Week One Five:Chop and Drop One Pot Wonders and More!

This week we have a fabulous recipe from a special guest blogger:
 
Theresa Z master of letting necessity, intuition, and blind faith take the meal by the spatula.
The scenario: Didn’t have time to take in this week’s share and about 1/2 peck of tomatoes ended up in the fridge (which really diminished their flavor) with a banana pepper, 4 carrots, 1 cup broccoli, a red onion and one wilty bok choy. OY!
 
Step 1: Make Rice! This is always a good starting place with cooking. It gives you a little time to brainstorm and guarantees you won’t  go hungry, even if everything else goes up in flames.*
*Note: if your other dishes do go up in flames, this may affect cooking times. 
 
Step 2: Decide that it’s ok to make two completely distinct meals, and share some for lunches! 
 
Today’s recipes are for: Long Shot Tomato Restoration and Lentil Soup for Later. 
 
Step 3: Bring 2 cups lentils to a boil in 8-10 cups of water or broth. If water, add 2 Tbsp soup base (vegan or chicken stock) when the water is hot, reduce to a simmer and let it be for 30 minutes. 
 
Step 4: This is your opportunity to chop everything up (If you really want to stretch the recipe with soo many vegetables–feel free to add another cup or two of water)
1/2 cup chopped broccoli
1/2 cup variety of pole beans
4 carrots, sliced
1 large heirloom tomato– big pieces
1 large red onion (any onion will do)- chopped as you like
 
Step 5: Saute the onion in a pan with olive oil (on medium heat) till golden.
 
Step 6: Once the lentils are fairly tender (at about 20 min) add broccoli, carrots, beans and cook for a bit til tender as well.
 
Step 7: Turn off the heat and add tomatoes, 1/2 bok choy, and 1/2 of your onion
 
Step 8: Now that you’ve got your lentil soup together–let the tomatoes and bok choy get into the mix and turn your attention to the beautiful chaos that is the “stirfry”
 
Step 9: Forget about Step 8
 
Step 10: To saute onions, ad broccoli, boy choy, and anything else that did not make it into your lentil soup. Chop Up banana pepper/red peppers- toss ’em in. Add as many tomatoes as you can. 
 
Step 11: Add more olive oil to coat veggies and 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar and a dollop of anything fun you can find in the fridge (1 found caramelized onion and cherry chutney! Wow! 2 Tbsp teriyaki (or two shakes ) will do )
You can stop right there, or add all of those  groundswell tomatoes and bring back their amazing Groundswell flavor. 
That’s right, just dump them all in and heat ’em up.
 
Step 12: Don’t forget about the rice! It should be just about perfect for your stovetop masterpiece. 
 
x0x0 ,
the “Chef”
 
I tried the lentil stew and stir fry…AMAZING! Thanks Theresa Z. ! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Katie’s kale with peanut sauce
Katie brought this to the weed & feed this year. It’s lick-the-pan delicious!
recipe from Simply in Season
 
1 medium onion
2-3 cloves garlic minced
In a large soup pot saute in 1 Tbsp oil
 
1 medium tomato (diced; optional)
Add and simmer 2-4 minutes
 
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt or to taste
1/8 tsp ground cloves
Add, cook and stir 2 minutes.
 
Kale, 8 cups chopped
1/2 cup water
Add and steam until greens are soft but not mushy. Avoid overcooking. Stir occasionally to coat greens with the spices.
 
2-3 Tbsp chunky peanut butter
1-2 tsp hot water
Combine and add to greens at end of cooking time.
 
Tuscan Style Poached Eggs with Chickpeas
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
5 large heirloom tomates, large diced (you can blanch to remove skins if you want) As you can see below I used yellow tomatoes.
1 1/2 cup chickpeas, cooked
1 sprig fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large farm fresh eggs
1 Tbs. chopped fresh chives 
1 Tbsp chopped basil
Lots of freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
Toasted Pita, for mopping up the tomatoes with 
 
 Heat a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and garlic. Cook the garlic, stirring often, until it begins to turn light golden brown, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and thyme and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes cook down and the sauce thickens slightly, about 12 minutes. Discard the thyme sprigs and season the mixture liberally with salt and pepper. Stir in the chickpeas and simmer until they are heated through. Reserve about one-third of the sauce in a bowl and spread the remaining sauce evenly around the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium low, crack the eggs into the tomato sauce, and lightly spoon the reserved tomato sauce over the whites of the eggs (not on the yolks). Cover the pan and cook for 3 minutes so the eggs set slightly. Uncover the skillet and set it under the broiler until the yolks firm up slightly but are still soft to the touch, about 2 minutes. 
 
