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Posts Tagged ‘rice’

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Kale with pecans, beans, and rice

Hubby walked in with the CSA box this morning, and I was ready to go! With Farmer Ray’s Friday “heads up” email, I knew I would be working with Red Russian Kale. With just a few steps, lunch was soon on the table!

The key to making a plain green vegetable worthy of an entire meal is adding something with protein or fat (preferably both). Nuts work perfectly, as do any kind of beans or lentils. The basic recipe calls for pecans, which are wonderful, but you could use just about any kind of nut. I read the recipe reviews, and I incorporated some of those ideas, too.

 WHAT YOU NEED:
1 bunch kale or chard
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 garlic clove, minced
Olive oil
Sea salt to taste
½ cup cooked beans
Cooked rice

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basic ingredients

 WHAT YOU DO:

While you are prepping the green ingredients, toast the nuts in a dry skillet over low heat. Shake every few minutes. I set a timer for 5 minutes, so I wouldn’t forget about them.

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Toast nuts over low heat in dry skillet.

Next finely chop the garlic. Did you know that chopping garlic actually makes it healthier? Who knew? Scientists have long suspected that the active ingredient in garlic is a substance called allicin. A recent study from Queen’s University showed that it is actually a decomposition product of allicin that has the most potent antioxidant activity. Released from plant cells when they are damaged, alliinase is what gives garlic (and onions) their strong odor and is thought to be a self-defense mechanism for these plants. When garlic is crushed, alliinase becomes active and begins creating allicin. As allicin is created and breaks down, the antioxidant potential of garlic is dramatically increased. Optimal antioxidant levels are created about 10 minutes after garlic is crushed. I’m going to start prepping my garlic first! 

Wash, stem, and chop kale. It’s quick to stack the kale leaves, roll, and slice into ribbons. It’s okay if your greens are still wet; the water will help them steam.

The original recipe didn’t call for onions, but since I had so many gorgeous fresh green onions, I threw in some of those as well.

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chopped and prepped!

Remove the toasted nuts from the skillet and heat a little olive oil in the pan. You don’t need much – just a sheen to sauté the onions a minute or two. .Add your chopped greens to the pan, sprinkle generously with sea salt and toss with tongs. Cover. I cooked over low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring often and adding about a tablespoon of water.

 Next, push greens to the side and add a bit more olive oil to briefly sauté the garlic. Be careful! Garlic becomes bitter if burnt!

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Briefly sauté minced garlic.

Stir to incorporate all ingredients. Now add the beans. The reviewer suggested adding  chickpeas, but I didn’t have any. I pulled up the NI for chickpeas and compared it to the cans of great northern beans and cannellini beans I had on hand. They are all very similar in protein, fiber, carbs, etc. I decided to go with the cannellini beans.

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Great source of protein!

Add the toasted pecans.

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LOVE the crunch of toasted nuts!

 One recipe reviewer said that if you would like a little more substance, serve it with brown rice, lentils or quinoa. I steamed up a pot of basmati rice with veggies that I had in the pantry and served the kale mixture on top of a serving of hot rice.

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Bulk up this recipe with rice!

Hubby sprinkled his liberally with Cajun Chef Hot Sauce and dug in! I topped mine with parmesan cheese. And lunch was a done deal!

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Topped with parmesan cheese!

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My husband loves stuffed bell peppers, so what to do with all these farm peppers was a no-brainer!

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WHAT YOU NEED:
1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion
2-3 pods of garlic
salt and pepper
2 cups of cooked rice
6-8 bell peppers

FOR THE SAUCE TOPPING
8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
A few drops Hot Sauce if desired

WHAT YOU DO:

BROWN the ground beef and season with chopped onion, chopped garlic and salt and pepper.

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Ground beef seasoned with onion and garlic.

Fold in the cooked rice. I learned this recipe from my Cajun mother-in-law, and she always uses white rice, but since I’ve been trying to use more brown rice, that’s what I used this time. I am so happy with Alton Brown’s method of cooking brown rice. It’s a no-fail method!

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Perfectly cooked, fluffy brown rice every time!

There are 269 reviews to Alton’s method with some great ideas of “add ins” such as chicken and different spices. I follow the suggestion of using chicken broth instead of water and leaving out the salt. I usually double the recipe and freeze the left-overs in 2 cup portions.

PREPARE the peppers by cutting off the tops and scooping out the seeds and membranes.

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I chopped up the tops and froze to use later.

BLANCH the bell peppers for one minute. This makes them more pliable when stuffing and helps them bake up nice and tender.

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Blanch the peppers to make them pliable for stuffing.

Stuff the beef/rice mixture into the blanched bell peppers. I begin by filling them ¾ full and then add more if there is mixture left over.

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Mix up the tomato sauce topping and spoon over the top of each pepper.

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Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Enjoy now, or cool and then freeze to enjoy later!

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I am having the best time with a new cookbook given to me by a friend. I have marked several recipes and have already tried quite a few.

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Lots of great recipes in this cookbook!

I was very happy to see this recipe for Summer Vegetable Casserole as it uses every vegetable I am currently getting in the CSA box!

WHAT YOU NEED:

Squash

Onions

Bell pepper

Tomatoes

uncooked rice

Slices of butter

Salt and pepper or seasoning blend of choice

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Fresh ingredients are plentiful in our CSA boxes!

WHAT YOU DO:

Wash and slice veggies; the tomatoes should be sliced fairly thickly.

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Thinly slice veggies, but slice tomatoes thicker.

In a greased casserole dish (or crock pot), layer vegetables with a layer of raw rice between each layer. The moisture in the veggies will cook the rice.

Season the veggie layers as you go. The recipe calls for just salt and pepper. I used an Italian spice blend. Start with squash, then 1/4 cup of raw rice, onion, 1/4 cup raw rice, bell pepper, 1/4 cup raw rice, and then tomatoes. Pats of butter go on top of the tomatoes.

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Layers of sliced vegetables and rice are topped with butter.

Repeat the layers if you have room. I was surprised at how much mine cooked down. I could have definitely put in more layers. Next time…..

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Veggies really cooked down, so pack ’em in there!

The recipe states to cook at 325 degrees for 1 ½ hours. I wanted to use a crock pot, so I could put it on Sunday morning and serve it for lunch after church. My research suggested 4-6 hours on HIGH. I put it on about 7 a.m. and we ate about 11:30. It was tender and yummy!

I will definitely be making this again!

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Swiss Chard Roll

Holopchi are Ukrainian cabbage rolls. There are a variety of versions from different cultures, including different greens, different fillings, and different sauces. This recipe combines a few of those variations to make a CSA friendly version. Roll swiss chard leaves around a yummy filling and bake .

One variation, I’ll be using next time is called Lazy Holopchi – instead of carefully rolling the filling into the leaves, just chop up the leaves and mix it all together before baking. The rolls make a nice presentation, but the lazy version is much faster!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup sliced leeks
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch of swiss chard
  • 1 cup broth
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, sautee the ground beef and leeks until fully cooked. Stir the rice into the beef mixture.

Holopchi Filling

2. Spoon some of the rice mixture onto a swiss chard leaf. The amount of rice will vary depending on the size of the leaf, usually 1-3 TBSPs. Fold in the sides of the leaf, and then roll from one end to the other. Place the roll in a casserole dish. Repeat until all the rice mixture is gone, filling the casserole dish with layers of rolls.

Rolling Holopchi

3. Mix together the broth and tomato sauce and pour the mixture over the rolls.

Swiss Chard Rolls in Casserole Dish

4. Cover and bake at 350 for 1.5 hours, or until the liquid has evaporated. Serve hot!

 

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