Friday, July 22, 2011

Slaw with Lime, Cliantro, and Mint

Don Pisto's, a Mexican street food restaurant, is a great place to grab a taco and a glass of sangria or two. When I was there last week I shared their pork chop with a dear friend of mine and it was accompanied by a tart, fresh slaw. The chop and the slaw were both fabulous but when I received a head of savoy cabbage in my csa farm box, I thought I'd attempt to remake the slaw. This recipe isn't an exact clone, but I took the general idea and ran with it, so to speak. Give it a shot with your favorite taco, grilled fish, or pork chop recipe. The mint is optional, but it adds a little additional freshness and spunk to the slaw.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

CSA Box- Peaches!!!

I made these amazing sweet corn pancakes from Smitten Kitchen. My oh my are they good. And, oh darn, I got sweet corn in this week's box too. . . guess I'll just have to make more pancakes.

Summer may have arrived a bit late this year, but you know it's here in force when your farm box is full of produce that looks like this

I'm certainly not complaining. What's in season in your neighborhood? Are you up to your ears in summer squash? If so, it's a good excuse to make these treats. You'll see that most of my meal plan doesn't involve much cooking. I always enjoy summer vegetables when they're prepared with minimal fuss since they don't need much seasoning or help to taste great.

This week's Box Contents

1 bunch Curly Kale
1 bunch Basil
1 lb Peaches
1 lb Summer Squash
4 ears Sweet Corn
1 bunch Carrots
1 lb Early Girl/Orange Blossom Tomatoes
¾ lb Green Beans
1 Savoy Cabbage

Meal Plan:

- Sweet corn pancakes with peaches and blueberries

- Chicken tacos with corn, black beans, avocado, tomato, and cheddar cheese served with-
       - Mexican cole slaw (no dairy) with savoy cabbage, jalapeƱo, scallion, lime and cilantro

-Fresh salad with tomato, carrot, blanched green beans, blanched kale, sweet corn and basil

-Caprese salad

-Chocolate zucchini cupcakes

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

CSA Box- Sweet corn, beans, and cherry tomatoes

It finally happened. A veggie box item spoiled before I could enjoy it. Awwww shucks. One item over several weeks isn't bad though, right?

About this week's box, I'm quite excited about the sweet corn and tomatoes and green beans and. . . well all of it really. It's hard to pick favorites when all the vegetables are so, well, fresh and fabulous.

This week's box contents:

1 pint Mixed Cherry Tomatoes
1 lb Green Beans
1 lb Summer Squash
1 bunch Chard
1 bunch Beets
3 ears Sweet Corn
¾ lb Cucumbers
1 lb Onions
1 bunch Cilantro

Meal Plan:

-Lettuce cups with black beans, sweet corn, sweet onion, cucumber, avocado, cilantro, and cumin and chili rubbed chicken

-Sweet corn pancakes with blueberries, nectarine and turkey breakfast sausage

-Beet and chard bruschetta with blue cheese and a beef rib eye steak

-Green bean, cucumber, summer squash, cilantro and cherry tomato salad with rice pilaf and seared scallops.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Roasted Tokyo Turnips


We’ve had a heat wave the past few weeks, which is a pretty wimpy heat wave at that, but I still didn’t want to turn on my oven. My farm box didn’t cooperate, however, as it was chock full of beets and large turnips and I still had a handful of new potatoes left over from a few boxes ago. Finally, we had a classic coastal grey day and I jumped at the chance and threw all my vegetables in the oven. Well, not ‘threw’, but you know… 

I figure I might as well roast several different vegetables while I’m at it. The last time I received a bunch of Tokyo turnips they were radish size and tasted great sliced in salads raw. As you’d expect, the turnips were larger a few weeks later so I thought I’d quarter them lengthwise, toss them with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast them. I really like how they turned out and hopefully you will too… Oh, and I also roasted some purple carrots with the potatoes, the recipe for turnips below also works well for carrots and potatoes. Did you know purple carrots have orange centers?? Fun!

