Tag Archives: cilantro

Meatless Monday: Curried Sprouted Lentils w/ Ginger & Garlic Cilantro Sauce

From TheNourishingGourmet.com

Makes 4-6 servings

If you’re getting a Local Box this week, you’ve already got Sprouted Lentils coming your way! If not, you can add them to your basket individually too– they are nutrient packed and local from Groovy Greens in Blanco, TX.

Make the flavorful raw cilantro sauce while the lentils are cooking. Since it’s Hatch season, try throwing a Hatch Chile in place of the Anaheim for some extra heat.

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Curried Sprouted Lentils with a Ginger and Garlic Cilantro Sauce

About 3 cups of sprouted lentils and 3 cups of sprouted wheat, or another 3 cups of sprouted lentils (this is measured loosely, i.e. I didn’t press the sprouts down at all)
2 tablespoons of coconut oil or olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups of water

In a large saucepan with a lid, heat oil over medium high heat until hot, but not smoking. Add onions and cook while stirring for about 4 minutes, until the onion is starting to soften. Then add the garlic, curry powder and cloves and cook for about 30 seconds longer and add the water.

Then add the lentils (and optional wheat, if using). Bring to a simmer with the lid on, then lower heat. Steam for 15-20 minutes until soft. If just using lentils, you can steam for even a little less.

Meanwhile, make your cilantro sauce.
1 bunch of cilantro, stemmed and washed
Either half of a large Aneheim pepper or one small one, seeded and cut into chunks
A heaping teaspoon of grated fresh ginger
3 small garlic cloves, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 lemon juiced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until everything is well combined and it’s at the consistency you want.

Serve the curried with lentils with a big spoonful of your cilantro sauce on top and enjoy.

Local Box Picnic: Allen Park

Unless you live in the Far West neighborhood of Austin, chances are that you’ve never heard of Allen Memorial Park. This hilly little hiking spot is tucked near an office park west of MoPac near Far West. There are no playgrounds or sports fields at Allen Park; its main draw is the well-kept trail, clean picnic areas, and a real sense of seclusion.

Trail at Allen Memorial Park in Austin, Texas
Nearly a mile of gravel trail twists through the park. Some hills are very steep, while other parts of the trail are relatively flat overlooking the city. Although sounds of MoPac traffic hum throughout the park, a thick layer of foliage helps the trails feel set apart from the surrounding city. My husband and I were the only visitors at the park at dinner time on the Fourth of July.

 

The wide, gravelled trail starts at Allen Park’s parking lot and ascends up a rocky scramble to a large picnic area. Besides this larger picnic spot, there are at least six separate picnic tables near the entrance of the park.  Each table is located in its own paved clearing, and some have a charcoal grill nearby. (As of this post, these grills are covered and unusable because Travis County is under a burn ban.) Although it’s not a long walk from one picnic area to the next, each clearing is separated by dense greenery and windy trails. We chose to dine at this picnic table, which overlooks the Northwest Hills neighborhood to the west.

For dinner I made some easy summer salads with Local Box ingredients from Hillside Farm, Massey Farm and Tecolote Farm.  The highlight of the meal was a spicy corn & black bean salad, studded with Juliet tomatoes and topped with Cotija cheese.  The best part of this recipe– besides the tomatoes– is a spicy jalapeno vinaigrette dressing. To get an even level of high heat throughout the salad, I use a blender to liquify a whole jalapeno pepper and a clove of garlic into the dressing. This technique ensures a high level of heat without worrying about whole jalapeno seeds creating “hot spots” throughout the salad. I also don’t have to bother with wearing gloves as I mince the pepper by hand– a huge plus.

 


 

Spicy Corn & Black Bean Salad (serves 6)

Salad:
3 ears of fresh corn on the cob
1, 15-ounce can black beans
1 medium red onion
1 medium bell pepper
1 pint Juliet tomatoes
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1/4 cup crumbled Cotija cheese
lime wedges to garnish

Dressing:
1 garlic clove
1 large jalapeno pepper
Juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water and bring water to a boil over medium heat. Meanwhile, remove the shucks and silks from the ears of corn. Wash and dry the corn, then cut the kernels off of the cob. Cook the kernels of corn for about three minutes in boiling water, until they are tender-firm. Drain the corn and set aside to cool.

Peel and dice the onion. Remove the ribs and seeds from the bell pepper, and dice the remaining flesh. Slice Juliet tomatoes in half.  Place them in a large salad bowl along with the minced onion, bell pepper and sliced tomatoes. Chop off the tough stems from the bunch of cilantro. Chop the remaining leaves and add to the salad, stirring to combine.

To make the dressing, peel the garlic and slice the top stem off of the jalapeno pepper. Put the whole garlic clove and decapitated pepper– seeds, ribs and all– into the blender along with the remaining ingredients. Pulse on “liquify,” or your blender’s highest speed, for about three minutes, until all the pepper seeds have been obliterated and the dressing is emulsified. No blender? Peel and crush the garlic with a garlic press. Remove the stem, ribs and seeds from the jalapeno and mince it by hand. Whisk the crushed garlic and minced pepper together with the remaining ingredients in a small bowl.

