Thursday, April 26, 2012

Organic Harvest Box April 26, 2012

I am a little jealous - I am not actually getting my veggie box this week as we leave on Saturday for a week away (hint hint - don't expect a post next week).  I looked at what's on the list and started thinking about and looking for recipes and there are so many tasty possibilities for the Baby Kale, Broccolini, and Rainbow Chard. And Tasha said that the pears that are in the boxes are fantastic. Maybe someone will try out the recipes and tell me how they turned out.  Since I don't have a box this week, I don't have a photo, but I do have photos of some of the food I made this week, and what a great excuse to write about what I ended up using my veggies for.  Each week I search out and post recipes that I have either used or really think are useable or that I will try, but often I end up with something completely different, or a week behind in using some of my veggies.  Like my kale, I posted Tasha's recipe two weeks ago for the Lemony Kale Salad, but only made it on Sunday.  It was delicious, so easy, and my husband even enjoyed it - well worth trying.

I had the best intentions of making a pork roast with the roasted carrots, potatoes and the winter parsnips, but while looking out the window at the cold and grey Saturday morning while having a warm bowl of oatmeal with the kids, I just wanted some soup.  I rifled through the cupboards and sure enough had all of the ingredients for one of my favorites - Hamburger Soup from the Best of Bridge Cookbook.  By 930 a.m. I had my carrots, celery, and onions chopped and soup on the stove.  It simmered all day and we had it for supper with a batch of homemade biscuits and some cheese buns (guilty pleasure).  I have had it twice more this week for lunches.

The other dish that I made to use a variety of the veggies was a weeknight pasta meal that is very easy to make.  I start with some pork sausage (removed from casings) or leftover ham and cook that in a large non-stick skillet while putting some water on for any type of pasta.  While that is cooking, chop some combination of onions, zucchini, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms and add them to the skillet.  You can add some fresh herbs at this point as well.  Make sure your pasta is in the boiling water with a bit of salt.  Once the veggies are getting soft, add a good amount of pesto, some grated parmesan, and once the pasta has been boiling for a bit, add a 1/2 c. of the pasta water to the sauce.  When the pasta is close to being done, add some cream cheese or cream to the sauce to thicken a bit.  Drain the pasta and toss together with the sauce.  This a hit with my kids and is different each time but consistently good.

Enough about last week's veggies - did you know that Broccolini is actually a hybrid vegetable that was created in Japan in the early 1990s?  It was created to be softer, sweeter, and easier to cook than broccoli.  It is not baby broccoli but a species all of its own that was engineered to be more appealing for cooking and eating.  It is best to store it in a bag as you would broccoli and it should last in the fridge for up to 10 days.  For a dish that  can act as a main dish or side try this Broccolini, Caulifower, Chard and Tofu Roman Style.  I also like the looks of this Steamed Broccoli with Honey Soy Sauce.  You can certainly cook the broccolini as you would asparagus or broccoli and maybe by calling it "baby broccoli" you can entice your kids to eat more greens.

I will miss out on this week's Rainbow Chard but I did come across a few more recipes since the last time there was chard that I will try next time.  A few recipes that I found on my Epicurious app on the iPad (ie. multipurpose cookbook) are Pasta with Kielbasa and Swiss Chard (appealing to my Ukranian heritage), Roasted Garbanzo Beans and Garlic with Swiss Chard (Meatless Monday meal?), or Frittata Bites with Chard, Sausage and Feta (for brunch or cut small for a cocktail party).

Baby Kale - I read that it is milder than regular kale, and being that it is smaller and a little less tough, it is much more amenable to salads and it cooks more quickly.  I still haven't tried kale chips but did love reading this blog about making kale chips from Baby Kale specifically.  If you have any bok choy left from this past week, try a side dish of Baby Kale and Bok Choy with Sesame and Ginger.  Or use the kale in this Baby Kale Salad (taken from

Baby Kale Salad

15 oz. baby kale
2 cups walnuts, chopped
2 apples, thinly sliced (we used Pink Ladies)
1/2 lb. goat's milk gouda (or any other cheese you love), cut into small cubes
1 bunch chives, chopped into 1-inch pieces

For the dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

1. Place walnuts on a rimmed cookie sheet. Bake in an oven at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes, tossing halfway through.
2. Combine baby kale, walnuts, apples, gouda, and chives in a large bowl.
3. Mix dressing ingredients and toss with salad.

My last two offerings this week - I think that this recipe for Curried Lentils with Sweet Potatoes and Baby Kale is a great idea for a vegetarian main course, and I love the combination of lentils with sweet potatoes.  Or alternately, use the yams in this fun side dish or appetizer recipe, Sweet Potato and Pancetta Gratin.

Enjoy the veggies and fruit this week while I enjoy a week away.

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