On Saying Little and Thinking Much

Just lately I have been thinking about how I have a lot to say.  Or at least I think I have a lot to say, which is a different animal all together.  But where to say it?  Then I remembered – I have a blog.  I’ll say it there.  Of course when I sit down to write something interesting or at least some part of what I’ve been thinking lately my mind goes blank and all I can think about is lunch.  So, unsurprisingly, I will say something about food.  I just learned that the research is showing that the best way diet can affect blood cholesterol levels is as follows:  1) take out saturated fats (think animal fats), 2) replace them with monounsaturated fats (think nuts, seeds, fish), and 3) limit sugar.  There are other important things – eat lots of fiber, get good sleep, exercise regularly, take a multi-vitamin.  But the removal of one fat and replacement with the other has been found to be pretty significant.  So I’ve been trying to eat less sugar, less cheese, and more seeds, nuts, and fish.  It isn’t hard – a handful of sunflower seeds in our dinner coleslaw, a little extra salmon in the lovely smoked salmon pie, peanut butter on toast for breakfast.  Lunch time – fish pie anyone?

More Cooking with the CSA

Another tasting, another two dishes aka what to do when you have lots of kale and beets.

Lentil Kale Pate

  • 3 medium or 4 small onions, white or yellow
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 ¼ cups lentils
  • 5 cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cut onion into thin slices, heat oil in soup pot over medium heat then add onions.  Cook, stirring often until they brown – don’t burn but let them get dark brown.  Roughly chop the kale then add to the pot along with the lentils.  Add the water then stir well.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cook on a low boil until the lentils and kale are soft.  This will take at least a couple of hours and you will probably have to stir a few times.  When the mixture is soft allow to cool a bit then puree in a food processor until smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Put into a terrine or bowl and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours.  Serve with crackers or bread.  This makes a great appetizer or sandwich spread. 

 Potato and Beet Salad

  •  2 lbs potatoes
  • 1 lb beets
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • salt and black pepper to taste

 Peel the potatoes and beets then cut into small cubes.  Put into a pot of cold water, put on the stove and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat then simmer until potatoes are soft.  The beets will be al dente.  Remove from heat and drain then cool with cold water.  Drain well then set aside for a minute.  Press and finely chop garlic.  Toss potatoes, beets, garlic, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust flavors.  Eat.



Cooking with the CSA

Tomorrow I am doing a tasting for our CSA – these two recipes.  Try them, they are delicious.

Crumbly Mixed Vegetable Quick Bread

  • 1 cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups grated fresh vegetables (beets, zucchini, carrots)
  • 3 cloves grated fresh garlic
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ cups white flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 Tbs kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs mustard seed
  • 1/2 Tbs ground black pepper

Grease 2 bread pans and preheat oven to 350.  Beat oil and eggs until thick and frothy.  Stir in vegetables and garlic.  Mix in the rest of the ingredients.  The dough will be thick, you will probably have to mix it by hand.  Divide into 2 equal parts and pat into the pans.  Bake for about half an hour, check for doneness.  This bread will stay pretty flat.  This is great as a side dish to soup or stew or served hot slathered with butter.  But then again, almost anything is good served slathered with butter.


Tangy Red Beans with Kale and Leeks

  • 1 lb dried red beans
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 bunch leeks
  • 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 Tbs paprika
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 Tbs kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar

Rinse and soak the beans (either overnight in the fridge or with a quick soak on the stove.)  Rinse then put the soaked beans in a large pot with 8 cups water and bring to a boil.  Skim off any foam, lower heat to a low boil.  Finely chop the kale and add to the pot.  Slice the leeks into a bowl of cold water and gently toss to remove all the dirt.  Drain and rinse a second time, third if needed to clean them.  Add leeks to the pot.  Cook for ~2-3 hours until beans are soft.  (The leeks and the kale will be very soft, this is good.)  Add in the spices, sugar, salt, and vinegar.  Cook at least another half hour.