Carrot Top Pesto

I’m growing rainbow carrots this year. The tops are greater in mass than the roots. So I’ve been working on things to do with the greens. This is by far the smartest thing I’ve come up with and it really celebrates carrot greens as a food rather than a garnish.

I used the greens from 5 big carrots. After everything was washed very well, the thick stems trimmed, and just the leafy greens used, I had about 5 handfuls or 4 cups.

In the food processor:

1/2 Cup chopped pecans
1/2 Cup quality olive oil
juice from 1 lemon (this helps the pesto retain color and develops the flavor)
2 TB sea salt

Then I added the greens 1 handful at a time and processed until smooth.

With the last handful, I added 1/4 C water. You can add more olive instead of water if you want a richer oil flavor. I used the water because I like it better.

Yield: 1 pint.

Thanks to my mother in law for sending pecans from South Georgia.

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Published in: on July 20, 2011 at 9:48 am  Comments (2)  
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Chicken with Goat Cheese Cream Sauce over Herbed Rice

This is a family favorite. I like to use boneless skinless thighs because we like dark meat. You can use breasts or chicken on the bone. Just be sure to adjust cooking times for meat on the bone. This is also a pretty budget friendly meal. It’s great served with a crisp green salad. I make it in about 30 minutes.

Start the rice:
2 C basmati rice
1/2 C slivered almonds
2 TB Summer savory
2 TB tarragon
4 C stock or water (if using water, add salt after rice is cooked to develop the flavor)

In a hot pan, toast the almonds. Stir and heat for 3 minutes until the nuts release a nice aroma. Add rice. Toast 2 minutes more. Add herbs and liquid. Stir well. Cover and reduce to low. Simmer until rice is cooked through.

For the Chicken and Sauce:

1 lb chicken pieces, rinsed and dried
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
2 oz goat cheese
olive oil

Seasoned Flour:
1/2 C brown rice flour
2 tsp black pepper
zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp salt

Heat a little oil in a large saute pan on medium high. Dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture and saute until a nice brown crust is on both sides. About 12 minutes. Remove chicken from pan.

Add onions, 2 TB olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Sweat the onions to translucent. Add mushrooms. Cook 4 minutes more. Add any leftover seasoned flour. Stir to make a roux. Add water to make a sauce, about 3/4 C. I don’t use stock here because the flavor of the seasoned flour is very intense. Then stir in the 2 oz goat cheese. Stir until smooth.

Add the chicken back to the pan. Cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve chicken and cream sauce over rice.

Green Curry Lentil Crepes with Yogurt Sauce

This is a fun entree or party food. The crepes are dryer and more sturdy than french crepes and can stand up to being a finger food.

For the Crepes:
1 C brown rice flour
1 C tapioca flour
4 eggs
1/2 C rice milk
plenty of pepper
1 tsp salt

Mix these in a blender. Scrape the sides of the blender pitcher and blend again to remove lumps and fully incorporate all the flour.

Heat crepe pan or skillet to medium high. Oil the skillet with a high temperature friendly oil like sesame, grape seed, or coconut oil. Pour about 1/3 C batter onto pan and rotate quickly to make a thin layer of batter over crepe pan. Flip when the crepe looks dry. If your crepes are thin enough, you do not need to cook them on both sides.

For the Curry Lentil Filling:
2 Cups cooked lentils, drained and rinse
2 TB green curry powder or paste
2 handfuls baby spinach

In a food processor, blend the lentils with the curry seasoning. Green curry is a blend of chili powder, green chili, ginger, garlic, cumin, lemongrass, and salt. You can make your own or buy a mix. There are many good green curry blends made from organic and fair trade spices.

Heat seasoned lentil mash over medium heat, stirring frequently. When it is heated through, remove from heat and stir in spinach. The spinach will wilt into the lentil mash. It may be easier to add the spinach in batches rather than all at once.

For the Yogurt Sauce:
I really cheated on this one. I just blended 1/3 C plain yogurt with a few squirts sriracha. You can use chili powder and salt to season your yogurt if you ran out of sriracha. But you should probably just go get more sriracha.

To Assemble:
Fill crepes with 3 TB lentil and spinach curry mix. Roll tight. Either cut into finger-food length and serve with yogurt on the side as a dipping sauce OR leave the crepes long and drizzle yogurt sauce over them for an entree presentation.

Wild Mayan Nacho Sauce

This is a fabulous cheese-free nacho recipe that all cheese lovers will appreciate. Take some super yum baked sweet potato and turn it into “cheese” sauce. Here’s how!

I made a huge tray of Nachos!

1 baked sweet potato, skin removed
1 Cup nutritional yeast
2/3 Cup filtered water
hot sauce to taste

Whisk together over medium heat until smooth. Let come to a soft bubble. Pour hot nacho sauce over any Latin delight.

My fav combo is seasoned black beans, tomatillo salsa, Wild Mayan Sauce, and chopped avocado– pictured above. This is also a great topping for bake enchiladas, toastadas, or to use as a “cheese” dip. It goes so well with black beans and looks beautiful.

