Fennel is Cooler then Kale

 

I’m not dissing kale, but after I made this salad I’m still craving it a week later. I still don’t get why so many people tell me they don’t like fennel. I think it’s misunderstood. I’ve seen some people smell it and turn their heads away because it reminds them of black licorice, so they won’t try it. It doesn’t taste like licorice. It’s so versatile. You can shave it thinly for salads, roast the root simply with oil, salt, and pepper, puree it in a soup, or add it to the pot for slow cooked meat. I loved having a salad without lettuce or kale, that was so fresh, and crunchy, and works so well with olive oil and lots of lemon juice.

Thinly slice apples, fennel, and radish. Fennel in the bowl first, sprinkle a nice amount of salt, and massage the fennel. Then add sliced apples and radishes. Pour some olive oil, lemon juice, sliced tomatoes, and cilantro and mix it in. Taste it to see if there’s enough salt, lemon juice and olive oil. I think I used two lemons.

 

 

The Topanga Chili Cook Off 2015

I don’t have a recipe to share for my chili. I can only list the ingredients I used and a few methods. What I really want, is to share what I used, and thank the local farms and my friends. From finding fresh curry leaves at the farmers market, to my Husband asking me to put fresh strawberries in chili one night, everything came together from the inspiration that surrounds me. I got second place in the traditional category, even though it was quite untraditional.

Here are the ingredients I used and what I did.

Santa Rita Farm Heirloom Tomatoes~ In the summer when the tomato season was at it’s peak and the flavor was best, I vacuum sealed and froze bags of them.

Grass fed ground beef and grass fed bison stewing meat. The beef is from Novy’s, and the bison is from the guy at the Santa Monica Farmers Market. I’ll post the name of the farm once I go back and ask.

Fresh Curry Leaves~Coleman Family Farm ~ I infused olive oil with the leaves and crushed garlic. I let the garlic burn. Poured the oil in a bottle, straining the garlic and curry leaves out. I used the infused oil to marinate the bison over night.

Padron peppers and jalapenos~ Santa Rita Farm~ I made a chili paste after roasting padron and jalapeno peppers. Roxanne even gave me one lucky red padron.

Habanero Hot Sauce~Sage Mountain Farm~ I made my own habanero sauce with habaneros, poblano peppers, garlic, carrots, vinegar and salt.

Chantrelle Mushrooms~ Santa Monica Farmers Market

Heirloom Sweet Potatoes~Milliken Farms~Everyone loves their heirloom sweet potatoes. They are special and I had to use them.

Jerusalem Artichoke~Coleman Family Farm~I was aiming for the artichoke flavor and unique texture, but I cut these too small and it seemed like it was just all sweet potatoes.

Rind of Limes- Etheridge Farm~I added a lot of this to the chili, but I couldn’t taste it in the end.

Sweet Onions and Heirloom Garlic~Milliken Farms~Best Ever.

I topped the chili with fresh strawberries from Tamai Family Farm.

I topped that off with habanero lime whip cream I made. (no sugar in the cream)

Why whip cream? For one, I love organic pastures raw cream. I thought about sour cream, but I didn’t want something store bought. I usually put some homemade mayo on top when I make chili. Then I thought, “some people are scared of raw eggs.” So whip cream came to mind. “Can I make a savory whip cream?! That could be totally weird.” So I tried it. With a lot of Lime juice, and a few spoon fulls of homemade habanero hot sauce, it tasted awesome. And since I was already planning to add fresh strawberries, it just made since to top whip cream on it.

Tamarind chutney~The one non local ingredient, but this one idea was bugging me. It really seemed like I needed some tangy tamarind in the chili. I really liked it. I would’ve just use tamarind paste, but chutney was all I could find.

I wish I had the chance to have a bowl, every bit of it was devoured by others.

Here’s a funny story on this years cook off, and a real chili recipe, from SkinnyGirlsandMayo.

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~Brown the meat first.

~Use the beer before adding in stock and stuff. Pour it in with the browned meat, onions, and garlic, and cook it until the beer is almost all evaporated. Then pour in stock.

~Let the stewing meat cook about an hour before adding the ground meat and vegetables.

~Add tomatoes in later. I put them in on the last hour, without the skins and juices.

