Turnip Fries

Having a CSA is always a culinary adventure. You’re never 100% sure how to use everything you get from week to week (at least I never am), and a little creativity generally goes a long way. We joined the Huguenot Street Farm CSA this year in New Paltz, and we are only three weeks in. Can’t wait to see what else the summer has in store for us!

Last night, we made bison burgers on the grill and decided to use the salad turnips in our share for a side of fries. I admit the photos I took aren’t the best — that after-dark-fluorescent-light look doesn’t do most food items justice. But you get the picture…

Here are the steps I took:

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1. Preheat oven to 425.

2. Wash and peel turnips. Then cut into fry-sized pieces. Toss in a small amount of olive oil until coated. Then toss with desired spices. I used paprika, salt, pepper, cumin, and parsley:

IMG_26213. Bake on parchment-paper-lined metal tray for 20 minutes or until crispy. Toss fries around a little after the first 10 minutes to make sure they bake evenly.

4. Serve. We had ours with sriraccha mayonnaise. They were delish! (And I really need to get a better set up for taking kitchen photos at night if I’m going to resurrect this blog!)

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Veggie Meatballs

The other night, I started out making turkey meatballs. I’ve never made meatballs of any kind before, but in an effort to buy enough protein for the week I had a lot of meat in the fridge and had to use the turkey (16 oz) soon — it said to freeze or use by two days from then. But when I opened the package, it was quite odiferous to say the least. So I tossed it, and proceeded with veggies only (and also put some chicken in the oven to bake in case this turned out to be a cooking fail). I might have normally jumped ship at this point and gone for preparing a different meal altogether, but I’d already done the following. In a large mixing bowl, add:

  • 1 cup gluten-free panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup graded parmeson
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 diced green pepper
  • 1/2 diced poblano pepper
  • 1/2 diced zucchini
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • salt
  • pepper

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So I mixed it up. The consistency wasn’t quite thick enough, and I added 1 cup brown rice flour.

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And then I added 1/2 cup of tomato sauce (not thinking about the consistency). It was still a little on the mushy side, but I did my best to make little balls, added them to a cookie sheet coated with a little coconut butter. I baked them for about 30 minutes, and served them over rice with tomato sauce. They were good! But we concluded might have been better with a yogurt dill sauce or ranch dip of some kind. I’ll definitely be trying them again, but next time I’ll have more veggies on hand.

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Crustless Garden Quiche

So it’s been a while since I’ve posted. There are a few reasons for that: 1) my life just got a bit hectic, but for good reason — I started a new job as an Assistant Professor of Literacy at SUNY New Paltz. I’m very excited about it, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it’s taking up all of my time; and 2) we eat a lot of the same stuff. No shame in that, right?

Speaking of changes, I’m not a city girl anymore, so I’m thinking of changing my blog name. If you suggest a name I end up using, I’ll make you a batch of gluten-free cookies!

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Quiche has become a staple of our diet up here in the Hudson Valley. It’s easy, and provides a meal for two for at least three, if not four, meals. And amazingly, the house we’re renting for the year came with an enormous, veggie-rich garden which means I almost always have the ingredients on hand. Here’s what I do:

  1. preheat oven to 375
  2. add 5 eggs to a large mixing bowl
  3. add 8 ounces (or thereabouts) of cottage cheese (I usually use small-curd / no added salt)
  4. add 1/2 cup of milk
  5. add handful of shredded cheese (cheddar or mozzarella or mixture of any shredded cheese)
  6. add small handful of grated cheese (romano, parmesan, asiago)
  7. mix till you can’t see the yolks
  8. butter a pie dish so it doesn’t stick while baking
  9. add layer of sliced cheese (I usually use cheddar) to bottom
  10. add veggies (chopped peppers, zucchini, summer squash, asparagus, onion, broccoli, etc. — anything goes pretty much but tomatoes, which make everything too watery)
  11. pour in egg mixture
  12. add layer of shredded cheese to top (just enough to cover it but not too much so egg is still poking through)
  13. bake at 375 for 40 minutes or until no longer wet in the center
  14. let cool for about 15 minutes and enjoy!

