Jalapeño, Lime, and Spinach Veggie Spaghetti with Roasted Chickpeas

This basic meal strategy shows how to combine pasta, herbs/greens in oil, and a roasted bean. This can be varied and a fast healthy plant based meal. After trying this recipe I made another version using beet greens cooked with a shallot and lemon juice. Kale or cabbage would be good choices too.

The spaghetti recipe below is adapted from AcademiaBarilla.it. This is essentially the same recipe in terms of instructions, but the veggies are doubled and the protein is increased by adding roasted garbanzo beans.

Beet Greens with Lemon and Shallots, served with spaghetti and roasted chickpeas

Step 1: Veggie Spaghetti with Lime, Spinach & Jalapeño

Ingredients:

  • 12oz Box Veggie Spaghetti
  • 1-2 Jalapeños Sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1TBS Olive oil (for Spaghetti)
  • 2 TBS Olive oil (for cooking)
  • 8oz Spinach Leaves

Instructions:

  1. Boil water, add a pinch of salt. Cook spaghetti according to box instructions for 8 minutes (one minute less than stated.) Drain pasta spread on a sheet pan or plate to cool tossing with 1 TBS olive oil.
  2. Slice jalapeños into thin rings.
  3. Crush garlic and remove paper layer. Chop into big pieces
  4. Heat 2TBS olive oil in a skillet. Cook garlic and jalapeño about 1 minute.
  5. Add spinach leaves to the skillet and cook till wilted. The pan will be very full but the spinach will decrease in volume a lot when heated. Set aside the spinach to cool.
  6. Juice 2 limes. You don’t need a citrus juicer. Cut lime in half, using a fork squeeze the lime around the fork to extract the juice collecting it in a bowl, remove seeds before using.
  7. Combine the spaghetti, spinach mixture, and lime juice. Add salt as desired. Refrigerate for a while before serving.

Step 2: Roasted Chickpeas

This is one of my favorite foods, really! Follow this fast and flavorful recipe for a plant based protein boost.

Ingredients:

  • 15oz can chickpeas/garbanzo beans
  • 1 TBS oil (olive oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil, coconut oil etc. all work fine)
  • salt & pepper
  • Optional: any dried ground spice or spice blend you enjoy (corriander, ginger, garlic powder, red chile, curry powder, chili powder, cumin, tajin – any flavor you like)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Open can of chickpeas and drain liquid. Rinse if desired, drain well.
  3. Toss the chickpeas in a bowl with oil, salt, pepper, and any ground spice.
  4. Spread on a sheet pan.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Chickpeas should have some browned color, appear drier, a little crispy. If they don’t seem quite done, cook a few more minutes. If you cook more than one can of chickpeas or if they are very wet when you first put them in the oven it will take longer.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Texture will firm up a little.

Chef Salad

Chef Salad

Ingredients:

Romaine Lettuce (This recipe uses two types a butter lettuce-romaine cross type and an iceberg-romaine cross)

Hard boiled Eggs (follow this recipe from Kenji Lopez Alt at Seriouseats.com for PERFECT eggs)

Grape tomatoes

Green Onions (Scallions)

Sunflower seeds

  1. Prepare Hard boiled Eggs. Boil water water on the stove. Carefully lower cold eggs into the water. Cook 10-11 minutes at a low boil. Remove from heat and chill in cold water for a few minutes. Crack shell near the ends and peel off the shell. Slice or dice into pieces.
  2. Wash romaine leaves by pulling leaves apart and submerging in water. Replace water and repeat. (Farm fresh organic lettuce might have slugs or other insects, just pull them out when you wash the lettuce. )
  3. Wash tomatoes and slice or dice if you’d like. (See pictures above for how to slice round foods.) Holding tomatoes against the cutting board, use a sharp knife to cut them in half from the side keeping your fingers up away from the board.
  4. Wash and slice green onions. There are lots of different sizes and shapes you can cut them into.
  5. Assemble the salad in a bowl and enjoy. OR Spread out leaves and put small amounts of the salad ingredients inside to make little salad bites.

Any dressing of your choice can go with this salad or just add a little salt and pepper and let the creaminess of the egg and the juice from the tomato dress your salad.

