De Ma Cuisine

greens Archive

Friday

3

July 2020

0

COMMENTS

Simple Garden Salad

Written by , Posted in Dairy-Free, Eggs, Gardening, Gluten Free, Herbs, Lunch, Main Dishes, Nuts, Quick and Easy, Salads, Thoughts, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

I have so much to say that I feel as though I might burst. My thoughts seem to tumble about and get muddied because there are too many to organize. I don’t know where to start.

I guess I’ll begin here. In the garden.

I feel like I should be talking about something other than plants and seeds and watering schedules. But, right now the world is showing me that there’s not a lot of joy out there. So, I’m going to share something that brings me a bit of happiness in the midst of turmoil.

I’ve been growing vegetables for years. My first garden was planted in hard-packed sandy dirt. It was at the top of the driveway of the second Central California house that Tim and I lived in during our second year of marriage. It resulted in five foot tall tomato plants with more fruit than we could eat. It was glorious.

The next garden was in raised beds set on a cement patio in our third house. That garden’s potato yield was incredible. A year or so later we moved again. This time to an apartment in Southern California. We brought a few of the garden boxes along with us and tried to grow herbs and tomatoes. They were always covered by a thin layer of soot from the nearby freeway. But, the real thwarmp that killed them was when the landlord renovated the unit above us and blew tiny paint droplets out the window and all over the garden. I was furious. I demanded to be compensated for the loss. I was. But, it didn’t fix the ruined garden. A couple of years later we moved into a house with a small front yard that served as our outdoor space. We put the garden boxes on the tiny cement patio. I was able to coax some tomatoes and basil to grow, but not much else. The next year I grew one acorn squash and some basil, but the tomatoes got blight.

We finally gave up on Burbank’s insane cost of living and moved to the East coast. Going from an almost year round growing season to one that’s about four months long has been a challenge. Last year I got three tomatoes. Total. And they were green when I picked them the day before the first frost. Green beans have grown well for me in this climate. My hope this summer is for jars and jars of dilly beans. I made some last year and they were delicious. I’d wanted to make pickles again too, but something has eaten all of my cucumber plants. Last year’s pickling cucumbers produced enough to can two quart sized jars. I can’t tell you how disappointed I am that that probably won’t happen this year.

Of all the gardens we’ve had, this one is my favorite. Last summer Tim worked so hard to build it. He cemented eight foot posts to keep the fence strong and the deer out, buried the coated chicken wire a foot deep to deter pests, and made it as perfect as I could have hoped for. This summer we’ve added solar powered lights, an umbrella that Tim found at the dump, and mulch to cover the weed mat that lined our pathways. We’ve planted sunflowers, nasturtiums, and morning glories around the perimeter of the garden. Some hanging in pots, some in the ground. I had great hopes that the English peas would grow up the sunflowers. But, the sunflowers have had a rough spring. The same thing that’s eaten my cucumbers seems to like them too.

Whether or not the cucumbers survive, the sunflowers grow, or the tomatoes produce, in the garden is one of my favorite places to be. Nature is great, from a distance. I don’t like to hike or be outdoorsy. So this little space is just perfect for me.

I don’t know if this is where we will stay for years and years. It’s been a tough place to fit in and feel like we belong. That doesn’t mean we should leave. I love lots of things about where we are. The main thing being my home with Tim and Brando. They are not specific to this place. Home is where we are together. For now, this little piece of the East coast is it. And we’ve built a glorious garden to play in during the warm months.

Yesterday I picked some greens to use in a salad for lunch. It’s so simple that it doesn’t require a recipe. Here are the basics:

Simple Garden Salad

Ingredients

  • greens (arugula, spinach, beet, baby kale)
  • fresh herbs (basil) (parsley and chives could be great too)
  • seeds (pepitas, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds) (chopped nuts would be great too)
  • homemade dressing (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a splash of maple syrup, dijon mustard, and salt)
  • fried eggs or crispy tofu
  • Burlap & Barrel Black Urfa Chili*
  • Maldon salt

Directions

  1. Wash the greens well. Tear into bite sized pieces.
  2. Sprinkle the greens with seeds and drizzle with dressing. Top with fried eggs or crispy tofu. I like my eggs over medium: whites cooked, yolks still runny so that they become a second dressing. Sprinkle some Black Urfa Chili* and Maldon salt on the eggs or tofu.
  3. Serve alongside last night’s reheated leftovers.

*Black Urfa Chili is an affiliate link, which means that I get a small commission for any sales generated from referrals.

