Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Asian Lettuce Wraps and Bok Choy Slaw

It's summer!  Do you know how I know this?  Well besides the warmth and amazing flowers all around, I'm reminded every Monday when I pick up my CSA vegetables.  Yes, I once again live somewhere with local farmers and I'm wasting no time taking advantage of this! 

I pick up my vegetables between 4:30 - 6 PM on Mondays.  Now I admit, sometime I leave here at 4:30 to drive across town at that hour and I'm tired and not so excited, but I come out with my bags of vegetables and a big smile on my face.  It feels like my birthday every Monday!  Really I get one of everything?!!?

This week my box consisted of:
  • Mustard Greens
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • A bunch of Beets w/ the greens
  • A bunch of Carrots
  • A bunch of radishes,
  • A large head of Bok Choy
  • Spinach
  • 1 Zucchini
  • A bunch of Green Onions
  • Mizuna
I know some of you don't quite embrace greens to the extent that I do and so you would be less excited about the above haul.  And I admit it is a challenge to use all of them with just the two of us, but that's a challenge I'll take on every week. 

I've been enjoying the Bok Choy as it's not a vegetable that's been a regular for me in the past so last night I took the Bok Choy on and I won!  Here are a couple ideas for you if you are overwhelmed with your greens.
  1. Don't forget you can use any green in a quiche.  I made a crustless quiche the other night with a ton of kale and chard.  We had it with a salad for dinner and then small slices went well the next few days for a breakfast or lunch for me on top of .... yes you guessed it, another pan full of sautéed greens.  In this case it was usually beet greens. 
  2. You can always take care of a few handfuls of greens with a green smoothie for breakfast or lunch.  It's true, blenders aren't only for Margaritas!  Don't let Smoothies be harder than they are, throw a bunch of spinach in that blender, top with a handful of blueberries, 1/2 a banana, celery, an apple, whatever feels good.  Add your choice of liquid, almond milk, milk, whatever you want.  Still feels like you need something else?  Chia seeds are a great addition for energy.  Blend for a long time and enjoy.
  3. Try Pesto - there is no rule that says this needs to be made with Basil.  I'm going to make a Mizuna Pesto.  I'll let you know how it works out.
  4. Or enjoy the below meal of lettuce wraps and slaw.  Bok Choy makes a great slaw!
Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps : I made up these lettuce wraps, but here's the general idea.

Finely Shred:
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 scallion
  • the greens to the bok choy from the slaw

  • Sauté the vegetables in a bit of Coconut or Sesame Oil until soft. 
  • Take out of pan and add 1 pound of ground pork (preferably from a very happy pig that your local farmer provided).
  • Saute pork until all pink is gone and add vegetables back in.
  • Mix in following dressing and serve with lettuce leaves.
Dressing: I used the following, but you could easily use any Asian dressing you might have on hand, or make something up!
  • 1/4 cup of Anne's Lite Gingerly Vinaigrette,
  • 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Oh - I toasted some chopped almonds and sesame seeds and this topping made Joe very happy!  Wrap and enjoy - these are fun for adults and kids alike!

Bok Choy Slaw
  • Bok Choy stems thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots sliced to same width
  • 1 scallion sliced
  • 1 handful of cilantro chopped
  • Bok Choy leaves can also be chopped and added.
  • 1/4 cup Rice Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
I used my mandolin here and sliced the bok choy stems and carrots.  Then added all other salad components and mixed it with the dressing.

Do you have a fridge full of vegetables?  Take that on as the best challenge ever.  A challenge that won't do damage to your waistline and will improve your health!

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