february 6 weekly menu | winter table

Farm Fresh

beets, collard greens, kale, leeks, mushrooms, parsnips

What’s for Dinner?

We’re kicking it into high gear with the pizza and movie nights…The Oscars are nearly here! Some Indian this week too, in the form of a big pot of dahl with lentil and greens, to keep the wet chill away. A special Mexican request is fulfilled so easily with the local tortillas that arrived in my CSA box. And a couple new ways with parsnips. Maybe just one of them my kids will like!

Friday – TV trays, movie, & homemade pizza

pizza with leeks, mushrooms, and Italian sausage (The New Basics)
kale salad (Bon Appetit)

Saturday – indian veggie bliss

curried red lentil and greens stew (Oprah Magazine)
basmati rice
naan

Sunday – extra special mashed parsnips

braised pork with apples & leeks (Rachael Ray)
mustard-cheddar mashed parsnips & potatoes (Rachael Ray)

Monday – cake for dinner

parsnip and chorizo cake (Chocolate and Zucchini)
beet salad with goat cheese & walnuts (Jennifer Segal, Serious Eats)

Tuesday – taco tuesday + beets(!)

beet salsa with avocado & blood orange (Diane Morgan, Roots)
chicken and mushroom quesadillas (Bon Appetit)

Wednesday – a cauliflower craving

pasta with cauliflower & collards (Martha Stewart)

Thursday – kale butter?!?  

italian sammies with kale butter (Ashley Gartland, Dishing Up Oregon)
kettle chips

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Friday –TV trays, movie, & homemade pizza

pizza with leeks, mushrooms, and Italian sausage (The New Basics)
kale salad (Bon Appetit)

With the Academy Awards on the horizon, it’s time to get serious about this pizza and movie night! This week back to a classic pizza night choice. Use the same pan to caramelize the leeks (on low, slowly, slowly), theIMG_1084n saute the mushrooms, then fry up the sausage. As each is done, set on the toppings bar, and see what else anyone might like to add. Combinations are endless! Follow this prior Pizza Night post for step-by-step, easy homemade pizza. I’ll add a quick kale salad, adding a big dose of healthy to pizza night. Any simple olive oil/vinegar dressing is wonderful – I’ll use balsamic vinegar, and add thinly sliced pears or apples. My CSA delivery today was still overflowing with these local, crispy delectables.

Saturday – indian veggie bliss

curried red lentil and greens stew (Oprah Magazine)
basmati rice
naan

With rain, rain, and more rain in the weekend forecast, this lentil-based dahl is sure-fire comfort and warmth. I’ll use a couple of leeks instead of onion, and a large bunch of thinly sliced collards instead of chard. I always add a generous handful of chopped cilantro to the final cooking, as well as some extra with the toppings. It adds such a magnificent flavor to Indian food. Ladle the dahl over a nice wide bowl of basmati rice, and serve with your favorite naan. I’ll be picking mine up from the experts at Bombay Chaat House food cart. The vegetable samosas somehow usually make it into my to-go order as well.

Sunday – extra special mashed parsnips

braised pork with apples & leeks (Rachael Ray)
mustard-cheddar mashed parsnips & potatoes (Rachael Ray)

Confession time…I am struggling to use all of my parsnips. I’m always on the lookout for recipes that might make them just a bit less parsnip-ey. Although they have a certain sweetness, for some reason they are just not that appealing to my kids. And you can’t really eat them raw, like carrots, so there they sit until I find a home for them (cooked) at the dinner table. This may be a winner. I’ve done parsnips & potatoes mashed together, usually with just a lot of milk and butter. But with the addition of extra sharp white cheddar, and grainy mustard, I think we’re in business. I’ll use half parsnips, half potatoes, about a pound of each (halving the recipe for just my family.) The braised and slow-cooked pork will make a perfect match. As a bonus, I get to use leeks (instead of onions) and apples from my CSA box. Unless you’re having company, or want lots of leftovers, I’d consider baking two pounds of pork instead of four, and halving the rest of the pork ingredients as well. It is baked low and slow, until the pork is able to be pulled apart with two forks. Serve atop the mashed parsnips, with the cooking liquids that have transformed into a chunky apple and leek sauce. Perfect for Sunday supper, company or not. For a lightening quick weeknight rendition, make the parsnip mash, and add bratwursts!

