Category Archives: Recipe

Mirepoix

You already eat it all the time whether you know it or not. Pronounced /meer – pwah/ , this is a bundle of flavor made all out of veggies that your local farmer probably grows for you.  

Mirepoix

Before I started farming (my past life, as I call it),  I didn’t typically maintain a stock of onions in the kitchen. It wasn’t until I I worked on a farm and harvested fresh onions that I even began to realize how much I need them around, how versatile and impactful an onion can be to a soup, a burger, a pizza, and the list, along with my heart, goes on and on. If you still need convincing, let’s let that old romantic and wordsmith foodie, Pablo Neruda, take the stage for a moment with an excerpt from his Ode to an Onion:

“You make us cry without hurting us. I have praised everything that exists,
but to me, onion, you are more beautiful than a bird of dazzling feathers,
heavenly globe, platinum goblet, unmoving dance of the snowy anemone
and the fragrance of the earth lives in your crystalline nature.”

  But you didn’t come here to snap your fingers at a poem. I promised a recipe. Let’s get to it. Mirepoix is not really something  made to stand on its own. It’s a starter for soups, warm salads, and the like. As  an eater of little animal protein, I frequently eat legumes like lentils and split peas, and a mirepoix base is a great start to a legume soup.

mirepoix with split peas
Mirepoix with split peas

You can make a large batch of mirepoix and save it in the refrigerator for a week or freezer for longer to use in future dishes. If  I have the trifecta of carrot, onion, celery in store, as well as some sort of legume , I’ll make up the rest as I go. Let’s use an example of a 6 serving split pea soup. I prefer using grapeseed oil in this recipe, as it’s good for high heat cooking and has a fairly neutral taste.

You’ll need: 
1 medium onion
2-3 medium carrots
2 stalks celery
3tbsp cooking oil
1/2 tsp salt

Simple steps: 1. Chop the onion, carrots, and celery into 1/2″ pieces. 2. Bring oil to low heat in a soup pot. Add onions and a bit of the salt. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. 3. Bring the heat up to medium and add in the carrots, celery, and remaining salt. Cook, stirring, for 5-7 minutes.
Now, choose your own adventure! If you’re dealing with lentils or split peas, add them in the pot at this point; The goal is to lightly toast and flavor the legumes – it’s pertinent to stir almost continuously to avoid them burning. Be ready to add in the broth or cooking liquid  in 2 minutes or less. You can add in any other spices at this point too, to open up their flavors.

Meal Prep Ideas Make a bigger batch of mirepoix and add it to these quick meal ideas:

  • Cook couscous (5 minutes), quinoa (10 minutes),  or rice (more minutes) and add in mirepoix.
  • Saute greens (like kale, collards, dandelions, or chard) in oil and salt. Splash in a dash of lemon juice at the end and toss with mirepoix.
  • Shredded chicken served over mirepoix.
  • I’ve said mirepoix so many times it’s starting to sound weird. Is mirepoix a word or did I make it up? Not sure at this point.

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Favorite Salad Toppings

Salad Recipe?! Who needs a salad recipe?! Don’t be insulted, I don’t think that poorly of you. I’m sure you can do this all on your own, but if I may say, I’m entirely certain that I feel more confident dressing a salad to impress than dressing myself for a similar purpose. So, there I was one sunny afternoon, dolling up some greenery for a little snack and I snapped a couple pics to show you what I got. Therefore, I suggest you stock up on these delicious toppings to have a stellar salad every day:

Favorite Salad Toppings

  French lentils: these cook up quickly, in about 10 minutes. They are a delicate protein option with a mild flavor. Cook a cup of dried french lentils on Sunday, and you’ll have enough to add some to your daily salad serving all week long.   Nutritional Yeast is next. You can find this at places like Lori’s Natural Foods, made by the “life extension specialists” at Bragg’s. Nutritional yeast is rich in B vitamins, which are suggested to be lacking in vegetarian diets. I call Nutritional Yeast “cheesy nutty,” as in, “Ooh pass me the cheesy nutty, I need to top off this leafy greeny with that yummy tasty!” Next up, flaxseed meal. Rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and dietary fiber, this flaky dust of deliciousness also has a mildly nutty flavor and I enjoy when it soaks up some balsamic vinegar on the bottom of the bowl. Don’t forget the Bottom-of-the-bag tortilla chips. Crunchy, salty, I find them far more enjoyable than a rock-hard crouton to dress up a bowl of greenery. That’s all I have for pictures from this one sunny day, but the list goes on: dried cranberries; raw shredded beets, daikon, or even sweet potatoes; sesame or sunflower seeds; yesterday’s leftover rice! And on and on into salad topping oblivion, until you can’t even see the  lettuce bed below, until you can’t even remember what it was you started out with that needed a topping in the first place, until you end up topping your toppings with salad greens and have to start this infinitesimal cycle over again! But then, indubitably, we still need a dressing for this poetic mess. To be continued…

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Berry Scone Recipe Idea

When I walked the field in the fall when I was in the long process of buying the farm, I was very excited to find that all around the edges of the farm there are Autumn Olives growing. They create a prolific crop of small silvery- red, tiny, tart berries each fall that birds love to eat. Fortunately the berry is edible for chickens and humans too, and I harvested many branches for the hens to snack on, and a few pounds to freeze for myself to enjoy throughout the winter.

