Thursday, December 16, 2010

Black bean soup

Even though Phoenix is not getting it (it's been in the upper 70s), it is winter time, which means it's Crock Pot time!  I have made plenty of roasts and stews in the CP, but I've never made a soup, so I decided to try one.  I had some dry black beans in the pantry that I'd been itching to use, so I went for a black bean soup.

I soaked 1 pound of beans overnight, then the next morning I added them to the Crock Pot.  I added diced onions, celery, half a bell pepper (leftover from another recipe, diced and frozen!), and diced tomatoes.  Then I added a bunch of greens - I basically used up whatever I had in my fridge - mustard greens, arugula, spinach, not even sure what else!  Then in a bowl I combined spices - cumin, celery seed and turmeric - with chicken broth, and poured it into the CP.  I added enough broth that it did not quite cover the greens.  This made the greens nice and steamed but not super soggy.  I cooked it on Low while I was at work, about 9 hours, and when I got home I stirred it all together.  I had some leftover roasted greens and quinoa from prior meals, so I added those in too, and cooked it on Low for another half hour or so.  Then I served it with grated white cheddar cheese and toast.

It came out really well!  There is a subtle flavor of mustard greens and spices, but it's definitely a black bean soup.  It also made quite a lot of leftovers, and tasted just as good reheated.

I can't wait to try more soups in the CP!  And I've found that a soup is a great way to use up all those greens that can pile up from the CSA if you aren't using them.  They added color and nutrients without changing the flavor much.  Good idea if you have kids or other family members who aren't good about eating their greens!

Salmon with sweet potato mash

Nate made this dinner so I can't take the credit for it, but I had to blog it!  He made a pesto walnut salmon on a bed of bok choi and greens, with a side of quinoa with tomatoes and a sweet potato, turnip and carrot mash.  It was really realllly good!

I don't know all the details of how he made it, but here is the general idea, and he can comment if I get something wrong.  For the salmon, he baked it in the oven, and it looked just like the picture.  Spray a dish with cooking spray, lay down a bed of greens (pretty much anything will work, the bok choi was really good, also I think there was arugula and/or spinach).  Put the salmon on top, add pesto sauce, onions and any other seasonings, then add walnuts on top and bake for 30 minutes or so.

The mash is fairly simple - boil sweet potatoes, turnips and carrots (or any root veggies of your choice).  In this case Nate threw in some sliced ginger while it was boiling.  Then mash everything up with a masher - don't use a hand mixer!  Add in seasonings of your choice and a little milk and butter, and yum!

Nate prepared the quinoa based on package directions, but added some chopped tomatoes in for the whole cooking time, to add a little color and flavor.  Easy, good idea!

It was a great, healthy, filling meal, and there were lots of leftovers.  And it used a lot of CSA veggies!  The sweet potatoes, turnips, bok choi and greens were all from my CSA bag.

Week 11 and 12 veggies

Wow, it's been hard to find the time to blog during this season!  December is always so busy with Christmas shopping, vacation planning, etc.  But I have gotten some yummy veggies the past couple of weeks so I have to share.  No more veggies after this until the first week of January!

Week 11 veggies

I got turnips, mustard greens, radishes, bok choi, dill, an acorn squash, and a bag of oranges (yum, they were gone fast!)

Week 12 veggies

This week I got spinach, dill, swiss chard, radishes, green garlic, turnips, and a grapefruit.  Very different stuff than what I had been getting!  I'm really looking forward to seeing what veggies I get in January and February!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Week 9 and 10 veggies

I didn't have much time to cook veggies or blog during the Thanksgiving break, but here are the awesome veggies I got!

Week 9:
acorn squash
radishes (purple, red, white)
sweet potatoes
turnips (red)

Week 10:

baby mustard greens
turnips (white)
sweet potatoes
radishes (purple)
green garlic