Wednesday, September 14, 2011

CSA Cookin'

Kale. It's one of my favorite foods, and it's incredibly good for you. Did you know that one cup of cooked kale contains over 1300% of the RDA for vitamin K and almost 200% of the RDA for vitamin A? It also contains vitamin C, manganese, fiber, calcium, potassium, magnesium, folate, vitamins B6, B2, and B1, iron, protein, and phosphorus. It provides over 10,000 mcg of beta carotene and over 23,000 mcg of lutein. Talk about nutritious and delicious!
The kale. Washed, dried, and ready to use!
Considering how healthy, tasty, and versatile it is, I was delighted to discover a bunch of Red Russian Kale in my CSA share yesterday. I had to use it up quickly and didn't have many ingredients around the house, so I made my old standby: Sweet and Spicy Kale Chips.
Here's how you can make them too: De-stem and chop one bunch of kale into whatever size pieces you want. Whisk together 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons agave nectar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne (depending on how hot you like them). Massage dressing into kale and spread into single layer on mesh dehydrator trays. Dehydrate at 105 until they're nice and crispy! I like to flip mine after about halfway through to "cook" them more evenly. I don't have a picture of the finished product because Clint and I ate them too quickly!

Mounds of arugula came in the CSA as well! (There's a little basil in the photo too.) I'm not a huge arugula fan and again, needed to use it quickly, so I made it into a pesto that I plan to use on pizza later this week. The rough recipe came from the Roots Farm Blog, but I didn't really measure or follow it exactly. I like to just make pesto to taste.
I threw the arugula/basil mix, olive oil, walnuts, garlic, and a little salt into the food processor and processed till it was the right consistency. I did NOT use the nutritional yeast they recommended because it's not a whole food, and I don't think pesto needs it. They had it in there because it's a vegan recipe, but I'm not a vegan so I put a tiny bit of parm in there instead.
That whole mound of greens made just one little 8 oz container of pesto! I bet it will be tasty on a pizza with mushrooms, tomatoes, and onions!

We also got French Breakfast Radishes in this week's share. I'm not a real big fan of radishes either, but they're so gorgeous I had to give them a chance.
I tried another recipe from the Roots Farm Blog, Sauteed Radishes with Radish Greens. Cooking radishes makes them a little less bitter, and the result was edible. I didn't love it; I didn't hate it, but I was at least able to eat a serving of the dish.

We got MORE okra this week too! I really didn't know what to do with it this time, so I just poked them onto skewers, brushed them with some olive oil, sprinkled them with salt, and grilled them!
When they came off the grill I added a squeeze of lemon juice. Again, the recipe came from the Roots Farm blog. Grilling okra is the way to go! I will definitely do that again.

Finally, I made Honey Garlic Grilled Eggplant with the single eggplant I got yesterday. No photos of that, but it was yummy! A great alternative to any other eggplant dish I've ever had, which all seem to be fairly similar.

Well, I hope this lengthy post gives you some ideas for your late summer produce and inspires you to eat more local, seasonal produce as well!

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