Thursday, July 5, 2012

Organic Harvest Box July 5, 2012

It's Thursday evening, I've travelled the Ontario countryside today for work, Brockville and then along the St. Lawrence to Gananoque, and up to Westport and then back to the city.  Hence, no veggie box yet.  I'm looking at the list of ingredients and can't wait to see everything tomorrow.  All I can think is green, green, fresh, green veggies, the kale, the choi, lettuce, basil, more scapes, pears and the green onions.  Most of our vegetables are getting eaten raw this time of year.  And I'm not sure why I even considered any recipes for my peaches or nectarines last week - the kids gobbled them up by Sunday.  I don't doubt that the same will happen this week.

Everything on the list this week (maybe cauliflower excluded) can be used in salad.  And given our heat and the forecast for the coming days - anything that doesn't require cooking is a blessing.  Add some grilled chicken, a can of tuna, or some chickpeas to your salad to make it a meal.  My favorite dressings for salads are homemade.  I have both a salad dressing making bottle (one of those home party companies that list their ingredients down the side for each different dressing) or my tried and true Tupperware Gravy Shaker.  To either I add some olive oil to start (try a nut oil for different flavor), then some vinegar (balsamic, cider, red wine) or fresh squeezed lemon juice, or grapefruit juice, then some seasonings, fresh chopped herbs, maple syrup, garlic, mustard, poppy seeds, or finely chopped onion, a pinch of salt to bring all the flavors together and then shake it up and place in the fridge until you are ready to use it.  You can put it in a jam jar with a sealer top and it should keep for a few days at least.  
My kale chips - they were a bit overdone
I started searching some recipes for red kale specifically and came across so many things that sound delicious.  Again, if I wrote this earlier in the week, I would know to order extras!  I really love how kale turns out in a salad when you massage the dressing into it - like in this very simple Red Kale, Raisin and Toasted Almond Salad and it's topped with Manchego cheese, one of my favorites.  I also love the idea of using the kale chopped up in an omelette, frittata, or Red Kale and Red Onion Savory Breakfast Squares (you could try substituting the green onions from the box).  The most interesting recipe I found for red kale this week is by far this Bacon Wrapped Red Kale recipe from the Preserving the Soul food blog.

Bacon Wrapped Russian Red Kale
1 Head of Kale - Halved or Quartered (depending on size)

1-2 pieces of bacon (depending on your love for bacon)
Handful of fresh thyme
Oil Oil
Balsamic Vinegar 

Halve one Kale. In a mortar, mash up the oil and thyme, drizzle it on the leafs then wrap it in bacon. Drizzle the balsamic and put it in the oven at 375 for, approximately 25-30 minutes or so.

I don't feel very innovative with pak choi - all I do is stir fry it.  If it was winter I would undoubtedly put it into a Chinese noodle soup but not right now.  There are so many different recipes for pak choi or bok choy that it's hard to choose just a few to post.  You might be better off to just pick your favorite stir fry recipe and add your pak choi to that.  This week you could also use small cauliflower florets, garlic scapes cut into 1-2" pieces, and the green onions to fill out the stir fry.  Add some chicken, pork, fish or tofu for some protein and then whip up an Easy Stir Fry Sauce.  I've come across two different sites that have great tips and some easy straight forward stir fry sauces.  First this Super Easy Stir Fry Guide from walks through the steps of making stir fry and this post on gives a great list of 15 easy sauces to put on a stir fry.  However, if you want one recipe from start to finish try this Honey Chicken with Pak Choi.

If your cherry tomatoes don't just get eaten as snacks they would go well in this Chickpea and Cherry Tomato Salad.  Or if you have the air conditioner running and don't mind doing a bit of cooking at the stove, Jamie Oliver's recipe for Simple Summer Spaghetti is a great option for the cherry tomatoes and basil, you could substitute the garlic scapes for the garlic, and add some green onion as well.

We are off on holidays starting this weekend and heading to the cottage.  That means that I might actually get to cook all these things that I research each week.  And it also means that I don't have an internet connection and won't be able to post this coming week.  Enjoy.

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