Monday – cake for dinner

parsnip and chorizo cake (Chocolate and Zucchini)
beet salad with goat cheese & walnuts (Jennifer Segal, Serious Eats)

The idea of this baked egg dish is marvelous, combining parsnips (yippee!) and chorizo into a flavorful main dish. I will, however, alter the preparation significantly, always looking for a quicker, easier way. I’ll double the recipe, and sauté the grated parsnips with a bit of olive oil and garlic, until they’re nicely softened. The chorizo will come pre-cooked, but you could certainly use this same pan to brown it up a little. Toss everything in the beaten eggs, and pour into a large baking pan. No need for the water bath, etc. – just bake until puffed and set. Not exactly a cake, but we’ll still call it that! The salad is my go-to beet salad with a honey dijon vinaigrette a perfect accompaniment to nearly any meal. With the beets cooked, peeled, and at at-the-ready (hint: do this as soon as possible after beets enter your door!), this salad is a breeze. We enjoy it with no greens at all, just lots of favorite nuts and goat or blue cheese.

Tuesday – taco wednesday + beets(!)

beet salsa with avocado & blood orange (Diane Morgan, Roots)
chicken and mushroom quesadillas (Bon Appetit)

Lucky for us that one of the goodies available in the Hood River Organic CSA box is freshly made organic flour and corn tortillas from La Cascada of Hood River. With the kids always hollering out for Mexican, the tortillas, along with the magnificent veggies, are perfect inspiration. This week, I’ll use lots of my gorge-grown mushrooms, along with a made-by-someone-else roasted chicken, in these simple weeknight quesadillas. A big ol’ cast iron pan is all you need to whip up some lightly golden and crunchy quesadillas. Instead of store-bought salsa-in-the-tub, I’ll make this fabulous seasonal beet salsa. Having roasted the beets ahead of time (Diane has a wonderful beet-roasting video tutorial on her website!), it’s a a snap, even mid-week. Her salsa is a wonderfully wintry blend of blood oranges, zesty lime & cilantro, avocado, beets, & chiles. Keep those tortillas coming!

Wednesday – a cauliflower craving

pasta with cauliflower & collards (Martha Stewart)

I don’t usually question or lament the contents of my CSA boxes. I just plan and cook, whatever they happen to bring me. Recently, however, I’ve really been wanting some cauliflower, ordering at every chance if I happen to be dining out. I’m not even sure if it’s part of the Oregon farmer’s market line-up right now, but I do plan to find some and make this ultra-easy pasta dish. Bonus: it uses another bunch of my collard greens! I’ll use a whole pound of pasta, add some shredded chicken left from the night before, and give the entire dish a healthy sprinkling of lemon juice at the end. Cravings are sometimes so easy (and guilt-free!) to satisfy.

Thursday – sammie night

italian sammies with kale butter (Ashley Gartland, Dishing Up Oregon)
kettle chips

We do look forward to sammie & chip night. Casual, quick, and everyone can tweak it how they like it. These doozies with “kale butter” are right up my alley! No excess of real butter, just kale and onion (could be leeks…) cooked until they are literally the consistency of butter. Pile that on your favorite bakery bread, add a good dose of cheese, and bake until warm and melty. With mushroom overflow, I anticipate that I’ll be sautéing up a batch of these for an extra topping too. Add the bowl (bag) of Kettle Chips – everyone’s happy!

“What the Kale?!?”

Don’t panic and get out the compost bin if all of the sudden you have a giant veggie delivery coming your way, and you still have a fridge full.  Here are a few suggestions for preserving the bounty!  (Soups and stews freeze wonderfully in those gallon zip lock freezer bags.)

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