It was time to thin the kale this morning. The cutting rendered 8 pints of greens and a half gallon container chopped stems for fermenting.
While waiting on the pressure canner I blanched yesterday’s green bean harvest and placed them in the dehydrator for drying. We really prefer to use dehydrated green beans rather than frozen in winter soups and stews. For the next month or so our dehydrator, pressure cooker and water bath canner will be running almost daily.
We are currently living through the wettest summer in a good number of years. The upside is that we have not needed to water our crops in almost two months and we are seeing a bumper crop of all types of green beans, pinto beans and kale. The downside is our tomatoes are splitting, cabbage is starting to rot, and the pumpkins and butternut squash are slow to produce, and slugs are starting to become a real problem. In an effort to reduces some of the water related issues we have let the ducks loose in the fields to help with bugs, have been canning and running the dehydrators at least twice a week, covered every flat surface in the house with tomatoes that need to finish ripening, and cooking all types of kale and Swiss chard dishes. For dinner today I made a Pistachio, Farro and Kale Salad with hot water cornbread. The dish was very easy to make, used several items from our gardens and was very tasty. If you would like to try the salad recipe it can be found at https://dailyburn.com/life/recipes/farro-kale-salad-recipe/
We are just starting to recover from heavy snows and temperatures in the negative digits. The snows provided promises of lots of outdoor fun, the wonderful sunshine beckoned us outdoors, but the negative temperatures plus the wind chill of -25 degrees kept us in the house with the wood stove burning and the kitchen full of wonderful aromas.
Driveway after a quick plow
A little fun with the dogs between shoveling activities
View of the back yard out the kitchen window.
Heavy snows are a bit much for the young trees. Will have to cut this one down in the spring.
What a nice July weekend. Yesterday we went kayaking on the Connecticut river with our friend Lisa. We put in in Thetford and paddled and talked down to the organic farm on the river and back. It was a sunny and breezy day so the trip was relaxing and quite enjoyable.
This morning I checked the gardens to see what had ripened in the past two days and picked a few things to either process or use in a few meals and sides for this week. It wasn’t a bad harvest considering it is still early in the season up here and the rain and shy sun this season have slow everything down. Today I picked green beans, zucchini, red ans yellow beets and kale.
Today I woke to temperatures that felt more like fall than summer. After two weeks in the 90s this morning registered 47 degrees. So before heading outside for some more gardening I decided to do a little cooking. I tore up some of the kale that I harvested yesterday and turned it into kale chips as a savory snack for the next few days.
It is such an easy, tasty and healthy recipe that I thought that I would share it with you.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch kale, torn
1/2 cup nutritional yeast *
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
Drizzle olive oil over the kale in a large bowl and sprinkle with the nutritional yeast and salt. Stir with your hands to coat kale.
Spread kale onto baking sheets.
Bake in preheated oven until kale begins to get slightly crisp; rotate racks and flip the chips, and continue baking until completely crisp, 45 to 60 minutes total.
Make sure to keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn; if you notice certain chips ready much sooner than others, take them out.
* Nutritional values for nutritional yeast vary from one manufacturer to another. On average, 2 tablespoons provides 60 calories with 5 g of carbohydrates (of which 4 g is fiber). A serving also provides 9 g of protein and is a complete protein, providing all nine amino acids the human body cannot produce. It is also a source of selenium and potassium. While fortified and unfortified nutritional yeast both provide iron, the fortified yeast provides 20 percent of the recommended daily value, while unfortified yeast provides only 5 percent. Unfortified nutritional yeast provides from 35 to 100 percent of all of the B vitamins, except for B12. Fortified nutritional yeast adds 150 percent of vitamin B12 and 720 percent of riboflavin. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutritional_yeast#Nutrition)
We have had a bumper crop of kale this season so I have been looking for all kinds of ways to prepare it so that we don’t get tired of this wonderful vegetable. Kale lasagna sounded like the perfect dish for Sunday dinner since at the beginning of last week I used the last of the pumpkin from last season and some early beets from this season to make our favorite marinara sauce. You will find that this recipe trims a lot of the fat out of a traditional lasagna, lightens the dish for a summer meal, and adds a lot of flavor and nutrients.
First make the polenta by bringing 3 cups water, small amount of salt and 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil to a boil and gently whisking in polenta, stirring until thick and creamy. This should take about 10 -15 minutes.
Stir 3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast into the polenta.
