Archive | Vegetables RSS feed for this section

Farmers Market Bounty

18 Apr

by Green Gourmet K

Slow Food Savannah debuted at the Forsyth Park Farmers Market this weekend and we had lots of visitors to our table.  The market was very busy as usual and we were fortunate to be able to speak to many people from our target audience.  Hopefully support and enthusiasm for the organization will continue to grow.

While at the market I of course did a little shopping of my own and found some really inspiring and beautiful ingredients.

First off, Slow Food Savannah’s table was right next to Walker Organic Farms and those folks know how to display and sell some good-looking organic produce.  One thing that caught my eye immediately were these root vegetables.

Ignore the wilted leaves, that was my fault for not bringing a cooler.  So what’s so great about this funny looking root vegetable?

Oh yes, look at that beautiful pink color!  This is a watermelon radish.  It has a slightly sweet taste but is spicy and crisp, like conventional radishes.  It was new to me and I love finding something I have never tried before.

The Walker folks also had lovely, colorful carrots.  These carrots make me sad for grocery store carrots, they will just never, ever be able to measure up to flavor and appeal of the real thing.

The radishes and one of the yellow carrots (no need to peel these organic carrots!) went right into a salad with Walker spinach, feta cheese and a homemade vinaigrette.

I also picked up this little guy:

An heirloom cherry tomato plant!  I can’t wait to get this guy planted in a big container.

I hope this inspires you all to get to your local farmer’s market and find out what special varieties of new and interesting foods you might be able to find.  My time there this weekend was a great inspiration for me and I can’t wait to see what else pops up at the market throughout the spring and into summer.

Advertisements

For the Few Cold Days Left- 15 Bean Soup

14 Mar

by Green Gourmet L

The DC weather is taking a turn for the better, but we’re not out of the woods yet. The other day was frigid and I decided to make this warming soup. Have you ever seen the “bulk” bins at the grocery store filled with dried beans, grains, and rice? If you’ve seen the multi-colored bins of dried beans and not known what to do, this is a really good way to experiment with something new. At some grocery stores, they already have their own 15 bean mix, but you can easily make your own by just combining a little bit of your favorite beans until you get about 2 cups (or about 1 pound). The chipotle chili is a MUST in this recipe. It adds some heat, but more than anything it adds smoky flavor similar to a ham hock. This is a fantastic way to get meaty flavor!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried beans
  • 2 32oz cartons vegetable stock
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup carrot, diced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 chipotle chili pepper in adobo
  • salt/pepper

Directions

Soak beans for at least 8 hours (or overnight). I like to soak my beans in the morning before work, and then they are ready when I get home to cook dinner. When soaking beans, you want to make sure that your beans are covered by at least 3 inches of water. Once they have soaked, rinse and drain your beans.

In a large pot, cover your beans with 4 cups of vegetable broth.

In a separate pan, add olive oil and saute the onion, carrot, and celery over medium heat.

This should take about 10 minutes until all vegetables are soft and translucent but not browned. Add your chipotle chili and cook for an additional minute.

Add the vegetables to the pot with the beans and stock. Add the garlic, and herbs to the bean/veggie mixture.

It is important not to salt your soup at this point, as this makes the beans very tough. Bring the soup to a boil and then cover and simmer for about an hour. Check the liquid occasionally and add more if needed. Note: I ended up using 2 full containers of vegetable stock. After the soup is cooked, season with salt and pepper.

Enjoy your meaty tasting soup and don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets!

Daily Dinner Inspiration

10 Mar

by Green Gourmet K

If you are like me then you find it easy to cook something for dinner that will result in leftovers that you want to eat the next day.  I am always in a rush in the morning so I just grab my leftovers, already boxed up, or I come home and reheat.  I find this a good money saving strategy too.  If I make something delicious I will be glad to eat it the next day, instead of staring at my canned soup wishing it were anything else but canned soup.

So where do you all get your inspiration for dinner?  We all probably have a certain number of recipes in the rotation.  But sometimes you want something different.  I do love to see what other food bloggers are cooking up.  One of my favorites is Smitten Kitchen, whatever she makes is golden.  You all know I am a fan of the Bon Appetit, and one thing I have started to enjoy lately are the emails I get from them.  They are mostly, “hey, buy more subscriptions!” but they usually have a good roundup of recipes too.

