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Pan-Seared Zucchini

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Pan-Seared Zucchini

Recipe Level: Basic | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: Summer | Type: Veggie Side | Diet: V/GF

Another basic recipe that you'll use all summer long. Because zucchini is mild tasting, cooking it in a way that develops some browning is a great flavor-building strategy. 

  • Olive oil, or another cooking oil of your choice
  • 2 zucchini or summer squash, sliced into rounds, or on a slant
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Heat a heavy bottomed pan (cast iron is great).
  2. When it's hot, add enough oil to liberally coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil shimmers, add one layer of zucchini. It's best to keep the pieces from touching.
  3. Sprinkle the first side with salt and pepper. 
  4. When the first side is brown, use tongs or a pair of forks to flip each piece.
  5. Sprinkle the second side with salt and pepper.
  6. Cook until the second side is brown.
  7. Remove from pan.
  8. Repeat with remaining zucchini slices. 

Seared Chicken Breast

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Seared Chicken Breast

Recipe Level: Basic | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: All | Type: Main Course | Diet: GF/DF

This basic recipe is useful in so many ways! Seared chicken breast can be served as an entrée, sliced and used in sandwiches, cut into chunks and made into chicken salad, or tossed into a grain bowl. 

  • 1 package chicken breasts
  • salt
  • pepper
  • a couple tablespoons olive oil, or another cooking oil you prefer
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Remove the chicken from its package and pat dry (you can use a clean kitchen towel if you'd like, or paper towels). Season both sides of the breasts with salt and pepper. 
  3. Heat a heavy bottomed pan (cast iron is great for this). When it's hot, add the oil. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken breasts.
  4. Cook the chicken until quite browned on the first side (see photo above). Not only does the browning build flavor, it also makes it easy to detach the chicken from the pan.
  5. Flip the chicken, turn off the burner, and place the pan in the oven.
  6. Cook the chicken to 165 degrees. If you don't have a thermometer, you can check the doneness by pressing on the meat -- it should feel firm, not springy -- or by cutting it open to see if it's opaque, and cream-colored rather than pink.
  7. When done, put on a plate, and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing. 

Blanched Chard Leaves

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Blanched Chard Leaves

Recipe Level: Basic | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: Summer/Fall | Type: Basic | Diet: V/GF

This recipe is a simple technique for cooking big green leaves just enough that you can roll them around a filling, and eat them! It's a great strategy for those who are avoiding gluten.

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Wash chard leaves, and trim the stems just below the bottom of the leaves. You can save the stems for another use. 
  3. Dunk the leaves in the boiling water, and let them cook for 30 seconds. 
  4. Scoop out the leaves, and place them in a large bowl. Immediately run cold water over the leaves, to stop them from cooking. 
  5. Using the point of a sharp knife, cut out the bottom third of the stem. The cut will be in the shape of a slender v.
  6. To wrap a filling in the chard leaf, place around 1/2 cup filling in the center of the leaf. Fold up the bottom of the leaf (the place where the tough stem that you just excised used to be), and the fold in the sides. Once the sides are folded, roll the leaf the rest of the way, to the tip. Voila!  

 

Roasted Radishes

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Roasted Radishes

Recipe Level: Basic | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: SpringSummerFall | Type: Veggie Side Dish | Diet: Vegan/GF/DF

If you get tired of eating them raw, radishes can also be roasted. In the oven, their bright red skin changes to a vibrant fuchsia. Serve with fatty meats, as a bit of a palate cleanser. 

  • Radishes
  • Olive oil or another oil you prefer
  • Salt
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Rinse the radishes, and cut off the tops (if you haven't already for storage), leaving about an inch of stem. 
  3. On a baking sheet or in a baking dish, toss the radishes with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt.
  4. Roast until just tender, and slightly wrinkled, around 25 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

 

Scallion Vinaigrette

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Scallion Vinaigrette

Recipe Level: Basic | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: All | Type: Condiment/Dressing | Diet: Vegan/GF

A slight variation on a basic vinaigrette, this one uses scallions on place of the usual shallots. 

