I have been scrambling for different ways to eat greens and/or sneak greens into meals outside of the regular salad. Don’t get me wrong — I love a good salad. I get lots of compliments on the big pretty salads that I pack in my work lunchbox. Those pretty little radishes this week were quite tasty.
However, I had no idea what to do with the kohlrabi greens. But, I knew just based on the fact that the veggie box had a HUGE stalk of greens on the kohlrabi last week that those dazzling emerald leafs were meant to eaten.
Turns out you can do lots of things with greens! Check this: Recipes for Greens. The possibilities are endless!
I chose to add the kohlrabi to a chicken teriyaki stir fry. The hubby and the boy didn’t fully complain. I also stuck in some turnips and green garlic on this one. The turnips were a little mushy but not bad.
I chopped up a whole bag of kale into the spring greens mix and just disguised it as salad. My husband didn’t mention noticing it so that’s a win.
Another bag of kale went into my version of the Olive Garden’s zuppa tuscano. Yum. My son actually loved this. LOVED IT. Can’t go wrong with Olive Garden soup and bread sticks. Nom nom.
What new foods did you try this week?
In an effort to try something different, and use up a bag of kale, we made smoothies.
Full disclosure, I’m not the biggest fan of green smoothies so … that’s the starting point for this adventure.
I used this recipe as it was suggested in the veggie box weekly email. http://www.homesteadmania.com/kale-blueberry-vanilla-smoothie/
I made enough for two large smoothies so it seemed like a lot of greens. I also tried to pull out any thicker stalks just to avoid any bitter flavors.
I also added banana for a thicker mix.
Fresh blueberries are not in season yet so I used frozen ones. Partially for cost and partially because I knew they would be nice for a cold drink. They quickly blended up and almost disguised the kale. Almost.
There’s no fooling a 9 year old boy. Plus, while it wasn’t terrible, it is no substitute for a real milkshake.
He tolerated it but I doubt he will be making any special requests to try that again.
All in all, it wasn’t that bad. Cold, refreshing, fairly guilt free. I can handle that. Next time, I might up the banana factor or add other fruits.
I definitely got my kale intake for the day so that’s good!
Last week was a busy flurry for the first round of the veggie box. Gotta love spring greens! I didn’t post a photo of the grilled asparagus but, wowza, those were tasty mmm mmm good!
Sooooo … what’s in the box this week?
A lot of the same, as expected, but with some bonus goodies!
Salanova Lettuce – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm @ Lattin Farms
Hakurei Turnips – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm @ Lattin Farms
Green Garlic – Lattin Farms
Garlic Chives – Mewaldt Organics
Siberian Kale – Pioneer Farms
Spinach – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm @ Lattin Farms
Arugula – Pioneer Farms
Gourmet Lettuce Mix – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm @ Lattin Farms
Sunflower Shoots – Dayton Valley Aquaponics
Darkibor Kale – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms
Bread Lady stone ground wheat
Lahontan Farms eggs
I am super ready for those sunflower shoots! Yum! They are first on my list for tomorrow.
Check out these pretty eggs, though.
They are all different, natural colors and stamped with love. Someone is all crafty with their die cut freshness date rooster!
My son loved these eggs last week. He’s not normally a full plate of scrambled eggs kind of kid but he cleaned up on them last weekend. That makes me happy!
The taste of fresh food is so much better than anything else. So far, my family is loving the veggie box.
What’s your favorite fresh food that just isn’t the same any other way?
So, this seems obvious, but it is important to rinse and wash all of the produce that you are going to eat. No matter where it came from when you bought it.
When you have a CSA subscription, the first accessory you should get is a salad spinner.
What’s that? It is this:
This one handy, dandy (usually reasonably priced) item will save you so much time and energy. It will also help you keep those greens fresh longer!
How does it work? I had some fun with a slo-mo video from my phone to show you.
It is basically a colander that spins in a bigger container to fling the extra water off your lettuce after you rinse it thoroughly in the sink.
My son also thinks it’s great silliness to help with this job so don’t be afraid to recruit helpers!
I usually wrap greens in a paper towel and don’t fully close them up in plastic when I put them in the fridge to make them last a day or two more. This is important in the first few weeks of a CSA when there are a lot of greens. You don’t want then to go to waste in the first two days!
Especially when they are this pretty:
Have fun and eat your greens!
Woo hoo! It’s here! It’s here!
Can you tell how excited I am about this?
It has been a while but I have really been looking forward to getting some Nevada veggies in my system.
Here’s the box:
The way it works is that you go to a pick up spot and there’s actually a cardboard box … but … it helps a lot to bring your own crate so they can reuse the cardboard one.
What’s in the box?
This will vary every week based on what’s in season so, since it is spring, lots of greens this week.
