Saturday, October 16, 2010

Kale Burgers (They Really are Delicious!)

Adapted from a recipe I found online, here goes:

2 cups of kale, stems removed and sliced into thin ribbons and steamed for three minutes
1-16 oz. can of navy beans, cannellini beans, or chick peas--drained and slightly mashed with a fork
3 eggs or egg whites
1/4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 t. salt
pinch turmeric
pinch paprika
bread crumbs
olive oil for frying

1) Combine first 8 ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl. Grind slightly with an immersion blender to combine the beans and kale into the rest of the mixture.
2) Add enough bread crumbs to make the mixture easy to form into patties.
3) Place in a pre-heated non-stick skillet over medium heat with some olive oil.
4) Cook on each side 4-6 min or until golden brown. Remove and put on a plate with a paper towel to drain/cool.
5) Serve with plain yogurt or other topping or your choosing! Enjoy!
Makes approximately 8-10 medium-sized patties.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Veggie Stuffed Shells

You know I can never follow a recipe exactly, so I adapted one from a recipe online because I wanted to use up some kale and thought it could be hidden well in some delicious stuffed shells. As I've done with lasagna in the past, I substituted 1/2 of the ricotta for soft tofu and it was still delicious. I doubled the recipe and it ended up making 3 pans of shells. Below is my attempt to scale down the recipe for normal family consumption (we made some extra for a friend and I froze the extra pan).

1 package pasta shells
2 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic* (I used roasted garlic)
5-6 mushrooms
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 red pepper*, finely chopped
salt & pepper
1 1/2 c. kale/mustard greens* or other hearty greens (washed, dried and roughly chopped)
handful of sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
2 T. mushroom broth (or water)
8 oz container of part-skim Ricotta cheese
1 package soft (silken) tofu (can use 16 oz ricotta for the above two ingredients)
2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
2 T. pesto*
homemade or your favorite jar(s) of tomato sauce--appx. 3 cups of finished sauce per pan of shells

1) Boil pasta shells according to package directions (appx 12 min)
2) While shells are cooking, mince garlic and saute in olive oil. Add onion, red pepper and mushrooms, cooking until slightly softened. Add sun-dried tomatoes, season to taste with salt & pepper. Add greens, stirring into vegetable mixture until slightly wilted. Add broth or water and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
3) Meanwhile, combine ricotta, tofu, 1 c. of parmesan cheese and pesto in a food processor. Blend thoroughly, then add kale mixture and blend again.
4) Remove shells from water and drain. Spoon filling into shells. You may use a pastry bag (I used a large Ziploc bag with the tip cut off). Lay the shells into a lightly greased 9X13 pan. Cover with desired amount of tomato sauce and the reserved Parmesan cheese. Refrigerate until ready to bake or bake right away, covering tightly with foil, for 40 minutes. Remove foil and allow to bake for another 5-10 minutes. Serve immediately with bread for dipping and a nice green salad!

*denotes contained ingredients from our CSA (community supported agriculture)/farm share

Butternut Squash Soup and Parm-Garlic Rolls

Even though the CSA has slowed down to delivery every 2 weeks, we seemed to be overwhelmed with butternut squash for a while. I made a big batch of butternut squash soup along with some parmesan and garlic rolls in the bread maker. Squash and garlic provided by our farm!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Roasted Garlic Hummus

In our share this year, we got a ton of garlic. I roasted about six whole heads of garlic recently and have been using it in recipes here & there ever since. This morning, I got up early and made some homemade roasted garlic hummus. I didn't have any lemon in the house, so I substituted a mix of apple cider vinegar and balsamic vinegar instead. Here's my modified recipe below:

1 large (1 lb. 13 oz) can chick peas (strain but reserve liquid for later)
1 T. tahini (sesame paste)
1 T. olive oil
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1/2 T. balsamic vinegar
(can use juice of 1 lemon in lieu of both vinegars)
5-6 cloves of roasted garlic

Add chick peas, roasted garlic and tahini to the food processor. Blend, adding reserved liquid and olive oil until you get your desired consistency. Add vinegar/lemon and blend again. Season with salt if needed. Makes a big batch for lunches or an appetizer to feed about 10 or so. Enjoy!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sometimes the Easiest Recipes are the Most Delicious

My Nana Olson's recipe for cucumber salad. I made it plain and then in a version I made for a work picnic, I also threw in some local tomatoes for a little extra color:

To 1/2 c. white vinegar add 2T white sugar. Stir until dissolved.
Add 1 c. water and salt & pepper to taste.
Stir in sliced cukes and thinly sliced onions (vidalia is nice) separated into rings. Chill in frig for several hours.

