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Posts tagged ‘farmers market’

White Bean and Sausage Stew

This post could also be called “How I fed my family of five a hearty meal with amazing ingredients for $10.00 and still had leftovers”, but it’s not.

“White Bean and Sausage Stew” seemed a bit more appropriate.

My CSA recently announced that dried beans are now an optional box add-on. This is so exciting to me because I love me some beans! I had never, ever cooked white beans before (I know, it’s terrible) so I opted for the “organic white garden beans” in last week’s box. It was time to experiment.

I did some research, sorted through some recipes, talked to my Chef friend and combined ideas to come up with what I think is one of the tastier CSA creations I have cooked up. 🙂 I also love that the beans, scallions (green onions), thyme and rosemary are all local items from my CSA. I meant to throw in some kale from my box and totally forgot. Furthermore, had I planned ahead, I could have ordered some stewed heirloom tomatoes in my box in place of the grape tomatoes. Next time.  This time around, here’s how it came together:

Ingredients:

1 pound of white beans

1 large or 2 small scallions

2 bay leaves

1 tsp salt

1 cup grape tomatoes

1 large sausage of your choice (I used Whole Foods’ chicken jalapeno sausage…about 1/2 pound)

4 slices of bacon, chopped and cooked crispy

1 tsp fresh rosemary

1/2 tsp dried thyme

Start with your beans. My bag had 2 pounds of beans, and I used roughly half of it. I forgot to soak them last night so I soaked them this morning for about 4 or 5 hours.

A  couple hours before I wanted to serve dinner, I set them to simmer  with 1 sliced large scallion (if yours are small, maybe slice two), 2 bay leaves and some pink himalayan sea salt. I added enough water so that there is about an inch of water over the beans and simmered for about an hour.

beans1

Make sure you use a pot larger than you think you need. I had mine in a saucepan at first, but these beans foamed up something crazy and spilled over. Nice.

Once beans were in a proper sized pot, I pulsed about a cup of grape tomatoes in the food processor until chopped well. You could slice them in half if you like them chunkier or puree if you don’t want chunks at all. It’s up to you.

I then cooked up one chicken and jalapeno sausage from Whole Foods. It’s seriously a half pound sausage so I only needed one. I didn’t cook it all the way through, just toasted it up on all sides so that it would hold together when I sliced it for the stew.

Once beans are fairly tender (this was about an hour and 15 minutes in for me), add the tomatoes, sliced sausage pieces, thyme and rosemary.

beans2

Cover and simmer for another 45 minutes or until desired thickness is reached, stirring occasionally.

While it simmered, I cooked up some nitrate free/uncured bacon (ends and pieces from Trader Joe’s is a great deal!) and (confession time), some corn bread. Yum.

I served it up hot with crispy bacon and buttered corn bread. It doesn’t get much better.

beans3

Wait, yeah it does…leftovers tomorrow.

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Lemon-y Garlicky Kale

The kale coming out of the ground right now is so mild and delicious. I cannot possibly get enough of it! I keep pairing it with everything on the dinner table. I think my family is growing tired of it, but I,  clearly, am not. I am endlessly grateful for living in an area with such incredible farmers who put out such fantastic produce. It’s a real gift to have access to it.

I made some herbed fried chicken the other night with lebanese coriander potatoes and a galicky, lemon-y kale that was to die for.

SOOO easy too. Really doesn’t get better than this.

Ingredients:

1 bundle kale, stems removed, leaves torn into 2 inch pieces, rinsed and dried.

1 tbsp minced garlic

1/4 cup water

2 tbsp oil (I used sunflower)

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

salt to taste

Preparation:

Heat oil in skillet

Add garlic and heat briefly…you dont want it to burn!

Add kale, and quickly toss to coat.

Before garlic begins to brown too much, add water, toss, and turn heat down to med-low, braising for about 5 minutes, or until kale is tender.

Once kale is the tenderness you like, remove from pan, shaking off any excess liquid.

Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with the lemon juice.

Toss to coat, serve.

lebanesepotatoes2

This was SOO good with the lebanese potatoes I made…they were perfection when combined!

I’m loving the leafy greens of the current season. So good for you, so delicious, and so gratifying to support my favorite local farmer in the process!

 

Lebanese Coriander (Cilantro) Potatoes

I love potatoes. I love middle eastern food. I love to make things that are different and unexpected, yet oddly familiar and comforting. Therefore, I love this recipe.

