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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Summer Squash Koftas

summer squash kofta in spicey curry sauce vegetarian delectable victuals

Yellow summer squash and patty pan (aka scallop) squash have been yielding fairly regularly in the garden this year.

summer squash kofta in spicey curry sauce vegetarian delectable victuals

Finding interesting ways to use them in recipes this summer is one of the enjoyable aspects of cooking with what I plant - especially, what survives my care and yields generously.

summer squash kofta in spicey curry sauce vegetarian delectable victuals

Summer squash is quite bland and watery and lends itself well to pairing with other stronger bolder flavors. This time, grated summer squash and beet greens are paired together to make the vegetarian kofta balls, which are served soaking in a bath of curry sauce.

summer squash kofta in spicey curry sauce vegetarian delectable victuals

For the kofta balls:
½ cup chopped beet greens
1½ cups grated, squeezed dry summer squash (save the squeezed out liquid)
½ Tbsp chili powder or cayenne pepper powder
½ cup chickpea flour
¼ cup coconut flour
1 tsp salt (adjust to taste)

For the Kofta Curry Sauce:
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped

1 Tablespoon garam masala
¼ tsp salt (adjust to taste)
1 Tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 cup water

1/2 to 2/3 cup coconut milk
1 Tbsp coconut oil


  1. Summer Squash and Beet Greens Kofta balls: Combine the ingredients, make a dough that can be shaped into balls; divide into 12 even-sized balls and deep fry in oil over medium heat so the insides are cooked through and the outsides are not charred
  2. Spicy Kofta Curry sauce: Combine the chopped tomatoes and onions and grind to a fine paste; heat 1 Tbsp oil, add the ground paste with a sprinkling of salt and saute over medium heat till aromatic; add water and simmer till the sauce thickens and changes to a deeper richer color and is cooked through; add the rest of the curry sauce ingredients and simmer gently for 5 minutes till well-incorporated, adjust salt to taste
  3. To Serve: Drop the kofta balls in the curry sauce and allow to soak up the flavors for a few minutes and serve warm with naan or rice.

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Home Garden Summer Squash Gratin with Lemon Pepper

easy Summer Squash Gratin

A super simple dish that comes together quickly, this summer squash and zucchini gratin is a wonderful side.

The home garden Summer Squashes were ready to be harvested .

home-garden summer squash gratin organic vegetarian

Some of them were getting rather large at which point they don't taste as tender and delicious, so, it was time to use them fresh.

home-garden summer squash gratin organic vegetarian

Grated Parmesan and mozzarella cheese with just a touch of Panko crumbs form the crusty bottom and tops. A generous sprinkling of lemon pepper and crushed red pepper flakes adds the bite needed to bring this rather bland summer squash alive. Some fresh oregano and thyme add a wonderful aroma as well.

easy Summer Squash Gratin

Arrange the slices in a baking dish that has a bed of cheese; top with seasoning, more cheese, and Panko crumbs. Bake in a 425°F oven for 20-25 minutes till cheese browns and crisps to your liking. Drain any liquids that might collect from the squashes.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Roasted Summer Squash Olive Naan Pizza

Roasted Summer Squash Pizza Olive Naan Pizza

Every once in a while, knowing that not everything has to be made from scratch and labored over, I resort to putting together a quick but fairly healthy and delectable dinner on the fly.

Home garden scallop squash was handy. I harvested it a little later than I had intended but it was still fine. The scallop squash is a favorite - more for its shape and beauty than its versatility.

home-garden summer squash pizza organic vegetarian

The summer squashes were quite ready, and I was thinking of ways to use them everyday. It's not a top favorite with kids, but, the adults enjoy it in a variety of dishes.

home-garden summer squash pizza organic vegetarian

I also had a jar of Konex Pinjur I am addicted to:

Roasted Summer Squash Pizza Olive Naan Pinjur

Plus some olive naan sneaked home with me from the store the previous weekend, even though it was not on the list. Quelle horreur!

Anyway, it felt like a pizza kind of evening. Not the made-from-scratch that we are spoilt on by the other adult. Just a quick pizza on a flatbread is what I had the energy and time for. 

Of course, homemade Olive Pita or any of the homemade Naan would be fine for this quick pizza crust. I usually have a stash of these homemade flatbreads in the freezer. But, since the whole wheat olive naan decided to come home with me, it seemed like the thing to use. 

Chopped bell peppers, shallots, celery, and the home garden scallop squash, but kept the cherry tomatoes whole as I love the way they plump up on cooking and then burst open when biting into it.

