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V.O.W.- Vegetable of the Week


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Hi everybody!


I'm Jess. I'd love to be your Vegetable of the Week guide!


I cook ALOT. My husband and I went paleo several months back which gave me carte blanche to start making any kind of vegetables I wanted. Previous to this he'd always been a little iffy on new things. I live in the midwestern US in an area with a pretty good summer farmers market, a selection of upscale grocers and a huge international market. All of my vegetables will come from one of these places, but to start with I'll probably do more common vegetables you can get at a well stocked grocer in the US. As for anyone in other countries, some of these items may be seasonal if available at all.


My husband and I are both working towards weight loss, so these recipes will focus on max flavor without being too heavy. Most of these will make good side dishes, but some may end up full meals with something like a protein added. Most of these will paleo. If I know a healthy-ish way to make something that isn't paleo, I'll try to add it in the notes. I am allergic to finned fish and tree nuts, so in an effort to not be sick I will be making recipes that don't contain these. However, if I know they would be good to add flavor or crunch, I'll make notes about their use.


I will pick a less common vegetable each week and provide a recipe that I've made. I may or may not include pictures of the finished product just because my food is usually ugly, but it tastes good! I promise!


This weeks vegetable is....




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Week 1- Dandelion Greens


Dandelion greens are the leaves of those obnoxious yellow flowers that turn into poofballs. You can get them from your yard, but I'd suggest buying them at the store. They are usually around the other greens- chard, kale, mustard, etc. They are crisp tender and they have a mildly bitter flavor. They can be eaten raw for a bitter punch in your salad or you can cook them. They are interchangeable with spinach or kale in most recipes. They spoil a little faster than hardier greens, so try to use them quickly after you buy them. To prep them, just trim the end of the stem off and run them through a salad spinner. 


I found this week's recipe here:http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/sauteed-spring-greens-bacon-and-mustard-seeds


I've added rough conversions below as well as a few personal notes but the instructions are pretty much the same.


As with any recipe for greens, make sure you weigh them. It may look like a whole lot of greens when they're raw but they cook down.



·       2 ounces/ 55 grams thick-cut, nitrate free, smoked bacon, finely diced. Smoked jowl works nicely. Pancetta also works.


·       2 tablespoons/ 30 ml extra-virgin olive oil

·       1 large shallot, thinly sliced

·       1 hot red chile, seeded and finely chopped. Milder chilies like jalapenos will work, but I like thai or fish chilies personally for this one

·       1 tablespoon/ 15 ml yellow mustard seeds, whole

·       1 1/4 pounds/ arpox 550 g dandelion greens, cleaned and chopped. You can mix in mustards and spinach for a good blend of flavors and textures

·       Salt

·       Freshly ground pepper

·       1 tablespoon/ 15 ml white wine vinegar


In a large skillet, cook the diced bacon in the olive oil over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the shallot, chile and mustard seeds and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the greens, season with salt and pepper and cook, tossing frequently, until wilted and tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and serve.


This ends up being about two servings in my household. We usually serve it with some grilled meat and call it a day. If this is accompanied with a protein and some other side, it would serve four comfortably.



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This weeks vegetable is.....


Delicata squash!


Delicata squash is somewhere between a winter and a summer squash. Unlike winter squashes (pumpkin, butternut, acorn etc), the skin is tender enough to eat. However the flesh is sweeter and more dense than summer squash (crookneck, zucchini, etc). It does not store as well as a winter squash, so try to eating shortly after purchasing it. It is packed with vitamin A and C.


Sausage-Stuffed Delicata Squash

2 delicata squash, halved lengthwise and seeded- The seeds are good roasted!
3 teaspoons/15 ml olive oil
1/4 teaspoon/1 ml salt
1/2 teaspoon/2.5 ml ground black pepper
8 oz/aprox 225g bulk sausage, or raw links with casing removed. Sweet Italian or sage and apple work well
1/2 cup/120 ml chopped onion (1 medium)
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups/aprox 2L torn fresh kale/spinach/dandelion greens!, thoroughly washed. You can use one varietly or mix it up
1/3 cup/80 ml golden raisins, unsweetened, unsulphered if you can find it OR 1 chopped apple
1/3 cup/80ml chicken broth or chicken bone broth
1/8 teaspoon/.5ml freshly grated nutmeg, a little more if you are using italian sausage
Crushed walnuts and/or grated parmesan to sprinkle on top
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F/ 5 on gas/ 190 C. 
Brush cut sides of squash evenly with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and half the pepper. Place cut sides up on a large baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet heat the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat. Add sausage, onion, and garlic. Cook about 10 minutes or until sausage is browned and onion is tender, stirring to break sausage apart.

Add greens, raisins, and broth; stir to combine.
Cover pan; cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until greens are wilted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in the remaining pepper.
Once the 30 minutes is up, remove the squash from the oven.
Spoon sausage mixture evenly into squash halves. Sprinkle nutmeg over the squashes. IF you are using them, sprinkle the walnuts and/or parm over them, too.
Return the squash to the oven. Bake for 10 minutes or until squash is tender and topping is golden.


This serves 4 people nicely with a green salad. 



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Since I was a lazy-bones last week, here is a catch up post.


Last weeks veggie was going to be....




Kohlrabi is an alien-looking plant from the same family as broccoli and cabbage. You can eat the greens raw or cooked like collards. Most people buy them for the roots though. The bulbous root tastes like a mildly sweet broccoli stem and is good for roasting or stir fry. The plant has a little fat, a good amount of fiber and is a natural source a some folate and other B vitamins.


Oven Roasted Kohlrabi Fries


4 bulbs of Kohlrabi, leaves and stems removed, root end trimmed, bulb peeled with a vegetable peeler. The outside is fibrous. Once you remove the outside layer, the inside will be a very pale green which means you've gotten it all off. Slice the bulbs into wedges or fries (chips for anyone in the UK). 1 bulb serves about 1 person, so you can scale this as needed.


1 tablespoon/15 ml oil (avocado or coconut)


Whatever seasoning you like on fries! Chili powder, salt & pepper, garlic, mustard powder are all options. You just need enough to season your fries. Remember, you can always add more once they are out of the oven if they need it, but you can't take the seasoning off. Go light and add slowly!


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees/ 8 gas/ 230 C.


Place your sliced kohlrabi in a bowl, drizzle the oil over it and then sprinkle the seasonings over top. Mix well so the fries are evenly coated in oil and seasoning. You can put them in a zip-top bag and shake them instead if you want.


Spread the fries evenly over a baking sheet, making sure they touch a little as possible. (Lining the pan with parchment paper makes them easier to stir and remove from the pan, but it is optional. Make sure to read the package. You want to make sure your parchment is heat resistant up to 450 degrees F!)


Place pan in the oven and let cook for about 20 minutes, until the outsides are golden brown. Stir/flip the fries about halfway through to make sure they brown evenly.








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