Weeks Four & Five: Garlic Scape Hummus & Quinoa Tabouli

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Hummus is one of those foods that I can’t get enough of, but I’m rarely motivated enough to make from scratch. Why bust out the food processor when you can just buy a little tub of Sabra, right?

I’ll tell you why in three simple words: Garlic Scape Hummus.

I’ve been having so much fun experimenting with garlic scapes in everything since we got them in our week four basket, but this is far and away the best use of garlic scapes I came up with. Combine that with the deliciously fresh tabouli I made from the curly parsley in our week five basket, and you have an incredible lunch for the whole week.

I ate this on crackers, served with sliced turnips from our week six basket, on top of a bed of salad greens, and slathered all over the carrots from our week seven basket! Please make this for yourself, and don’t delay.  Continue reading

Week Three: Cilantro-Lime Lentils

In my week three basket, I had a giant bunch of delicious cilantro to work with, on top of cilantro from my own garden.

Loving lime like I do, I thought that trying out a batch of cilantro-lime rice would be tasty and a good way to use up all of that cilantro at once. But I’d rather eat something a bit more nutritious and filled with protein, since I won’t be eating meat with it. And since I’ve already regaled you with several tales of quinoa, I decided to experiment with using lentils instead.

The result was delicious on its own, but really shines as a flavorful topping on all of the salads I’ve been eating with the crisp greens that are also in our baskets every week. And lentils are just so good for you and so filling!

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Cilantro-Lime Lentils

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown or green lentils
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB vinegar
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Rinse the lentils under cold water. Place the lentils in a medium saucepan and add enough cold water to cover by 3 inches. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
Meanwhile, zest and juice the lime, and put both in a large mixing bowl. Add the diced green onions, olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.

When they are done, drain the lentils and rinse in cold water, and drain again well. Place lentils in the large bowl and toss with the rest of the ingredients. Chop the cilantro and mix into the salad. Serve the salad as a dish on its own, or add to a bed of lettuce with dressing and other veggies.

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Do you like lentils? What is your favorite use of cilantro?

Week Two: Spanakopita Bites

Last weekend, we threw a housewarming party for our new place / birthday party for my brother. It was a Friday night, the night before my next CSA basket pick-up, and I was eager to use up the spinach that had been bumped to the bottom of the list all week because spinach is easy to use and a vegetable I’m already really familiar with, so less exciting. It also used up the rest of my green onions, which was good, because we got more this week! Not that I’m complaining, green onions are super versatile and delicious.

So Spanakopita Bites were on the menu! They’re a fave finger food of mine because they’re very simple and always a crowd-pleaser. Sure enough, they were the first thing gone at the party. Take that as you will.

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Spanakopita Bites

Recipe adapted from What’s Cookin, Chicago?

Ingredients:

  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 10 green onions, chopped
  • 5-6 cups chopped spinach
  • 6 ounces feta cheese
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 pound phyllo, thawed
  • 6 TBs butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sauté chopped green onions in 1 TB olive oil over medium heat until softened, 1 to 2 minutes.

Mix spinach, feta, cottage cheese, egg, and cooked onions in medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cut the phyllo dough into 2 inch by 2 inch squares and stack them up for easy use.

Prepare muffin pan by brushing butter in each well. Place 1-2 squares of phyllo dough into each well and form into a cup shape. Brush with more melted butter and add 1-2 more squares of phyllo dough into each well. Repeat once more to have 4-6 total phyllo squares in each well. Fill each well with spinach mixture and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

 

What are your favorite ways to use up spinach? This one was a major hit with my friends! We got more spinach this week, so I’m sure you’ll be seeing more ideas coming up 🙂

Week One and Two Bonus Ideas!

The fancy recipes I’ve been sharing on this blog are great, but sometimes all you have the time or energy for is throwing something quick together. One of my favorite (and unexpected!) benefits of being in the PLG CSA is that I have so many greens to get through every week that it’s forcing me to incorporate more produce into just about every meal. So good for me!

So here’s a round-up of what I’ve been doing with my CSA vegetables when I only have the inclination to throw something quick together, but still want to eat some delicious veggies.

Saute kale and chickpeas with some leftover Peanut-Lime Dressing:

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Frozen veggie burger brought to life with leftover caramelized onions, mesclun mix, and Arugula Pesto:

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Saute whatever greens you have extra of that week and eat them in your pasta:

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I’m a big fan of the cheese sandwich for an in-a-hurry lunch, so just add some mesclun to that and make a side salad to go with it:

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How do you incorporate CSA share veggies into your quick meals?

Week Two: Couscous Salad with Roasted Hakurei Turnips

Hooray, week two! I’ve used up pretty much all of my week one produce, except for a little bit of salad greens that I’ll polish off throughout the week. Pleased to have used everything in a delicious way with absolutely no waste, and excited to get a start on week two!

