Archive for the ‘Spring’

Okonomiyaki (Cabbage Pizza)06.12.10

055I spent a few weeks in Japan when I was 15. I stayed in the suburbs of Osaka with a lovely host family, who introduced me to Okonomiyaki. In train stations and little restaurants all over the place, you can point to a bowl of ingredients displayed in a glass case, and then take your seat around a table with a frying surface embedded in the top. Servers bring your ingredients to the table and add an egg, and then you fry up your own and top it as you like with sauces and cheese.

While my host mom insisted that this was a form of pizza, the actual base of this treat is cabbage and other veggies, in a thin batter. There are some traditional Japanese ingredients that give real okonomiyaki a distinct flavor. For my family, I tend to just clean out the produce drawer, adding whatever leftover meats or cheeses we have on hand.

Around here, it’s called Garbage Pizza. And it is delish.

Here’s what we started with:
Okonomiyaki veggies
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Posted in Comfort Foods, Exotic, Main Course, Spring, Uncategorized, Vegetablewith 6 Comments →

Cherimoya and Star Fruit05.05.10

070Oh, how I love the random produce that ends up in our major grocery chain here and there.  While shopping a few weeks back, we stumbled onto some star fruit and cherimoyas, and thought it was high time for a special two-fer edition of What The?  Foods.

Since we started this challenge of ours, we find ourselves poking around a bit, looking for odd shapes and colors.  And okay, I’ll admit my first real exposure to the idea of either of these fruits was through some sort of Baby Einstein knock-off video.

In any case, I’ll admit that up until this point, I’ve never been all that curious about strange looking fruits.  The basics, available year-round, more than filled my personal needs.  But when a kid says “Mom, we should try THAT ONE!”  it seems like a pretty good thing to do.  So!  First up:  The Cherimoya.

According to good ole Wikipedia, in 1866, Mark Twain called the cherimoya “the most delicious fruit known to men.”   We shall see, Mark Twain.  We shall see.

The fruit itself is a lizardy looking green, shaped like a heart.

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Posted in Exotic, Fruit, Spring, Sweet, Uncategorized, Vegetarian, What The? Foodwith 1 Comment →

Cauliflower & Cheddar Soup05.04.10

052 I have found them.  I found the lost photographic evidence of our foray into cooking like Pioneer Woman!  On a cold, dreary night in February, back when I was still on my soup bender, I realized I had all the ingredients on hand to attempt Pioneer Woman’s Cauliflower Soup.

None of the kids were excited, and thinking back on the soups I’ve put in front of them over the last couple of months, I get it.  I really do.  But Ree is An Expert.  So I figured this had a shot at pleasing them, even if I’ve failed over and over previously.

Right away, I knew I was going to be making a few modifications to the recipe, based on my hope that the addition of cheddar cheese would make this soup more Boy-friendly.  And we typically replace sour cream with plain Greek yogurt – and my kids haven’t been big fans of tangy recently, so I figured I’d just top my bowl with it and let everyone else get a pass.

Here’s the cast of characters:

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Posted in Comfort Foods, Local Eats, Main Course, Savory, Soup, Spring, Uncategorized, Vegetable, Winterwith 1 Comment →

Rice Paper Salad Rolls04.07.10

Salad Rolls.  Sorta. Do you see what I see? That is lettuce on The Boy’s plate, and he’s not making the barf face.  How did this happen?  Is my campaign for Pleasant Salad Eating paying off?  Or is it all about novelty?

It was The Chef’s 11th birthday, and she requested barbecued pork ribs and salad rolls.  I don’t think she’s actually ever eaten anything wrapped in the translucent rice paper spring roll wrappers, but I had picked up a package a few weeks back, and she was intrigued.

We decided to get basic, and stick with some of my favorite salad components.  Here’s a look at what we started with:

  • sliced cucumber
  • sliced carrot
  • sliced avocado
  • sliced mint leaves
  • sliced green onion
  • mixed, washed salad greens
  • rice paper wrappers

Salad Rolls.  Sorta.

