Tag Archives: spinach

Chard & Mango Salad (or, “Chard Day’s Night”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1.5 c kaleidoscope chard, chopped
  • 1 c spinach, chopped
  • 1/3 c parsley, minced
  • 1/3 c mango, diced
  • 1/2 c walnuts, toasted
  • 1/3 c sweet onion, diced
  • 1/2 c feta cheese, crumbled or whatever
  • 1/3 c-ish vinaigrette of choice

chardmangosaladChop, mince, dice and toast! Once the prep is out of your way, these are all handy-licious things to grab out of the fridge and throw together. I might have overdone it on those walnuts, but who doesn’t love their healthy Omegas?

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Roasted New Potato Salad with Lentils and Feta

In my pantry today:

  • 3 c baby spinach
  • 4 new potatoes
  • 1/2 c lentils, cooked
  • 1/2 c feta cheese
  • 1 small tomato
  • 2 tbsp sweet onion, minced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • dash salt
  • house vinaigrette du jour*

P1100487There was fresh spinach. There were potatoes. There were lentils in the refrigerator. With spring in what little prime it gets in South Carolina I didn’t want a hot meal, but it is because summer still isn’t here that I’m not sold on salads yet this year as a meal. What might draw that bridge o’er troubled waters? If you said “potatoes,” then you’re damn right I’m 1/2 Irish.

Wash, halve then toss your potatoes in olive oil, garlic, turmeric and salt. Put cut-side down on a pan and bake in a 400° oven for 40m. Let them cool for 5-10m out of the oven while you prepare a bed of spinach, onion and tomato. Top that with the halved, roasted potatoes… then top that with (cooked, drained, cooled) lentils and feta cheese.

I used some of our house vinaigrette du jour* on it — that’s just 1/4 what was left of our Good Seasons® red wine/olive oil dressing, more olive oil/red wine vinegar, some garlic powder, turmeric and asafoetida (lentils would be afoot). As far as salads go, this one gets 5 spoons both on the flavor and fullness front.

May I Curry Your Flavor?

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c leftover rotisserie chicken, chopped
  • 3/4 c tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 c fresh spinach
  • 1/4 small red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1/2 c vegetable broth
  • 1/4 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp hot curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • dash asafoetida

P1100392Looking for — or didn’t know you were looking for — a spicy new sauce for pulled chicken or pork? Tailgate dishes becoming a little predictable? Don’t usually cotton to curries? Give this a try for more kick than curry.

Start onion and garlic in melted ghee on the L side of L for at least 20m. Sprinkle in the mustard seeds and increase heat to the M side of ML until crackling is heard. Add tomatoes, a dash of broth and cover 5-10m. Chop up your chicken and spinach, set aside. Return to the pan and crush those tomato bits with your spatula, adding the remainder of spices. Mix, mush and gently pummel everything before adding in the spinach. When it begins to wilt upon stir, add in the rest of your liquids, stir well, then add in the chicken. Do some more stirring well while it comes to a boil on M. When it does, cover the pan and turn heat back to the L side of L. Let sit and be heated together as one, then enjoy on a bun or over rice for 5 spoons of flavor.

The First 5+

In my pantry today:

  • 1.25 c frozen spinach
  • 1.25c blanched, chopped kale
  • 12 0z canned tomato sauce (plain)
  • 1 L yellow onion
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp fenugreek
  • 1 tsp fennel
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp chile de arbol powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • dash asafoetia

P1100258I had some major cupboard rearranging to do so I started the onions in oil with mustard seeds on ML and let them rest largely unattended for about 30m. Sprinkle on turmeric a few minutes in, mix. Turn stove to M an mix in pastes and other spices until a gummy mound forms; dispatch the mound with your spatula and a small dollop of tomato sauce. Add greens and let the food processor run for a couple of minutes; spoon it back into the pan and stir in the remainder of your tomato sauce. Heat and eat, or add paneer, meat or a meat substitute — I threw in some cooked chana dal (split chickpeas) and served it over Basmati rice. I ate this for lunch and again for dinner… and maybe I heated my dinner in a small Ikea skillet then ate it then licked the skillet. Don’t you judge me.

kaleI know that eating foods of color is the way to go, so I feel really good about not only the outstanding 5+ spoons of taste this delivers but also because the recipe is full of enough greens for me to want to add a +. Following the Wahls Diet is my goal, but still isn’t entirely possible — both financially (SNAP only delivers so much) and… because I am still a product of my fatty culture and will submit to its baser dietary desires.*

 

 

* Don’t you judge me.

