Kale Pesto

Val and I have an abundance of beautiful kale from our garden and it has also been showing up in our CSA box from http://www.yourhometownharvests.com/ lately so we have been brainstorming a way to put up our bounty for those winter months.  We came up with this recipe which, like its basil counterpart, freezes well. This still retains the wonderful flavor of kale but we feel holds its own with the traditional basil version. You may of course play around with nut choices, combining it with basil or other herbs, amount of garlic etc. This pesto recipe is gluten-free, vegetarian, heart healthy, diabetic friendly and delicious!
Pictured: Kale Pesto over Trader Joe’s™ Chunky Portobella Mushroom Ravioli with grated Parmesan Reggiano (aged 24 months).

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Kale Pesto

Yield: 8 servings

2 cups blanched kale (we used Russian Red Kale) packed into measuring cup
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup shredded parmesan
½ cup raw cashews
1 lemon juiced
3 cloves garlic
½ to ¾ cup water
1 teaspoon stevia
1 teaspoon of salt or to taste

Blanche chopped kale in hot water for a minute or two, drain and measure. In a blender add cashews, garlic and olive oil and puree. Add remainder of ingredients and puree till fairly smooth. This will freeze well.
NOTE: You can exchange the nut portion with pine nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts or your personal favorite for variation.
Pictured: Pesto over Trader Joe’s™ Chunky Portobella Mushroom Ravioli with grated parmesan reggiano (aged 24 months).

© 2012 Aron and Valerie Bradley


Red, White and Blue Potato Salad

In my recent C.S.A. basket (week 6) I got to select my potatoes so I chose to mix up the colors and make a good old school potato salad. This is just a slight twist from my mom’s version and I must tell you the story of the bowl we use. My wife Valerie’s mother passed earlier this year and one of the things Val brought home from Abbotsford B.C. was her mom’s potato salad bowl. Her mother had this before Val was born, possibly a wedding gift, but she has fond memories of this bowl filled with potato salad and the occasional pile of buttered pierogies (her mom was Ukrainian). It is now our official potato salad bowl and recalls fond memories of family gatherings for her and gatherings to come for me. This recipe is gluten-free and vegetarian.

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Red, White and Blue Potato Salad

Yield: 4 generous servings

5 cups of diced cubed potatoes
1 ½ cups chopped organic celery
1 cup chopped organic onion (white, red or yellow)
3 tablespoons olive oil mayonnaise
2 tablespoons dill relish
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon stevia
1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill or 1 teaspoon dry dill weed
2 teaspoons salt
Fresh cracked pepper to taste

Boil diced potatoes in 2 quarts of water with 1 teaspoon of salt added until tender. Drain and cool. In a mixing bowl combine potatoes and the remainder of ingredients. Mix thoroughly and chill before serving.

© 2012 Aron David Bradley

Marinara Primavera

Primavera means; ‘The Season of Spring’. A very apt title for this marinara chock full of seasonal vegetables. This is one of Val’s recipes and it is divine and so flavorful. As pictured this is vegan and gluten-free (quinoa and corn pasta). This is also low-fat and heart healthy. Enjoy it on pasta, gluten-free pasta, polenta, a baked potato or even as a pizza sauce.

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Marinara Primavera

Yield: 8-10 generous servings

2 large cans of spaghetti sauce
1 cup red wine
1 Walla Walla or Vidalia sweet onion chopped
2 cups finely chopped broccoli
2 cups finely chopped spinach
2 cups finely chopped Swiss chard
1 cup chopped zucchini
1 cup sliced mushrooms
½ cup chopped fresh basil
6 cloves of chopped garlic
4 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Amino™
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh cracked pepper
Adjust salt and cracked pepper to taste

Sauté onion, garlic and spices in olive oil. Add chopped veggies and sauté till tender. Add spaghetti sauce, wine and Bragg’s. reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes stirring frequently. Serve over pasta, polenta, gluten-free pasta or as a pizza sauce.
Pictured: Sauce over quinoa/corn pasta with parmesan reggiano (aged 24 months).

© 2012 Valerie Bradley

Local and Luscious

When you shop local at farmers markets or via community supported agriculture you not only get a chance to meet the folks who grow your food you also create an epic reduction in the fossil fuel it takes to plant grow, harvest, pack, store, transport and package your meats and produce. These commercial products are often grown with pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones and often lower in nutrition and sometimes dangerous to your health especially in feedlot factory farmed beef. It is a win /win when you buy direct from your local farmers and you help to support small scale agriculture which has practically been shut out by the current U.S. policies and subsidies for big biz mono crop agriculture. Now lets talk about something everyone can relate to: TASTE! This local organically and humanly grown food is absolutely delicious and nutritious. My photos don’t do the products justice so you will just have to go to your local farmers market and taste their wares yourself!

