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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

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

SavoryCrepes-3

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.

SavoryCrepes-1

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.

SavoryCrepes-2

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

5

February 2016

0

COMMENTS

Kohlrabi Stuffed with Cabbage and Apple

Written by , Posted in Cheese, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Fruit, Gluten Free, Grains, Herbs, Leftovers, Main Dishes, Meat, Nuts, Poultry, Quinoa, Rice, Sausage, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Stuffed-Kohlrabi-2

When I think of kohlrabi, I think of a taste that’s like a combination of broccoli and cauliflower. It’s kinda sweet and mild and buttery. When I look at kohlrabi, I think of Yoda… Green, kinda funny looking, but really awesome when you give it a try.

Stuffed-Kohlrabi-1

Steaming seemed like the best way to soften the kohlrabi without rendering them tough. They’re pretty dense, so it took a while, but that gave me plenty of time to work on a nice filling. I used leek, radish, cabbage, and apple. If you wanted to change those out for something else you could try shallots, onions, or carrots. Any type of cabbage would be great. Purple cabbage would add some great color, but I had green, and it was great. Thyme, basil, and parsley were the perfect herbs to compliment the kohlrabi and the filling. And some protein rounded out the dish to make it a main, rather than just a side. I used turkey, but chicken, tempeh, or even tofu would be awesome too!

Stuffed-Kohlrabi-4

Nuts and parmesan cheese are perfect for topping. If you want to keep it vegan, some nutritional yeast would be a great alternative to the cheese. I love to squeeze some lemon over most everything. This dish was no different. I prefer to have two lemon wedges at the ready. One for the start, and one to use partway through.

Happy Eating!

Kohlrabi Stuffed with Cabbage and Apple

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 4

Kohlrabi Stuffed with Cabbage and Apple

Ingredients

  • 4 kohlrabi, top and bottom sliced off, peeled if desired, but it's not necessary, greens reserved
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 C leek/shallot/onion, diced
  • 1/2 C radish or carrot, diced
  • 1 C cabbage, chopped
  • 1 apple, diced
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 1 t fresh thyme (or 1/4 t dried)
  • 1 T fresh basil (or 1 t dried), chopped
  • 1 t dried parsley (or 1 T fresh), crushed
  • pinch cayenne (or 1/2 hot pepper, ribs and seeds removed, minced) (optional)
  • 1 C turkey or chicken or sausage (cooked)/tempeh/tofu
  • 1 C brown rice or quinoa (cooked)
  • 1 bunch kohlrabi greens (or kale, chard, spinach, bok choy etc...), chopped
  • parmesan cheese, grated, or nutritional yeast, for topping
  • almonds, chopped, for topping
  • lemon wedges, for serving (2/serving)

Instructions

  1. Place kohlrabi cut side down in a steamer basket with about 2" boiling water in the bottom of a pot. Cover and steam for about 30-40 minutes, over medium heat, until kohlrabi is tender and pierces easily with a knife. Remove, let cool slightly, and scoop out the middle (and mash or chop and set aside).
  2. While kohlrabi steams, heat a skillet and add olive oil. Add leek through thyme and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. Add basil through kohlrabi greens, plus any of the center of the kohlrabi. Cook until all veggies are tender and the meat or tempeh/tofu is heated through, about 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
  3. Spoon filling into hollowed out kohlrabi. Top with parmesan or nutritional yeast and almonds. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing.

http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/kohlrabi-stuffed-with-cabbage-and-apple/

Monday

11

January 2016

0

COMMENTS

Chopped Salad with Oranges Greens and Nuts

Written by , Posted in Dairy-Free, Fruit, Gluten Free, Lunch, Nuts, Quick and Easy, Salads, Sides, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

ChoppedSalad-4

Salads get a bit of a bad rap as a “diet food”. Ugh. I don’t even like the word “diet” and I really like salads. They’re a great compliment to so many foods and can even be a wonderful meal on their own.

The salad that I’m talking about here is a veggie filled chopped salad that could fit into both categories. It would be fabulous paired with a stir fry, some roasted chicken, or a big bowl of chili. But, add some crispy tofu or chicken to it and it turns into the main dish.

ChoppedSalad-1

I love a salad with lots of great crunch. It can come in the form of great raw veggies, seeds, and one of my favorites: nuts. For this salad, I chopped up some raw walnuts from my in-laws’ tree. I toasted them on the stove top for a few minutes, then tossed them with some spices.

ChoppedSalad-3

For this wintery salad, I thought a great honey-mustard dressing would be the perfect compliment. It’s a simple mixture of honey and mustard, of course (if you don’t do honey, try some maple syrup), along with some fresh squeezed orange juice, rice vinegar, and olive oil. I love creamy slaws and salads, but sometimes I want something a little bit lighter. This was perfect.

ChoppedSalad-2

I used what I had on hand for the rest of the salad: broccoli, greens, cabbage, radish, shallot, and chopped orange. You could totally substitute with carrots, cauliflower, and red onions. You could use leeks and any kinda greens that you think would taste good (like bok choy, spinach, kale, mizuna…). It’s kinda like a cross between a chopped salad and an awesome coleslaw. Call it what you like, as long as you call it…

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It’s great to take to a potluck, to enjoy alongside a grilled cheese sandwich at lunch, or to go with a tasty Chicken Pot Pie for dinner. Done, done, and done.

