Category Archives: 2. RECIPES

Green Garlic Sandwich Spread

I almost feel silly giving a recipe for this, and in fact, it’s not much of a recipe other than the list of ingredients. But truthfully, I’m not sure how many people look at vegetables and wonder what happens when you shove them under a stick blender.

The result of my curiosity was a pungent neon puree that is great for topping burgers, falafel, or tofu. Mix it with some sour cream or cream cheese for a dip, or thin it out more for a salad dressing. You just might want to keep some mints on hand.

Green Garlic spread

Green Garlic Sandwich Spread

1 bunch green garlic (or green onions), roots trimmed off
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Salt

Slice garlic or onions into large pieces. Using a blender, stick blender, or food processor, blitz garlic until chopped. Add olive oil and lemon juice, a little at a time, until you get the flavor and consistency you like. Once fully blended, salt to taste. Eat and don’t breathe on anyone.

Lasts about a week in the fridge.

Easy Pickled Daikon & Carrots

Daikon and Carrots

If you’re a fan of Portlandia you’ll know the joke behind pickling, but pickling really is an easy way to transform food and extend its life in your kitchen. Daikon in particular is wonderful pickled, as anyone who is a fan of banh mi sandwiches can attest to.

This recipe made exactly one pint jar, which in my mind is the perfect amount for fridge pickles, especially if you are unsure about what you’re doing or the flavors of the end result. You can omit the spices if you’d like, but be sure to not reduce the vinegar. By the way, I find pickling works best if you use a wide-mouth jar, but regular jars work fine too, and you can even use a Tupperware if you don’t have jars on hand.

Pickled Daikon and Carrot
makes 1 pint jar

1 pound total daikon and carrot
1/2 tablespoon salt
3/4 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger (or use fresh grated if you have it!)
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Peel daikon and carrot and slice into thin rounds. Place in a fine sieve or colander set over a bowl, and sprinkle salt over vegetables. Stir to coat, and let sit for at least 20 minutes while the salt draws excess water out. (This will speed up the pickling process.)
Mix together the rest of the ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved.
Pack vegetables tightly into a clean jar, and pour liquid over the top, leaving about 1/4 inch of space at the top of the jar. Place lid and ring on jar and store in the fridge. Let ferment for at least 4 hours before eating, but preferably overnight.

Note: You might have liquid left over, but don’t worry about it. As long as your veggies are covered they should be fine.

Greens Soup

Recently on the radio I heard cookbook author Anna Thomas talking about soup, and approximately five seconds after she described her Green Soup, I wanted it. It’s the perfect time of year for greens and onions (the other main ingredient in the soup), and utilizing them both in a soup sounded like a perfect way to spend a slightly chilly afternoon. Not that it is chilly in Austin these days, but those greens won’t eat themselves!

Greens soup

It’s not exactly photogenic, but trust me on this one. A great thing about this soup is that you can use virtually any kind of green you might have on hand, because even the most bitter greens will be balanced by the sweetness of the caramelized onions. I like the tang brought in by the yogurt, though you can certainly leave that out if you prefer. Serve with pita chips or wonton crisps for a bit of crunch.

Greens Soup
adapted from Anna Thomas
serves 8

Olive oil
3 medium yellow onions, sliced
2 cups sliced button mushrooms
4 cups vegetable stock
3-4 bunches assorted greens, such as mustard, komatsuna, mizuna, beet greens, kale, or chard
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat a swirl of olive oil over medium. Add onions mushrooms and stir to coat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until onions take on a nice brown color, approximately 30 minutes.
Add stock and increase heat to just bubbling. Wash and chop greens and add to the soup. Reduce heat to medium and cover soup. Let cook until greens have wilted, about 10 minutes.
Puree soup and return to heat. Stir in paprika, yogurt, and lemon juice, then season to taste. Alternatively, you can leave the yogurt out until just before serving, and then add a swirl into individual bowls.

Creamy Avocado Pasta

Sometimes I really struggle to stay meatless on Mondays if I’m craving a nice creamy pasta dish for dinner. It doesn’t happen often, but when the hunger for rich food strikes, the avocado is my secret, meatless weapon against dairy-meat-munchies!

The avocado in this creamy pasta recipe works as a binder, creating a rich, smooth dressing with flecks of bitter greens and zesty citrus notes. You’ll notice that there’s no Parmesan cheese in this dish. Most varieties of that cheese are made with animal rennet– not good for Meatless Monday! I use almonds, nutritional yeast, and plenty of salt in my recipe to replace the “oomph” that Parmesan might add.

Creamy Avocado Pasta (serves 2)

1/2 pound vegan pasta
1 medium avocado
1 1/2 cups spinach, arugula, or romaine lettuce
1/2 cup basil leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice, plus extra for seasoning
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup almond
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm, about 8-10 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid, and drain.

Meanwhile, scoop out the flesh of the avocado and place in a food processor. Add the greens, basil, citrus juice, garlic, salt, pepper, almond, and nutritional yeast. Blend until smooth.