About Types of Lettuce in this recipe:

in this recipe there are two different types of lettuce. The smooth strong leaves (pictured above on the left are a cross between Romaine and Butter lettuce, sometimes called ‘little gem’ lettuce. It is great for making lettuce wraps or small bites. The more lettuce with the larger white rib and the crunchier texture is a cross of romaine with iceberg, sometimes called ‘Cos lettuce’. If you’d like to read more about types of lettuce check out this post by Kristina Hick-Hamblin at Gardener’s path to see photos and explanations of uses for 29 types of lettuce.

Lettuce wraps are a good way to use lettuce.

Emily Kim is a Korean-American Youtuber and cookbook author. Learn about how to make Beef Bulgogi Wraps from her video. If you don’t use beef and would like to try a Vegan Bulgogi with tofu instead, Seonkyoung Longest has a great video with instructions.

Lemon and Garlic Broccolini

Most of us have heard of broccoli, but have you ever tried broccolini? Although they look similar and both belong to the cabbage family, broccolini is different from broccoli. Broccolini was developed as a hybrid of broccoli and Chinese broccoli. Broccolini is distinguishable by its longer, slender stem and smaller florets. The stalk, florets, and leaves of broccolini are all edible. As for taste, broccolini is milder and sweeter than broccoli. Sautéed, steamed, roasted, or grilled – there are endless ways to cook this beautiful vegetable and make it delicious! Chockfull of fiber and vitamin C, broccolini is a nutrient-packed food with limitless possibilities. Try this Lemon and Garlic Broccolini recipe below.

Broccolini versus Broccoli

Ingredients:

  • 1 head broccolini, separated into florets
  • 4 tsp fresh lemon juice, separated
  • 2 Tbls water
  • 3 Tbls butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch salt

Directions:

  1. Place broccolini florets in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir 2 teaspoons of lemon juice with 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl and pour the mixture into the skillet. Cover turn on medium heat, steam until broccolini is bright green and tender (cook time will vary, 6-15 minutes depending on your stove and heat).
  2. While broccolini is steaming, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and stir in the garlic and salt. Turn the heat to low and let the garlic gently fry until golden brown.
  3. Drain the water from the cooked broccolini and return to skillet. Sprinkle with 2 more teaspoons of lemon juice and the butter and garlic mixture. Sprinkle broccolini with black pepper or other spices of choice, toss to combine, and enjoy!

Adapted from Allrecipes.com

For more information about types and storage visit FoodHero: https://www.foodhero.org/sites/foodhero-prod/files/monthly-magazines/Broccoli%20March%202021%20Monthly.pdf

Lettuce & Cucumber Salad with Lemon Dressing

Ingredients:

  • Leaf Lettuce (Pictured Green Oak Leaf Lettuce)
  • Cucumber
  • Kalmata Olives
  • Lemon
  • Dried Oregano
  • 3 or more TBS Oil (Olive oil has good flavor, other oil can work too)
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions:

  1. Wash Lettuce. Separate leaves from the head, look for and remove any slugs or insects. (What!? Yes, bugs are an unwelcome surprise but can show up in organic and very fresh produce.) Wash by submerging in cold water. Move leaves around gently to let dirt settle. Replace water and repeat 1-2 times. Shake off water, or let drip dry for a bit. You can also use a salad spinner to dry leaves.
  2. Slice cucumber. Peeling a cucumber is not necessary. Wash the surface of the cucumber. Trim off ends. Slice into rings or dice into cubes. To make the cucumber sit flat on the cutting board, trim off a thin slice on one side to make a flat surface.
  3. Slice Kalmata Olives. To slice round foods (like olives, grapes, and cherry tomatoes) place a small amount on a cutting board close together. Holding them still with your hand, bring in a knife from the side parallel to the cutting board and slice through the olives. If you keep the knife midway between the board and your hand this is a safe way to cut items that might roll around. Using a sharp knife is important.
  4. Mix dressing. Juice lemon – wash and then cut a lemon in half, squeeze out the juice. There are many tools to juice fruit. I like to use a fork. Hold one lemon half in your hand, poke a fork into the cut side and squeeze the lemon against the fork to extract the juice catching it in a bowl, then remove seeds before using. Add 1/2 tsp dried oregano. Add 3 or more TBS oil. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix with a fork.
  5. Combine Lettuce, cucumber, olives and dressing in a bowl. Enjoy!