Next to the picture above are the lovely grape tomatoes we also got that week in the share. They were super sweet like Starburst candies, except more natural and sweetened by the sun!

Maury Elementary goes Local!

I can't tell you how pleased I was to see that my son's new school, Maury Elementary, is jumping on the locavore bandwagon and offering fresh fruits & veggies from local farms. No more disgusting cafeteria "ketchup is a vegetable" a la the Reagan era, and waxy green beans from a can!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Baby Eggplant and Soy Salmon with Garlic Mashed Potatoes

We had lots of potatoes and garlic from the farm these last few weeks, so I made some garlic mashed potatoes. I also used some baby eggplant and peppers to make this Asian-style salmon with soy-sauce, ginger, garlic and some spicy black bean sauce. It was delicious!

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Tomatoes and Corn are Here!

Tonight's dinner was a simple poached halibut made with veggie broth, lemon juice, as well as cherry tomatoes and basil from this week's share. I served it with deliciously sweet local corn from the share, as well as a tomato and basil salad (also from the share). It was almost a completely local dinner! Yum, yum!

Tofu Veggie Lasagna, It's Yummier than it Sounds

My friend Yasmin gave me the idea to substitute soft tofu for some of the cheese in my veggie lasagna filling. I made up this recipe on the fly and it turned out really yummy. My neighbors came over for an impromptu dinner and they ate it up too--even the toddlers liked it, so you know it was a winner. Plus the fact that by the time I took the picture, there were only 3 small pieces left. Here's the recipe:

1 box no-boil lasagna noodles
2-24 oz. jars of pasta sauce (I used Prego)
1 small container ricotta (part skim)
1 container soft tofu
1 lg. bunch spinach, washed*
juice of a lemon
fresh basil and thyme to taste*
1-2 cups roasted/grilled veggies* (I used a combo of eggplant, peppers, garlic, okra and yellow squash)
3-4 cups shredded mozzarella (part skim)--reserve 1 cup for the top
1/2 c. parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. To make lasagna filling, combine ricotta, tofu, spinach, lemon juice, basil, thyme and salt and pepper in a food processor. Process until combined and spinach is fully chopped and incorporated. Put appx 1 cup of pasta sauce in the bottom of a lasagna pan. Add 1/3 of the noodles from the box. Spread 1/3 cheese and spinach filling on top and some of the grilled veggies and mozzarella cheese. Add another layer of pasta sauce and repeat for two more layers. On the top, sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese and parmesan. Bake covered with foil for 1 hour, remove foil and bake for 5 more minutes to allow top cheese to melt. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!

*indicates that I used products from the week's farm share.

Phyllo Surprise

I had some leftover phyllo in the freezer, so I whipped up this casserole with grilled veggies, pearl barley and chick peas. It was pretty good but I thought it might have been missing some cheese--perhaps some feta?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pesto: It's What's for Breakfast

I made some pesto from basil, garlic scapes (both from the share) and some parsley. I have used it for pasta, two pizzas and a delicious breakfast bagel with melted feta and tomato. Yes, it was the first time I'd had pesto for breakfast and I'd do it again. The second pizza had tomato sauce made with many veggies from the share, as well as some thinly sliced eggplant. I'd forgotten to get mozzarella cheese at the store, so the first pizza had feta (from New Jersey) and parmesan and the second one just had parmesan.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tuna with Sage Vinaigrette

We got some sage in our share this week and I didn't know what to do with it since sage is traditionally used with chicken, lamb and pork (all meats I don't eat). So, I made a marinade out of the sage, along with some olive oil, balsamic and salt & white pepper. Here's what the whole dinner looked like when served with the swiss chard risotto and the peach cole slaw.

Blueberry-Mint Iced Tea

We got more mint this week, so I made blueberry-mint iced tea. I crushed the blueberries and mint together along with some sugar in this mortar and pestle (kind of like I was making a mojito) and added it to some freshly brewed tea and chilled. Delicious!

Swiss Chard Risotto with White Beans

We got a large bunch of beautiful swiss chard this week from the share. The veins were red and the green leaves gorgeous. I didn't know what to do with it until I searched for some recipes online and came across this recipe for
Spanakorizo aka Swiss Chard Risotto. I happened to have exactly 1 1/2 cups of arborio rice on hand, so I knew it was a sign I had to make this recipe! I decided to add cannellini beans to it to make it more of a main vegetarian dish. It turned out pretty nicely! To add the beans, just add a can towards the end of cooking (about 5 min) and add some extra broth to help warm the beans.

