Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Autumn Wheat Berry Salad (or Stuffing)

This recipe can be served cold, room temperature or even warm on its own or used as a stuffing for squash, onions, turkey, etc.

  • 1 cup wheat berries (or barley)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 small or 1 large yam/sweet potato
  • 1 tsp ground coriander (optional; sub allspice or cinnamon for a sweeter flavor)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped (or 2 Tbs minced sweet onion)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans, pumpkin seeds, or slivered almonds (optional)

Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette:

  • 2 Tbs. fig jam*
  • 1 Tbs. fine prepared mustard (Dijon, wine, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil or some nice salad oil like hazelnut, etc.
  • 2 Tbs. maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Pinch ground ginger
  • Black pepper

Bring water to a boil; add wheat berries and cook 1 hour, until done; drain if needed. If using barley, cook accordingly depending on the type, pearled or not. Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Peel and cube sweet potatoes. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and coriander or other spices to your liking and roast for 20-30 minutes, until tender and slightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbs olive oil in a medium pan and saute onions, celery and apple just until they start to soften. Combine with potatoes and cooked wheat berries. Toss with dressing and serve.

*If you don't have fig jam handy, sub apple jelly, apple butter, apricot jam, pear jam, etc. or simmer 2 minced figs or half of a pear or apple in 1/4 cup water, 1 Tbs honey/sugar, and a squeeze of lemon juice, or... be creative!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Spaghetti Squash recipes

Since I'm still having trouble deciding which amongst these recipes I'm going to make to use up the spaghetti squash, I decided to share them all. I have to admit, spaghetti squash ranks up there with boiled spinach and the likes as a least favorite food memory, probably because my mother always tried to serve it like spaghetti: drowned in tomato-y pasta sauce and Parmesan cheese. So it's not something I go out and voluntarily buy, but since we don't throw food out around here, and I've come great lengths in abandoning food aversions and "outgrowing" a distaste for certain foods particularly since participating in the CSA, I have resigned myself to finding more unique ways to prepare this interesting vegetable. So here are some of the ideas that I have stumbled across recently:

Bon Appetit!

P.S. If anyone happens to try one of these ideas, please leave your thoughts/advice in the comments!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Swiss chard on the side

This is one of my favorite ways to prepare Swiss chard. It goes wonderfully with your favorite main course - perhaps some grilled chicken or fish and a side of rice. Anything, really.

2 carrots, peeled and grated
2 large cloves garlic, minced
3-4 I'itoi onions, the whites cut into 1/8" slices and the greens into 2" sections
1 large bunch Swiss chard, washed, large stems removed, chopped
olive Oil
crushed red pepper flakes
salt & pepper

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add about a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the carrots and onions, and cook until both are soft, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and a couple shakes of red pepper flakes (about 1/8-1/4 tsp). Cook, stirring, until the aroma of the garlic is released. You don't want to brown the garlic, just cooked until soft.

Add the Swiss chard and stir until it becomes wilted. Turn the heat down to low, add a couple teaspoons of water, and cover. Cook for about five minutes longer. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper (if desired), and it is ready to serve.