Miso-ginger wild rice with carrots, cabbage, daikon and turnip

New Year’s Day provided us with a freebie day off in the middle of the week.  Besides random household chores, I decided that the best use of this time would be to cook a few dishes that we planned to eat in the coming week so that we buy ourselves time in the evenings for the next few days by having dinner already prepared.  The bigger benefit being that these dishes are ones that get better with time- the kind that soak up dressings, and age with grace.  A soup, some roasted vegetables, a dressed rice dish….

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups uncooked wild rice
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 4 medium carrots, quartered and sliced thin
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced thin
  • 1 leek, sliced thin
  • 1 3-inch piece daikon, halved and cut into thin strips
  • 1 small purple-top turnip, peeled, halved, and cut into thin half-circles
  • 1 cup thinly cut cabbage
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower (or other mild) oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon barley miso (we found a great 3-year dark handcrafted right in Conway, MA by South River.  Organic too!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Directions

  • Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a medium pot, add the rice and return it to a boil
  • Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked through, about 50 minutes
  • Meanwhile, bring a large fry pan up to a medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil and all of the sesame oil, then toss in the carrots, celery, leek, daikon and turnip and get a nice brown on them.  If they begin to get too dark, turn down the heat and cook them until they’re al dente
  • When the veggies are cooked, add in the cabbage.  It’s cut nice and thin so it should soften up quickly
  • While that’s cooking, in a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, garlic, remaining tablespoon of sunflower oil, ginger, miso and crushed red pepper until blended
  • When the rice is cooked, add it to the pan with the vegetables (or, if you’re out of space in the pan you can do this in a large serving or mixing bowl) and pour in the dressing, stirring to incorporate all ingredients
Miso-ginger wild rice with carrots, cabbage, daikon and turnip

Miso-ginger wild rice with carrots, cabbage, daikon and turnip

Tan-tan chicken and snow peas

Tan Tan chicken with snow peas

In the spirit of trying to eat all things local, I’m posting this recipe as snow peas are now available in our local fields. At the very least I know that Red Fire Farm has them because they’re on the list for CSA members for Pick Your Own crops this week. If they’re not available yet in your area, these crisp, flat peas are typically out in loose bins at most grocery stores.

Between its sweetness and its crunch, the snow pea is a great snack in raw form. They’re also fantastic steamed or stir fried, and they do not require the accompaniment of any sauce or spice. In this case, I’ve tossed them in a peanut sauce that is just a little sweet, a little savory and has a touch of heat. This dish is fine on its own, but would be great served over rice too.

Ingredients:

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 Tbsp sesame oil

2 Tbsp peanut butter

2 Tbsp rice vinegar

1-1/2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 Tbsp honey

2 medium cloves garlic, chopped

2-1/2 TBS peeled & grated fresh ginger

2 Tbsp water

pinch of cayenne to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups Snow peas, ends trimmed

1/2 cup minced scallion

Directions:

  • Bring a fry pan up to a medium heat and sauté the chicken breasts in sesame oil
  • When the breasts are cooked, remove them from the pan and set aside to rest while you prepare the sauce
  • Blend all of the remaining ingredients, except the scallion, together in a blender
  • Cut the rested chicken breasts up into bite-sized chunks and return them to the pan and toss with the snow peas, sauce and scallion

 

Pork and Kimchi Sliders

While perusing through my pile of recent magazine recipes I came across one from Food and Wine for “Crunchy Pork Kimchi Burgers” and I thought well, this sounds weird, but oddly good at the same time.  Then I went to the Northampton Tuesday Market  and there was a vendor sampling fresh kimchi which was nothing like the shelf-stable stuff that I had eaten in the past- a little less crunchy, a little less bitter, more sweet, and simply lovely.  Just a hop-skip-and jump up from her stand was Mockingbird Farm who had ground pork for sale and I just knew that I had to give this recipe a try.   I grabbed some baby spinach from Enterprise Farm and now had the makings for this lovely sounding dish, locally sourced.  Since I was on a roll, and they looked fantastic, I grabbed some white turnips too (from Old Friends Farm)- I figured they’d be great for roasting.

Since I’ve eaten primarily grain-free since the beginning of this year, I adjusted the recipe to omit the flour and panko and obviously had a different end product than what was advertized in the magazine.  I really loved the dish the way that I made it and will definitely make it again this same way.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 large garlic clove, pressed

2 scallions, chopped

1 lb. ground pork

3/4 cup finely chopped kimchi (I ran it through the food processor rather than hand-chopping)

Sprinkle of Kosher salt

Vegetable oil, for frying

10 oz. baby spinach

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

sesame seeds (for garnish)

Directions

  • In a bowl combine the ginger, garlic, scallions, pork and kimchi with the salt

ginger, garlic, scallions, pork and kimchi with salt

  • Form the mixture into eight small patties, about half an  inch thick (to get these all a uniform size, I used a number 2 scoop)

Add the patties and fry over moderate heat...

