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Posts Tagged ‘Garlic’

This recipe is one of three featured in a magazine article entitled “3 Ways with Eggplant.” I clipped out the article quite a while back and recently came across it again in my recipe box. When I saw the fairytale eggplant in our first fall CSA box, I decided it was time to try out the Turkish Dip recipe.

I “googled” Turkish Dip and read that this roasted eggplant dip is served everywhere in Turkey. At its most basic it is just eggplant, lemon, olive oil and salt but you can jazz it up with spices or garlic.  It’s traditionally eaten as a cold starter, or ‘meze’ or can be served as a dip or spread at parties.

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WHAT YOU NEED:

1 lb. eggplant

1 clove garlic

½ cup parsley (I used parsley I’d chopped and frozen)

1 Tbl. balsamic vinegar

1 Tbl chopped onion (I used red)

2 tsp. olive oil

1 ½ tsp. ground cumin (I reduced to 1 tsp.)

¼ tsp. pepper

WHAT YOU DO:

If using a one pound purple globe eggplant, pierce a few times and roast in baking pan at 350*  for 1 hour, until soft.  Halve, cool, and scrape out pulp.

I had just over 1 pound of fairy tale eggplant, so I cubed them using my chopper. The skin is so thin and soft that there’s no sense in peeling.

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Cubing eggplant for roasting

I tossed the cubed eggplant with a few tsp. of olive oil and roasted for 30 minutes at 350*.

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Roasted eggplant!

Put eggplant pulp in a food processor with all the other ingredients and pulse until chopped.I do believe I over-processed mine! But it was nice and creamy and very spread-able!

Chill in the fridge for a while.

Serve with toasted bread, preferably pita bread.

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Turkish Dip with pita wedges

Note that I reduced cumin to 1 tsp. I’m very glad I did, for it was very spicy and fragrant. Hubby does not like that flavor, so he wasn’t a fan of the dip, but Oldest Daughter and I enjoyed it with our lunch. She and I agreed that this would be tasty spread on a sandwich with some cheese and turkey.

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This Cajun dish is a good fall-back for me when I’ve exhausted all of my eggplant recipes. It freezes well and is enjoyed by everyone in the family. It makes a filling meal when paired with some peas (purple hull, crowder, or limas) and some fresh fruit.

WHAT YOU NEED: DSC00109

1/2 stick margarine

2 large purple eggplants (peeled and cubed)

1 lb. good ground chuck

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup water

1 tsp. each of salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme

2 cups cooked hot white rice (I used brown; recipe below)

WHAT YOU DO:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a 9 by 11 inch pyrex dish with a non stick spray.

Prep eggplant. I used Fairy Tale Eggplant from the CSA box.

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Chopped Fairy Tale eggplant

Saute’ onion and bell pepper in melted margarine. I used about half of the amount called for; you could also use olive oil.

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When onion and bell pepper are softened, add garlic and stir to prevent burning.

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Garlic joins the mix!

Add meat and brown slightly; then, add seasonings, eggplant, and water.

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Cover and simmer for 20 minutes on medium low heat.

Add rice* and pour into the pyrex dish.

Sprinkle with 1/2 cup bread crumbs and bake at 350* for 30 minutes.

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Eggplant dressing with beef!

* The original recipe calls for white rice, but it works just as well with brown rice. Since the oven is hot already, I like to bake up two recipes of Alton Brown’s Baked Brown Rice. After reading reviews, I cut back on the rice to 1 cup and use chicken broth rather than water for deeper flavor. I omit the salt because of the chicken broth.

BAKED BROWN RICE: 1 cup brown rice mixed with 2 1/2 cups boiling chicken broth mixed in small baking dish. (I spray dish with non-stick spray.) Cover tightly with foil and bake at 375* for one hour. Fluff with fork and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

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Boiling chicken broth gets brown rice to cooking!

I used one pan in the recipe; the other pan got divided into 1/2 cup portions, bagged, and frozen for future meals. It’s a snap to zap a bag in the microwave for a quick addition to supper!

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Double the recipe and freeze one for later!

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This recipe was featured in the local paper. It uses several ingredients in our weekly CSA boxes, so naturally I grabbed the scissors and clipped it out! That night, Hubby was grilling brats and zucchini anyway, so I had him grill the eggplant while he was at it.

 

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Colorful ingredients!

