Monthly Archives: March 2010

Local Box Meal Plan: March 29-April 2

This week’s box looks awesome. Not that past boxes haven’t been awesome, but we get artichokes this week! A rare treat. I also don’t often see golden beets and celery in the Local Box, so enjoy them while you can.

The entire box will contain:

  • Artichoke — Martinez Farms
  • French carrots — Acadian
  • Red Russian kale — TX Natural (give your kale a sniff before you cook it — it has a lovely floral scent when raw)
  • Grapefruit, limes, or oranges — G&S Groves
  • Cilantro — Acadian
  • Romaine lettuce — Acadian
  • White mushrooms — Kitchen Pride
  • Spring onions — Green Gate
  • Golden beets and beet greens — Acadian
  • Celery — Finca Pura Vida

I am making:

  • Basic steamed artichoke dipped in melted butter — This is a great tutorial on how to cook and eat an artichoke if your experience with them (like mine) doesn’t extend past popping open a can of marinated hearts.
  • Farfalle with golden beets, beet greens, and pine nuts — If you’ve only ever cooked with red beets and hate how they bleed everywhere when you cut them, you’ll find golden beets to be a pleasant change of pace. They don’t drip and stain your cutting board.
  • Chicken and sausage jambalaya (subbing spring onions for the green onions) — This recipe makes a HUGE pot. I mean a giant stockpot full, so use the biggest pot you have or just halve the recipe. It says it makes 10 servings, but that’s if your servings are ginormous. Jambalaya is not a weeknight meal, but make it on the weekend and you’ll have several delicious meals ahead of you. It’s like chili in that it tastes even better the second day.
  • Almond chicken salad (adding romaine)
  • Spaghetti with kale and garlic chips — Christina posted a comment below recommending using kale in this recipe instead of chard, which sounds great to me.
  • Citrus grove punch — This looks really refreshing. I know we’re only getting either grapefruits, limes, or oranges this week, but I thought you might have some leftovers from past weeks waiting to be used. Like I do.
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Green Onion and Cheddar Biscuits

We’ve gotten a lot of green onion lately, so I was glad to come across this recipe, which uses an entire bunch (if you use both the green and white parts) and helped me make a big dent in my stash. Green onions are often used as an accent, but here, they’re the star.

I’ve made a few small adjustments for readability and to lighten it a bit (like using low-fat buttermilk instead of full-fat buttermilk). You can easily sub green garlic or baby leeks if you want. These guys were light as air, which I suspect is a result of the combination of self-rising flour and cake flour. Self-rising flour has added salt and baking powder, and recipes that use it don’t usually call for baking powder, but this one does — probably another contributing factor to the biscuits’ airy texture.

Green Onion and Cheddar Biscuits (from Food Network)

  • 1 1/4 cups self-rising flour
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, bench flour
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.

Sift together the self-rising flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, squish the butter pieces into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the buttermilk, cheese, and green onions and stir just until the buttermilk and flour come together to form a dough, being careful not to overmix. You’ll know you are there when there’s no more loose flour in your bowl.

Lightly flour a work surface with the all-purpose flour (I just line my counter with wax paper, parchment paper, or foil). Turn out the dough onto the surface and press into a disk about 1/2-inch thick and 8 inches in diameter. The dough will be very sticky, so flour your hands as necessary. Using a 3-inch round cutter dusted in flour, cut into rounds. (Be sure to press straight and downward when cutting the dough — a twisting motion will prevent the dough from rising.) I dust my cutter by simply dipping it into my flour container. Do this each time you cut a biscuit.

Reform the scraps in order to make nine biscuits*. Place on a baking sheet greased with cooking spray (or on a baking sheet lined with a silicone liner like Silpat) and bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.

*The original recipe made seven biscuits, but I must be more efficient than Emeril because I got nine out of the dough.

Coconut Red Lentil Soup

I love coconut. I mean, really love it. It’s hard for me to keep bags of the sweetened, flaked kind in my pantry because I just want to eat it all in one sitting with a spoon. I even tried putting coconut milk in my coffee once, which was a bad idea and is, to this date, the only coconut experiment I’ve conducted that was really disgusting.

Anyway, I saw that 101 Cookbooks had posted this recipe last week. All I had to read was the title and I was in. Then I saw that it involved lentils and a few other ingredients I had in the fridge from my Greenling box (cilantro, green onions, and a carrot) and I knew I’d found a recipe to make over and over again.

