Warm Brussels Sprout Salad

Brussels Sprouts. To think I went 26 years of my life without them. Thankfully I sucked it up and roasted a pan of them 2 years ago…and then subsequently ate the entire pan in 2 days. These are one of my favorite winter vegetables. Roasted them in a no-fail way to win over non-believers. A friend of mine mentioned a shredded raw brussels sprout salad she made and it got me thinking that it was time to venture out. I wasn’t quite ready for raw sprouts, but shredded I could do. Then I found this delicious looking warm Brussels sprout salad over at a Beautiful Mess and I was sold. I made a few changes for what I had on hand and my personal taste. This recipe ends up being the best of winter with a touch of summer with the hint of lemon.

warm sprout salad

Warm Brussels Sprout Salad
Recipe from A Beautiful Mess

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. brussels sprouts
  • 2/3 cup craisins
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt + pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Shred the Brussels Sprouts in a food processor. I chopped them, but think it would have been better if I had used the shredding function because the pieces were all different sizes.
  2. Heat 1tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sprouts and toss with oil. Cook until bright green. Add craisins and cook for a few more minutes to warm them.
  3. Clean the food processor and then add the  mayo, garlic, and lemon juice. Pulse until well combined. Leave the processor running and add 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add salt and pepper for your personal taste.
  4. Pour the dressing over the hot mixture. Coat well.
  5. Serve warm and enjoy!

CSA Week #13

Today marks the first day of my neurology rotation in Madison. This is the last month I am living away from J until April, so I just need to hang in there a little bit longer. This month should be pretty awesome because I get to live with a good friend of mine that I’ve known for almost 10 years. It will be great to catch up and be roomies for the month.

This week our box is full of lots of goodies.

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  • Bell Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Eggplant
  • Cucumbers
  • Green Beans
  • Hot Peppers
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Purple cabbage
  • Sweet Corn
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon

I was home last weekend and went crazy with the produce. We canned dozens of jars of tomatoes and pickles, make 3 pans of banana bars, and froze most all of the produce that was left over. Needless to say, the refrigerator was fully stocked when I left the house on Monday morning for Madison. For that reason, I won’t be “assigning” recipes for the produce this week and will probably decide what exactly to do with it all on Friday when I get home. Here are some of the recipe ideas for the week:

  1. Cottage Cheese Salad (cucumbers and tomatoes) or Jerusalem Salad (cucumbers, onion, tomatoes, green pepper)
  2. Chevre Stuffed Peppers with Pecans (peppers, frozen herbs)
  3. Crunchy Walnut Coleslaw
  4. Baked eggplant with basil marinara (eggplant, tomatoes), served with fresh parsley bread (parsley) and Oven roasted tomato sauce (tomatoes)
  5. Tomato pesto galette (tomatoes)
  6. Roasted Cherry Tomato Frittata (tomatoes)
  7. Red Roasted Carrots (carrots)
  8. Antipasto grill with cheese and wine (for whatever is left over)
  9. Sweet corn desserts
  10. Freeze green beans and sweet corn
  11. Cut up watermelon and eat as a snack

Zesty Summer Pasta Salad

Here is super simple pasta salad recipe for your Labor Day cookout!

Easy Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces whole wheat pasta
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium head of broccoli, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup Balsamic vinegar or sun-dried tomato dressing
  • 2-3 ounces fresh parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Prepare pasta. While pasta is cooking, move on the the next step.
  2. Heat a little olive oil in a nonstick pan and add onion. Saute until soft. Add carrots and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add remaining vegetables (except tomatoes) and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in tomatoes. 
  3. Drain water from pasta. Put pasta in a large dish. Add the vegetables and mix well.
  4. Add dressing and cheese. Stir to coat and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

Simple Summer Salad

More cucumbers. and green beans. and broccoli.  and wax beans.