Roasted Summer Squash Pizza Olive Naan Pizza

Pan-roast the squash, along with onions and celery and other veggies, to make a fantastic combination of toppings for the pizza.

Pinjur, the red pepper, eggplant, tomato relish, is the pizza sauce, so to speak. Just an amazing burst of flavors that make this pizza rather unique and Mediterranean.

Some mozzarella and feta for the cheesy goodness, in moderation, of course.

Bake in 425°F oven for about 8 - 10 minutes. 

Roasted Summer Squash Pizza Olive Naan Pizza

Paired with a simple salad made with homegarden Butter lettuce, Romaine, and Kale, tossed with some Parmesan and Greek vinaigrette, this was a completely satisfying weeknight meal.

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sauteed Beet Greens with Farfalle Pasta

A nice bunch of beets sporting a lovely head of beet greens, along with some lacinato kale and chard came home with the CSA basket.

A handful of colorful mini peppers and some shallots were huddled together in the crisper, feeling ignored. Little did they know that they were being saved for some good stuff.

Chop up some garlic, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes. Also chop up the greens. 

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan and sauté the chopped veggies, adding balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and Braggs liquid Aminos to taste, cover and cook till done, but not mushy.

Meanwhile, cook some farfalle al dente, drain and keep handy. Per cup of sautéed veggies, I prefer no more than half a cup of cooked farfalle to be mixed in.

When greens are done, toss in the cooked farfalle pasta and stir well. Garnish with toasted pine nuts and serve warm. I like it chilled, preferably the next day, when flavors have melded and is a fantastic summer pasta salad.

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Marinated Beets and Greens Salad with Sunflower Seeds

Marinated Beets and Greens Salad with Sunflower Seeds

Greens and beets and dried apricots and sunflower seeds makes this an irresistible salad.

Gorgeous mixed leafy greens from the CSA...

Marinated Beets and Greens Salad with Sunflower Seeds

and beets...

Marinated Beets and Greens Salad with Sunflower Seeds

Marinated Beets: 
2 cups grated beets
1 small shallot, sliced (optional)
¼ cup chopped dried apricots
4 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoon honey
4 Tablespoon olive oil
salt to taste

Plus 6 cups packed torn leafy greens for tossing in

Combine the marinated beets ingredients and allow to sit and develop flavors for about 20 minutes or more. Usually, I start the beets marinating and then cook the main dish for the dinner, then, throw the salad green into the marinated beets, sprinkle generously with sunflower seeds and serve.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Migas: Crumbled and Mixed Veggies and Corn Tortillas

Migas Mexican Crumbled and Mixed Veggies and Corn Tortillas

I stumbled upon migas a few years ago when I was making Chili Rellenos and didn't think much of it as it seemed like a quick scramble of leftover bread.

However, after reading Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones with delightful and quirky illustrations by Katie Kath, I was inspired to make a version of migas myself.

Stale-old almost-stiff-as-a-board corn tortillas got a new life with some colorful peppers and jalapeños, plus chard ribbons.

Sometimes, there's eggs and cheese, plus a side of avocados. And, sometimes, I leave out the eggs and have just the crisped tortillas and veggies.

Migas Mexican Crumbled and Mixed Veggies and Corn Tortillas

1 cup chopped colorful bell peppers
1 japapeño, chopped
½ cup red onions, chopped
1 cup chard, chopped into ribbons
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp cumin powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes
¼ tsp brown sugar
salt to taste
3 tablespoons of oil
4 to 6 corn tortillas, cut into bite-size squares
2 to 3 eggs, beaten (optional)

  1. Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in a shallow pan and crisp up the corn tortilla squares and keep handy
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a separate pan and saute the veggies, adding the spices
  3. Add the beaten eggs, if using, with the veggies and scramble
  4. Toss in the crisped corn tortilla squares with the veggies and the eggs, serve warm

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Chicken Tamales

chicken tamales delectable victuals homemade

There was enough fall-apart juicy tender spicy crock-pot chicken leftover after making some Enchiladas Rojas. It seemed like a fun idea to keep up the Mexican theme this week and make Chicken Tamales.

Some store-bought nixtamalized masa de harina, plus a bundle of dried corn husks were handy in the pantry.

Not too long ago, cassava tamales came about which, while not a unanimous favorite, was not a total reject either.

Quite the standard recipe that was printed on the bag of masa, with minor variations - mainly, no lard.

