Category Archives: greens

two lunches

Sorry for the lack of updates lately! The internet has been a bit wonky for the past few weeks. Food on the farm right now is still a bit monotonous. Lots of kale, kale florets (taste like broccoli!), and eggs. However, we harvested our first bunch of asparagus last week and the rhubarb is coming in strong. Spinach is nearly ready for harvest and we trellised the first succession of peas today. Spring is definitely in the air!

Lunch is an important event of the day. These are two sandwiches that I have eaten a couple of times now and highly recommend these combinations, especially if you have access of farm fresh kale and eggs.

Grilled Cheese with Greens and Avocado

Saute a generous handful of kale (or kale florets if the kale is bolting fast) with a small clove of smashed garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes. When the greens are wilted, add a splash of apple cider or balsamic vinegar and pinch of salt. Stuff the greens into your favorite grilled cheese sandwich; mine has a layer of grainy mustard and half an avocado. Enjoy! Here, I enjoyed it with a side of yogurt with kumquat marmalade.

Egg Salad aux Fines Herbs

This was the first time I have made mayonnaise/aioli by hand, and I have to say that it was way easier than I expected. Just keep whisking! Or, use an immersion blender. I used a couple of egg yolks because mine were small and used half olive oil and half vegetable oil. Also, I know everyone knows how to hard boil an egg, but I like to bring the eggs in cold water up to a boil, remove from the heat, cover with a lid and let stand for 10 minutes. This results in a perfectly cooked white and a still slightly soft yolk.

For two sandwiches, hard boil four eggs. Cool, peel, and chop coarsely. Combine the eggs with a spoonful of mayo, a dollop of mustard, and small handfuls of finely chopped herbs of your choice. I used chervil (tiny, fine leaves with a slight licorice/anise flavor), parsley, cilantro, and sorrel (large-ish leaves with a lemony tang). Season well with salt and pepper. Serve on grainy bread, open faced or not. Once again, I added slices of avocado on top.

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raw kale salad

Kale is my most favorite vegetable. We usually eat at least two or three big bunches of it a week. Now that it is summertime and I really don’t want to turn the stove on, we eat a variation of this kale salad more often than I care to admit. After all, I am suppose to be running a food blog and trying all of these new recipes all the time, right? However, when it is summertime, especially in the Pacific Northwest, I generally eat a lot of fresh and raw foods and about 75% of my diet is berries.

This kale salad is way tastier than you think it will be. Lemony, cheesy dressing, crispy breadcrumbs, and pleasantly chewy kale? Yes, please.

A Raw Kale Salad

1 bunch of lacinato (aka dino, tuscan, or black) kale, washed, stems stripped, and sliced into think ribbons

1 clove of garlic, peeled and grated with a microplane

1 lemon

2 tbsp (or more) grated parmesan cheese OR nutritional yeast (this is a fairly common vegan ingredient and can be found at whole foods or similar stores, and it really tastes sort of cheesy)

big pinch of crushed red pepper

olive oil, salt and pepper

fresh bread crumbs, well toasted and crispy

Make the dressing:

In the serving bowl, grate in the garlic and the zest from the lemon. Add the lemon juice, red pepper, cheese/nutritional yeast, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk in olive oil, a couple of tablespoons, until the dressing is thinned out. If you need more liquid, add a bit of water or vegetable stock. Toss the kale in the dressing. You can let the kale marinate and break down a bit or just serve it as is. Top with the toasted bread crumbs and enjoy!

Note: Sometimes, I add a ripe avocado to this, by mashing 1/3 in with the dressing and cutting the rest into small cubes and add it to the salad with the kale. The acidic dressing will keep the avocado from browning.

Oh, and I have starting making this summer’s jams! Today i made this delicious vanilla rhubarb jam. Yum.

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coconut sweet potato and kale soup

continuing the soup and stew pattern, i made this fragrant soup a couple of weeks ago.  this is both incredibly delicious and nutritious!  this has a really warm scent that is intensified by the vanilla extract that is stirred in at the end.  if the thought of using vanilla in a savory application (like ferran adria’s vanilla whipped potatoes or lobster with a vanilla sauce) sounds strange to you, this is a good recipe to start out with and you can always leave it out.  the soup is naturally pretty sweet from the sweet potatoes so the vanilla is a natural match; the same is true with the whipped potatoes and lobster.  i am pretty into “garnishing” my food these days but that is mostly an excuse to add more flavors and textures. here i sprinkled some unsweetened shredded coconut and toasted chopped walnuts but, as with many other soups that i make, a spoon of plain yogurt would be a good match with its creaminess and acidity.

coconut, sweet potato, and kale soup

adapted from kath eats

several large sweet potatoes, washed and cubed.  i left the skin on for nutrients, but you can also peel them if you wish.