Saag’s the Way We Do It

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c ricotta cheese
  • 2 lbs turnip greens, washed stems cut
  • 3 c baby spinach/arugula blend, washed
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes
  • 1/2 c unsweetened soy milk
  • 1/4 c vegetable ghee
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp fenugreek
  • 1/2 tsp fennel
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder
saag3

vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, D, E, and K plus many more all-stars

This was worth the day’s adventure in making this from scratch recipe as “from scratch” as possible. I’d remark in a more witty and urbane fashion, but I admit that from this and from about thirty unrelated other things I am wiped out. For the first five hours of my day, however, I was on point.

saag4

don’t pa’sneer

Start first with the low rent paneer. Obviously, this is the one non-vegan aspect of the recipe. Preheat the oven to 350° and spread an even layer of ricotta cheese over a [I used an 8×8″ and the paneer was too thin so go with something a little smaller] baking dish and bake for 45-60m until the edges of the pan begin to brown. Let cool then slice into cubes or crumble into a topping.

carte blanching all 3lbs of 3 greens at once

Meanwhile your oil/ghee should be warming to ML. Add diced onions, garlic, mustard and cumin seeds. Let cook over ML heat until onions begin peeking translucent. While they’re warming up to the notion, trim and blanch your greens (well, boil them for about 10m if you don’t care for chewing your saag). Drain well and set aside. Turn heat up closer to M in the pan; when you hear a mustard seed or two crackle, add the ginger-garlic paste and other dry seasonings. Mix together until one gelatinous mass then add in the flour. Use the juice from the diced tomatoes if liquid is needed. Scrape all the seasonings off the bottom of the pan and mix until a paste-like consistency. 

saag2

just prior to pasting

Add in the greens slowly, mixing all the while. Then plop the entire mix in your food processor, add milk and spin until the creaminess you desire is reached. Serve with paneer over Basmati rice. This is a 5 spoon dish of healthy delight (well, 4 if’n you count my too-thin paneer but let’s not do that) and was commemorated by having half its contents frozen for later revisitation.

7 Meals in 36 Hours (Or, “Driving Through Driving Through”)

In my pantry today:

  • 5 freezer and 2 “tonight’s” dinners

See I wasn’t really writing about what I was doing while I was doing it and the photographs are shameful afterthoughts to two days’ work and to several new recipes. I’ve been meaning without much forward momentum to make more meals to freeze and have on hand — while we could eat prepackaged dinners from the Indian grocery as if they’re going out of style (assuming they’ve ever been in it), there’s got to be a cheaper and more nutritious business to be had. It will all start painlessly enough:

  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 1 medium bulb garlic
  • 1/3 c olive oil

Slice and mince the respective bulbs and put everything in the crock pot on H. Let cook until the onions begin to beckon translucence. Erstwhile, work on two meals worth of

Aloo Matar

  • 1 10 0z can whole white potatoes
  • 1 c peas
  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 4 small-medium jalapeno peppers
  • 1 32 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 c vegetable broth
  • 2-3 tbsp coriander
  • 3-4 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

Chunky slice the onion, garlic and chiles. I left the seeds in the peppers this time because the four I picked were pitiful in stature. Melt ghee and sprinkle in the mustard seeds. Cook on ML until the onions begin their wilt then crank the heat to M. The mustard seeds should be popping by the time you mix the turmeric, ginger-garlic paste and 2 tbsp each: coriander, cumin into a buttery paste. Transfer everything to a food processor, pour in a dollop of broth and pulse until as smooth as possible. Return to the pan, add tomatoes and broth. Stir and bring to a low boil on M. Reduce heat to L and let cook down for a few hours before adding additional seasonings, sliced potatoes and peas. It’s not exactly like the store-bought version I so love, but it is an adequate substitute full of good things. 4 spoons.