2 cups masa instantánea de maíz
2 cups stock or water
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ to ⅔ cup canola oil (add in installments while beating)
1 cup shredded chicken cooked in spicy chili sauce, (sauce drained)
6 to 8 corn husks, soaked in water for about 30 minutes

  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl; add in the stock/water, plus ½ cup oil first and beat until the batter is smooth; if too crumbly and thick, add a bit more oil and water as needed to form a smooth and mildly sticky batter
  2. Open out a pliable corn husk that has been soaking, spread the batter in a thin layer, add the chicken filling, top with more batter to enclose the chicken
  3. Wrap the filled corn husks and steam for about an hour
  4. Serve warm with hot sauce and cooling plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream, if preferred)

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Chicken and Chard Rice with Raita

Chicken and Chard Rice with Raita

One pot/pan meals are quick and easy, which make it quite attractive for me on weeknights. Spiced rice-and-veggies is one of the easiest dishes to whip up that is quite filling on its own. Toss in some beans or lentils/grams for protein and there's a complete meal, no fuss.

While we don't eat red meat, no pork/beef/lamb etc., the kids and the other adult do like poultry and fish every once in a while. And, getting a small portion of chicken breast from a humane local source seems like something we can make peace with.

Now, there is a school of thought I had subscribed to for a period in my life wherein food was just a bland nourishment to keep body and soul together and any indulgence of the palate was outrageous and unnecessary. I am still superbly satisfied with a simple rice and rasam, or buttermilk and pickles, nothing fancy, no indulging the eyes and nose with an array of flavors and colors. I don't care for meat and am not much of a desserts-and-sweets person either.

Left to myself, I am perfectly happy with the Sattvic diet that I grew up with.

Then, what am I doing with a food blog sharing novel and offbeat recipes, along with richly flavorful staples? I haven't quite found the answer to that yet.

All I know is that I enjoy feeding the family and I find cooking to be Zen-like meditation for me. When I am in the kitchen, I am in my zone.

Anyway, here's hoping that fellow foodies and cooking enthusiasts enjoy stopping by and exploring the recipes for inspiration and comfort.

Chicken and Chard Rice with Raita

Nothing much to this dish. Sauté onions, garlic, diced chicken, lima beans, and chopped chard in a large skillet which has a fitting lid. Add rice and sauté. Add appropriate amount of stock or water. Cover and cook, making sure there's enough salt and seasonings to taste.

I used a readymade spice blend from the store -- Blazin' Blends New Orleans Style Seafood & Chicken seasoning.

Cook till rice and chicken are done, adjust seasoning and serve warm.

I served it with a favorite Cucumber Cherries Raita - simple yogurt sauce that cools the tongue and is a great accompaniment for this spicy dish.

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Sunday, August 07, 2016

Portabella Stuffed with Chard, Peppers, Peas

Chard Peppers Peas Stuffed Portabella

"Fungus? No, thank you!"

That seems to be the trend with the majority of the population in the household.

I happen to love mushrooms of all kinds, especially portabella/cremini. With fancy names like that, how can one sideline them as mere fungi.

Every once in a while, I make it just for myself, as an indulgence. Not an elaborate recipe, but whatever is handy as a stuffing is fine with me - like, leftover rice and beans, TVP, or just cheese and tomatoes and onions.

Chard Peppers Peas Stuffed Portabella

This stuffing here is my all-time favorite for portabella. Fresh chard, colorful peppers, red onions, jalapeños, peas in a creamy cheese sauce. Simply saute the veggies till softened, add some cheese and heavy cream to make a thick filling.

Chard Peppers Peas Stuffed Portabella

Rather than bake it in a 400 °F oven for about 10 minutes, I went with cooking it in a cast iron skillet. Gill the portabella and drizzle some Braggs Liquid Aminos and Balsamic vinegar, add some stuffing (I like to pile it on), cook in a lightly oiled hot cast iron skillet with a fitting lid on. Then, remove the lid and cook till done, adding more cheese or filling as desired.

Chard Peppers Peas Stuffed Portabella

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Thursday, August 04, 2016

Chicken Enchilada with Spinach and Beet Greens

Chicken Enchilada with Spinach and Beet Greens Delectable Victuals

I wanted to use up the chicken breasts that the other adult brought home recently. Kids suggested Orange Chicken. And, after the recent pressure-cooker chicken breasts, the other adult was open to anything I came up with. 

As I was putting away the clean pressure cooker in the lower cupboard, its unassuming cousin, my little Crock-pot® slow cooker, peeked out shyly. The decision was made: Throw in a couple of chicken breasts, some herbs and spices and leave it overnight and wake up to a perfectly juicy, tender, fall-apart chicken, effortlessly. Which is what I did.

