Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Using the Produce from my COOP Order: Day 1

Every two weeks I receive a CSA type produce order from my Organic Produce Coop, Purple Dragon http://www.purpledragon.com/ . It's similarity to a CSA is twofold. First, the emphasis is on locally grown and seasonally available vegetables and fruits. Second, the coop's director uses our pooled resources to purchase those organic or sustainably grown products that are available at the best price...so I don't order specific fruits or vegetables in my bi-weekly shares. I receive the best that is available. The value in this as a new member was that I was trained to eat seasonally and also to try produce I might never have purchased like celeriac or hatsoi greens. As a long term member, it is a rare order indeed that would contain something with which I was unfamiliar. There is however, still a challenge to be sure I use everything included in the order in the two weeks before a next order and to make meals that my kids will eat with those produce items that are not a favorite. The next two weeks' posts will focus on the family friendly recipes that go along with the various items from the most recent delivery. First up is Kale.
Now if I did not have any children under 15, simply sauteeing the Kale in oil and garlic or marinating raw Kale in a spicy dressing would get this eaten in no time. But with an 11 year old and an 8 year old, I find the need to be a little more sneaky. This week we went with an old family stand by: Pasta with Beans and Greens or Pasta Fagioli if you want to get fancy. I have used multiple recipes over the years from family recipes to cookbooks and quite frankly I am not sure I ever make it exactly the same way twice! But here is the recipe for this week's version:
Pasta With Beans and Greens
serves about 8
What you need:
1 Medium Onion, Chopped
3 Celery Hearts, Chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, pressed
1 tbs Olive Oil
1 tsp Basil
1 tsp Thyme
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper, optional
1/2 cup of Red Wine
1 36 oz can of Whole Tomatoes with Juice
2 Cups water or Veg Broth
1/2 cup Chopped Parsley
1/2 lb short fat pasta of choice
1 Bunch of Kale, Chopped
1 15oz Can of Chickpeas
1 tsp Sugar, optional
Salt and Black Pepper to taste
What you do:
Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat.
Add onion, celery and garlic to oil. Saute until veggies are soft and onions are translucent
Add dried spices and saute 1 minute more
Add red wine to deglaze pan
Add Whole tomatoes to pan crushing them by hand. Add juice from can as well.
Bring to a low boil
Reduce heat and add veggie broth or water and parsley. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add chopped Kale and cooked pasta to pot. (If you like a firmer pasta you can add uncooked macaroni or ditalini to pot instead, pasta will be al dente at the end but there will be a little less liquid).
Cover and cook another 15 minutes, stirring periodically.
Add chickpeas, sugar, salt and pepper.
Cook 5 more minutes to let flavors blend.
Serve sprinkled with vegan parm if desired.
And that's it!

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