WHAT YOU NEED:

1 large eggplant, sliced into ½-inch-thick slices

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

2 medium tomatoes, seeds removed, diced

2 ribs celery, diced

1 orange or yellow bell pepper, cored and diced

3 scallions, sliced

6 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup fresh basil leaves, torn

Balsamic glaze, to serve

Baguette or pita, to serve

WHAT YOU DO:

Heat the grill to medium. Use 2 tablespoons of the oil to brush each eggplant slice on both sides. Sprinkle the slices with salt and pepper. Grill until tender, 3 to 5 minutes per side.

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Ready for the grill!

Allow the eggplant slices to cool until easily handled; then dice. Mine were in the refrigerator since Hubby had grilled them two nights before. It was great to have this step already done!

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Great smoky flavor!

Mix the crushed garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper,  and set aside. This allows the garlic time to infuse the oil.

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Garlic infused olive oil!

Finely chop all the other ingredients. You don’t want huge pieces of onion or bell pepper. This takes a few minutes, but it sure is a colorful mixture! I made a few substitutions so I could use items I had on hand: red onion for the scallions; cherry tomatoes for whole tomatoes.

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Pretty enough to eat!

In a large bowl, gently mix together the eggplant, tomatoes, celery, bell pepper, scallions, and basil.  Season with salt and pepper. Fold in the garlic olive oil.

Allow to sit for at least 2 hours for best flavor. I set it nearby on a counter and stirred it every 30 minutes or so to allow the garlic oil to penetrate all of the ingredients.

Serve on baguette or pita bread and drizzle with balsamic glaze. (I actually forgot the balsamic glaze but it was delicious without it!) I had some left-over sub rolls in the pantry, so I smeared them with more garlic olive oil and toasted them up.

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Smoky goodness on crusty bread!

 I served this as a side item with our lunch. Everyone agreed it is a delicious way to get in lots of veggies! The grilled eggplant is smoky and adds a wonderful layer of flavor to the crunchy vegetables. Our daughter took the left-overs home and planned to use them in a frittata.

This is a delicious way to use an eggplant!

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Friends know how much I enjoy cooking and are always sending me links to recipes. Recently a friend was cleaning out her kitchen in anticipation of a move and gave me a box of cookbooks. Score! I was especially interested in this 1997 cookbook focusing on using produce from the local farmers’ markets.

 

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Filled with great ideas!

I had a small bag of green beans in the refrigerator that I needed to use, so I zeroed in on a recipe for a cold green bean potato salad. It sounded like something we’d like on these hot summer days!

WHAT YOU NEED:

1 lb. green beans, cut and steamed

4 large potatoes, diced and boiled

2 scallions

 DRESSING:

2 Tbl. oil

2 Tbl. vinegar

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 small onion, sliced

½ tsp. oregano

Pepper to taste

 WHAT YOU DO:

Prepare the dressing first so the ingredients have time to blend together. I put everything in a jar and shook it up.

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dressing ingredients

Wash and de-stem green beans. Since my bag was just under half of a pound, I halved the recipe which worked out nicely.

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just under half of a pound

Break into small bite-size pieces and steam. I used a microwave steamer; you could steam on the stove-top in a covered skillet with a little bit of water. Don’t over-steam the green beans; you don’t want a mushy mess!

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a microwave steamer basket

Chop the potatoes. My fruit/vegetable chopper made quick work of this task and gave me uniform pieces which makes for even boiling.

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a handy kitchen tool!

When tender, drain potatoes. Chop the scallions and combine with the green beans and potatoes in a medium bowl.

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Combine potatoes, green beans, and scallions.

Add the dressing and toss gently to mix the ingredients well.

Cover the salad and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

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Cold green bean potato salad!

This is definitely a twist on potato salad! The dressing with oregano gives it an Italian flavor. I don’t think it will replace my regular mayo-rich potato salad, but it is a nice way to use up a small dab of green beans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bok Choy, a member of the cabbage family

I don’t have too much experience with this vegetable. I’ve eaten it in Chinese food, but I don’t have variations in my recipe box to whip out and whip up. Last year I made this recipe. When I was looking for another variation, I read that this veggie goes by many names: Bok choy, bak choi, paak choi, Chinese chard cabbage and Chinese mustard cabbage. It resembles celery although it is actually a member of the cabbage family. It has thick, white stalks and dark green leaves that have a round shape.

Cooks are embracing it because of its nutritional value. One half cup of raw bok choy contains only 10 calories. It contains no fat or cholesterol, is a good source of calcium, is low in sodium and high in vitamins C and A. Because both bok choy’s stalks and leaves can be used in salads, it also provides a delicious and healthy meal for those who are on a diet.