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup neutral or nutty oil (such as grapeseed or sunflower)
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar, cider vinegar, or another vinegar you prefer
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup scallion (the green part), chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • pepper to taste
  1. If you’re using a blender, combine all of the ingredients, and purée. The mustard will act as an emulsifier, which means that it will allow the oil and vinegar to mix, and it will make the resulting dressing seem creamy, even though it isn’t.
  2. If you’re making the dressing by hand, you could combine all of the ingredients in a jar, cover it with a lid, and shake it. Or, you could combine everything except the oil in a bowl, and drizzle in the oil while whisking. (If you are making the dressing by hand, cut the scallions into smaller pieces). 
  3. When you are dressing a salad, start with less dressing than you think you’ll need, add it to the bowl with the greens, and toss gently with tongs. Taste a leaf, and add more dressing, or salt, as needed. 

 

Raw Radishes with Compound Butter

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Raw Radishes with Compound Butter

Recipe Level: Basic | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: Spring, Summer, Fall | Type: Appetizer, Snack | Diet: Veg/GF

In France, it's common to eat raw radishes dipped in butter. If the butter is flavored, it's even more fun! 

  1. Quarter the radishes (or cut them in slices, if you'd prefer), and dip them into the butter. If the butter isn't heavily salted, you could sprinkle the radishes with a little bit of salt. 

Compound Butter

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Compound Butter

Recipe Level: Basic | Active Time: Quick | Season: Any | Type: Basic | Diet: Veg/GF* | Labels: N/A

Compound butter is incredibly simple to make. You just soften butter, and stir in another flavorings you like. You can serve it warm, or chill it in rolls so that you can cut it into pretty slices. 

  • Butter, softened
  • Flavorings, such as: 
    • Alliums: such as chives, garlic, shallot, or red onion; minced. You could also use roasted garlic or caramelized onions. 
    • Spices: such as smoked paprika, black pepper, 
    • Fresh herbs: such as dill, basil, parsley, sage, thyme, or tarragon; minced
    • Salt: smoked salt is excellent in compound butter

Mix your chosen flavorings into the softened butter. You can spoon it into a crock and serve it as-is, or you can wrap it in plastic wrap, form it into a log shape, and refrigerate it. Then, once it has set, you can cut it into slices for serving. 

Uses for compound butter: 

  • a spread for sandwiches or toast
  • a dip for fresh, crunchy vegetables
  • put it on top of a grilled or seared steak
  • rub chicken with it before you pop it in the oven to roast.
  • any other place you'd use plain butter, but think flavored butter would be better! 

Sautéed Shaved Asparagus

Asparagus

Shaving asparagus makes it even quicker to cook. This makes a lovely side dish, and can be used as a garnish for pasta, rice, couscous, on top of soup, or anywhere else you would use asparagus. And, because of the shape, it also makes a great sandwich topping. 

  • 1/2 pound asparagus
  • Butter or olive oil, or another oil you prefer
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Rinse the asparagus spears. Cut off the tips, and reserve for another use. Sometimes the thick end of the stalk is woody. If this is the case, trim that section off, leaving the tender part of the spear.  
  2. Follow these directions for shaving asparagus
  3. Heat the butter or oil in a pan, until the butter sizzles, or the oil shimmers.
  4. Sprinkle on salt and pepper. 
  5. Add asparagus ribbons and cook, stirring, until bright green and tender. 
  6. Use in any way you desire. 

 

Rhubarb Compote

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Recipe Level: Creative | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: Spring | Type: Condiment - Flexible | Diet: Vegan/GF/DF

The tangy sweet flavor of rhubarb makes a perfect topping for sweet baked goods and pancakes, but it's also great in sauces for roasted meats. This compote can be used as a dessert sauce, mixed into mayonnaise for a tangy sandwich spread, or added to our basic vinaigrette. If you'd like to jazz up the compote, you can add: apples, strawberries, raspberries, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, or vanilla. 