I’ve been eating them almost daily for breakfast recently, topping yogurt with a handful of berries, a scoop of chia seeds, some rolled oats, and a healthy dollop of maple syrup.

Today though, I wanted to try something different so I looked for a stellar scone recipe and I found one I’m definitely going to stick with:

I generally followed the “Master Scone Recipe” from Sally’s Baking Addiction,  which is my kind of recipe because it explains how to make it your own,  has great comments about successful substitutions, and comes out dang delicious. I’m looking forward to trying out a series of sweet and savory farm-inspired scones! Today’s variety is:

Autumn Olive Clementine Scone

Clementine peel is one of my favorite add-ins to rice and it worked so well in these scones, too. Easier than orange zest, just finely chop the whole peel and eat the snack inside!

I subbed in Stonyfield organic plain whole milk yogurt for the heavy cream, only because it is what I had on hand. This being my first try with scones, I didn’t really know the right dough moisture/consistency and worried that it was too dry while mixing the wet/dry/add-ins, so I splashed some coconut milk, then realized the berries were thawing and the butter was melting so it seemed too wet, but anyhow I set panic aside to chill, and forged ahead, with no regrets.

The flavors were great, the texture fantastic, and since they came out of the oven at a perfect afternoon tea time, I plated up a warm scone, brewed up a pot of earl grey, stuck my pinky in the air, and enjoyed thoroughly.

What’s next:

Basil currant?

Rosemary beet?

Spinach scallion?

 

Cowboy Quinoa Dip

I was scrolling through old drafts just for kicks, to see what crazy ideas I’ve had bobbling around in my little red head and found this one with only the title and ingredient list, and got a little excited to share this gem.

Cowboy Quinoa Dip

And what a pleasant reminder ’tis of a great “dish to pass”. So I took the opportunity to make and share it with some friends at the farm just to double check the details (and snap its pretty picture) and yes, it’s still a hit.  I’ve shared this dish warm or cold with tortilla chips for dipping, or solo as a side dish. And we actually used it as an awesome base in our tacos for lunch today. It holds well in the fridge for a few days as well so consider adding it to your meal prep rotation. The flavors of salsa plus the protein and energy from beans and whole grains hit the trifecta of healthy, delicious, and filling. Oh and it’s quick, too!

Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

You’ll need:

1 cup quinoa plus 1 1/3 cups water
2 tbsp butter
.5 cup cilantro, chopped
1 small red onion
3 medium tomatoes, diced
1.5 cups black beans, cooked or canned
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp lime juice
1.5 tsp sugar
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt

Simple steps:

First, cook the quinoa: In a 2 quart pan, bring the water to a boil. Add quinoa, simmer for 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Remove from heat, add butter and a pinch of salt. Fluff with a fork and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a small dish, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, sugar, chili powder, paprika, and salt.

Finally,  combine everything and stir it a little bit.

Enjoy!

 

Note: In this batch I didn’t have a red onion around, so I diced a white onion and let it sit in the oil/vinegar mix for a bit while I prepped other things.

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Veggie Fry Cakes

Veggie Fry Cakes

Sometimes when you’re farming you find a daikon radish so big you think you’ll never have to look for food again.

You immediately start thinking about all the meals you’ll cook with it. All the friends you’ll feed. The awards you’ll receive for ending world hunger.

Friends, believe it or not this has happened to me quite recently. And I believe it can happen to you, too if you open your heart and your mind to the opportunity. And when that day does arrive for you, come back here to read this daikon fry cake recipe. Or just stick around now for a few minutes and enjoy this recipe for a the plain ol’ daikon radish or broccoli head calling from your crisper right now.

These Veggie Fry Cakes make a great meatless appetizer for a dinner party, the main course for a hot lunch, or even served over a bed of arugula greens . And if you’re a CSA member, you probably have something  around each week of the season that you can throw in the mix.

Step one: Shred anything.

Seriously though, this is pretty simple and versatile.

Yield: 4 servings, about 8-10 fry cakes

You’ll need:

-2 eggs
-1/2 cup bread crumbs
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-a dash of pepper
-1 tablespoon of minced garlic
-4 cups shredded (or finely chopped) veggies:
Beets, carrots, daikon radish, broccoli… are just a few ideas!
-your preferred frying oil (I like sesame or grapeseed, but I see no problem with canola or coconut)

You may also want any or all of the following:

paprika, cumin, celery seed, curry powder, chili powder, ginger

 

Do this:

Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Stir well.

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.

Cover a plate or tray with paper towel for the finished cakes.

Broccoli Fry Cake

Scoop  1/2 cup of batter into the frying pan. Cook 3-4 minutes or until lightly browned. Flip and cook opposite side for 1-2 minutes.  Remove fry cake from pan and place on paper toweled plate.

If I were you, I’d dip it in a chipotle mayo!