Season of Soup

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Seasonal soup is an easy win for the week and can be stocked in the freezer for easy access at a later date. I like to make a big pot and then break it down into smaller containers immediately. It’s important to break down large pots of anything: soups, stews, gumbo, etc. for food safety to ensure the food properly cools before being refrigerated or frozen. I’d recommend a couple of individual servings for easy lunch and 2-4 servings per frozen container.

I picked up some seasonal cabbage and kale from the farmer’s market and rounded out the veggie mix with mushrooms, carrots, onions and stewed tomatoes. To add smokiness, I browned a few strips of bacon to start the soup and layered on flavor with dried herbs. Check out the recipe below.

Ingredients:

2 lbs. Cabbage, raw

2 cups Kale, raw

1 lb. Organic Carrots

14 fluid ounce, Stewed Tomatoes No Salt Added

8.00 oz, Baby Bella Mushrooms

6 fluid ounce, Tomato sauce, canned, no salt added

6 cup (8 fl oz), Water – Municipal

6 Slices, Premium Bacon

1 tbsp. salt

1 tbsp. coarse Ground Black Pepper

2 tsp. Italian seasoning blend

2 tsp. red pepper flakes  or cayenne

2 cups of onion

4 cups organic Free Range Chicken Broth

 

Directions:

  1. Rinse and chop cabbage and kale. Peel and chop onion and carrots and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, brown 6 slices of bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon and add in carrots and onion and a splash of water. Turn down to medium heat and cook until softened.
  3. Add cabbage, kale, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, water and stock to the pot.
  4. Dice mushrooms and bacon and add to the pot. Add all seasonings, mix well and bring to a boil.
  5. Once boiling, reduce heat and let simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Thanksgiving Sides

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Thanksgiving brings together family with food and fun and also brings the opportunity to share gratitude. In addition to time with family we all look forward to our favorite dishes for the Thanksgiving holiday. While I am certainly looking forward to mirliton dressing, I will also prepare a healthy side to share my gratitude for health in this season. 

I fell in love with the oyster mushrooms from the Red Stick Farmers Market and wanted to share this tasty idea a side option. With multiple varieties of kale in season, I selected the tender Dino kale  and sautéed them with garlic and the mushrooms for a quick and easy side dish. You can always substitute any other mushroom of choice. Check out the recipe below.

In addition to this recipe, the savory sweet potato dishes in my last post would also make great seasonal sides. I challenge you to make a healthy dish and add it to the mix this Thanksgiving. Be sure to share your creations!

Sautéed Kale and Mushrooms

Ingredients:

4 cups of Kale

2 cups of oyster mushrooms diced

6-8 cloves of garlic minced

1 tbsp. Olive oil

1/2 cup of water

1 tsp. Red pepper flakes or cayenne

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Rinse kale and slice leaves in half longwise before chopping. 
  2. Heat oil over medium heat. Peel and mince garlic  and add to oil. Add red pepper flakes.
  3. Chop mushrooms and add to garlic. Add in kale and stir well for one minute.
  4. Add water, top and reduce heat to low for 3-5 minutes or until tender.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste. 

Summer Hash

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Every now and then, I get a craving for comfort food. One of my favorites is smothered potatoes. As a kid, I was always an early riser, and since the rest of the house slept long after I did, I taught myself to make potatoes my way. While I called them hash browns, my mom always would always tell me they were smothered potatoes. It’s a great dish any time of the day and a particular favorite of mine for breakfast or brunch.

For this morning’s food demo at the Red Stick Farmer’s Market, I decided to make a healthier version with some seasonal zucchini, peppers and kale. It is great to have access to such variety all in one place. Thank you Chenier Farm for a wonderful variety of produce, and Amato’s Winery for some tasty sausage! For some added nutrients, I topped the dish with some flavorful microgreens from the Westdome Nursery. My favorite way to eat this is with a scrambled or poached egg or two. J  Be sure to share your thoughts. Enjoy!

Green Onion Sausage and Veggie Hash

Serves 4:

Ingredients:

¾ lb. fresh green onion sausage

1 cup chopped sweet onion

1 cup chopped red potato

1 cup of chopped zucchini

½ cup chopped bell pepper

½ cup of chopped banana pepper

1 cup chopped kale

1 tbsp. minced basil

1 tbsp. minced parsley

½ tsp. coarse black pepper

½ tsp. salt free sunny herb blend (red stick spice)

½ tsp. Sel de Provence (red stick spice) (optional to regular sea salt)

Directions:

1. Peel and dice the sweet onion. Place in a large skillet over medium heat with a splash of water.

2. Remove fresh green onion sausage from the casing and brown evenly.

3. Wash vegetables well and cut zucchini in half, then into long strips before dicing. Repeat with potato. In a medium pot, add vegetables with ½ cup of water. Cut peppers in half, remove seeds, then cut into strips before dicing.

