The weather today was so lovely that I almost started feeling that spring had finally arrived. I’m too much of a weather pragmatist to trust that is the case, although I’ve learned that gardening in our climate can really surprise … Continue reading
As a student with a hectic week-day schedule, it’s taken a lot of planning to make sure I pack meals to eat between classes at school. I’ve scoped out all the public microwaves on campus, but sometimes it’s nice to … Continue reading
We regularly chat about kale on this blog, but have we ever told you about all its nutritional benefits? Acadia nutrition students Amber Fitzgerald, Amy Tillotson, Meghan Todd, Maryke Mody, and Kelsey Chase prepared this blog post, complete with a … Continue reading
I recently had a conversation with a canning workshop participant about her adventures in basil pesto. She bought up 40 cups of basil at the farmer market, and made 22 cups of basil pesto to freeze. Yum! This conversation reminded … Continue reading
Megan Gray is back with another post for Thinking Inside the Box. She’s a member of the TapRoot Farm CSA. ~~~ It finally it seems that we have suddenly landed in the middle of summer, and the long sunny days … Continue reading
Welcome to the latest installment of ‘Thinking Inside the Box’ from Jon Geneau. Great minds think alike, and clearly kale and strawberries are on everyone’s minds these days. Jon, who hadn’t attended, or seen the menu for, our cooking class, … Continue reading
It certainly felt that way during our Summer Picnic cooking class, where we prepared and and then feasted upon Inside-Out Dragon Burgers with Herbed Mayo, Honey Balsamic Strawberry Salad, Roasted Kale Chips and Smashed Potatoes. Our instructor, Elisabeth Bailey rounded out the meal with some homemade rhubarb-ade and some honey-mint ice cream that was simply incredible. I could definitely imagine recreating this menu at home and enjoying it on a sunny deck with some locally brewed beer or a rhubarb mojito!
This wasn’t just your average burger menu – we also learned a lot of new techniques. Salting ground beef well before cooking will allow the meat to bind together, and stuffing lean and flavourful grass fed beef with Dragon’s Breath Blue cheese is a great way to keep them moist. We also reduced an enormous pile of kale to a manageable serving bowl by roasting it with a bit of salt and lemon juice for about 20 minutes. A great way to eat your greens!
Jean Snow from Lake City Farm, joined us for dinner and discussed her challenges with getting municipal governments to address zoning regulations for growing food to sell within city limits. It’s always great to combine stimulating conversation with great food! (For more info about this issue, check out this CBC story and to contact city planner Darrell Joudrey email him at email@example.com).
2 pounds local, grass-fed ground beef
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 egg, beaten
4 ½ tablespoons Dragon’s Breath Blue cheese from That Dutchman’s Farm, Upper Economy, Nova Scotia, or other soft cheese
1 tablespoon butter
Combine ground beef, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Gently blend the mixture, then refrigerate for at least 1 and up to 6 hours. (Giving the salt a little time to work on the meat will help the finished burger stick together.)
Preheat a frying pan on the stove over medium heat. Remove beef mixture from the refrigerator, add egg, and mix to combine. Gently form beef mixture into10 thin patties. Place 1 generous tablespoon of cheese in the middle of 5 patties, then cover them with 5 remaining patties. Gently mould the edges to seal them together.
Melt butter in heated frying pan then add burgers, cooking in batches if they do not all fit at once. (Do not press down on the burgers with a spatula as this will dry them out.) Cook until burgers reach an internal temperature of 160˚F.
2 cups loosely packed fresh basil, oregano, dill, or thyme leaves, or a mixture
4 springs fresh parsley
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Purée the herbs, parsley, mayonnaise, and lemon juice in a blender. (Alternatively you can hand-mince the herbs and stir with mayonnaise and lemon juice to combine.) Season with salt and pepper, then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
Yield: roughly 2 cups
1 bunch kale, washed and dried
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat an oven to 325˚F.
Rip tender parts of the leaves off the thick stems and into bite sized piece. Toss in a large bowl with olive oil and salt (you may also add any other seasoning you like, such as lemon juice, parmesan, or Cajun spice—personally, I like mine with a bit of lemon and a squirt of hot sauce!)
Spread kale evenly over a baking sheet. Bake until pieces are crisp and edges brown but are not burnt, 15-20 minutes.
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons local honey
3 pints strawberries (or any other in-season berry)
Combine balsamic vinegar and honey in a mixing bowl and whisk to blend. Add strawberries and gently toss to coat. Refrigerate for an hour before serving.