1 tbsp canola oil or other neutral oil

1 small to medium red onion diced

2-3 cloves garlic minced

about 1 can coconut milk.  i used lite.

1+ cup unsweetened soy milk.  you can use a dairy milk if  you wish.

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp curry powder

1/4 tsp ground coriander

generous sprinkle of cinnamon

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 bunch of kale cleaned, steams removed, and torn into bite sized pieces

generous handful of golden raisins

1 tsp good vanilla extract

salt and pepper

your choice of garnishes

in your soup pot, heat the canola oil over medium heat and add the onion.  sweat the onion until soft and add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute.  add the sweet potato and cook until they start to brown a bit.  add all of the spices and season.  after the spices toast for a bit, add the coconut milk and other milk and maybe about 1 can of water or stock.  lower the heat and simmer until the sweet potato is soft.  mash the sweet potato or for a finer texture puree in your blender.  depending on the amount of sweet potato you have, you may or may not need to add more liquid, either in water or stock form or in additional soy milk form.  when the puree is at your desired consistency, add the kale and raisins.  simmer until the kale is tender and the raisins are plumped.  taste and season and possibly add more liquid.  turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla.  serve and garish to your liking!

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(southern) collard greens

as we are steadily moving through winter, the variety of vegetables in season is reduced to greens, cabbages, and root vegetables.  not that i mind, of course.  i would take dark leafy greens over most other vegetables any day, especially kale and collard greens.  southern style greens are usually boiled with some porky product for hours until they are meltingly soft with an ample amount of pot liquor remaining.  since i do not eat meat, i wanted to make a vegetarian version without the pork, but with all of the savory flavor.  a vegan version for this style appeared in herbivoracious. the use of shitake mushrooms and good soy sauce or tamari is just the right ingredient needed for that umami flavor.  the smoked paprika gives these greens an additional layer of flavor.  i ate these on a sunday night with some cornbread and baked beans.

veganized southern style collard greens

from herbivoracious

1 large bunch of collard greens, cleaned, with the center rib removed and sliced into ribbons

1 small handful of fresh shitake mushrooms, cleans and sliced thinly

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 small onion thinly sliced

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 large pinch red pepper flakes

2 tsp or so good soy sauce or tamari

salt and pepper to taste

heat the oil over medium heat in your biggest pot.  add the onions and the mushrooms and cook until they start to color.  add the collards, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, soy sauce, and about 1/4-1/2 cup of water.  reduce the heat to low and cover and let everything simmer until tender, maybe 30 minutes at least.  check periodically to see if the greens need more water.  when the greens are cooked, uncover and turn the heat up and cook off some of the excess water.  check the seasonings and adjust.  it will most likely need more salt or soy sauce.  yum.

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swiss chard and bread crumbs

I used to make pasta dishes about once a week.  these days, i seem to be cooking and eating lots soups or roasted vegetables.  this sort of simple pasta dish is perfect before or after a long run.  Use any green that you have on hand.  the swiss chard was very tender in the end so i might use a sturdier green next time, like kale or rapini.  chickpeas or other beans help bulk up the pasta with some protein.  the bread crumbs provide a really nice texture against the softness of the pasta and the goat cheese gives a tiny bit of acidity that is needed.

swiss chard, chickpea, bread crumb, and goat cheese pasta

whole wheat linguini or other pasta (i used maybe 1/3 of a standard package)

1 medium onion diced

2 cloves garlic minced

1 large bunch of greens (swiss chard, kale, rapini, etc.) washed and sliced into ribbons

1 can of chickpeas or other bean

red pepper flakes

wine or stock for deglazing

balsamic vinegar

fresh breadcrumbs (make them yourself with old bread and a blender or food processor)

goat cheese and parmigiano to taste

parsley, finely chopped

set a large pot of water to boil, salt the water and add the pasta.  in a large sautee pan, heat a spoonful of olive oil and add the onion until translucent.  add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.  add a healthy pinch of red pepper flakes and the drained chickpeas.  deglaze the pan with some wine or stock and add the greens.  cover and cook until tender.  meanwhile, toast the breadcrumbs with a bit of butter.  when the greens have wilted, add a swirl of balsamic vinegar and toss.  drain the pasta and add to the greens.  make sure everything is well seasoned and add some pasta water so the sauce comes together.  serve with crumbled goat cheese, parmigiano shavings, breadcrumbs, and parsley.

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