Pour the prepared dressing over the salad and mix well. Top with crumbled Cotija cheese and garnish with lime wedges before serving. This salad keeps well in the refrigerator and tastes better the second day, although the tomatoes will not be as vibrant red by then.

Israeli Carrots

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This easy little recipe would make a great vegan Easter or Passover side dish. When I say easy, I mean that all you do is boil the carrots for a few minutes, mix up a lovely dressing with fresh herbs, olive oil, garlic, and cumin, and toss it with the warm carrots. Done and done. As a bonus, these guys taste good warm or at room temperature, so you can mix them up while you’re doing something else, and then forget about them till it’s time to eat. When you’re making a big holiday spread, a dish like this great to have in your back pocket.

Israeli Carrots (from Cooking Light)

1  pound  carrots, cut into 1/2 in.-wide sticks
1  garlic clove, chopped
1/2  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
2  tablespoons  chopped fresh dill
1  tablespoon  olive oil
1  tablespoon  fresh orange juice
1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin
1/4  teaspoon  kosher salt

1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add carrots; cook 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain.

2. Place garlic in a food processor; pulse 3 times or until finely chopped. Add cilantro; pulse 3 times or until combined. Add dill and remaining ingredients; pulse 3 times or until well combined. Spoon dill mixture over carrots; toss gently to coat. Serve warm or at room temperature.

– Stephanie

Two Local Box Salads

Salad with roasted beets, orange, cilantro, lettuce, and dandelion greens

 

The thermometer on my porch tells me that spring in Texas is over. The highs have  been in the 80s all week, and I have been compulsively checking the weather forecast for some sign that the Texas summer isn’t really starting yet. Today’s overcast skies and cool breezes give me hope. And did you know that some parts of the country had a blizzard this week? There must be hope for a spring snow day in Austin, right??

 

I probably won’t hold my breath. One good thing about this season-straddling weather is the simultaneous availability of local avocados, tomatoes, cilantro, citrus, beets, spring greens and winter greens. Having so many beautiful veggies together in my fridge a sign from above to make salad.

 

This week I created two new salad recipes that each come together in about 10 minutes, no cooking required. (Roast the beets ahead of time!) Each recipe makes an easy vegan main dish for two, or the perfect starter for a dinner party for 6.

 

The first recipe uses winter flavors of roasted beet, orange segments, and bitter greens for oomph. The second recipe is a classic guacamole salad, with cumin, cayenne and green garlic for heat since jalapenos aren’t in season yet. The inspiration for both salad dressings came from Elise Bauer’s Orange and Beet Salad Recipe. Her dressing base of olive oil and wine vinegar is genius in that she adds a little powdered mustard to help the dressing emulsify. I added some local ingredients–like Round Rock honey and cilantro from Naegelin farms– to her dressing recipe to enhance the flavors of the veggies and help them shine in each salad. I also opted for Texas pecans and dandelion greens in my version of the beet salad. You can’t beat the nutty pecan flavor against the pucker of bitter dandelion greens.

 

Salad of Roasted Beets, Oranges, Dandelion Greens
1 head red leaf lettuce, washed and torn into bite sized pieces
1 bunch dandelion greens, washed and torn into bite sized pieces
3 beets, roasted and skins removed, chopped (Do this ahead of time so they are cool!!)
2 navel oranges, peeled and segmented
1/4 cup pecan halves
Dressing:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dried mustard
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
salt and pepper to taste
Prepare all veggies and fruits and combine in a large bowl. Whiz the dressing ingredients together in a blender, or mix them together in a small jar. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss, serve immediately.

 

Salad of Avocado, Tomato, Cilantro and Green Onion
1 head green leaf lettuce, washed and torn into bite sized pieces
1 bunch cilantro, washed and chopped
1 bunch green onions, white part reserved, green parts chopped
1 bunch green garlic, white part reserved, green parts chopped
2 avocados, peeled with pits removed, chopped
3 tomatoes, cored and chopped
Dressing:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
white parts from one bunch green garlic
white parts from one bunch green onions
1/4 teaspoon dried mustard
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
salt and pepper to taste
Prepare all veggies and combine in a large bowl, reserving the white stalks of the green garlic and green onions for use in the dressing. Combine stalks with remaining dressing ingredients in a blender and pulse until veggies are completely pureed and dressing emulsifies. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss, serve immediately.

Local Box Meal Plan: March 21-25

This week’s box includes a rare batch of dandelion greens. They have a slightly bitter flavor, sort of like chicory, and are quite nutritionally dense. I’m including several ways to prepare them below.

