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Saturday, July 30, 2016

Walla Walla Sweet Onion Pressure Cooked Flavorful Chicken Breasts

Walla Walla Sweet Onion Pressure Cooked Flavorful Chicken Breasts



Cooking is a personal meditative activity for me that offers simple satisfaction, while constantly inspiring and educating me. Sometimes, the unconventional combinations here that seem to flout tradition and good sense, might get a disdainful scorn from experienced chefs, but, I just smile calmly and refrain from knotting myself up over it.

Anyway, the other adult brought home a couple of chicken breasts that I've been trying to cook up in small installments over the week. Nothing too fancy this time around.

I wanted to pressure cook the chicken breasts with herbs and spices, then top it with a simple reduced sauce. However, this being the season, I threw in a couple of whole Walla Walla Sweet Onions and about a dozen cloves of fresh garlic.

Chicken breasts were rubbed with paprika and brown sugar first, then browned on both sides in the pressure cooker pan in hot oil. The peeled whole sweet onions and garlic were tossed in as well. Then, some Apple cider vinegar, Braggs Liquid aminos, Mirin, stone ground brown mustard went into the cooker, with a scoop of water, just enough to build up steam.

Once pressure cooked, the chicken breasts came out (after confirming the internal temperature of at least 170 °F) and the liquid in the pressure cooker pan was reduced till thick and saucy.

Meanwhile, I sautéed the beet greens on the side.

I didn't measure anything accurately for this recipe, so, no specifics to share. But, the recipe is so easy and versatile that it can be adapted to taste without much effort.

While kids enjoy simple staples like Orange Chicken and Almond-flax Baked Chicken nuggets and Chicken Satay, the other adult is always up for anything new like
 Guaje Chicken, or, 
which makes it fun for me to cook up something new and interesting each time.

Sauces are so much fun!

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Fresh Garbanzo Beans with Nectarine Summer Salad

Fresh Garbanzo Beans with Nectarine Summer Salad


Fresh Garbanzo Beans are everywhere now! What used to be a seasonal find is apparently available year-round -- according to Califresh website -- wherever stores can stock it and sell it reasonably fresh. (No, I have no affiliation with the company, it just happens to be the kind I found at a nearby grocery store.)

fresh garbanzo beans



Shelling these fresh garbanzo beans aka chickpeas is a Zen-like activity, much like shelling Fava beans or good ol' green peas. I could have tasked the kids with it, but, I needed the down time to just sit in one spot and focus on one thing at hand.

So, as I sat there in the backyard, with a pile of these pods, I decided I am not going to be in any rush to get it done. The house finches were monopolizing one of the porch feeders, until a black-headed grosbeak stopped by for a snack - a rare visitor. Of course, chickadees knew not to compete with the house finches so they flocked to the feeder on the pear tree. All the while, a couple of hummingbirds were creating a racket darting back and forth trying to cut off the other one's approach to their feeder.

I am digressing... Gripping each pod with fingers, gently massaging the pea inside till the pod pops open to reveal a solitary large green pea/bean, (and, sometimes twins), is only fun as long as there is just under a pound to shell at a time, which is all I had at hand.


Fresh Garbanzo Beans with Nectarine Summer Salad


Steam it for about 15 to 20 minutes so as not to be mushy but tender and eat it as-is, or seasoned. Or, sauté it in olive oil, or even pan-roast it. Toss it into pasta or rice or curries. Make fresh chickpea hummus along with edamame, if preferred.


Fresh Garbanzo Beans with Nectarine Summer Salad


This time, I went with a simple summer salad: Some colorful bell peppers, shallots, English cucumbers, celery, cherry tomatoes, feta, and of course, a ripe but firm nectarine--its mild sweetness enhances most simple salads and salsas.

A simple vinaigrette with a splash of apple cider vinegar, a spot of honey, a drop of lime juice, a pinch of salt, and a touch of olive oil is all it takes to bring this colorful fresh summer salad alive.






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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Stems, Stems, Stems: Broccoli, Kohlrabi, Kale Stem Kinpira

Stems, Stems, Stems: Broccoli, Kohlrabi, Kale Stem Kinpira satueed Japanese vegetarian


After the Burdock Kinpira not too long ago, I've been itching for more of that special Japanese sauté and simmer style plate of wholesome goodies.