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Posted in Exotic, Salad, Side Dish, Spring, Uncategorized, Vegetable, Vegetarianwith 4 Comments →

Spinach Salad with Bacon, Red Onion and Egg03.22.10

Spinach SaladThe Salad Wars rage on here at headquarters and I’ve struck a blow for the side of leafy greens by wielding one of my favorite weapons:  bacon. As Buffi says: “Jenny, bacon is ALWAYS the answer.” One of the things The Boy has complained about with regards to salad is he doesn’t like the crunchy pieces. I don’t even get that, considering he’ll eat croutons until his palate is shredded. Being that this is the case (for now, bwahahaha) I figured a nice, tender, baby spinach would be a good starting point.

And then I remembered this salad that my mom and her girlfriends used to have when they’d gather to catch up on life while the kids ran around half-naked in the backyard. Granted the ladies never served theirs with boxed stuffing mix, but they also weren’t trying to appease The Boy.

Spinach Salad

I don’t know if this is the classic spinach salad or not, but it is always delicious and filling. I have seen a lot of recipes that include button mushrooms, but I’m not a fan. What I am a fan of is garnishing with mandarin orange segments. Mmmm. Here’s what we started with:
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Posted in Bacon, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish, Spring, Uncategorized, Vegetablewith 9 Comments →

The Salad Wars03.20.10

045As I recently wrote about on our family blog, we’re having a bit of a shifting of the rules over here at Kid Vs. Produce. I’m realizing that barring an allergic reaction or some sort of other extreme aversion to a particular food, this whole “try it three times and then reject it forever” rule was pretty ill-conceived.  For some of our What The?  Foods or seasonal oddities, sure. But for the vegetables and fruits that we use frequently as part of our meals, I’m not willing to give him a pass just because he has turned his nose up at something three times.

I’ll be jotting down our amended rules in a bit – but for now?  It’s Salad Days, babies.

See this normal looking plate of food? Bread, cheese tortellini with marinara sauce, and a bagged Trader Joe’s Caesar salad. I figured I’d start small, and keep the kid-friendly items front and center. Croutons? Check! Shedded Parmesean? Check! Garlicky dressing? Check! Crunchy, mildly flavored lettuce? Check!

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Posted in Fall, Salad, Spring, Summer, Vegetable, Winterwith 5 Comments →

Quince with honey and Greek yogurt03.19.10

036Well, hello, honey!

At the farmer’s market this last weekend, we picked up two quince.  Quinces?  What the heck is the plural of quince?  Anyway, I had never seen a quince before, to my knowledge, although I believe I have had quince jam before.  Maybe.

I asked the farmer how someone with produce-resistant kids would be advised to approach these awkward looking fruits, with their scummy fuzz on the skins and rock-hard texture.  She winked and said “slow bake them with honey.”  That sounded do-able, but when I got home, I just wasn’t all that motivated to get it going.  I’m the same girl who let a cherimoya rot on the counter because I kept forgetting to get to it, and then they were out of season and we missed our big chance.

Am I ever glad I got over that particular hump.  I wish I had bought a dozen. Quince rocks my socks off.

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Posted in Exotic, Farmer's Market, Fruit, Local Eats, Side Dish, Spring, Sweet, Uncategorized, What The? Food, Winterwith 3 Comments →

Rainbow Chard03.16.10

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At the Farmer’s Market, we picked up some gorgeous rainbow chard. After shocking myself by loving the collard greens earlier this year (although admittedly, they were WAY WAY overcooked) I figured that chard would be equally yummy. The kids all oohed and aahed about the colorful stalks and we grabbed two bunches. Leafy greens – with bonus color – is a very exciting proposition. Since I wasn’t going to be cooking with them the same day, I put them in a vase of cold water in the fridge, and they stayed nice and perky. Plus, they were very pretty:

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Back at home, I did a quick search for chard recipes, uncovering a zillion versions of the olive oil, garlic, red pepper, lemon juice, saute method. I’m all for simple and easy, and this approach seemed to be The Way To Go, if you trust the internet for your recipe needs. (I totally trust the internet.)