  • 1/2 pound rhubarb
  • 1 orange
  • maple syrup to taste
  • a pinch of salt
  1. Rinse the rhubarb and slice the stalks into chunks (the size of the pieces isn't super important because the resulting sauce will be a puree). 
  2. Put the rhubarb pieces in a small saucepan.
  3. Rinse the orange, use a microplane or small grater to zest it. (Click here for more info about zesting citrus fruit). Add the zest to the rhubarb.
  4. Squeeze the juice from the zested orange, and add it to the rhubarb, as well.
  5. Add 1/4 cup maple syrup to start. It's likely that you'll add more, later. 
  6. Add a pinch of salt, and any other spices or complementary fruits that you desire.
  7. Heat the pot over medium heat, and cook until the rhubarb has disintegrated into a sauce. 
  8. Taste the sauce: if it's too tangy for you, add more maple syrup to sweeten it. You can add vanilla if you wish. 

Sautéed Asparagus & Bok Choi

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Recipe Level: Basic | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: Spring | Type: Side - Veggie | Diet: Vegan/GF/DF

  • 3-4 stems asparagus
  • 1 -2 heads of bok choi
  • 2-3 tbsp coconut oil (I use this to add flavor, but you can use your cooking oil of choice)
  • salt and pepper
  • optional tamari sauce
  1. Rinse the asparagus and cut off any woody bits at the bottom. Slice them in half the long way, then cut into approximately 2 inch lengths
  2. Cut the base off of the bok choi. Rise the leaves. Slice each leaf in half so that you separate the green top from the white bottom part of the leaf. Slice the white pieces into thin strips and set aside. Then, chop the green leafy tops, and set aside. 
  3. Heat the coconut oil over medium heat in a medium-sized saucepan for a couple of minutes. Add the asparagus pieces and the white bottom pieces of the bok choi with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. 
  4. Cook until they are just becoming tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 - 7 minutes. These pieces need more cooking time than the leafy greens, which you'll add next.
  5. Test a piece - when the bok choi and asparagus are just a little bit less tender than you like them, add the leafy green tops in to the pan. Stir well, and cover for about 2 minutes. 
  6. Remove from heat and serve - season to taste with salt and pepper and tamari.

Recipe & Photo by Kendall Frost

Easy Asparagus Soup

Asparagus Soup

Recipe Level: Basic | Recipe Speed: Average | Season: Spring | Type: Soup - Hot | Diet: Vegetarian/GF

If you have some chicken or veggie stock kicking around the house, you can make this quick, easy, and elegant soup in no time! 

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 12 ounces chicken or veggie stock
  • white wine vinegar, to taste
  1. Rinse the asparagus and cut off any woody bits at the bottom. 
  2. Cut the asparagus into segments, setting the tips aside.
  3. Heat the butter in a medium-sized saucepan, when it sizzles, add the asparagus pieces, minus the tips. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook until bright green.
  5. Add the stock, and simmer until tender.
  6. Purée in a blender or food processor, or in the pot using an immersion blender. 
  7. Taste the soup for seasoning, and add vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste. 
  8. If you wish, you can sauté the asparagus tips and use them as garnish. You can also add a bit if heavy cream, if you'd like. 

 

 

Spiced Yogurt with Cucumber & Garlic

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Recipe Level: Basic | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: All | Type: Condiment | Diet: Vegetarian/GF

This is a riff on Greek tzatziki, which has some things in common with Indian raita. It's a combination of yogurt and cucumber, with some spices mixed in. As with many of our recipes, it's very flexible, and you can change it to suit your palate, and your mood. This is a very basic, rustic version of the recipe, but if you'd like, you could make it a little more elegant by starting with strained yogurt, or by salting the cucumber, letting them sit for a while, and squeezing them out a bit before adding them to the yogurt.

I use this as a topping for potato pancakes, as a cooling ingredient on spicy meat or bean dishes, or eaten alone, as a snack. 

  • 1/2 of a slicing cucumber
  • 2 cups yogurt, or strained yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon olive or walnut oil
  • Herbs and spices to taste: I used dill, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Cayenne would be a great addition if you like heat. Ground caraway seed would be excellent, too. 
  1. Rinse the cucumber, and grate it on the largest side of a box grater. 
  2. Mix the cucumber and yogurt. 
  3. Add oil and season to taste. 

Goat Cheese with Scallion & Lemon

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Recipe Level: Basic | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: All | Type: Condiment | Diet: Vegetarian/GF

This delicious concoction has many uses. Toss it with hot, fresh pasta and it will turn into a light, creamy sauce. Spread it on sandwiches, or slices of toast. Use it to stuff ravioli. Put it on an omelette, or on a salad. Eat it with a spoon. 

