Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Grapefruit Salad

Grapefruit and lettuce

The inclusion of grapefruit in the latest box did not cause excitement nor break into the not very well known grapefruit dance. I do not love grapefruit nor do I hate it. I love grapefruit flavored things, like grapefruit soda, it is delicious. Every once and a while a ruby red grapefruit is delightful but I do not crave them.
I figured the best way to use the grapefruit would be using it in a salad because of this large romaine heart. And no I do not put citrus into all of my salads.

 I found this recipe and it intrigued me because it had such strong ingredients that they seemed like it would work well together. The other reason why I chose this recipe was because I had everything on hand. I liked how this salad turned out. The tang of the grapefruit mixed well with the saltiness of the Parmesan and salami.
Just another simple salad to try with the bountiful supply of organic romaine.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

An All Season Minestrone

This is the latest shipment from South Central Farms. There is such a varying assortment of food including a couple of grapefruit. Another huge head of romaine has appeared as well, so salad has not disappeared from my diet. One new item that has appeared was a nice bunch of Italian parsley.

While searching for dishes to make that would include parsley, I found this contest winning recipe on Food52 and was sold. Not only did it use the parsley but it used all sorts of of other veggies that I had.

When I think of minestrone, I think of cold brisk air and the hearty tomato based soup warming me up. I decided that making one last wintry soup, before it gets really warm, was called for, especially since we've had a little bit of rain.
The following recipe is a modified version of the Food52 version. I will say that there are endless possibilities of changing this recipe and would all still end up with the same delicious result. I named it the All Season Minestrone because it uses vegetables from all four seasons.
Smoky Minestrone with Tortellini and Parsley Pesto
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 slices of bacon chopped into small pieces 
5 spring onions peeled and chopped
2 large cloves of garlic minced
8 medium sized carrots (I used the whole bunch)
1 zucchini + 1 little zucchini chopped
1 potato peeled and chopped
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 15oz can of cooked chickpeas
1 28oz can of peeled tomatoes with juice
one bunch of kale chopped fine (this is maybe about 3 cups)
9 oz of dried tortellini
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the bacon pieces and cook for a couple of minutes, until they start to brown.
  2. Add 2 more tablespoons of oil along with the onions and garlic. Continue to cook stirring occasionally, over medium heat until softened. 
  3. Add the chopped carrots, zucchini, potato and stir around for a minute or two.
  4.  Add the stock, the chickpeas, and then the tomatoes, crushing them with your hands as you go. Add a little salt if needed. Bring the soup to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook 30-40 minutes until the potatoes are just tender.
  5. Add the kale and the tortellini and continue to cook over a simmer until both are tender and cooked through. Serve garnished with a spoonful of pesto, a few drops of aged balsamic vinegar, and some Parmesan cheese.
Parsley Pesto
whole bunch of parsley
1 tablespoon of almonds
1 tablespoon of pepitas
3 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons of Parmesan
3ish tablespoons of olive oil
  1.  Everything was thrown into a food processor and blended together. 
 No wonder this won a prize, this is so good. This smelled so good from the start that I could have just eaten the cooked onions and garlic with the semi raw veggies as it was. It was easy to make, used a ton of vegetables, and I cannot stress enough how good this tasted. Especially with the parsley pesto, it added just a little bit of extra freshness to all the other wonderful flavors. And I don't know if you've ever added balsamic vinegar to minestrone but it is delicious and gives a nice acidic flavor.

Minestrone with parsley pesto

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Ten Grain Orange Muffins

One of my favorite items to make for breakfast is Orange Muffins. I use Nigella Lawson's recipe from Nigella Bites: From Family Meals to Elegant Dinners -- Easy, Delectable Recipes For Any Occasion.
It's a simple recipe and I've made them so many times the pages are warped and have various ingredients stuck to the pages, which is a sign of a good recipe . I recently bought a bag of Bobs 10 Grain Hot Cereal and had been wanting to make muffins with it. Inspiration struck at a sleepless early morning hour, when I decided to put the two together.

Ten Grain Orange Muffins
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup of self rising flour
1 cup of Bob's 10 Grain Cereal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup of sugar
zest of one orange
1/3 cup plus 1tablespoon fresh orange juice
1/3 cup plus one tablespoon milk
1 egg 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
Melt the butter and set aside. Combine the flour, cereal, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and orange zest in a large bowl. 
This is the carcass of the orange, everything was used.

