Monday, April 13, 2015

Radish Greens Soup

I fell in love with watermelon radishes a few months back when my local market had them on sale. They are beautiful and mild and crunchy!  Especially good as a delivery mechanism for tasty treats like hummus, smoked fish dip and guacamole, I also discovered they are AMAZING roasted!  Don’t knock it till you try it…really.  Ethan inhaled them, Riley gave a nod and I ordered more the following market day.

If you want to roast radishes, here is the recipe I used:

But that isn’t what I wanted to really share with you.  Since I am always looking for a way to use the whole vegetable that gets delivered, greens and all, I researched radish greens to see what can be done with them and if they were edible.  They are!  So I made soup.

I found this recipe at  Click here for the recipe. It reminded me of potato leek soup with a peppery finish.  Instead of stirring in milk after I pureed the soup, I drizzled some heavy cream on top because I thought it would be pretty…and you can’t go wrong with heavy cream.  Since it was family dinner night and I was using Grandma’s china, I added a slice of watermelon radish for froufrou color.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Carrot Greens with Soy and Sesame Dressing

Think of that seaweed salad you get your favorite sushi place and you come pretty close to the texture and flavor of this salad.  I had to steal the bowl from my son, Ethan, just so I could have a bit or two before it was all gone.  It is that good.  So it is worth the extra effort and time that this recipe takes.  Trust me.

Carrot Greens with Soy and Sesame Dressing

Wash and dry

one bunch carrot greens, stems removed

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and parboil the greens for 3 minutes.  Remove the greens from the boiling water and immediately put into an ice bath, a bowl filled with water and ice, to stop the cooking process.

Once cooled, squeeze the greens out and add to a fresh bowl of cold water.  Keep refrigerated for 24 hours, changing the water 2 or 3 times.  This takes away the bitterness of the greens.

In a small bowl whisk together

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons sesame seed oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons evaporated cane juice or sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger, plus more to taste (I think fresh ginger would be fabulous, but had none in the house.)

After your last water change, squeeze out the greens and toss with the prepared dressing and

3 scallions, finely chopped

Let the salad sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving with

1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds

Serve this to people you love!

Grilled Cheese with Roasted Carrots & Carrot Green Pesto

So I really hate throwing away food. My mom was pretty efficient in the kitchen; frugality was needed as well.  Maybe that’s where I got it from.  Where ever it came from, it is part of who I am and how I think and what I cook in the kitchen.

I couldn’t stand composting all those gorgeous carrot greens that come with carrots from my local market, so I did some research.  They are indeed edible, contrary to popular notion, but bitter.  I have tried a few recipes to use my carrot greens, saving them from the bacteria and insect consumption in the compost.  I really loved this one since it used the whole kit-n-caboodle in one recipe.  Have carrots with tops?  Here’s one way to use them from

Grilled Cheese with Roasted Carrots & Carrot Green Pesto

Peel and slice in half

one bunch carrots, tops removed and reserved

 Toss carrots lightly coated with

olive oil

Roast carrots at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until tender and browned.  Meanwhile in the bowl of your food processor pulse until chopped finely

washed and dried carrot tops from one bunch, stems removed 
juice of one lemon
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to improve texture as needed
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

Assemble each sandwich using 

2 slices sourdough bread (I used my gluten free sourdough bread.)
2 slices Havarti cheese or cheese of choice
Roasted Carrots
Carrot Greens Pesto

Butter the exterior faces of the bread slices and pan fry on medium heat until the cheese is melted and sandwich is golden brown, about 5 minutes per side.

I ended up with lots of extra pesto.  I have been adding it to all sorts of things lately including a fabulous breakfast stack of cauliflower flatbread, eggs with kohlrabi greens, and tomato slices.  The carrot greens pesto added just the right amount of zip and garlic!

It is pretty amazing with the cauliflower dip I whipped up last week as well.  I’m sure I can come up with other uses too.

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.