Acadia's Peach Cole Slaw

I had another large head of cabbage to contend with this week, so I decided to make another cole slaw, but with a twist. I added in some local peaches and some other ingredients from the share (zucchini, spring onions and one jalapeno pepper). With the addition of a creamy dressing mostly made of yogurt and some walnuts and raisins, it reminded me of a cross between a Waldorf salad and a sweet cole slaw. I hope you try making my special recipe and enjoy it!

Combine the following ingredients in a large bowl:
1/2 head of cabbage, diced
2 or 3 peaches, diced
1 yellow zucchini, shredded
1/2 green zucchini, shredded
2 carrots, shredded
1/2 to 1 jalapeno (to taste)
2 spring onions, diced (heads only)
1/2 c. raisins
1/2 c. chopped walnuts, toasted

In a separate bowl, combine the following ingredients for the dressing:
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 c. mayo
4 T. apple cider vinegar
2 T. agave nectar
juice from 1/2 lemon
white pepper and salt to taste

Pour dressing over cole slaw ingredients and toss to coat completely. Refrigerate for at least an hour to marinate.

Peach-Blueberry Cobbler

I picked up some local peaches and blueberries last weekend from Eastern Market, which were crying out for me to make a cobbler. Served it with vanilla ice cream. Yum, yum!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Last Night's Dinner

It's always easy to throw together a quiche and a salad for an easy Sunday night dinner. I keep frozen pie crusts and plenty of eggs on hand just for this reason. Last night, I made a quiche using broccoli (frozen from a previous week's share), zucchini from this week's share, some Vidalia onion and garlic scapes. Here's my simple recipe, along with one for a salad of cucumber (from the share) and tomatoes I picked up at Eastern Market this weekend (our share tomatoes aren't in yet).

Pie crust, frozen or home made
4 eggs
2/3 c. half & half/milk or 1/3 c. plain yogurt & 1/3 c. milk
1 c. cheddar cheese
1/2 c. chopped broccoli
1/2 c. chopped zucchini
1/4 c. onion
1 garlic scape, finely diced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whip eggs until fluffy and add milk. Meanwhile, saute filling ingredients in olive oil in a pan on medium heat, adding salt & pepper to taste. Add filling mixture to the pie crust and then add egg mixture. Sprinkle cheese over the top and season with salt and pepper. Bake at 375 degrees 35 to 40 minutes. Top will be golden brown. Allow to cool some before serving.

1 whole cucumber
1/2 yellow tomato
1/2 red tomato
dressing: balsamic vinegar (about 1/3 c.), olive oil (about 1/4 c.), pinch of thyme and dill, salt and pepper
Place chopped veggies in a bowl. Combine dressing ingredients and toss with veggies. Refrigerate for 30 min to an hour before serving. Note: This recipe would be delicious with the addition of a hard cheese such as feta or blue cheese.

Kohlrabi and Turnip Gratin

It's hard not to like any veggie smothered in heavy cream and cheese, so I knew this one would be a winner. I did regret firing up the oven for 90 minutes on one of the hottest DC summer days, but that kohlrabi and those turnips had to go! I adapted a recipe from The Slow Cook by adding all of the turnips from the share, as well as one of the garlic scapes finely chopped. Here's my recipe:

For a kohlrabi gratin:

1 tablespoon butter

1 lb kohlrabi, trimmed and peeled (I used a serrated knife to remove the peel)

5 turnips, trimmed

coarse salt

1 pint heavy cream

1 garlic scape, hard woody stem removed and finely chopped

2/3 cup grated cheese (I used Parmesan)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Grease it with the butter. Meanwhile, slice the kohlrabi and turnips very thinly. You may want to first cut it in half from end to end. Lay the kohlrabi and turnip slices in the casserole overlapping like shingles, seasoning them with salt as you go. You may make two or three layers. Cover with the cream and shake the casserole a little to distribute the salt. Sprinkle chopped garlic scapes on top.

Lay the casserole on a baking sheet and place in the oven. As the cream browns, break it up and push it under the cream underneath, scraping any brown bits from the side of the casserole and incorporating those as well. Continue doing this for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the kohlrabi and turnips are perfectly tender and the cream has been almost completely absorbed. Sprinkle the cheese over the gratin and continue baking until the cheese is completely melted and lightly browned. Serve hot.

