Category Archives: Main Dish

White Beans & Cabbage with Leeks and Crispy Potatoes

 

Cabbage & White Beans with Leeks and Crispy Potatoes

Cabbage & White Beans with Leeks and Crispy Potatoes

For most of my life the extent of my cabbage eating came in the form of Chinese egg rolls and deli style mayo drenched cole slaw, oh man was I missing out!  Several years back I started experimenting with Asian style cabbage slaws and even cabbage filled pot stickers, but still it took me a while longer before I discovered a comforting, mildly sweet and delicious bowl of cooked cabbage and I haven’t looked back since.  I actually owned my copy of Heidi Swanson’s fantastic (the name alone is cool enough!) “Super Natural Every Day” for about a year before I finally tried her recipe for White Beans & Cabbage with parmesan, potatoes and cabbage.  The crazy thing is, the cover photo for the book is exactly that and it looks unbelievably delicious, I stared at that cover for a year thinking “yum” “must try”, but every time I decided this would be the day something got in the way, sometimes I had cabbage but no potatoes on hand, other days I had all the ingredients but got lazy and opted for a more familiar option to cook for dinner.  But finally one day, the planets aligned and I finally made it and oh was it gooood.  The cabbage cooks up soft and mildly sweet, but still maintains a little texture, the beans are creamy and the potatoes nice and crisp, top with some melty mozzarella and served with a hunk of crispy toasted baguette drizzled with a little olive oil and you have a perfect bowl of comfort food, yum.

 Cabbage and White Beans with Olive Oil Soaked Bread

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Tofu Beets and Greens Summer Rolls with Peanut Miso Lime Dipping Sauce

Tofu Summer Rolls with Beets and Greens

Even though summer is becoming a distant memory I love making (and eating!) summer rolls any time of year and this is just another delicious variation.  Really, you could fill them with just about any veggies and even your choice of proteins, so be creative and use what you like. 
Summer Rolls with Peanut Miso Lime Dipping Sauce

Summer Rolls with Peanut Miso Lime Dipping Sauce

This time around I couldn’t decide between using cabbage or arugula, so I just made a few with each and was quite happy with both tasty results.  The cabbage adds a nice little crunch and arugula adds a little bit of a peppery bite.  I love the way the cilantro adds another layer of flavor, but if it’s not to your liking you could happily sub in basil or mint with delicious results.  The beets add a very subtle sweetness and a beautiful contrast of color.  But again, if you’re not a fan of beets you could use carrot slices or mango as I do in this version.
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Kale Salad with Creamy Cashew Dressing and Crispy Tempeh Croutons

Yum, Kale Salad with Creamy Cashew Dressing and Crispy Tempeh Croutons

This is my current salad obsession and I’ve been making it weekly for the past couple of months. By now, everyone has heard of all the health benefits of kale and about what a superfood it is. It’s true it really is super and not just for the high amount of nutrition in each bite (super crazy amounts of vitamin k, tons of beta carotene & vitamin C, plus a good source of calcium and magnesium), it’s also highly versatile and my go to green for everything from salads, chips, sautés, soups and pesto. One of my favorite things about using kale in salads is how well it holds up to time, which makes it fantastic to make ahead, bring to a party or save leftovers. One of my least favorite things about so many kale salads you find out at shops and restaurants, is the “way too big to enjoy eating” leaves. So my biggest tip for making kale salads great at home, is to be sure to tear or cut your leaves into very small bite size pieces. Smaller bites of kale will be much more tender and a lot easier/more enjoyable to chew.kale salad with creamy cashew dressing

Now I don’t usually get kale salads when I’m out due to the aforementioned giant leaves issue, plus I cook so much at home I like to get dishes I don’t often make myself, but, I was having lunch with Colin’s sister Glynis at Sweet Grass Grill in Tarrytown and they had a kale salad that intrigued me. It had a creamy cashew truffle dressing and was served with crispy grilled salmon on top. I loved the idea of the creamy vegan dressing and I’m a sucker for tender salmon with a crisp exterior. The salmon did not disappoint and the dressing was fantastic, although I will say when I thought about it later I had no memory of the truffle in it. I went home and searched online for a recipe and found a big fat nothing. So instead, I decided to make up my own, starting with a base of cashew cream and adding to that some of my favorite salad dressing ingredients. I tend to like my salad dressings with a bit more acid and a hint of sweetness and since I don’t usually do creamy dressings this was a bit of a departure for me, but I have to say I love it and it has become a regular in our weekly meals. Cashews for Creamy Cashew DressingThe first many times I made this kale salad with creamy cashew dressing, I used orange juice for my sweet component, but the last time I sadly found myself with none on hand, so I substituted maple syrup, using about a third of the amount since it is sweeter and I can’t say which I like better as they’re both delicious.  chopped tempeh

