Showing posts with label CSA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CSA. Show all posts

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sweet 'n Tangy Kiwi Dressing & Alaska Salad -- Friday Potluck Recipe Hop #47

One of the only things in the fridge when I returned home was a container filled with kiwi fruit. After pawning some of the kiwis off on various grateful friends, I was still left with 8-10 kiwis. I came to the conclusion that I was going to have to do something with them.

I love kiwis... the fruit, the birds and the people. However, outside of eating them plain, which I had already burned out on, I had no idea what to do with them.

So I did what any sensible lady would do when faced with such a dire dilemma, I turned to Google.

I found a lovely blog That British Woman, which has lots of fun posts.

Back to the matter at hand though -- kiwi fruit! She has a post titled 50 + 1 Recipes for Kiwi Fruit, a round up of some of her favorite kiwi recipes from which I was able to draw wonderful inspiration.

Taking inspiration from recipe number 33, and the contents of my fabulous CSA box, I created an amazing, mainly Alaska-grown salad. The salad didn't feature my mystery veggie, which turned out to be kohlrabi, because I had no idea what to do about it; you can read about my adventures with kohlrabi another day.

However, complete with Alaska red and green leaf lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, carrots, and non-Alaska grown baby bellas, 1/2 apple, and bleu cheese, this spectacular salad goes perfectly with the new kiwi fruit dressing.


Sweet 'n Tangy Kiwi Salad Dressing
as seen here

3 Kiwifruit, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp Grated Fresh Root Ginger
5 tbsp Olive Oil
The juice of 1 Lime
Salt and Black Pepper

Puree all ingredients in a food processor, then add to your salad.

*Note: the original recipe calls for 2 Kiwi and 1 teaspoon of ginger; however the dressing tasted too olive oil-y for me. Adding an third kiwi and the additional ginger made a fantastic flavor, though the dressing was a little thick. This is a keeper.


In addition to Friday Potluck, I'm pleased to be linking this up to

And now, on to Friday Potluck!

I love all of the recipes that you've been bringing by, and can't wait for this week's edition!

grab the code!

Just a few quick and easy rules for joining the party:

1. Link directly to your recipe (not your main blog).
2. Only one recipe per blog each week.
3. Be sure, in the linked blog post, to link back here to Friday Potluck @ EKat's Kitchen using the button above or text.
4. Have fun, do some visiting and enjoy!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Grilled Baby Bok Choy

I love my CSA! I love my CSA! I love my CSA!

I've already clicked my black, white and hot pink peep toes (as I don't own ruby slippers) three times and found myself back home in Alaska. There really is no place like home. And, the house we bought two months ago is feeling more like home every day.

Over the last several weeks, the snow has melted from the deck and the yard, and I've learned just how much grass grows in a year (the house was vacant last summer). Daylight is increasing ... I forgot how much I loved sun all day long--when it's sunny. I can't wait to start a little garden out back, after our landscaping is done, and start growing some veggies of my own.

I really do love my CSA. I haven't bought much in the way of produce since starting to get the boxes every other week, except for the occasional filler ingredients, and the blessedly NOT local mangos for my beloved mango salsa.

Last box, these cute little guys appeared. It took me quite a bit of searching to figure out what they were. Baby Bok Choy. I've had grown up bok choy before in an Asian Slaw Salad... but had never tried the mini-me versions.

As we were also grilling steaks (by we, I mean K, as I am not entirely comfortable with the grill), I got out our lovely new grilling pan.

We chopped these Babies in half, sliced two cloves of garlic and tossed with olive oil and a dash of sea salt.

After grilling for about 5-10 minutes, we served, drizzling with rice wine vinegar. YUM!

I love my CSA.

Grilled Baby Bok Choy
3-4 "heads" baby bok choy
2 cloves garlic, sliced
olive oil
sea salt

Separate the bok choy leaves and wash. Chop in half and toss with remaining ingredients. Place in grilling pan and grill for about 10 minutes.

Enjoy. Serve with rice wine vinegar.

This post is linked with


Saturday, April 2, 2011

How I Became (more of a) Locovore

If you've been following me for any amount of time, you may have been following my path from a processed-packaged food eater to a fresh food eater... and then from a fresh food eater to a local, organic food eater.

A little recap for those of you who don't know; just about a year ago, I found out that I have hereditary high blood pressure. Though I ate mostly healthy, a large portion of my diet was made up of packaged foods that were high in sodium. And I had no idea!

Though genes are genes, there were still some changes I could make to my diet and lifestyle. With a husband deployed and crazy hours at work, I could only change how I managed stress and not the sources. I was out hiking every somewhat nice weekend day that came along and taking le pooch for walks regularly. I also started cooking more from whole, fresh ingredients, and less from packaged ready-made meals.

EKat's Kitchen was born as a way to track some of these recipes. Especially those with lentils. MMM.

After hubby returned home, we made regular pilgrimages to the Farmers Market in Colorado Springs and enjoyed whole, fresh, local and seasonal ingredients all summer long. We purchased locally grown grass fed meats -- it just made sense to us.