Broccoli Salad
recipe adapted from Simply in Season
 
1 head broccoli florets (about 1.5 cups)
handful dried cherries (or cranberries or raisins, but cherries is the best by far)
5 slices Bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 scallions diced or (1/4 cup red onion, chopped)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (or chopped pecans or both!)
Toss in a bowl
 
Dressing: Whisk together 1/2 cup plain yogurt (or mayo), 1 tbsp sugar, a good drizzle of honey (about 1 tbsp) and  1 tbsp cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar).
 
Pour dressing over salad. Toss to coat. Serve.
 
 
Freezing basil with oil
Tom told me about this method of freezing basil. It’s super quick and easy and eliminates the need to make the whole pesto recipe now…
Per plastic lined muffin tin (see picture):  in a food processor add 4 cups basil, pulse to combine. Drizzle in 1/2 cup olive oil with motor running. Place the pesto in the muffin tin cup and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining basil. Pop this in the freezer. When frozen, unwrap and place in a zip lock bag.
Now you just have to take out one and add the remaining pesto ingredients as you want through the winter!
This can also be done in ice cube trays without the plastic wrap, but I couldn’t find mine.
 
Minestrone
recipe adapted from The New Moosewood Cookbook
 
 
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
splash of dry white wine (about 1/4 cup), optinal
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 stalk celery, minced
2 carrots, diced
1 summer squash or zucchini, diced
1 medium sized eggplant, diced
2 tsp fresh oregano, minced
1 tbsp basil, stacked rolled and thin sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
handful green beans, ends trimmed, chopped
5 cups water (more if desired)
30 oz tomato sauce (or puree) about 4 cups
1.5 cups cooked beans   such as chickpeas, kidney beans, adzuki beans…
1 cup dry small pasta  such as shell
minced parsley
 
Heat olive oil in a dutch oven. Add onion, garlic, celery, and carrot salt and saute over medium heat for ab0ut 10 minutes. Splash in some white wine, if desired. Add eggplant, bell pepper, zucchini, mushrooms, oregano and basil. Saute a few more minutes. Add water and tomato sauce. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Add green beans and cooked beans. Simmer another 5 minutes. Bring soup to a boil, add pasta, stir and cook until pasta is tender. Sprinkle with parsley and parmesan cheese.
You can freeze this as well.
 
Parsley Root Lentil Stew
So, parsley root is parsley on top and parsnip root on bottom (basically, in a cooking sense anyway). It’s best to remove the parsley from the top when you get home to maintain freshness.
recipe adapted from Mariquita Farm
 
1 lb  Dried lentils, -washed and drained
2 tbsp bacon drippings, -or oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 parsley root or parnsip, chopped
3 md Carrots, sliced
1 c  Sliced fennel or  celery
2 medium potatoes, cubed
1 lb smoked -sausage, chopped
8 c  Broth (or Water)
1 t Salt to or to taste
Several whole black pepper-corns
2  Whole cloves
2  Bay leaves
In a large pot, heat fat and add carrots, root vegetable, onions and celery. Saute until onions are golden. Add potatoes and sausage. Saute until sausage begins to brown. Add lentils, water, and seasonings. Simmer covered 1 hour until lentils and vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaves.  Serve with a crusty bread and salad. 
This is great frozen and pulled out in the dead of winter!
 
Caponata
This Sicilian Dish is one of my all time favorite late summer dishes: sweet, salty, sour, and a hint of bitterness, what’s not to love. All parts of your palette are touched upon each bite. Great over grilled bread, on crackers, served with polenta and my favorite way is tossed with pasta and topped with cheese.
 
2 tablespoons olive oi
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 green pepper, seeded and diced
1 hot pepper, seeded and chopped
1 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 medium firm eggplant, diced
1/2 cup large green olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup Kalamata black olives, pitted and chopped
1 3 oz  jar capers, drained
3/4 cup golden raisins
Salt, Pepper
1 quart dice tomatoes (or 4 cups fresh tomatoes, skinned, blanched and chopped)
2 large fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Place your cutting board near the stovetop. Preheat a big, deep pot over medium heat. Add oil. As you chop vegetables (peppers, onion, and celery), add them to the pot. Add eggplant and garlic last. Once vegetables are in there, increase heat a bit. Stir in olives, capers, and raisins. Add tomatoes to the pot and stir caponata well to combine. Cover pot and cook caponata 15 to 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Stir in parsley and remove pan from heat.
 
