Veggie Tales … Conquering New Culinary Frontiers

Yesterday was my organic Christmas morning, (that now comes bi-monthy!)  I recently signed up to have a box of fresh, organic fruits & veggies delivered to my house, all from local farms. (The company is called Farm Fresh To You, in case you’re interested.)

The Bounty | The Fairly Good Mother
The Bounty | The Fairly Good Mother

I guess I forgot to specify that I don’t like sweet potatoes & I only wanted to try the lacinto kale,  not the curly kind.  Oh well.  The cool thing about this service is that it forces me out of my comfort zone & into new culinary territory.

I actually promised a friend of mine that I would give kale a chance, since I’ve only ever thought of kale as a garnish.   My friend is a really cool pescatarian, by the way, and actually has the life that many people envy!  She and her husband both work from home, so “home” can be anywhere & her home happens to be an Airstream trailer.  Several years ago they sold everything, bought an airstream & went on the road with their dog, Curtis.  They’ve got a blog where you can follow them along on their adventures as they tour the country in their custom Airstream.

Anyway, back to my veggie tales … I have always turned up my nose at kale, but promised to give it a try & even though it was the curly kind of kale, I still went ahead and, (per my Pescatarian pal’s suggestion,) made this salad from Oh She Glows, with a few minor substitutions.  I used golden raisins instead of goji berries, yellow tear drop tomatoes, added some yellow pepper & used pepitas instead of the hemp seeds.  As far as the Tahini-Lemon dressing goes it was amazing – so creamy & delicious, (if yours is too thick, just add more water,) but I omitted the nutritional yeast (mainly because I didn’t feel like buying a huge jug of that for $15 when I only needing a smidge,) and it didn’t seem to make a difference in either the consistency or the taste.  Perhaps the nutritional yeast is just for extra nutrients.  I don’t know, but this salad is a meal in and of itself.

Kale Salad
Kale Salad

Next up, the sweet potatoes.  I have always hated sweet potatoes ever since I was a kid & my aunt would try to make them appealing to us kids at Thanksgiving by putting marshmallows on top of them.  What to do with those?  Well, I found a scrumptious recipe for a Gingered Sweet Potato & Carrot soup from Women’s Health Magazine, (<—that link there has a ton of sweet potato recipes!)  I want to make the soup again immediately.  It was so yummy & super easy to whip together!

Gingered Sweet Potato & Carrot Soup | The Fairly Good Mother

Finally, I made a healthy Turkey Meatloaf with Sauteed Sherry Mushrooms on top.  That’s my own recipe that I am constantly tinkering with but here’s a gander at what it entails:

Turkey Meatloaf with Sauteed Sherry Mushrooms

1 lb ground turkey meat (white) *Sometimes I only use 3/4 lb & throw in some grass-fed ground beef for additional flavor
1 medium brown onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (pressed)
1 egg (or 2 egg whites)
half a small can of tomato sauce (reserve the other for the topping)
1 cup of breadcrumbs (panko or italian)
couple dashes of Wortsteshire sauce
1 1/2 tsp of dijon mustard
dash of nutmeg
dash of white pepper
dash of garlic powder
Loaf Topping:
2 strips of bacon (optional)
2 tbsp of brown sugar
rest of the can of tomato sauce

Mushroom Topping:
10-12 white button mushrooms, cleaned & sliced
1-2 large shallots
1 tbs unsalted butter
1 swirl of olive oil
1/4 cup sherry or red wine

Mix together loaf ingredients (use your hands, be sure to scrub them good afterward.) Form into a loaf shape & put into a greased loaf pan (if you don’t have a loaf pan, then shape into a loaf & put on a cookie sheet covered with foil.)  *If it seems too dry, add a little more tomato sauce; likewise, if it seems too wet, add some more bread crumbs.  Mix the brown sugar & the tomato sauce together and spread on top, then place bacon on top.  Bake for an hour at 375.  Drain & let sit for 5 minutes before slicing into it.

About 15 minutes before the meatloaf is done cooking, melt the butter & heat the oil in a saute pan on medium heat.  Add shallots & mushrooms.  Cook until they are nice and then add the sherry & lower heat until liquid it cooks off.

Turkey Meatloaf with Sauteed Sherried Mushrooms | The Fairly Good Mother
Turkey Meatloaf with Sauteed Sherried Mushrooms | The Fairly Good Mother

The Husband loved this meal … Well, of course he did, it was “light & healthy” with pretty much no dairy, (both The Husband & I are lactose intolerant, but take dairy pills to indulge.)  And then tonight he gets leftovers, (that kale salad is good for up to 3 days in the fridge apparently.)  Bon Appetite mon ami!  (and yes, that’s about all the french I know aside from a few cuss words.)