Although, I will say that this recipe for a rather unconventional lasagne sounds super fab. Mushrooms, Rainbow Chard and Gruyere Lasagne? YES PLEASE. But for my first time out of the gate, I’m going to try to method that 90% of the internet seems to recommend.

Aaaand, here we go:
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Posted in Farmer's Market, Local Eats, Side Dish, Spring, Vegetable, Winterwith 5 Comments →

Ivy Manning’s Maple-Glazed Baby Turnips and Carrot Coins03.15.10

We took the kids to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday, and had ourselves a rip-roaring good time.  One of the items we pick up was a bunch of Golden Globe turnips that the farmer assured us were tender and sweet and delicious.  She was absolutely adorable, with her hair in two golden braids and she didn’t mock me when I prodded her wares and looked suspicious.  The Boy actually suggested we get these, since he had fond memories of the last turnip trial we did.

Back at the Brat Cave, we decided to poke around for some recipes online.  At Culinate, we turned up what looked very much like a winner: Maple-Glazed Baby Turnips and Carrot Coins.  Maple and butter – what could be better?

The only problem?  The recipe called for Hickory Bacon Salt, and I don’t have any of that.  Granted, it sounds like a fabulous product, but we’re trying to really keep our sodium to a minimum.  We just omitted it, and moved ahead with the recipe.

My camera has been acting up lately – I think I need to clean it after using it so frequently in the kitchen.  The focus is sort of hit-or-miss.  Anyhoo:  Here’s the cast of characters:

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Posted in Comfort Foods, Farmer's Market, Local Eats, Side Dish, Spring, Sweet, Vegetable, Winterwith 1 Comment →

  • You Avatar
  • Gnomeo Test

  • You’ll Eat It, and You’ll Like It, Mister.

    A
    Alfalfa Sprouts | Apples | Apricots | Artichokes | Arugula | Asian Pears | Asparagus

    B
    Bananas | Beans | Bean Sprouts | Beets | Belgian Endive | Bitter Melons | Blackberries | Black-eyed Peas | Blood Oranges | Blueberries | Bok Choy | Boniato | Boysenberries | Breadfruit | Broccoli | Brussels Sprouts | Burro Bananas

    C
    Cabbage | Calabaza | Cantaloupe | Carambola/Star Fruit | Carrots | Cauliflower | Celery | Chayote | Cherimoyas | Cherries | Chinese Cabbage | Chinese Long Beans | Collard Greens | Corn | Cranberries | Crane melon | Cucumbers

    D
    Daikon

    E
    Eggplant | English Cucumber | Escarole

    F
    Feijoas | Fennel | Figs | Flowering Kale/Salad Savoy

    G
    Green Garlic | Garlic | Ginger Root | Grapefruit | Grapes | Guavas

    H
    Heirloom tomatoes | Herbs | Honeydew | Horned Melon/Kiwano

    J
    Japanese Cucumbers | Jicama

    K
    Kale | Kiwifruit | Kohlrabi | Kumquats

    L
    Leeks | Lemons | Lettuce, Iceberg | Lettuce, Leaf | Lettuce, Romaine | Limes

    M
    Malanga | Mamey Sapotes | Mango | Melons | Mushrooms | Micro-greens

    N
    Nectarines

    O
    Okra | Onions, Dry | Onions, Green | Oranges

    P
    Papaya | Passion Fruit | Peaches | Pearl Onions | Pears | Pepino Melons | Peppers, Bell | Pepper, Chili | Persian Melons | Persimmons | Pineapple | Plantains | Plums | Pomegranate | Potatoes | Prickly/Cactus Pears | Pumpkins | Pummelos

    R
    Radicchio | Radishes | Rapini/Broccoli Raab | Raspberries | Red Bananas | Rhubarb

    S
    Salsify | Sapotes | Shallots | Snap peas | Snow Peas | Spinach | Squash | Strawberries | Summer Squash | Sunchokes | Sun-Dried Tomatoes | Sweet Potatoes | Swiss Chard

    T
    Tamarillos | Tamarindos | Taro Root | Tomatillos | Tomatoes | Turnips

    W
    Watercress | Watermelon | Winter Squash

    Z
    Zucchini