California Rolls, Butternut Squash ‘cheeze’, and Pear Cardamom Crisp

 

During Christmas break Kristine, Chloe, Shawna, Juniper, and Satchel came over and we made a variety of delicious food for lunch. I was itching to make this Butternut Squash Mac and Cheeze recipe from OhSheGlows.com and Kristine was itching to make California rolls, and Shawna had a bunch of deliciously ripe pears so we made a triple batch of this Pear Cardamom Crisp Recipe for dessert.

For dairy-free folks the Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is just delicious. It doesn’t really taste like cheese, but is a really nice way of eating cashews and butternut squash purée. This recipe makes a large batch, and I found with the leftovers I would sauté up a pound of ground beef with my Italian Spice Blend and add a can of tomatoes and then toss that with pasta and dollop a huge scoop of the Butternut Squash Cheese on top for the most delicious meal.

For the California Rolls, we used frozen red peppers from York Farm that we thawed and sliced thinly, York Farm Parsnips, and Prairie Drifter Farm Carrots. Topped the rolls with sesame seeds. Perfectly ripe avocados would have been a delicious addition as well. You can use whatever veggies you prefer. For a rough outline of how to make the rolls, click here.

Here is the sushi rice recipe:
4 cups freshly prepared cooked white rice (still warm)
2/3 cup rice vinegar
2 TB sugar (I probably used a little less)
1 tsp salt
1 piece kombu (1-inch square)
Combine all of the ingredients for the seasoned vinegar and simmer until sugar and salt is dissolved. Then, toss the rice lightly with a wooden spoon or paddle in a wooden bowl over and over to cool the rice down until it is no longer steaming. Then, add 1 TB of the vinegar mixture, stir, and repeat.

On top of the Pear Cardamom Crisp I dolloped some vegan cashew honey dipping sauce that Shawna had on hand. She used it for a fruit dipping sauce. It tasted great as a part of the crisp. We also included a few apricots that I had frozen from this past season with the ripe pears.

 

Spinach with Shredded Root Veggies

We have spinach growing in our hoop house and lots of root veggies in storage. The carrots and parsnips add a lot of sweetness and the spinach adds a nice touch of color.

2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 onion, diced
1 pound of spinach, chopped
3 large carrots, shredded
2 parsnips (or more carrots), shredded
1/2 c water

In a large pan melt the coconut oil and add the onions. Let them soften and begin to caramelize. Then add the shredded carrots, parsnips, water and cook for 5-10 minutes more, placing the cover over the pan to keep in the moisture. Then add the spinach and let the spinach wilt.

Serve warm. This is delicious left over.

Cumin Pulled Pork

Our pigs were harvested last week and we just received the pork back. Our first roast was made from a cut where the pork chops are usually taken from. I put a frozen roast into the slow cooker and added the following ingredients and awoke to the most delicious smelling pulled pork roast in the morning. The cayenne pepper adds a nice kick.

4-5 pound pork roast (loin, shoulder, etc.)
5 cloves garlic, minced
3” piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1 quart good quality stock (like home made beef bone broth)
1 Tbsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1/4 c lemon juice
1/4 c lime juice

Serve with salsa verde.

Mini Kohlrabi Korean Short Rib Tacos

This recipe comes from HuckleGoose.com. The main ingredient is beef short ribs, and slow cooking them overnight in the slow cooker fills up your house with a very lovely smell. Since I didn’t change the recipe for the meat, please visit this site to get the exact low down on how to cook the short ribs.

While this recipe is delicious for ways to eat kohlrabi, you can also spread this fabulous meat mixture on any vegetable to enhance its flavor. This time of year my favorite would be half of a Delicata Winter Squash, roasted to perfection at 350 degrees for 75 minutes in the oven.

When we made dish in the photographs it was spring and Kristine brought over one of the first of the season’s kohlrabi from her CSA box from Loon Organics. We sliced it thin on the mandolin and used it as the shell for the tacos. Sprinkle it with chopped cilantro and add a stir fry of carrots, fennel, mushrooms,and peas cooked in coconut oil with a hint of sea salt and we had the most delicious meal. It was even colorful and beautiful to photograph too!

 

 

Asian Inspired Meatballs with Almond Sesame Sauce

The idea for the meatballs came form a former CSA share member named Beth. She would often make these Asian Turkey Burgers for her office parties and they would go over as a success every time! I will often make them into meatballs or burgers when we have a lot of cilantro on hand. For this dish we used pork from our pig Wilbur and beef from a cow at Moonstone Farm.

Asian Inspired Meatballs:
1 lb plain ground pork
1 lb ground beef
2 eggs
4 Tbsp. Sweet Chili Sauce (you can substitute Ketchup and red pepper flakes)
4 cloves garlic
1 c fresh cilantro, chopped (or use another green like spinach)
salt and pepper to taste
1 c breadcrumbs (or other cooked whole grain)
1 small onion, diced or 3 green onions, chopped
1 c fresh parsley, chopped (or 1/4 c dried)
2 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger

Mix everything together, form into meatballs and cook in a fry pan.