Salanova Lettuce – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm in collaboration with Lattin Farms
Hakurei Turnips – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm in collaboration with Lattin Farms
Green Garlic – Lattin Farms
Spring Asparagus – Lattin Farms
Garlic Chives – Mewaldt Organics
Siberian Kale – Pioneer Farms
Spinach – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm in collaboration with Lattin Farms
Arugula – Pioneer Farms
Tango Lettuce – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm in collaboration with Lattin Farms
I also opted to get bread (stone ground whole wheat from The Bread Lady) and eggs (from the happy chickens at Lahontan Farms.)
I’ll share more with some recipes and lots of photos later so stay tuned. Let me know of you have any questions. I’m all ears!
This recipe was in the weekly instructions/newsletter for my CSA box. It is originally credited to Black Sheep Farm in Ontario, Canada, Fresh Food Nation by Martha Holmberg.
Stuffed Baked Acorn Squash
- 1 medium acorn squash
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup couscous or cooked rice
- 1 tart apple (peeled, cored and finely diced)
- (my addition) 1 small white onion (finely diced)
- 1 lb cooked pork, duck, sausage, bacon or pancetta (I used Italian sausage)
- hot sauce (to taste)
- 2 tsp. maple syrup
- (my addition) 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Heat the oven to 375. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds from the cavity by scraping them out with a spoon. Cut a small slice off the curved side of each half, so it can sit flat without wobbling.
Use a fork or sharp paring knife, poke holes in the flesh of the cut faces and cavities of the squash halves, and the brush with olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Cook couscous or use pre-cooked rice. Saute onions and apples in a small amount of oil until caramelized. Mix everything with chopped meat and a few drops of hot sauce. Taste for seasoning.
Fill each squash half with stuffing, tamping down as need to fill completely. Drizzle with maple syrup. Bake until squash is completely tender, about 45 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and broil for a nice browned topping.
This was savory with a little bit of sweet spicy. The squishy squash texture was balanced with the rice stuffing mixture. Good stuff. It was a little bit of a hassle for a work night meal but everyone at my house has a happy tummy so it was worth it. Yum!
I have been stockpiling my CSA share of hot peppers lately just waiting to make a batch of hot sauce. All sorts of peppers: jalapenos, serranos, fresno, romanian … and I even bought a couple of extra habaneros to throw into the mix. My pepper farming efforts this year completely failed so I knew that I wouldn’t have a full batch of the same peppers just from the CSA box. I figured I could come up with something good, though. And, I did.
My creation is called: STANKY SAUCE! I started to title this blog post something like “I love the stank” or “All About Stank” and then decided that would probably pull in a bunch of really bizarre spam comments that have nothing to do with a nice, wholesome veggie blog like this one. (eh hem)
I started with a little Google searching and, one of my favorite resources, Punk Domestics. I love that site but, fair warning, it’s a little food snobby (in a good way). Then, I compared notes with a couple of other sites and discovered that fermenting the peppers is a good base to add for a nice hot sauce. There are tons of options on how you could go for a sriracha or a more Tabasco-style and even a sweet hot. If you are interested in making your own sriracha, try Peppermeister’s recipe … look around on that site for a while, there are some other good recipes to try as well.
I decided that a briney-fermented, stanky sauce with some pow-pow HOT is just what I wanted.
Well, well, well. I just happen to have (forgotten about) a jar of mild green peppers that I did in a salty dill brine last year. Perfect base, almost like I planned it. (haha)
Then, I had to char the skins on my fresh peppers and cook them up a little bit. The trick to this is to get a good little burn going on the peppers but not completely kill them. Maybe, 70-80% char and, then, you put them in a sealed container so that they steam out nicely. After that, the skins just peel off (for the most part). I trimmed the stems off but kept all the seeds and innards and juicy goodness for the mix.
I did actually use the gloves. And, I’m glad. I have a feeling that I would have killed my hands and probably stuck my finger in my eye, resulting in death for most of the afternoon. I am happy to report that I avoided disaster here and only had a few coughing fits due to pepper capsaicin inhalation. Hot stuff, for real.
I blended the pickled peppers (brine and all) with my skinned fresh peppers using an immersion blender to get this:
Now, at this point, some people choose to filter/strain their sauce to get just the liquids. I opted for the full (slightly chunky) version. And, after taste testing … WHOOEEEEWWWW! Hot. Hot. Hot. I decided that I still needed to kick it up a notch. This is where lightning struck and I realized that I am a genius. Beer. This hot sauce needs beer. And, not just any beer, a good stinky one. Bitter, hoppy, stank beer. (the good kind)
This is my favorite. Icky. It’s named after the ichthyosaur, or state fossil of Nevada. It’s about 7% ABV and hoppy all day long. It’s a local brew, Great Basin Brewing Company. And, it’s good. Get some, if you can.
