Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pickled Chard

Chard with leaves. 
If you eat a lot of leafy greens a majority of the time the stem gets tossed into the trash. I found a recipe that uses the stem in a great innovative way and there is no cooking involved, just an exercise in patience. In the last issue of Bon Appetit  I found a little blurb about fridge pickles, using the stems of chard. I love just about anything pickled and I liked that this used an item that is not used very often. I doubled the recipe because I had about 3 cups of chard stems.
I did however add 1 less cup of sugar, mainly because I thought it was too much.
Here is the doubled recipe:
Swiss chard Stems
2 cups of white vinegar
3 cups of sugar
1 thinly sliced onion
6 Tablespoons of Sriracha
1 teaspoon of celery seed
Mix the vinegar, sugar, onion, Sriracha, and celery seed. Pour it over the chopped chard stems. Let hang out in fridge for a few days and then eat. 
Pickled chard

These are really good sweet and slightly spicy because of the Sriracha. We've just been snacking on them periodically but I think they would be really great in a sandwich. This is a great item to have on hand now that summer is in full swing, something that is easy to make, eat, and is great for the summer get together, beach party and lazy evenings ahead.

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Birthday Beach Quiche

 We were going to celebrate my mom's birthday in an early evening beach picnic and I wanted to make something that would travel well, could sit at room temperature for a while, and would be easy to eat at the beach. I also wanted to use collard greens because nothing says birthday beach picnic like collard greens.

 Looking through collard green recipes, a common pairing is collards with bacon. I've been avoiding this combo just because I wanted something else to make that was a  little bit more exciting. Then  I found a recipe on Food52 for a Beloved Greens Quiche.
Quiche might just be the perfect food. It can be eaten for any meal, it is good warm or at room temperature, and just about anything can be put into a quiche. Quiche is actually pretty easy to make as well, the most time consuming process is letting the dough chill.
I followed the recipe pretty closely, making my dough early in the day and then assembling the rest later. This recipe calls for 2 cups of cooked collard greens but I added an extra cup just because I wanted to use all of the greens. In the ingredients it lists cheddar cheese but I didn't add it. When I pulled the quiche out of the oven it was big giant egg poof. It looked really cool. This tasted great, no wonder collards and bacon are paired together so much.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Lima Bean Veggie Burgers

This is a picture of the newest box. Summer is making an appearance with the arrival of peaches and zucchini. The peaches are amazing, I didn't have the patience to make anything from them and ate them up. The  recipe for Peasant Beets also was made from the contents of this box. The little bag of dried Lima beans has had me thinking. Thinking as in what am I going to do with them. I usually buy my beans already cooked contained in a can with the goopy bean water.

 After finding the best method to soak the beans, which is to pour boiling water over them and letting them soak for about an hour and a half. The beans are still firm but have grown in size by half.
Dried Lima Beans from DeBusschere Ranch
Soaked Beans, they do look bigger

I thought a veggie/bean patty would be the best way to utilize the beans, having not made a veggie patty I found a recipe from 101 Cookbooks and used it as a guideline.
Lima Bean Veggie Patties 
2 1/2 -3 cups of soaked Lima beans
one medium sized zucchini
3 eggs
a good sprinkling of salt
one onion chopped
1 cup of breadcrumbs
zest and juice of 1 lemon
about a handful of cilantro

Combine the beans, eggs, zucchini, and salt in a food processor, mix until it is a consistency of a chunky hummus. Put your zucchini bean mixture in a separate bowl and add onion, cilantro, and lemon. Add the breadcrumbs and let them soak the moisture up for a couple minutes. My mixture was moist but not liquidy, 
Bean patty cooking.
Using a cast iron skillet and coating it with a fair amount of olive oil I formed my bean patties and let them cook for about 7 minutes per side, I wanted them brown on each side. I know that I was turning them to soon when they didn't stay in one piece. The mixture made about 10 patties. 

This was a good experiment. They kind of tasted a little like falafel but lighter, probably because it wasn't deep fried. I now want to make everything into a veggie patty. I would also like to try to make a vegan version, one without eggs, but I don't know what would make it stick together. These were good with a little salad on the side and reheated nicely for an easy lunch to take to work.

This was the first finished batch.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Peasant Beets

I found a recipe on Food52 for Peasant Beets that uses the beet greens and a bunch of chard. This is just a different version of my Delightful Beets to Share. This recipe involves a little more cooking than the Delightful Beets but uses more ingredients from the box. I made a few adaptations to the recipe because I didn't have some ingredients.

