It’s GREENS season! I was happy to see my local farmer’s table at the market today piled high with Turnip greens, Collard Greens, and some mustard greens, in addition to the last of the summer veggies. “I love winter farming!” He said, “I love greens, and there are no bugs to worry about in winter!”. Farming in GA is pretty awesome that way, they grow year round here, they even tent some of their fields and grow tomatoes in the coldest months! My little tomato plants are still putting out fruit, but the shorter days are having an effect on how long they take to ripen. We still have bell peppers too! It’s only JUST starting to cool off here.
Here’s a recipe to celebrate the arrival of the cooler weather!
Turnip Greens and Root Vegetable Curry
This is adapted from a Vegetarian Times recipe. Serves 4, ready in 30 minutes if you use white rice.
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 cup chopped turnips, peeled and diced
- 1/2 inch fresh ginger root, grated
- 1 1/2c vegetable broth, or 1 cup broth 1/2c apple cider
- 1 1/2tsp red curry powder (if you don’t have red, you can use yellow)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 lb turnip greens (or greens of your choice) roughly chopped
- 2 tsp corn starch or 1 TBSP arrowroot powder mixed in 2TBSP water
- 2 tsp brown sugar (optional, omit if you added cider to the broth)
- salt and pepper
- White or brown rice for serving.
Yellow Lentil and Spinach Slow Cooker Soup from Soup Chick
Tonight’s Pinterest-inspired dish was Yellow Lentil and Spinach Slow Cooker Soup, but my soup was not nearly as pretty as the picture. I had to use brown lentils instead of yellow, so my soup was brown, and I used broccoli instead of spinach. I also cooked mine on the stovetop instead of in the slow cooker, and added some chili. Hence, Indian-spiced lentil and Broccoli Soup. Hop over to her blog if you want the slow cooker instructions.
I still have kale I could have used in place of the spinach, but not only did the broccoli need to be used, I think my husband is getting tired of me throwing kale into absolutely everything! If you like Indian Dhal you will like this soup.
I made some half-whole-wheat flatbreads to go with the soup, and I’ll post the recipe below; they were so easy! ALMOST as good as restaurant Naan, but not quite. Still working on finding the best Naan method! I you have one, please share it in the comments!
Tonight’s dinner was an exercise that most of us are familiar with: the “it’s a week from payday and we’re running out of options” meal. A lot of people who start trying to eat more healthy foods or more vegetables, or start any new type of diet, often complain that they buy all this produce and half of it goes bad in the fridge before they remember to use it. One great thing about switching to a plant-based diet is that I no longer think “Oh, Monday we’ll have chicken, and I’ll make some random vegetable to go with it”, I think “We have asparagus about to go bad, I need to make something with that!”
Avocado and Roasted Corn Salad
Dinner tonight is a Pinterest find adapted from Authentic Suburban Gourmet. This will be my second time making her Avocado and Grilled Corn salad, and my husband and I both agreed that it makes a perfect filling for Pitas! I throw some spinach or salad greens in the pita, as well as adding canned black beans and fresh jalapeno to the salad.
Avocado and Grilled Corn Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette
- 5 Ears Corn, husk removed
- 2 Avocado’s, diced and sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent browning
- 2 c cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 Small red onion, finely diced
- 1/2 red and or green bell pepper
- 1 fresh jalapeno, diced
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 1 can of black beans, rinced
- Pitas and baby spinach or salad greens for serving. Warm the pitas by wrapping the stack in foil and baking in the oven (350) for about 7 minutes.
Brush the corn with olive or canola oil and either grill 5 minutes per side, or use your oven’s top broiler to grill the cobs, about 5 minutes per side, just until they start to toast. Dice and combine all the other ingredients in a covered bowl. When the corn is cool, cut off the kernels with a sharp knife and add to the salad. Chill. Toss the salad with the dressing when you are ready to serve, and spoon into warm pitas with the salad greens.
This makes a great lunch either in a pita or just as a salad (or over greens), since you can make it ahead of time.
- 4 T. Olive oil
- 2 T. Sherry vinegar, rice vinegar, or lime juice
- 1 t. Garlic powder
- 2 T. Fresh cilantro, minced
- salt and pepper
Mix all ingredients together in a small jar or bowl, shake or whisk to combine.
Please excuse my crappy phone picture!
This is a quick, easy, mostly-from-the-pantry meal that is easy to customize and great either as a main dish or a side dish, or even as a stuffing for things like squash (it’d be great in zucchini!). This recipe serves 2-3 as a main course or 4 as a side dish. If you don’t have barley, you could also use white rice or quinoa, just increase the cooking time to 20 mins. Follow the link below to learn more about barley! You can use whatever veggies you have, like zucchini or eggplant or mushrooms or any combination with this! You could also add a mild bean like Canellini beans to up the protein content.
- 1 cup Pearl Barley (be sure you’re buying the QUICK kind, or else it kind of defeats the purpose of this being a quick weeknight dinner! If it’s bulk or unlabeled, assume it’s the slow kind)
- olive oil for sauteing
- 1/2 of a small onion, diced
- 1/2 green or red bell pepper (or both), diced
- 1 carrot, shredded or diced
- 1 celery rib, diced
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, diced, or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 15oz can of diced tomatoes (I used the basil/oregano flavor), plus one can’s worth of water or broth.
- 1/2 tsp Italian herbs, or a mix of basil, oregano, rosemary, etc to your taste
- salt and pepper
- fresh basil, about 5 leaves, sliced
- nutritional yeast or Parmesan to garnish (optional)
Heat a saucepan and add the olive oil and all the diced vegetables except the tomatoes. Saute until they are softened, about 7 minutes. Add your seasonings, the tomatoes, and water to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the barley, cover and reduce the heat to medium low for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to rest another 5 minutes at least. Stir in the fresh basil. Garnish with nutritional yeast or Parmesan cheese, and serve with a salad and fresh bread.
If you want to get fancy and use it as a stuffing for squash, cut your acorn or zucchini squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Preheat the oven to 400 and brush the inside of the squash with olive oil. Set the squash halves cut-side down on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until browned and the squash has softened. Fill with the barley mixture and enjoy!
Gazpacho at our house is kind of a big deal. I only make it when it’s over 75 degrees outside, so when we lived in Germany the past few years it was not as common an occurrence as I expect it will be here in Georgia! This picture of my husband and our upstairs neighbors in Germany was taken about a month before my daughter was born, on the first “summer” day of the year, almost exactly two years ago!
Gazpacho is a raw meal so it’s perfect for hot days. I like to top it with chunks of avocado and a drizzle of nice olive oil, and eat it with a nice soft loaf of bread for dipping. Avocados were on sale at Aldi this week so I’m giving you my recipe for guacamole as well!
Here in Middle Georgia the Farmer’s Market has been open all winter selling dark leafy greens, root veggies, the last of the honey from the summer, and local meat and eggs. We are so lucky to have such a great resource! I admit I hadn’t been in a few months, but the weather is warming up fast and I wanted to see how my favorite farmer was doing.
This week I got two LARGE bunches of kale, 6 sweet potatoes, a Vidallia onion, 2 cucumbers, and 4 tomatoes, all organic, for $15. I asked him how he grows cucumbers and tomatoes in the winter, and he said he has a greenhouse “tent” that goes over the field! Amazing what you can do with a mild winter. I’m hoping to grow Winter veggies this year in our garden as well.