Next on to the Tempeh croutons, I really wanted to make this entirely vegan (although if you’re not, adding a few shards of shaved Pecorino cheese over the top is fantastic) and also make it a complete meal in itself, so I needed a protein and wanted a bit of extra texture too. If you’ve never had tempeh before give it a try. It’s made from soy, but completely different from Tofu. It is fermented which makes it very easy to digest, plus an amazing probiotic. It’s also high in both protein and fiber, which is a rare combination. When marinated and roasted it develops great flavor and a nice crispy texture. I’ve tried a few different brands and really prefer Lightlife to all others.  Tempeh Croutons Marinading

This salad, complete with the tempeh is a perfect main course, but also makes a nice side salad with or without the tempeh, to a more substantial meal and any leftovers are great for lunch or an after school snack if you have a kale salad loving kid like I do. Chopped Rosemary for Creamy Cashew Dressing

 

Kale Salad with Creamy Cashew Dressing

and Crispy Tempeh Croutons

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

  Ingredients:

Dressing:

¼ cup Raw Cashews – soaked in water to cover for at least 2 hours

2 Tablespoons Water

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

3 Tablespoons Orange Juice Or 1 Tablespoon of Maple Syrup

½ Tablespoon Shoyu or Soy Sauce – I use low sodium

1 small clove Garlic

1 teaspoon chopped fresh Rosemary

Sriacha Sauce – a few drops or more to taste

 

Tempeh Croutons:

1 package Tempeh – diced into bite size pieces (I use Lightlife Soy or Flax)

1 small clove Garlic

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Shoyu or Soy Sauce

Red Pepper Flakes – a sprinkling

 

Salad:

1 large bunch Curly Kale – cut or torn into small bite size pieces / ribs removed

Cranberries or Currants – about 2 Tablespoons

2 Tablespoons Sunflower Seeds

Flaked Sea Salt and Rosemary

 

Directions:

Dressing: After soaking cashews, drain and rinse. In a high speed blender (I use my Magic Bullet), add cashews, water, olive oil, vinegar, orange juice or maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, rosemary and sriacha. Blend until completely smooth and creamy. This can be made hours ahead or even a day, refrigerate dressing if preparing in advance.

Tempeh Croutons: Combine the Tempeh and remaining crouton ingredients and allow to marinate, either a few minutes, a few hours or even overnight (refrigerate if marinating more than a few minutes). Pour into a baking pan and bake at 350 F for 15-25 minutes, turning once, until desired crispness. Remove from the oven and set aside until ready to serve.

Salad assembly: To a large bowl, pour a little of the dressing into the bottom of the bowl and then add in the kale in batches, pouring a little bit of dressing in layers. Top with the remaining dressing. Mix in the cranberries or currants and a bit of extra rosemary. Toss to completely coat all of the kale with the dressing. Then top with sunflower seeds and a little flaked sea salt to taste. Give it a final toss.

Top each serving of salad with some of the Tempeh croutons.

Optional add ins:

Shaved Pecorino Romano

Pickled shallots

Grilled Salmon

kale salad with creamy cashew dressing, tempeh croutons and shaved pecorino

Summer Squash Blossoms stuffed with ricotta and herbs

Summer Squash Blossom Stuffed with Ricotta and Herbs

sweetheart squash blossomsI love the summer and always look forward to it coming.  I remember spending my days at the pool, having fun and relaxing.  Somehow, every year between September and June I forget the truth about summer, the busyness of it all and how quickly it flies by.  Driving kids back and forth to camp, rather than just getting them to the bus, spending more of the day out doors and at the pool, which is quite nice, but unfortunately leaves little time for food prep, cooking and clean up and even less time to photograph food, write about and post it right here.  So I’ve had a little hiatus from blogging, but now with the end of summer drawing near and the start of school and back to a more regular routine soon approaching, I’m looking forward to cooking and writing and I have a lot in mind.  Summer Squash Blossom

But, one of my favorite things about the summer is the special things I find at the farmer’s market, one of those being squash blossoms, special and fleeting, get to the local market quick while they last!  They may already be done for this year (although I found another batch at last week’s market), so something to look forward to.  Squash Blossom

First of all, let’s just start with the fun factor…giant flowers that you can eat, isn’t that enough to want to give these a try???  Now the less fun part…they are quite delicate, you need to have a little patience filling them and…they often can be found with little stowaways and occasionally one of those stowaways may even be a little stinging friend, so just be careful and carry on. 

