Monday, December 29, 2014

Smoothie Operator?

Last week, a wonderful group of volunteers met at my house to decorate winter flap hats in preparation for stylin' on those cold winter mornings when we are making it all happen for St. Pete Locally Grown. What great hats we created!

AND what a pleasant surprise that Phyllis came equipped to make us all green smoothies, impart lots of wisdom on ingredient combinations, and best of all inspire us to make smoothies on a regular basis.

This morning I decided to take Phyllis' advice and get back on track making smoothies.  I have always loved celery in them.  A few months back I had a whole lot of celery leftover from our market so I sliced it via food processor and froze it in individual bags. Well, we all know that it will be mushy when it thaws, but when it's frozen it still has strong celery flavor, sufficient food fiber, and it's adds a nice chill to the other greens. In the process of determining if my frozen celery could be used, I found this recipe site called "Incredible Smoothies" related to using celery and many recipes for all types of green smoothies.  The site said that celery is good for inflammation and we all have that someplace in our bodies. so what could I lose?

I went out to Nathan's garden and harvested my greens. Then my creation began!  First I blended spring water, sunflower seeds, and lots of frozen chopped celery to break it down.  Then I added mostly kale, and some cilantro, Spanish needle, Moluccan spinach, callaloo leaves, coconut oil and a little lemon juice to help the kale (per Phyllis' advice). I also put in some frozen banana and a few tablespoons of frozen orange juice concentrate which I always keep on hand. The result was cool, refreshing, and creamy with the strong celery flavor I prefer and NO bitterness. I just had to write it down. NO way I am going to remember all this! Ahh... but the flavor I will NOT forget!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sapote Banana Pudding

My kids were surprised to see chocolate pudding on the breakfast table.  They would be even more surprised to find out it was packed full of a wonderfully odd produce called sapote.  I love finding new and interesting produce at St Pete Locally Grown...adventures in the kitchen keep our family table interesting and fun.

The sapote is also called chocolate pudding fruit or black persimmon.  Inspired by the simplicity of the pudding recipes I saw, I created my own for breakfast this week.

Make sure your sapote are really ripe before using.  The skin should be a chocolate to drab brown color and when you gently squeeze it, your finger prints should remain on the fruit.  In other words, it will be mushy and unappealing to look at...but that is when they are at there flavor best!

Sapote Banana Pudding
In a food processor blend until smooth
1 ripe sapote
1 banana
1/8 cup sour cream or coconut cream
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 Serve immediately with sliced bananas.   I think a dollop of vanilla yogurt would be great or fresh berries...maybe even some raw nuts, but bananas is what  I had on hand.

Monday, September 22, 2014

White Bean, Quinoa and Pumpkin Salad

This salad is a take on the White Bean and Squash Soup recipe my sister shared with me years ago that quickly became one of my favorites.  Unfortunately in Florida the soup season is short.  To take advantage of the long salad season I decided to adapt this old favorite.

White Bean, Quinoa, and Pumpkin Salad
Seed, slice and grill until tender but firm
1/2 Seminole Pumpkin or any sweet, low moisture winter squash
Let the grilled pumpkin cool completely in the refrigerator.  No need to peel, Seminole pumpkin skin is thin and edible, but if you substitute another kind of winter squash you may need to peel the skin.
Prepare according to package directions and let cool
1 cup quinoa
Rinse and drain
1 14.5 ounce can white beans, or prepare dried beans to make 1 3/4 cup cooked
2 tomatoes
1 small red onion
grilled pumpkin
Add all ingredients to large bowl with
6 ounces Ceylon spinach (or baby spinach), rinsed and drained
Toss gently to coat with
Herbed Vinaigrette
Salt and pepper to taste.
Serve cool, room temperature or warmed…you really can’t go wrong with this fabulous salad!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Delicious Salmon Citrus Salad.

I received my basket of goodies from the wonderful StPeteLocallyGrown volunteers just before lunch today.  I had taken salmon out of the freezer earlier today that I purchased through the site last month and intended to make a quick salad.  Super fast and easy.  I juiced a valencia orange that came in my order today and added some honey and soy sauce then poured it over the salmon.  I let it marinate while the broiler heated.  I broiled the salmon for 13-15 minutes on the middle rack it was a pretty big hunk.  I took out my fresh romaine, another valencia orange and the beautiful scallions (all from the market).  I sectioned the orange (supremed it) onto my bed of torn romaine and squeezed the remaining juice over the top.  Then I thinly chopped the scallion tops added a dash of rice wine vinegar and EVOO and finished the salad with the salmon.  It really was delicious.   I would have added a picture but I ate it before I thought to share.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Roast Kohlrabi: NOW is the time!

