Monthly Archives: June 2017

Lacinato Kale Salad with Charred Cauliflower Steaks

This week’s produce box includes Lacinato Kale, my favorite kale variety for it’s tenderness and mild flavor when eaten raw.  I first encountered lacinato kale while enjoying a salad prepared by a friend, which consisted of lacinato kale chopped into ribbons (as our recipe also calls for), an avocado, and juice + zest of a lemon.  I developed this recipe a bit further by adding roasted veggies, feta, and pumpkin seeds.  I have served this meal winter through summer with much delight from family and guests who tend to ask for the recipe afterward.

Lacinato Kale Salad with Charred Cauliflower Steaks

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch lacinato kale
  • zest and juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 5 Tablespoons high heat cooking oil
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 4 oz feta cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F with a baking sheet inside oven.
  2. De-stem and chop kale into ribbons.  Transfer to serving bowl.
  3. Zest ½ of a lemon and squeeze juice onto kale, mixing throughly with hands.  Kale will become tender as it rests during further recipe prep.
  4. Remove stem from cauliflower.  With cauliflower face down, carefully chop through entire head to create 1/2 inch “steaks”.
  5. Peel and chop sweet potatoes into bite size cubes.  In a medium bowl, mix chopped potatoes with 3T oil, salt and pepper.  Transfer to baking dish.
  6. Remove hot baking sheet from oven and transfer cauliflower steaks to line sheet without overlap.  Use a pastry brush to liberally coat one side of steaks with remaining 2 T oil.  Season with salt & pepper.
  7. Cook potatoes and cauliflower for 12-15min, checking for tenderness with fork test.  Potatoes should be just tender, not too soft.  Allow cauliflower to cook longer if needed to become browned, or slightly charred on top.
  8. Transfer potatoes to kale dish and toss, allowing kale to wilt slightly with heat.  Add pumpkin seeds, feta cheese, and olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add more lemon juice as needed if preferred.  Toss salad.
  9. Serve kale salad with cauliflower steaks on the side.

Additional considerations:

  • Serves 2-3.  Double recipe to serve 4-6
  • Serve as an entree by topping salad with protein of choice.  My favorite is browned chicken sausage (herb seasoning).
  • Replace olive oil for an avocado to dress salad.

Rainbow Chard with Creamy Polenta

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

Polenta

  • 1 ½ cups water, plus additional 1 cup
  • ½ Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup coarse corn meal
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan

 

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch rainbow chard, stems removed and chopped into ¼-inch pieces
  • ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. Bring 1 ½ cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add salt and bay leaf. Bring additional 1 cup of water to a simmer in a separate pan.
  2. Add polenta to boiling water (1 ½ cup) in fistfuls, working cornmeal through fingers to break up any clumps.  Reduce heat to medium.
  3. Whisk remaining water into polenta in small increments, stirring frequently until polenta is creamy.
  4. Fry bacon in a large pan.  Transfer cooked bacon to paper towel lined plate, leaving excess bacon grease in pan.  Coarsely chop bacon once cooled.
  5. Sauté shallots, garlic, and chard stems at medium heat in bacon grease until tender (5-7 minutes).
  6. Stir in chard leaves, chili flakes, and ⅓ cup water.  Reduce heat to low and cook covered until leaves are wilted.  Uncover and cook until most liquid has evaporated.
  7. Meanwhile, finish off polenta by stirring in butter, salt & pepper, and parmesan.
  8. Add vinegar and chopped bacon to chard mixture, tossing until well combined.
  9. To serve: spoon polenta to individual dishes and top with chard.

 

Additional considerations:

*  Gluten Free
*  Vegetarian modification – remove bacon and sauté vegetables in high heat oil
*  Vegan modification – remove bacon and sauté vegetables in high heat oil, substitute
parmesan for nutritional yeast
*  Double recipe to serve 4-6

Meal Planning with Pacific Coast Harvest

Growing up in Kansas City and raised with those midwest family values, I’ve inherited a love for home cooked meals shared with loved ones at the table.  I’m only cooking for 2 (newlywed) most of the week, and beyond conflict resolution, my main priority my first year of marriage was learning how to cook meals both my husband and I would enjoy for flavor, and for intentional time spent together in the kitchen.   

I soon realized that cooking was only a small part of managing meals in the home.  There was also planning, shopping, storing, and of course, clean up.  My meal planning skills have improved drastically and I no longer spend a few hours each week skimming through cookbooks, and to be completely honest, Pinterest, looking for the perfect blend of nutritious, green, healthy meals for me, and delicious, comforting, savory foods for the hubs.  I do have to say upfront that my house is a meat-dairy-gluten-eating household, but love and respect the vegetarians, vegans, and GF folks in our midst.

Here is how I allow weekly Pacific Coast Harvest deliveries make managing meals more efficient in my household:

Planning: Nowadays, I let PCH produce inform my meals with each delivery.  Planning comes after I see the bright, fresh, organic offering for the week.  I empty the contents of the box in my kitchen, taking stock of each vegetable and fruit as I lay them out on the table…and return the box to my front porch, out of the way.

Storing:  I store leafy greens in crisper drawers, tough root veggies and some fruits in baskets on the counter (potatoes, onion, garlic, apples, banana), and fit anything else that seems more delicate in the fridge.

Shopping:  Because I have a weekly flow of fresh produce with PCH, most of my grocery needs are for a variety of meats, spices, dairy, grains, nuts, and canned goods.  I like to keep meat on hand to pull out and defrost midday to accompany veggie dishes I’ll prepare for dinner.  I always have plenty of canned tomatoes, beans, and essentials (oils, flour, eggs, bread, butter) stocked up and stowed away for use with any dish that calls for it.  Again, it’s the veggies that are informing my meals these days so I stock up on “general” items that will be seasoned and accompanied to enhance the produce.

Cooking: This is the fun part!  My go-to ratio for a meal: protein, vegetable, and complex carbohydrate with a salad on the side.  For more in-depth cooking ideas, check in for weekly recipes featuring items from you PCH box.

Clean up: Always made better with some good tunes or a podcast, and some little (or big) helping hands.

Sautéed Kale with Radishes, Apple and Farro

Notes:

Serves 2-3

* Serve as a salad, or as a bed of greens topped with protein of choice. Double to recipe to serve 4-6.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 C coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 C farro
  • 1 Tablespoon high-heat cooking oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, thin half moon slices
  • 1 bunch radishes, ends removed and quartered
  • 1 cameo apple, cored and sliced into thin wedges
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons whole grain dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 bunch kale, stems and ribs removed, leaves roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Toast walnuts for 5-10 min. on a baking sheet, tossing occasionally to ensure even cooking.
  2. Cook farro according to packaging.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet. Add onion and chopped radishes and cook until tender.
  4. Add apples, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Stir until ingredients are well coated. Cover and simmer for 4 minutes or until apples are just tender.
  5. Add kale to skillet, stir, and cook covered until kale is tender and more vibrant in color; 3-5 minutes.
  6. Remove walnuts from oven and let cool.
  7. Transfer kale salad to a serving bowl and toss with farro and walnuts.