Friday

26

February 2016

0

COMMENTS

Baked Onion Rings with Herb Dip

Written by , Posted in Baking, Beans, Condiments, Dairy-Free, Eggs, Fruit, Gluten Free, Herbs, Legumes, Quick and Easy, Roasting, Sides, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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I’m not a sweets person. I don’t often crave chocolate, I can go without candy, and if given the option, I’d take potato chips over a donut. I do really love ice cream, but I think that’s because Tim is so good at making it. But, even then, I might take onion rings over ice cream. Because I really really love crunchy deep fried foods. French fries, tempura, onion rings… They’re so tasty.

We don’t need to talk about the dangers of fried foods. I’m well aware. You’re well aware. We’ve got that covered. It’s a treat, not an everyday thing.

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When it comes to guilty pleasures, these onion rings seem like they’d fit in. But, they’re actually pretty innocent. They’re dipped in eggs (you could use coconut or almond milk if you want to keep them vegan), then coated in flour. I double dipped some (you know, egg, flour, egg, flour). I’m not sure which turned out better. They all tasted great.

All.

I ate them all.

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The first secret to this delicious treat is baking them at a high temperature for a short amount of time. We’re talking 425F for 18-20 minutes total. The second secret is the dip. It’s made up of things like yogurt or silken tofu or mayo or avocado (or ALL!) blended up with some blanched greens, herbs, garlic, and olive oil. I fully submerged each onion ring in the dip before devouring.

If you wanted to make a huge platter and call this dinner, you might also do some green beans, par-cooked potatoes or root veggies (and in a few months summer squash), and add the beans to the dip. Serve it with a big salad and some other fun finger foods (like nachos with refried bean dip) and you’ve got a winner. In fact you’ll most likely find us eating this for dinner sometime this weekend.

Happy Eating!

 

Baked Onion Rings with Herb Dip

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 2-4

Baked Onion Rings with Herb Dip

Ingredients

  • 2 C greens (any: kale, chard, arugula, mizuna, spinach, etc...) (or, use leftover sautéed greens)
  • 1 C yogurt/silken tofu/crème fraîche
  • 1/2 C mayo/yogurt/silken tofu/avocado
  • 1 T dijon
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 t lemon zest, chopped
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch cayenne (optional) (for extra spicy: 1/2 hot pepper, ribs and seeds removed, diced)
  • herb options: sorrel+basil+thyme, savory+basil+rosemary+sage+thyme, parsley+basil+thyme+rosemary+oregano, marjoram+basil+thyme+rosemary, mint+dill+basil, dill+parsley+basil; chopped
  • (optional) 1/2 to 1 C beans (garbanzo beans or white beans)/lentils, cooked
  • 1-2 onions/1 lb. green beans/par-cooked root veggies (steam them, any: beet, carrot, radish, sweet potato/1 lg summer squash, sliced if warranted
  • 2 (or more) eggs, whisked (or coconut, almond, or cow's milk)
  • 2 C flour (AP or GF)
  • to taste salt*
  • to taste pepper
  • *may add extra seasonings (like chili powder) if desired, use seasonings that will compliment the veggies and herbs you've chosen

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425F.
  2. Blanch greens in boiling water for 1 minute. Transfer to an ice bath to cool. (Or, use leftover sautéed greens.)
  3. Whisk yogurt through cayenne. Add herbs and blanched or leftover greens. Blend. Taste for seasoning. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. Mix flour with salt and pepper. Taste (for real). Separate onion into rings. Dip veggies in egg/milk then flour. Repeat if desired. Tap off excess flour. Place on a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet. Do not let the veggies touch. Bake for about 10 minutes, flip, bake about 8-10 minutes more (or until crispy and browned).
  5. Serve with dip.

http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/baked-onion-rings-with-herb-dip/

Friday

19

February 2016

0

COMMENTS

Savory Crêpes

Written by , Posted in Beans, Breakfast, Brunch, Cheese, Dinner, Eggs, Fruit, Herbs, Leftovers, Legumes, Lunch, Main Dishes, Meat, Nuts, Poultry, Quick and Easy, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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Right now my thoughts are flipping between crêpes and the onion rings I ate right before I made the crêpes. Of both, I couldn’t wait to eat more. But, let’s talk about the crêpes today (those onion rings can wait until next week). When I was a kid, mom made crêpes every once in a while. If she made them for supper, we usually had to eat a savory crêpe or two before we were allowed to eat one covered with maple syrup, powdered sugar, or honey. I may have turned my nose up at it then, but now I see the merit in the savory crêpe.