Almond Sesame Sauce
This is adapted from the Spicy Peanut Sesame Sauce found in the Joy of Cooking. That book is such a great resource for pretty much any type of food. I’m not a big fan of peanut butter, so I subbed Almond butter and changed some of the ingredients to create this.

In a food processor combine the following and blend thoroughly:
1 c unsalted plain almond butter (organic if possible)
1/4 c rice vinegar or white vinegar
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 garlic clove
1-1/2 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c toasted sesame oil
1/2 c water

Serve the sauce over the meatballs and to coat whatever else you’re eating with the meal.

Any extra of the sauce can be refrigerated for up to one week.

You can make up any kind of carb to serve these meatballs and sauce with. Some favorites are: rice noodles, baguette for a sub sandwich, potatoes, in half of a baked Delicata squash.

For this meal we also served shredded carrot (Chloe was nice enough to grate the carrots) to get in another vegetable. I lightly cooked the carrot on the skillet to soften it a bit.

Tahini Balls of Delight

Oh food blog how I have missed you. The farm has had it’s busy season come and go and now I find myself with more time to tend to you.

I love these little delicious gems full of tahini (sesame seed butter). I have a hard time stopping myself from eating them. I adapted this recipe from The Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen by Talya Lutzker. I highly recommend this book as it gives sooo many delicious recipes for those that are interested in Ayurvedic cooking.

Place
1 c shredded coconut
in a small bowl on the counter

Add to a food processor:
1 – 16 oz. jar tahini
10 dates, pitted and chopped
1/4 c maple syrup
1/2 c raisins
1/2 sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp. cacao nibs
3 Tbsp. minced crystalized ginger (I have made this many times and sometimes omit this as I don’t have it on hand but it really adds to the flavor).
1 Tbsp. minced and peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Take the sticky paste from the food processor and form into small balls. Dip the small balls in the shredded coconut and then place on a serving platter. These babies keep for several weeks in the fridge.

 

Balsamic Glazed Steak Rolls wrapped with seasonal vegetables

On a rainy Tuesday Kristine and I gathered to make this delicious recipe. It is adapted from this post by Picture the Recipe. The steak seasoning that I created for the steak makes more than you will need for the recipe. I discovered it is excellent sprinkled onto sweet potatoes or regular potatoes to make the most amazing Jo-Jo potatoes you’ve ever had.

Make the Steak seasoning (you can use any that you like, or combine spices to make your own. I found this recipe on Food.com and modified it for a smaller quantity)
3 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. garlic salt (or powder)
1 Tbsp. celery salt
1 Tbsp. paprika (I like smoked hungarian)
1 Tbsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. sugar (I use coconut)
1-1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

Place all ingredients in a small container, cover, and shake to combine. Take a 1-1/2 – 2 pound skirt steak and cut off 3″ strips. Cut away any excess unappealing parts from the meat. Place the strip on a cutting board and then pound with a meat tenderizer until you have a nice long thin piece of steak, a good size to roll a bunch of vegetables around.

Combine:
2-3 Tbsp. steak seasoning
Salt and pepper
3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce (I love Annie’s organic)
1 Tbsp. oil (sunflower or sesame)
Rub into the steak and let it marinade for at least 30 minutes, longer is great in the refrigerator.

Prepare the vegetables. You can use any in season vegetables as stuffing. I had available fresh asparagus, pea shoots (the tips of the pea plant from a cover crop in the hoop house), baby bok choi, and Hakurei turnips.
I cut the turnips into fourths, peeled the leaves off of the bok choi, and sliced the asparagus once down each stalk. The original recipe has you cook some of the vegetables, which I decided not to do since all of these vegetables cook when I cook the steak. If you are using carrots you may wish to slice them into thin strips and then pre-cook these by steaming or sautéeing in a pan for a few minutes to make them tender.

Once the vegetables are prepared, take the marinating steak out of the refrigerator and place a mixture of your vegetables into the middle and roll the steak up around them. Use a toothpick to secure the meat. Heat a few Tbsp. of oil (sunflower, sesame, or coconut) in a pan and then cook the steak over medium heat until it is done. I found it took about 2-3 minutes per side.

While the steak is cooking, prepare the balsamic glaze sauce.
In a small sauce pan over medium heat put
2 tsp. oil
add 2 Tbsp. finely chopped shallots (or onion or chives)
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. coconut sugar (or brown sugar or maple syrup)
1/4 c beef broth
Stir every few minutes. I cooked this for about 10 minutes. Pour it over the top of your steak rolls and enjoy! This is definitely gourmet cooking. Remember that there are toothpicks in the steak. You can remove these before serving and the steak should hold its shape.