Since I don't usually throw away edible stems and stalks of greens and veggies knowing I can find a nice way to incorporate them in my cooking, I had this huge pile of kohlrabi stems, kale stems, broccoli stems, chard stems, even bok choy stems. To a casual observer, it is just a pile of compost, but to me, it was heaven beckoning.


Stems, Stems, Stems: Broccoli, Kohlrabi, Kale Stem Kinpira satueed Japanese vegetarian


Simply chop into uniform size to facilitate even cooking. In a cast iron skillet, heat some sesame oil and sauté the stems; add in the chosen flavoring condiments, some braising liquid, cook till all the liquid is absorbed and the stems are cooked to satisfaction.


Stems, Stems, Stems: Broccoli, Kohlrabi, Kale Stem Kinpira satueed Japanese vegetarian



For flavoring, I went with Ponzu, apple cider vinegar, mirin, a touch of sambal oelek, and a generous sprinkling of smoked paprika for that bright color and cozy warmth. Just a splash of water as needed, enough to get the veggies softened and juices flowing. That's it.

Another batch got a slightly different flavoring: Worcestershire sauce, white vinegar, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, adjusted to taste. Since I make this kinpira-style dish often enough -- whenever there is a pile of stems to use up -- it's nice to change up the flavors to see if there is a new favorite in the horizon.


Stems, Stems, Stems: Broccoli, Kohlrabi, Kale Stem Kinpira satueed Japanese vegetarian


A bunch of mustard greens are growing in the garden. Tender baby mustard greens are a fantastic addition to salads. I love to pop a leaf in my mouth and wait for the sharp wasabi-like burst when munching it down. It starts off surprisingly sweet and then just explodes. Delicious!

Topped with some caramelized sweet onions and green chilies, garnished with some fresh baby mustard greens, this plate of stems got a boost from some carrot sticks I threw in for contrast while sautéing. Not a super-fancy dish or anything, but, quite satisfying to use up edible stems and stalks.

To make a feast of it, I serve some veggie pot stickers and a cleansing cucumber salad along with the kinpira.

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Fava Bean and Chard Herb Hummus

Fava Bean and Chard Herb Hummus


I am hoping to plant chard for fall harvest, along with more kale, lettuce, and snap peas. By late fall, I end up circling back to comfort foods like soups, stews, and casseroles with nothing new to add to the recipe collection here.

Anyway, a while back, I had a nice big bunch of rainbow chard and a bag of fava beans fresh from CSA that I didn't want to ignore. Not that fava beans will be ignored in our house, especially when the older child gobbles them by the handful when they are blanched tenderly and set out in a bowl.

While tossing some blanched fava beans in salads and pasta is easy, I wanted to make a dish with intense fava bean flavor that will be the center of attention for a simple evening meal. What's more intensely fava bean-flavored than Fava Bean Hummus? Well, maybe fava bean stew, fava bean falafel, fava bean koftas. Or, any of the three recipes in Broad Bean Bash...


Fava Bean and Chard Herb Hummus



It's a Zen-like activity to shell the fava beans. Well, at least, when there is just a small basketful, and not a giant sackful. So, one fine evening a few weeks ago, I sat and shelled the fresh fava beans out in the backyard, watching the hummingbirds flit to and from their feeder. The house finches and chickadees were making several trips as well, completely ignoring me sitting right in their path to the feeder.


Fava Bean and Chard Herb Hummus


The chard wouldn't like sitting in the sidelines, I figured. So, chard got chopped, stem and all, with the fresh garlic from the farm; sautéed with a pinch of salt and a splash of lemon juice, the greens were raring to go.


Fava Bean and Chard Herb Hummus


Later that evening, the beans danced in boiling water for a couple of minutes and dove into the bowl of ice water. Finally, they were glad to shed their thick outer layer without much coaxing, and emerged in their resplendent beany greenness. It was quite a sight to behold in a bowlful.

Now, strong herbal notes bring that added oomph to the palate, so, armed with my trusty shears, I snipped a bit of mint, fennel, oregano, and scallions from the garden.


Fava Bean and Chard Herb Hummus


Blanched fava beans, sauteed chard and garlic, fresh herbs, plus a couple of bold Serrano chilies came together with some tahini, olive oil, and a splash of apple cider vinegar to make this incredibly delicious Chard and Fava Bean Herb Hummus.