Now go back to the crock pot. Everything should be sizzling at a light boil. Strain out all the onion and garlic chunks and throw them in the food processor. Pulse until as smooth as possible, then divide 2/3 of the goop back into the crock pot and 1/3 to a new pot on the stove. In this pot, there will be some kind of completely inauthentic version of

Red Bean Makhani

  • 1/3 pulsed crock pot doins
  • 1 11 oz can red beans
  • 1 6 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/3 c half and half
  • 1/3 c vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp hot curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida

Mix seasonings into the pot, making it even funkier a gunk. On heat rising to M, add in the tomato sauce, vegetable broth and cream. Throw in the beans and everything cook at a light boil on L for an hour or two. Then, return to the crock pot for marinarings. 5 spoons.

Crock Pot Marinara

  • 2/3 pulsed crock pot doins
  • 3 36oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 6oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 14oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 4 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Put all of that in the crock pot and cook on L overnight. 4 spoons.

There’s enough going on in the Aloo Matar pot before the potatoes and peas went in that 1c was taken out as a base for a

Creamy Corn Curry

  • 1 c that stuff in pan #1
  • 1 c corn
  • 1 c diced frozen spinach
  • 1 16 oz container 1% milk
  • 1 5 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1/3 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

That little cardboard box of milk in the back of the cupboard? Empty it into a saucepan and bring it to a low boil, then keep it there for a couple hours. When it has thickened, skim off the skin and add the reserved stuff from pan #2. Stir cornstarch into the evaporated milk then thusly stir that into the milkpot. Add a little more almond milk to thin out any overthick attitude. Stir in corn and spinach, remove from heat. 4 spoons.

Five meals went into the freezer, and still there was enough marinara to make a

Cheesy Penne Bake

  • 3-4 c penne pasta, cooked
  • 2-3 c marinara
  • 1/3 c Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 c mozzerella cheese
  • dusting of cayenne

Mix the pasta and sauce in a baking dish and sprinkle cheese atop. Bake in a 350 oven for 20m or until cheese is beginning to brown at the edges of the dish. This 5 spoon dish concludes a deeply satisfying almost-two-day-long act against the desire to hit a drive through at the end of a long day. I am so grateful to have had the ingredients and time to start taking care of this before the most hectic parts of the holiday season begin. Happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Double Feature: Basil, Beets and Barley (or, “Wait, That’s Three Things.”)

In my pantry today:

  • 5 small beets, baked and peeled
  • 3 c cooked barley
  • 1 c goat cheese
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1 c fresh basil
  • 1 c fresh spinach
  • 1/2 c radish microgreens
  • 1 tbsp salted butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6-8 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 small Vidalia onion

I think I’m finally getting the hang of our CSA weekly bundles. I’ve got four days until the next pickup and only 1 tomato, 1 head of kale, 5 beets and 7 carrots left before Tuesday. This is a vast improvement over weeks prior, and I’ve yet to determine if this pace has worked. Check back after Tuesday.

I’ve also been hemming and hawing about the beets a little — they’re a new and foreign element to my kitchen, but I remind myself that that is not their fault. They may be the poor and huddled masses in my crisper drawer now, but social justice will catch up… hopefully riding the iron horse of deliciousness. I apparently made a 5 spoon issue out of it yesterday, sources report. Mince 4-6 (depending on size, y’know) cloves of garlic and 1/2 c basil in as teeny-tiny flakes as possible. Cream it with 1/2 c goat cheese and apply in neat balls to the top of chilled beet slices. I salt roasted these beets day before yesterday — cut off and reserve the greens, scrub the roots and place in a glass baking dish with a 1/2″ of salt in the bottom. Cover the dish and bake at 425° for 45 minutes to an hour. Let cool, peel and refrigerate for future beet use.

While you’ve got the garlic-mincing going, go ahead and dice up 2-4 cloves and 1/2 a Vidalia onion. Start your butter and oil warming to M in a cold pan with the garlic and onion. Once it reaches full heat, reduce to L and let cook for 15m or so — until your garlic crisps to golden brown and your onions are near caramelization. Using a slotted spatula or spoon, remove the crispy garlic and sweet onion; set aside. Return heat to M and mix in your barley. Once it’s well-coated, add your mixture of spinach, chopped basil and microgreens. Toss until the spinach becomes bright green, then add back the garlic and onion and continue mixing with a pinch or two of sea salt. When everything is warm together, add dollops of goat cheese and cover the pan. Serve in 5m. The onions will deliver sweet bites in the midst of garlic’s tasty reign, and goat cheese will apply a creamy reasoning to the entire argument. 5 spoons.