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Turnips are a vegetable I previously relegated to bland sounding soups and the cute little clip art in this blog header. But when I picked up this week’s basket, there were these beautiful little white Hakurei Turnips that I was eager to try out, since one of the most exciting parts of being in this CSA is cooking with new-to-me vegetables.

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I searched for recipe inspiration and found this little gem. I never have to be sold on couscous, love throwing chickpeas into every dish for more protein, and I added feta for cheesy goodness. Because tagging my recipe blog posts is quickly teaching me that I have what definitely borders on a feta obsession. Is there any dish that isn’t made better by adding feta? When my brother tried this dish, he said, “This is really good and filling…I think the feta is what really pulls it all together.” Indeed 🙂

Couscous Salad with Roasted Hakurei Turnips

Adapted from NotEatingOutinNY.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch hakurei turnips and greens
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup feta
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 cup diced green onions
  • Juice and zest from 2 lemons
  • 4-5 TB olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Trim turnip greens off, leaving a short piece of the stems attached. Quarter the turnips and finely chop the greens.

Toss the turnips with 1 TB olive oil, salt and pepper, and chili flakes. Roast for 5-10 minutes, or just until lightly browned. Flip and continue roasting another 3-5 minutes. Meanwhile, cook your couscous according to package directions.

Heat 2 TB olive oil over medium-high flame and add garlic. Once fragrant, add the turnip greens and chickpeas, sprinkle with salt & pepper. Sautee until just wilted, 3-4 minutes.

Combine the green onions with the couscous and greens. Add lemon juice and zest, an extra TB of olive oil, feta, and salt & pepper to taste. Serve with the roasted radishes on top.

 

Have you ever cooked with turnips before? How did you use them?

Week One: Cajun Corn and Radish Side Salad

I’m a little behind on finishing up my week one produce, since I’m still getting the hang of using so many veggies each week! I’ve been so thrilled with how having this much produce to use has forced my diet to be so well-rounded and full of vegetable goodness, though. No complaints here!

I used a few radishes sliced into salads this past week, but wanted to make something a little more interesting with most of them to give my little radishes a chance to shine. Since I’ve never bought radishes before, I thought they deserved that 😉

This delightful and refreshing Cajun Corn and Radish Side Salad does not disappoint! Even though it’s simplicity itself, both my corn-hating husband and I were gobbling it up. And the fun thing is that you could totally adapt it to fit pretty much any extra produce you want to eat — add cucumbers, green peppers, onions…whatever sounds good to you! Throw this easy peasy side salad together and enjoy with a sandwich or hot dog, if you’re a meat eater.

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Cajun Corn and Radish Side Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 can corn (or 4 fresh corn cobs cooked with corn trimmed off)
  • 8 radishes halved and sliced
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • 3 TB lime juice
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Toss all ingredients together, mix to combine, and serve as a refreshing side dish!

This dish is so utterly perfect for summer with its crisp and tangy taste, with a nice little kick from the cajun seasoning. You’ll probably hear this a lot this summer, but my husband, who isn’t particularly into vegetables, gobbled this up and exclaimed, “Wow, I guess I really like radishes! Who knew?”

Success.

Week One: Quinoa with Radish Green Pesto

After picking up our very first CSA basket of produce this past weekend, I was excited to plan out some delicious meals with unique takes on our giant haul of leafy greens (and radishes!).

I did some research and discovered that radish greens are edible, but that they only keep for a day or two in the fridge. So the radish greens were up first!

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Most people buy radishes and discard the tops, but after my experimentation with them this week, I’d have to say that doing so is a mistake. They have a slightly bitter taste, but are delicious and a versatile green that you don’t get to eat often.

Being the lover of pesto that I am, I decided to make a radish green pesto. And I’m so glad I did! It is delicious, and a great way to use up those radish greens quickly before they wilt.

IMG_4907If you love pesto like I do, I highly recommend saving your radish greens and making a pesto out of them to use on anything from quinoa to pasta to a sandwich spread! I decided to combine my love of pesto with my love of quinoa! I simply sautéed the few remaining radish greens left over from my pesto, and made this into simple and healthy meal.

Quinoa with Radish Green Pesto

Ingredients:

For the Pesto:

  • 2 large handfuls of radish greens, including stems
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
  • 1/8 cup almonds or pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Lemon zest of one lemon and juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Quinoa:

  • Handful radish greens (I also added a handful of spinach to mine for more greens!)
  • Cup of uncooked quinoa
  • Water or vegetable stock
  • Clove garlic
  • TB butter
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 3 TB Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup Radish Green Pesto

Combine all Pesto ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pulse until blended.

Cook quinoa according to package instructions, either in water or vegetable stock. I use my rice cooker for this purpose, and it works great. While the quinoa is cooking, sauté remaining radish greens (and spinach, if desired) in TB butter with a clove of garlic. Turn off heat on radish greens and add cooked quinoa, lemon juice, parmesan, and Radish Pesto. Stir to combine and enjoy!

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Have you ever eaten radish greens before? What’s your favorite way to eat them?