Sometimes (well, most times) I am not very creative in the kitchen. I wonder if there is really a point to posting about those times, because to me they don’t seem worthy of discussion. But then I was thinking about how many people don’t realize how simple it can be to whip up something healthy and delicious with random things you have one hand. In all honesty, before the CSA, I could probably count the number of “recipes” I followed for meals this year on one hand, maybe two.  Here is an example of one of my no-recipe meals. I served this with grilled steaks and fresh bread.

simple summer salad

Simple Summer Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut in half
  • 1/2 pound wax beans, trimmed and cut in half
  • 1 large head of broccoli (maybe 1/2 pound as well), chopped
  • 2 small or 1 large cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced into half moons
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup of Kraft Sun-dried Tomato Dressing

Directions

  1. Mix all the vegetables into a large bowl.
  2. Add the dressing, starting with 1/2 cup and mix well. It is very easy to use way too much dressing, so start with a little, mix well, and see where it gets you. As you mix, see if there is any pooling at the bottom; if soon, keep mixing! While there may be some dressing at the bottom after the salad sits in the refrigerator for a day or two, it shouldn’t be soaking in the dressing when you first mix it together.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving to help the flavors soak in.

 

 

Curried Cucumber Ranita

Cucumber Yogurt Curry SaladIt’s that time of year when there are more cucumbers than you know what to do with. We had six in the refrigerator and I wanted something other than sliced cucumbers and pickles. I was going through an old cookbook with loose recipes inside and Cucumber Ranita fell out. I love when that happens. The recipe wasn’t quite what I wanted (cream, whole milk yogurt, spices I didn’t have on hand, etc…), I just used the recipe as an inspiration for this recipe. We served it at a family party a few weeks ago and it was a hit.

Curried Cucumber Ranita

Ingredients

  • 4 cucumbers, about 6″ in size
  • 2 cups plain yogurt, regular or greek – the regular worked just fine and wasn’t too runny
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, diced
  • 1/2 cup Madras Curry Paste
  • 4 oz orzo pasta
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup peanuts

Directions

  1. Prepare the pasta per directions on package. 
  2. Finely shred 2 of the cucumbers. Mix with the yogurt and cilantro. Add the curry paste and stir well.
  3. Quarter the remaining cucumbers. You may want to remove the seeds or use seedless, but regular cucumbers worked just fine for me.
  4. Mix the yogurt sauce with the pasta. Add the cucumbers, raisins, and peanuts. Stir well. Serve cold.

Three Bean Salad

This salad is super easy and delicious. I made it up the other weekend before going to my parents for family night. I don’t know if it is the traditional three bean salad because I’ve never looked up the recipe, but J said it reminded him of it. I am horrible at measuring things, so the dressing is just an estimate,

3 bean salad

Three Bean Salad

Ingredients
-1 pound green beans, cleaned and trimmed
-1 pound yellow beans, cleaned and trimmed
-1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
-1 red onion, sliced thinly and quartered
-1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
-1/4 cup granulated sugar
– pepper

Directions
1. Place the beans lengthwise into a food processor feed tube (I have no idea what this thing is called) and slice thinly.
2. Combine all of the vegetables into a large bowl.
3. In a small bowl, whisk vinegar, sugar, and pepper. Pour over vegetables. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 day before serving.

cabbage and beet slaw

I was really excited when I read the CSA email this week and saw it was cabbage or broccoli. please let it be broccoli, please let it be broccoli. I had my fingers crossed when I walked up to get my box – yes, it contained broccoli. But wait, what that huge thing in the bottom. Oh, it’s cabbage.

Don’t get me wrong, I like cabbage. I am just getting sick of it. I can eat it each week, but the problem is one head is SOOO much cabbage. I know, I know, I can freeze it for cabbage soup in the fall. I just needed a moment to be over dramatic.

This week’s box also contained beets, which I have had a recent love obsession with. I had been a little sad the last two times because the beets were more golden than red. Not this time – bright red and juicy, leaving my hands stained for the better part of the day.

I knew I’d make a slaw with the cabbage, so I did a search to see if there were any cabbage and beet slaw recipes. I had already roasted the beets, which was a bummer once I started to read recipes that called for raw beets. I found a great recipe at The Kitchn that I sounded perfect. I had all the ingredients on hand and it would go well with the shredded beef sandwiches I was making for a trip this weekend.

I also found a few recipes I saved for later – a Ukrainian dish called borscht. Turns out the Russian astronauts even take it with them to space (in a tube…I’m sure that’s appetizing). I had never heard of it before, but it looks like something J would love. I found a summer version and a traditional version.