1 cup salt
3 pounds new potatoes, gently scrubbed clean
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary (or other fresh herb of your choice)
Butter and pepper to taste
Heat a stock pot with 2 quarts of water over medium-high heat. Add salt and stir to dissolve.
Once water begins to boil, add potatoes, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 20–25 minutes or until potatoes split easily when stuck with a fork. Drain immediately, but do not rinse.
Toss the potatoes with rosemary, butter, pepper, and love.
Use this potent liquid as an alternative to lemon juice in many recipes, or to make a delightful rhubarbade with the addition of sugar or honey and either flat or sparkling water.
4 cups chopped rhubarb
Cook rhubarb over medium low heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until fibres have completely broken down into the liquid. Set aside to cool for 20 minutes, then strain through a colander lined with cheesecloth. Squeeze cheesecloth firmly to extract all liquid. Transfer rhubarb to ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen, seal in a freezer bag until ready for use.
We’ve been invited to the Truro Farmers’ Market to do a cooking demonstration. The topic: What to do with greens. Beet greens, arugula, swiss chard, kale, spinach…
We’ll pulled out our cookbooks to explore the wide variety of recipes that use greens. Arugula pesto, saag paneer, spinach squares with cheese, kale salad, spanakopita. (Now I’m getting hungry!) Greens are abundant in spring and SO healthy.
While we ponder what to make for our demonstration next week, check out last night’s dinner.
Green Goddess Rice Bowl (adapted from Eating by the Seasons)
1 head broccoli
1 head bok choy, torn
1 bunch green kale, torn
1 bunch swiss chard, torn
6 cups cooked brown basmati rice (or quinoa)
1 batch tahini sauce (recipe below)
2 sheets nori, torn
1/3 cup sunflowers seeds
1/2 cup white pickled ginger
1 tsp soy sauce
Oil for the pan
1 block tofu, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp lemon juice
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup sesame butter (tahini)
Whiz garlic, parsley, salt and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Add the water and tahini. Run until smooth, scraping the sides once or twice.
Green Goddess rice bowl:
Steam broccoli and greens until they are tender and bright green. Fry tofu in oil with a little soy sauce. (Careful – it may splatter!) Put 1 1/2 cups of cooked rice in a bowl. Place nori pieces on rice. Arrange steamed greens and broccoli on the brown rice. Sprinkle with sunflowers seeds. Drizzle 2 tbsp of tahini sauce on top. Garnish with a small mound of pickled ginger. Repeat for each serving.
Marla’s Notes: Don’t be scared off by the long list of ingredients. This dish is infinitely flexible. Basically, I just make the rice (or quinoa), then make the tahini sauce, then go through some fridge for vegetables to put in it. Last night it was broccoli, asparagus, baby arugula and mystery greens (the latter two I didn’t even bother to steam). I also threw on some cucumber. Don’t like tofu? – No problem, put in chickpeas. Out of sunflower seeds? – Put in walnuts. Experiment!
Here is the second installment in our short series on the nutritional benefits of different winter vegetables: Kale! (Click here to see the first post on turnip.) Many thanks to the nutrition students who put this together for us.
Beautiful kale is a popular garnish, while it is also a highly nutritious vegetable. It is very high in calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K. Vitamin A is good for eyes and skin health as well as to protect against infection. Vitamin K is required for blood coagulation and involved in the maintenance of healthy bones. Kale also contains sulforaphane which is known to have potent anti-cancer properties.
Uncooked kale is used for garnish, and cooked kale is a very healthy additive to most any meal. Boiling will decrease vitamin C and anti-cancer properties; however, you can still get these benefits if you use or drink the water/soup that the kale was boiled in. Stir-frying, microwaving, and steaming will cause less nutrient loss than boiling.
Here is a way to prepare kale soup: In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; sauté onion, garlic, sage, salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add stock, 3 cups (750 mL) water, potato, ham, red pepper and chickpeas; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, 15 minutes. Add kale; simmer until tender, about 5 minutes.
Here is another kale recipe that is really popular:
1 bunch of kale, washed and chopped into bite-size pieces
1 yellow onion, sliced
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced or finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1/2 cup of vegetable broth or water
Sea salt and pepper, to taste (optional)
Directions: Warm olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onions and cook for 3-5 minutes or until slightly translucent. Be sure to stir the onions around once in a while so that they don’t burn. Add garlic and kale and mix them together with onions. Allow garlic, kale and onions to cook for one minute, then add vegetable broth and cover pot or pan for 4-6 minutes. Check kale from time to time starting at the 4 minute mark for tenderness. Once kale is tender, add sea salt and just a few drops of lemon juice. Give it one last stir and serve.