Measure the orange juice and milk into another bowl and whisk in the egg, and then the cooled, melted butter. 
Now pour the liquid into the dry ingredients, mixing with a fork (this is a distinct direction from Nigella) mixing until just combined. 
Spoon the mixture into muffin cups and cook for 20 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack, but not too long so that they are still warm when you eat them. 

I love these muffins. They are easy to put together and are such a nice little treat to have in the morning. They are not overly sweet, and the grain cereal gave them a hearty texture. For some reason my batter was more liquidity than normal but they tasted fine and were all eaten that day.

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Salad Week # 3 - Egg Salad with Kale and Spring Onion

Egg Salad Sandwich
This is just a fast little post to continue with the salad week theme. Perhaps it was all the talk about the royal wedding, but I have been craving egg salad. I find egg salad comforting and it really is easy to make, the most laborious task is hard boiling the eggs. I thought kale would work well replacing the often used celery. I've also been using the spring onions in just about everything I can think of. A spring onion, looks a little bit like a scallion but is sweeter than a regular onion, and are great in just about anything.
I know I have two onions pictured here but I actually just used one
This was a great mix of flavors, it was crunchy, and kind of tasted like spring. I don't know if food can taste like a season but this tasted like spring to me. Mixing six hard boiled eggs, a large handful of destemmed, washed, and thinly chopped Blue Kale, and one spring onion. Then add mayonnaise, salt and pepper at your own discretion. Spread on some wonderful bread and enjoy
The bowl of egg salad mixed.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Salad Week - # 2 A Salad To Make Right Now

When Borders was closing it's doors, which is still very sad, my friend Tish and I went there and ransacked the cookbooks. In my bargain shopping cookbook frenzy I picked up Tangy Tart Hot and Sweet: A World of Recipes for Every Day by Padma Lakshmi. This is a great book, it has lots of pictures, and there are so many things I want to make from it.

While looking for a salad to make for the week, using this giant head of romaine, I found her recipe for A Very Herbaceous Salad. This salad could not be any easier, uses a minimal amount of ingredients and tastes so fresh.
The dressing is made up of
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar  (The recipe calls for sherry vinegar but not having any I opted for the balsamic)
Whisk ingredients in a large bowl. If not using right away put in the refrigerator to chill.
When ready to eat add to your bowl:
one peeled and sliced English cucumber, 
romaine lettuce cut into sections,
1/3 cup of chopped Italian parsley,
1/3 cup of chopped fresh dill, 
1/3 cup of chopped mint.
Mix well so that dressing is evenly distributed throughout. Serve immediately.
Herby Delicious Salad
Sometimes when I make salad, because it accompanies something else, we don't finish it all. Since there were only two of us eating I didn't use the full head of lettuce, not wanting to waste it. This salad was so good that we finished it all, first before anything else. I foresee myself making this salad more as the weather warms up. The combination of herbs could be mixed up to allow for different flavors, and with summer around the corner, cucumbers are sure to be in future box deliveries. This will be something I will make again and I encourage you to as well.
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Friday, May 6, 2011

Start Of Salad Week - Beet And Orange Salad

A new box has come and the variety is starting to show. After a long cold, wet  winter that brought tons of leafy hearty green the appearance of color and variety is welcome. Hello carrots, favas, and spring onions. Oh and oranges, from Rainbow Valley Orchards. So excited that fruit is going to be appearing. Another surprise that appeared in my mail this week was a new South Central Farms tote bag. It is large and spacious and holds all sorts of fun things, like this weeks delivery of new produce. To see about getting a cool bag or a box of fun spring vegetables and fruit go here.
As the weather is warming up I've decided to make a themed week of salad, mostly because I have lots of lettuce.

The first salad I made is adapted from this recipe for Roasted Beets and Citrus with Feta.  For the salad I used spinach, red romaine, beets, and an orange. I didn't have any feta and used Parmesan, which was good but didn't give the good amount of salty bite that feta has. The dressing was sweeter than I would have liked, but I was still able to taste the Dijon mustard. This salad is also supposed to have grapefruit segments as well, which would have made it even sweeter, but I opted to omit them, replacing them with avocado. We ate this for lunch with a little frozen pizza on the side.
The players
We had a fair amount of leftovers, and ate them the next day. Normally leftover salad doesn't hold up very well but, this one actually tasted great. The dressing lost a little of the sweetness. The lettuce hadn't been totally immersed in dressing and still had a crunch. I also added little goat cheese crumbles which had a nice tang that worked with this beet hued salad of goodness. Make this and enjoy it even more the following day.
This is the salad from the first day, there are oranges in it they all just fell to the bottom. Why does the good stuff always end up under the lettuce?

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