Served with homemade Chipotle Coconut Flour Flax Meal Rotis, and a small side salad, the Fava Bean Hummus took center stage that night for sure.


Fava Bean and Chard Herb Hummus


Ingredients
1½ cup blanched fresh fava beans
1 cup chopped chard with stems
½ cup packed herbs
2 Tablespoon tahini
2 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
salt to taste

Tempering:
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon small dry Pequin peppers

Preparation
  1. Combine the hummus ingredients in a food processor and blend to desired coarse/smooth consistency, adjusting salt to taste
  2. Tempering: Heat the oil in a small pan, add the cumin and caraway seeds, allow to crisp and brown gently, then add the Pequin peppers and turn off heat
  3. To serve, garnish the hummus with the tempering, stir if preferred.
  4. Serve with Chipotle Coconut Flour Flax meal Roti, or Chipotle and Sun-dried Tomato Tortillas, or, Ube Purple Yam and Chipotle Naan, or, Mint Olive Greek Pita,  or Kohlrabi-stuffed Kale Fennel Naan...






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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Cassava Stuffed Tamales and Dolmas

Cassava Stuffed Tamales and Dolmas


I must admit, cassava is not a favorite at home, so, I don't go looking for it at the market and I don't  cook it often. Every once in a while (perhaps once a year), when it seems available at a reasonable price, I do give it a try to see if our tastes have changed. No such luck this year, we still seem to not be able to accept it without reservations.

Anyway, to keep things interesting, some of the cassava got incorporated into a rather unconventional filling for tamales and dolmas.

Cassava Stuffed Tamales and Dolmas


A bag of corn husks were handy in the pantry. The fresh green grape leaves were hanging off their vines in the backyard. A bag of coconut flour was waiting to be used up. And the cassava made a plea to be accepted with open arms.

Cassava Stuffed Tamales and Dolmas


Mushed cooked cassava, plus a few tablespoons of coconut flour just enough to make a cohesive filling is all there is to the stuffing. Some herbs and flavoring as the mood calls for, of course. I went with some annatto/achiote seasoning. Some chopped up broccoli, onions, and peppers for extra texture.

Cassava Stuffed Tamales and Dolmas


Simply wrap up the filling and steam for about 30 minutes. Lightly saute the dolma before serving, if preferred.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Cassava and Purple Kohlrabi in Coconut Cumin Yogurt Sauce

Cassava and Purple Kohlrabi in Coconut Cumin Yogurt Sauce


The texture of cassava reminded me of chena, Elephant foot yam, a staple in my mom's kitchen when it is in season. My mom's famous chena-elavan koottu is an all-time favorite. I haven't had it in ages, as I can't find Elephant foot yam in my neighborhood markets. But, when I made the cassava fries, I thought it might be worthwhile to try cassava as a substitute for chena in this recipe.

The coconut-cumin yogurt sauce is pretty standard in south Indian cooking, Palakkad-style.

The purple kohlrabi that came in the CSA basket was handy, along with all the kohlrabi, radish, and chard leaves I had saved.

purple kohlrabi koottu dal curry vegetarian CSA cooking


Mung beans, aka Moong dal, adds body and protein to this packed-with-goodness veggie dish that can be served as-is or with some perfectly done brown rice.

Ingredients
1 small kohlrabi diced
2 to 3 cups chopped radish, chard, and kohlrabi greens
1 cup diced cassava
¼ cup spit yelllow moong dal
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste

For the Coconut-Cumin Yogurt Sauce:
1 to 1½ cups thick plain yogurt, beaten till smooth
¼ cup dry grated unsweetened coconut
3 dry red chilies
1 Tablespoon cumin seeds

Tempering: (optional but recommended for enhancing flavors)
1 teaspoon canola oil
½ tsp black mustard seeds
¼ tsp cumin seeds

