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.

Oven roasted mixed veggies

Sometimes you need to use up a lot of different veggies in one night, so putting them all together in the oven is a great solution!  For this dish we used daikon radish, bok choi, and broccoli from the CSA, and added onions, garlic, carrots, red potatoes and mushrooms to round it out.  Toss the whole mixture in olive oil and spices (we used Creole seasoning this time) and roast in the oven until the veggies get soft.  

We removed the greens at this point because they were done, then set the oven to broil and put the other veggies back in for 10 minutes or so to brown up.

Really good, healthy, and great leftovers too!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Winter season, weeks 1 and 2 veggies

It sure is hard to get back into the swing of things after the holidays!  The winter CSA season started 2 weeks ago, and I have been using all of the veggies, but have not been photographing the dishes.  I did take pictures of the veggies, so I'll post below what I got.  Also, this season Nate & I are sharing a full CSA share, so you'll notice that the quantity of veggies has increased.  More yumminess!!

Week 1:
We got: a huge head of lettuce, a bag of spinach, several oranges, 2 daikon radishes, some turnips, some dill, broccoli raab, and kale.  Broccoli raab was new to me - it is related to broccoli but is quite different.  It is very leafy and has small florets like broccoli, but they are in very small bunches throughout the leaves.  They do not form heads like normal broccoli.  It tasted somewhat different too.

Week 2:

We got: another huge head of lettuce, plus a smaller head of red lettuce, more spinach, collard greens, easter egg radishes, 2 grapefruit, broccoli, baby bok choi, cilantro, and 3 large turnips.  So much food!  

With all this lettuce and spinach we have been eating lots of salads and omelets.  The greens like spinach, kale and collards, go really well in a big omelet, and it makes a great dinner, not just breakfast.  We used the larger bok choi in a stir fry.  With the rest we have done roasted, sauteed, and grilled veggies as side dishes.  Tonight we are going to use some of the greens (collard probably, maybe some kale) in a tomato pasta sauce.  And I want to try making turnip fries.  I will work on taking pictures and posting some dishes this week!