  • In a large skillet (cast iron if you’ve got it), heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil. Add the patties and fry over moderate heat, turning once only, until you have a beautiful crisp on each side and there is no more pink visible from the outside(you want them to be cooked through)
  • Set aside to drain on paper towels and let the juices finish distributing
  • Pour off all of the vegetable oil from the skillet and add some toasted sesame oil and the baby spinach, season with salt and pepper and cook over a medium-high heat until wilted (about 1 minute)

baby spinach wilting in toasted sesame oil

  • In a small dish, mix the mayonnaise, sesame oil and soy sauce
  • Pile the spinach on plates and top with the sliders, drizzle with the sauce, sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy

Pork and Kimchi Sliders over wilted sesame spinach with roasted white turnips

I will admit to eating two left-over patties the next day, straight out of the fridge.  A different experience, but good still.  The sauce is a bit salty, so be sure not to over-do it.

J

Spinach, Red Lentil, and Green Bean Curry

If you’re in the market for a warm vegetable stew with luscious spices which will reheat well, then I’ve got a dish for you. This is a very mild curry (which you could heat up with some cayanne and/or crushed red pepper if that’s your preference) and it has notes of cinnamon from the garam masala. If that’s not your thing, you could use your favorite pre-made curry spice mixture rather than what’s listed here. This dish can easily stand on its own as a vegetarian main, or be served alongside some lovely spiced yogurt chicken (as Neil and I had it).

Ingredients:

 

1 cup red lentils

1/4 cup tomato puree

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon garam masala

1/2 teaspoon ground dried turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped

1 cup fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths

1 cup mushrooms, sliced thickly

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 (1 inch) piece fresh ginger root, grated

4 cups loosely packed fresh spinach, coarsely chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped

4 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped

1 (15.5 ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

 

Directions:

 

  • Rinse the lentils well and place them in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 20 minutes
  • Drain and set aside
  • In a bowl, stir together the tomato puree and yogurt. Season with garam masala, turmeric, cumin, and chile powder
  • Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat
  • Add the onion, green beans and mushrooms; cooking until the onion begins to brown
  • Add in the garlic and ginger and stir for a minute- until you really begin to smell them
  • Stir in the spinach; cook until it’s dark green and wilted
  • Add the yogurt mixture and stir until incorporated
  • Mix in the tomatoes and cilantro
  • Stir the lentils and garbanzo beans into mixture until well combined and heated through, about 5 minutes
Curry

The inspiration for this dish came from this recipe.

Sticky Glazed Shrimp and Broccoli with Brown Rice

This recipe is really well balanced, both in flavor and in nutrition.  I chose to buy uncooked shrimp so that they would not be tough in the finished dish.  Feel free to use precooked, just be sure to add them at the last possible minute so that they heat through, but not overcook.   Also note that if you use a commercial kind of dried apricots which are sweetened then you will have a sweet and sticky sauce.  If you purchase just dried apricots (like the kind in the loose bins at Whole Foods) which are unsweetened, you will have a less sweet sauce and may wish to add some simple syrup, or karo syrup, or even a tablespoon of brown sugar.

Ingredients

4 dried apricots

3/4 cup water, divided

2 tablespoons coconut milk

1 tablespoon tamari

1 clove garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly peeled ginger

1 pound small broccoli florets

3/4 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

3 cups cooked brown rice

1 tablespoon cooking oil (I used hot sesame oil)

Directions

  • Place the apricots in a small bowl with 1/4 cup boiling water and let soak for half an hour
  • Heat ½ of the oil in a frying pan and lightly toast the sesame seeds
  • Remove the seeds from the pan and set them aside, add the remaining oil, and cook the shrimp until they just orange on the outsides (about a minute per side), then remove from pan and set aside
  • Transfer the apricots and their soaking liquid to a food processor and zip until a paste forms, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally
  • Add the garlic and ginger and pulse
  • With the processor running, add the coconut milk and tamari and process until just combined, then set aside
  • Bring the remaining 1/2 cup water to a simmer in a skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the broccoli and reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook for 5 minutes
  • Uncover, add shrimp and apricot mixture and stir until shrimp and broccoli are coated. Continue to cook about 3 minutes or until heated through
  • Stir in crushed red pepper
  • Plate over rice and garnish with sesame seeds

This recipe found its inspiration from this Whole Foods Market post.

J