I also love how easy it is. Furthermore, its a great way to use cilantro (or coriander) which is so prevelant in our area right now. 🙂

I got some awesome cilantro in my CSA box this past week, and I’m always looking for new ways to use it. I usually put it over tacos, mexican soups, in salads or in salsas. I wanted something different this time.

Enter Lebanese coriander potatoes. 🙂

This recipe was so great because I am also totally into all things lemon right now. I love all the citrus in the winter, and made sure to get a few lemons from my fave farm too.

The ingredient list is very simple:

3-4 pounds potatoes, cubed

2 TBSP minced or crushed garlic (I like to use Trader Joe’s already pulverized variety, but you can use whatever you want.)

4 TBSP fresh lemon juice

Your favorite cooking oil (I use high oleic sunflower.)

1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro

The process is pretty simple too:

Combine the garlic, lemon and cilantro in a large bowl.

Fry the cubed potatoes until tender and golden brown.

fried potaotes

 

Drain, add to large bowl.

Toss to coat. Season as desired with your favorite salt (I used himalayan pink salt.)

Serve at room temperature.

lebanesepotatoes1

I served these with some pan fried herbed chicken, and sauteed lemon/garlic kale.

lebanesepotatoes2

 

So super yummy and a pretty awesome way to use local, organic produce. Can’t go wrong with that!

 

 

“Cold Buster” Smoothies

In all honesty, I am not sure these would help you bust a cold, but my 13 year old son swears it does. He’s the only kid that didn’t catch the cold that took down his mom and sisters, so maybe he’s on to something drinking these.

It’s also a pretty delicious  way to enjoy the gorgeous oranges in my CSA box.

oranges

Pretty simple stuff.

Blend:

four oranges, peeled

1 cup whole, raw milk

1/4 cup real maple syrup

1 cup raw cream (he has also used vanilla yogurt and loves it)

4 raw *pastured* egg yolks (like, from a farm…not a factory)

2 tsp vanilla

1-2 cups ice

Blend until creamy and frothy. Serves two to three.

Vitamin C, natural probiotics from the raw milk, protein from the eggs and just enough sweetness to make you feel like you’re getting away with something.

Sounds good to me, cold or not.

Bok Choy and Broccoli Beef

Alternatively titled, “What you cook when chicken is poison and you only have a few things in the house.”

So I hate factory farmed meat, but sometimes it’s the only budget friendly option. I had quite a few bags of a particular brand of chicken that was not officially recalled, but was essentially poison.

Ok, that was dramatic.

The chicken was supposedly fine if you cooked it well, but if you didn’t  you might end up with a drug-resistant strain of salmonella in your body.

I wasn’t taking chances. Every time I looked in the freezer, my brain so a big, red “X” over the bags. A germ-a-phobe just can’t help it. Truth? I’m a little bit food safety paranoid.

I live an hour away from the nearest [decent] grocery store, so I had to use up what I had, which was several packages of organic ground beef from Costco. It’s not only what I had, it’s what I had in abundance. I have used ground beef in a million ways in the last week.

I ordered bok choy in my CSA box this week with the intention of making a bok choy/chicken stir-fry. Obviously, that wasn’t going to work.

It was so pretty though, it had to be used somehow.

bokchoy

Because the cooking time of the stalks and leaves are different, I washed then separated the leaves from the stalks and chopped them both coarsely. I then set them aside while I cooked the ground beef.

bokchoyseparated

Once the ground beef was browned, I added a bit of high heat sunflower oil and threw in my broccoli. I don’t have a wok, so I cooked it all up in my coated cast iron pot. A wok is better, but whatevs. My broccoli is frozen because I can’t find broccoli fresh around here yet. I was wishing I had more gai lan from my last farmer’s trip, but I was out. It would have been perfect.

beefand broc

While that was cooking, I prepared my sauce.

In one bowl, I whisked together:

2 TBSP cornstarch

2 TBSP water

and 1 tsp garlic powder.

In a separate bowl, I combined:

1/3 cup bragg’s liquid aminos (free samples on their website!)

2 TBSP coconut sugar

and 2 tsp ground ginger.

Set aside.

Once broccoli was beginning to thaw, I added the chopped bok choy stalks.

I added about 2 tablespoons of water to the pot and put the lid on, steaming the veggies for about 2-3 minutes. I like my veggies tender. If you like yours crisp, skip this step.

Once veggies were tender, I added the bok choy leaves and cooked another 2 minutes or so until they were wilted.