Preparation
  1. Combine the vegetables in a pan, along with mung beans, turmeric, and brown sugar, add enough water, cover, and allow to simmer till vegetables and mung beans are tender but not mushy
  2. Meanwhile, combine the coconut, chilies, cumin seeds in a blender or food processor and grind to a fine powder
  3. When veggies are cooked, stir in the coconut-cumin-chilies mixture, adjust salt to taste, simmer gently for a few more minutes till well incorporated, then turn off heat
  4. Allow to cool slightly before folding in the beaten yogurt
  5. Tempering: Heat oil in a pan, when it shimmers add the mustard seeds, when that pops add in cumin seeds and turn off heat; pour this tempering over the dish just before serving, stir well

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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Cassava Fries

Cassava Fries


These pan-fried cassava sticks are easy to make. With some dipping sauces, they are a fun alternative to potato fries. Since cassava is quite a bit more expensive than potatoes and hard to find sometimes, I don't make this often. Every once in a while (more like once a year or so), I pick up one large piece from the market and make it a special occasion to incorporate it into dinners. It is not yet a favorite with any of us at home, but why should that stop me from cooking it, right? Be open to trying new things is the mantra at home.

Simply, peel and cut into sticks. Heat oil in a cast iron skillet, add these cut cassava in a single layer, allow to crisp on one side. Then flip and crisp on other sides as preferred. Splash water as needed and cover and allow to steam-cook till tender enough to your liking. Season with salt and chili powder.




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Friday, July 15, 2016

Mango Salsa Lettuce Roll-ups

Mango Salsa Lettuce Roll-ups


The combination of mango, colorful peppers, red onion, chickpeas, jalapeño, and cilantro  mingled with lemon juice and apple cider vinegar plus a touch of salt is just a perfect explosion of flavor.

Some butter lettuce from the garden was just the thing to wrap this flavor explosion in and pop into the mouth.

Mango Salsa Lettuce Roll-ups homegarden butter lettuce organic


It was just going to be a side salad but being so addictive the adults simply filled up on these Mango Salsa-Filled Lettuce Roll-ups. Simply scoop some salsa into a leaf of lettuce, wrap or roll it for convenient eating.


Mango Salsa Lettuce Roll-ups

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Summer Salad with Kohlrabi and Lentils

Summer Salad with Kohlrabi and Lentils raspberries kale green goddess herb dressing


I almost talked myself out of posting yet another salad recipe here. However when salads take center stage, especially during summer months, it almost begs to be shared, if only to inspire me the next time I feel like I'm in a culinary rut.

Tossed together with my current favorite Green Goddess-like dressing made with herbs from the garden, this salad was just the perfect weekend dinner.



Some kale, Romaine, and butter lettuce from the garden. Some cooked green lentils, seasoned. Some cherry tomatoes and shallots. Some raspberries from the garden. Some Spiralized kohlrabi. (I do love the Spiralizer, a Christmas gift a couple of years ago.) 

Easy to throw together and easy to go for that third helping, minus the guilt. 



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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Garden Salad with Kohlrabi and Beets with Fennel Mint Basil Dressing

Garden Salad with Kohlrabi and Beets with Fennel Mint Basil Dressing


Butter lettuce, Romaine, Kale, and Spinach. Four staples for a salad. Each bringing in its own texture and flavor to the mix. All of them just from the small patch of home garden.

I was all set to grow some Mesclun greens mix but changed my mind when it came time to plant. Maybe I will still plant some for Fall.

Garden Salad with Kohlrabi and Beets with Fennel Mint Basil Dressing


Anyway, it was one of those days. I didn't feel like cooking much. The kids got oatmeal sprinkled with flax meal for dinner, plus broccoli, and celery with peanut butter, of course. I decided to look in the garden and throw together a simple salad for the adults and call it a meal.

Some grated kohlrabi, grated beets, shredded purple cabbage, plus corn kernels and black beans, and a few wedges of tomatoes seemed like just the thing. They were sitting in their own little containers in the fridge waiting to be used up. So, no extra work there.

Some fresh herbs from the garden came together for the chimichurri sauce-like Green-Goddess-ish dressing.

Fennel Mint Basil Oregano Goddess-like Dressing: Combine the ingredients in a blender or food processor and process till smooth.

1 cup packed finely chopped herbs
1 Serrano chili, chopped (use less if preferred)
2 tablespoons tahini
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon mirin
2 tablespoon olive oil
salt to taste


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Thursday, July 07, 2016

Kohlrabi Lentil Patties/Burgers

Kohlrabi Lentil Burgers southwest corn peppers chipotle vegetarian


Grated kohlrabi has a pungent almost mustard-like aroma which makes the kids wrinkle their noses and walk away, but not the adults in the family, who seem to subscribe to the pungenter the better ideology.

