There is the Broccoli versus Kale challenge going on so I thought it fitting since I already came up with a broccoli recipe what could I create that was unusual but timely with the powerhouse vegetable, Kale. It is time right before Carnival and a traditional Lenten recipe in New Orleans is Green Gumbo. With New Haven loving Southern, Cajun and Creole flavor profiles, I thought it fitting to render a vegetarian version of a Crescent City classic. It is also the dish that I am going to make for the New Haven Food Policy Council’s Annual Gathering taking place on Saturday and is a call for Food Action! I am proud to be chair of the Cooking and Food Education Group where we have designed and lead dynamic cooking classes in various neighborhoods in New Haven. Elm City Market underwrites a cooking class pantry that is kept at CitySeed for culinary instructors and community cooks to use to help defray the costs of classes that are often offered for free to organizations like schools, community centers, and libraries and are complimentary to cooking participants. Except for the fresh produce in the recipes; mushrooms and greens, everything is in the everyday store room or larder. If you buy inexpensive dried mushrooms and have frozen greens in your freezer, this dish can be made with everything you have on hand.
The custom of Gumbo Z’herbes is to include a wide variety of odd numbered greens for this stew/stoup. For every unique green you add to the gumbo, you will find a new friend that year. The odd number significance is unclear but historians think it has to do with West African or French legend. In Louisiana, the dish is pronounced Gumbo Zav and seems connected to the West Indian and African derived Callaloo dish and French Potage Aux Herbes.
The beauty of this dish is that is versatile and flexible. Which greens, you say. Any that you have available seasonally. I used lacinato kale, curly kale, collards, mustard greens, chard, spinach, and parsley. I guess I will add several friends to my life this year. Other good options would be dandelion greens, turnip greens, arugula, the tops of radishes or carrots. You get the notion. The nexus of bean and greens doesn’t get more New Orleans than that! So we can celebrate Kale (and Broccoli too!), Carnival, and the Food Policy Council all in on dish. If you are into food and food justice for New Haven, please come to this free event and get involved with issues like composting, school food, economic development, urban agriculture, food access, food policy, and food education among many food related issues that are at the forefront of such a food centric town. Enjoy at meatless hearty stew to enjoy during this snowy winter. The information for the New Haven Food Policy Council’s Annual Gathering is below:
Join us for the NHFPC’s Annual Gathering
A CALL TO FOOD ACTION!
A free community-wide event
Saturday, February 22nd, 2014
Hill Regional Career High School
140 Legion Avenue, New Haven
Please register for this FREE event HERE.
or call 203.773.3736
Each month, Elm City Market has a wonderful complimentary cheese class led by the amazing head of cheese and bread Robin Williams, the funky one not the comedian. In December, Robin showed us how to assemble different types of cheese plates, what to accompany cheese with, and what to do to make our cheese platters really stand out. We tasted over 12 types of cheese and my favorite had to be cambozola. A type of blue cheese, it is a cow’s milk cheese that is a combination of French triple ripened soft cheese with stinky blue Italian Gorgonzola. I decide to make this simple appetizer that can be served at room temperature or placed in a hot oven until the cheese melts. Any way you have it, the flavors complement each other and create a distinctive small bite, your guests can enjoy.
this spread is a favorite of my guests. and what is not to lovegarlic, onion, broccoli, cheese and a good kick of heat. you can serve this spread with a baguette or crackers. i have used it in place of mayonnaise on a grilled chicken sandwich and it was delectable. instead of pesto, toss your pasta with a couple of tablespoons of this spread. its uses are only as limited as your imagination!
broccoli has been growing for over 2000 years and was a favorite of the Romans. it was first grown in the eastern Mediterranean region and introduced to North America in the 1900’s when Italian immigrants planted it in their gardens in New York. a huge RAZIE and kiss on each cheek to the Italians who brought this delicious green goddess to North America.
as if its deliciousness isn’t enough, broccoli has many health benefits: helps lower cholesterol, impacts our body’s detoxification system, great source of vitamin D and a good source of nutrients because it is rich in vitamin C, carotenoids, fiber, calcium and folate. according to American Cancer Society, broccoli is loaded with phytochemicals that may have anticancer properties.
food scholars acknowledge broccoli in Apicius, which is a collection of Roman cookery dating back to late 4th/early 5th century AD. Apicius is loosely translated to excessively refined love of food. this is certainly saying something about the divinity of broccoli.
this is my favorite broccoli recipe. it is wonderful as a side dish to Asian inspired beef, pork or chicken. but my favorite way to serve this is simply over steamed brown rice.
Siracha is the Thai hot sauce that is all the rage especially after there has been a shortage due to well, government bureaucracy. An all-purpose spicy condiment, it is made of fresh ground chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt. It gets its name after a coastal city in Thailand named Si Racha. Probably created to compliment the seafood of the region, Siracha has become an all-around accompaniment to hotdogs, soup, fried rice, and many other dishes. I use it creatively as a base for this colorful dressing. Broccoli is a tried and true favorite in the vegetable department and it does not disappoint as the base for this salad. The ponzu and lime counter the spiciness of the Siracha to deliver a piquant yet satisfying side dish.
i dream of a life that consists only of cooking, writing, and long walks with my man and my dog. but, i have a 9-5 that kind of spoils that dream. as a Social Worker my days are filled with children who need an ear, love and hugs; and i barely have a moment to breath. there are days when I get home and the only energy i have is to collapse on my couch. when i know i have a busy week ahead of me this is my go-to recipe. i make a pot of quinoa, whip this recipe up and i have dinner for the entire work week. you can switch it up by replacing the quinoa with pasta.
This rice noodle (…read… Gluten Free!) salad is pretty much the perfect lunch. Light but filling, totally delicious, and super addicting with a peanut dressing!! With grilled chicken or shrimp you could easily make this a quick dinner as well.
Appetizer: Red pepper hummus with sesame crackers
Main Course: Chicken Marsala, Pan roasted brussel sprouts with walnut oil, Quinoa pilaf
Dessert: Strawberry banana granita (Prepare the granita the night before.)