Category Archives: What’s in the box?

Community supported agriculture

La Gringa Weekly Meal Plan

La Gringa Meal Plan

Here are some of the fruits and vegetables that I bought at the Sunday Market this week. I paid 400 pesos ($22 US). I know it looks like a huge amount of produce but El Gringo and I will eat all of it.

Possible side dishes and lunches this week.
Fruit salads, caprese salad, cut carrot sticks, BBQ spicy green beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, red pepper strips.

Recipe Links:
Mushroom Tamales
Caesar Salad with Red snapper


Roasted Tomato Basil Pasta
Slice Roma tomatoes in half length wise. Spritz with olive oil, top with fresh rosemary and thyme sprigs and sea salt. Roast in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes until charred and partially dry. I added a head of garlic to the roasting pan. Cook any pasta as directed and save some of the cooking liquid. Toss chopped tomatoes, a handful of sliced basil, 1/4 cup olive oil or to taste, mashed roasted garlic and pasta water to lightly moisten the pasta. Toss with 1 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese and serve with salad and fresh fruit.

Baby Lettuce, Blue Cheese and Bacon Wedge Salad

Baby Lettuce Blue Cheese Wedge Salad

Baby Lettuce Blue Cheese Wedge Salad

Baby Lettuce Blue Cheese Wedge Salad
My Winter produce can be a bore. I’m lucky enough to be a hundred miles from California’s Sacramento Valley where the Spring crops are coming into season but there hasn’t been a huge variety yet. My CSA basket has been filled with kale, cabbage, carrots, radishes are turnips. Last week I was surprised with these Little Gem lettuces.

Baby Lettuce Blue Cheese Wedge Salad
They look and taste like Romaine but are the size of a baseball. They are beautiful ruffled green, four bite wonders. I washed and sliced them in half and dressed them with Trader Joe’s blue cheese dressing and crisp bacon. A baby wedge salad was on the table in 5 minutes. Pick them up with your hands and eat them in 2 bites. These would be perfect for an appetizer if cut into fourths or for an elegant dinner party. You can make wedge salads with iceberg lettuce but why would you if you can find these Little Gems.

Baby Lettuce Blue Cheese Wedge Salad 

Savor every bite.

The Main Attraction: Flavor Packed Superfood Salads

Roasted Pear and Pistachio Salad

Im taking my nutrient packed salad to Fiesta Friday where you too can find amazing recipes and inspiration @TheNoviceGardener.com
You can easily make a main dish salad using any fruits and greens that are fresh. When I shop for produce, I always have salad in mind. We eat some raw and some cooked vegetables every day for lunch and dinner. I buy the freshest super greens that I can find; arugula, kale, spinach, mesclun mix, mustard greens, or cabbage. The deeper the green, the better. These types of greens are an excellent source of folic acid, vitamin C, fiber, antioxidants and other essential nutrients. Iceberg lettuce on the other hand has very little nutritional value so pass it by and explore the green options. Most greens are on the dirty dozen list so buy organic whenever possible. Combine your greens with apples, pears, oranges, berries or any fruit that is in season. Roasting the apples and pears takes any salad over the top but you can use raw fruit as well. If your salad is the main attraction then add a nutritious source of protein with toasted nuts, legumes and/or small amounts of flavorful cheese like feta, blue or parmesan. You could add a small amount of cooked whole grains like barley or wheat berries. Skip the processed meats and go light on the cheese if you are watching your calories and saturated fats. Use a light hand when dressing these flavor packed salads. A light drizzle of olive oil or nut oils and a squeeze of lemon or orange juice is all that’s needed. Heavy mayo dressings are high in calories and will bury the delicate flavors of your fresh vegetables and fruit.
There are endless possibilities when building a main dish salad.

Roasted Pear and Pistachio Salad

Here are a few of my favorites

Spinach, oranges and walnuts
Kale, apple and feta
Mesclun, berries and pecans
Arugula, watermelon and feta
Kale, butternut squash and pine nuts

Roasted Pear and Pistachio Salad

Roasted Pear and Pistachio Salad
Servings 2-4

Ingredients:

2 Fresh Pears
1 Lemon, juiced
6 cups arugula
1/8 cup finely chopped red onion or shallot
1/2 cup roasted pistachio nuts toasted
1/4 cup pistachio oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 ounces feta cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste.

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice pears into 1/2 inch slices and arrange in a single layer on parchment paper over a baking sheet. Roast until soft and golden about 20 minutes. Lightly toast nuts on a separate baking sheet approximately 5 minutes. Watch closely because nuts will burn easily. When cool, roughly chop nuts and set aside.