~Kudzu powder or some kind of sauce thickener. With kudzu, you have to let it dissolve in a little water first and then add it in, or it will clump.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celery Cream Sauce with Cauliflower Greens

You can use other greens as well, collards, kale… I used cauliflower greens because I have some giant leaves in the garden.

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Things I used from the box: celery, potatoes, jalapeno, and basil. (could have used the kale)

To make the cream sauce, boil a few potatoes. Then use a potato ricer once they’re cooked.

In a sauce pan with oil and butter, stir fry, chopped celery and a little chopped jalapeno (which was in the family box), or you can use some red pepper or cayenne pepper. Then add cream, and let it simmer until it gets a little thicker.

Put it all in a blender, then to a bowl, add the potato, and stir, smashing the potato a little more. If you add the potato in the blender it might make the sauce really sticky.

Add the sauce over the top of your stir fried greens.

If you want to do this without dairy, use cashew cream and coconut oil instead. 

The basil oil, is just olive oil, salt, garlic, and basil pureed.IMG_1879

Salmon with Fresh Curry Leaf, Kombu Broth

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When working with another family to bring locally, sourced foods and preparing it for them, I consider that all four of them have different needs and taste buds. It’s a balancing act to keep everyone happy.

I wrote several paragraphs about the challenges I’m facing with that, and how I’ve found new appreciation for things I used to dislike (like spaghetti squash). I think I’ll just keep it simple and bring up the spaghetti squash recipe another day.

To my surprise, I found fresh CURRY LEAVES and key limes leaves from Coleman Farms! A broth came to mind.

Broth:

1 kombu sheet

branch of fresh curry leaves (around 8 leaves)

2 key lime leaves

1 padron pepper

real salt

Soak the kombu in water for 15 minutes. Turn on the heat til it boils and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the kombu. Add salt, curry leaves, pepper, and key lime leaves, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Salmon:

Sear the salmon on both sides in coconut oil and ghee, some salt and pepper on top. Keep salmon raw in the middle. Remove the skin and set it aside.

Sort of a relish?

I have pickled onions I made a week ago. Diced garlic, and browned them in the pan after the salmon was removed. Chopped up pickled onions, the browned garlic, and key lime rind with a little squeeze of the citrus.

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I took some fresh frisee from Maggies Greens, and put it in the bowl.

Warmed the broth up in the pan the salmon was seared in. Then put the salmon back in it for a minute to cook, but not over cook.

Put a piece of salmon on top of the frisee, spooned the broth over it, and added the pickled onion relish on top. Squeezed a little more key lime on top the salmon.

If you ever come across fresh curry leaves, get some! They’re crazy tasty!

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Refreshing Summer Snack, Quick Pickling Veggies

I was asked to do a demonstration at the Yogi Tree next week, so I came up with an assortment of quick pickled veggies. Since I don’t like zucchini raw, this was the first time I tried to pickle it. It turned out to be very tasty, and I like the texture.

Here’s what I used.

From the garden: rosemary, mint, and nasturtium flowers.

From the Organic farms: green beans, zucchini, garlic, and biodynamic allspice.

From my cabinet: turmeric, real salt, white vinegar, and toasted sesame oil. (all organic)

Two 24 oz, mason jars. Make sure to sterilize the jars.

For the brine: Fill one jar with half water and half vinegar. Pour it into a pot and add 2 tablespoons of salt, and other spices you want. Some people add a little sugar to balance out the salt and vinegar. You can also add more or less salt.

Pack the two mason jars with washed and chopped veggies. I chose to boil the green beans for 3 minutes, and then add raw zucchini on the top. Just zucchini would be good too. Then, a little crushed garlic, rosemary, and nasturtium flowers.

Boil the brine, and then pour it into the jars. That amount of brine should cover two jars. If it’s a little short, just add a little vinegar or water to top off the jars. Then add a little oil on top. Shake the jars. Usually, it’s good to wait at least 2 days so the flavors have time to absorb. It’s nice to give the jars some shaking each day.

This should last at least two weeks.

Tat Soi Salad with Walnuts and Spirulina

SavRaw Local Farm Box

The best way one of our farms described tat soi to me is, it’s like a mix between spinach and bok choy, and tastes even better then spinach. You can cook with it or eat it raw and it tastes great either way.