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had one small zucchini staring me in the face at the bottom of the veggie drawer and I decided to put it to good use by making another sweet treat. i remembered seeing zucchini combined with chocolate chips for cookies, so I looked up some recipes online and modified from there. Instead of coconut, I put in extra chocolate chips, raisins and some walnuts. I didn't think you could ever put in too many chocolate chips in cookies, but in this case I put in a whole bag and it might have been a bit too much. However, my family did not notice and ate them all up without complaint. Here's my recipe, adapted from a recipe from .

1 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 c. oatmeal
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (toasted, optional)
6 oz. chocolate chips (I put in one whole bag--too much?)
1/2 cup of raisins
1/2 c. butter
1 c. zucchini, shredded
Beat butter, sugar, egg and vanilla. Add all dry ingredients and oatmeal; mix until smooth. Add chocolate chips, nuts (toasted to bring out flavor if you like) and zucchini; mix well. Drop by spoonfuls (same as chocolate chip cookies) on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Allow to cool on pan for about 5 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Roasted Beet, Cucumber and Goat Cheese Salad

I used three ingredients from the share to make this delicious salad--beets, cucumbers and spring onions. The only non-local ingredient was the goat cheese, which was from Vermont (not too far away). I always liked the taste of roasted beets--as with most roasting, the technique brings out the sweetness of this veggie in a way that almost makes them taste as sweet as candy. Adding the beets to the cool cucumber, some greens and the creamy goat cheese make for a refreshing summer salad. I started with Giada de Laurentiis' recipe and substituted from there. I did not have any walnuts on hand, but I think they would be a great addition to this recipe for a little extra crunch and layer of flavors.

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 spring onion (head and stems) thinly sliced
1 tablespoon honey/agave nectar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 medium beets, washed, trimmed and halved
5 cups fresh arugula/beet greens
1 large cucumber, sliced in 1/4 inch cubes
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped (optional)
4 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, coarsely crumbled

Line a baking sheet with foil. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Whisk the vinegar, top of spring onion (finely diced), and honey or agave in a medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with salt and pepper. Toss the beets in a small bowl with enough dressing to coat. Place the beets on the prepared baking sheet and roast until the beets are slightly caramelized, about 20 minutes (turning once after 10 minutes) and tender but still firm. Set aside and cool. When cool, dice beets into 1/4 inch cubes.

Wash and dry the arugula or beet greens. If using beet greens, cut off any extra stem, roll into a chiffonade and cut into small pieces. Combine greens, diced cucumber, diced beets, diced stem of spring onion, and walnuts (optional) in a large bowl with enough vinaigrette to coat. Season the salad, to taste, with salt and pepper. Marinate for up to an hour if desired, sprinkle with goat cheese just prior to serving.

Peaches and Mint

I found local peaches at Harris Teeter and have already put them to good use with the mint we got in our share this week. For a snack, I prepared sliced peaches with chopped mint. I think this could be a great salad with the addition of some feta cheese--it's probably so tasty you wouldn't even need a dressing. I also made some peach-mint iced tea by muddling a half of a peach with some of the mint, then adding brewed tea and juice from 1/2 a lemon. I didn't add any sweetener because the peaches were so ripe I thought it might not need it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Zucchini Bread: A Tasty Way to Eat Your Green Veggies

I had quite a few zucchinis and yellow squashes to wrestle with this week. So naturally, I turned to zucchini bread to help me knock off at least one very large zucchini that was just staring me down in the fridge. Zucchini bread recipes can be overly high in fat or overly sweet (I once made a Paula Deen recipe which would surely send you to the dentist for a filling from all the sugar in it), so I started with a low-fat recipe from and made some of my own tweaks from there.

3 eggs (whites only)
2 c. sugar (I used 1 c. white, 1 c. brown)
2 c. grated zucchini (I used 1 large zucchini which seemed like a bit more than 2 cups)
3 tsp. vanilla
1 c. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
3 c. flour (I used half all-purpose and half whole wheat flour)
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Mix egg whites and sugar, then add all the other ingredients. Divide into two bread pans which have been sprayed with any cooking spray. Bake 50 to 60 minutes at 350 degrees until a knife comes out clean when inserted into the center of the bread.

The loaves turned out delicious and moist (may have been due to the extra zucchini). Now I just have to stay away from the extra loaf for the next 24 hours, when we take it to our hosts at the beach house this weekend...