Chicken Enchilada with Spinach and Beet Greens Delectable Victuals

The chicken breasts stewed in the crock-pot with some brown sugar, Braggs liquid aminos, white wine vinegar, mirin, cumin powder, and chili powder.

Now what to do with the fall-apart crockpot chicken, was the question. Chicken Enchiladas Rojas seemed like the thing.

Rather than rolled up corn tortillas, this is layered like lasagna which makes it so much easier to assemble.

Chicken Enchilada with Spinach and Beet Greens

The sauce is just store-bought El Pato™ Jalapeño Salsa mixed with some Valentina™ Salsa Picante. Sometimes I make the sauce with tomato paste and chipotle in adobo sauce.

Some leftover home made black beans refried beans was handy, plus Colby Jack, queso fresco, and mozzarella, and home garden spinach leaves that bolted.

18 to 24 corn tortillas
3 cups grated cheeses, combined
1½ to 2 cups sauce
1 cup packed spinach leaves
1 cup chopped beet greens
2 cups mushy, flavorful refried beans
vegetable oil spray

  1. Spray some vegetable oil and lay the corn tortillas overlapping slightly. 
  2. Then spread a layer of sauce, refried beans, shredded spicy chicken, greens, and cheese, in the casserole baking dish. Keep layering and finish with corn tortilla layer on top, reserving some sauce and cheese.
  3. Cover with Aluminum foil and bake in a 400°F oven for about 15 minutes. 
  4. Then remove the foil, top with sauce and bake uncovered for 5 more minutes. 
  5. Turn off the oven. Top with reserved cheese and leave it in the oven for a few more minutes till cheese melts in residual heat.
  6. Serve warm, garnished with cilantro and spring onions, and a side of plain Greek yogurt and Salsa Picante for dipping

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Monday, August 01, 2016

Pumpkin Seed Chard Pesto with Carmen Pepper and Alma Paprika

Pumpkin Seed Chard Pesto with Carmen Pepper and Alma Paprika delectable victuals

Growing up with a variety of chutneys made with fresh seasonal ingredients, where most chutneys had coconut and herbal notes, I took a great interest in Pesto when I first encountered it at a friend's place ages ago.

Since then, I've tried quite a few pesto and chutney variations that have turned out anything from out-of-this-world to eww-get-it-away-from-me.

There are but a few staple indigenous ingredients in each region that lend themselves to umpteen combinations -- some good, some not-so -- subject to individual taste preference. So, mixing it up a bit seems natural and unavoidable for variety.

Anyway, getting back to this recipe, which came about because I had an unexpected set of ingredients handy,  begging to be used, the Pumpkin Seed  Beet and Chard Greens Pesto got a boost from home garden Alma Paprika and Carmen Pepper.

Pumpkin Seed Chard Pesto with Carmen Pepper and Alma Paprika

The Alma paprika are plump tomato-esque ones rather than the traditional corno di toro type elongated chili variety. The tiny plant was weighed down with two of these and I was waiting patiently for them to ripen to a brilliant red. Seeing as how the plant was falling down, I decided to harvest one of them while still yellow and sporting a healthy blush.

The Carmen pepper was getting big and strong and long, so I was sure I can wait till it turns sweet and juicy red. But, before I got around to taking a picture of it on the plant, the pepper fell off the plant. 

A bunch of chard and beet greens, Alma paprika, green Carmen pepper were ready to be made into something interesting. I thought of the protein-packed Indian staple of Dal, or maybe, South Indian Masiyal, perhaps even Chard-and-Peppers gratin or Creamy soup.

Pumpkin Seed Chard Pesto with Carmen Pepper and Alma Paprika delectable victuals

And then I noticed this unassuming jar of pumpkin seeds. It is lightly toasted and salted but unhulled retaining the highly valuable insoluble fiber. 

The mood called for a simple pesto using Chard and Beet greens, Pumpkin seeds, fresh garlic, Alma paprika, and Carmen pepper. 

I didn't quite measure the condiments, just eyeballed some apple cider vinegar and lemon juice, and olive oil, plus grated Parmesan for this pesto. The pumpkin seeds brought in the coarse texture I like in pesto.

Stirred in with rotini pasta and tossed with sauteed onions and bell peppers, this was quite the simple yet satisfying meal.

Pumpkin Seed Chard Pesto with Carmen Pepper and Alma Paprika

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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

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

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

  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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