CSA Cooking #4: Greens, Beans, and Cauliflower

February 11, 2016

I'll be honest with you, the excitement of cooking with greens every week has worn off.  That's not to say that I'm not up to the challenge but it is getting a little harder to come up with new and different ways to use them in recipes that my family will enjoy.  Happily, the share this week included black beans and cauliflower, which helped mix things up a little bit.  Our share also included arugula, braising mix, i’itoi onions, oranges , quelites, salad mix.
Three recipes I made this week prove that cooking with vegetables doesn't necessarily mean that you'll be eating healthy food.  Of course, they were all delicious and the kids loved them!

This gratin (made using this recipe, and substituting the braising mix greens for kale) is made with two cups of cheese and a stick of butter. Can you even see the greens for all those yummy calories?!

I made quelites pasta again and used it in a lasagna this time.  Unlike the gratin, you can see the green in this dinner but it tasted just like regular lasagna, thanks to the flavors of the sauce and the cheese.

I sauteed the i'itoi onions in the olive oil before adding the shrimp, which gave them a nice, sharp bite that contrasted really well with the rich cream sauce.  I served it over Israeli couscous (my kids' favorite kind) with edamame and orange slices in an effort to negate the cup and a half of heavy cream I used to make the sauce.

It took us a few meals to get around to it but we did eat healthy this week.  The cauliflower (as well as some leftover onions and carrots) went into a korma with fried tofu.  I always buy firm or extra firm tofu for cooking and then press it between two cutting boards to remove the extra water.  Slicing it into cubes and pan frying it with salt and pepper until golden is a great way to prepare it so that it doesn't fall apart in a recipe.
 
D and I love fresh beets and we'd never had the golden kind, so I treated these lightly with olive oil, salt, and pepper and then roasted them to bring out their flavor.

The end of the week came before I was ready and I still hadn't used up the black beans or the arugula.  A quick internet search led me to a recipe for black bean and arugula tacos.  Especially since I'm cooking for children, I'll often find recipes on the internet and modify them for our family.  In this case, I used tostados instead of corn tacos, made home made refried beans using the Pioneer Woman's recipe instead of canned beans, shredded cheddar (kids version) and cotija cheese (for D and I) instead of feta, and tomatoes instead of avocado and pickled radishes.  I tossed the kids arugula and tomatoes in ranch dressing but used her chili lime dressing for D and I's tostados. 
 We presented them to the kids as flat tacos, and while they didn't get devoured, they all ate at least half of a tostado.  In our family, that's good enough for a new and challenging recipe like this one.  (D and I loved them and I'll probably make this again for company some time.)

Did you cook anything new and different this week?  How did it turn out?  If you have kids, what did they think about it?

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