Kohlrabi Lentil Burgers southwest corn peppers chipotle vegetarian


Grated kohlrabi combined with southwest vegetables and spices, with a touch of chipotle in adobo sauce, plus some fennel from the garden, along with cooked green lentils is all there is to this extremely flavorful vegan patty/burger.

Served warm with chimichurri sauce and salad, these patties are a fully satisfying meal. Or, simply stack some favorites like some smoked Gouda shavings, butter lettuce and arugula, thinly sliced onions and tomatoes, with a southwest chipotle sauce, in a bun and enjoy a summer time staple veggie burger.


Kohlrabi Lentil Burgers southwest corn peppers chipotle vegetarian


Ingredients
⅓ cup finely grated kohlrabi
¼ cup finely chopped kohlrabi leaves
¼ cup cooked southwest blend veggies - viz., corn, black beans, onions, red pepper, green pepper, Poblano pepper
1½ cups cooked green lentils
½ cup French fried onions, crumbled, on a plate for coating
1 to 2 Tablespoons coconut flour or chickpea flour or all-purpose flour, as needed
2 Tablespoon minced chipotle in adobo sauce
2 to 3 Tablespoons of canola oil or olive oil
salt to taste

Preparation
  1. Reserve about 1 tablespoon of the southwest veggies and 2 Tablespoons of grated kohlrabi for adding in later (This is optional - I like to have bits and pieces to lend texture to the burger, as long as the base is cohesive enough)
  2. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse gently till it all comes together coarse and thick to be shaped into patties
  3. Add in the reserved kohlrabi and southwest veggie mix and knead gently till well incorporated; taste and adjust seasoning
  4. Heat a griddle to medium hot with a bit of oil in it
  5. Divide the dough into 4 standard sized patties, or 5 or 6 smaller patties, press down on the plate of crumbled French fried onion
  6. Cook on the hot griddle till browned on both sides



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Monday, July 04, 2016

Kohlrabi Pizza

Kohlrabi Pizza


Our first CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) basket for this summer came with a small bunch of cute little baby kohlrabis, with a lovely purple one to boot.

These tender kohlrabis are almost like watery green pears or green apples -- crunchy and pleasantly sweet -- and are perfect addition to fresh summer salads.

Kohlrabi Pizza


I was thinking about other ways to incorporate kohlrabi into everyday foods as I opened a kitchen cupboard looking for nothing in particular. A box of Almond flour pizza crust mix stared back at me -- the one I "won" by doing Zumba for an hour at a sponsored event at kids' school without flopping down exhausted. And, that's when the stars aligned themselves obligingly: Kohlrabi pizza!

Tender kohlrabi bulbs peeled and sliced thin, some kohlrabi leaves, plus some Walla Walla sweet onions, garlic shoots, and black olives (mostly for color) became the toppings for the almond flour pizza.


Kohlrabi Pizza


With these bright greens for toppings, the usual red tomato-based pizza sauce was antithetic. So, I looked in the garden for inspiration.

Some fresh oregano, mint, fennel, and basil beckoned. I walked around with my kitchen shears making a snip here and a snip there, tenderly, to get a happy little bunch of fresh organic herbs.


kohlrabi pizza mint fennel basil oregano chimichurri sauce


One Serrano chili with 1 cup packed chopped home garden herbs, plus a splash of apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil got ground up together to make a heady, aromatic chimichurri-like sauce. No cooking involved. Bonus: this sauce doubles as a great salad dressing!

So, with the sauce befitting the toppings, all that was left to do was make the almond flour pizza per package directions.

Kohlrabi Pizza


It turned out yummy, if I may say so myself. The only thing I'd do differently next time is to add the tender kohlrabi leaves as topping much later-- possibly closer to finishing time -- so as not to crisp it up too much. And, probably try my usual from-scratch pizza dough.

This was the "adult" pizza that evening. The kids got their own personal pizzas with their favorite non-kohlrabi toppings when they casually suggested, "just put it in my salad, Mama, not on my pizza," which left me beaming anyway because, well, at least they are not rejecting kohlrabi altogether.







