|O..M...Greens - what to do with this antioxidant land of plenty? - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
Last week's post was all about perfectly planned meals, selecting the ideal goods from a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box to fit your patio dinner plans. That's nifty. But what about the bundle of chard, leftover spinach and kale, and random odds and ends from the previous CSA delivery? There's probably over a week's worth of produce to gnaw through, are you really going to eat nothing but kale/chard salad? This is the argument brought up by so many people who are hesitant about getting a CSA subscription, but I say, don't fear the leafy greens. I'm showing my prep photo of two CSA deliveries' worth of greens, and while one bundle of kale was used for a salad, everything else was used in a single, not-salad meal that was totally delicious.
|Behold the Everything Enchilada Casserole - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
|So much Everything in this enchilada, you'll forget it's meatless! - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
|The Thai-inspired beef salad that's so filling, you'll forget you had a salad - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
|Color, texture and flavor - the stuff that makes salads into a meal - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
Everything Enchilada Casserole
15-20 small corn tortillas
2 cups Mexican crema fresca (or sour cream watered down with a little milk will do)
1/4 cup whole milk
3 bunches of leafy greens (spinach, kale, chard - any combination or single variety)
1.5 cup black beans
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 cups corn - frozen or fresh
2 cups crumbled queso fresco
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon dried Mexican or Italian oregano
3 teaspoons cumin powder
zest/juice of 1 lime
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Prepare the cream sauce in a large bowl - mix the crema fresca with a little of the whole milk, adding incrementally, stirring until it has the consistency of a thick but pourable sauce. Add 1 tablespoon of chili powder, 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1 teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of pepper. Add the zest and juice of one lime, and chopped cilantro. Stir to combine and taste for seasoning. It should have a spiced, zesty flavor.
To make the filling, prepare the leafy greens. If using kale or chard, remove the leaves from the stalks. If the kale stalks are tender, chop into a fine dice. Chard stalks will tenderize as it cooks, just chop into a fine dice. Take the removed leaves and chop into small, bite-sized pieces and set aside.
Take a large pot and add about a tablespoon of cooking oil, heating to medium high. Add the chopped onions, sweating until translucent. Add the mushrooms next, then all the chopped greens. Cook until the greens have fully wilted and shrunk down by half. Turn down the heat to medium and add the black beans, corn, remaining teaspoon of chili powder, two teaspoons cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning and then remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 375F. Take a large casserole dish and spoon a little of the cream sauce on the bottom, spreading thinly - this will keep the tortillas from sticking. Place a layer of tortillas down - cut them to fit, if necessary. Spoon some of the cream sauce over the tortillas, spreading in an even layer, then sprinkle the vegetable topping over evenly, and then a sprinkling of crumbled queso fresco. Repeat with the same layering of tortillas/sauce/filling/cheese until everything is used up, with a final layer of tortillas, sauce, and cheese.
Cover casserole dish with foil and place into the preheated oven. Cook for about 10-15 minutes covered, then remove foil and cook uncovered until top starts to brown. Remove from oven, allow it to set for a few minutes before cutting and serving.
Thai-Inspired Beef Salad
1 pound ground beef
2 cups carrots, cut into matchsticks
2 cups sugar snap peas, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup scallions, chopped
1 cup chopped peanuts
1 cup fried onion topping (yes, the stuff you put on green bean casserole)
2 small bunches or 1 large bunch of lettuce, sliced into ribbons
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili paste, hot sauce, or Sriracha
1 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
juice/zest of one lime
1/2 cup unsweetened peanut butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
To prepare the dressing, place a small pot on the stove and heat to medium. Add all the ingredients and stir until fully combined and peanut butter is melted down. Remove from heat and place in a jar. Can make ahead and just allow the dressing to come to room temperature and shake well before serving.
Prepare the ground beef by cooking beef over medium high heat until fully browned and cooked-through. Add the chopped red onion, cooking until translucent. Add the minced garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce and chili paste, stirring to combine. Keep warm until ready to serve with salad.
Mix the chopped cilantro, mint and scallions together in a bowl. Mix the carrots and peas together in another bowl. Leave out the peanuts, chopped lettuce, fried onions, along with the beef and dressing, so that people can construct a salad to fit their taste.