Whatchoo Palak’n About?

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c leftover Basmati rice
  • 1 c cooked quinoa
  • 3 c chpped fresh spinach
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp madras curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cardamon
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida

Ok, so this one’s pretty ugly too. Lets face it — most “sauce on rice” dishes, regardless of their flavor, can get a bit visually boring. This did start out, however, as a splendid phyonutrient calendar girl. Nothing’s pretty out of the food processor, so don’t you judge this little lady.

Start your onion, garlic and mustard seeds heating to M in ghee. Once the first crackle is heard from your mustard seeds, add the kala jeera and chopped spinach. Continue tossing the goods on M until your spinach begins to wilt. Add the drained tomatoes, mix, then let them all live together in a commandeering food processor for 5-10m. Halfway through the processing, add the remainder of your seasonings and turn it back on. When it’s at a consistency you like, pour back into a pot and keep on L until dinner. Mix your leftover rice with the half batch of quinoa you cooked just now and serve your sauce over it. Ring your plate with naan quarters. 4 spoons!

 

 

 

 

Freshmaker for Two (or, “Not Every Salad Deserves a Post, but…”)

In my pantry today:

  • 3 c chopped fresh spinach
  • 2 c chopped fresh arugula
  • 1 c “zesty mix” microgreens
  • 1 sliced roma tomato
  • 1/2 sliced avocado
  • 2 tbsp Vidalia onion
  • 1 tbsp golden raisins
  • 2 tbsp dried cherries
  • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp feta cheese
  • 1/4 c homemade vinaigrette

Summer is near-upon us. I make a lot of salads in the summer. Now I will need to make a lot of salads with consciously varied creative interest for any and all who might Stumbleupon my blog. It seems like it would be hard to not get tired of salads, no? Right now I’ve got the CSA on my side with different weekly deliveries of glorious salad (and other!) potential. I am going to use it to my advantage tonight; it’s been a long day wherein I had to pay someone to tell me that I drank too much coffee. Instead of spending time in my kitchen I sat in waiting rooms without coffee. To be told that I drank too much coffee.

It’s true, it’s true; I just can’t believe I had to give what I saved yesterday on not needing new brakes instead to an Urgent Care. Who’s got two thumbs, one stomach fire and no health insurance? This dumb girl.

Seeing as how my afternoon was wasted, both in time and amount of coffee consumed, dinner had to be something easy… and salads, well, are pretty handy. If you do them right. If you don’t, you’ll be hungry an hour later and wishing you’d just ordered Chinese for the same payoff. The common misconception about salads is that they cannot be made a meal unless some manner of hot, delicious animal adorns their top. Not true. Just make sure you’re including ingredients that make up for the protein you might otherwise lack, and, hey guess what — vegetables have protein! There’ll be small quantities in the spinach and microgreens, a little more in the avocado and a good deal more in the feta and walnuts. There will be enough, via the combination of everything above, to make a hearty salad that rivals anything a “meat and three sides” plate could deliver. I always feel better about the choice I’d made for dinner after a good salad, and tonight’s was beyond the need for any exception: 4 spoons!

CSA Whaaaat? (or, “Oh Yes, Updates of Deliciousness to Follow”)

In my pantry today will be my second week’s pickup from the City Roots CSA and I have yet to decide what I will cook with first; rest assured, I will ensure that flavor is involved as a collaborative partner. Want to find a CSA in your area? Try LocalHarvest.Org.
Arugula – peppery salad green or great addition to a pizza after its come out of the oven

Carrots – Mokum (orange) and Purple Haze carrots
Kale – This variety has many names Tuscano, Lacianato, Dinasour or Cavalo Nero.  This variety has less of a stalk and is perfect for making Kale Chips
Spinach – This variety is Bloomsdale, a slow bolt variety, know for its large crisp leafs
Lettuce – several different varieties
Microgreens – You will receive a bag of Sunflower microgreens and a bag of Zesty Mix (arugula, mustard, sunflower, radish, rainbow chard, beet, purple kohlrabi and red cabbage microgreens)

…Plus I’ve still got broccoli and more kale in the fridge. A veritable week of green is in my home’s future!