 
If you are making Caponata Pasta Bake: while cooking veg, cook pasta (I like Rigatoni or Penne). When Caponata and Pasta are cooked, stir together and place in a 9x13pan. Top with slices of provolone cheese (8oz). Place in a preheated oven until the cheese melts. YUM
 
Polenta Bake
I do so love making fresh creamy polenta (recipe coming soon), but during the busy weeknights, I admit to sometimes buying the premade tubed polenta.This is a great hearty quick weeknight dish!
1 16oz tube refrigerated prepared polenta, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 package Italian Sausage, Casings removed
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 red or white onion
8oz sliced mushrooms, optional
2 large garlic cloves
Fresh chopped oregano
1 quart diced tomatoes (or 4 cups fresh tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
8oz shredded mozzarella
Preheat Oven to 450 degrees
Arrange polenta slices in the bottom of a 9×13 pan coated with cooking spray (or oil). Bake the polenta slices 4 minutes, flip and bake another 4 minutes.
Coat a large skillet with a little oil over medium high heat. Add the sausage and fennel seeds. Cook for a few minutes until sausage is just beginning to brown. Add the peppers and onion, cook until beginning to soften. Add mushrooms and cook. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add oregano, tomatoes and tomato paste. Cook until sauce is heated through and beginning to thicken.
Pour sauce over polenta and top with cheese. Place in the oven until cheese is melted.
 
Stella’s Polish Sauerkraut
1 lb bacon, sliced into strips
1 onion, sliced thin
1 large head of cabbage, shredded thin
1 quart sauerkraut (recipe coming soon)
2 cups chicken broth
1 lb kielbasa, sliced into bite sized chunks
Cook the bacon and onions in a large pot until cooked through. Start adding the cabbage.  Let cook for awhile until all is cooked down. Add the kielbasa and allow to brown a bit. Now add the sauerkraut and chicken broth. Let simmer at least 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
This can be frozen after cooked and cooled.
 
Slow Roasted Tomatoes
 
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Halve 10 medium sized tomatoes (plum sized). Arrange tomatoes cut side up, in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1 tsp sugar.  Roast 1 hour 30 minutes. At the end turn on the broiler and cook until just starting to char a very little.
 
Serving Suggestion: cook 1/2 lb gemelli pasta. In a fry pan coated with oil add 1 small diced onion, 1 minced garlic clove, and 2 oz chopped dry cured meat (such as salami) optional cook until onion is translucent and salami is crisp. Toss the slow roasted tomatoes into the pan and let simmer a few minutes. Toss this with the pasta and top with a generous heap of parmesan cheese. If basil is available, this is great on top as well with a squeeze of fresh lemon.
 
Oven Dried Tomatoes
Cut small tomatoes in half. Place halves on a rack over a baking sheet, make sure it doesn’t overlap. Sprinkle with a little kosher salt. Place in a 140 degree oven that has a dehydration mode (or in a dehydrator tray). 
Now the time will vary. I’ve had it take 9 hours once and up to 12 hours. I like to put them in before going to bed. The tomatoes will be dry, wrinkly and shriveled.
Store in a tighly sealed bag or in oil. Store the oil in the fridge. 
 
*Often while I am drying tomatoes, I’ll throw in a few herbs. Herbs only take and hour or two in. Remove the leaves from the stems, crumble, and place in a spice jar. 
 
Freezing Greens
It’s super easy to freeze greens. Simply remove thick stems. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop the greens in the pot. Simmer 2 minutes. Cool quickly (I run cold water over the greens). Dry (I place them in a strainer and then in a clean kitchen towel). Place in a freezer bag. Label. Lie the bag flat in the freezer. 
 
 
 
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This entry was posted in basil, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celery, chives, dairy free, dehydrating, eggplant, freezing, garlic, green beans, kale, parsley, parsley root, parsnips, potatoes, Preserving!, summer squash / zucchini, sweet peppers, tomato, vegan, vegetarian. Bookmark the permalink.

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