This salad can be made more filling by adding a crumbled white cheeses like feta or chopped chicken.

Also: this video shows how to cut veggies into beautiful garnishes. It isn’t related to this recipe but is a fun YouTube find.

Mason Jar Quick Pickled Carrots and Daikon

Quick pickles are cold and tangy adding crunch to prepared meats, sandwiches, noodles, rice dishes, and salads. Good with pretty much everything according to Sue Pressey a Korean food blogger sharing recipes and cultural traditions for a non-korean international audience.

The recipe below is adapted from her technique to be sized to a single mason jar and to use common kitchen tools instead of a mandolin. The sugar in the recipe is reduced also. For her exact recipe and to read about uses of quick pickles check out her blog.

She also wrote a free downloadable ecookbook on Korean BBQ and has a downloadable cookbook for purchase featuring Korean side dishes.

Mason Jar Quick Pickled Daikon and Carrots

adapted from Sue Pressey’s recipe blog My Korean Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 1 Daikon Radish
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1/2 cup +2 TBS Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup +2 TBS Water
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 large pinch kosher salt (about 1/3 Tsp)

Instructions:

Prepare the Brine (Juice for pickling):

  1. In a pan on the stove, combine the vinegar, water, sugar and salt. Heat till it boils then let cool.

Prepare the Vegetables.

  1. Wash the carrot and daikon. Cut off ends. Peel if you’d like or just trip off roots or rough pieces or spots.
  2. Slice into thin match sticks with a knife. It is safest to cut veggies with a flat stable side of the vegetable against your cutting board. Cut the carrot and daikon in half the long way then put the flat surface on the cutting board and cut thin slices. Set the slices flat on the cutting board and cut them into thin sticks.
  3. Put about 1 loosely piled cut of carrots and daikon sticks into a clean dry mason jar. For a quick pickle you don’t need to sanitize the jar but it may make your pickles last longer in the fridge.
  4. Pour the brine over the vegetables to fill and put on the lid.
  5. Let sit out for a few hours then refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
  6. Pickles are best the first day or two. They will be fine to eat longer but check for off flavor and throw away if you feel unsure.

Young Garlic

What is it?

Young Garlic is the plant before the bulb matures and the paper layer forms between the garlic clove segments.

Young Garlic is available only in Spring – it is harvested as growers thin plants in the field by removing some young plants to give remaining plants space between to grow.

Flavor

The flavor of green garlic is between mature garlic and a scallion (or green onion.) It is mildly pungent and less strong than mature garlic but has a distinct garlic flavor. Usually the tip with the root end is cut off and discarded. Like a scallion the green and white portion is all edible.

Terminology

Young Garlic is also called Green Garlic.

“Garlic Scapes” are not the same thing. Scapes are the flowering stem that grows when garlic bulbs are near maturity.

Suggested Recipes:

Green Garlic Pasta with Olive Oil https://www.seriouseats.com/alice-waters-spaghetti-with-green-garlic

Roasted Green Garlic to serve with bread https://www.thespruceeats.com/roasted-green-garlic-2217048

Green Garlic Scrambled Eggs https://www.farmfreshtoyou.com/recipes/52/green-garlic-scrambled-egg-toasts

Green Garlic Fried Eggs http://www.thecrepesofwrath.com/2013/05/01/spring-garlic-fried-eggs/

Garlic Yogurt Sauce for dipping veggies and Chips https://www.finecooking.com/recipe/garlic-yogurt-sauce

Garlicky Mac & Cheese 

Ingredients: 

  • A box of mac and cheese
  • Butter (or olive oil)
  • 3 T milk PLUS however much your boxed mac and cheese calls for
  • Green garlic/young garlic
  • Powdered parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Hot pepper flakes (optional)

Start a pan of boiling water for the pasta for the mac and cheese. When the water boils, cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. While you’re waiting for the water to boil or the pasta to finish cooking, do the steps below. When the pasta is done, drain it and set it aside until you need it for step 3. 