Customer Jane H. has been with us since the beginning and has purchased from our online Market over 100 times! Recently retired, she is doing even more to improve her life with additional rounds of tennis and more time spent in her kitchen cooking up delicious roasted kohlrabi which is currently in abundance locally.  Jane just emailed that "I prepared this for dinner last night and it was delicious!  I highly recommend it for a tasty treat."  This looks like a great dish for an upcoming Market potluck social!Let me know if you try it and agree with Jane?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Poblanos Stuffed with Polenta and Goat Cheese

First off, be very careful making this recipe.  Not that you would have immediate effects…I’m thinking more of the next morning when you attempt to put contacts in your eyes after cleaning five poblano peppers before roasting them in the oven the night before, even after washing your hands in copious amounts of liquid dish detergent with super hot water several times.  That is NOT enough to remove the offending oils.  I'm just saying that you might want to take precautions so that it doesn’t feel like you are roasting your eyes in the oven, instead of poblano peppers, with searing skewers jabbing at them the whole time, only to realize that you need to take the contaminated contact out of your eye which means more hot-pokers-roasting-skewer sensations.  You don’t want that kind of dilemma on your hands before your first cup of coffee in the morning.  Trust me on this one.

The poblanos were hotter than I expected.  Jason LOVED them, Riley enjoyed them, I couldn’t eat more than one and Ethan ate the stuffing out of one and had to stop.  That is what happens when I get real poblanos, not commercially grown ones.  These bad boys were fabulously zippy, spicy and yummy, in small batches for us heat-whimps.  Next time I make a tray of these I will make half with red bell peppers instead so Ethan and I can enjoy the meal as much as everyone else.

Poblanos Stuffed with Polenta and Goat Cheese

(I think I got this out of Real Simple, but I don’t know…all I know is it isn’t a Kim original.)

Toss in olive oil and roast under a hot broiler cut side down

4 plum tomatoes, halved
1 red onion, wedged
4-5 poblano peppers, halved and seeded

Stir after 5 minutes.  Vegetables are done when tender and slightly charred.

Puree until smooth the tomatoes and onions in a food processor with

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Spread half of this sauce in a 9x13 pan and place the roasted poblano halves on top with the cut side up.

To prepare the stuffing, heat

2 1/4 cup water
1/4 salt

in a heavy bottomed pot.  Once boiling add gradually, while stirring

3/4 cup polenta

Reduce temperature to a simmer and stir frequently as polenta cooks for 10-15 minutes.  When thickened and cooked through, stir in

10 ounces frozen corn, or equivalent
1/4 cup soft goat cheese (about 2 ounces)
3 scallions, sliced

Stuff the peppers with the polenta mixture.  Top with remaining sauce and bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. 

Sprinkle with

1 scallion, sliced

Hearty enough for a meal, pretty enough to serve to guests!  By changing the size of pepper these could be transformed into great appetizers.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Baked Sungold Tomatoes

As promised, here is the recipe for the Baked Sungold Tomatoes.  I have to admit, I pop Sungolds into my mouth like candy so it is amazing that I ever have any left to use in recipes.  This recipe is adapted from Faith Heller Willinger's Adventures of an Italian Food Lover.
Baked Sungold TomatoesServes 6-8

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
40-46 Sungold tomatoes (depending on size)
2 Tbsp fresh oregano, finely chopped (1 tbs dried can be substituted)
4 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup plain dry bread crumbs
1½ tsp Coastal California Fennel Pollen Rub
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley or oregano, roughly chopped for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Drizzle ½ tbsp of the olive oil in the bottom of a 9-inch standard glass or ceramic pie dish.
Cut the tomatoes in half cross-wise (not through the stem end). Place half of the Sungold tomato halves, split side up, into the pie plate, arranging them so they remain upright. (image 1-2)
In a small bowl mix together the oregano, garlic, Coastal California Fennel Pollen Rub and bread crumbs. (image 3)
Sprinkle the tomatoes with the bread crumb mixture. Season with salt and pepper. (image 4)
Top with the remaining tomato halves, rounded side up, to look like whole tomatoes again. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the tomatoes. (image 5)
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, garnished with a bit of chopped parsley or oregano. (image 6)

NOTE:  The following ingredients are from StPete.LocallyGrown.Net:

Sungold Tomatoes
Coastal California Fennel Pollen Rub

Monday, January 6, 2014

Sungold Tomato Surprises

Market Customer Tracy Carnevalini is an ardent kitchen chef and her weekly orders are large and varied, just chock full of colorful vegetables and hearty greens. This week she forwarded me these lovely photographs that provided great ideas on how to use sungold tomatoes IF you don't eat all of them raw the minute we deliver them.  Says Tracy: "This is one of the many delicious ways I use my Sungolds!  I think I may have even gotten the Brussels Sprouts from SPLG, but without going back through all my orders, I am not sure. I do know that when I got them I blanched and froze some. Took some out today and served them with Spaghetti Squash (SPLG) and Baked Sungold Tomatoes (SPLG)!  It was a delicious meal! "  A baked sungold recipe is on its way and Tracy says it's very easy and makes a great side dish for other meals.