Monday, October 4, 2010

Inspiration - Week #19

This week's box, deconstructed by menu
In this week's Grande box:  Mixed onions, red or white potatoes, red Kabocha squash, spaghetti squash, garlic, cilantro, Savoy cabbage, Sugar snax carrots, bunched beets and beet greens, salad mix, black radishes, mixed peppers

I am trying something new this week -- I spread out the contents of my box on the kitchen table and divided it all up according to my menu ideas.  Helps to see things all laid out this way.  Kind of like matching up dancing partners.  Close up pictures of food groupings are below with each menu idea. 

One suggestion I have for you this week is to make a nice big pot of brown or white rice (or other grain like quinoa or barley) and also of beans (like pinto beans).  They will each be fine for a few days in the refrigerator and they will make meal preparation quicker if you decide to try some of the menus listed below.  If you have extra rice, warm it up and eat it for breakfast with some milk, sugar and raisins.  If you have extra beans mash them up with some chopped onion, garlic, cumin and  cilantro and a little olive oil and make a sandwich filling or dip.

Last spring, before I knew I was going to a two day conference on food last week,  Frank and I signed up to go to the Nobel Conference at Gustavus Adolphus college in St. Peter because we knew it was going to be about food.   So I am getting a large dose of food learning all in a row.  The line up of speakers is quite impressive and I am looking forward to hearing even more viewpoints about "how to make food good".   Expect a few blogs this week about the conference.  You can follow the event live online starting Tuesday at 9:15 a.m.
Marion Nestle, one of my favorite food experts (see link to her blog on my blog list)  is scheduled to speak at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

MENUS  (recipes below for items marked with an asterisk)
Note - You might have some extra winter squash.  Bake or steam it, scoop out the flesh and mash it.  This can be used in baking cakes, cookies, quick or yeast bread or custards.  I like to stir a little mashed winter squash into polenta for added color, flavor and nutrition.

1.  New England boiled dinner*; Indian pudding*.   As soon as I opened my box this week I thought "boiled dinner"!  This dish calls for potatoes, onions, carrots, beets, cabbage and turnips.  I think you could try substituting black radish for turnip.
New England dinner

2.  New world stew, cole slaw and cornbread.  Saute chopped onion, garlic, peppers, 3 cups of cubes of peeled uncooked winter squash in some oil.  Add about 3 cups canned tomatoes with their juice (or fresh if you have them), chopped and 3 cups of cooked pinto beans.  Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until all vegetables are cooked through.  Add extra water or broth if more liquid is needed.  Amounts of vegetables can be varied as you wish.  Serve over rice or other grain with chopped fresh cilantro as a garnish.  (Or add cilantro near the end of cooking).  A handful of chopped peanuts might taste pretty good with this stew.

New world stew and coleslaw
3.  Mixed green salad with sliced or grated radish, hard boiled or poached egg and mustardy vinaigrette;  Spaghetti squash tossed with olive oil, sauteed garlic, parmesan; bread  Bake the squash and then scrape out the flesh - it will be in little pasta like strings.  Mix with sauce as you would any pasta.
Bake spaghetti squash and use like pasta
 4.  Rice, beans and tortillas with "the works" -- grated cheese, sour cream, fresh lime, radish salad (finely chop radish, garlic, peppers, red onion, cilantro, hot peppers and mix with a little lime juice or red wine vinegar and oil.
Radish salad
5.  Curried potatoes, carrots and squash* with rice; raita (yogurt, chopped cilantro and onion), some side dishes with raisins and cashews to sprinkle on the curry would be nice, too.
These vegetables would make a lovely curry

6.  Pasta with beet greens*, bread, mixed green salad, pears poached in spiced red wine
Beet greens are great sauteed with garlic in olive oil

New England boiled dinner
a 3 pound lean beef brisket or corned beef
onions, peeled and quartered or halved
potatoes, quartered
beets, whole unless very large
carrots, cut into chunks
turnips (or winter radish) peeled and cut into chunks
cabbage, cut into wedges
salt and pepper to taste
prepared horseradish or mustard or both
melted butter
Put meat into a large pot of water - enough to barely cover the meat.  Bring to a boil, turn down and simmer 3-4 hours until meat is fork tender.  Add all vegetables except the beets and simmer about 1/2 hour or until tender.  Cook beets separately, then peel.  Remove meat, slice and arrange on a platter surrounded by vegetables. If desired, pour some melted butter over the vegetables.  serve with horseradish or mustard on the side.

Indian Pudding
2 cups milk
1/4 cup yellow corn meal
1/2 cup light molasses
1 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/8 t. salt
1 egg
 1 cup cold milk

Heat 2 cups milk until almost boiling.  Slowly add cornmeal, while stirring and cook for 15 minutes until thickened.  Add molasses and seasonings.  Beat egg in small bowl - add a little of the hot cornmeal mixture to prevent the egg from curdling and add egg to cornmeal, whisking until blended.  Pour cornmeal mixture into a greased baking dish.  Let sit undisturbed for 15 minutes.  Then pour one cup cold milk over all, do not stir.  Bake in a 300 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours or until set in the middle.  Good served with whipped cream.  Applesauce would also be good.

Curried potatoes, carrots and squash
Peel and cut carrots, potatoes and squash into medium chunks - about 8 cups vegetables in total.  Also chop about 1 cup onion and mince 3-4 cloves garlic.    Saute vegetables, including onions and garlic,  in 2-4 T. oil along with our favorite curry seasoning (curry powder, canned curry paste or mixture of spices such as mustard seed, cumin, fresh ginger and turmeric.) and about 1 t. salt for about 5 minutes.  Add water, coconut milk or a mixture.  Add more or less depending on how much sauce you want.  Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender.  Sometimes I add about a cup of red lentils along with the vegetables for extra protein.  They cook fast - right along with the vegetables.

Beet greens and pasta
Wash beet greens well, cut off stems.  Cut greens into strips.  Heat olive oil in a large pan and gently cook chopped garlic - about 2 cloves per serving and thinly sliced red onion.   Stir in the beet greens and cook for a few more minutes, stirring every so often.  Cover pan and cook a few minutes more to assure that the beet greens will be tender.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Toss with cooked pasta,  adding a bit more oil and a little pasta cooking water if needed.  Serve with grated cheese.  Diced boiled or roasted beets could also be tossed with the pasta.  A splash of balsamic vinegar at the table is a nice touch.  If you don't have enough beet greens, you can add kale to this dish as well.  Cook it as you would the beet greens (remove the tough central rib of each leaf.)

1 comment:

  1. I love the meal groupings of box contents! If only I could be so organized (or perhaps so decisive!) Thanks for another great "Inspiration" post.