the squash. For this recipe, I do half and half (5-8 minutes of microwaving, and 20-30 minutes of baking) to save time and maintain flavor.

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa
3 sweet dumpling squashes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 diced onion
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or nut of choice)
1/4 cup raisins (currants or chopped dates work as well)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
1 tablespoon Grade B pure maple syrup (optional, depending on if you like sweet)
1 tsp butter or Smart Balance

Directions:
1.) Preheat oven to 400 F.
2.) Place 3 whole sweet dumpling squashes on a large microwave-safe plate and nuke for 5-8 minutes (depending on the strength of your microwave).
3.) Rinse and cook quinoa in 1 and 1/2 cups of boiling water then let it simmer in pot covered with lid for about 15 minutes.
4.) Saute chopped onions in olive oil until transluscent and then add nuts, spices and raisins and sauté an additional minute (be careful not to burn the nuts). Mix in the cooked quinoa and salt/pepper when done. At this point you can add a teaspoon of butter or Smart Balance for some heavenly buttery flavor :-)
5.) Take the squash out of the microwave and carefully cut squash in half and scoop out seeds.
6.) Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and place squash halves upright on it and stuff it with quinoa/onion/nut/raisin/spice mixture. If you like your squash sweet like me, drizzle some maple syrup on top before putting it in the oven for 20 minutes.
7.) Serve immediately

Note: Organic sweet dumpling squash, unlike acorn, pumpkin or other types of squash, has a thin edible peel therefore less waste! So go ahead and eat the whole thing (except the stem of course)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Golden Peach Cake

This recipe was developed by Epicurious using nectarines; I had peaches that needed to be used quickly and this cake was a simple, tasty way to use them. I didn't bother peeling the peaches. I think almost any fruit would work well in this recipe.

Serve it warm with vanilla bean ice cream - late summer heaven.

Golden Peach Cake
Adapted from Epicurious
Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon sugar, divided
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract
2-3 peaches, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

3. In a large bowl, beat butter and 3/4 cup sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in extracts. At low speed, mix in flour mixture until just combined.

4. Spread batter evenly in pan, then scatter peaches over top. Stir together nutmeg and remaining 1/2 tablespoon sugar and sprinkle over top.

5. Bake until cake is golden-brown and top is firm but tender when lightly touched (cake will rise over fruit), 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove side of pan and cool to warm.

Eggplant and Tomato-Mint Salsa

This is an old favorite of mine from a 2005 issue of Cooking Light. It's not the most beautiful-looking dish, but it sure is tasty and worth the effort.

The Cooking Light instructions tell you to grill the eggplant; you get a smokier flavor from the eggplant using a grill. I've also roasted the eggplant in the oven and it turned out fine. I've included this method as an alternative in the directions.

Eggplant and Tomato-Mint Salsa
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup)

Ingredients
  • 2 medium eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped seeded tomato
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
Directions
1. Cut each eggplant in half lengthwise. Lightly score cut sides of eggplant.
2. Place eggplant, cut sides down, on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 20 minutes or until very tender, turning occasionally. Alternatively, place eggplant, cut sides down, on a baking sheet. Bake in a 425°F oven for about 45 minutes or until very tender.
3. Scoop pulp from eggplant halves and place in a sieve over a bowl. Discard peels. Let pulp stand 1 hour or until cool and thoroughly drained. Discard liquid.
4. Coarsely mash pulp, and place in a small bowl. Stir in tomato and remaining ingredients. Serve at room temperature, stirring just before serving.