Friday, March 30, 2012

Kale Salad With Roasted Chickpeas (again)


Since someone raved and raved about this salad, I decided to try it. This time, I did use the correct type of kale. It wasn't called Tuscan Kale, but it turns out there are like 10 names for this same type of kale. I think the one I bought was actually labeled lacinato kale. Again it is a raw kale salad. I thought this one was ok. Maybe I just don't like raw kale. But again, Mark thought it was great. I served it with roasted red pepper and pesto pizza.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Yam Hua Plee

I don't know if this counts as a green, but it was exciting to try something new. I picked up this banana pod at the Indian grocery store on a whim.
It's sort of like an artichoke, except when you peel back the leaves, there are little groups of 10 blossoms. And those are what you eat.

The final product was Yam Hua Plee- a Thai salad made with the blossoms, tofu, shallots, spring onions, peanuts, garlic, coconut, ground chilies, fish sauce, and tamarind juice. I didn't have the tamarind juice, so I had to riff it with diluted vinegar and brown sugar (what did we do before the internet?). It was sweet, tangy, and salty all at once. In short, delicious, though the banana blossoms didn't add much more than crunch.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Kale, Italian Style

I loved that salad so much that I followed the author's recipe on how to cook kale Italian style.  Unfortunately, I think I just don't like sauteed/steamed greens.  For me, it is kinda like sauteed carrots.  I just don't like them.  I only like raw or boiled carrots. 

So, I tried it, but I wasn't crazy about it...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sunshine Salad

We made this from Peas and Thank You last week. Wait a sec, by we, I mean I. We who?


This is a raw kale salad I had bought some curly kale "just incase" and although this recipe specifically mentioned, "don't use with curly kale" I decided to chance it.

Mark loved it. I thought it was ok. Probably because I thought in the back of my head it was supposed to be made with a different kind of kale! But Mark, he said everything he was suppose to. Cesear-ish. He liked it. I can't wait to try again with the correct green!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Kale Salad with Roasted Chickpeas

HOLY COW!!!  I Loved this salad.  I loved that I can just whisk together some olive oil and lemon juice/zest with some salt and red pepper and have a wonderful vinaigrette.  I loved it sooooooooooo much...

That I made the same thing the following night with toasted pine nuts and pecans instead of chickpeas and it was AMAZING!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sesame Bok Choy

Any time I make Tofu in Black Bean Sauce from my Moosewood cookbook, I sautee some bok choy to go along side. It really goes well with the pungent flavor of the black bean sauce, and I love the texture of the stems. Plus, it's very pretty with the dark green leaves and white stems.

3 Tbsp sesame seeds
4 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp toasted/dark sesame oil
1 tsp honey
1 head of bok choy, rinsed well and sliced on the bias into 1/2 inch pieces (stems and leaves)

Toast sesame seeds in a dry skillet until lightly browned. Mix soy sauce, sesame oil and honey in a small bowl and set aside. Heat a few tsp of oil in a large skillet with a lid. Add bok choy to skillet, stir to coat with oil and cover for 4-5 minutes until greens are wilted, stirring occasionally. (Since my husband returned from the store with the world's largest head of bok choy, I had to do this in 2 batches. Keep in mind that it doesn't cook down as much as other greens.) Once greens are wilted and stems are tender-crisp, toss bok choy with sauce mixture and sesame seeds. One mistake I made was not draining off the extra liquid from the greens before doing this. It was a little diluted, but still very yummy!

Pasta with Asparagus and Lemon

I finally got over my fear of commitment this year and did something I've been reluctant to do. I planted asparagus. Since it is a perennial vegetable, you have to decide where you want it to be for the next couple of decades or so. It also tests one's ability to be patient, since you aren't supposed to harvest stems for the first couple of years after planting. Here's someone else who's eagerly awaiting the arrival of those tender stems:

Foo Foo (as in Little Bunny Foo Foo), who adopted us last year. Sweet bunny, but if he gets any of my asparagus before I do... Fortunately, even though my asparagus looks like this now:

it was on sale for $0.97/lb this week. I usually roast it in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper, but I found this recipe in my Moosewood cookbook and it intrigued me since it basically sounded like an asparagus pesto.

1 1/2 lb asparagus
1 lb penne
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup Parmesan or Pecorino cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile, prepare asparagus by washing, removing and discarding tough ends, and trimming 1 1/2 inches of tips (reserve). Chop remaining stems into 1 inch pieces and reserve separately.

When water is boiling, blanch asparagus tips for 3-4 minutes. Remove and set aside. Blanch chopped stems 6-7 minutes, until tender. Remove and place in food processor or blender along with lemon juice and olive oil. Puree until smooth and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add pasta to boiling water and cook to al dente. Drain, reserving some of the pasta water to thin the sauce if needed. Toss pasta with puree, asparagus tips and cheese.

I topped ours with sliced sauteed portabellos seasoned with salt, pepper and fresh thyme.

This dish has a lot of potential. I did have a few issues, though. I guess I prefer the cleaner taste of lemon zest to lemon juice, which comes across as bitter to me, so I would probably swap a Tbsp or so of zest for the juice next time. I also felt like the puree needed something to balance out the acidity. I added a few splashes of cream to add some richness and the portabellos seemed to be a step in the right direction, but it wasn't quite where I wanted it to be. If I make it again, I might go for really woodsy Porcini mushrooms and a bolder, richer cheese (I used parm in this one). Any other suggestions?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Black Eyed Pea Stew With Rice


For New Years Day, I normally don't participate in the hoppin' john/green tradition mainly cause I don't really like either of them. However, last year I decided I needed all the help I could get and made Black Eyed Pea Stew with Rice from Michelle's Blog. And it worked, I finally ended up getting a job! When New Years 2012 rolled around, I knew I had to keep it going and made the same recipe. This year, however, I couldn't find the nice fresh black eyed peas for some reason, so I cooked up some dried and had half the package still in my freezer. Since it is still stew season here, and with this challenge, I decided to make it again.

There is a lot of different stuff in it, so it ends up being a very hardly soup. Very healthy too.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

March Challenge-Going Green

This month let's see what we can do with kale, collards, chard and other greens. I'll even throw in asparagus, since it's coming into season, and any other creative or unusual preparation for common green veggies.