April 21, 2013

Green Goodness for Your Belly

This weekend I posted a few recipes on a friend's blog, highlighting the tasty and nutritious greens that are making their way into our farm markets.  I'm going to repost here, hoping my readers will enjoy these dishes.

Because she's traveling, my friend shared her box of produce from a local co-op in exchange for using the items as inspiration for creativity in the kitchen and sharing what I made via the co-op's blog (if you're local to the Lehigh Valley, you must check them out--it's called Pure Sprouts and they deliver).

With the items, which featured lots of greens, I decided to make a smoothie, a frittata, and an Asian ramen noodle dish.

First up is a Kale Matcha Smoothie, one of my husband’s favorites.  In case you didn’t know, matcha is powdered green tea and is a bright green color that doesn’t compete with the kale.  You can use raw kale in this smoothie or lightly steam it to make it a little less “leafy.”

KALE MATCHA SMOOTHIE

(makes four 10 oz. servings) 

3 kale leaves, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
1 apple, diced
2 bananas, broken into chunks
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1/4 c. rolled oats
2 tbsp honey (add more or less per your taste)
1 1/2 c. milk (dairy, soy, almond, etc.)
1 tsp matcha green tea powder (or substitute 1/4 cup cooled, green tea and reduce milk by 1/4 c.)
1/2 c. ice (optional but recommended)
This is as simple as combining all ingredients in a blender and processing until thoroughly combined.
Enjoy this cold and frothy.  This smoothie can also be turned into tasty popsicles if you freeze them in molds.

Another great way to use spring greens is in a frittata. My family enjoys one at least once a week, and you can certainly tailor the ingredients to whatever you have on hand, and can change up the greens to whatever is available.

SPRING GREENS AND MUSHROOM FRITTATA

(makes one 9″ frittata, serves 8) 

1/2 c. packed, chopped spinach leaves
1/2 c. packed, chopped rainbow chard (de-stemmed)
4 spring onions, thinly sliced both white and green parts (or substitute a red onion)
5 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1/4 c. fresh minced chives
1/3 c. olive oil
8 large eggs
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste

Warm a heavy 9″ or 12″ skillet on medium high, then add the olive oil to the pan.  Have your spring onions and mushrooms ready to go.
When glossy-looking, add the onion and mushrooms and saute until soft and browned.  Then add the chopped spinach and chard on top to wilt.
 Meanwhile, beat your eggs along with the milk and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Stir the vegetable and greens mixture in the pan, reduce heat to medium, and pour the eggs over top.  Top with shredded cheddar and chives, then cover and cook on the stove top until the eggs are set and begin to pull from the sides of the pan, usually about 5-10 minutes.  Alternately, you could put it in the oven under the broiler for 3-5 minutes to cook.
 Serve with a salad (more greens, yay!) or just on its own, for any meal of the day.
Also included in my local bin was baby bok choi, so I knew I’d have to make some type of sesame noodle dish; it’s so good with bok choi.  I often use soba noodles (made from buckwheat) but decided to use ramen since I had that on hand.

SESAME RAMEN NOODLES WITH BABY BOK CHOI AND PEA SHOOTS

(serves 4) 

2 tbsp canola or sunflower oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
4 spring onions, whites and greens chopped.  Reserve a little of the green part for garnish.
2 cups baby pac choi (I used the entire amount from the bin)
2 cups chopped pea shoots
1/4 cup finely minced fresh chives
15 oz. dried ramen noodles (discard seasoning pouch, if contained in the package)
2 tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp honey
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
4 tsp tamari or soy sauce
1/4 cup sesame seeds or sunflower seeds for garnish
Cook ramen noodles according to the package.  Drain and set aside.  In a skillet, heat the oil and saute the garlic and onion until soft.  Add the baby bok choi and saute until wilted and soft, then remove from heat.

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, sesame oil, honey and tamari/soy sauce, then add the chives and the remainder of the green onion.
In a large serving bowl, combine the noodles, bok choi mixture, and pea shoots. Here's what pea shoots look like:
They have the flavor of peas but the benefit of not having to wait around all season until the peas are ready.  You can eat them raw or cooked.  I added the ramen noodles to the pea shoots, as well as the hot bok choi mixture, which nicely wilted the pea shoots.
Pour the sauce over the noodles and vegetables, then gently toss with tongs to coat.  Garnish with sesame seeds or sunflower seeds and serve warm or cold. My sons devoured this for lunch, so it was a hit with the pre-k and toddler crowd.  Hope you enjoy it too!

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