Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Inspiration - Week #18

In the Grande box this week:   Red potatoes, leeks, broccoli, kale (or swiss chard), red daikon radish, dill, acorn and carnival squash, bok choy, mixed salad greens
I hope you like the menu ideas I have come up with this week.  This post will have more links than usual. I hope you don't mind having to click on some links - but there is a method to my madness.  I want to help you find and bookmark favorite recipe web sites.  It isn't good for you to depend on me too much, you know.  Part of my job is to push you out of the nest - see if you can flap your wings a bit in the kitchen. 

I am sure many of you, when stumped or just when you want some new ideas,  just google a vegetable.  I do.  Well that is fine as far as it goes.  But then what happens once you get over half a million hits?  How do you know what to choose?   Better to assemble a list of web sites you trust and enjoy.  Most have search features if you are trying to find something to do with one or two particular ingredients.  They also often have "recipe boxes" where you can save your favorites.  Then you can gradually collect some of your own "tried and true" recipes.  And you can pass them down to your children or someone else you love.

MENUS  (Sorry - no cute little headings this week.  It was just too hard.)

Mixed green salad with simple oil and vinegar vinaigrette; pasta with broccoli and chickpeas*; something chocolate - a brownie would be nice.  Go on.  After salad and broccoli and chickpeas you deserve it.  Maybe even with a little glass of cabernet sauvignon.

Radish salad (sliced or grated radish in rice vinegar, sugar and soy dressing- maybe a teeny bit of toasted sesame oil)  Or something else with radishes - see radish recipe link below; Bok choy with rice noodles and cherry tomatoes*; Fresh orange slices

Barley broccoli salad (with dill and radishes)*; Potato-Leek Gratin*; fall fruit compote*

Bok Choy Slaw*; Baked stuffed carnival squash (stuff with bread crumbs, sauteed onion or other veggies chopped small, herbs, melted butter or olive oil.  Add some nuts, grated cheese or meat for extra protein if desired. Remember to bake the halved squash upside down until partly done before stuffing and baking right side up.); the juiciest and sweetest fresh pear you can find.  Serve sliced on a plate and drizzled with a little honey or maple syrup and take your time eating it.

Meat loaf or other meat, fish or chicken; baked acorn squash; mashed potatoes and kale*  (I have given you two recipes for mashed potatoes and kale, a classic Irish dish also known as colcannon.  This is a lesson in how the same basic recipe can be subject to widely different interpretations.  Like music.); ice cream or sorbet  (I think a good life rule is whenever you eat kale for dinner you can have ice cream for dessert.)

Pasta and Bean Soup with Kale; whole grain bread; apple pie a la mode (You can eat ice cream with the pie because you ate kale in the soup.  Isn't this a nice rule?)  I am going to write about apple pie for
Saturday morning's post.  And do a short video on pie crust for posting on Thursday.


Pasta with broccoli and chickpeas
This link is to Martha Rose Shulman's series in the New York Times, Recipes for Health.  You will find articles on a long list of fruits and vegetables and grains and more -- each article usually has about 6-8 excellent recipes.  I highly recommend spending some time with this website.  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/23/health/nutrition/23recipehealth.html?ref=broccoli

Bok Choy with Rice Stick Noodles and Cherry Tomatoes
This is from another Martha Rose Shulman article - this one about stir fries.

Radish recipes - Twenty seven recipes - Editors' picks from food52:
There are some great ideas in this assortment.  If you get a Featherstone winter share - you will be needing more ideas for radishes.

Barley Broccoli Salad
I like this recipe because it is full of fiber and nutrition and flavor.  It includes dill and radishes too - both in your box this week.  You could substitute other grains for the barley: wheat berries, quinoa, bulgar, brown rice.

Potato Leek Gratin
This recipe requires a long baking time - save it for a quiet evening at home.   If you don't like the cumin seasoning suggested, thyme would be excelent.  As long as you have the oven on that long - plan some other baking or roasting.  Maybe bake some banana bread or cookies.  Or some rice pudding.  Or baked apples.  Or a fruit compote.   http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/22/health/nutrition/22recipehealth.html?ref=potatoes

Fall fruit compote
Plan on no more than about 1/2 cup per serving.  Combine cut up fresh and dried fruit in a 2 to 1 ratio in a covered baking dish with enough apple, orange or other fruit juice to barely cover, sweeten with honey or brown sugar.   Add a few cloves or a cinnamon stick or both or neither.  A little freshly ground cardamom would be nice if you use pears.   A tablespoon or two of spirits adds a lot of flavor - such as rum, cherry brandy or orange liqueur.  Bake, covered, in a 350 degree oven for about an hour.  Stir once or twice during baking time.  Best served the next day after flavors have a time blend.  Here are some possible fruit combinations to get you started.
apple/calymyrna fig
pear/dried apricot
rhubarb/raspberry (good to have in your freezer)/golden raisin (when using rhubarb, add extra sugar or honey)
apple/cranberry/prune (also use a little extra sugar with cranberries)

Bok Choy slaw
This recipe is from the kitchen daily web site. It has a feature for saving recipes as well as a nice how to section and of course a recipe search section.  Search "kale" on this web site just for fun.  I found this recipe by searching for "bok choy".  It is a good basic recipe.  Bok choy is quite good raw as well as cooked.  http://www.kitchendaily.com/recipe/crunchy-bok-choy-slaw-920

Mashed potatoes with kale
This first link is to the food blog - 101 cookbooks.  It is a very popular food blog and when you go to this link you will see why.  http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/001566.html
And here is another version of the same dish - from the Recipes for Health website:  http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/21/health/nutrition/21recipehealth.html?ref=potatoes

Pasta and bean soup with kale
This recipe is from an interesting web site - food52 - that has weekly recipe contests.  The site also has a blog.  This recipe looked pretty reliable to me and can be varied if you wish.  I could see a soup like this becoming a staple in any household.  Kale or other greens like chard, spinach or even collards are often paired with beans in soups, stews, casseroles or even salads.   Here is another way to do it.

Barley broccoli salad



  1. I'm so glad you do these "Inspiration" posts. The great menu ideas help me get my grocery shopping done at the same time I pick up my box!

  2. The barley broccoli salad "recipe" doesn't have a link :(

  3. Thanks Katy for noticing the omission. I have added the link at the end of the post.