I found recent inspiration from one of these emails, a recipe for Sauteed Bacon, Lentils and Mushrooms.  Say what!?!  I happened to have many of the ingredients so this was easy to pull together.

To be clear, this is not my recipe, it is from Leite’s Culinaria and it is dang good.  I made a few tweaks, my version is below, but please feel free to compare these and choose the one you like.

Here it is:

Sautéed Bacon Mushrooms, and Lentils

(serves 6)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups small brown or green lentils, rinsed  ( I used green)
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces of sliced baby portabella mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 whole lemon, squeezed
  • 6 to 12 slices bacon, preferably thick-cut

Directions

1. Place the lentils in a large saucepan, cover with the water, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer gently until tender, at least 35 minutes or so. (The exact timing will depend on the type and age of the lentils.) Drain well.

2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, place your bacon on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  Bake for about 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of your bacon.  Check and turn the bacon half way through.  When done place on paper towels to drain and crisp up.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the onion and sauté just until softened and pale golden, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the butter, the remaining oil, and the mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add the lentils, a few tablespoons of chopped parsley, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and heat, stirring, just until warmed through. Remove and discard the garlic. Taste and season the lentils accordingly with more lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

4. Sprinkle the lentils with the parsley and bacon, left whole or crumbled into pieces, the more the better.

Now this is one dish I will be relishing at lunchtime today.

It’s Chicken Week- Parmesan Chicken

23 Feb

by Green Gourmet L

Everyone is looking to stretch their dollar. When you are having a dinner party or feeding a large family, this is even more crucial. One of the best ways to make your meat go further is to make it thinner. This is a great idea since it actually tricks your eyes into thinking you are eating more than you are. This recipe works best if you cut your chicken breasts in half before you pound them. Did I mention you get to pound something? Long day? Frustrated? Get a rolling pin and get to it! This recipe was adapted from Barefoot Contessa.

Ingredients

This recipe makes enough for 7 (with leftovers!)

  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1 TB water
  • 1 1/4 cups bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • Unsalted butter
  • Good olive oil
  • Salad greens for 7, washed and dry
  • 1 recipe Lemon Vinaigrette

Directions

Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/4-inch thick. You can use either a meat mallet or a rolling pin.

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a plate. On a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. On a third plate, combine the bread crumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan.

Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip  into the egg mixture, then into the bread-crumb mixture.

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through.

Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts. Toss the salad with some dressing. Place a mound of salad on each piece of chicken. Serve with extra grated Parmesan.

Enjoy stretching your dollar and don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets!

Savory Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

15 Feb

by Green Gourmet L

I know someone who is very upset that football is over. But who says you can’t eat tailgating food anyway? One of those foods that just screams football to me is potato skins and twice baked potatoes. Smothered with cheddar cheese, bacon, sour cream, and chives. It’s great, but it’s far from a healthy side dish.

I love sweet potatoes since they tend to have added health benefits. They are high in Vitamins E and A, low in fat, cholesterol-free, and have more fiber than a bowl of oatmeal.  But it seems that the only sweet potato recipes that I can find have a “healthy” dose of butter, sugar, and maple syrup. I don’t want a potato dessert, I want a savory appetizer. So here’s our take on twice-baked potatoes, Green Gourmets style.

Ingredients

Makes 2 large servings or 4 appetizers

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2-4 whole garlic cloves, with paper left on
  • 1/4 tp cumin
  • 1/4 tp paprika
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • parmesan cheese
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • aluminum foil

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375. Pierce your sweet potatoes with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Put your garlic cloves (with paper still on) onto a foil sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper and bring up the sides of the foil to seal the package.

On another piece of foil, place the chopped onion. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper and seal the package. Place the garlic and onions on the same baking sheet as your sweet potatoes.

Bake for 1 hour (check your onions and garlic at 45 minutes). The onions and garlic should be roasted and sweet.

Remove from the oven and allow the sweet potatoes to cool until they are cool enough to touch. Slice the potatoes in half; scoop out the insides while leaving the skin intact.