  1. Rinse the garlic. Slice off ¼ or so from the bottom, discard. Cut off the top, right before the leaves start to separate from the tube part, discard (or save for something else). Slice the green garlic in ½ inch pieces. 
  2. Heat a small sauté or sauce pan on a low/medium. When the pan is warm, melt 1 T of butter. Add the green garlic and sauté, stirring every minute or so. If the garlic starts to stick to the pan, add more garlic. Keep sautéing – the garlic will get softer and softer and some of it will turn brown and caramelize- that’s the good stuff. 
  3. Drain the cooked pasta and leave it in the strainer for a minute. Add the milk to the sautéed garlic and add the cheese packet from the mac and cheese. If the mixture looks too dry, add more milk or butter, or even a splash of water will do. Stir in the hot drained pasta. Top with parmesan cheese and/or pepper flakes if you have some.

Cannoli Strawberries and Strawberry Salad

Cannoli Strawberries

Ingredients: 1/2 Pound Strawberries, 1/3 cup ricotta cheese, 2 tsp sugar, sliced almonds

Instructions:

  1. Wash Strawberries, remove the leaves, slice in half and arrange on a plate.
  2. In ziplock bag, combine sugar with ricotta, seal bag, mix.
  3. Cut one small corner off of the bottom of the bag. Squeeze the bag to pipe the sweetened ricotta onto the strawberries
  4. Arrange a few sliced almond pieces on top.
  5. Serve immediately or store refrigerated, best quality if eaten sooner

Strawberry Salad

Ingredients: Mixed lettuce, spinach leaves, pea shoots, slice strawberries, sliced almonds, dressing of your choice

Instructions:

  1. Wash mixed lettuce, spinach leaves removed from root end/hard stems, pea shoots (the leaves and stems are all edible)
  2. Chop the large spinach leaves and long pea shoots into bit sized pieces
  3. Wash strawberries, remove leaf part (hull the berries), and slice them
  4. Top the greens with sliced almonds or candied almonds and a dressing of your choice.

[Optional] Candied Almonds:

  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat . Add 1/4 cup almonds and a little sugar 1tsp-1TBS.
  2. Stir till almonds become golden. Pay constant attention, nuts go from not done to burned very quickly.
  3. Remove from heat and cool on a plate before using

More recipes to try:

Strawberry Ricotta Crostini with Pea Shoots from the Kitchn.com

Fast Spinach Ricotta Pasta from The Clever Meal

Honey Drizzled Ricotta and Fruit Toast from BingeWorthyBites

How to Use Pea Shoots

Pea shoots are the tops of pea plants the shoot, leaves and tendrils that grow to support the development of the pea pods. These are delicious too and available at Farmers Markets in the Spring.

Add to a stir-fry, or pasta, mix in with salad greens, or snack on them. Pea shoots are easy to use and fresh.

Check out a few links to see how to enjoy PEA SHOOTS.

How to buy and Use Pea Shoots by Food52

Chinese Style Stir-fried Pea Shoots with Garlic at Food52

Pea Shoot Salad with Shaved Parmesan at JustFarmed

Cornbread with green chilies and cheese

Ingredients:

Cornbread mix (we used Marie Calender’s Original 16oz but other brands could work too with adjustments)

1 4oz can hot green chilies

Water about 1 1/4 cup

Shredded cheese blend (we used WinCo Mexican Blend)

Cooking spray, oil, or butter to prep pan

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Spray with cooking spray or smear butter inside a 2″ deep and 8 inch by 8 inch square baking pan pan or another pan about 2″ deep that can be baked in the oven (mine was round.)
  3. Measure liquid ingredients. Add can of chilies to measuring cup. In this recipe, the canned chilies count as part of the the liquid in the recipe. Add water to reach the amount of liquid needed by the recipe. For this mix, that is 1.5 cups total liquid including the chilies.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine the cornbread mix and liquid ingredients. Mix till the lumps of mix are gone. Usually in muffins/quick breads you need to be very careful not to over mix, cornbread is a little easier to work with and this is less of a concern in this recipe.
  5. Spread the batter in the pan evenly.
  6. Slice the jalapeño into thin rings. Place on top of the batter.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, then sprinkle cheese on top and bake for about 10 more minutes.

