Friday, January 27, 2012

Brother's Bday Brunch

One of my brother's has a birthday this month and while I'm not big on presents, I love to get a bit of the family together and share a meal made with love.

me and my brother, almost 30 years ago

For me, brunch is easier and simpler than a dinner party, so I'll probably get a chance to actually sit down and eat with the family.  Here's what I'll be serving:

muffins

poached eggs

roasted fingerling, yukon, & purple potatoes

sautéed garlicky lacinato kale

strawberries (JR Organics Farm has beautiful, delicious berries in season now!)

fresh squeezed citrus juice from Schaner Farm

organic, fair trade coffee & teas

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pasta Salad

I've been wanting to make pasta salad but it's been so cold I've only wanted to eat hot food.  But now it's warmed up a bit...
3 cups dried bite-size pasta (penne, bowtie, corkscrew...), boiled up in salted water until al dente (I'm using an interesting, beautiful little pasta I picked up at the Hillcrest Farmers Market)
1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans
1/2 pound 5 grain tempeh, cubed small
olive oil
2 tablespoons tamari (soy sauce)
balsamic vinegar
1/2 red onion, sliced very thin, from Schaner Farm
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced, from Schaner Farm
1 small romanesco cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces, from Suzie's Farm
large handful of fresh parsley leaves, chopped, from Suzie's Farm
3 baby heads of gem romaine lettuce, chopped, from Suzie's Farm
1 teaspoon dried oregano
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

In a loaf pan, bake the tempeh cubes tossed with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, tamari, and a tablespoon of vinegar, at 350° for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.  Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl with 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.  Enjoy slightly warm or allow to cool (it will keep beautifully in the refrigerator; this is a good one to keep around to pack for lunches).

Makes 6-8 servings

Variations
Mix it up the beans with whatever you might have on hand (kidney, cannellini...) or skip beans altogether.
Don't have or don't like tempeh?  Skip it.
Use whatever herbs and veggies are in season: basil, tomato, celery, summer squash, bell pepper...
Use other greens or leave greens out.
Use other vinegars (such as red wine).
Try adding olives or toasted pine nuts.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Kale for Breakfast

I eat a fair amount of kale.  I love the flavor and it's a "superfood" (very high in many nutrients especially to prevent cancer).  It's grown year-round by most of the SD farmers and it's very easy to grow at home.

My favorite kale is lacinato or "dino" kale because the stems are soft enough that I don't need to destem it (I can eat the whole leaf - faster to prep and less waste), it's easy to cut (the leaves lay flat and I can chop the thicker stem parts real thin so they are easier to eat), the texture is less tough, it's a beautiful dark color and the flavor is wonderful - sweet, delicate, earthy and green!

I love to cook it for breakfast as a bed for a bit of roasted fingerling, Yukon, or sweet potatoes, topped with an egg from Schaner Farm or drizzled with a touch of stoneground mustard and local honey.
Yum yummy yuminess.
Sautéed Kale
For each serving:
a large handful (a cup or so) of Suzie's Farm kale sliced about 1/4" - 1/2" ribbons (thinner on the steamy parts)
1/2 teaspoon Springhill butter or olive oil
a clove of Schaner Farm garlic, peeled and minced
sea salt
freshly ground pepper

Melt butter over medium heat in a sauté pan. Add the kale, toss with the butter, and cook, stirring for a couple minutes. Add the garlic and cook stirring for a couple more minutes (I like my veggies just softened and still al dente but if you prefer softer greens, cook them longer). Season with a bit of sea salt and pepper.

Variations
Add a pinch of red pepper flakes in with the garlic.
After cooking, add a splash of lemon juice or vinegar to brighten the flavor.
Add other vegetables: increase the amount of oil or butter and sauté thinly sliced onions or other veggies for a few minutes before adding the kale.
Try other greens, such as mustard, dandelion, chard, or a mix.