Cabbage and Beet SaladCabbage and Beet Slaw
Recipe from from The Kitchn (more or less)

Ingredients

  • 4 beets, trimmed, roasted, and peeled (see how to roast them here)
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, shredded
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 tbsp granulated sugar (I did a small handful, so this is just a guess)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Directions

  1. Slice beets into matchstick-size pieces. I sliced mine into circles first and then just stacked them to slice them into rectangles. 
  2. Add cabbage and beets to a large bowl. I used an ice cream tub to make for easy mixing.
  3. Whisk vinegar, sugar, and mustard in small bowl.
  4. Pour dressing over the cabbage mixture. Mix well. I put the top on the tub and shook it like crazy. Make sure to coat everything.
  5. Place slaw in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before eating. You want the vinegar to have some time to work with the cabbage and give it that awesome slaw flavor.

note: the mixture may seem dry at first, but after it sits for a day some liquid from the cabbage will come out and you will have adequate liquid. If it is still dry 1 day later, add some more vinegar. 

Roasted Beet Salad

Most people don’t believe me when I tell them how picky I was as a kid. I hated vegetables, put sugar on my strawberries, and had a pair of pants called my “Cheetos pants” because they were stained orange. I was older than I’d like to admit before I realized that french fries came from potatoes (and not a package), ketchup was just sugary tomatoes, and cherries existed that didn’t come in a jar and taste like cough medicine. Fast forward 15 years – I can go an entire day just eating fruits and vegetables, the thought of processed foods like doughnuts or Cheetos makes me want to vomit, and I enjoy making my own crackers, bread, yogurt, and ice cream. Thank God I outgrew that earlier stage. If I hadn’t I would have never enjoyed this tasty dish, because if beets, goat cheese, and balsamic vinegar were definitely not part of my previous diet.

roasted beet salad (2)

Roasted Beet Salad

Recipe adapted by recipes at nourishing meals and eatsy

Ingredients

  • 4-6 beets, washed and trimmed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 6 cups mixed greens (I used green and purple lettuce)
  • 2 tbsp balsalmic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp garlic scapes, diced
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • Goat cheese, crumbled
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and spray cooking dish with non-stick spray. 
  2. Place beats in the dish and drizzle with 1 TBSP olive oil. Roast for 1-1.5 hours, or until beets are fork-tender.
    roasted beets
  3. Let beets cool and slip off the skins.  Slice thinly.peeling beets
  4. While the beets are roasting, prepare the dressing. Heat 1 TBSP oil in a frying pan. Add garlic scapes and sautee until tender. Add walnuts, salt, and pepper. Sautee for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and add balsalmic vinegar.
    garlic toasted walnuts
  5. Serve beets over green. Top with crumbled cheese and dressing.

Lettuce wraps

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We’ve got a TON of lettuce in your CSA each week. And not just those little lettuce leaves that fit nicely on a sandwich – no, these are 12″ long from base to tip and over 6″ wide. When I was cleaning them last Tuesday they were just begging for me to use them as a wrap.

I don’t know how many of you have tried lettuce wraps before, but they are just as filling as a sandwich but much healthier. You can stuff them with anything your heart desires, but be sure to always have something creamy/sticky inside to help hold them together. I usually make savory lettuce wraps and use hummus as the creamy base.

How to make lettuce wraps

  1. Wash and dry the leaves. If they are extra crunchy and you don’t want to get messy, consider leaving the in the refrigerator overnight in an open bag. This will make them less crunchy/more wilty, so they are more flexible. I am ok with being messy, so I just used mine fresh. 
  2. Spread 1 TBSP of your creamy sauce inside the leafy green part of the leaf.
  3. Add any fillings you’d like – these had caramelized onions, radishes, carrots, and feta cheese. All of the fillings should be cut into match-stick like pieces to make it easier to eat. Arrange the fillings parallel to the stem, but keep them in the leafy part (where the creamy sauce is).
  4. Once you’ve filled the leaf, carefully bend the stem up to reach the middle or top of the filling. This is the part where a wilty leaf will bend much easier.
  5. Wrap one side in and then spread a small amount of the creamy sauce on the edge that is over the middle of the wrap. Wrap the other side in (see how the creamy sauce is your glue!). You can eat them like this, with the top open, or spread a little more creamy sauce on the mid-line seam and fold the top down.