In a small bowl whisk together oil, juice of one lemon, onion, honey, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and a dash of pepper until combined.

Arrange arugula on salad plates, top with pears, nuts and feta. Drizzle with salad dressing.

Vegetarian Bolognese and Zucchini Noodles, Fiesta Friday

Vegetarian Bolognese

Cutting carbs? Try this delicious vegetarian, low carbohydrate Bolognese over zucchini noodles. The mushrooms lend a nice meaty texture, the sauce is loaded with vegetables and the mascarpone cheese gives it a decadent creamy finish. Zucchini noodles are low in calories and carbohydrates with a pasta mouth feel. I use this Paderno World Cuisine A4982799 Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer spirilizer from Amazon*. This meal can be enjoyed with a fresh Italian salad. You can make it vegan and paleo by substituting a vegan cashew cream. I’m taking this dish to Fiesta Friday hosted by Angie at TheNoviceGardener.

Vegetarian Bolognese

Vegetarian Bolognese

Vegetarian Bolognese

Vegetarian Bolognese

Vegetarian Bolognese

Vegetable Bolognese and Zucchini Noodles

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 60-90 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

Vegetarian Bolognese:
2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 fennel bulb, coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups chopped assorted mushrooms, such as shiitake, cremini and/or button, stemmed and chopped
1/2 cup dry red wine, such as merlot or cabernet sauvignon
14 oz can diced, no salt tomatoes
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese

2 medium zucchini spirals

Instructions:
Clean and chop all vegetables.
Sauté garlic and onions in olive oil until translucent. Add remaining vegetables and cook until soft about 10 minutes. Add herbs, tomatoes and wine. Simmer 30-60 minutes. I prefer a longer simmer to meld the flavors. Just before ready to serve, add mascarpone cheese and stir until melted and combined. Add zucchini noodles to sauce and simmer 5 minutes to warm noodles but keep crisp tender. Serve with shaved parmesan if desired.

Adapted from http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/rosemary-and-mustard-chicken-with-vegetable-bolognese-recipe.html

 

 

 

 

* Affiliate link. I receive a few cents if you make a  purchase.

Spaghetti Squash with Turkey and Sage

Spaghetti Squash and Turkey

All the paleo diet sites rave about spaghetti squash because it has the mouth feel of pasta without the processed wheat flour. The carbohydrate load is very low and because it’s rather bland, it is a good background for pasta sauces. I have tried it in past summers with little success. It was boring and lack luster. I like to stuff and bake other squashes like acorn and butternut so I decided to give the spaghetti squash another try.

Wow!

This combination of ground lean turkey, ricotta, sage and parmesan cheese was moist and delicious. It tasted like Thanksgiving on a plate. Continue reading

Caramelized Honey Squash Rings, Fiesta Friday

Caramelized Squash Rings
Happy Halloween and Happy Harvest

I received these beautiful yellow and green striped delicata winter squashes and pomegranates in my Fall CSA basket. The delicata are petite winter squash that can be used to make perfect little rings to roast and caramelize. The pomegranates are a tangy sweet addition that look gorgeous next to the orange and yellow rings. What a lovely addition to a Halloween dinner and to a virtual party at Fiesta Friday. Stop by and visit The Novice Gardener for a bounty of new Friday recipes. Our hosts this week are Margy @lapetitecasserole and Jhuls@thenotsocreative cook
Caramelized Squash Rings

Caramelized Honey Squash Rings

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 40 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
• 2 small delicate squash
• 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger or fresh grated
• salt and pepper to taste
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Slice squash into 1/2 inch rings.
3. Drizzle squash with honey and sprinkle on spices.
4. Bake uncovered until golden and caramelized, about 40 minutes.
5. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and serve warm.

Caramelized Squash Rings

Pumpkin Kale Enchiladas: Fiesta Friday #38

Pumpkin Kale Enchiladas

 

Pumpkin Kale Enchiladas

Hello Fall produce!

You know I love summer vegetables but I’m a tad bit tired of tomatoes and zucchini so I welcome the change in seasonal produce. This recipe for pumpkin, kale, Moroccan spiced enchiladas in a feta, coconut bechamel sauce was based loosely on “Indian Enchiladas” (Fitness Magazine, Feb. 2014),which used potato and spinach with curry to create a vegetarian enchilada. In the spirit of using what’s in your refrigerator these warm, creamy, nutrient packed ‘chiladas were born. I think any warm spice combination would work, for example Indian or Moroccan. Try these with Mexican mole sauce and let me know how it goes. Continue reading