Crêpes are what I’d imagine would result if a tortilla and a pancake had a baby. A delicious baby… This is getting weird… They’re light, soft, and a bit crispy around the edges. They’re great with butter and maple syrup, of course, but also the perfect vessel for some savory goodies.

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I like the idea of a multifaceted filling. It starts with a purée. I had some pumpkin in the freezer that I reheated and seasoned with salt and cayenne. Simple. You could also try cauliflower, sweet potato, or beets.

I topped the purée with some sautéed broccoli rabe, peas, and radishes. You might substitute with roasted or raw garlic, broccoli, any greens that you have on hand, apples, cabbage, summer or winter squash, carrots, or even white beans. If you have some fresh herbs on hand, things like basil, thyme, rosemary, or mint would be great. Just use whatever herbs would go well with the veggies that you’re using.

If you wanted to add a little more protein, throw in some leftover shredded chicken or chopped up crispy tofu.

And then, to top it all, I like a spoonful of plain or Greek yogurt, some walnuts, parmesan, and a squeeze of lemon. You might substitute with silken tofu or coconut milk, browned butter or cream, ricotta or cream cheese.

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If you’ve got any left, they will make the perfect dessert (Nutella crêpes anyone?!), or can be reheated the next day for a quick and easy breakfast. You could do simple, just maple syrup, or maybe top them with some ricotta, cottage cheese, or silken tofu, and some chopped apples sprinkled with cinnamon and a squeeze of lemon. Two meals, one dish.

Happy Eating!

Savory Crêpes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4

Serving Size: 2 crêpes

Savory Crêpes

Ingredients

  • 1 C purée (any: winter squash, cauliflower, sweet potato, beet)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 C any mix ins: broccoli rabe, peas, roasted or raw garlic, kale, radishes, apples, cabbage, white beans, summer squash, carrots; chopped if warranted
  • 1 C any proteins (optional): cooked chicken, crispy tofu
  • 1 t to 1 T any: thyme, rosemary, basil, mint; chopped
  • to taste salt
  • 8 crêpes
  • 1 C any toppings: ricotta, cream cheese, yogurt, silken tofu, parmesan cheese, browned butter, cream, coconut milk, walnuts, almonds, lemon zest; chopped if warranted
  • lemon wedges, for serving

Instructions

  1. (Prepare crêpe batter if it needs to sit for an hour in the fridge.)
  2. Make your purée (roast or steam veggies, blend, season with salt and, if desired, cayenne).
  3. Heat skillet, add olive oil. Sauté mix ins until tender (about 10 minutes, depending on the veggies) over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Add things like greens and garlic near the end. Re-heat protein, if using. Add to mix ins. Add herbs. Taste for seasoning.
  4. While mix ins are cooking, prepare your crêpes (keep them warm in a 200F oven on a baking sheet).
  5. To assemble, spoon some purée down the center of the crêpes. Top with mix ins. Roll up (the easiest way to do this is to hook a fork inside the edge of the crêpe and roll it in on itself). Serve with a squeeze of lemon.

http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/savory-crepes/

Friday

12

February 2016

0

COMMENTS

Chunky Vegetable Soup

Written by , Posted in Beans, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Fruit, Gluten Free, Herbs, Lunch, Main Dishes, Potatoes, Soups, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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When in doubt, soup! I almost always want to eat soup. In hot weather and cold weather, on weeknights or at dinner parties… give me soup and I’ll be happy with my meal.

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Soup is a great way to use up whatever you’ve got hanging around in the crisper drawers of the fridge too. Sometimes there are forgotten turnips and beets in there that are given a new chance at life in soup. Way yummier than tossing them in the compost or using them for stock.

This week I had things like leeks, spinach, sweet potatoes, peas, and rutabagas on hand. But, you could add or substitute with onions, shallots, kohlrabi, carrots, turnips, radishes, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, or winter squash.

So many options!

I wanted to add a little more protein and even more texture to this soup, so I also added beans. I was in the mood for kidney, but black, white, or cannellini would also be fab. And when we get into spring, fava beans would be amazing! I love beans in soup.

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This soup makes for a great lunch or dinner. It’s wonderful with homemade croissants, apple-cheese toasts, or just on its own with a squeeze of lemon and a good book.

Happy Eating!