It lived up to its promise. This soup is thick and rich, but still has a hint of brightness from the coconut milk, cilantro, and golden raisins. I used light coconut milk to make it a little healthier, but other than that this is the rare recipe I didn’t really fiddle with. You can skip the curry-toasting step to save time, and cook the lentils and split peas (both found in the bulk bins at Whole Foods) the night before for a meal you can just toss together and simmer. In the original recipe, serving the soup over brown rice is optional, but I highly recommend it because it adds a nice texture.

Coconut Red Lentil Soup (from 101 Cookbooks)

1 cup yellow split peas
1 cup red lentils (masoor dal)
7 cups water
1 medium carrot, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons fresh peeled and minced ginger
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons butter or ghee
8 green onions (or green garlic, if you have some from last week’s box), thinly sliced
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
2 teaspoons salt
one handful cilantro, chopped
cooked brown rice, for serving (optional)

Rinse split peas and lentils well. Place them in an extra-large soup pot, cover with the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the carrot and 1/4 of the ginger. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the split peas are soft.

In the meantime, in a small dry skillet or saucepan over low heat, toast the curry powder until it is quite fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Keep an eye on it, because the powder can burn quickly. Set aside. Place the butter in a pan over medium heat, add half of the green onions, the remaining ginger, and raisins. Saute for two minutes stirring constantly, then add the tomato paste and saute for another minute or two more.

Add the toasted curry powder to the tomato paste mixture, mix well, and then add this to the simmering soup along with the coconut milk and salt. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or so. The texture should thicken up. Serve over brown rice, sprinkled with cilantro and the remaining green onions.

Serves 6.

Local Box Meal Plan: March 22-26

Lots of tasty greens coming in this week. We are getting:

  • Bok choy from Naegelin
  • Swiss chard from Acadian
  • Red lettuce from Acadian
  • Green onions from Acadian
  • Rosemary or sorrel from Pure Luck
  • Grapefruit and limes from G&S
  • Beets from My Father’s Farm
  • Russian kale from TX Natural
  • Endive from Acadian
  • Spinach from My Father’s Farm
  • Leeks

So I am making:

Hello World, and Local Box Meal Plan: March 15-19

Hello, fellow Greenling lovers! I’m Stephanie of Veggie in the House, and I’m taking over the local box blog from the wonderful Woman with a Whisk. A little about me:

  • I love pizza and one-pot meals.
  • I eat mostly fresh, whole foods, but have been known to succumb to intense cravings for Velveeta Shells n’Cheese.
  • My favorite wine varietal is malbec. Mmmm.
  • I live in the Austin area and have a wonderful husband and spunky 22-month-old son. My child likes to eat raw vegetables (yesterday, it was green beans) and that makes me happy.
  • I eat a mostly vegetarian diet (haven’t been able to kick my sushi habit) but my husband loves meat, so you’ll see a good mix of vegetarian and meaty meals here.
  • I really, really don’t like olives and mayo, but those are the only two foods I avoid like the plague.

Anyway, enough about me. On to this week’s box contents! We are getting:

So this week, I’m making:

Oh, and I apologize for the late meal plan post — in the future, you’ll see these on Tuesdays. Happy eating!

Sweet Potato Biscuits

Since living in Texas, I’ve been attempting to try as many Southern foods as possible. Some we loved, like the Popcorn Okra or the Corn Saute with Fried Okra, and some just didn’t work (like the creamed collards experiment). Sweet potato biscuits have been on my radar for a while, and these turned out to be one of those Southern foods we couldn’t get enough of.

Sweet Potato Biscuits

These were light and fluffy, a bit sweet, and had a ton of flavor. I was worried that they would be greasy (I fully admit that I am a shortening n00b and haven’t entirely figured out its properties yet), but these weren’t at all. They were quick to make and the dough is super easy to roll out. It’s also a great way to use leftover sweet potatoes (though if they’re mashed and you’ve added sugar, I’d decrease the amount of sugar in the biscuit recipe accordingly).

Mine didn’t puff up much after baking, and the final biscuit was about 3/4″ thick. Despite the fact that the recipe instructs to roll the dough out to 1/2″ thick, I think I might go a bit thicker next time.

From All Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. white sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. shortening
  • 3/4 c. mashed sweet potatoes (To bake sweet potatoes quickly, put them in a casserole dish with a bit of water, cover with saran wrap, and microwave for 12-15 minutes, depending on how large the potatoes are.)
  • 1/4 c. milk

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Stir together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
  • Cut in the shortening until pieces of shortening are pea-sized or smaller.
  • Mix in the sweet potatoes and enough of the milk (I needed the full 1/4 c.) to make a soft dough.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and roll or pat out to 1/2″ thickness (see note above).
  • Cut into circles using a biscuit cutter or a drinking glass.
  • Place biscuits 1 inch apart onto a greased baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.