Something that’s happened due to the effects of the drought is that some small farmers are taking less risk as to what they’re growing. They want to be sure it will sell on the table. Tat soi is one of those vegetables that’s not easy to grow, and some farms have told me it doesn’t sell well enough because people don’t know what it is. For that reason, it’s been a while since it’s become available. So this week, I’m thrilled to have tat soi from JR Organics, and repost this very simple recipe of a time I first discovered this tasty green.

tat soi salad

Tat Soi

Spirulina

Fresh Lemon Juice

Organic…

View original post 97 more words

Avocado Soup

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I have been making slightly different versions of avocado soup every week recently, using what I have available. One week I used spinach, another I used lots of basil, another week was lime and cilantro…. I got my hands on bell pepper and heirloom tomatoes this week, so that’s what I used, and I love this version.

2 lbs zucchini (this time I used gold bar zucchini)

2 ripe Avocados

1/2 bunch cilantro

1 yellow onion

3 cloves garlic

oil of choice

1 red bell pepper

1 small heirloom tomato

paprika, cayenne pepper, real salt, and cumin

Chop the onion. Heat up a pot with some oil. Add the onions and garlic and stir fry on low/medium heat. Sprinkle in plenty of paprika; cover all over those onions. Add cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper, (the amount you like). Add chopped tomato. Once the onions have cooked down, add some water. Bring it to a boil, add in chopped bell pepper, and let it simmer for a while. It’s ok if it doesn’t simmer a long time, but if you can, let it simmer an hour or two, so the broth gets tastier.

There should be just enough water in the pot to cover the zucchini. Then add chopped zucchini and cook medium/high heat until the zucchini is cooked through.

Add the soup to a blender, then add avocados and fresh cilantro. Blend super smooth. If it’s too thick, add a little more broth or water. If it’s not thick enough, add another avocado.

You can eat this hot or chilled!

Kimchi Inspired Red Cabbage Salad

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Green garlic was in our family box today! Sage Mountain Farms green garlic is the best there is, I wish we could smell it through this picture!

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Instead of using green onions, I had kurrat, (also called egyptian leeks) from our last box. They’re tastier and rare to find.

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~ Red Cabbage

~ Kurrat or green onions

~ 1/3 cup Red Pepper Flakes

~ 1/4 cup Green Garlic

~ 1/4 cup fish sauce

~ 1/3 cup salt

~ 1/4 coconut palm sugar

Make a brine in a large pot, combine the salt and the sugar with 2 quarts of water, heat until the salt dissolves, and the water is warm, but not hot!

Pour the brine over chopped cabbage and kurrat and leave for 30 minutes.

Make a paste by mixing, garlic, red pepper flakes, and fish sauce in a food processor.

Drain the cabbage, and put it in a bowl, sprinkle a little more salt. Mix in the delicious, spicy paste!

Creamy Zucchini Noodles

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~About 3 lbs of zucchini (cut with a mandoline slicer or zucchini spiralizer)

~4 tablespoons organic pastures raw butter or coconut oil

~5 cloves of garlic

~half a large onion

~2 cups homemade beef bone broth (grass fed from Novy’s Ranches) or vegetable broth

~1 cup organic pastures cream or coconut milk

~sun dried tomatoes

~kalamata olives from Nuvo (most olives in the store contain lye, Nuvo doesn’t)

~red pepper flakes or a fresh hot pepper, salt, pepper, and italian seasoning

In a large pan, melt the butter, and add garlic, onions and spices. Cook for a few minutes on medium heat.

Add the broth and cream. Bring to a boil, then let simmer until the sauce thickens.

Add zucchini noodles, sun dried tomatoes and olives.

Cook the zucchini until it’s cooked but not too soft.

You can add basil or other fresh herbs. You could also add cheese, and stir it in while simmering the sauce.

This recipe was taste tested by 3 surprise visitors who were very happy with it.

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Purple Cauliflower and Spinach Salad

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This Sundays Large box had purple cauliflower and mulberries! The mulberries were devoured quickly. IMG_1205

Purple Cauliflower and Spinach Salad

Veggies: Purple Cauliflower, Spinach

Herbs: Savory and Chives

Spices: Salt, Pepper, Sumac

Coconut Oil and Fresh Lemon Juice

Break the cauliflower into little florets and Steam them on low heat in a pan with coconut oil, savory, salt, pepper, and sumac.

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Mix the cauliflower while it’s still hot, with chopped fresh spinach. Add fresh lemon juice and chopped chives.