Peruvian Aji Sauce--It's Probably Good on Almost Everything

What do you do with a whole mess of lettuce when you know you're going away for the weekend? You make aji sauce, and a lot of it. Then you put it on everything you eat before you leave and take it with you on your trip to the beach. I had never made this before, but I had heard it was delicious (especially on roast chicken). This is the recipe I used, of course with my own special spin on it.

1/4 to 1/2 head of lettuce, torn into pieces (iceberg is fine, romaine is better)
2-3 jalapeno chiles, seeds and veins removed
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 c. non-fat plain yogurt
5 spring onions, head and stems chopped finely
1 bunch of cilantro leaves (try to avoid the stems)
salt & pepper to tast
1 tsp garlic powder/2 cloves whole garlic crushed
juice of 1 lemon
Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Refrigerate to store and serve on anything of your choice!

The spring onions were also from the share, so I knocked off two CSA veggies in one recipe. I put some of the sauce on my salmon burger at lunch today and it was pretty tasty. I ate the burger along with a salad with veggies from the share (lettuce, yellow squash and spring onions), along with some leftover garlic scape pasta. A pretty local lunch, right?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Garlic Scape Pesto

Do you like garlic? Ok do you really, really love garlic? If so, you will love garlic scape pesto, which will help answer the question, "What the heck do I do with these garlic scapes that I got in my share this week?" I improvised on a recipe that I found online since I didn't have any almonds in the house and could only scrounge up a handful of walnuts. I decided to add a tablespoon of tahini to see if it added the nutty flavor I was missing, but it didn't seem to cut the garlic taste enough for the number of scapes that I used. Anyways, take this recipe and doctor it how you like!

Makes about 1 1/2 cups
2 bunches garlic scapes (about 15 or so), finely chopped
1/3 to 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan (to taste and texture)
1/3 cup slivered almonds (you could toast them lightly, if you'd like) [my substitution was 1 handful of walnuts and 1 T. of tahini aka sesame paste]
About 1/2 cup olive oil
Sea salt
Lemon juice to taste (optional)

Put the scapes, 1/3 cup of the cheese, almonds and half the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor (or use a blender or a mortar and pestle). Whir to chop and blend all the ingredients and then add the remainder of the oil and, if you want, more cheese. If you like the texture, stop; if you'd like it a little thinner, add some more oil. Season with salt.

Serve over pasta. Reserve some of the pasta's cooking water (about 1/2 to 1 cup) to toss with the pesto and prepared pasta if the pesto is not liquid enough to coat the pasta evenly when you toss it together.

If you're not going to use the pesto immediately, press a piece of plastic against the surface to keep it from oxidizing. The pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days or packed airtight and frozen for a couple of months, by which time tomatoes should be at their juciest.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Turnip Potato Scallion Pancakes

This week's turnips seemed like a bigger challenge this week. Last week I was lazy and just roasted them. Could I do something more creative this week with a bigger bunch to tackle? I decided there must be a way to make something like a cross between a potato pancake and a scallion pancake that would be delicious. In college one summer I worked at a Chinese restaurant and I remember loving the scallion pancakes and their soy dipping sauce. I tried to re-create those flavors, incorporating turnips, spring onions and zucchini from the share with the addition of potatoes and some other ingredients. An on-the-fly dipping sauce turned out pretty well. My husband and neighbors all gave it a thumbs up--so I hope you try it too!

I started with a recipe from Gourmet I found online, doubled it, and improvised from there.

Turnip and Potato Patties Recipe

1 pound turnips, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 2 2/3 cups or 5 medium-sized turnips)
12 oz potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 2 cups or 3 medium-sized potatoes)
1 small yellow zucchini cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup of water from boiled vegetables
4 spring onions, top part halved and diced along with tops finely diced (like scallions)
2 eggs, beaten lightly
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
Vegetable/canola oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1) In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the turnip and potato cubes for 8 minutes, then add the zucchini and cook for another 7 minutes until all vegetables are tender but not mushy, and drain them. In a bowl, mash them with a fork and stir in the scallions, the egg, flour, and salt and pepper to taste. Alternatively, you can add 1/2 cup of water from boiling the vegetables and blend with an immersion blender.

2) Coat the bottom of a large, heavy bottomed skillet with about 1/4-inch of the oil. Heat the pan on medium to medium-high heat until the surface of the oil begins to shimmer, but not smoke. Spoon approximately 1 T. mounds of the turnip potato batter into the pan, flattening them into 1/4-inch thick patties with the back of a spatula. Fry the patties until they are golden, turning them once, about 3-4 minutes on each side. (Don't futz with them or they will break apart when you turn them--just touch them once when you are flipping and they have hardened into a pancake shape.) Transfer the patties to paper towels to drain off excess oil. Makes 15-20 smaller-sized patties. Four to five patties are a serving for a main dish, two for an appetizer.