We learned we'd be moving to Alaska, the place we'd just left less than three years before. We loaded up our homemade beer and wine, our frozen grassfed beef, our frozen squash, and our canned tomatoes... and had the movers take just about everything else.

As soon as we closed on the new house, I signed up for a fabulous CSA (Community Share Agriculture) - Glacier Valley CSA. We Alaskans have great farming, though a short growing season. In the winter, GV CSA supplements their boxes of locally grown potatoes, carrots and onions (as well as mushrooms and sprouts), with organic produce from Outside. I've learned how to cook with kale, rainbow chard, ruby chard, and oyster mushrooms.

And one of my friends gave me a copy of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver - about her family's journey to eat locally for a year (minus the need for coffee). And I learned about all of the reasons to eat locally
- for our bodies (locally grown food has fewer pesticides, more antioxidants and more nutrients),
- for our economy (every dollar we spend locally cycles through the local economy three times),
- for our planet (less fuel is needed to transport local food and it tends to be farmed using more sustainable practices).

There are, of course, more reasons to eat locally. Kingsolver after all wrote an entire book about them. But as a result, I've started to purchase local Alaskan milk and am planning to find local Alaskan cheese. I've also recently located a source for local, Alaska-grown beef. Now, Alaska is a big place, but it's certainly better economically to source our food from within Alaska than to be concerned with shipping it up from Outside.

I finished the book about 1 am this morning and feel even more motivated. Motivated to sit here and blog about it, ignoring the housework! Regardless, I encourage each of you to aim to make one meal a week from local ingredients. We eat lots of food that's not local, but we're making a move to eat more locally.

I also encourage you to read Kingsolver's book, whether you purchase it by clicking on the link above or below, borrow it from the library or share with a friend. Per my friend's request, I'll be passing the book along to someone else, but will be regularly visiting for recipes from Kingsolver and her daughter.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Spaghetti Squash & Ruby Chard Lasagna

K and I were finally both at home and with energy simultaneously... and we got the final box out of our downstairs! We reorganized the furniture and hung pictures... and it's boo-ti-ful. A few odds and ends and clutter to find homes for still, but it's coming together so nicely!

With that huge success behind us, I thought we should celebrate! By celebrate, I mean cook at home, and by cook at home, I mean another fabulous experiment with the CSA veggies.

I've had some awesome spaghetti squash in the freezer that I cooked and made into "noodles", just like I did when we made eggplant parmesan over spaghetti squash last fall. Cooked squash "meat" keeps really well frozen if your physical squashes are nearing the end of their storage lives. Though I've found that I love my garlic sauteed rainbow chard, since I've gotten a chard bunch each week from Glacier Valley CSA, I've been wanting to try some new ways to eat it.

Born of ingredients in the fridge, my creative juices, and my husband's input, I give you a fantastic meatless meal... one even approved by K, the penultimate carnivore. To his credit, he only once suggested adding meat, and this was early in the planning stages. We added lots of cheese in homage to his Wisconsin-cheese-loving roots, and to give a nice meaty texture and earthy flavor, we added some sliced crimini mushrooms. Though the final product was a bit on the juicy side, it was fantastic... a wonderful success.

Spaghetti Squash Chard Lasagna
(printable recipe)

1 large spaghetti squash, baked, "noodled" and cooled
1 large bunch chard (ruby)
2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
4 tbsp vegetable oil, separated
1 16 oz tub cottage cheese
1 lb mozzarella, shredded
6 medium crimini mushrooms
6 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 cup crumbled feta

If you don't have frozen spaghetti squash, it's best to bake your squash ahead of time and "noodle," then set it aside to cool. It's much easier to work with when it's not scalding.

Rinse the chard, slice off the stems and slice out the center ribs and set aside; next slice the main leaves into large chunks -- about 2" wide. Slice the garlic and cook in pan with vegetable oil until golden. Just as in Sauteed Garlic Rainbow Chard, add the sliced leaves a handful at a time, until slightly wilted. Set aside. Now saute the stems until crispy. Turn off heat in pan and begin your lasagna.

In a 13 x 9 greased pan, first layer 1/2 the spaghetti squash. (While I await the unearthing of my camera charger, I sadly am limited to photos from my phone... some good... some less so. My apologies)

Next is the chard; unfurl the wilted leaves (1/2) and spread across the squash.

Add in the cottage cheese. All of it.

Repeat the squash and kale layers. Cover with the sliced mushrooms. I wanted to dig in right here without the rest of the toppings and without cooking it. It looked SO pretty with these babies.

Next, cover the sliced mushrooms with 3/4 of the mozzarella, reserving the remaining quarter for the very top. Cover the mozz with the chard stems and the diced tomatoes, finally covering the top with the mozz and feta.

Cook in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes; if your oven cooks unevenly, cook for 25 minutes and then turn for remaining five.

Serve. Super yummy and husband-approved. The mushrooms really make this dish! Because it's a little on the juicy side, the final picture doesn't do this dish justice!

This is linked up with Meatless Mondays/

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Broccoli & Oyster Mushroom Stir Fry w/ Soy Ginger Coconut Chicken

Is that title a mouthful or what?!?!? I tried to shorten it and make it catchier, and failed miserably. Short of coming up with an acronym, with a ton of consonants that sounds like you're speaking with a mouthful of marbles.