Pour the pesto over the pasta in a serving dish. Toss to coat the pasta with sauce, adding a little pasta water as necessary to loosen the sauce. Taste the finished pasta and season to taste with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Serve immediately.

This pasta is best served on the same day it is prepared, since the avocado will oxidize and turn the sauce an unsightly brown color after a while.

 

Brussels Sprouts Pizza

When Brussels sprouts are on a pizza, you can have Brussels sprouts any time!

Ever since I was introduced to roasted Brussels sprouts a few years ago I’ve looked forward to their season, and I even have a couple of slowly growing plants in my raised bed garden. It’s never been a problem finishing a pint, but I still love to try out new combinations.

Admittedly, this pizza requires a bit more work than the standard pepperoni pie, but I think it’s worth it. I didn’t designate what kind of cheese to use for this pizza, although I used smoked mozzarella on mine. I asked my Twitter followers for cheese recommendations based on the other pizza toppings, and I received at least ten different suggestions – so I have a feeling you can’t go much wrong when it comes to the cheese on this pizza.

Brussels sprouts pizza

Brussels Sprouts Pizza

1 pizza dough of your choice
1 small onion
8 ounces Brussels sprouts
1-2 slices thick-cut bacon
1 pear
Olive oil
1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. If you have a pizza stone, make sure it is in the oven while preheating – you want it nice and hot!
Slice onion in half and then into long strips, and cook over medium-low to low in a small saucepan, stirring often. You want them to be nicely browned, but not completely caramelized (remember, they will cook more in the oven).
In a frying pan, cook bacon until crispy. Meanwhile, trim ends off Brussels sprouts and then slice lengthwise into 3 or 4 pieces, depending on the size of the sprout. Once the bacon has cooked, remove it to drain on a paper towel, and add sprouts to the bacon fat. Cook 2-3 minutes, until sprouts are bright green. Remove from heat.
Peel and core pear, then slice thinly.
Roll out pizza dough. Add a light drizzle of olive oil to the top of the dough, being careful to not get too close to the edge (if oil leaks off pizza, it might burn on your pizza stove and make your fire alarm go off).
Arrange pear slices on dough, then scatter sprouts, bacon, and onions on top. Sprinkle on shredded cheese.
Bake for about 10 minutes, until crust has browned. Let cool on pizza stone for 5 minutes before cutting.

Mashed Rutabagas

Rutabagas are coming! Rutabagas are coming! We’re expecting a big shipment of these nutritious root vegetables from Just Peachy Farms in Palestine, Texas next week.

Rutabagas are in the brassica family of vegetables, along with turnips, cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts.  They’re one of our favorite winter items, since they cook up well in recipes with potatoes, carrots, beef and other hearty fare.

Just Peachy’s rutabagas are small and tender, with a mild flavor. They are still in the ground as we speak, and farmer Billy Moore will be harvesting them for our Local Box over the weekend. In preparation for the harvest, Billy shared with us one of his favorite rutabaga recipes:

Mashed Rutabagas and Onions (serves 4-6)
4-6 cups peeled, diced rutabaga
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Cook rutabaga and onion in a small amount of boiling salted water until tender. Drain and mash; add butter, salt, and pepper. Mash rutabaga and onions well.

Five Ingredient Breakfast Casserole

Happy New Year! It’s the second Meatless Monday of 2012, and we’re continuing our series of super-easy vegetarian recipes for January.

My family loves “breakfast for dinner” once in a while, and this quick and easy breakfast casserole is on heavy rotation at my house.  Leafy greens, local eggs,  and fresh potatoes make this casserole much healthier than your typical cheese-laden hashbrown supper, and it’s very quick to put together.  It makes a ton of leftovers, too– perfect for breakfasts later in the week!

One thing that really helps with all the chopping in this (and most any) vegetarian supper is a food processor. I used both attachments that came with my machine to prepare this dinner, and the whole thing came together in about 10 minutes of hands-on time.

 

Slicing Disk

Chopping Blade

If you don’t have a food processor, plan to add about 10 minutes to the prep time for chopping, whisking, and slicing.

Five Ingredient Breakfast Casserole (serves 18-24)

1 yellow onion
1.5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (about 5 medium potatoes)
1 bunch tender greens, stems removed
18 eggs
2 cups milk or plain soymilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9×13 casserole dish.

Wash the potatoes and tender greens and pat dry. Peel the onion and chop it into quarters. Chop the potatoes into quarters. Slice the potatoes and onion very thinly by feeding them through a food processor fitted with the slicing disk. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add potatoes and onion to the skillet and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While potatoes and onions are cooking, fit the food processor with the chopping blade and finely chop the greens. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs with the milk. (The chopping blade of the food processor is perfect for this, too, if you have a large enough machine. Watch out, though– overfilling the bowl of the food processor makes a big, egg-y mess.)

Once potatoes and onions are softened, place them in an even layer in the prepared casserole dish. Top with the chopped greens. Pour the egg mixture over the top of the casserole. Bake for 40 minutes, until the middle of the casserole is set and the edges are golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.