French "Peasant" Beets
4-6 Beets with greens
1 Bunch of Swiss chard
3 Tablespoons Butter
2 cloves of garlic chopped
Ground Pepper
A leftover glass of red wine from the night before (about 2-3 tablespoons
2 Tablespoons of water
  1. Scrub and peel the beets. Remove the greens and chop coarsely. Set the greens aside in a large prep bowl. Slice beets into 1/4 rounds.
  2. Remove the stems from the Swiss chard, and then coarsely chop the leaves and place in bowl with beet greens.
  3. In a large pan, melt butter. Saute garlic.
  4. Add beet rounds to the garlic butter mixture. Crack some pepper and salt over the beets. Reduce heat and saute beets turning over periodically to ensure even cooking. 
  5. About 15 minutes later when beets are beginning to glaze and become tender, add beet greens and chard. Saute for about 5 minutes than add wine and cover. Cook until greens are wilted adding water if necessary. Allow liquid to be mostly absorbed into greens adjust seasonings.
  6. Scoop greens and beets into a shallow bowl. Serve with some crusty bread and your favorite tangy spreadable cheese of choice.
I made this as a late lunch and it was really easy and fairly fast when you want to eat right away. The thing that takes the longest is washing and destemming the greens. I think my greens far outnumbered the beets but it was good just the same. When we ate this for lunch we ate it with goat cheese which was great. There are so many flavors going on with this dish it's sweet, and earthy, yet a little peppery as well. I  had it later with some Humboldt Fog, which is one of the best cheeses ever, and it was just a little bit more decadent. Whatever you pair it with it will be filling and cause daydreams of sitting in France.

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Chocolate Zucchini Multigrain Muffins

What do you make when a bunch of girls are getting together to drink wine, and look at trashy magazines? Something involving chocolate. And what goes great with chocolate? Zucchini. To be more specific Chocolate Zucchini Ten Grain Muffins.These turned out to be a nice little late night snack that were simple and easy to throw together.
I had originally planned to make this recipe for Chocolate and Zucchini Cake, when I discovered I didn't have enough flour. Have you ever gone to make something and found that you are out of a staple item. This is what ended up happening to me and I ended up substituting  a cup of Bob's Red Mill Ten Grain Cereal for a cup of flour. Which is when the cake turned into muffins, which are easier to manage while riffling through a magazine.
When I bake with zucchini I always think I'm going to use a fair amount of it, until it's grated and 2 cups of grated zucchini only uses about 1 and 1/2. It is a little weird to be eating chocolate flavored muffins and find strands of zucchini mixed in, but they give a nice moist flavor.
This photo was taken with my phone. It looks like there are chocolate zucchini muffins invading the kitchen.
The inclusion of the grain cereal added a great texture as well. Who knew chocolate, grains, and zucchini would go so well together.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Delightful Beets To Share

A few years ago my friend Megan made this sweet red onion migrogreen relish. It was delish. I decided to amend her relish used some store bought already cooked and peeled beets. From that day on  I have made it numerous times for parties, family gatherings, and even for a wedding. With the inclusion of beets in the box lately, I have been making my salad/relish for birthdays and late night hang outs. I don't really know what to call my beet combination, I called it a compote for a while, and then a salad, or a relish. Whatever the name the taste is always great. When serving it in a group there is usually someone who expresses their distaste for beets, and upon trying a little beet mixture I usually have converted them. So here is how to make it.
 Just a note I don't really know how much I put in of each ingredient I usually just eyeball it, so that everything is equally represented.
Beet Relish/Salad/Compote Deliciousness 

4 midsized beets
About a quarter to a half of a red onion chopped
Organic Microgreens 
1 Tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
  1. Wash your beets to get all the dirt off of them. Then wrap them in foil and place in a 350 degree oven for about an hour. You want them roasted to the point where they can be poked easily with a fork. When done let them rest and cool, their skins should peel off easily.
  2.  When the beets are completely cool chop them up and put in a bowl. Dice up your red onion and throw in a handful of microgreens. You can buy microgreens at Trader Joe's. 
  3. Add balsamic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. I normally don't measure the vinegar or olive oil so a Tablespoon is a good place to start and then go from there. If you feel like you need more of any of the ingredients, add it.
When everything is together it will have a nice purple hue.  Now you can either let it sit for a little bit and let the flavors marinate or serve right away. This is so easy to make, the most time consuming thing is roasting the beets.  It's crunchy and sweet, and while each ingredient has a distinct taste, together they work wonderful. It's great on the side as a salad. If your going to a party bring some sliced bread along or make crostini and serve as an appetizer. If you really want to steal the show at the party take along some goat cheese and be prepared to receive praise.
A little crostini dressed up with beets.
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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Grilled Salad For Memorial Day

Having a holiday weekend has placed my blog posting into a little bit of a holiday. Memorial Day seems to bring about the beginning and ending of many seasonal things, but most of all we tend to memorialize with the help of the barbecue.
What better way to celebrate with family and friends than to barbecue along with some veggies. A few weeks ago in the L.A. Times there was a recipe for a grilled kale salad with a yogurt dressing and hazelnuts. Upon seeing this recipe I knew a time would come when I would make it, and nothing says Memorial Day to me like grilled kale.
This turns into....
There were about ten of us and I realized that I didn't have enough kale for all so I decided to grill the romaine as well.  Making sure both the kale and the lettuce had a nice coating of olive oil and grilling them for a few minutes it comes out with a nice charred flavor.
The dressing is really easy and somewhat healthy being yogurt based. For some reason I was convinced that there was lemon in the dressing and added a little to the dressing anyways. I also used a spring onion instead of a shallot. This salad has to be served right away after grilling so make sure the dressing and hazelnuts are toasted before the greens are grilled.

Everyone loved this salad. It was crunchy, light, had a nice barbecued flavor but also had a freshness due to the mint included in the dressing. While the kale (and lettuce) are still appearing I plan to enjoy them in a new way that evokes warm summer nights

And while I'm at it here is the newest delivery. That bag of white things are dried lima beans which are a new adventure for me. What would you do with them?

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