I’m pretty proud of this one. But, it’s only for the truly brave. It is a hot and powerful stanky sauce. Not for dipping chips into or anything like that. Maybe, it could blow the tortilla off a good fish taco or get added to some manly chili beans … it might kick some canned peaches to curb as well. This is the real deal.
Six beautiful little jars of screaming hot, stanky goodness. I think Santa will keep these for his special elves.
This week’s haul included a couple of late summer surprises (all organic):
- Sarah’s Choice melons/cantaloupe
- Seedless watermelon
- Mixed summer squash
- Japanese eggplant
- Mixed peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
- Early Girl tomatoes
- Raspberries (whaaaaaaaaaaaat??!!)
The raspberries barely made it home because my little boy loves them. He had a huge helping with dinner.
And, as weird as rhubarb can be, I really love the smell. So sweet.
The CSA newsletter included a yummy recipe for desert.
1 cup white sugar
1 tbsp instant tapioca
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
4 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup raspberries
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup butter, chilled
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Great a 9×13 inch baking pan. In a large bowl, combine sugar, tapioca, cornstarch, and salt. Place rhubarb and raspberries into bowl making sure to completely coat with dry ingredients. Pour into baking pan. IN a medium bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour and oats. Cut in butter until mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs. Spread on top of fruit mixture. Bake for 45 minutes or until rhubarb is tender.
Sounds pretty tasty to me.
I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to try this recipe quick enough, though. The boy is really loving those raspberries, straight out of the container. Let me know if you make it!
Yesterday was a rainy day here on the Comstock. It is actually pretty rare when it drizzles in the desert all day. So, I did some house chores and burrowed inside all day long cracking walnuts from that HUGE bag that my friend gave me. Yup. Just nut crackin’, pretty much all day. I have officially gone nuts. (Insert a billion more sophomoric nut references here.)
I just set up nut camp in the dining room and watched it rain all day. One of the best things about where I live is that I am kind of out in the boonies and we have wild horses that just roam free. Seriously. Wild horses just wander the neighborhood at will. And, I’m only about 20 minutes from civilization so it’s not like I’m totally out in the wilderness or anything. I live in a regular neighborhood, kinda. How about some pictures?
What am I going to do with all of my hard-earned walnuts? I am making a cinnamon maple candy over the walnuts and going wrap them up as Christmas goodies. And, I will absolutely be freezing some for later. Want the recipe?
- 1 lb walnut halves
- 1 cup white sugar
- Drizzle of maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread nuts in a single layer over a baking sheet and roast for about 8-10 minutes.
- Stir together sugar, syrup, cinnamon, salt and milk in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 8 minutes or until the mixture reaches the soft ball stage of 236°F Remove from heat and add vanilla.
- Add walnuts to sugar syrup and stir to coat well. Spoon nuts onto waxed paper lined sheet pan and separate with fork.
- Cool and store in an airtight container.
What? How dare someone befoul my beloved mac and cheese?! I like Kraft Dinner or the really orange mac and cheese! Don’t I? Whoa. Hold your horses. Before you get all worked up about what is real food and not real food. I do like my box of orange cheese powder. I really do. But, I just had to try something new. And, uhm … I liked it. Look for yourself:
Who is the evil genius behind this masterpiece? Again, Rachel Ray comes to the rescue. And, of course, I took a few liberties with my modifications. Here’s the original recipe:
1 pound of macaroni
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 medium onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
10 oz frozen, cooked squash
1 cup cream or half/half
2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup grated Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Heat a pot of water to boil for the pasta. Salt the water then add the pasta and cook to al dente. While pasta cooks, heat a medium heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the extra virgin olive oil and butter. When butter melts into the oil, add the thyme and grate the onion directly into the pot with a hand held grater or microplane. Cook the grated onion in butter and oil 1 to 2 minutes, then add the flour and cook together 1 to 2 more minutes. Whisk in stock, then combine with squash until warmed through and smooth. Stir in cream and bring sauce to a bubble. Stir in cheeses in a figure 8 motion and season the completed sauce with spices. Drain cooked pasta well and combine with sauce. Serve with a little sprig of thyme for garnish.
I used all of the cream making those squash pies so I improvised and put in a huge scoop of cream cheese. This was an excellent idea. Smooth and creamy. Of course, I didn’t have frozen puree, I had was still working from the batch of fresh puree. Go figure. Then, I used Havarti cheese instead of the Cheddar. I happened to have some and I know it melts smoother. NOW, here’s where I went all crazy and got off the grid. I chopped up the fresh Hiratake mushroom from the CSA box . Boo-ya! Great idea! And, since I was starting to go way off the charts, I didn’t just mix the cheesy goo with the noodles, I baked it for just a couple of minutes with the shredded parmagiano and some french fried onions (from a can). OMG–BRILLIANT!
And, because this is the heaviest mac and cheese casserole ever … I had to have a side salad with some fresh pomegranate seeds. Mmmm. Mmmmm. Good.
What’s on your plate today?