Posts Tagged ‘lemon zest’


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!


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


Wash bok choy and chop.



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.)



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


Add bok choy to sautéed ingredients.


Flavor enhancers!

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


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.


Mushrooms add a meatiness to bok choy.






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I really hit the jackpot with the last issue of Real Simple magazine.  There were several recipes in there that I knew I could use with our CSA produce. When I saw the carrots and kale, I remembered this recipe.



1 pound carrots (about 6) sliced

6 tablespoons olive oil

kosher salt and black pepper

2 tablespoons roasted almonds, plus more, chopped, for serving

1 clove garlic

1/2 small bunch kale, stems discarded and leaves torn (about 3 1/2 cups)

1 1/2 ounces grated Parmesan (1/3 cup) plus more for serving

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

16 to 18 ounces fresh or frozen cheese ravioli


Heat oven to 450° F.

Toss the carrots, 2 tablespoons of the oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet and roast, tossing once, until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. NOTE: the CSA bunch of carrots weighed right under half-pound, so I added additional carrots.


cover carrots with foil to speed up cooking time

When I roast potatoes or carrots, I gather them into the center and cover with foil. This speeds up the cooking process. It works especially well before adding more tender veggies that cook quickly. I bake them covered for 10 minutes, remove foil, and roast until golden brown. Once the carrots are roasted, set aside. They will be used later.


Roasted and ready!

Meanwhile, prepare pesto ingredients: wash, de-stem, chop kale; toast almonds, and zest lemon.


A microplane makes zesting fun!

Pulse the almonds and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the kale,  Parmesan, lemon zest, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper; pulse until finely chopped.

With the machine running, add the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil. Process until smooth.


Add oil slowly while the processor does its thing!

Recipe reviews suggested adding basil to the pesto, but I decided to follow the original instructions, and I’m glad I did. The pesto had a fresh flavor due to the lemon zest and garlic.


Kale pesto: vibrant color!

Cook the ravioli according to the package directions. The recipe calls for fresh or frozen ravioli, but I used dried and it worked fine.


dried ravioli from Trader Joe’s

Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water; drain the ravioli and return them to the pot.  Add the carrots, pesto, and ¼ cup of the reserved cooking water and toss gently to coat.  (adding more cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce).


Into the hot pot!


Reserved water helps mixture come together.

 Serve warm, sprinkled with the additional chopped almonds and Parmesan. We really enjoyed this new way to cook with kale. The cheesy ravioli, flavorful sauce, roasted carrots, and almond crunch all came together in a delightful dish!

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