Author Archives: Woman With a Whisk

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.
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Local Box Meal Plan: March 8-12

This week, we’re getting collards or spinach and an onion from Naegelin, shiitake or white button mushrooms from Kitchen Pride, grapefruit from G&S Groves, red leaf lettuce and arugula from Bluebonnet Hydroponics, spring onions from Acadian, cilantro and radish from My Father’s Farm, and either cabbage, carrots or beets (fingers crossed for beets!).

So I’m making:

We’ve been getting so much grapefruit lately and I’m running out of ideas (and I’ll go nuts if I have to eat any more for breakfast!). What have you been doing with grapefruit?

Lentil Dal with Cauliflower and Collards

I made this a few weeks ago after an Indian craving struck. It made so much that I froze a bunch and am still eating it now!

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This dal was incredibly hearty and warm, and the scents coming from my kitchen while this was cooking were fantastic. I felt like I walked into an Indian restaurant as it was cooking! Greenling delivered some beautiful baby collards and cauliflower, and I picked up a few late-season (or is it early-season?) tomatoes at the farmer’s market. I imagine that this recipe can be changed to use whatever produce you have on hand — turnips for the cauliflower, chard for the collards, etc.

The recipe notes not to add any additional water, but I needed to add ~3/4 c. to allow the lentils to cook through. It also made it a bit “saucier,” which I like (more to scoop with some flatbread!). Also, next time, I won’t stir the yogurt into the mixture at the end of cooking. It didn’t exactly curdle, but it was a weird texture. I preferred adding a dollop of yogurt on top of the dal right before serving.

From Nooschi

Ingredients:

  • Canola oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped (including the seeds and juice)
  • 2/3 c. cilantro, finely chopped, separated
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp. curry powder
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 c. red lentils (I couldn’t find red lentils, so I used brown lentils)
  • ~4 c. cauliflower florets from 1 medium head
  • 2 Tbsp. lowfat plain yogurt (see note above)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  • Saute the garlic, ginger, and onion in canola oil in a pot or large saute pan until the onions are translucent.
  • Add the tomatoes, 1/2 c. cilantro, the bay leaves, and all of the spices (including salt and pepper) into the pot, and cook until the tomatoes are crushed (~10 minutes).
  • Reduce the heat to simmer, then add the lentils to the tomatoes, and cook with the lid on for 20 minutes. At this point, I added ~1/2 c. water.
  • Add the cauliflower and cook with the lid on for 25 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender. I added an additional 1/4 c. water with the cauliflower.
  • Adjust seasonings to taste, then top with the remaining cilantro and yogurt. Remove the bay leaves prior to serving.

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Local Box Meal Plan: March 1-5

This week, we’re getting green onions from Lundgren, collards from Gordon Taylor, beets and mixed salad greens from My Father’s Farm, tomatoes from Village Farm, spinach from Naegelin, cabbage and broccoli from Acadian, herb from Pure Luck, and limes from G&S Groves.

So I’m making:

  • Rosemary flatbread pizza with tomatoes and fresh mozzerella (I made the rosemary flatbread last week, but I didn’t realize that the oven needed to be cleaned before I could bake anything. So I stuck it in the freezer for another time. Looks like it’s this week!)
  • Collard and cabbage soup
  • Raw beet and spinach salad with lime vinaigrette
  • Steamed broccoli with lime and green onions (similar to how I made this okra)
  • Green salad

I’m not sure how I’ll use the herb yet, but I’m sure I’ll have some ideas when I see what it is.

My sister was nice enough to give me a gift certificate to Williams Sonoma for my birthday (along with some pink sponges — she knows me so well!), and I used it to purchase a new mandoline (my old one wasn’t too user-friendly). I’ve been wanting to make a raw beet salad for a while, and a new mandoline is a perfect excuse.

Beet and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese

This is one of my favorite winter salads. The peppery arugula with the sweet beets and tangy goat cheese really is perfect, and when dressed with balsamic vinaigrette, I can’t get enough! If I’m in a hurry, I cut the beets into chunks and steam them, but roasting them the night before (if I remember) is delish as well.

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The method is simple: toss some cooked, chilled beets and arugula with a dressing (I like a simple balsamic vinaigrette with plenty of salt and pepper) and top with chunked goat cheese. Since it doesn’t require a huge amount of goat cheese, I like to go to the cheese counter and get them to slice me a small piece of a really good one, like Humboldt Fog. They’re always happy to oblige.

When I take these salads to work for lunch, I’ll dress the arugula with some balsamic vinaigrette at home and store the arugula, beets and goat cheese in separate containers. When it’s time for lunch, it’s a snap to assemble and it’s as fresh as possible.

If you’ve got leftover asparagus or green beans, they’re wonderful in here also.

Cilantro Pesto

A few months ago, I read an article about how pesto was the ultimate 90s food, though it was so good and such a crowd-pleaser that it’s not going away anytime soon. I’m inclined to agree.

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While basil won’t be in season for a few months, cilantro is a great way to enjoy pesto during the wintertime. It’s bright, vibrant green and fresh flavor makes it a great pick-me-up on a cold winter day. This pesto is also a bit lighter than basil pesto, so don’t feel bad about eating it by the spoonful. I enjoy eating it not only on pasta, but also on pizzas and as a dip for veggies. Anyone have any other ideas for it?

I do have a confession to make though: Greenling has included 1 bunch of cilantro in each delivery for the past few weeks, and because it takes a few bunches of cilantro to make a batch of pesto, it’s taken me a few weeks to make it. The cilantro stayed fresh and perky though because I stored it in my Prepara Herb Savor. I love that thing — I’ve ruined countless batches of herbs by storing it in the crisper and I’ve spilled cups of water in the fridge after keeping the herbs soaking in there. It’s essentially the same thing as the cup of water method, but in an airtight compartment that fits in the fridge door. I highly recommend it! (And no, they didn’t pay me to write this. But I would take another one if Prepara offered. My only complaint is that it’s a bit small.)

Adapted from Simply Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 3 c. cilantro leaves, stems removed
  • 1/4 c. almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 c. red onion, roughly chopped (I used the bottom of the red and white spring onions that Greenling also sent)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (though save the other half in case you taste the pesto and it needs more acid)
  • 1 tsp. salt (I ended up needing more, closer to 1-1/2 tsp.)
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 c. olive oil

Directions:

  • Pulse the cilantro, almonds, onion, lemon, salt and pepper in a food processor until combined.
  • Scrape down the sides, then with the food processor running, drizzle in the olive oil.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

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Eat however you like. I spread it on a pita pocket and topped with goat cheese to make a quick “pizza” for lunch.

Local Box Meal Plan: Feb. 22-26

This week, we’re getting sweet potatoes; broccoli from Farm Patch; yellow onion and swiss chard or spinach from Naegelin; Meyer lemons from G&S Groves; salad pack with dill, cilantro, and mixed radishes from My Father’s Farm; crimini mushrooms from Kitchen Pride; and spring onions from Acadian.

So I’m making:

  • Broccoli and mushroom casserole with onion (without a cream of whatever soup! Blech!) with sweet potato biscuits (recipe to come in the Greenling box)
  • Gouda and spinach-stuffed pork chops (recipe to come in the Greenling box)
  • Lemon and chili fresh pasta (we ended up getting oranges, not lemons last time, so I’m anxious to try this)
  • Green salad with cilantro, radish and green onions