Chunky Vegetable Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 52 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 7 minutes

Yield: 8

Chunky Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 C leek/onion/shallot, chopped
  • 5 C any: kohlrabi, carrot, rutabaga, turnip, winter squash, brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, potatoes, radish; peeled, if warranted, chopped
  • to taste salt
  • dash cayenne (or may use 1/2 to 1 small hot pepper, ribs and seeds removed, minced)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T rice vinegar
  • 7 C veggie stock
  • 1 t fresh thyme (or 1/4 t dried)
  • 1/2 t dried rosemary (or 1/2 T fresh)
  • 2 T fresh basil (or 2 t dried)
  • to taste pepper
  • 2 C greens (kale, spinach, chard, mustard greens, mizuna, bok choy... anything that you have on hand will work), chopped
  • 1 1/2 C beans (black, kidney, white, cannellini)
  • 1 C peas (frozen, or shelled fresh peas or fava beans)
  • lemon wedges, for serving
  • good olive oil, for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat a soup pot over medium-low. Add olive oil. Add leek-cayenne (if you're using dried herbs you may add them now too). Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10-15 minutes, or until the veggies are getting tender. Add garlic and vinegar and cook for 1 minute more. Add the stock through pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the greens, beans, and peas and cook for 3 minutes more. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
  2. Ladle into bowls and serve with a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil.

http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/chunky-vegetable-soup/

Friday

29

January 2016

2

COMMENTS

Pickled Beets and Cabbage

Written by , Posted in Canning, Condiments, Dairy-Free, Gluten Free, Pickling, Quick and Easy, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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Pickles are one of life’s great mysteries. I don’t quite understand why or how they are so awesome. They just are. They can add so much to a dish. They’re fun to eat. And, they’re a lot simpler to make than I would have thought. I’ve tried to make pickles a few times before. I’ve followed recipes and made up my own. Nothing worked. I tried with raw veggies and lots of apple cider vinegar. Nothing tasted good. So I was a little apprehensive when I was thinking about pickling for a post… But, I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised.

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It all starts with some veggies. I chose steamed beets (because I’d tried to pickle raw beets once… nope, not a good idea) and raw cabbage. I used them because that’s what I had on hand. But, I think that with this particular brine, I might also try carrots, cauliflower, radish, green beans, greens, leeks, cucumber, or onions. I’d steam any root veggies and cauliflower, but I’d probably leave the rest raw.

For the brine, I went with white vinegar and rice vinegar. I like their mild flavors. I also added some water, salt, and honey. Water to dilute a bit, honey to counter the sharp vinegar, and salt, well, because I like salt (and I think you’re supposed to use salt when pickling, although this was just plain table salt, not pickling salt).

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I added a few extras, based on the veggies I was using. To go with the beets I used: garlic, orange zest, and peppercorns. With the cabbage I used garlic, red pepper flakes, and peppercorns. You could also add dill, chives, fresh ginger, or lemon zest, depending on the veggie to be pickled.

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I let them sit for about a week and a half in the fridge before trying them. I don’t know if I needed to, but I did.

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Now that they’re open, I’ve eaten the pickled beets 3 days in a row. I just can’t get enough. Tim even tried one the other day and didn’t hate it. He wasn’t crazy about the texture of the beets (they’re soft, like they are when steamed), but he really liked the flavor of the brine. For me, the beets are exactly the texture I was hoping for. They’re tender and vinegary with just a hint of sweet. And the cabbage, it’s gone. I ate it. All. By. Myself. I tried it raw, I added it to a stir fry, and I added it (and the pickled garlic) to some lentils and topped it with a fried egg, paprika, cayenne, and chili powder. I can’t wait until the next time cabbage comes in our Abundant Harvest Organics box. I know exactly how I want to use it.

Happy Eating!

Pickled Beets and Cabbage

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 2 pints

Pickled Beets and Cabbage

Ingredients

  • 3-4 C any: beets, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, radish, green beans, greens, leeks, cucumber, onions; chopped, shredded, sliced, quartered (depending on type of veggie)
  • 1 1/2 C vinegar (white vinegar and rice vinegar)
  • 1 1/2 C water
  • 1 T + 1 t salt
  • 1 T + 1 t honey
  • 1/4 C any extras (choose based on veggies using): peppercorns, garlic, dill, chives, fresh ginger, lemon zest, orange zest, red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Sterilize jars and lids.
  2. Steam any root veggies or cauliflower until tender (about 20-30 minutes, depending on the veggie) and then cut as desired. Leave things like cabbage, green beans, greens, leeks, and onions raw.
  3. Bring brining liquid (vinegar through honey) to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Place extras in the bottom of the jars, place veggies in the jars, packing fairly tightly but leaving about an inch of space at the top. Pour brining liquid over, filling to cover veggies. Wipe the rims and cover with the lid. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate.

http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/pickled-beets-and-cabbage/