Slicing Tomatoes – Gundermann
Shallots – Acadian Family Farm
Cilantro – Naegelin OR My Father’s Farm
Dandelion Greens – Gundermann
Carrots – Orange Blossom
Kale – Texas Natural
Spinach – Naegelin
Navel Oranges – G&S Grove
Red Radish – West Austin Roots
Avocados – G&S Grove

Sauteed dandelion greens – This is a simple, Italian-style way to prep the greens. If you want more options, this link has several recipes featuring dandelion greens, from the simple to the more exotic (squid and greens, anyone?).

Guacamole – It’s the dip of the gods, I tell you. I usually just eyeball it and mash up some avocado with jalapenos, chopped tomatoes, cilantro, onions, garlic, lime juice, salt, and pepper, but I’m linking to a good, basic recipe if you need more guidance. Since we’re getting shallots this week, I’ll use those instead of regular onions.

Carrot-radish salad – This recipe makes a ton, so you’ll have to cut down the recipe appropriately. Also, it calls for a lime vinaigrette, but use the juice from one of your navel oranges instead.

Winter pasta – Use a combo of spinach or kale. This recipe comes together quickly with the help of a food processor. If you don’t have one, just puree everything in the blender.

– Stephanie

Tilapia with Grilled Orange Vinaigrette

Because it has been in the 80s for about a week now (yay!), I’ve started reverting back to my warm-weather habit of cooking on the grill at least a few times per week. Today I really wanted to grill some fish, but I always run into the problem of fish sticking to the grill and falling apart once it’s cooked. I realized I could circumvent this issue, and cook some veggies along with the fish, if I put everything into a foil packet on the grill.

It worked wonderfully, and is easy to boot. I just put each fish fillet on a large piece of foil and topped them with a mixture of spinach, chard, and red bell pepper. For the vinaigrette, I added orange halves to the grill for the last five minutes of cooking, then mixed their juice with olive oil and herbs. I poured it over the cooked fish and greens, and voila – the perfect spring lunch.

Tilapia with Grilled Orange Vinaigrette

4 tilapia fillets
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 a large bunch of chard, chopped
~5 cups spinach, chopped
1/2 a large red bell pepper, chopped
Olive oil
2 oranges, halved
Handful of cilantro, chopped
1/2 a bunch of green onions (or green garlic), chopped

Preheat grill to medium heat (about 350 degrees). Season the fish with salt, pepper, and thyme. Place each in a large piece of foil sprayed with cooking spray and drizzle a bit of olive oil over each. Combine spinach, chard, and bell pepper and top each piece of fish with the mixture. Drizzle a bit more olive oil over the veggies, season with salt and pepper, and close up the foil packets to seal.

Place packets on grill and cook 20 minutes. Rub oranges with olive oil or cooking spray and place cut side down on the grill in the last five minutes of cooking.

While fish is cooking, combine cilantro, green onions, and 1/2 cup of olive oil in a bowl.

Remove everything from the grill. Squeeze orange juice into herb/oil mixture and season with salt and pepper. Stir well. Spoon a bit of the dressing over each fish fillet and serve.

– Stephanie

Local Box Meal Plan: Jan 31-Feb 4

I’m loving the abundance of avocados we’ve gotten lately. What’s your favorite winter veggie?

Here’s the complete list for this week.

Beets/Fennel/Kohlrabi – Naegelin
Green Cabbage – Naegelin
Green Leaf Lettuce – Acadian
Sweet Potatoes – Gundermann
Swiss Chard – My Father’s Farm
Dinosaur Kale/Curly Kale – Texas Natural
Cilantro – Fruitful Farms
Green Onions – Naegelin
Avocados – G&S
Grapefruit or Navel Oranges – G&S

I am making:

Green monster smoothies – Lately I’ve been making these for breakfast using raw chard, kale, or spinach. I know a smoothie with raw greens may sound gross. And I won’t lie – they are not pretty. I put mine in an opaque cup. But I tell you, they taste really, really good and are good for you. My basic recipe calls for 2 cups raw greens, 1 cup frozen fruit, 1/2 a banana, 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and a handful of ice. Blend for a few minutes until everything is smooth. I might try throwing some citrus in this week instead of the frozen fruit. You can also experiment with different liquids, like regular milk or hemp milk. Don’t knock the green monster till you try it.

Curried sweet potato salad with cilantro – This recipe is a little fussy for my taste (I’m not carefully layering a salad that I’m just going to scoop onto a plate a minute later), but the elements are solid. I’ll probably sub olive oil for the mayo and use green onions instead of red.

Roasted beets, fennel, or kohlrabi – These guys all taste pretty different so I don’t want to give you complicated recipes using them when you can’t easily substitute for the one you get. Instead, I’m linking to different recipes for each one. I usually roast up a bunch of veggies like this on Sunday and use in salads during the week with our lettuce and cabbage. Oh, and if you haven’t had kohlrabi, it tastes a little like broccoli, but without the tiny florets that stick in your teeth. Yum.

Spicy shrimp with citrus avocado sauce – Use whatever citrus you get.