4. Rinse herbs, mince and add to the pot. Add sausage and onion mixture. Cook for 10 minutes.

5. Rinse and cut chop kale. Add to pot and cook until wilted. Add seasoning and stir well.

6. Serve and enjoy.

A Bit Of Rosemary

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It was great to be part of the last Red Stick Farmers Market of the year and make a warming dish for the cool morning. It was even better to see people young and aging, try something new and for most, find something they enjoyed and would like to try making at home. Let me just say, the quality of lamb from Our Family Farm, the Fekete Farm and Morrow Farm vegetables and the spices from Red Stick Spice Company made all the difference. Since this will be my last post until the New Year, I wish you all a happy holiday season and inspiration for memorable meals. Enjoy!

Rosemary lamb and vegetable stew

1 lb. of ground lamb
1 cup of chopped carrots
1/4 cup minced shallot or 1/2 cup of yellow onion
3 tbsp chopped garlic
1 cup chopped green onion
1 1/2 cups of shredded or chopped kale
1 1/2 cups of shredded or chopped Swiss chard
1/2 cup sliced sweet peppers
1 cup fresh corn
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
1 tbsp. onion powder
1/2 tbsp. coarse black pepper
1 tbsp. whole peppercorn
1 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp. of rosemary finishing sea salt (sprinkle on each serving)
1/2 can of 14 oz diced tomato (no salt added)
4 tbsp. of tomato paste
4 cups of water

Optional garnish ingredients
1 cup of thinlyshaved turnips
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tsp. or raw sugar
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of pepper

Directions:
1. Peel and slice shallot or onion and garlic. Add, with the lamb, to a medium-sized pot over medium heat.
2. Break meat apart with a large spoon and brown evenly. Add 1 cup of the water to prevent sticking.
3. Peel and chop carrots and add to pot. Let simmer for 5 minutes and open the cans.
4. Add the diced tomato, paste and two cups of water to the pot.
5. Mince fresh rosemary and add to pot and add all seasonings except finishing salt. Stir and let simmer for 15 minutes.
6. While simmering, add sugar and rice wine vinegar to a bowl and stir until sugar dissolves. Peel two medium large turnips leaving green stems attached for stability. Score the turnip into fourths without removing the stems and then slice over the bowl using a mandolin on the thinnest setting. (If you do not have a mandolin, you can use a box grater or a potato peeler to make ribbons of turnips.) Season with salt and pepper, stir and set aside to steep.
7. Shuck and rinse corn. Cut off cob into a bowl or on the cutting board. Add to the pot.
8. Rinse a few leaves of kale and Swiss chard and rip or cut leaves from the stems. Slice into thin strips and wilt in greens one cup at a time. Add remaining water if needed. Let simmer for 5-7 minutes then plate.
9. Sprinkle a pinch of rosemary finishing salt to each plate and top with a fork full of pickled turnips.
10. Enjoy.

A Bit Of Luck

 

IMG_6052I always say I like to be inspired by the food around me and today was certainly no exception for my demo this morning with the mobile farmers market. Due to some technical difficulties I could not make my original idea of sweet potato and onion cakes with sage and top it with pickled kale. Instead I made a kale slaw with a great selection of zucchini, squash, purple turnips, and green onion. I made a simple, spicy rice wine vinaigrette to base the shredded mixture. Nothing is better than the surprise that crosses someone’s face from eating something healthy and delicious. Thank you to the wonderful staff of the LSU Health Clinic in Mid-City and everyone from the area who came by this morning. As always, please share your thoughts and like this post if you enjoy what you try.

Ingredients:
1 cup of shredded zucchini
1/2 cup of shredded squash
1 cup of thinly sliced kale ( cut in ribbons)
1/2 cup of minced purple turnips (2-3 bulbs)
1/2 cup of green onion
1 tsp sage
1 tsp salt
1 tsp coarse black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Vinagerette ingredients:
1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp coarse black pepper

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, add vinegar and sugar and mix with a whisk or fork until sugar is completely dissolved.

2. Whisk in olive oil and salt and pepper until well incorporated. (1-2 minutes)

3. Rinse the kale well and stack 3 to 5 similar-sized leaves and slice into thin ribbons before adding to the bowl with the vinaigrette

4. Using a potato peeler, remove the outside skin from the turnips.

5. Using a cheese grater, grate the turnips, zucchini and squash and put the veggies into the bowl.

6. Chop green onion and then mince it into small bits before adding it to the bowl.

7. Add seasonings and mix together thoroughly with either tongs, a spoon or by gloved hand.

8. Enjoy

Note: This can be served with the protein of your choice. I would pair it with stewed or grilled chicken, baked or seared fish or hearty pork chops.