27 January 2012

eatin' for the season: january

in my mind, vegetables and fruits will always trump any other food group. (i'm not just being bias as a veggie) you can experiment and play with flavors with produce unlike any meat or grain, in such a way that is still- or even more- nutritious.

but! i had a thought today of a pretty important element of produce that has fallen to the wayside, and i'm sure it's not just with me.

seasonal eating!!

why is eating produce in season better, you wonder? not only will you get the absolute best flavors, the fruits and veg will be at the best prices. so, i've decided to include monthly (or perhaps bi-weekly) info and recipes  so we can all start eating the best, freshest produce together :)

the best of: january
broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, leeks, cauliflower, parsnips, oranges, grapefruit, papaya, tangerines

i'm a huge fan of winter vegetables. they're earthy and hearty and perfect for adding to cozy soups and sautees. here are a few quick versions of my favorite winter veggie recipes.

roasted brussel sprouts[V]
note; i used to abhore brussel sprouts before i started cooking them myself. make a believer out of anyone with this recipe!
clean up sprouts by removing outer leaves and bottom stems, and halve the larger ones. toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and marjoram. add a healthy squeeze of fresh orange juice and a tablespoon of orange zest. toss again, and pour onto a roasting pan. roast at 475 degrees for about a half hour, and your brussel sprout will come out crispy, tangy and a bit sweet. much better than the traditional, boring steaming method with makes them taste like toilet water.

simple parsnip and leek sautee[V]
cut parsnips into one-inch chunks. boil chunks until just about fork tender. drain and pat dry. cut leeks into one-inch slices. separate the layers and wash REALLY WELL. [leeks are fulla dirt.] sautee in olive oil and until softened. add in dry parsnips. add salt, pepper, thyme and dill. voila! super simple and so tasty.

ginger kale and noodle soup
set a pot of veggie stock [make your own!] to simmer. sautee clean, torn kale in sesame oil until it starts to wilt. take a ladle by-now-simmering stock and put it in a bowl with a gumball size blob of hatcho miso paste. [the dark kind] mix to combine and dump over kale. cover and let steam. grate a large chunk of fresh ginger [depending on your taste.] into stock and toss in some wide rice noodles. dump kale mixture into pot and stir to combine. season to your liking and enjoy!

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