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Posts Tagged ‘sugar’

Have you ever seen a more beautiful example of bok choy  than the ones we had in our boxes on Saturday? They were huge!

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Beautiful bok choy!

I did some research on this veggie also known as leafy Chinese cabbage or pak choi. It is one of the popular mainland crops in China, Philippines, Vietnam and other oriental regions, but has captured popularity even in the western world for its sweet, succulent nutritious leaves and stalks. Fresh bok choy supplies all sorts of important vitamins and antioxidants.

Store whole bok-choy in the vegetable compartment inside the refrigerator set at high relative humidity. If stored appropriately, it stays fresh for up to 3-4 days without the loss of much of nutrients. However, bok choy is more nutritious, sweeter, and flavorful when used fresh.

Crispy, sweet bok choy stalks can be eaten raw, added to salads, sandwiches, and burgers.

  • Its stalks can be used with cabbage in coleslaw.
  • Baby bok choy can be a very attractive addition to salads and stir-fries.
  • In China and other East Asian regions, it is used much like cabbage in stew fries with added onion, garlic, bell pepper, and green chillies mixed with steamed rice and soy/chilli/tomato sauce to prepare chow mein.

I usually just chop and sauté this leafy veggie with onion and garlic and serve as a side, similar to greens. This time, I wanted to serve it raw, so I “googled” and came up with a Martha Stewart recipe. You can’t go wrong with ol’ Martha!

WHAT YOU NEED:       

4 teaspoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

3/4 teaspoon sugar

5 cups sliced, raw bok choy (any type; about 1 1/2 pounds)

2 tablespoons chopped cashews

WHAT YOU DO:

 Prepare dressing: whisk together rice vinegar, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and sugar in a bowl.

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for the dressing!

 

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Whisk briskly to dissolve sugar!

Prepare bok choy: cut off root end and separate stalks. Rinse well to remove sandy soil. Chop into bite-size pieces. The recipe calls for 5 cups of chopped bok choy. I measured and got 7 cups, so I prepared the dressing recipe using one and a half times the ingredients.

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Slice and chop washed bok choy for a raw salad.

Toss the raw bok choy with the dressing.

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Asian flavored dressing!

Top with 2 tablespoons chopped cashews. As you can tell from the photo, I used quite a bit more cashews than that! I love a crunch to my salad, and those cashews added a wonderful saltiness and crunch indeed!

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Salty cashews add crunch!

I’ve started taking these CSA blog recipes to our Sunday Life Group meals and get great feedback from those willing taste-testers. This recipe got high marks, even though not one of them had ever eaten raw bok choy! I enjoyed this new way of preparing bok choy!

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Showy zucchini!

Zucchini: an easy grower and over-achieving producer! Our garden zucchini plants are huge and loaded with blooms. I know Farmer Ray and Rose Creek Farms are having good luck with their plants as well. I’ve been searching for recipes because these green veggies seem to grow by the minute! Hubby must be diligent to check daily, or they will grow too big.

I ran across several recipes for zucchini pancakes. I was curious: are they truly “pancakes” to be eaten with syrup? Or are they more like savory fritters to maybe dip in a sauce? The answer is YES and YES. They can go either way!

Perhaps the best thing about zucchini is its mild flavor. It can be sweetened up or seasoned up – depending on your mood. And that’s exactly what you can do with this recipe.

The recipe poster describes them as “a great vegetarian pancake, easy to make and delicious. This recipe was passed to my mother over 100 years ago and has been a favorite of the families.”

After reading the reviews (58!)  with so many flavor suggestions, I had to give this recipe a try. I followed the posted recipe exactly with plans to try some of the flavor combinations.

The grandchildren love pancakes and always expect them for breakfast when spending the night. I was inspired by one reviewer who said, “With all the eggs and zucchini, we got a serving of veggies and protein, better than the average pancake. Plus it used up 2 whole cups of zucchini from our overproducing garden!”

WHAT YOU NEED:

2 cups finely shredded fresh zucchini (2 med. size zucchini)

4 large eggs, beaten

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 cup melted butter or margarine

WHAT YOU DO:

Wash and shred zucchini on a fine grater. There’s no need to peel. Since I wasn’t sure how these “pancakes” were going to turn out, I decided to use one zucchini and halve the recipe; however, that one zucchini yielded 1.5 cups, so I did ¾ of a recipe which forced me to use those math skills!

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Finely grated zucchini!

Several reviewers suggested letting the grated zucchini drain, so I followed that suggestion.

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Draining grated zucchini

Look how much liquid seeped out!

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Almost 2 ounces!

While the zucchini drained, I preheated a non-stick electric skillet to 425 degrees as directed. That seemed high to me, but I followed directions, and they cooked up perfectly. If using a heavy duty frying pan, heat to medium-high heat; adjust heat if necessary.

Combine the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, and then add oil.

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Beating, draining, and heating!

Using a fork, add drained, shredded zucchini and mix well.

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Grated green-ness!

Stir in the dry ingredients, but don’t over mix. That will make your pancakes flat and tough. The recipe doesn’t state this, but I always let my batter rest a minute or two to allow the baking powder to activate.

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Let batter rest a minute.

Now you’re ready to cook! Before spooning batter onto the hot griddle, I sprayed it with non-stick cooking spray. Cook as you do for traditional pancakes – until bubbles appear on top. Flip! DO NOT press down on the pancake. Use a light hand, and you’ll be rewarded with light pancakes!

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Puffy goodness!

When done, brush pancakes with melted butter and place in a preheated 250 F oven to keep warm until the remainder are cooked, or serve immediately.

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Brush with melted butter.

I was anxious to taste these, so I broke one open for a bite. Naturally Hubby had to check out the progress in the kitchen.

I said, “I’m not sure if it is supposed to be sweet or savory.”

He took a bite and said, “It can go either way! It’s light and puffy like a pancake and will easily accept syrup, but I can see how you could add onion or garlic or jalapeno and go the other direction.”

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Green dots!

When I saw those green dots inside, I instantly thought of a favorite book of our children and now of our grandchildren. They often request it at bedtime.

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Favorite bedtime reading

It’s the story of a silly family who believes they are all seriously ill because the baby girl painted green dots on the bathroom mirror.

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When each family member sees himself covered with green dots, all end up in bed. Even the doctor who comes to treat them believes he has been infected and joins the family in the sickbed.

All is saved when Grandma is summoned and comes to help (Hooray for grandmothers!) She prepares her famous chicken soup and does a little “tidying up” while the soup simmers.

You guessed it. She mops the floor, dusts the furniture, and polishes the mirror and then serves the soup. Everyone instantly feels better! And the spots are all gone!

Our little ones love this story. Our little ones love pancakes. I see a new family tradition in the making: the book at bedtime; the green-dotted pancakes at breakfast the next morning!

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for breakfast, brunch or just as a snack anytime

REVIEWER SUGGESTIONS:

*  Serve with your choice of jams or syrups

* Use half applesauce and half oil to cut down on the fat; add a bit more sugar or cinnamon to the batter.

* Serve with sour cream or yogurt

* Replace 1/4th of the zuke with chopped/seeded/drained meat of garden tomatoes, 1/4 cup grated feta and some chopped crispy bacon. They taste like Denver omelettes and are very tasty

*  Add grated parmesan cheese

*  Serve with sour cream and ranch dressing as appetizers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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