The second set of radishes were ready to be harvested in the garden and I needed something a little different to serve with spicy black bean burgers, so I decided to roast a bunch. They turned out to be tasty little nuggets that had lost the bite that you sometimes get from radishes. Needless to say that there was not one left in the bowl at the end of the meal.
- 1 large bunch of small radishes with greens attached
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 500°. Trim the radishes and wash the greens; pat dry.
- In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the radishes, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the radishes for 15 minutes, until crisp-tender.
- Return the skillet to the burner and stir in the butter to coat the radishes. Add the radish greens and cook over moderate heat until they are wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and season with salt. Serve the radishes right away.
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)
With all the rain and overcast days that we have had recently the vegetable gardens are maturing very slowly to the point that the only items that have reached maturity at this point are the radishes and some of the kale that was started in the greenhouse.
I know, I am just being impatient, but I really miss fresh produce and items that we preserved from last season are pretty much gone. So what is a girl to do… well as Erma Bombeck stated — “When life gives you lemons make lemonade” or in my case, when your gardens produce lot of radishes find a way to use the beautiful greens.
The young greens enhanced green salads but the larger more mature leaves were a bit to tough and bitter for that purpose. I really didn’t want to throw the nutrition packed large bunches away so I decided to try making pesto out of them. The pesto turned out to be wonderful, it really perked up some early season meals. I tossed it with angle hair pasta for dinner one night and served it on black bean burgers another and froze the balance of the pesto for another day.
- 2 large bunches of radish leaves, stems removed
- 2-3 ounces hard cheese, such as pecorino or parmesan, shaved
- 1/2 cup of pinenuts, pistachios, or almonds (I use pinenuts in this batch)
- 3 cloves garlic, rough chopped
- a short ribbon of fresh lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to get the consistency you like
- salt, pepper, ground chili pepper to taste
- Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender or mini-chopper, and process in short pulses until smooth. This produces a thick pesto; add more oil and pulse again to get the consistency you prefer.
- Taste, adjust the seasoning, and pack into an airtight container and refrigerate at least 4 hours prior to serving.
- Use within a few days (it will keep longer if you pour a thin layer of oil on the surface) or freeze.
With the warm weather that we have been blessed with over the past couple of weeks my family has started to ask for salads and cold soups for meals. Last night I made a wheat berry salad that is a big hit with family and guests around my house (yes — we fell off our gluten-free diet with this meal, but it is so rich in nutrients that I just couldn’t pass this salad by).
If you are not familiar with wheat berries here is a bit of background.
- Wheat berries are whole wheat kernels. They look like thick, short grains — similar to brown rice.
- When boiled, cooked wheat berries have a chewy bite and subtle nutty, earthy flavor. They’re sturdy enough to handle bold salad dressings and still delicate enough to taste delicious with some milk, honey and cinnamon.
- If you like sprouts on salads and sandwiches, add a little water to wheat berries and you can grow your own wheat sprouts.
- Since the wheat kernel is left intact, virtually none of the nutrients are stripped away. A cup of cooked wheat berries has about 300 calories and is packed with fiber, protein and iron. Tasty sprouts are loaded with vitamin E, a cell-protecting antioxidant, and magnesium.
- 2 cups uncooked wheat berries
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cloves garlic, mashed
- 1/4 cup finally chopped red onion
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 medium red pepper, diced
- 1/2 to 2/3 cups crumbled goat cheese
- Cover wheat berries by 1 inch with water in a medium saucepan set over high heat. Add in a generous pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until chewy, about 45-50 minutes (taste and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes if you’d like). Drain and transfer to a medium bowl.
- While wheat berries are cooking, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, water, olive oil, garlic, red onion, and parsley in a small bowl (or shake together in a small jar). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- While the drained cooked wheat berries are still warm, toss with the vinaigrette.
- Allow the salad mixture to cool to room temperature and then stir in the cranberries, grated carrots, red pepper and goat cheese.