Once all veggies were at the desired tenderness, I whisked my cornstarch mix into the bragg’s mix and then added to the pot, stirring constantly until it thickened, about 1 minute.

Serve immediately. The kids had rice. We ate ours without. 🙂

bokchoybrocbeefdone

Super yummy, and the leftovers were even better the next day. It came together quickly, had tons of veggies and protein, and did just fine standing on it’s own without its old buddy, Rice.

The best part? It screamed “resourcefulness” and didn’t require any fancy ingredients. I was able to make it from what I had on hand without involving the “Red X” chicken.

Not exactly a conventional use for ground beef, but a tasty alternative to paranoia. 😉

Dill Hummus (Or, Hiccup Prevention Dip.)

When you think of dill, what comes to mind?

Pickles?

Maybe a garnish on fish?

Dill can be so much more! And it’s so good for you. I found this graphic that outlines some of the health benefits of dill. There are so many great reasons to eat dill, but I’m pretty sure my favorite is unusual:

Health-Benefits-of-Dill

 

“Can halt the hiccups.”

Seriously? Amazing. I HATE the hiccups. And I can’t ever just get them once. As soon as my body opens the door to hiccups, they just come on in as they please, off and on, all.day.long.

So, I got dill (aka hiccup ninja herb) in my CSA box this week.

I wanted it to be more than a sprinkling on a hard boiled egg.

SOOO, I made dill hummus. Wanna make some? It’s pretty simple:

2 cans organic garbanzo beans, drained.

1/4 cups plain yogurt 

1/4 cup olive oil

1/3 cup lemon juice

4 tablespoons freshly chopped dill leaves, plus extra for garnish

1 teaspoon ground cumin

4 teaspoons hot paprika, plus extra for garnish

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pulse all in a food processor until smooth. Serve with veggies, pita chips or a SPOON.

Get more from your food.

Take that parsley and make it the focus of your dish, not just an accessory.

Make your cilantro the star.

Turn that butternut squash into the main course, not just a side.

Get creative, think outside the box, and (in some cases)  enjoy the hiccup-free benefits.

 

Celebrating Cilantro

Ok, so I have an herb obsession.

I have been collecting dried herbs from KMK Farms via The Farmer’s Daughter CSA for weeks, and discovered this morning that I have quite a stash.

herbs

The mason jar is FULL of dried mint. Makes the best tea ever. One of the bags lost its label, so I call it my “mystery herb”. One day I will remember what it was I’m sure. The plant? It’s a basil tree. Yeah. Tree. Lives inside or out (depending on season) and will live for at least five years. Leaves look like thyme but smell and taste like a mild basil. Kind of amazing. Not “frankenfood” by the way, just grafted. Kind of a fun “bonzai” type hobby plant too. I got distracted, sorry.

As much as I love to have dried herbs around, there is just nothing like fresh.

My favorite? Cilantro. Hands down. I LOVE the stuff. I use is instead of lettuce on tacos, chop it up into a spicy chicken salad, and have even juiced it with fruits and veggies. No matter how much I eat, I can’t seem to get enough of the stuff.

I opened my CSA box this week and saw the most gorgeous cilantro ever. It was so full and beautiful… and the smell. OMG.

Really, though, the results of Farmer’s last week were just gorgeous all the way around:

csabox2

Cilantro on the right. I mean, just look at that. ❤

Want to make a fun sauce for tacos or dressing for a cilantro salad? It’s easy-peasy.

Take 1/2 of a  bundle of cilantro, chopped, and pop it in a blender or food processor.

Puree with:

1 cup of sour cream

2 jalapeno peppers

a heavy pinch of salt

Two peeled avocados

Once smooth, squeeze the juice of one lime in and puree until combined. If its too thick, add a bit more sour cream.

SOOO delicious, especially on fish tacos or over a mixed green salad w/chicken, tomatoes, fresh cilantro and some good quality corn chips crushed over it.  Simple and delicious!

Cilantro is loaded with good-for-you goodness. I went through a detox at the beginning of the year and cilantro was an important part of my cleansing process. It leaches heavy metals out of your body, which may result in a headache when eaten in large quantities, but I stuck it out, figuring it was doing its job! Here’s more info on this wondrous herb:

cilantro

Cilantro season doesn’t last nearly as long as I want it to, so I’m eatin’ it up while I can. I’m also apparently stock piling any and all other herbs available.

Even mystery ones.

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