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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Pickled Kohlrabi

Pickled Kohlrabi


It is no random chalk-it-to-bizarre phenomenon that there is a series of kohlrabi posts here. 'Tis the season. All of a sudden, these sprightly bulbs are everywhere. Well, not in my garden - yet - but, every other market I go to offers these quirky-looking bulbs practically free.

A couple of large bulbs, along with some okra, got pickled in vinegar for a quick snack.

Just a simple vinegar pickling that can be looked up on the web: equal parts white vinegar and water with some salt, simmered till salt is dissolved, plus some peppercorns, garlic cloves, dry red chilies, caraway, and dill weed. 

Pickled Kohlrabi

Pack a jar with kohlrabi batons and okra, pour the hot vinegar mixture, top with a kohlrabi leaf to keep it all submerged, then, allow to cool a bit, cover, and leave it in the fridge for a week or so for flavors to develop.

As for me, in about 4 or 5 days, I start dipping into the jar and snacking on these crisp tart little veggies. They are good additions to layered salads as well. Some chickpeas, come chopped pickled kohlrabi, some marinated beans all add up to a delicious salad.

A fantastic alternative to pickled baby cucumbers aka "pickles", these pickled kohlrabi batons are easy to make and fun to snack on. Of course, I had to throw in some okra as my daughter and I can't seem to get enough of pickled okra.

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Braised Kohlrabi Leaves & Bok Choy with Buckwheat Soba and Okra

Braised Kohlrabi Leaves & Bok Choy with Buckwheat Soba and Okra


I had stashed away some of the smaller, torn-up kohlrabi leaves after using the big ones for the Stuffed Kohlrabi Leaf Dolma Bites. These bits and pieces of kohlrabi leaves along with some bok choy leaves, plus a splash of Zenjiang vinegar and vegetable stock came together for braising.

Simply heat a teaspoon of sesame oil in a pan, add 3 cups of packed leaves and 3 cloves of crushed garlic, turn them around till lightly golden all around, add a teaspoon of Zenjiang vinegar (a little goes a long way!) and a cup of vegetable stock, cover and cook till greens are tender. Fish out the greens and reduce the liquid, if any, to pour over the greens when serving.

Some okra, onions, and tomatoes came together with Braggs Liquid Aminos and Sambal Oelek for the warm okra side.

Served at room temperature with cold soba noodles, this is a wonderful summer dish for a weeknight evening that comes together very quickly.

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Friday, June 24, 2016

Pan-roasted Radish and Brussels Sprouts

Ipan roasted redish and brussels sprouts sweet potato medallion taboulleh


A big bunch of rainbow radish hop-skip-and-jumped into my shopping basket at the farmers market.

Rather than adding it raw to salads or cooking Indian-style Dal or Sambar, I went with a searing and pan-roasting them with Brussels sprouts.  Flavoring with Balsamic vinegar, mirin, and Braggs Liquid Aminos, and sautéing the radish greens along with the radishes and Brussels sprouts, seemed to make the dish all the more appealing.

Brussles Sprouts by themselves are relished in many ways at home, a few of which are shared in the Brussels Sprouts Fete post about four years ago. And, am sure this combo of radishes and Brussles sprouts can be cooked in any of those delicious methods.

With some Tabbouleh and pan-roasted sweet potato medallions, the roasted radish and Brussels sprouts rounded out a simple but filling weeknight meal.

pan roasted redish and brussels sprouts sweet potato medallion taboulleh


The sweet potato medallions were roasted on a cast iron skillet with a touch of brown sugar for caramelization. 

Tabbouleh, a quick and simple salad,  tastes even better the next day. Just some chopped celery, carrots, purple cabbage, sweet onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, feta, walnuts, apples, cranberries, parsley tossed with softened bulgur. Of course, bulgur is high in carbs, complex carbs - but also high in fiber and low in fat, plus has a nice amount of protein. Being a low GI food, I like that it is easy to make and is good all round.

The dressing is just lime/lemon juice and olive oil, some salt to taste, plus a splash of orange zest for this tabbouleh.