  • 8 ounces chevre
  • a glug of olive oil, or walnut oil
  • The zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 scallions (I actually used the leaves of wild leeks when I made this. You could also use shallot, chives, or garlic, in place of the scallion).
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Dump the chevre into a bowl. 
  2. Add some oil, I use about a tablespoon, and the lemon zest and juice
  3. Rinse the scallions and slice the green leaves into little rounds, reserving the white bulbs for another use (or throw it all in...it will be great either way). If you're using another allium, such as garlic or shallot, mince it before adding.
  4. Add some salt and pepper, and stir it all up. 
  5. Taste the concoction. Would you like it to be more tangy? If so, add more lemon juice, or a splash of vinegar. Does it need salt or pepper? Add some more. You could even get really wild and mix in some hot sauce, or kimchi brine, or anything else you desire. 

Seared Steak

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Recipe Level: Basic | Recipe Speed: Average | Season: All | Type: Main Dish | Diet: Omnivore

A basic recipe for a slab of meat! 

  • a steak, pork chop, chicken leg, or what have you
  • salt
  • pepper
  • oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Remove the meat from its package, and using paper towels or a clean kitchen towel, pat it dry. 
  3. Liberally season both sides of the meat with salt and pepper. 
  4. Heat a large, heavy bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. If you have a kitchen fan, turn it on. 
  5. When the pan is hot, add the oil. When the oil shimmers, gently place the meat in the pan. If you have more than one piece, arrange them so they're not touching. Try not to move the meat around once you've put it down.
  6. Cook until the meat is seared on the first side. When it is, you will find that it will easily release itself from the pan. 
  7. Flip the meat, turn off the burner, and place the pan in the oven.
  8. The cooking time will depend on the size of the steak/chop/leg, and how well done you wish it to be. You can use a thermometer to "temp" the meat, if you'd like. 
  9. When the meat is done, remove it from the pan, and let it rest. You can now deglaze the pan and make a sauce, if you wish. 

Sautéed Mushrooms

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Recipe Level: Basic | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: All | Type:  Side | Diet: Vegetarian/Vegan/GF

Sautéed mushrooms are incredibly versatile. They can be used in omelettes, as a topping on burgers, to garnish salads or vegetable dishes, atop seared meats, or simply eaten as a side dish.

  • mushrooms
  • butter or olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Rinse the mushrooms, pull out the stems and save them for stock (I keep a "stockpile" in my freezer, in which I save bones and veggie scraps. When I have enough, I make a batch). Slice the mushroom caps. 
  2. Heat the fat in a large saucepan, and when hot, add the mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender, and slightly browned. 
  3. Use in whatever way suits your fancy. 

Pan Sauce for Steak, Pork Chops or Chicken

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Recipe Level: Basic | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: All | Type: Condiment - Sauce | Diet: Omnivore

If you keep stock in your freezer, you can make a pan sauce at a moment's notice. It's a quick way to add incredible flavor to simple food.

  • A pan in which you've just cooked something flavorful, such as mushrooms, caramelized onions, or seared meat.
  • stock (meat stock works best, because it includes gelatin and collagen) 
  • butter
  • salt
  • pepper
  • an acidic ingredient, such as vinegar or lemon juice
  • any other spices or herbs you desire
  1. While the pan is still hot, pour in a couple cups of stock (or more, depending on how much sauce you wish to make).
  2. Simmer the sauce and let it reduce until it thickens and has the consistency of a glaze.
  3. Turn off the pan, add a couple tablespoons of butter, and whisk until the butter is incorporated. This is called "mounting the sauce." When the butter has melted and been whisked in, the sauce will be nice and glossy, and thick.
  4. Taste the sauce, and season. It's great to use acidity and salt to balance out the flavors, and make them sing. Add a little bit at a time, tasting after each addition, until the sauce is glorious. 
  5. Serve over whatever you'd originally cooked in the pan, or anything that would be more delicious with sauce than without it.

 

Roasted Potatoes with Chimichurri

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Recipe Level: Basic | Recipe Speed: Average | Season: All | Type: Starchy Side | Diet: Vegetarian/Vegan/GF

This is a super simple recipe that yields a very flavorful result. Just toss together roasted potatoes with chimichurri (either homemade, or from our Omnivore Package), and serve.

