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CSA week 5 Featuring Cabbage

Thursday, June 21, 2012

This week our bounty included: Green Cabbage, Broccoli, red onions, collards, peas, green and red leaf lettuce, beets and potatoes.

Green Cabbage is a versatile food that can be eaten raw, cooked, warm and cold. according to World's healthiest foods
it can help in lowering cholesterol. Which is good news, especially for my husband who battles with high cholesterol.

"Cabbage can provide you with some special cholesterol-lowering benefits if you will cook it by steaming. The fiber-related components in cabbage do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they've been steamed. When this binding process takes place, it's easier for bile acids to be excreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol levels. Raw cabbage still has cholesterol-lowering ability, just not as much as steamed cabbage."

Steamed Cabbage is one of my favorites! Although I tend to prefer Red cabbage, green works just as well. Steam your cabbage to a wilted (although not soggy) consistency and place on a plate to the side. This topped with mushroom ragout (pronounced Rah-go) is a quick and delicious meal but makes a quite complimentary side to beef tips if you prefer yours with meat.

Mushroom Ragout
small package of mushrooms (any variety or a melange works well)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 sprig fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup marsala wine or sherry
1/2 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons olive oil

over medium heat, heat the olive oil. When the pan is well coated add in the mushrooms and stir occassionally until browned and add in garlic. Add in the cooking sherry and gently stir for about 15 mins until alcohol is evaporated.

The consistency will become more syrupy in nature to create a glaze. If you cook with gas, tipping the pan slightly to ignite the sherry will create a flambe and burn off the alcohol quickly. Take care not to set anything on fire!

once the sherry thickens into a glaze, slowly add in the heavy cream and broth. turn down heat and continue stirring until heated thoroughly. salt and pepper to taste if you desire.

remove from heat, pour over cabbage and serve with a sprig of fresh thyme.

However with temperatures that are reaching triple digits in at least half the USA, Chef Meg's shredded cole slaw salad might be more practical

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOSER05 6/26/2012 7:12AM

    sounds good

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CSA week 4: Beets, not just for pickling

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

This week's bounty includes: Vidalia Onion, Broccoli, Mixed green lettuce, Tomatoes, green Cabbage, beets, zuchini, spring onions, peas, cilantro and a dozen of eggs. (NOTE: not all CSAs offer things other than veggies. Ours has an arrangement with other local farmers to offer a la carte items such as eggs, honey and mushrooms).

Of course, the obvious thing to make with these veggies is salad. a nice mix of lettuce, tomoato, shredded cabbage, chopped onion, and of course, grated beet. Oh yes, grated beet. Beets not only add a little color but also some sweetness to the salad. Just be sure to peel them first because the skin can be quite bitter.

Growing up, the only thing that I knew about beets was to pickle them with eggs and I never had taken a liking to this method of food storage. Vinegar to me should be used in moderation with a little oil on top of salad. Or of course for cleaning, but that is a topic for another time.

Roasting beets brings out their savory sweet flavor and can simply be used as a side. According to this New York Times article,
beets are high in folates, maganese and potassium.

Juicing is a fast and healthy way to get in your Freggies without all added sodium of canned V8 and, in my opinon, tastes much better. add in a carrot, celery, and a little granny smith apple for a tasty sweet drink. Benefits of beet juice are explained in this Natural News Article

lastly, lets not forget about those greens! Any way that you would prepare collards, kale or swiss chard - you can prepare beet greens.

Sauteed with a little onion and garlic, topped with some roasted beets, sprinkled with some feta and walnuts - well, that there is a hearty salad! So, I guess I did talk about making salad after all.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOSER05 6/26/2012 7:17AM

    I'm sick of an overload of salt in everything, I like beets

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ECOAGE 6/13/2012 10:07PM

    Yummy! Beets are one of my favorites! I would be happy to make some tempting meals with your CSA treasures.

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MARYANN2323 6/13/2012 3:30PM

    Coming from a dutch back ground, my mom would cook beets and add them to boiled potatoes and make a brilliantly red mashed potato dish. I still do this today. Oh, the memories of youth.

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BOSS61 6/13/2012 2:22PM

    Beets are not food, according to my palate. Bad childhood memories of a misguided, Borscht-loving grandmother. (You asked for a comment!...)