One quick note: If you love oven roasted veggies but hate waiting 1++ hours for them to cook for dinner try this.
If you make roasted vegetables in advance, let them cool all the way and store them in your fridge. (Not novel information but keep reading) I like to re-heat the vegetables without the microwave if it can be avoided but I use whatever cooking technique I'm using the night of to re-heat the vegetables. For instance, if I'm pan frying a ribeye steak for dinner I'll reheat the oven roasted veggies in that pan while the steak is out and resting so they get to hang out with the glorious butter/pepper pan juices from cooking the steak. Or, throw them on the grill loosely wrapped in foil (with a vent) so they don't get soggy. Yes, the roasted vegetables are better the night you roast them, but leftovers don't have to be doomed to the microwave.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

CSA Box- Tomatoes are here!!!

Tomatoes, carrots, and squash- oh my! It's Wednesday again my friends and not only did I receive my first tomatoes, my lettuce inventory is once again re-stocked to the brim. Two heads of lettuce, and I know I mention this a lot, is A LOT of lettuce. But, I'm managing. I'd like to report that I have yet to throw out any CSA box vegetables that have spoiled or gone rotten before I had a chance to eat it, despite my lettuce glut. Never mind that I shared vegetables with friends over the holiday weekend, but sharing is caring, not cheating to finish your veggies. . . Or, you could argue I'm sharing the vegetable love in the form of marinated and grilled cauliflower and summer squash. Recipe to follow.

Box Contents:
1 pint Gold Nugget Cherry Tomatoes
1/3 lb Green Beans
1 lb Broccoli
1 lb Summer Squash
1 bunch Tokyo Turnips
1 bunch Chioggia Beets
1 bunch Carrots
1 bunch Parsley
2 heads Lettuce

Dishes to utilize vegetables:
-Roasted vegetable medley- turnips, carrots, and beets
-Fresh salads with carrots, broccoli, parsley and tomatoes with protein (for lunches & side salads)
-Green beans with pancetta
-Summer squash fritters

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Panko Baked Chicken with Dijon Mustard

This chicken is great on salads, but I'm sure you can use it in all sorts of ways. It's an easy and quick way to jazz up chicken breasts without adding a lot of extra fat. The strips weren't nearly as crispy when I reheated the leftovers for lunch, but it still tasted great. If you'd like a more golden brown crispy crust on the chicken you could pan fry the strips in a butter and olive oil mixture, but I think this baked version is quite tasty and lacks the extra fat you would add by frying.

The first salad I made featured great vegetables from my csa farm box. I added the chicken to oven roasted chioggia beets, thinly sliced tokyo turnips and peppery arugula dressed with a light balsamic vinaigrette that was topped with crumbled aged Gouda. 

Panko Baked Chicken with Dijon Mustard

2 large chicken breasts
3 tablespoons dijon mustard
~1 teaspoon kosher salt 
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
red chile flakes, to taste
~1 cup of panko bread crumbs

- Preheat the oven to 425˚F

- Cut the chicken into long strips, lengthwise down the breast. The thickness of the strips are up to you, just make them as similar as possible. Pat the strips dry with a paper towel. Mix the mustard, salt, pepper and chile flakes in a small bowl. Brush the mixture on all sides of the chicken. Roll each strip in the panko bread crumbs and make sure each strip is evenly coated. 

- Place the chicken strips on a large cookie sheet and bake for 8-12 minutes until the chicken is cooked. This will greatly depend on the size of your strips. If you'd like to brown the chicken a bit more, you can also try to broil the strips for 2-3 minutes at the end of cooking time but make sure you subtract this time from the baking time to prevent overcooking the chicken.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sage_Sprout Takes the Twitter Plunge

Happy 4th of July everyone. I hope you've all been enjoying your weekend with great food, close friends, and sunshine.

Sage Sprout now has a Twitter account [sage_sprout]! If you'd like to keep up to date with my latest posts, musings, and food discoveries you're welcome follow along. It may be a bumpy ride at first, as I've no Twitter experience, but I'll get the hang of it asap.