Sunday, April 20, 2008

Brown Rice and Greens

Spring is really here! The branches on the old trees in our neighborhood are beginning to show off their green leaves and the cherry blossoms have bloomed. We had fabulous weather this weekend - in the mid-70s all weekend long. The nice weather means that more locally grown foods are available at the grocery store. This weekend, we stocked up on red beets, spring mix, and spinach. I made one of my (and Caroline's) favorite greens recipes tonight - brown rice with greens and feta cheese. Before going on some errands this afternoon, I put two cups of brown rice in my rice cooker and set the timer for 5:30 pm. When we got home at 5:00 pm, I chopped up an onion by hand and put a bunch of kale and some spinach leaves in my food processor. I sauted the onion and greens together in about a tablespoon or two of olive oil for 5 minutes, added about a 1/2 cup of chicken broth (optional but prevents sticking) and let it simmer for about 20 minutes until the greens were melt-in-your-mouth soft. When the greens and onions were done, I added them to the brown rice, and mixed in about 4 ounces of crumbled feta cheese and a large pinch of dried dill. Voila! Dinner was on the table by 5:35 pm!

Caroline's Lunchbox Menu: Breakfast - O's, pearsauce; Lunch - brown rice with kale, spinach, feta cheese, and dill, banana; Snacks - multigrain crackers, string cheese

Childcare Center Menu: Breakfast - White grape juice, Cheerios, Life, Rice Krispies; Lunch - turkey and rice, California vegetables, bananas; Snacks - taco shells, salsa


Anonymous said...

That recipe sounds heavenly, Betty!

Wheeeeeeeee....spring has sprung. I love the green that is bursting out on all the trees giving them that hazy look. My star magnolia put on its show this weekend, pure white, sweet blossoms that look like they are floating in mid-air. Asparagus is still hiding. I planted three beds of snow peas this weekend and tidied up the rest of the beds out back in preparation for next month's plantings. Lettuce, swiss chard and a new Japanese cultivar of spinach is going in this week. I opened the door on my compost barrel and black, crumbly earth tumbled out onto the ground. still my heart. I am like my mom, she once said she'd take a wheelbarrow of manure over a diamond ring! I agree (although if you sold the ring you could buy lots more manure..hmmm). Tonight I'm putting flats of flowers and veggies in the greenhouse.
Here we go.......!

Hope everything is going well with you guys.


Anonymous said...

One more thing, Betty. I was watching a cooking show this weekend and a woman in Italy was making a dish with greens. But to my surprise she was using zucchini greens!! What?! As long as I've grown zucchini I've never used the leaves! She stripped the stringy part of the stalk off and cut it up along with the big leaves. They boiled for 10 minutes, drained and set aside. Then she softened garlic in olive oil, added chopped up tomatoes and basil, reduced that down a little and then at the last minute folded in all the boiled greens. It looked fantastic!

I love Italian cooking, not so much the spaghetti, lasagna, stuff but the regional stuff that seems so different that what you think of when you think Italian food. They use lots and lots of greens. There are so many perfectly wonderful ingredients right under our noses that we aren't even aware of.

One more dish she made was a freshly made pasta (gotta learn how to do that!) and instead of dressing it with parmesan cheese, she used bread crumbs crisped up in olive oil and tossed with paprika! Yum!

I'll have to try the zucchini leaves this summer. You and Geoff will have to come over and be my guinea pigs (Caroline can be a guinea piglet). :)


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