One of the main goals of this blog, and the taste cart at the Saturday Morning Market, is to expose people to seasonal produce that they may not be familiar with. Including me! For instance, I’ve never cooked with mustard greens before. The Evans Farm next to the taste cart has the biggest bunches of mustard greens, along with collards, and huge heads of cauliflower and romanesco broccoli. So I wanted to pick a recipe this week that would feature these big bright green leaves.
I consulted Nava Atlas’ cookbook, Wild About Greens, for inspiration. This cookbook is an excellent companion for anyone who shops at farmer’s markets and wonders about all the different types of greens out there, and what to do with them. The first section describes each type of green vegetable, how it is best used, and tips for preparing them. This is what she says about mustard greens: “The flavor of mustard greens has been described as pungent or peppery, though I’d characterize it as sharp, like horseradish. Like many greens that have a certain bite to them, mustard greens mellow quite a bit when they’re lightly cooked.” I read through some of her suggested recipes, and settled on making a curry, which I adapted from her recipe, “Coconut Cauliflower Curry with Mustard Greens & Spinach.”
Golden Curry With Cauliflower and Mustard Greens
1.5 T olive oil
1 large onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
3 large carrots, chopped
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 bunch mustard greens, chopped
1 small jalapeño, seeded and minced (optional)
2 t ginger root, grated
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 can light coconut milk
2-3 t curry powder, or to taste
1/2 t turmeric
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat the oil in a large soup pot, add the onion and sauté until translucent, then add the garlic. Add the sweet potato and carrots, 1 cup of water, cover and simmer 10-15 minutes, until they are half tender. Add the coconut milk, chickpeas, cauliflower and jalapeño (if using), ginger, curry powder, turmeric and salt. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Then add the mustard greens and simmer another 5-10 minutes until tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Adapted from Nava Atlas’ recipe “Coconut Cauliflower Curry with Mustard Greens & Spinach” from Wild About Greens
This week I'm cooking my go-to dish when I have leftover rice in the refrigerator. The nice thing about this dish is that you can use any vegetables that you want (as long as you have scallions, and tamari on hand!). It's called fried rice, but it's not really fried. Instead, in the style of macrobiotic cooking, the vegetables are layered in the pan (longest-cooking vegetables first), the rice is layered over that, and covered, so the dish steams. I only use a little bit of sesame oil in the pan, and the only seasoning is a little bit of tamari. It is so simple, but satisfying and delicious.
Macrobiotic cooking is a theory, a lifestyle, a medicine, and a style of cuisine. It is based on a form of Japanese homestyle cooking, founded by George Ohsawa in the early 20th century, in response to the introduction of sugar and processed foods into Japanese culture. Ohsawa linked the rise in disease and poor health to the "Westernization" of Japanese cooking. He advocated for a more traditional cooking style that takes into account the season, the nature of the food, and the condition of the person. Macrobiotic cooking uses whole foods, simple ingredients, and mild cooking methods to preserve the quality of the food and create a more balanced (as in, closer to neutral) meal. It is a great, simple way of eating that definitely promotes feelings of health and wellbeing!
For more information, check out any of Michio Kushi's books, Aveline Kushi's cookbooks, or Annemarie Colbin's "Food and Healing," or "Cooking the Whole Foods Way."
Macro Fried Rice
2 cups cooked short grain brown rice
1.5-2 cups broccoli (or cauliflower), cut into small florets
2 carrots, sliced into matchsticks or julienned on a mandoline
1/2 cabbage, shredded thinly (or bok choy)
3-4 scallions, sliced thinly in rounds
2 t sesame oil
2 T tamari (or coconut aminos)
Heat a frying pan or wok over medium heat, add the sesame oil. When the oil is hot, add the broccoli first, then the carrots and cabbage. Turn the heat down slightly, cover and cook for about 5 minutes. If the pan is too dry, add a couple of teaspoons of water. Add the rice on top of the vegetables, and then the scallions. Cover and cook another 2 minutes. Add the tamari, cover again, and cook another 2 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Mix everything together and enjoy!
When you visit Florida, you want it to be hot and sunny.. But I feel like I wait all year here for a few days of cloudy, cool "winter" weather. It's 65 and grey today, so I'm taking this opportunity to make Carrot-Ginger Soup, a nourishing and nutritious winter soup.
2 t vegetable oil
1 lb carrots, chopped
1-2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 large stalks of celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup ginger, grated
4 cups vegetable broth
pepper, to taste
(optional: parsley for garnish)
Heat the oil in a soup pot, add the onion and garlic, and cook until translucent. Add the carrots, potato and celery, cook 10 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, ginger and pepper, and simmer 20 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender.
Hint: The longer this soup sits, the better it tastes. Don't be surprised if it's even better the next day.