The first thing I do when I get home from the market with a bag full of lovely blossoms is to take each one out of the bag individually, carefully open them up and give them a gentle shake over the sink, just to encourage any critters hanging out to escape.  If I’m not planning to prepare them right away I’ll just place them back in the bag with a paper towel to absorb any extra moisture and keep them happy a bit longer in the fridge.  It’s really best to use them within a day or two day of getting them, three days tops, as they wilt fairly quickly. 

When I’m ready to prepare them, I reach inside each one and remove the stamen, which holds the sticky pollen.  I also cut off the stem just at the base of the flower, occasionally I’ll leave it on just for a prettier presentation, but I don’t eat it.  Then I prepare the filling and carefully spoon it in.  IMG_6090 Squash Blossoms stuffed

Stuffed Squash Blossoms all lined upI have made these both cooked in oil in a sauté pan and also baked in the oven.  Both are quite good.  Cooking them on top of the stove certainly requires more hands on time while baking them is a bit quicker.  But I do find that cooking them on the stove as opposed to baking, leaves the filling just a bit more moist and creamy.  Either way, they are best eaten right away, leftovers while edible are definitely not as good. Cooked Stuffed Squash Blossoms tomato and herb saladThese make a great appetizer or as a light meal, I like to serve them with a little fresh tomato and herb salad, I don’t think any sauce is needed, but if a little of the tomato juice and dressing soak in I don’t complain.   Stuffed Summer Squash Blossoms

Summer Squash Blossoms Stuffed with Ricotta and Herbs

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

 Ingredients:

Summer Squash Blossoms – about 16 – prepped by removing stamen, shaking out or brushing off any stow aways, and cutting off the stem or leave it on for presentation

Filling Ingredients: ricotta cheese and herb filling

1 cup Ricotta cheese

1 Egg

¼ cup chopped fresh herbs – see combo suggestions below

Zest of ½ Lemon

Fresh grated Nutmeg – a pinch, plus Salt & Pepper

Optional – 1/3 cup grated Locatelli Romano cheese

Coating Ingredients: squash blossoms rolled in breadcrumbs and cheese

3 Eggs

1/3 – ½ cup Bread Crumbs

1/3 – ½ cup grated Locatelli Romano cheese

Butter & Olive Oil – starting with 1 Tablespoon of each, adding more as needed

Optional: extra chopped fresh herbs mixed into bread crumbs & cheese

Fresh Herb Options:  I’ve used a variety of herb combinations when making this dish, but I always include parsley no matter what the other herbs are.  Some of my favorite combinations for this recipe are:   fresh herbs

Parsley, Mint, Chives, Basil

Parsley, Mint & Oregano

Parsley, Basil & Thyme

Parsley & Thyme

Or simply Parsley

 

Directions:

The filling – In a small bowl mix together the Ricotta, Egg, Fresh Herbs, Lemon Zest, Nutmeg, Salt & Pepper.  Next fold in the grated Romano if using.

In a larger shallow bowl (such as a shallow soup bowl or a pie plate), add the other three Eggs and beat well.

In a second shallow bowl, mix together the Bread Crumbs and grated Romano, plus the herbs if using.

Heat a large non stick skillet over a medium flame.  Add about 1 Tablespoon each Butter & Olive Oil, melt.

Now to stuff the Blossoms: Carefully open the petals and add a small spoonful of the Ricotta mixture into each blossom.

Next, dip each blossom into the beaten Eggs and then carefully coat with the breading and cheese mix.  Add blossoms to the hot skillet, about 4 or 5 at a time.  Cook until lightly browned on one side and then turn to brown the other side.  Remove from pan and add more blossoms until all are cooked, adding more butter & olive oil as needed.

Or, place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 375 F for 15-20 minutes.

