World’s Worst Kale Chips

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I made kale chips for the first time this week. It seemed simple enough: tear leaves into bite-sized bits, coat in olive oil and salt, bake on a cookie sheet. And for the most part it went as planned.

I made two mistakes though: first, I allowed some of the leaves to overlap. This resulted in them just coming out oily and gross anywhere there was overlap. But more importantly: I did not measure my salt. I “eyeballed” it. And I ended up with something that is better suited as slug killer than a food.

I tried eating them but they were just too salty. After a few days I gave up and threw them out, not having any slugs in need of killing.

The rest of this week’s CSA usage was pretty uninspired: more steamed veggies with ginger sauce and saag. Both are easy ways to use veggies that require very little planning. I’ve vowed to try a new recipe with our next share.

Cooking, Recipes

Steamed Veggies with Quinoa and Ginger Sauce

When I was in Boston recently my vegetarian friend dragged me to Life Alive, a place so crunchy I thought my husband would run out screaming. I ordered what was basically a giant plate of steamed veggies over quinoa, served with THE MOST AMAZING SAUCE EVER. Oh my god. So delicious. I will eat every vegetable if you just GIVE ME MORE OF THE SAUCE.

Ahem. So since I live nowhere near Boston (also I think Life Alive is maybe in Cambridge?) I was incredibly glad to find this recipe for a tastealike sauce. Armed with a big batch of the sauce (I made 4x the recipe and stored it for later), a steamer basket, and a rice cooker I now have a super healthy lunch option.

The best thing about this recipe is that it makes a really good take-to-work option. Just make the quinoa & sauce beforehand and keep them in the fridge. Then grab a steam-in-bag of your favorite mixed veggies from the freezer case. Put some of the sauce in one of those tiny 1oz tupperwares and you’ve got yourself a microwave meal fit for a king.


I used this to put a dent in my CSA veggies, and it was both delicious and filling. You can use whatever veggies you have on hand in place of what I used. I like to throw in a handful of raw mixed greens at the end for crunch.

Steamed Veggies with Quinoa and Ginger Sauce

For the ginger sauce:

  • 1 thumb sized peice of peeled ginger, cut into chunks
  • 2 cloves minced garlic. Confession: I use the jarred stuff.
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (half a lemon’s worth)
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp water

For the rest of it:

  • 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 carrot, cut into 1/4″ slices
  • 5 green onions, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 4 turnips, cut into quarters
  • 2-3 leaves mustard greens, chopped
  • a handful of salad greens

Ginger Sauce

As written this makes 3-4 servings. I recommend making a big batch of this ahead of time and storing it in the fridge. It should be fine for at least a week. You may need to add a little water and shake it up when it’s time to use it.

Blend ginger and garlic in a small food processor. Add soy sauce, lemon juice, tahihi, olive oil, and water. Store in an airtight container or bottle.

Quinoa and Veggies

I also recommend making the quiona ahead of time. I like to make a cup (uncooked) at a time which is enough for four lunches and store it in the fridge. I nuke the quinoa while the veggies are steaming.

Cook the quinoa according to the package directions, or in a rice cooker at a 1:1 quinoa to water ratio.

In a pot with a steamer basket, boil water. Add carrots and radishes to steamer basket. Let steam for 5 minutes, then add onions and mustard greens. Steam 4 more minutes or until carrots are nice and soft.

Mix together steamed veggies, quinoa, and fresh salad greens in a bowl. Add 2-3 spoonfuls of ginger sauce (a little goes a long way!) and mix thoroughly.

Cooking, Recipes

CSA WTF: Rice turkey veggie thing

It’s time for round 2 of CSA WTF! Here’s the first recipe. This week’s CSA brought us:

  • collared greens
  • mustard greens
  • bok choy
  • radishes
  • salad mix
  • a head of lettuce
  • fresh oregano
  • salvia flowers

I’m not really sure what to call this dish. It’s based off the filling from a stuffed peppers recipe I like, but only very  loosely. Basically you make some rice, brown some meat, cook some veggies in oil / seasoning, then mix it all together with a soft cheese. It’s a good balance of healthy and tasty. You can add in any other vegetables you’d like to use up, and it still comes out delicious.

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I made it up as I went along, so measurements are approximate. Items in italics came from my CSA this week.

  • 3/4 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 lb lean ground turkey
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 C green onions
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 lime (optional)
  • 1 bunch collared greens, chopped with stems removed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 8 oz goat or feta cheese

Cook rice according to package directions, or in a rice cooker.

In a small pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil and brown the turkey (about 8 minutes).

While turkey is cooking, in a second pan heat remaining 2 tbsp oil. Add green onions, basil, and Italian seasoning. Cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add collard greens and any other vegetables you fancy. Squeeze lime juice over greens (or don’t). Add salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes or until greens are soft. Add turkey to veggies and mix together.

Remove the turkey mixture from heat and mix in cheese. Add rice and serve immediately.

This made enough for two people, plus a little leftover for lunch. We are very hungry people, so it could probably serve 4 normal people.

As a bonus I made a little arrangement of flowers with the salvia and a zinnia from my garden. Also pictured is a tiny succulent we got as a wedding favor.

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Cooking, Recipes

CSA WTF: Saag!

This post is the first in what may or may not become a series about what I do with my CSA veggies each week.

CSA season is upon us! With it comes a variety of vegetables (mostly kale) that I must figure out what to do with before they go bad. On our inaugural pickup the following vegetables were bestowed upon me:

  • 1 head lettuce
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 bunch mustard greens
  • 1 bunch green onions (aka scallions)
  • 1 head bok choy
  • ~3 oz  misc salad greens

Oh hey it’s salad week! Too bad I never remember to make salad ever. Instead I decided to head the vegetables off at the pass and make something resembling saag. The general recipe I use for saag is thusly:

  • half pound of bitter greens (kale, mustard greens, etc)
  • half pound of mild greens (spinach, bok choy, lettucs)
  • half a stick of butter (1/4 cup)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 green chili pepper, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ground tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp salt

In a big skillet or wok, melt butter. Add cumin, chili pepper, garlic, and tumeric. Cook for 2 minutes. Add greens a handful at a time, stirring and allowing the greens to wilt a bit between each handful. Add coriander and salt. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.

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The first time I made this I mixed in some hard boiled egg at the end for protein. The second time I browned some chicken and threw that in there. Both were delicious.

Having made this recipe twice I’m now down to just the green onions left from this week’s CSA share. Tomorrow they will join the green peppers languishing in the crisper to become stuffed peppers.