ChoppedSalad-6

Happy Eating!

Chopped Salad with Oranges Greens and Nuts

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 3 minutes

Total Time: 23 minutes

Yield: 6-8

Chopped Salad with Oranges Greens and Nuts

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 C raw nuts (almonds, walnuts, pinenuts), chopped
  • pinch cayenne
  • to taste salt
  • 2 C greens (kale, chard, spinach, mizuna), chopped
  • 1 C cabbage, shredded
  • 1 C broccoli or cauliflower, finely chopped
  • 1 C radish or carrot, grated
  • 1/4 C shallot, leek, or red onion, minced
  • 2 C orange, chopped (drained in a strainer to catch excess juice for dressing)
  • 4 t dijon mustard
  • 2 t honey (or maple syrup)
  • to taste salt
  • 2 T rice vinegar
  • 1/4 C orange juice
  • 6 T olive oil

Instructions

  1. Heat a dry skillet. Add nuts and toast for 3 minutes over medium-low, turning often. Toss with cayenne and salt and set aside.
  2. (If using kale, massage with a bit of salt and some olive oil, using hands, for 3-5 minutes.) Toss greens through shallot.
  3. Whisk dijon through rice vinegar, add orange juice that's drained from chopped orange and top up to make 1/4 C. While whisking, stream in olive oil to create an emulsion. Taste for seasoning.
  4. Toss veggies with oranges and dressing. Top with nuts.

http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/chopped-salad-oranges-greens/

Friday

11

December 2015

0

COMMENTS

Persimmon Apple Bread

Written by , Posted in Baking, Bread, Breakfast, Brunch, Dairy-Free, Dessert, Eggs, Fruit, Grains, Kid-Friendly, Nuts, Snacks, Vegetables, Vegetarian

PersimmonAppleBread-5

I don’t know if the old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is true. But, apples have always been a favorite of mine, so if I can eat an apple every day that makes me happy. My favorite way to enjoy them is raw. Sliced, whole, chopped… it doesn’t matter. Since we go through apples pretty quickly, they don’t often get cooked. We either don’t feel the need, or there just aren’t any left. But, sometimes, I need to bake bread, and the bread needs to be studded with apples.

PersimmonAppleBread-1

For this recipe I used Pippins. But, in my kitchen, I’d use whatever I have on hand. I’m sure the experts would disagree. There are some apples that are better for baking (Granny Smiths), and some that are best eaten out of hand (Fujis and Galas). But, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m a frugal cook, so I prefer to make do and adapt to what I’ve got, if at all possible.

PersimmonAppleBread-2

This bread is a dense, muffin-like bread. You could call it an Apple Snack Cake if that’s more appealing to someone that you’re trying to convince to try it. You could bake it in muffin tins if that’s easier or more manageable.

When persimmons are no longer in season you could add a super ripe (or frozen then thawed) banana. When apples are no longer in season, you could sub pears, Asian pears, persimmons, figs, cherries, or stone fruit. If you wanted to add some grated veggies, carrots, parsnips, or summer squash could be easily hidden (ok, maybe not the carrots, but you wouldn’t taste them too much). You could add nuts and seeds, raisins, dried cherries or cranberries (why don’t we call raisins “dried grapes”?), or maybe even chocolate chips.

What I’m trying to say is, it’s pretty versatile.

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Like many baked goods, the dry ingredients are combined first, then set aside. The wet ingredients come together next. Everyone jumps into the bowl, then into a greased loaf pan. Easy. Quick. Snack attack time is near.

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I would suggest letting the bread cool completely before slicing. If it’s still warm it may be a little too crumbly (although still yummy).

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I opted for simple, and topped it with some homemade butter. But, you could also top it with caramel and serve it for dessert. You might spread some cream cheese on a slice, or top the whole thing with cream cheese frosting. Or, as an ode to one of my favorite snacks, eat it for breakfast topped with some crunchy peanut butter.

Peanut butter and apples. Apples and cheese. Apples and almonds… apples and almost anything.

Happy Eating!

Persimmon Apple Bread

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 6-8

Serving Size: 1 to 1.5 slices

Persimmon Apple Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 C whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • 1 t fresh ginger, minced (or 1/4 t ground)
  • 1/2 C cold unsalted butter (could sub cold coconut oil), cut into small chunks
  • 1 C oats (can also use granola)
  • 1 1/4 C apples (or chopped pears, Asian pears, persimmons, figs, cherries, stone fruit, or grated carrots, parsnips, or summer squash), chopped
  • 1/2 C persimmon pulp
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t apple cider vinegar
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • optional, for topping: seeds or chopped nuts

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  2. Whisk the flour through ginger. Mix in butter or oil with a pastry blender or hands (until it resembles a coarse meal or pea sized chunks). Stir in oats and fruit. Set in the freezer while you assemble wet ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the persimmon pulp through maple syrup. Add dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  4. Scoop into a greased loaf pan (or into greased muffin tins). Top with nuts and seeds if using. Bake for 35-40 minutes (20-22 for muffins), or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely on a cooling rack.

http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/persimmon-apple-bread/