I haven't been able to stop talking about my CSA box. I'm not yet sure if it's a good deal dollarwise, but it is fantastic in terms of introducing me to new ingredients!

The lovely ladies of Glacier Valley CSA have been so kind as to provide several recipes for their tasty treats! Tonight's fantastic stir fry was based on one of their recipes.

Tonight's fantastic chicken is another story; it grew out of a series of delicious thoughts. A marinade and a search for a crunchy, sweet texture.

Together, the flavors and textures combined for a dish that was spectacularly delicious; and my first experience with oyster mushrooms was a screaming success.

I'd never seen oyster mushrooms before.
They're kind of funny looking. But their flavor is amazing... light and easy to enjoy.

Broccoli & Oyster Mushroom Stir Fry
modified from Glacier Valley Farms

1-2 cups sliced oyster mushrooms
2 cups broccoli florets
1 tbsp peanut oil (I substituted vegetable oil)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion (I used two shallots)
Optional: 1 small can water chestnuts, diced

Though the recipe calls for the onion (shallots) to be sliced into small wedges, I opted to thinly slice them to add a bit more crunch to the dish.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat and saute the onions for about a minute.

Add the broccoli and a teaspoon of water and then cover immediately to steam to broccoli for a few minutes. After removing the lid, allow the remaining water to cook off.

Then add in the mushrooms, garlic and water chestnuts, cooking until the mushrooms are tender.

Soy Ginger Coconut Chicken

1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce or braggs
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp ginger, minced
2 large chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes

Combine all ingredients and marinate chicken in refrigerator overnight.

1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup shredded coconut
several cups frying oil

Ponzu sauce for drizzling.

Stir together Panko crumbs and coconut.

Remove chicken from marinade and coat with Panko/coconut mix. Heat the oil in large, deep pot until rippling.

Drop several pieces of chicken in at a time and cook until a deep golden brown. Remove with tongs and set aside on paper towel to drain.

Serve with Broccoli Oyster Mushroom stir fry over brown rice. Drizzle with Ponzu sauce for an additional citrus flavor.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway!!

I'm linking this recipe up with:

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sauteed Garlic Rainbow Chard over Red Wine Pesto Pasta

My first CSA box arrived last week -- from Glacier Valley CSA. I've been yammering on about it for almost a month. High time I got my act together. And, so far, I'm not disappointed!

I'm also trying a box from Full Circle next week... the experiment is on!
I picked up my bountiful box from a local business and unloaded it, drooling over the beautiful contents spread out on my kitchen counter.

Wouldn't you drool... mmm. The colors!

One of the things I find extremely necessary in an Alaska winter is to have fresh flowers in the house... all the time! What gets me here is not so much the dark (though I dislike it) but the lack of color as everything falls into a category of white, dark or some shade of gray betwixt the two.
Look at these babies.

This one is hot pink!!!

I adore the color pink. Especially hot pink. And, especially when it appears naturally!

What do you do when you know nothing about a particular food? Google it! Find inspiration. Mine came in the form of Food and Wine Magazine.

Although it's been said that I'm an adventurous eater (the only food I've found that I HATE is beets), I also am a firm believe in Plan B -- just ask my husband... he teases me about making contingencies for contingency plans (only half jokingly).

Interestingly enough, I learned that chard is related to beets, but somehow, it must be enough different that I like them. What this really means is that rainbow chard does not taste like dirt to me, as do most beets; something about a genetically recessive trait. Chard is also SUPER healthy: high in vitamins A, K and C, AND filled with minerals, dietary fiber and protein. Super good for you - a superfood?

When in doubt, make pasta.

Garlic Rainbow Chard over Red Wine Pesto Pasta

Sauteed Rainbow Chard with Garlic
modified from Food & Wine

Though the original recipe calls for lemon zest, I have no lemons to zest. It also calls for four pounds of chards, and I'm sure that I didn't use that much. I couldn't bear to use it all up.

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves thinly sliced 
4 (?) pounds rainbow (or ruby) chard
salt and freshly ground pepper

Rinse the chard, discard the stems, and remove the internal ribs, chopping the ribs into 2" pieces.

Slice the leaves into 2" ribbons.

Place about half the olive oil in a good sized pan. Toss in the garlic cloves and cook until golden.

Next, add the leaves, a handful at a time, allowing each batch to wilt before adding more. Sautee until the liquid evaporates.

Set aside leaves and wipe out the pan.

Add the remaining oil and add sliced ribs to pan, cooking until crispy.

Red Wine Pesto Pasta
8 oz pasta (1/2 box), cooked
1 tbsp red wine
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon pesto parmesan (one of my favorite discoveries from Savory)

After the pasta is cooked, toss together the other ingredients.

As it turns out, no back up was needed! Score!! However, since it was made... and so lovely, I opted to include it as part of the meal, just like it was the original plan. Er, it was the original plan, I swear!

Serve the sauteed greens over the pasta and and a few sprinkles of feta for texture!

Voila! Enjoy!

The verdict: Absolutely FABULOUS first experience with a CSA. Delicious. A keeper.


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