Friday, February 4, 2011

Ravioli with homemade pesto sauce

Nate made homemade pesto sauce, but changed it up a bit by adding kale and broccoli raab.  Here is his recipe:

Add into the food processor in no particular order:
  • Frozen CSA basil from our summer overload (handful)
  • Fresh CSA kale (handful)
  • Fresh CSA broccoli raab (handful)
  • Rosemary (three twigs full)
  • Lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
  • Garlic (about 8 cloves)
  • Roasted Walnuts (about three handfuls, toasted in a cast iron skillet)
  • Olive oil (probably a cup or more)
As you add stuff, keep adding olive oil to keep the moisture level up and the food processor working.  Add it all in no particular order, but add it at a slow enough pace that you don’t clog up the works, and use the olive oil as a moisture keeper.  Just add it in until you get that pesto consistency.
Then Nate put some of the pesto in a skillet, added some chicken cut into bite-sized pieces, and cooked until the chicken was done.  Meanwhile he cooked some spinach and cheese ravioli, added that into the skillet, and topped it off with chopped tomatoes.


Unfortunately I did not capture a very good picture.  But trust me, it was amazing!   It tasted great leftover too.

This recipe only used a small portion of the pesto sauce Nate made.  Here is a cool pesto trick: use what you need, then pour the rest into an ice cube tray.  Once it’s frozen you can crack the cubes, put them in a baggy, and keep the frozen bundle.  Pull out one cube and throw it in your hot noodles whenever you want pesto.  It’ll melt and be just the right amount.  An easy, healthy way to have dinner on those weeknights when you only have a few minutes to cook!

Week 5 veggies

This week we got:
- a bunch of kale
- a bunch of mizuna
- a large bag of dill
- a large bag of spinach
- green onions
- a large bag of broccoli
- 5 oranges and/or tangelos
- a huge bag with green and red leaf lettuce

Kale chips and salad with beets

The other night we made kale chips and beet green chips as an appetizer while we prepared a big salad.  To make the chips, tear pieces of kale and beet greens (or any type of green) into medium size pieces.  Don't make them too small, because they will shrink as they cook, and you want good-sized pieces to eat.  Toss the pieces in olive oil, salt & pepper, and any other seasoning you might like - we added a dash of cayenne pepper.  Put the greens on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, until they get nice and crispy.  Thicker greens will take a little longer.  Turn the greens over a few times during baking so they cook evenly.  This pic only shows kale chips, and it's kind of hard to see, but you can get the idea:

Next we made a big salad with lots of stuff in it.  I don't normally blog salads, but this one was a little different so I thought I'd share.  It was almost entirely made up of CSA veggies!  For greens we used red and green leaf lettuce and spinach.  Then we added chopped radishes, salad turnips, broccoli, raisins, walnuts, and warm cooked beets, then topped it off with fresh grated parmesan.  The dressing is a simple olive oil and red wine vinegar.

It was delish!  We made a bunch and ate it leftover for lunch the next day (store the leftovers without dressing) and it was still just as good.

We eat lots of salad, and it's a great way to use CSA veggies, and to fill up while staying healthy.  The trick to keep salad from getting boring is to mix up the toppings.  Adding beets to this salad made it a very different meal.  You can change it up a lot by adding fruits (oranges, cranberries, strawberries), nuts (almonds, walnuts, pine nuts), and of course different veggies.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Winter season, week 4 veggies

This week we got:

- 4 beets (this is one of Nate's favorite foods, so he was happy!)
- a bunch of kale
- a bag of cilantro
- 2 large daikon radishes
- a big bag of spinach (gosh I love this spinach!)
- a bag of broccoli
- 4 oranges
- 2 heads of lettuce

The beet greens and radish greens look really good this week, so we will try to use those too.

Twice baked turnip

This week I had the challenge of making something yummy out of the biggest turnip you ever saw.  It was roughly the size of a large cantaloupe!  Since you can basically do anything with a turnip that you can do with a potato, Nate had the idea of making a twice baked turnip.  First I cut off the root and stem and washed the turnip, then I put olive oil and sea salt all over it.
Now it's ready to bake!  I wrapped it in aluminum foil and baked it in the oven at 400 for about 2 hours.  Yeah, that's a huge turnip!  Then we sliced it in half crosswise and scooped out the insides, and mashed those up with grated cheddar, chopped up bacon, chives, and heavy cream.

The mashed turnip was then put back into the shells and baked at 350 for about 15 minutes.

We saved some of the cheese, bacon and chives for topping, plus sour cream.

We put the toppings (except the sour cream) on the turnip halves, and put them back in the oven on broil for about 5 minutes.  Each half was topped with sour cream, and finally ready to eat!

Can I just say YUMMMMM!?!?!  I am a huge fan of twice baked potatoes, but I love turnips and this was excellent.  And it was so big, I could only eat half of a half for dinner, and I'm pretty excited to eat the other half for lunch!  Turnips do have a stronger flavor than potatoes, which is one of the reasons I like them, but some people may need to get used to it at first.  Definitely consider adding turnips to your diet, as they are high in fiber, vitamin C, and flavonoids (and other good stuff), and low in calories.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ravioli with homemade pasta sauce

Another great way to use a lot of veggies is to make a pasta sauce.  In this case we used the pasta sauce on some spinach and cheese filled ravioli.  The pasta sauce is actually pretty easy, it's mostly a lot of veggie chopping.  Nate chopped up a lot of tomatoes (use the juiciest ones you can find), sweet onion, green bell pepper, baby portabella mushrooms, kale, collard greens and basil (from the freezer, from the fall's CSA bags).  He added some garlic (probably a lot of it) and dried oregano, then simmered the whole bunch in olive oil until it was all cooked, around 30-45 minutes.  If you like it a little saucier you can add a small can of tomato paste.

And we topped it off with fresh grated parmesan.  Sooooo good!  And there was plenty of sauce leftover, for a weeknight when a quick dinner is needed, just boil up some pasta and add the heated up sauce - easy!

Winter season, week 3 veggies

Wow I love winter veggies!  We got a great CSA bag this week:

We got:
- the world's biggest turnip
- 2 grapefruit
- a bag of "queen red turnip" that are sweeter than standard turnips and supposed to be great in salads (can't wait to try them!)
- a bunch of arugula flowers (can't wait to try them either!)
- a large bag of dill
- a bunch of carrots, including 2 wrapped around each other
- 3 radishes
- a bag of broccoli raab
- a bag of kale
- a bag of spinach
- a huge bag with 2 heads of red lettuce

Wow that's a lot of food!  We better get eating!

I had to share a closeup of the 2 "lovers" carrots that grew around each other:

So cute!  I almost don't want to eat them.

And I have to share a closeup of how enormous this turnip is!  Here it is next to 2 normal sized grapefruit:

It weighs over 2 pounds!  There will definitely be a blog post when we cook that one up.