And it’s easy to prepare!  You need only wash and chop it and then quickly steam or braise with your favorite seasonings. I found this recipe which seemed easy enough, so I chopped up my bok choy and got after it!

WHAT YOU NEED:

2 teaspoons canola or olive oil

8-ounce package sliced mushrooms

2 shallots, minced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 1/2 pounds bok choy, rinsed and chopped into 1-inch pieces

2 teaspoons “lite” soy sauce

1 teaspoon lemon zest

Freshly ground pepper to taste

WHAT YOU DO:

Wash bok choy and chop.

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Chopping!

In a large skillet or wok, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, shallots and garlic and stir-fry until mushrooms darken, about 5 minutes. (I used a red onion and onion tops from Rose Creek Farms since that is what I had on hand.)

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Sauté-ing!

Add bok choy and stir-fry for about 8 to 10 minutes until tender.

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Add bok choy to sautéed ingredients.

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Flavor enhancers!

Sprinkle with soy sauce, lemon zest and pepper, to taste.
 

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Lemon zest adds brightness!

I served this as a side dish with our supper of meat loaf and potatoes. It would pair very nicely with  some brown rice.

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Mushrooms add a meatiness to bok choy.

 

 

 

 

 

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A couple of years ago, I discovered Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip – a downright delicious, low fat, low calorie dip made with low fat Greek yogurt. Their website describes it as having “50% less fat and calories than typical spinach dip made with sour cream.” It is packed with kale, spinach, and lots of other yummy things. I don’t get to TJ’s very often (2 hour trip by car), so when I go, I stock up on this item to use with vegetable /cracker dippers and as a spread on sandwiches.

So, you can imagine my delight when I found a recipe to make it at home! And I have kale and carrots from Rose Creek Farms! I whipped out that food processor and mixed me up some!

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Dip ingredients!

WHAT YOU NEED:

2 cups nonfat Greek yogurt

2 cups chopped kale

2 cups chopped spinach

¼ of a red onion

1 carrot

2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed

1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

½ tsp. paprika

2 Tbl. honey

WHAT YOU DO:

Prep kale by washing, de-stemming, and roughly chopping. I packed it into a 2 cup measure. I measured out the spinach in the same manner.

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spinach and kale

I stared off by processing the carrot, red onion, garlic, and spices. I didn’t want a paste of these ingredients – the TJ’s version has visible pieces of carrots, etc., so I worked slowly. I  knew they would process more when the kale/spinach were added, so I kept checking.

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carrot, onion, garlic, and spices

Next I added the roughly chopped kale and spinach.

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roughly chopped kale & spinach

I held out the marinated artichokes and honey for last because of their moisture content. (I was really worried about creating a gummy paste!)

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Tennessee honey!

Now, pay attention to this next part. DO NOT add the yogurt to the food processor. After all my careful attention to the chopping of the veggies, I totally ruined the consistency by adding the yogurt to the food processor. 😦

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DO NOT DO THIS!

I ended up with a very unappetizing-looking mixture. I also think the flavor was off. My helpful tasters that day disagreed with me, but I was unconvinced. I sent that batch home with Oldest Child and mixed up a new batch.

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TOO MUCH PROCESSING!

This time, I processed all the veggies as described above, but I then transferred them to a bowl and folded the yogurt into them. Much better!  You can see the pieces of carrot and kale.

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Fold processed veggies into yogurt.

Another version of this dip calls for only 1 cup each of kale and spinach to 2 cups of yogurt. It also uses mayo which would add a depth of richness but would negate the whole “low calorie” vibe this dip has going for it. The blogger also states that the Trader Joe version uses chopped water chestnuts. I think I’d go for that added crunch.

I plan to keep a bowl of this on hand for quick summer munching! Low calorie and healthy!

 

 

 

 

 

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This recipe popped up while doing an online search for kale recipes. It sounded quick, and it is! and it’s good. Hubby and I both loved the crispy kale leaves with the soft potato chunks. It’s an easy side dish!

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just a few ingredients needed!

WHAT YOU NEED:

1/2 pound small red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large bunch kale, stems removed, leaves torn (about 10 cups)

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

WHAT YOU DO:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Prep the potatoes. I actually got out a ruler to see how big a half-inch piece is! Turns out my chopper is exactly that size! Or, just chop them yourself, but try to keep uniform pieces for even baking.

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Cut potatoes into uniform pieces for even baking.

Toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet; spread in a single layer and roast 5 minutes. The recipe doesn’t state, but I would salt and pepper them at this point. My finished dish needed salt!

