Archive for June, 2013

Strawberries and Dumplings

June 13, 2013 10:58 pm

It’s a cool, breezy June evening. I’m out on our beautiful deck with two of my loveliest girlfriends with wine (and strawberry andre) and gossip and surrounded by herbs, flowers, and strawberry plants (and catgrass). Could it get any better than that? Maybe. We also had this:

strawberry dumplings

Oh yeah, Glenn had some too.

Thank you, my favorite food blog, for this easy-to-make foolproof strawberries and dumplings that were super good even though I was a little tipsy and couldn’t figure out how big a golf ball would be.

I followed the recipe to the best of my ability, with one change. I had no milk, so subbed 1/4c buttermilk and 1/4c heavy cream. Because of the heavy cream, I only added 1+ tbsp butter (what I had left in the fridge!).

Oh yeah, we also had dinner. Goat cheese and lemon and spinach pasta, again. It was good… but not strawberries and dumplings.

It might be cool here in Wisconsin, but it sure is summertime! Three cheers for good friends and good food!

Saag Paneer and Strawberries

June 12, 2013 8:31 pm

Remember all of that spinach? A half pound from the market and a little less than that from our CSA (plus a few leaves of swiss chard) got cooked down into this dinner:

saag paneer

This is my very first attempt as saag paneer and it came out really nicely. A quick note about saag — if this were just made of spinach then it would be palak paneer (because palak = spinach!), but this includes other leafy greens, which is why I called it saag. Saag can be any leafy green, as far as I know: spinach, kale, chard, mustard greens, turnip greens, collard greens… whatever you got!

Unfortunately, I don’t really have precise recipe for this one. There are many, many online. I called my dad and followed his directions and didn’t even think about writing anything down (oops!) However, here’s the general idea of what I did:

Saag Paneer

1lb mix of spinach, kale, and chard – tougher greens will need more cooking
7oz paneer (or 8oz… 7oz was conveniently half of my 14oz package)*
1 tbsp cooking oil
2-3 chopped green onion whites (1/2 a regular onion, when that’s what I have)
cumin
ginger
4 cloves of garlic
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tbsp tomato paste or perhaps a tomato or two
1 tbsp (?) ghee
more cumin
red pepper powder
*Also, paneer can be made at home pretty easily. I’ve only done it once before, but I’ll probably post about it when I get around to giving it another shot. Until then, google that tshi if you want to know.

1. Blanche the greens in a minimal amount of water, strain, saving the blanching water. Let cool.
2. Cube and fry (or bake – this was my dad’s suggestion) the paneer in maybe half a tbsp of oil.
3. Remove the paneer, and heat the remaining oil and fry the onion and cumin.
4. When the onion has softened, add garlic and garlic. I have no idea how much ginger I added. I totally eyeballed it.
5. After about a minute, add garam masala and tomato paste. Cook for another minute or so and add the greens.
6. I used the immersion blender to blend the greens and spices into a paste, but you could also puree the greens first. I needed some of the reserved blanching water to get a good consistency.
7. In another small pot, heat ghee and fry another half tsp of cumin and a pinch of red pepper powder. Add it to the curry!
8. Add paneer, salt to taste and eat with rice and market yogurt!

YUM! The consistency could have been a little smoother… perhaps if I’d pureed the greens into a finer paste. Also my dad suggested adding a potato, a tbsp of besan, or some moong dal to thicken it. I added a little besan after blending the greens (and cooked an extra 5 minutes), but I don’t think I added nearly enough so I can’t really comment on whether or not it actually helped. It doesn’t matter, it was great the way it was 🙂

I think we’ll get about 4 servings out of this, with a bit of rice and yogurt. If they were four equal servings each would be 230 cals, 18g fat, 4g carbs, 1g fiber, and 13g protein. (They won’t be equal because Glenn ate nearly twice as much as me… how did that happen?) Not the most low fat recipe (though it probably didn’t need that last bit of ghee), but I think it’s a small price to pay for a curry packed with greens. I suppose it would have been a more balanced meal with chicken or garbanzos instead of paneer (and with chicken and a fresh tomato it would have been totally a market curry), but paneer is so good!

Also, Glenn checked out a new market today and brought some of these home:

strawberries

Great day 🙂

oh my Green Goodness!

June 11, 2013 8:53 pm

Got a CSA box today!

June 11th

The picture is a little dark, but look at this bounty! Two heads of broccoli, three heads of lettuce, a bag of mixed tender greens, a bag of spinach, a bunch of kale, a bunch of chard, some radishes, and a bunch of green onions! Holy cow, I’d say we got our $8.75 worth of veggies and some!

So, what’s on the menu?, you ask. The broccoli was sort of a surprise, but I do have some plans for the leafy-er greens. The spinach will join the bag we bought at the market, and with the chard I’m going to take my first attempt at a saag curry. The kale will go into another batch of lemon goat cheese pasta. But the broccoli? I didn’t know I would get broccoli! What a gift! I’ll have to think about that one.  How exciting 🙂

Oh yeah, and here’s tomorrow’s salad with the mixed salad greens, radishes, and green onions from our CSA bounty and not-a-local carrot. And more of Farmer John’s gorgonzola, yum!

lunch salad 2

Black Bean & Lemon Rice Burritos with Garlic Chipotle Salsa

June 10, 2013 7:00 pm

Sounds fancy, doesn’t it?

burrito

It’s not. Ha! I made some yummy black beans (cooked down with garlic, oregano, chili vinegar, and a little bit of brown sugar), but that was about the end of the actual cooking. Tonight’s burritos were made with market tortillas, lettuce, and the star of the show – the Garlic Chipotle Lime salsa from “Chip Magnet”! We also used up some non-local cheddar that’s been open since we started our challenge. Oh, and the lemon rice? That’s a funny story.

I wanted to make lime rice, since that’s what goes on black bean burritos, right? Alas, I had no lime and did not want to go to the store just for one measly lime. So, I thought, why not do lemon rice?

Oh, lemon rice. If my mom were here she’d laugh. Lemon rice is a south indian dish that I used to LOVE as a kid. I mean really love. One day, my mom and I were looking through old crafts from my early childhood (because at some point, you have to throw all of that out!) And we came across a “cookbook” written by my preschool class, which included every kid’s favorite dish. On my page? Lemon rice: Get some rice, add some lemon, sprinkle on the peanuts. Ta-da!

Oh little minds. Did I really think lemon + rice would make lemon rice?

Well, why not? Why not fry a little cooked rice and add some lemon? That’s what I would do for lime rice, right? So I did. (Yeah, not even close to real lemon rice :).) Guess I was wrong about that recipe, but it made a pretty good burrito filler.

Anyways, this was delicious, but we did not care for the expensive local tortillas. I think we will feel really good about including yummy local cheddar and salsa next time, since the kraft doesn’t measure up and the Chip Magnet salsa was probably the best salsa I’ve ever had. (And I’m picky!) Now that I’m out of black beans, we’ll buy some dried black turtle beans on Saturday at the Westside market for next time. But, we’ll probably just buy our tortillas from the store. I’m okay with that.