This particular one had a mixture of poblano pepper, zucchini, and red onion in it. It was eaten up before I had a chance to take a picture of a slice! I’ve tried it before with leftover bacon, too. Yum.

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

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I finally have  a crockpot, and the idea of chicken tortilla soup really appealed to me, so I read through a bunch of recipes, and after compiling my own list of ingredients, settled on this:

Add to crockpot:

  • 4 skinless chicken thighs
  • one yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • 1 poblano pepper, finely chopped
  • 15 ox can black beans
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes (with chillies if possible)
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Cook on high for 3 1/2 hours. Remove chicken thighs, and pull meat from the bone. Return chicken to crockpot, mix, and serve. Add crumbled tortilla chips, shredded cheddar cheese, and cilantro (as pictured) or avocado, sour cream, lime, etc.

Coconut Lime Basil Chicken

I’ve been busy cooking up new recipes for the last few months, but haven’t blogged that much. I have good reason, though! I was supposed to be in Berlin for June, and housesitting in July, but instead spent the better part of the last two months recuperating from an inner ear illness that I would never wish on anyone. BUT, one of good things to come out of getting sick was a visit to a nutritionist that led me to explore even more with food.

Tonight, I baked half a chicken. I’ve officially been dubbed “the half chicken lady” by a butcher at The Meat Hook, and have indeed been getting my fair share of half chickens. Once or twice a week, I stop in there to grab some poultry and either beef or sausage.

Follow these instructions and you’ll be glad you did:

  1. Cut and toss potatoes and onion in 1 generous TB of coconut oil
  2. Coat chicken in another TB of coconut oil
  3. Set chicken into pan or dish, and cover with lime juice, lime slices, and fresh basil leaves
  4. Add about 1/2″ of water to the pan or dish (I used to use chicken stock, but tried this once and it’s cheaper)
  5. Bake to desired tenderness, being careful to baste every 15 minutes or so, at 375 degrees. (Depending on the size of the chicken, I usually bake mine for 2 hours, give or take, till it’s golden brown and the meat falls off the bone.)

I usually mash the potatoes and onions afterward, or cook them further on the stove top to brown them up a bit.

Gluten-free Flour Can Work Like Real Flour in Sauce!

When I’m having a particularly annoying day, I like to slow-cook something delicious. So after getting some particularly annoying news today, I decided to make some chicken paprikash for a late lunch while I finished up some work.

The dish was, hands down, Oma’s favorite. The only catch is, it calls for a few teaspoons of flour — enough gluten to make anyone with a sensitivity feel it hours later. I’ve made the dish a dozen or so times since I’ve been gluten-free, and each time have had to apologize for the grittiness of the sauce, and the way the sour cream curdles as a result of using a flour substitute. Not today! I used Bob’s Red Mill garbanzo bean flour and it worked! I actually created a true gravy-like sauce for the first time since I’ve been a gluten-free eater?!

I wish the picture was more appetizing (and I should add that I normally serve chicken paprikash over mashed potatoes or rice, not kale as pictured here), but you can get a sense for the smooth texture, which isn’t easy to achieve with your usual gluten-free flour substitute.

I followed the recipe for “chicken paprika” from my mom’s old Joy of Cooking (1975). I don’t know why Oma pronounced it “paprikash,” instead, but… it sure does the trick. This warm, hearty (not low calorie!) mid-day dish just put a smile on this city girl’s face.

Dinner

Last night, I met up with a friend to discuss the details of a forthcoming project, and much to my delight, he made me dinner. The salmon was pan-fried to perfection. The kale was sauteed with a handful of garlic. Potatoes were tossed in olive oil, rosemary, and garlic, and oven baked. Paired with a Manhattan = delicious.