Archive for August, 2012

August 29, 2012

Purslane: A Breakfast Quinoa with apples and greens

I’ve been reading about the Ayurvedic Dosha’s and the importance of breakfast- it is recommended to have something warm and spicy to start your agni or internal fire to give you energy for the rest of the day.
I’m usually a smoothie or piece of toast person. after making my breakfast quinoa today I realize I have been missing out on breakfast as warm, calming and comforting. I always reserved that sort of mood for dinner. or hot chocolate after skating. That is what this breakfast will make you feel like.

Breakfast Quinoa with Purslane

    1/2 C Quinoa
    1 C Water
    1 apple- grated
    1/2 small lemon, zested
    plus a squeeze of lemon juice
    1 bunch Purslane (leaves only)
    1 T Brown Sugar
    1 t Cinnamon
    1 T butter (unsalted!)

Serves 2.

Rinse Quinoa and cook according to package directions. Usually: boil 1 C water, add quinoa, bring to a boil again then reduce heat to low and cover for 15 min.
at 10 min, add in the grated apple, lemon zest, lemon juice.
After 15 min, remove quinoa from heat. Stir in butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Cover and let rest for 5 min.
Mix hot quinoa with Purslane, adjust seasoning, cover for a few more minutes to lightly wilt the purslane. Serve!

Why purslane? We first tried purslane from the farm box last month, it has a beautiful round leaf with a juicy bite- we ate it with scallops & pasta- and I declared it the scallop of the vegetable world- it is that good. It is a succulent veggie that somewhat gives you a bit of a rabbit feeling when you eat it- but it has a crisp sweet and tangy flavour much like an apple. We had more purslane this week- and i found this recipe for an apple quinoa salad with purslane, and decided to make it a breakfast.

I find the leaves the best part- the stems add a more spinach taste which makes purslane the perfect green to be sweet (for breakfast!) or savoury. The Chef’s Dictionary suggests using Purslane as a substitute for watercress or spinach – adding it to any meal gives you the amazing health benefits of omega-3’s, calcium, Vitamins A, C & E, and iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium and manganese.

An easy way to add purslane to your diet- would be adding it in a sandwich, or salads, or using it as a garnish. I tried all three adding purslane somewhat randomly and in all three the purslane was bland, boring, and kind of weird. It did not *add* anything to the dish- it will not make you love purslane. Instead, think of any food where you would use an apple, or watercress, and add purslane.

For more health benefits of purslane see:
Natural Home & Garden- Purslane
Wikipedia: Purslane

August 24, 2012

What to do with Mizuna: an omelette

mizuna was the first mystery vegetable from my UBC farm box. I find that it looks like arugula, tastes like a very peppery parsley and has a hardiness when cooked- like spinach!
From Rareseeds.com:
(B. rapa) A delicious Japanese green; cook like spinach. Vigorous plant produces many thin stalks; very mild and tasty, early. Highly used in salad mixes.

I took the cue of cooking it like spinach and made a delicious omelette with some farm eggs. You do not need to cook the mizuna before adding it to your eggs- just add it (like spinach!) to your eggs as they cook.

August 23, 2012

Farm Box- Week of Aug 18 (or CSA Side Dishes)

This week’s farm box contains: Daikon, beets*, zucchini, kale, salad mix, mixed beans, basil

I swapped by beets for a beautiful head of leaf lettuce. Sorry Grandma. For a truely unique beet recipe see this post for beet cupcakes from Growing Chefs.

Sometimes a box will feed you from meal to meal all week. I look forward to every meal I am going to make. Then something happens, and you get turnips and beets and carrots and … well I like turnips and beets and carrots. In fact the Finnish side of me knew I could pull out my finnish cookbook and try a few traditional meals. But, I did not want turnip and carrot gratin-it was too wintery. The house was hot. I didnt want to turn on the oven. So the turnips and beets sat in the crisper.

This weeks box fed us a lot of salad:
1)Tuna & White bean salad (with mixed greens).
2)Green Bean salad with Parmesan, with Poached eggs.
3)Cold Noodle Salad with Grilled Squid

so I felt sufficiently saladed to be able to indulge in
4)Steak Pizzaiola with purple/yellow/green mixed beans– a recipe I’ve seen, never tried, was not to interested in but was curious.. and I don’t know WHAT took me so long to make this. It is incredible. I never eat a whole steak and I polished mine off. I ate all the green beans too.
The lovely thing about Steak Pizzaiola is that after you have seared the steaks for a minute on each side you cook them for 5 minutes in tomato sauce, leaving you with a nice cup of meaty flavoured tomato sauce for another meal.
Such as:
5) Pasta with my Pizzaiola tomato sauce, and a grilled zucchini salad.

Today’s weather is fall in August – good weather for
6) Sauteed Kale with White beans & Sausage.. Served over garlic bread.

back to the noodle salad.

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