Dipping Sauce
Combine the following ingredients in a small bowl.
3 T. light soy sauce
2 T. dark soy sauce
2 T. scallions (or tops of spring onions)
2 cloves of shredded garlic
1 T. shredded ginger
4 T. vegetable oil
1 t. agave nectar
1/2 t. spicy black bean sauce
Mix thoroughly. You might have to re-mix before serving as the oil separates from the rest of the ingredients easily.

I served these pancakes with a green salad, using lettuce, shredded zucchini and spring onions from the share, along with carrots and a homemade dressing. It made me feel a little better eating a salad with such a delicious fried main dish!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Garlic Scapes, Zucchini and Turnips Galore

This week the lettuce is tapering off and the root veggies and summer squash seem to be in full throttle. Here's our share for the week:

1 head of lettuce and some loose-leaf lettuce
1 lg. bunch of turnips
1 lg. bunch of spring onions
5 lg. zucchinis (yellow and green)
2 bunches of garlic scapes

What are your recipe ideas? Someone at the share pick up today mentioned garlic pesto, which I just might try! Stay tuned...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

More Mac & Peas Please!

I have always liked peas stirred into boxed mac & cheese. Since we got about a cup of fresh peas (in the pods) in our share this week, I decided to make homemade macaroni & cheese with peas. I used this recipe at
All with a few modifications with what I had on hand in the kitchen. I was a little worried that my cheese sauce was a bit on the lumpy side (I still have to perfect my roux), but my son and husband still gave it an A+ rating. (I am starting to worry about grade inflation and not sure if the rating system is truly reflective of my cooking skills.) Here's a picture after we had already served ourselves. Sorry it's not that pretty!


8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
1 c. shelled peas, washed
1 c. shredded Colby jack cheese
1 c. shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup grated/shredded Parmesan cheese
3 cups milk
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 pinch paprika

1) Cook macaroni for approximately 5 minutes, then add in the peas and blanche with the pasta for another 2 minutes. Drain.

2) In a saucepan, melt butter or margarine over medium heat. Stir in enough flour to make a roux. Add milk to roux slowly, stirring constantly. Stir in cheeses, and cook over low heat until cheese is melted and the sauce is a little thick. Put macaroni & peas in large casserole dish, and pour sauce over macaroni. Stir well.

3) Melt butter or margarine in a skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and brown. Spread over the macaroni and cheese to cover. Sprinkle with a little paprika.

4) Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes. Serve.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Roasted Turnips, Sweet Onions and Zucchini

I never know what to do with turnips, so I just decided to roast them this week, along with some other yummy veggies from our share. They turned out pretty well, but weren't as delicious as the sweet and sour cole slaw, which was a huge hit! Here's my recipe for the roasted veggies:

3-4 lg. Asian white turnips, 1/2 inch dice
3-4 garlic scapes, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 large yellow zucchinis, 1/2 inch dice
5-6 spring onions tops, cleaned and halved
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 t. thyme
salt & pepper to taste
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread veggies and garlic scapes evenly over the pan. Add olive oil and seasonings on top. Roast for 35-40 minutes at 375 degrees until turnips and zucchini are tender but not mushy. Serve hot or cold.

To Die For Sweet and Sour Cole Slaw

You will never give a cabbage the hairy eyeball again if you make this delicious salad, which received an A+ rating from my husband at dinner tonight. It's an adaptation of a recipe from Lorna Sass' "Complete Vegetarian Kitchen":

Try to prepare this slaw a few hours before serving for best taste (allowing it to properly marinade).

1 medium cabbage (1 1/2 pounds)--I used half of a large head
2 large carrots, coarsely grated
1/3 cup dried cherries, raisins, cranberries or apricots (I used a combination of raisins and cranberries)
1 large radish, shredded
1 small apple, finely diced
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
2/3 c. canola oil
2 T. agave or maple syrup (I used agave)
5 T. apple cider vinegar
1 t. salt
1/4 t. all spice
1/8 t. dry mustard
juice of a whole lemon

1. Quarter the cabbage, remove and discard the central white core. Shred the cabbage by cutting very thin slices along the length of each quarter. You should have about 6 cups, tightly packed.
2. Place the shredded cabbage in a large bowl. Toss in the carrots, dried fruit, apple, and red onion.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients to prepare the dressing. Pour dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
Variation: For some extra pizzaz, Lorna Sass recommends adding 1 t. caraway seeds. I did not do this because I did not have caraway seeds on hand and the salad was still quite delicious!