Pictured: Setniker Farms pork shoulder roast http://setnikerfarms.com/beef.asp (although their website covers their beef they have added chicken and pork as well) with Your Hometown Harvest’s potatoes http://www.yourhometownharvests.com/ (where my C.S.A. boxes come from) and some fresh herbs from my garden and Cherries (Your Hometown Harvest) and mild raw milk cheddar cheese from Full Circle Creamery http://fullcirclecreamery.com/

Kind readers, PLEASE SHOP AND EAT LOCAL you’ll be so glad you did!

Zucchini Linguine with Oyster Mushrooms and Goat Cheese

The cabbage and Oyster mushrooms came from our recent C.S.A. box (see earlier posts). This recipe is subtle and flavorful with the fresh veggies and meaty mushrooms enhanced by the unctuous goat cheese and a slight zip with the red Fresno Chilies. I think you will love this pasta dish. A Merlot is a nice pairing but a sparkling chardonnay would be truly sublime.

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Zucchini Linguine with Oyster Mushrooms and Goat Cheese

Yield: 6 generous servings

2-9 oz. packages of Buitoni™ fresh natural linguine pasta
3 cups sliced oyster mushrooms (or Crimini)
2 medium zucchini shredded
2 cups cabbage chiffonade
½ cup Stella™ goat cheese crumbles
2/3 cup Stella™ Parmesan, Romano, Asiago blend shreds
2 tablespoons fresh basil chiffonade
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
5 cloves garlic chopped
4 julienne Fresno chilies (remove seeds)
Fresh cracked pepper to taste

Prepare pasta as per directions on package. Rinse and drain pasta. Sauté mushrooms, garlic, cabbage, zucchini, chilies, salt and basil in olive oil for 1 minute. Portion pasta onto plates and spoon sautéed mushroom veggie mixture over the top. Add cheeses and fresh cracked pepper and serve.

© 2012 Aron David Bradley

Purslane Pita Pockets

Purslane is sometimes looked at as a curse or a blessing. A curse if it is taking over areas you don’t want covered in it and a blessing if you enjoy eating it. I prefer the blessing since I love its peppery, lemony taste. I thought a Greek style recipe would perfectly suit this wonderful plant.This recipe is very healthful and nutritious and a snap to prepare. A perfect light lunch or dinner on those hot sweltering summer days when you don’t want to go near a stove. This recipe is lacto-vegetarian, high fiber, diabetic friendly and can be gluten-free if you omit the pitas and serve it as a salad.

PS: This is super easy and very quick to prepare.

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Purslane Pita Pockets

Yield 4 servings

4 cups organic spinach
½ English cucumber diced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup purslane
1 cup grape tomatoes
¼ large red onion sliced
¼ cup Newman’s Own™ Lite Balsamic dressing
8 pita pockets
¼ cup chopped fresh oregano

Combine the veggies, cheese, olives, and tomatoes in a bowl. Toss with dressing. Stuff into pita pockets and serve. 2 pockets per serving.
NOTE: Omit the pita pockets and serve as a salad for a gluten-free option.

© 2012 Aron David Bradley

Curried Cauliflower Pilaf

Val and I wanted to do something special with the cauliflower in our CSA box and decided a curried pilaf would be divine. This is a sumptuous side dish as is but could become a vegan main with the addition of either peas, chickpeas, edamame, or lentils to combine the amino acids and form a complete protein. This recipe is vegan and gluten-free.

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Curried Cauliflower Pilaf

Yield: 6 generous servings

2 cups brown basmati rice cooked (in a rice steamer: 2 cups rice, 5 cups water, salt)
1 cauliflower, sliced thin and chopped
1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro chopped
1 white or yellow onion diced
½ cup matchstick carrots
1 red bell pepper diced
2 jalapeno peppers diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves chopped garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 -1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon cardamom
½ teaspoon black mustard seed (optional)
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Sauté onion, garlic and spices till onions are semi opaque. Mix in cauliflower, carrots and peppers. Cover and reduce heat till cauliflower is tender. Stir mixture into cooked basmati rice and add chopped cilantro. Serve.

© 2012 Valerie Bradley