Remove the skin from the garlic and place the bulbs and the cooking liquid from the packet in a small bowl.

Add potato flesh, onion, and spices and mix together.  Season with salt and pepper.

Rub the outside of the potato skins with oil and season with salt and pepper to ensure they get crisp. Add the filling back into the skins and top with a sprinkling of Parmesan Cheese.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until cheese is completely melted.

Enjoy this healthy twist on Twice-Baked Potatoes and don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets! To print this recipe, click here.

What’s the Deal with Quinoa?

3 Feb

by Green Gourmet L

Photo from Wikipedia

I think most of us have heard about quinoa (keen- wah) at some point. About 5 (or more) years ago it became a hit at many top restaurants for it’s gluten free-ness and it’s high protein and fiber content.  Now that I eat mostly vegetarian, I was a bit concerned about getting enough protein, so I was glad to come across this super grain. Not to mention, it’s cheap! You cook it like rice, although the portion is 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups liquid. I use veggie stock to give it a little more flavor, but water is fine too.  When it’s cooked, it looks like this:

Did you know that quinoa is a seed that comes from a flowering plant that looks like this:

 

Although not commercially available, you can also eat the greens from this plant. That just blew my mind!

I tried to make quinoa for my family once, and it was an epic failure.  Gummy and crunchy at the same time, a textural nightmare. But over the years, I’ve built up my cooking confidence and decided to try again. And wow, what yummy results.

Quick Quinoa Lunch

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • Salt

Bring all ingredients to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer and cook covered for 10-15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.  It should have a slight crunch when it’s done due to the germ ring around the grain. If REALLY pressed for time, you can also cook your quinoa in the microwave. Add the same ratio of liquid to quinoa in a microwave safe bowl. Cover and heat on high for 4 minutes, then stir. Cover and heat again for 2 minutes, stir. Let stand for 1-2 minutes before serving. Easy enough!

For a super quick lunch, I like to add whatever I have on hand. Today I had:

  • 1/4 cucumber, chopped
  • 1/4 cup garbanzo beans
  • 1/4 cup black beans
  • 1/8 cup red onions, finely minced
  • 1 TB cilantro, chopped
  • Zest and juice of 1/2 lime
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

You will also notice frozen peas in this photo. No need to add these (I was getting rid of the end of a bag!). Literally, mix all of your veggies into a tupperware and top with the quinoa.

Add the herbs, lime zest and juice, and olive oil on top. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Pop the top on, and you are all set for a lunch that is satisfying, filling, and cheap. You won’t even need to snack, because this will hold you over until dinner. Hope you have success if this is your first time cooking quinoa, and don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets!

Lentils and Tomatoes

25 Jan

by Green Gourmet L

When I come home from a long, exhausting day at work, I am usually famished. I don’t really have the patience (after working with patients) to spend hours in the kitchen. Yesterday was exactly one of those days. Luckily, I always keep lentils in the pantry and I was thinking it would be a good night for Lentils and Tomatoes. This is a pantry-meal for me since I almost always have all the ingredients hiding in the depths of the cabinets. The only fresh produce you need for this is carrots. This meal is budget friendly and so healthy. So blow the dust off of your canned tomatoes, it’s time to whip up this winter staple! This recipe was adapted from Barefoot Contessa.

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cups onions, diced (about 2 onions)
  • 2 cups carrots, diced (about 4 carrots)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 28oz can tomatoes and juice
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons thyme, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Directions

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and carrots and cook over medium low heat for 8-10 minutes, until the onions start to brown.

Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Be careful not to burn the garlic.

Meanwhile, place the canned tomatoes, including the juice, in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times until the tomatoes are coarsely chopped.

Add the tomatoes, lentils, broth, curry powder, thyme, salt, and pepper to the pan.

Raise the heat to bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer covered for about 40 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Check occasionally to be sure the liquid is still simmering.

Remove from the heat and allow the lentils to sit covered for another 10 minutes. Add the vinegar. Season to taste and serve hot. I like to serve mine over Isreali Couscous.

But this would also be delicious (and gluten free) if you serve over brown rice or quinoa.  Lentils really do taste good, don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets! To print this recipe, click here.