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Ready to roast!

Prep the kale: wash, de-stem, and chop. Keep the kale pieces fairly large. They will roast up into crispy chips! Peel and chop the garlic.

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Kale and garlic prepped!

In a large bowl, combine minced garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Again, the recipe doesn’t state this, but I would give the garlic time to infuse the oil. Next time, I’ll do this step BEFORE chopping the potatoes.

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Allow garlic to infuse oil before adding kale.

Add chopped kale to garlic oil and toss well.

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Stir well to coat kale with garlic oil.

Add to the baking sheet with the potatoes and toss.

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Add kale to hot potatoes.

Roast until the kale is crisp and the potatoes are tender, stirring once, 15 to 20 minutes. I set the timer for 10 minutes, stirred the kale/potatoes, and roasted 10 more minutes.

 

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Roasting!

The kale pieces were crispy! The potatoes were hot and tender! Great combination! My only complaint is that the dish needed more salt, so adjust according to your tastes.

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Roasted crispy and tender!

I served it with herbed chicken and glazed carrots. I’ll be making this quick side again!

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Dinner is served!

 

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A new item in our boxes this morning!

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Bok choy!

Cultivated in China since ancient times, bok choy is found in soups and stir-fries, appetizers and main dishes. Bok choy’s popularity comes from its light, sweet flavor, crisp texture and nutritional value. Not only is bok choy high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and calcium, but it is low in calories.

Years ago I had a wok when we were on a Chinese food kick. We even made our own egg rolls, but it’s been a long time since I’ve cooked with bok choy. I scanned several recipes, looking for a quick recipe which would let this veggie shine, and I found this one. I’ve tweaked it to make the spices fit the 8 oz. bag in my CSA box.

WHAT YOU NEED:

1 slice bacon, chopped

olive oil

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1 small clove garlic, minced

scant 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

8 oz bag bok choy

salt to taste

WHAT YOU DO:

Wash and prep bok choy. I filled a bowl with water, swished around to dislodge any dirt, and then broke the stems off. Wash carefully to remove trapped dirt.

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Wash carefully to remove trapped dirt.

Recipe reviewers said to cook the stems separate from the leaves as they take longer, so I did that. I cut the leaves away and stacked them to slice. I made a separate pile of the stems.

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stems and leaves

I chopped the stems into fairly large pieces. I rolled the stack of leaves and cut ribbons.

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chopped!

I chopped the onion and minced the garlic while the bacon fried until crisp. Remove bacon pieces to drain, saving bacon grease. The recipe says to remove most of the bacon grease and add olive oil. I chose to use just smoky bacon grease for more flavor.

To the hot bacon grease, add red pepper flakes, onion, and salt and cook until onion begins to tender.

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Sauté red onion and red pepper flakes.

Add minced garlic, stirring to keep garlic from burning. Now add the bok choy stems, stir, cover and cook for two minutes over medium heat. Next, add the sliced leaves, cover and cook for 2 more minutes.

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Add leaves after cooking stems for 2 minutes.

Remove lid and check for tenderness in the stems. You want them to retain some of their crispness. At this point, I added the chopped bacon and cooked for 2 more minutes with the lid off. At the end of that time, the bok choy was tender crisp!

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Bacon-y Bok Choy!

Some reviewers said the red pepper flakes made the dish too spicy. I didn’t find that to be the case, but adjust to suit your taste.

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CHORIZO & KALE SOUP

I have a growing list of recipes using kale, so when I read Farmer Ray’s email about chorizo being available now, I knew I wanted to try this recipe in my file. I grew up (in South Texas) eating chorizo for breakfast, so I was curious about tasting a Tennessee version of this classic. The original recipe calls for chourico which is the Portuguese version of this spicy sausage.

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Chorizo from Rose Creek Farms!

WHAT YOU NEED:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 medium white potatoes, peeled and diced

2 medium onions, chopped

4 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped

1 pound kale, coarsely chopped

Coarse salt and pepper

1 (15-ounce) can garbanzos (chick peas) drained and rinsed

1 can diced tomatoes

1 pound diced chorizo, casing removed

1 quart chicken broth

WHAT YOU DO:

The original recipe calls for adding raw chorizo to the soup. My childhood memory of chorizo is the pool of orange grease on my plate of scrambled eggs, so I wanted to eliminate that fat in my soup. I sliced open the casing, removed the meat, and cooked over a low heat while I prepped the other ingredients.

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The casing slips right off.

Once the chorizo was cooked, I set it to draining and then wiped out the pot so I could sauté the onion and garlic.