Today's Lunch and Dinner

For lunch, I made a green salad using the lettuce and radishes from our share, along with some raspberries that were on sale this week and some shaved parmesan cheese. I did a simple dressing of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, along with some salt and pepper. Dinner was a salmon burger with lettuce from our share, along with roasted veggies and sweet and sour cole slaw, using the cabbage and radishes from our share. See the recipes that follow this post for dinner's side dishes.

A Cabbage the Size of a Human Head

We got a *humongous* head of cabbage this week in our share. It is seriously the size of a large human head. I need your ideas of what to do with it! It's hot here in DC so I'm thinking cold salads, not something where I have to heat up the oven much. Thoughts?

The Asparagus Is Here!

We just got asparagus in our share this week, so last night I made a simple supper of salmon, steamed zucchini and asparagus from the share and some homemade focaccia with roasted tomato and red onion from the bread maker. A pretty delicious and healthy dinner!

Roasted Tomato and Spring Onion Quiche

Here's a quiche I made using a variation of Rachel Ray's recipe for roasted tomatoes and doctoring a basic quiche recipe. I used cherry tomatoes and added some of the spring onions from the share and they both turned out sweet and smoky--a great addition to a quiche. Can't wait for the "real" CSA tomatoes later in the season so I can experiment with this recipe some more.

Pie crust, frozen or home made
4 eggs
1/3 c. plain yogurt & 1/3 c. milk
1 c. cheese, grated or combination of cheeses (optional)
Approximately 1 c. roasted tomatoes and spring onions (see header)
parsley (optional)
Whip eggs until fluffy and add milk. Stir together and add filling mixture. Sprinkle cheese over bottom of pie crust and fill with egg-milk mixture. Bake at 375 degrees 35 to 40 minutes. Top will be golden brown. Allow to cool some before cutting.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Spinach Pizza Party

I've recently discovered how easy it is to make pizza dough in my bread maker. You can also buy dough to make homemade pizza at Trader Joe's, Italian specialty stores such as A. Litteri or at a pizza shop. This one in the picture is one I made using a mix of white and wheat dough. I rolled it very thin so it was crispy. For toppings, I put tomato sauce, roasted spring onions from the share, roasted cherry tomatoes, spinach from the share, chopped parsley, dried basil and oregano, mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper. I like to drizzle a little bit of oil over the top of the pizza before putting it in a 425 degree oven for 12-15 minutes. Depending on the thinness of the crust, watch it so it doesn't burn!

I served the pizza with the Super Summer Salad with a slight variation on the dressing: Whisk together 3 T. olive oil, 1 T. balsamic vinegar, 1/2 t. dijon mustard and 1 t. agave nectar. The dressing had a more delicate flavor that went better with the fruit.

A Sink Full of Spinach

I find it's best to wash delicate greens by soaking them in a big tub of water in the kitchen sink. All the dirt settles to the bottom of the sink and then you can give them a quick spin in the salad spinner to get rid of excess water. To store, I wrap bunches of the mixed greens and spinach in paper towels and put them in a Ziploc bag. This is a trick I learned from my grandmother to keep excess moisture from prematurely rotting your salad greens.

Easy Homemade Iced Tea

Here's a picture of some iced tea that I brewed to use up the gorgeous Korean mint from our share. The Korean mint has a slight licorice flavor to it, but I think it still worked for this tea. I added blue agave for sweetener and the juice of a whole lemon. A refreshing summer drink!

A Semi-Homemade Lunch

I took some of the mixed greens and made a cross between a salad and a dumpling platter for lunch, using Trader Joe's delicious frozen dumplings, which cook up in just a few minutes in a fry pan. I sprinkled some cherry tomatoes on top and then made a dipping sauce for the dumplings, which also made a nice dressing for the greens when I was done chowing down on the dumplings. Recipe for the dressing was just soy sauce, olive oil, ginger and garlic if I recall!

Strawberry Parfait

I made this a couple of days ago, when we first got our strawberries from the share. It's a delicious and healthy dessert. I used some granola I made homemade from a recipe from the Washington Post. I started with a layer of plain yogurt, then did a layer of strawberries, then a layer of strawberry yogurt and some granola then topped with more strawberries. Everyone was begging for seconds!