Serve warm as an appetizer, side dish or main course with a salad of mixed greens or fresh tomato and herbs dressed lightly with lemon and olive oil.  Enjoy!

Squash Blossoms stuffed

Recipe Notes: The filling is enough to stuff 16-20 blossoms, if you wish to make less I would still mix up the complete filling recipe and then… If I have any leftover filling and breading (I do as my mother always did, who learned it from my Italian Nana),I add them together, adding any extra of any of the ingredients if needed and then form a fritter and cook that in the same pan as the blossoms, a yummy little extra!

For printable version click here  plated squash blossoms with tomato herb salad

Farmer’s Market Frittata with crisp shitake mushrooms, spring onions & goat cheese

Farmer's Market Frittata
I love this time of year, when our local farmers markets are in full bloom.  I find the offerings of fresh and beautiful veggies so inspiring, I often get carried away and buy way too much!   Leaving with my bags loaded with more than we can usually eat in the week, happily planning meals in my head as I drive home. 
Farmer's Market Bounty

Farmer’s Market Bounty

This week I brought home spring onions with long green tops, more than a foot in length from Taliaferro Farms, shitake mushrooms from Madura Farms and herbed goat cheese from Acorn Hill, plus gorgeous eggs in shades of browns and blue from Wrights Farm which even inspired my five year old Evan to try “oval eggs” (hard boiled) for the first time ever!   WP_20140622_037
I cooked up this delicious and quick version of frittata, starting on the stove top and then finishing it under the broiler to get a nice golden brown top.  I used the spring onion tops, which I think are even more flavorful than the onions themselves and cook up quicker too.WP_20140622_014
I sprinkled bits of herbed goat cheese along with crisp cooked shitakes, all over the top just before placing under the broiler, but any goat cheese you like; flavored with herbs, garlic or just plain, would be delicious here.  Crispy Shitakes and Herbed Goat Cheese
If you can’t find young onions with the greens attached, scallions or leeks would work just as well.  In fact frittatas are so versatile you could really add most any combination of veges and cheese you like and come out with great results!  
Farmer’s Market Frittata
with Crisp Shitake Mushrooms, Spring Onions and Goat Cheese
 Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones
Serves about 4 as a light main dish with a salad or other veggies on the side, also perfect for brunch with a warm crusty roll.
Ingredients:
5 or 6 Shitake Mushrooms
Spring Onion Greens (that’s the onion tops) from about 3-4 onions
Or sub with 2 bunches Scallions OR 2-3 Leeks
6- 8 Eggs (depending upon size)
Grated Asiago Cheese – about ¼ cup or more to taste
2 ounces creamy Goat Cheese
Butter and Olive Oil
Salt (flaked sea salt if you have)
Ground Black Pepper
 
Directions:
Heat a large non stick (oven safe) skillet (either a 10 or 12 inch pan will work) over a medium flame.
Wash, dry and slice the Shitake mushrooms.  Melt a bit of butter (about a teaspoon or two) into the skillet and then add in the mushrooms.  Sauté the mushrooms for several minutes until they get nice and crispy.  Once they’re crispy, sprinkle a little flaked salt and stir around and then remove from the pan.
While the mushrooms are cooking, clean and slice the green onion tops.
Into the same pan you’ve just removed the mushrooms from, add a little swirl of olive oil and then the onion greens.  Season with a little salt and pepper.  Sauté until softened and beginning to brown just a bit.
While the onion greens are cooking, whisk together the eggs in a medium bowl.  Season with salt and pepper and add about 2 tablespoons of the grated Asiago cheese.
Once the greens are cooked, spread them flat over the inside of the pan so they cover the entire surface, sprinkle with about a tablespoon of grated Asiago, then pour in the eggs and immediately lower the temperature to the lowest setting.  Do not stir.  Once the eggs just begin to set a bit, gently stir them around the pan.
Drop the goat cheese all over the eggs in small bits and then top with the crispy mushrooms and any remaining Asiago.  Remove the pan from the flame and place it in the oven about 4 – 6 inches from the broiler, turn on the broiler, watch carefully and allow to broil about 1 – 2 minutes until the top of the frittata sets and the cheese begins to brown.
Remove from the oven, cut into 4-6 portions, serve and Enjoy! 
Click here for printable versionFarmer's Market Frittata with Shitakes, Spring Onions and Goat Cheese

 

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