Celery Apple Salad with Raw Almond “Mayo”

One of the benefits of writing about food vs. reading about food: you get to eat the dish while writing about it rather than salivating over someone’s far away food pics in a fit of hunger. This is SO GOOD!

Dice into equal pieces

1 small stalk celery- about 3 Cups
3-4 pink lady apples – about 3 Cups

Toss with the juice of 1 lemon, 1 tsp salt, and plenty of fresh ground black pepper.

Raw Almond “Mayo”

In your food processor, combine:

2-3 TB dried tarragon
1/2 Cup raw almonds
1/2 Cup olive oil
1/2 Cup raw apple cider vinegar

Pulse until creamy. Toss with apples and celery. Can be chilled over night.

Smoked almonds add a delicious zing if you prefer.

Split Lentil Crepes with Dijon Sauce

There are tons of ways to make crepes without using regular flour. Beans, legumes, and peas make a great protein source and bind crepes together splendidly. Add grilled chicken and asparagus for a perfect high-protein, high-fiber meal.

For the crepes:

1 1/2 Cups split lentils (any color will do, I like red lentils)
1 1/2 Cups filtered water
5 eggs
1/2 Cup rice flour
3 TB herbs (tarragon or herbs de provence are delicious with the mustard sauce)
1 tsp salt
1 TB black pepper

Soak lentils in water in your blender for about 30 minutes. Add eggs, flour, and herbs. Blend until smooth.

Heat crepe pan with olive oil or butter. Swirl batter through pan to thinly coat. Cook 3 minutes then flip and cook for 2 minutes. This batter will make about 12 crepes.

Crepes can be made ahead and frozen or refrigerated. Reheat in the oven covered.

Dijon Sauce

2 TB rice flour
2 TB olive oil
2/3 Cup water

4 TB Dijon mustard
3 TB red wine vinegar
juice of 1 lemon

Make a roux with the oil and flour. Add liquids and mustard. Whisk rapidly. Serve immediately.

Our Favorite Curry

This curry is so easy. The coconut milk is creamy and delicious. It keeps the chicken moist without letting the veggies lose their crunch. This meal is ready in minutes.

1 lb chicken thighs
8 oz mushrooms
8 oz carrots
4 oz sliced water chestnuts
3+ cloves garlic, minced
1 large avocado, cubed
14 oz coconut milk
1 TB sesame oil
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp black pepper
cayenne to taste

Cut chicken and veggies into bite sized pieces. Heat wok on medium high. Add EVERYTHING but avocado pieces. Cook and stir occasionally, gently for 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Stir in avocado before serving. Serve over rice.

Pear and Turkey Salad

To make a good salad add 3 yummy toppings to some lettuce: fruit, cheese, and nuts. Add some chopped meat for a high protein and filling meal salad.

Layer 1: 1 head Bibb lettuce, torn
Layer 2: 2 chopped pears
Layer 3: 1 Cup sunflower seeds
Layer 4: 1 Cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Layer 5: 2 Cups chopped turkey

I like Applegate Farms smoked deli turkey for this.

Dress with the juice of 2 fresh lemons, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Watermelon Radish and Goat Cheese Salad

Watermelon radishes are awesome. This sweet find came in my CSA box so I turned it into a salad topping to swoon over.

Layer 1: 1 head green leaf lettuce, torn
Layer 2: 1 Cup sunflower seeds
Layer 3: 1 watermelon radish, shredded
Layer 4: 1 Cup goat cheese crumbles

Dress with:

1/4 Cup red wine vinegar
1/4 Cup olive oil
1 TB raw sugar
salt and pepper

Whisk together and sprinkle over salad. Serves 2 people like me.

Tandoori Style Chicken

This is another recipe I like to use dark meat for. Legs are easy to handle and are the perfect portion for little ones. Also, our farmer’s market recently introduced a new lower-waste packaging design for local legs and wings.

Served with Lentils and Cabbage Salad

Marinade for 4 pieces of chicken:

1/3 Cup plain yogurt
1 tsp each ground coriander, cumin, fresh grated ginger, chili powder, salt, black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced

Whisk marinade in a bowl large enough to hold chicken. Mix well. The salt is very important in this marinade. It helps the meat soak up the marinade much like when brining chicken.

Score chicken pieces with a sharp knife. Coat chicken in marinade and let rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Chicken can soak for up to 6 hours.

To Cook:

Set broiler to high. Heat cast iron skillet on stove top on high heat. Add a little olive or vegetable oil to the pan. Just before oil smokes, add chicken pieces. Do not shake off marinade.

Spoon marinade over chicken carefully to avoid popping or splashing. Let chicken cook without turning for 5 minutes. Transfer skillet full of chicken to broiler for 15 minutes or until pieces are cooked through. Use a middle rack and keep your broiler closed. This creates a very hot oven without putting the chicken too close to the heat source.

** Tandoori Chicken in an Indian restaurant is usually red. If you wish to add food coloring to the marinade, go for it.

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