A Super Summer Salad

Using the strawberries and mixed greens from the share, I made a summer fruit salad. I also incorporated apples from Virginia and Amish blue cheese from Pennsylvania, as well as grapes and cherry tomatoes. The salad dressing was homemade using soy sauce, dark mustard, grated ginger, grated garlic (optional), olive oil and blue agave.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Red Lentil Coconut Curry

Here's an adaptation of a recipe from the cookbook "Simply in Season" that used the following ingredients from the share: 1/2 cabbage from last week's share; 1 head of broccoli, and 2 small zucchinis. Serves 8-10, quite a crowd or good for leftovers!

1 large onion (minced)
2 T. olive oil
1 T. garlic (minced)
1 T. ginger root (peeled and minced)
1/2 t. curry powder
1 1/2 t. garam masala
dash of red pepper flakes (to taste)
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
3 bay leaves
13.5 oz can of coconut milk (preferably lite)
1/4 c. tamari or soy sauce
1 c. tomato sauce
2 c. dried lentils (preferably organic)
6 c. water
1 medium-sized head of broccoli (or cauliflower), cut into 1 1/2 inch florets
1 large sweet potato (peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes)
1/2 head of cabbage (cut in 1 1/2 inch pieces)
1-2 cups of peas (optional)

In a large soup pot saute minced onion in olive oil over medium-high heat until transparent but not browned. Add garlic, ginger and all dried spices, reducing heat to medium-low. Cook and stir constantly for 3 minutes; do not let onion or spices brown.

Add coconut milk, soy sauce and tomato sauce to the pot and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring often.

Add red lentils, sweet potato and water, cooking over medium heat for 15 minutes until lentils and sweet potato are soft. Add broccoli/cauliflower, and zucchini, cooking until just tender. Add the peas and cook until just heated through or tender.

Serve over brown rice, quinoa or other grain of your choice with toppings such as Indian chutneys and pickles and plain yogurt. Optional: Serve with naan or whole grain bread for dipping!

Delicious Creamy Lettuce Soup

I got a couple of weird looks from my husband and neighbors when I said I made creamy lettuce soup. But they all loved it and ate it up when they tried it. I adapted a recipe from the blog
Hide the Cheese.

Here's my recipe below:

Creamy Lettuce Soup (aka a Good Way to Use Up a Bunch of Lettuce Before You Get More in Next Week's Share)

This recipe is a great way to use up wilted lettuce or those outer leaves that have seen better days. Don't use anything brown or slimy, though, as that will give the soup an off flavor.

4 tablespoons butter
3 cups chopped onion (about 3 medium)
2 bay leaves
1/4 t. coriander
1/4 t. thyme
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups diced potatoes
1 cup edamame, defrosted & shelled
6 cups vegetable stock or 1 bouillon cube and 6 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 cups chopped lettuce/assorted salad greens
1 bunch parsley
2 egg yolks (save the whites to make meringues)
1/2 cup milk
Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and spices and cook until it onions have softened, 7 or 8 minutes. Add the edamame and cook for a few minutes. Add the flour and stir until it has been fully incorporated. Add the potatoes and stir to coat them with the butter. Add the salt, and vegetable stock or bouillon cube and water. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are soft, 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the lettuce and parsley. Cook until completely wilted but still green, about 5 minutes. Extract bay leaves. Puree the soup with an immersion blender.

Just before you are ready to serve the soup, whisk together the egg yolks and milk or cream. While whisking, add a few ladlefuls of the soup and incorporate the egg mixture completely. Add the egg-soup mixture back into the soup pot and stir it in. If necessary, warm the soup over low heat, but do not allow it to simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with parmesan cheese and bread for dipping!

Monday, May 24, 2010

This Week's Share

2 heads of lettuce
2 bunches of spinach
1 bunch of mixed Asian greens
3 turnips
5 radishes
2 heads of broccoli
spring onions
5 small zucchinis
1 box of strawberries
Let this week's adventure begin!


Hello everyone,
I started writing about some of my CSA cooking adventures on my Facebook page, but recently decided to move it to an official food blog. Please join me as I attempt to creatively use the farm share I receive each week from
Jug Bay Market Garden.
I think it's important to support local farmers and eat as close to where you live as possible. Many nutrients are lost in transportation across the country, not to mention the carbon footprint made by all that trucking! You will note that all of my recipes are "pescatarian" or vegetarian, as that's what we usually eat in our house.
As Michael Pollan says, "Vote with your fork!"