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Draining off that orange fat!

Another title for this blog post could be: “FREEZER HANDY COOKING!” I reached into the freezer for frozen chopped onion, blanched potatoes, and homemade chicken stock. I love having these items prepped and ready to go!

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Blanched, diced potatoes!

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Homemade chicken stock!

I added olive oil to the pot and sautéed the green onions from this morning’s CSA box and  more onion from the freezer. Once they were tender, I added the garlic. I do believe garlic is the best flavor enhancer you can use! I use a lot!

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Peeled and ready to be chopped!

While the onion/garlic are sautéing, prep the kale by washing, de-stemming and chopping. Set aside.

Add potatoes to the onion mixture and stir. Season with salt and pepper, but go easy on the salt if your chicken broth is salted. Add kale, stir, and cover pot to wilt greens, about  2 minutes.

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Allow kale to wilt down before adding remaining ingredients.

Add beans, tomatoes, chorizo, and broth to the pot and bring soup to a full boil.

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These go in last.

Reduce heat back to medium and cook 5 to 10 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender. The original recipe suggests serving soup with hunks of crusty bread and butter. This soup is similar to the Zuppa Toscana version using Italian sausage, but the addition of diced tomatoes of this Portuguese version puts a spin on it. I plan to freeze this soup in one serving portions for a quick lunch sometime in the future! (Have I mentioned how much I love having a freezer stocked and “ready-to-go”?) 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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COLLARD GREENS: a method

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I did not grow up eating collards or much of any such “greens,” but with age come knowledge and a change in palate. The last few years have brought an explosion of information about “super foods” and “greens” such as collards are included in that list. We get unique health benefits from collard greens in the lowering of cholesterol and cancer protection.

Collard greens have been eaten for at least 2000 years, with evidence showing that the Ancient Greeks cultivated several forms of both collard greens and kale. The name “collard” is a corrupted form of the word “colewort” – the wild cabbage plant.

They are available year-round, but are tastier and more nutritious in the cold months, so we are enjoying collards in their prime! Let’s cook some!

WHAT YOU NEED:

Collard greens

Fat (butter, smoky bacon grease, olive oil)

Onion

Garlic

Liquid (water or broth)

Two large bowls

Large pot/skillet with lid

WHAT YOU DO:

Fill one bowl with cool water and submerge collard greens. Swish around to loosen any trapped sand/dirt. Remove the tough center stem.

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Tough center stem has to go!

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I hold stem in one hand and run my other hand down the length, stripping away the leaf. Place the leaves in the second bowl. Don’t worry about water on the leaves; it will help in the steaming process. Discard the stems. I toss them in the kitchen compost bucket for our garden compost pile.

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de-stemming process

Next, slice the leaves to help them cook more quickly and to make them easier to eat. I grab a handful, roll them up into a bundle as best I can, and slice into thin ribbons. I then cut across the length. It took me three bundles to chop up two bags of greens.

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Roll and slice!

Set aside while you prep the other ingredients. I read that chopped greens need to sit for at least 5 minutes to bring out the health-promoting qualities, so you’re doing a good thing by waiting!

In a large pot or skillet, slowly heat some type of fat. I prefer the fat I render from the smoky Louisiana sausage I cook for my Cajun husband, but any type fat will do. I used about a heaping tablespoon. Some recipes will suggest using ham hock.

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Smoky sausage fat adds flavor!

Chop onion and add to hot skillet. I used the green onions from the CSA box. Once the onion begins to soften, add chopped garlic and stir.

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Increase the heat and add the chopped greens, stirring to coat with the fat and to distribute the onion and garlic. Salt and pepper to taste.

Now it’s time for some liquid. I used chicken broth, about 6 ozs. Stir, bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and set timer for 10 minutes. At the end of that time, I checked and I still had plenty of moisture, so I re-covered, set the timer for 10 more minutes and checked again. Greens were done! They were tender but not mushy, just the way I like them. Test yours and cook longer if you prefer more tender, but remember, if you turn off the heat but leave the lid on, they will continue to steam for several minutes. Overcooked collard greens will begin to emit that unpleasant sulfur smell, so don’t overcook!

We love collard greens with pork chops or hamburger steak and some type of bean or pea (pinto, black-eyed peas, field peas) and of course, CORNBREAD to soak up the “pot liquor,” that nutrient-rich collard broth.

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Delicious and nutritious!

In domestic refrigerators, fresh collard leaves can be stored for about three days; once cooked, they can be frozen and stored for greater lengths of time.

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