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CSA Week 3: Swiss Chard

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The veggie of the week for me is Swiss Chard. Oh, how I love me some Swiss Chard! emoticon

We also received Bok Choy, Parsley, Zucchini, Spring Onions, Green leaf Lettuce, Collards and Beets. I had called my neighbor, who also participates in the CSA with only a 1/4 share, to please drop the veggies by our house. I anticipated arriving home late due to the transverse of Venus across the sun. The MD Science Ctr. which is on the walk to the train station in Baltimore, opened its doors for the public to come witness the happening. I stopped in for about 20 mins or so. The entire event was lasting about 3 hours and I was not planning on staying that long.

Anyway, it was about 8PM when I entered our front door and like a child on christmas; I quickly emptied our produce box to see what goodies were inside this week. Seeing my red and green lucious love, The decision was made to make veggie lasagna.

Swiss Chard, Pine nuts, Spring Onions, Mushrooms, and garlic replaced the meatand Ricotta cheese filling. soak the pine nuts for 30-45 seconds in warm water, wilt the chard in skillet with 1/4 cup of water. drain them both and add to the blender with the other ingrediants.

NOTE: as is it makes a great Vegan lasagna because the pine nuts when blended have the same consistency as Ricotta Cheese. I do coat the top layer with some parmesan for us though because my meat loving husband likes it that way.

Since my neighbor thinks everything red and green is Rhubarb, emoticon, I explain the difference to her. She likes the idea of the lasagna so we combined chard and she will get a healthy slice of the finished product.

anyway, after layers of sauce, veggies and noodles and baking at 400 for 40 minutes; The house smelled wonderful and it was time for bed.

Guess what is for dinner tonight? emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHYLISA 6/19/2012 9:21PM

    I love swiss chard as well but I don't make it often since I am the only one who will eat it ! Your lasagna sounds yummy !

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BIGMAMAT 6/6/2012 11:17AM

    Sounds yummmy! I love how pretty swiss chard is, but I never knew what to do with it. emoticon

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YELLOWDAHLIA 6/6/2012 10:23AM

    aaahh, swiss chard! Love it too! My mom always grew lots of it in her garden and I loved even as a little kid. Of course she sauteed it with bacon and onions back then. I saute it in zero cal butter spray now.

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CSA: week 2 Featuring Mint

Thursday, May 31, 2012

this week's pickup brought us Collards, Radishes, Fresh Mint, Asparagus, spring mix salad, and green leaf lettuce.

So of course, everyday we have had fresh salad in the refridgerator for dinner and lunch. My husband bought a roasted chicken from Costco which he has sliced up and added to his salad bowl. Baltimore MD weather over Memorial holiday weekend has been in the high 80's with high humidity. We turned on our AC for the first time this year and nothing; Fan runs but no cool air. So for the last few days, we have been living off whatever is in the refridgerator and not using the stove/oven.

The fresh mint has been refreshing in Iced Tea but this week was also "female" week and the added bonus of a natural muscle relaxer has kept me from totally being Ms. Cranky pants every night which makes my husband very happy. Mint tea is best consumed AFTER a meal. It aids in digestion but if drank on an empty stomache will stimulate appetite.

"As for the garden of mint, the very smell of it alone recovers and refreshes our spirits, as the taste stirs up our appetite for meat" - Pliny the Elder

Other uses for Mint include natural bug spray. It doesn't last as long as the chemically filled Deet sprays but in the long run, much better for your well being. Easy recipes can be found here.


CSA week 1 Rhubarb: not just for desserts

Friday, May 25, 2012

This week started our CSA delivery and in it we received rhubarb.

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and it is an agreement between members of the local communtiy and a small farm. The members pay the farm upfront for a season's worth of vegetables and fruits that are delivered to a location and picked up by the members. Each week, the members will receive a share of locally grown produce. The CSA season usually lasts between May-Nov.

I have had all types of baked goods with rhubarb in them but really wanted something more savory without all the carbs. After searching the web, I came up with the Spring Rhubarb Potage with Potato. It is an easy recipe and very enjoyable. The stew is creamy with a tart taste.

My recipe can be viewed here:
the original recipe used chicken stock and bay leaves. I have taken out the chicken and added in homemade vegetable broth to make it vegetarian although not vegan and replaced the bay leaves with fresh thyme.

For a bowl serving (1-1/2 cups) it is less than 200 calories. A hearty bread such as onion or pumpernickle makes a good compliment to this potage.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BIKEBALTIMORE 5/25/2012 11:56AM

    Thanks for this savory recipe for rhuburb! Enjoy your CSA bounty. emoticon

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