Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Kale & Brussel Sprout Ball Jar Lunch

Whoa.  Seeing the last date I posted on this here blog...  Shame.  Feeling like quite the slacker.  If anyone actually pays any attention, sincere apologies.  But eh, I've gotten comfortable with recipes, repeating favorites, and not experimenting too terribly much.  And this blog really just serves as my selfish little archives, anyways...  ;)

But it's January.  And with that comes renewed commitments to health goals, portion control, and steering clear of the foods that derail those goals.  This week, I'll be lunching on a lovely layered salad in a ball jar.  Expect more of these ball jar concoctions to come... (only to be blogged if actually tasty...)  This is a quick fix on a Sunday night to have a weeks worth of lunches ready - with a portioned amount to stay on target and in control.

This weeks concoction is a kale and brussel sprout lemon salad (inspired by a Wegman's bagged salad... and after enjoying the salad, wondering why I didn't just shred my own sprouts.)

May as well make 4 jars while you're at it - the per jar ingredient list is:

Handful of shredded kale
Handful of shredded brussels sprouts
1 tsp decadent vinegar (pear champagne vinegar from Los Olivos, CA if you have it on hand)
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 C cooked bulgur (cooked in chicken broth and cooled well)
1/2 C chickpeas
1/4 avocado
1/4 lemon

Layer kale and sprouts for about half of the jar.  Add oil and vinegar.  Put lid on and shake. Shake. Shake.  Top with chickpeas, bulgur, and avocado.  Squeeze lemon on avocado to keep from browning. 

Voila.


When ready to eat, dump in a bowl and add salt and pepper (if desired).  Quite satisfying.

Monday, December 21, 2015

CSA Kitchen Sink Carrot Ginger Soup



Continuing on the theme of CSA prep and process before going to GA and returning to rotten vegetables in the fridge... Process, prep, and freeze production continues...  Apologies if all these ingredients are random and mainly found in the CSA... But look at your life and look at your choices and invest in farm fresh seasonal goodness.


Ingredients:

Canola oil
2 onions
leek
2 buttercup squash - roasted the day before and cooled
1 bunch purple carrots
3 parsnips

A good 3-4 inch nubbin of ginger
2 boxes of chicken broth
Salt to taste
1/8 C honey
1 cup whole milk

Directions:
Coat bottom of stock pan with canola.

Throw in roughly chopped onion.

As you roughly chop other ingredients add in leek, carrots, parsnip.

Scoop out of skin and add squash flesh to pot.

Add 2 boxes of chicken broth and fresh ginger - peeled and roughly chopped.

Simmer for an hour or until carrots are pierced easily with a fork.

Turn off heat and add milk and honey.  Adjust seasoning.

Using my favorite kitchen toy.  Immersian blend the heck out of the soup.  

Taste, cool, package, and freeze for a rainy day.

Creamed Spinach

...when spinach grows up.

Operation, save the CSA - prep and  freeze - before going home sweet home for Christmas...


With two ginormous bags of CSA spinach in the fridge and the desire to make something that would freeze, I opted for creamed spinach.  A first, but not a last time this will happen.  (And quite a treat to the usual - dash of olive oil to saute spinach)

The CSA: where you learn what happens when baby spinach grows up.

Ingredients: 
2 giant bags of giant leaves of spinach
yummy creamy step.. 
2 T butter
4 giant shallots
3 T flour
1 C whole milk
1/2 C 1% milk
1 brick cream cheese
healthy pour of garlic powder
2 rinds of Parmesan (leftover from a party)
dash of nutmeg - around 1/4 tsp
salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 
Wash the giant sandy CSA spinach picking off stems and tearing into small pieces.
Melt butter.
Saute shallot in butter until translucent.
Add flour stirring frequently until nutty color.
Add milk.
Add cream cheese melting.  Add nutmeg.

Add all the other things and stir until spinach cooks down.

Noms.  I learned tonight that it goes well with quinoa and salmon.




...and we're ready to nom. 








Sunday, July 26, 2015

Cantaloupe Sorbet

When the CSA overwhelms you with melon, it's time to dust off the kitchen aid ice cream maker attachment...  With 2 fruit shares - I had 5 cantaloupes sitting on my counter this afternoon - taunting me with their ripeness.  So, my mind obviously went to sorbet.  Inspired by Alton Brown's recipe, I got to work.  I sliced and diced for a small eternity - which in addition to the 4 pounds of melon I turned into sorbet, still yielded 4 freezer quart bags of cut melon to nosh on through the week.