HOW TO TELL IF IT IS DONE

The middle needs to be set.

You can just touch the middle lightly on top (don’t get burned) and see if it feels done and springs back when tapped in the middle.

You can also test it by poking the middle with a wooden toothpick or skewer and see if it comes out clean.

Fresh and Easy Pear Salad

Ingredients:

1 Pear (D’anjou or bartlett pears are a great choice!)

2 cups of mixed greens (approximately ⅓ bag)

1 oz or 2 TBS of Gorgonzola

1 oz or 2 TBS of Chopped Walnuts

1 pkt of Balsamic Vinaigrette

Prep Time: under 10 minutes Servings per recipe: 1

  1. Rinse pear in cold water. With a knife and cutting board, slice 1 pear about ¼ inch thick
  2. Optional: You can crush walnuts with a flat surface, such as a bottom of a cup, before adding to salad mix.
  3. In a large bowl with tongs or two utensils mix greens, gorgonzola and chopped walnuts.
  4. Serve on a plate and top with pear slices and add dressing packet. (Hint: use about ½-1 packet per preferences)
  5. Enjoy!

Click here to find more information about pears: Pears | Food Hero

Click here for more information on the cheese included in this week’s Beaver Bag: Gorgonzola – Wikipedia

Bihon Pancit

Help the HSRC and APCC celebrate May as Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Desi American Heritage Month with this delicious collaboration recipe.

BIHON PANCIT

Pancit bihon (guisado) is a sautéed rice noodle dish that has been adapted from Chinese immigrants in the Philippines. The noodles are mixed with soy sauce, meat (pork and chicken) and vegetables, served with sliced lemons on the side. This dish is served during celebrations, namely birthdays because the noodles represent longevity and good health. To me, this dish epitomizes family, because on the rare occasions when I would have extended family come together, it would be on my birthday, and although, my Filipino grandmother (may she rest in peace) would often cook traditional food for me, she only made pancit on my birthday. This dish is very light to eat, and whenever I think of it, I remember how carefree I feel with my entire family. – Sara Kathleen Tajanlangit

In this recipe from Caroline Phelps at the pickledplum blog (linked below), she demonstrates how quick and easy delicious noodle-based recipes can be once you learn how to make them.

https://pickledplum.com/pancit-recipe-filipino/

To use tofu in place of chicken or pork, here are instructions for preparing the tofu:

  1. Open the tofu package and drain the liquid.
  2. Remove excess liquid from the tofu. You can do this different ways. Method 1: Wrap tofu in paper towel and leave for about 10 minutes. Method 2: press tofu under a plate with a weight like a can on top for about 10 minutes, drain extra liquid. Method 3: cut tofu into cubes, spread in a colander, pour boiling water over the cubes, shake off excess liquid and let drip for a few minutes.
  3. Cut tofu into bite sized cubes
  4. Tofu can be added to the recipe with the vegetables or it can be pan fried in a little oil then added. Tofu should be handled gently because the curd will break down.

Preview the instructions for the pickled plum recipe below:

  1. Whisk all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Place a medium-size pan on a burner over medium heat. Add a little oil and pan-fry the chicken (or tofu) until the pieces are cooked through. Transfer them to a plate and set aside.
  3. Use the same pan to add the garlic and onion, and cook for 3-4 minutes until fragrant and the onions have become translucent.
  4. Return the chicken pieces (or tofu) to the pan and season with a little salt and pepper.
  5. Add the vegetables and stir fry until the vegetables are soft but still yielding a little crunch.
  6. Whisk the sauce, add it to the pan, and bring it to a boil.
  7.  Add the dry pancit noodles to the pan and let the heat from the sauce cook them. Gently toss the noodles to make sure they are evenly coated. The noodles will get infused with tons of flavor this way as opposed to just being coated with sauce. They should be cooked in 3-4 minutes. If the noodles are still crunchy once the sauce has been absorbed, add a little stock (1/4 cup) to help them cook through.
  8. Turn the heat off and transfer the dish to a serving bowl or plate. Season with salt and pepper and serve with soy sauce and lemon wedges.