I had a small lump of Jalapeño goat cheese and served small discs of it as garnish to add a bite to the roasted radish and Brussels sprouts.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Stuffed Kohlrabi Greens Dolma Bites

Stuffed Kohlrabi Greens Dolma Bites


Seasonal blueberry-picking and jam-making happened last weekend. I was all set to pay for the berries we picked and head back home when a gorgeous crisp bunch of cheerful kohlrabi jumped up at me. I couldn't resist. I brought it home with much gung-ho, only to get caught up in a million household tasks that couldn't wait any longer. So, the kohlrabi bunch sat there and waited patiently.

stuffed kohlrabi leaves dolma


I had mentally made some Stuffed Kohlrabi in Coconut Cream Sauce and some Kohlrabi Naan and Kohlrabi Greens Koottu and was thrilled to have used up this new bunch of kohlrabi in fitting ways. Of course, mental-cooking is not the same as actual-cooking. So the kohlrabi sat there, sporting a pout and threatening to wilt. I had to act fast.

Stuffed Kohlrabi Greens Dolma Bites


That's how the kohlrabi greens got made into these grape-leaf-dolma-like steamed rolls filled with spiced and fragrant rice and vegetables. Much like Swiss Chard Dolma and Collard Green Bites and Cabbage Rolls, these Kohlrabi Greens Dolma Bites were much relished by adults. Kids, not so much.




The filling is a favorite: rice sautéed with vegetables and flavored with aromatic spices, some walnuts and dried cranberries. Since the filling is a favorite side for dinners, I made quite a big batch and saved some. About a dozen large kohlrabi leaves got trimmed and washed and patted dry, ready to be stuffed and steamed.

Stuffed Kohlrabi Greens Dolma Bites


After steaming for about 12 minutes, I sautéed them in olive oil and garnished with fresh cranberries and blueberries and some sesame seeds. The tartness of the cranberries plus the juicy sweetness of the blueberries complement the spice filling and the savory leaves.

As to the kohlrabi bulbs, they are getting pickled in vinegar - some of them at least. The rest might become fritters or stuffing when I find a pocket of time next.

Ingredients
12 to 14 kohlrabi leaves of uniform size
1 Tablespoon olive oil for sauteing
Favorite garnishes

Filling:
1 cup cooked rice
2 cups finely chopped mixed vegetables - onions, colorful bell peppers, tomatoes, Serrano chilies, cauliflower, cabbage
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Seasoning spices to taste - salt, chili powder, curry powder, paprika, turmeric, cumin powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar

Preparation

  1. Filling: Heat the oil in a pan; add the veggies, saute a bit; then add the spices and saute some more; cover a cook till tender; then add in the rice and adjust seasoning
  2. Spoon enough filling onto each kohlrabi leaf and wrap it tight like a burrito and place it in the steaming basket, free side down
  3. Steam fro about 12 minutes; remove from steam
  4. Heat oil in a pan, place the steamed rolled leaves gently on the pan; turn them over to gently saute all sides
  5. Serve warm, garnished with favorite berries and nuts





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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Cheesy Sweet Potato and Cabbage Savory Bread

Cheesy Sweet Potato and Cabbage Savory Bread


A thick slice of savory bread is perfect as tea time snack or as a quick lunch-mate for salads. While the sweetish cake-like zucchini bread and banana-blueberry bread and sweet potato bread get a huge raving endorsement, these savory breads are gaining in popularity as well with the kids lately.

The tiny wedge of purple cabbage that was relegated to the deep recesses of the crisper tray -- since I rarely throw away any vegetable before they are beyond redemption -- finally saw the light of day, but not for too long.

Why purple cabbage and sweet potato? asked the nicer half of the adult team at home.
Why not? I replied with conviction.

Ingredients
Wet:
1 cup finely chopped purple cabbage
1 cup mushed cooked sweet potato
2 eggs beaten
½ cup canola oil
½ cup milk
1 cup grated cheeses - Parmesan and Colby jack or Cheddar
Dry:
¼ cup flax meal
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt (reduce if preferred)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
½ cup chopped walnuts

Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 350 ° F
  2. Combine the wet ingredients in a large bowl and stir till well incorporated
  3. Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, sifting the flour
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture stirring gently and folding it in
  5. Pour into a greased standard loaf pan and bake in 350 °F oven for 35 to 40 minutes till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
  6. Cool on a wire rack before slicing
  7. Serve with plain whipped cream cheese




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