Cooking with Color

This week I banished the winter blues (er, greens) by making a vegetable casserole with colorful (but boring if solo) veggies: purple cabbage, red onions, kale and carrots.

Start with chopped veggies – saves time if you do it ahead.

Saute the onions in olive oil until soft. Add kale, cabbage and carrots and steam, covered, until kale and cabbage are tender.

Cover with bread crumbs (mixed with butter and parmesan) and bake until golden brown. I skipped the tofu!

Original recipe available at http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Vegetable-Casserole-with-Tofu-Topping-109451.

Starting Fresh

Fresh produce from @FarmFreshtoYou = healthy weekend kick-off. Tonight I went to work in the kitchen, chopping up all the seasonal veggies I could get my hands on for dinner. David and I both ate pretty decadently this week (hello, In-n-out) so we thought it was a good night to start fresh.

First, I shredded a head of cabbage, reserving two bowls’ worth for the base of a pseudo farmer’s market salad. Next, I chopped up tomatoes and walnuts, sliced two carrots, and diced an avocado. And a salad in the Jackson house isn’t complete without dried cranberries and Ranch. ūüėČ

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Meanwhile, I steamed fresh corn on the cob and roasted a combo of fingerlings and sweet potatoes on a makeshift foil “tray” in the oven. I only had two sweet potatoes, so I mashed them up with ricotta and brown sugar. The fingerlings were delicious with a bit of olive oil and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper.

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No guilt this Friday night! And it probably cost less than $10 given it was half my delivery from Farm Fresh to You.

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Stocking Up

Last month I made vegetable-based stock for use in soups, meat and other dinners¬†to add¬†moisture, plus a boost of flavor. Since I haven’t been cooking this week, I thought it was the perfect night to take all the soon-to-expire veggies out of the fridge and “stock” up. This time around I boiled about 5 cups of water and added chopped onions, cabbage and kale. I added more water throughout to keep the pot¬†full, since much of the liquid is reduced during the process. Also, I added a little wine and sprinkle of salt. (By the way, just a tablespoon of the frozen stock from last month added a kick to tonight’s ground turkey. The flavor is extra concentrated.)

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Faux Vegetarian

Seasonal veggies + cleaning out the fridge = experimental vegetarian. Last week’s pre-made dinners were a breeze, and with the short holiday week I set out to create a similar outcome. I started with enchiladas,¬†which are hearty enough for three nights as a main course – and not to be mistaken¬†as healthy or¬†vegetarian! ūüėČ

From there, I had an overabundance of Capay vegetables left to deal with: butternut squash, collard greens, cabbage, carrots, and apples, oh my! I searched high and low on Epicurious and Everyday Food, and came up with the following items:

Butternut Squash, Apples and Braising Greens – An adaptation of SF chef Traci des Jardin’s recipe on Epicurious; I used butternut squash in place of sweet potatoes (based on the reviews I wasn’t the only¬†one to do so!)¬†and collard greens. I didn’t have parsley, but didn’t notice.¬†Tomorrow night, I might try blending the dish and adding it to stock to make a soup – another reader’s suggestion.

Vegetable Stock РThe perfect solution to freeze for later use! Using ideas from Martha Stewart, Sam Beall and Epicurous, I made my own hybrid by sauteeing chopped onions in olive oil, and then adding chopped cabbage, 5-6 cups of water, sliced carrots, dried oregano, a little white wine, and salt and pepper. After boiling for an hour, I strained out the veggies and brought the stock to room temperature before putting in tupperware for the freezer.

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