Prepare a baking dish by lining it with parchment paper, then carefully pour the cooked polenta into the baking dish. Ideally, you would do two smaller ones of the same size but I did one large one that I cut into two pieces later. Try to make sure the polenta is evenly distributed, let cool for a few minutes then move it to the refrigerator for about an hour until completely cooled and firm.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high flame. Sauté onions and rosemary until the onions begin to brown.
Add garlic and carrots. Sauté until garlic fragrances the oil, about 2 minutes.
Add kale and sauté until tender, then remove pan from heat.
Grease the bottom and sides of a 8×8-inch baking dish. Place half of the cooled polenta sheets into the bottom of the pan.
Mix 3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast into the marinara sauce.
Pour 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce over the polenta and spread it evenly.
Distribute mashed feta cheese over the marinara sauce. Scatter olives over the feta, then top with an even layer of the kale mixture.
Place the remaining polenta slice on tops of the mixture.
Spread remaining 1/2 cup of marinara sauce.
Bake for 25 minutes or until the top layer of cheese is beginning to brown around the edges.
Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving with a nice green salad.
Today we will be having dinner with an ex-coworker and her husband. Since it promises to be a lovely day we will be enjoying our meal on the deck (revision: we have had two heavy rainstorms early this morning so the dining room table is also set just in case we will have to move inside this afternoon).
1-1/2 pounds (or four 6-ounce pieces) salmon, skin on or off
6 tablespoons Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
1-2 scallions, green parts only, finely sliced
Combine sweet chili sauce, soy sauce and ginger in a shallow baking dish. Spoon 1/4 cup marinade into a small dish and set aside (this will be the sauce for the cooked fish). Add salmon fillets, skin side up, to remaining marinade and marinate for 1 hour in refrigerator.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer salmon fillets to prepared baking sheet, skin side down, and drizzle a bit of the marinade over top. Broil salmon for 6-10 minutes, or until browned in spots and almost opaque in the center. Transfer salmon to serving platter and pour reserved sauce over top. Garnish with scallions and serve hot. Kale and Quinoa Salad
2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
4 cups kale, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground sea salt
1 cup pecans
1 cup currants
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Put kale in a large mixing bowl.
Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic, pepper, and salt together in a bowl until oil emulsifies into the mixture; drizzle over kale. Add cooled quinoa, pecans, currants, and feta cheese to the dressed kale and toss to incorporate.
The kale is maturing in the garden so it is the time of year that we start having kale on the dinner table in one form or another for almost every meal. Tonight we will be having a micro green salad and quinoa and kale patties with roasted pineapple and habanero sauce. I hope you enjoy the dish.
2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, room temperature
2 whole eggs & 2 egg whites, whisked
1/2 cup Romano cheese, grated
3 spring onions, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh sage, finely chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup steamed kale, chopped
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 tbsp olive oil
In a large bowl, mix together cooked quinoa, eggs, Romano cheese, spring onions, garlic, salt, sage, steamed kale, and breadcrumbs. Let everything sit for a few minutes to absorb the liquid. You want the batter to be moist, but not runny. Form patties and get your pan ready for cooking.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook up to 6 patties at at time (don’t overcrowd the pan). Cover the pan and let the patties cook for 7-10 minutes until they are a deep rich brown. Flip and cook the other side for another 7-10 minutes until both sides are nice and brown. Let patties rest on a cooling rack while you finish the next batch.
Or grocery bill was spiraling out of control due to lack of planning, so our New Years resolution for 2013 was to go back to menu planning and cooking for the week on Sunday. That way we o not have to come home after work and try to prepare a healthy meal (which more than often did not happen) and we had options for lunches as well (this cuts down on buying lunch out).
3 cups cooked chickpeas (or 2 cans, drained and rinsed)
8 cups vegetable broth (or water plus bouillon)
1 large bunch kale, thick center ribs removed and chopped (at least 8 cups)
about 2 cups water
salt to taste
Spray a large saucepan with olive oil spray and heat it. Add the onion and carrot and cook over medium-high heat until the onion begins to brown (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the spices, including bay leaves and cinnamon stick, and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the chickpeas and stir to coat them with the spices. Pour in the 8 cups of vegetable stock, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the chopped kale and stir. If necessary add water to cover the kale and cook until it is tender, about 10-25 minutes, depending on how cooked you like your kale. Check frequently to see if it is becoming dry and add water as needed. Add salt to taste and serve.