Ingredients:
4 pounds cantaloupe chunked
1 cup fresh lemon juice (where I got to use my kitchen aid citrus juice attachment for the first time... Thanks, Tina!)
3 cups sugar
6 T vodka

Directions: 
In batches, since it turns out 4 pounds of melon won't fit in the food processor, blend all ingredients.  Put in fridge for a few hours to chill sorbet liquid.

Then following ice cream maker directions - mix it up in the ice cream maker...  I had enough to make some popsicles, too.

Can't wait to dive into a bowl of this... the spoonful I taste tested was mighty good!









Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Pad Kra Pao Ga - My Thai Basil Chicken Adventures

Here are the steps involved to get this deliciousness on the table.


Step 1.  Have an urge to combine the 2 pounds of chicken in the fridge with the abundant spicy Thai basil thriving on the deck.

Step 2.  Find a good looking recipe and realize you need oyster sauce and Thai chilies to make this happen.

Step 3.  After work, drive to a non-existent Asian Food Store.

Step 4.  Curse Google.

Step 5.  So, find another.  Get turned around a few times on the bazillion exit/on ramps involved in getting there, taking about an hour to even begin what you thought would be a 15 minute adventure.

Step 6.  Read the recipe in the store and wonder if the giant bag of chili de arbol could substitute for Thai chilies and if your Thai basil is holy enough.  (I mean they spend a whole paragraph discussing the need for holy basil.)

Step 7.  Go down a rabbit hole of thoughts about the holiness of basil.

Step 8.  Leave store with miraculously only one impulse purchase of mochi ice cream red bean balls.

Step 9. Get home and crank up music and start some brown rice.  Because.

Step 10.  Reread recipe.  Modify it.

  • By throwing in a few giant handfuls of spinach.  Because.  
  • Using only one kind of soy sauce.  Because.  
  • Cook all the chicken at once, not a serving at a time.  Because. 
  • Using 1 T of oil for the 2 packages of chicken.  Not 2 T of oil for one serving.  Because.  
  • And I don't want an egg on the side.  Because.    

Consensus?  I probably could have gotten my two ingredients from Giant.  I could have ordered Thai takeout faster.  But - now I know where to get my international groceries.  And holy basil, it was delicious!  This WILL happen again.  (And not just because of my giant bottle of oyster sauce I only used 1 tablespoon of and my giant bag of dried red peppers of which I only needed about 7.)  Because it was noms and I know what's in it.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

I found this delicious looking recipe.  My thing with 'paleo desserts' (as with most recipes, really) is that the ingredients need to be real and not something I would only buy for one recipe (ie: almond flour.) But this recipe had real  food, so it was a winner.  I made a few changes... After reading comments, I left out the oil.  I also did more coconut in the pb mix... Here's roughly what I did:

Step 1 - order some cute candy molds from amazon.com (or just use a muffin tin, like an animal.)

Ingredients: 
1/3 C crunchy Smucker's natural pb
3T shredded unsweetened coconut maybe more
1 T honey

1/2 C dark chocolate chips
1/2 tsp unsalted butter

Directions: 
Melt chocolate in glass bowl in the microwave in 30 second increments stirring in between until melted.  Add dab of butter.  Stir and melt.

Spray molds with spray oil of your choice. Then add a dab of chocolate in each mold that you're using. Drop a few times on the counter to get chocolate to spread out.  Put mold in freezer.

Melt PB in 30 second increments in microwave, until soft.  Add coconut and honey.  Add dollop of pb to each mold.  Smush with a knife to fill.  Put in freezer to harden.  For around 5 minutes.  Add final chocolate layer.  Keep in fridge until you are ready to pop out, present, and enjoy.

Tips:
They are kind of prone to melting.  I'd keep in fridge until you're going to eat them.
Before you make them, I measured the volume of my mold.  I knew I didn't want a whole tray, so I tested to see how much water would fill, and I altered the recipe so that I didn't have a bunch of candy laying around.  Though, after tasting them, that was a dumb idea.
   

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Beef (No Bean) Chili

I'm being nice and making paleo things.  This was a big hit with the bf.  Pretty simple and quick (for chili standards..)

Ingredients: 
1 package ground beef/bison/turkey
1 diced onion
2 large garlic cloves - minced
1 green bell pepper - diced
1 jalapeno minced
1 - 28oz diced tomatoes
1/2 T oregano - ish
1/2 T cumin - ish
2T chili powder - ish
salt to taste

Directions:
Brown meat.  While that's browning, throw in onion and garlic.  Cook for a few minutes.  Drain grease, if there's a lot of fat swimming around... When meat is browned, throw in bell pepper, and spices.  After a few minutes, add can of tomatoes, and simmer.  Simmer for an hour and a half.  I might experiment next time and add a can of pumpkin.  

I served mine over a mini baked potato and topped with some shredded cheese.  Not so paleo.  But very delish.