Monday, May 23, 2011

Companions Quinoa Salad

There is a group of women ("Companions") for whom I am so grateful, I am dedicating this recipe to them. We gather twice a year for brunch to celebrate the conclusion of a study, and I took this as my contribution today. Our group is sort of like this salad--simple, yet complex and oh-so-rich and yummy.

1 cup uncooked quinoa, washed in a fine mesh strainer
just under 2 cups water
3 T fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
3 T extra virgin olive oil
sea salt to taste
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
leaves of your favorite green (I used rainbow chard and included the stems), finely chopped
feta cheese to taste (not much--maybe 1/8 cup to start?)
1-2 avocado, chunked
about 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted in a dry skillet
Additional greens (for eating and/or garnish)

  1. Placed well washed quinoa and water in saucepan with tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and set a timer for 15 minutes. Check at 15 minutes to be sure most of the water has been absorbed. Let cool. I like to make this the day before I plan to use it, so it's cool when I add remaining ingredients.
  2. Mix lemon juice, olive oil, and sea salt in a jar with tight fitting lid and shake to mix. Set aside.
  3. Add onion, greens, and cheese to quinoa. Mix. Shake lemon juice and oil once more and add to quinoa mixture. Toss to coat well.
  4. Before serving, add avocado chunks and almonds.
  5. Serve over greens.
  6. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Mustard Greens

Photo by Jill Richards
True confession: when mustard greens arrive in my CSA bounty, I tend to sigh and slump. They have such a strong bite that I am constantly searching for some recipe that will balance out the bitter-spice so my family--OK, so I--can stand to eat them. But there's been a shift at our house this week.

I love mustard greens. I'm still in awe that I actually wrote those words, but thanks to a Chattanooga's own Storier, who happens to be part of my CSA community, I say and write these words easily. He turned it all around for our house. AND he shared the recipe in language I understand--little bit of this, little bit of that until it tastes good to you!

So this recipe is shared from a place of deep gratitude as I pass the love on to you.

1-2 cloves garlic
Handful of pecans
Multiple mustard green leaves, washed and removed from stems
olive oil
sea salt

  1. Place garlic and pecans in bowl of food processor and process until finely chopped.
  2. Add mustard greens and chop some more.
  3. While the blade is running, add olive oil to help things stick together.
  4. Scrape down the sides, add some salt, and process a little more adding olive oil as needed to help stick things together.
  5. Taste and adjust with a few more pecans, oil, or salt.
  6. Serve with pasta (or on crackers/bread/chips/carrots/whatever is closest).
  7. Tell all your friends you love mustard greens!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kohlrabi--Friend or Foe?


Our CSA Season has started again-- FINALLY! I didn't realize how lost I was without it. Now that we're back in full swing, I love the assortment of greens and veggies that I find like treasures in my box each week. 

Well, I love most everything I find. I always seem to forget about the satellite-like space ship kohlrabi (doesn't it look like it's about to take off and start spinning around uncontrollably?) until it's purple bulb is staring me in the face reminding me of our contentious relationship from last season.

But today, I am claiming an unbelievable shift in our relationship. I discovered that the combination of kohlrabi and blueberries is really quite lovely. Maybe more than lovely. Dare I say delicious? Yep--think I'm going there, because I can't stop eating this salad I threw together in 7 minutes.

So, if you have had a sketchy relationship with kohlrabi in the past, I hope this little gem will put things right between the two of you. And if you've never tried kohlrabi, get on down to your local farmer's market and get some along with some blueberries and enjoy this treat--you'll be glad you did!

3 T olive oil
1 T rice wine vinegar
1 t honey
sprinkle of salt
2 kohlrabi bulbs, skin removed and shredded
2-3 carrots, washed and shredded
3-4 kohlrabi greens, washed and finely chopped
1.5 cups fresh blueberries, washed

  1. Shake first four ingredients in a jar with tight fitting lid and set aside.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss to coat.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste (I added zero, my husband added both).
  5. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Carrot Soup for a Rainy Day

It has been a wet, cold day, and I've been home with a sick child. When given the opportunity to choose between chicken/beets/greens and carrot soup, he chose the soup (and we've never made it before). So grateful to be led down this road--it was just what we needed to nourish us both.

1 cup quinoa, thoroughly rinsed in a fine mesh strainer
2 cups water
1 T Garlic Grapeseed Oil* or other high heat oil
1/2 Vidalia onion, roughly chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 T ground cumin
1 T turmeric
4-5 carrots, roughly chopped
3-4 beet green stems (optional), rough chopped
handful of beet greens (or other green)
4- 6 cups stock or water (or combination of the two)
1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger root, grated
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
raw pumpkin seeds (or sesame seeds or walnuts), dry roasted in a skillet
fresh, flat leaf parsley, finely chopped (cilantro would be yummy, too!)
*email here to order

  1. Place rinsed quinoa and 2 cups of water in saucepan with tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed.
  2. While quinoa cooks, place oil in bottom of soup pot and turn heat to medium. Once the pot warms, add the onion followed shortly by the garlic. Saute together for 3-4 minutes on medium-low.
  3. Add cumin and turmeric and coat well.
  4. Add carrots, beet stems, beet greens, and stock. Turn heat to medium/medium-high until it just boils, then reduce to simmer and cook 20 minutes or so, until veggies are soft.
  5. Add quinoa to soup pot followed by ginger, salt, and pepper. 
  6. Use an immersion blender to blend all ingredients together to a smooth consistency. Add stock or water as necessary. Taste, adjust seasonings and blend one last time.
  7. Top individual servings with parsley and toasted pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!
  8. Freeze leftovers to pull out for the next rainy day.