  • red potatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • chimichurri
  1. Preheat the oven to 425-degrees.
  2. Wash the potatoes, and cut into similar-sized pieces. (I often cut them potatoes into 16ths when I'm roasting them, but it all depends on the 'tater. Uniformity is more important than size).
  3. If you have parchment paper*, place some on your baking sheet. If not, you can do without. 
  4. Put the potatoes on the baking sheet, and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. The potato pieces should be nicely coated with oil.
  5. Bake, stirring every 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Remove from oven, and immediately toss with chimichurri (seasoning the potatoes when their hot helps the flavor to penetrate). Serve hot, or at room temperature. 

*parchment paper is an incredible boon in the kitchen. It prevents food from sticking, which can be wasteful, and makes cleanup easier. If parchment isn't oil soaked, it can be reused. 

Sunflower Vinaigrette

Recipe Level: Basic | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: All | Type: Condiment | Diet: Vegan/Vegetarian/GF/DF

This salad dressing is nutty, with a hint of garlic. It's a great match for baby lettuce, cheddar cheese, cucumbers, and apples. 

  • 1 cup oil (I like to use 2/3 cup sunflower oil and 1 cup olive oil)
  • 1/3 cup of cider or white wine vinegar, or lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • a few grinds of fresh pepper
  1. This recipe is best made in a food processor or blender, because you're mixing in toasted sunflower seeds. All you need to do is combine the ingredients and blend until uniform. 
  2. Taste the dressing, and see if you like the level of seasoning. Add more salt, or pepper, or mustard, or garlic, as desired.

Kneaded Kale Salad

Kneaded kale salad

Recipe Level: Creative | Recipe Speed: Quick | Season: All | Type: Salad or Side | Diet: Vegan/GF/DF

When you want a change from steamed kale, a kneaded kale salad is a great alternative. This variation can be tossed with any vinaigrette of your choice, and garnished with chopped apricots and toasted sunflower seeds, but you could use any toppings that please you. 

  • 1 bunch kale
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • your favorite vinaigrette
  • unsulfured apricots (usually, these can be found in the bulk section of your favorite co-op. They are much more delicious than sulfured apricots)
  • toasted, salted sunflower seeds
  1. Strip the kale from its stems, rinse, and spin dry (if you don't have a salad spinner, shake the water out of the kale as well as you can).
  2. Tear the kale into bite-sized pieces, and place them in a large salad bowl. Add a teaspoon of salt, and knead the kale with your hands to tenderize it slightly, and break down some of the cell walls.
  3. Chop the apricots, and mix with the kale. 
  4. Dress the kale and apricots with vinaigrette, season to taste, and top with toasted sunflower seeds.

Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad

Recipe Level: Basic | Recipe Speed: Average | Season: All | Type: Main Dish | Diet: Omnivore/GF/DF

A couple weeks ago, we showed you how to make homemade mayonnaise. If you'd like, you can do that for this recipe, too. We mixed tarragon into our chicken salad, but you can use any herbs or spices that you'd like. Celery is a great addition to chicken salad, as are dried fruits and toasted nuts. Get as creative as you'd like! 

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower or olive oil
  • 2/3 cup mayo, either homemade or store bought
  1. Preheat the oven to 400-degrees. 
  2. Remove the chicken breasts from the package and pat dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel (if you use a kitchen towel, make sure to put it in the laundry thereafter). Season both sides of the meat with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the oil in an all-metal pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken to the pan. When it has browned on the first side, flip it onto the other side, turn off the burner, and place the pan in the oven. Cook the chicken until the internal temperature reaches 160. If you don't have a food thermometer, try pressing on the meat. If it feels firm all the way through, it is done. Another test: poke halfway into the breast with a skewer or the point of a knife. If the juices that seep out are clear, it's done. 
  4. Remove from the oven, turn off the heat, and let the chicken cool. If you're making the mayo from scratch, this would be the perfect time to do it. 
  5. Cut the chicken into cubes and combine with the mayonnaise. If you're using store-bought mayo, you may want to season it up with salt, pepper, mustard, herbs, and spices.