Archive | July 2013

Stuffed Chard Leaves

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I love Swiss chard and can’t seem to get enough of it! I’m always looking for different ways to incorporate it into a meal. This week, the leaves of the bunch of Swiss Chard I received in my veggie box delivery were huge and perfect for stuffing.

The edamame gives this stuffing a bright, green, colour, so fitting for summer. It pairs beautifully with the sweet, roasted corn and creamy macadamia nut butter and tying it all together is nothing less than the big, bold flavour of fresh basil. It is enwrapped by the distinctness of the chard and enhanced by the little bit of cider vinegar.

I served this dish at room temperature. Edamame is a complete vegetable protein making this a complete vegan meal. I cant wait to try this as a filling for wontons and/or Chinese dumplings. It is sweet, filling, and absolutely delicious!! Happy summer.

Serves 3

Ingredients:

Chard 1 bunch (7 large leaves)
Filling:
Olive oil 1 tbsp
Garlic scapes, chopped 2
Fennel seeds 1 tsp
Edamame 2 cups
Corn, cob, roasted 1
Macadamia nut butter 3 tbsp
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Salt
Black pepper
Basil, fresh, large leaves 5
Vinaigrette:
Macadamia butter 1 tbsp
Basil oil 1 tbsp
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Dijon 1/2 tbsp
Cider vinegar 1 tsp
Salt
Black pepper
Brown rice, raw 1 cup

Directions:

  1. Cook rice according to package.
  2. Grill or steam the corn. Using a knife, remove kernels from cob.
  3. In a medium pot, with boiling water, cook edamame 3-5 minutes according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  4. In the same pot, blanch chard for 3 minutes. Remove from boiling water and transfer immediately to an ice bath. When chard is cool, remove from ice bath and set on some kitchen cloths to dry. Remove, chop, and reserve chard stems.
  5. In a small pan, over medium heat, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add scapes and chopped chard stems. Saute for 3-4 minutes. Add fennel seeds, salt, and black pepper and continue to cook until stems are cooked and caramelized, approximately another 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  6. In a food processor, combine cooked chard mixture, edamame, corn, macadamia nut butter, 2 tbsp of olive oil, salt, black pepper, and basil leaves. Adjust seasoning according to taste.
  7. Place 1/3 cup of filling on one end of a chard leaf. Fold over sides and roll until entire leaf is folded. Continue with remaining 6 chard leaves.
  8. To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, combine the macadamia butter, basil oil, olive oil, Dijon, cider vinegar, salt, and black pepper and combine well.
  9. To plate, divide the rice between 3 plates. Top with 1-2 stuffed chard leaves (for lunch I serve 1 stuffed chard, for dinner, I serve 2). Drizzle with vinaigrette.

Hakurei Turnip & Radish Salad with a Chimichurri Vinaigrette

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I won’t lie. This salad is the result of the organic ‘roots and shoots’ delivery box we receive bi-weekly. As much as I enjoy my Saturday morning trip to my farmers’ market, I love the challenge of cooking with seasonal, local ingredients, which sometimes means week after week of the same or similar type of vegetable and a call to action to get creative.

I have loved the idea of ‘chimichurri’ forever and have been looking for an excuse to experiment. This week’s roots provided the playing ground.

Hakurei turnips are amongst my favourite roots, unassuming, extremely crunchy and deceivingly sweet, which is why they pair beautifully with fiery radishes. These turnips are best enjoyed raw; I have been known to clean them thoroughly and serve them whole as a side. They are even better in a salad kissed by the chimichurri. I’ll have to admit that the leafy greens for both the radishes and turnips tend to be on the bitter side, but together with the turnips and acidity of the vinaigrette, they are quite nice, even refreshing, especially if served along a heavier, richer dish.

The ratios provided allow you to make this salad as big or small as you like and to enjoy the salad all week long.

The chimichurri works beautifully as a marinade for portobello burgers, and they especially like a little more chimichurri drizzled overtop once cooked. It also works well over grilled tofu skewers, so don’t let the leftovers go to waste.

Whether you are looking for creative ways to use up your roots or want something a little different, this salad is worth experimenting with. Don’t let the simplicity of this salad fool you; it packs a punch and elevates such humble roots to a whole new level.

Serves 2-5

Ingredients:

Turnips, Hakurei & their greens (quartered or halved depending on their size) (ratio of 5 turnips: 2 radishes)
Radishes & their greens (quartered or halved depending on their size) (ratio of 5 turnips: 2 radishes)
Chimichurri:
Parsley, fresh, processed 3 oz (weighed)
Garlic, clove, processed 1
Onion, green, processed 1
Oregano, fresh, medium-large sprigs, processed 2
Olive oil 9 tbsp
Lemon juice 1.5 tbsp
Red wine vinegar 1 tbsp
Salt 1/4 tsp
Black pepper
Mustard, grainy 1/2 tbsp
Paprika 1/4 tsp
Coriander, ground 1/4 tsp
  1. In a food processor, process the parsley, oregano, green onion, and garlic until finely chopped.
  2. In a bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, salt, black pepper, mustard, paprika, and ground coriander and mix well.
  3. Add finely chopped parsley, oregano, green onion, and garlic to the bowl with the vinaigrette and mix well until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the turnips, radishes, and their greens. I used a ratio of 5:2 turnips to radishes and as many greens as I could salvage. Add vinaigrette to taste and thoroughly combine. Check seasoning and adjust salt accordingly. You’ll have dressing left over, so use only what you need for your salad.

Black Bean & Plantain “Hash”

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This dish, without a doubt, is all about the creamy, deep flavour of the black beans, which are beautifully matched by the ever sweet, intense banana-tasting plantains, perfectly offset by the spicy chipotle powder and its smoky undertones. These flavour combinations are mouth-watering, tantalizing, and leave you wanting more, in spite of the fact that the dish is extremely satiating.

It’s quite a departure for me, as far as breakfast goes. In an attempt to avoid all-carb breakfasts (my favourite!), I created this dish to rival some of John’s all meat and potato breakfasts. It definitely did not disappoint and even the omnivore had to admit it was extremely filling.

The filling, “hash” is extremely versatile. I can’t wait to try it in a quesadilla with some monterrey jack cheese or as an empanada filling. It’s even delicious on its own as a side dish.

Pancakes will forever be my favourite breakfast option, but this black bean and plantain “hash” has definitely made it onto my short list of favourite breakfast picks.

Serves 3

Ingredients:

Olive oil  3 tbsp
Garlic scapes, chopped  3
Pepper, green, large, diced  1/2
Plantain, ripe, chopped  1
Chipotle powder  1/2 tsp
Coriander, ground  1/2 tsp
Black beans  3/4 cup
Salt
Black pepper
Coriander, fresh, roughly chopped  1/4 cup
Avocado, chopped  1/2 cup
Tostadas, corn (preferably baked)  3
Eggs  3

Directions:

  1. In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium heat.
  2. Add scapes, green pepper, and plantain.
  3. After sautéing for 3 minutes, add chipotle powder and dried coriander.
  4. Continue sautéing, stirring periodically, until plantains are caramelized, approximately 13 minutes.
  5. Add black beans, fresh coriander, avocado, salt, and black pepper.
  6. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until black beans and avocado are heated through.
  7. Serve over corn tortilla (preferably baked).
  8. Top with a fried egg.