- Chill the salad for at least on hour prior to serving.
This weekend we spent the entire two day getting the vegetable gardens ready for planting, so there was little time for making meals. Saturday was basically what you could find in the frig. Sunday I put a pot of early greens on to simmer and rounded the dinner out with hot water cornbread — something that I have not made in a very long time. The bread is great a starch for those time when it is to hot to turn the oven on. Hope that you enjoy this very easy to make bread.
- 1 cup of cornmeal
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp maple or brown rice syrup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, salt, syrup and olive oil.
- Stir in boiling water.
- Pour oil into a large skillet and heat to 375 degrees.
- Shape cornmeal mixture into flattened balls using a heaping tablespoon.
- Fry flattened balls in hot oil, turning once, until crisp and golden brown, about 5 minutes.
- Drain on paper towels.
- Serve at once with maple syrup or honey.
Today I spent most of my day working on my website and cutting fabric for a demonstration that I will be doing at a quilt show next week, so I had little time to creating a dinner for my family. Luckily a quinoa burger (~ 10 grams of protein per burger) recipe came to my rescue — add some jasmine rice and a green vegetable and I had a quick and tasty meal.
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup fresh basil
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 1 cup cooked black beans
- 1 tsp salt (omit if using canned beans)
- 1/2 cup diced sweet red pepper
- 3 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup dry)
- rice flour
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Cook quinoa according to package directions.
- Saute onions until translucent.
- Combine everything except quinoa, olive oil and rice flour in food processor.
- Mix blended mixture and quinoa together.
- Divide into 6-7 burgers, roll in flour to make a crust.
- Pan fry in olive oil until browned.
- Serve warm with a few side dishes.
- 2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup fresh flat parsley
- 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
- 3 garlic cloves, quartered
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese
- Place basil, parsley, pine nuts, garlic and lemon juice in a processor. Process until finely chopped.
- Add ricotta. Season with salt and pepper. Process until just combined.
- Serve pesto tossed through hot quinoa pasta, or as a dip.
Lemon basil pesto: Process 1 1/2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves, 1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 quartered garlic cloves and salt and pepper until well combined. Serve as a salad dressing or tossed through warm pasta.
Spinach and walnut pesto: Process 2 cups firmly packed young spinach leaves, 2 tablespoons toasted walnuts, 3 quartered garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/2 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese and salt and pepper until well combined. Toss through warm pasta or spread on toasted bread.
We are going to visit with friends this weekend, so I pull out one of my old standby recipes to make a treat for our hosts. This yummy, flaky treat is easy to make and can be eaten hot or at room temperature.
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 package frozen chopped spinach, drained and squeezed dry
- 4-6 oz, crumbled feta cheese
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- dash of fresh grated nutmeg
- fresh ground pepper and salt to taste
- 20 sheets phyllo dough
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- Saute onions in olive oil over medium heat until soft. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds and then remove from heat.
- In a medium bowl, combine spinach, feta, egg, onion and garlic, nutmeg, pepper and salt.
- Remove one sheet of phyllo from stack (cover the remaining sheets with a damp cloth to them from drying out) and lay it on the prep area. Brush the entire sheet with a thin layer of melted butter. Place another sheet on top, brush with butter and repeat 2 more times. Cut the stack in half lengthwise with a knife.
- Place about 2 tablespoons of filling on the bottom right side of one of the rectangles. Fold the bottom left corner up and over the filling so that the bottom edge is now even with the right side. Continue folding up and over until you end up with a triangle. Brush triangle with melted butter and place on a baking sheet.
- Repeat this procedure with the other phyllo rectangle.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have 10 triangles on a baking sheet.
- Place baking sheet in preheated 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until golden.
- Cool on a wire rack and serve either warm or at room temperature.
If you prefer smaller serving sizes cut the stacks of phyllo crosswise into 4 equal pieces. Use only a tablespoon of filling for each strip and roll up as noted in step 4. This modification will create 20 small turnovers.