At our house, we have a saying..."Don't yuk my yum!". We are trying to raise kids that aren't picky eaters by exposing them to many different kinds of food. It wasn't that long ago that one of my kids asked "Why can't you cook food like everyone else? Like tater tot hotdish?" The reason? It's not very healthy or creative and I think it's kind of gross. I don't cook like that. I like to use fresh, healthy ingredients to make great tasting good for you dishes. I've created this blog to share my favorite recipes with you.

Follow my kitchen adventures from using up vegetables from our weekly CSA box to baking and creative cooking.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Our chickens provided our supper

All eight chickens eating supper to make my supper!
 I am not a farmer, but I have chickens.  Eight of them.  If these chickens produce eggs at the rate they're supposed to, that means we'll be getting about 50 eggs a week.  That's a lot of eggs.  So far, we have been able to stay on top of them by using or selling them, but I'm thinking that eventually, there's going to be a backlog of eggs in my refrigerator.   Want to buy a dozen?  My kids charge $2 and split the proceeds as their fee for collecting the eggs and making sure the chickens have food and water. 

Aren't they pretty?  I learned early on in this process that the chickens with white feathers lay white eggs and the chickens with brown feathers lay brown eggs.  Since the brown chickens aren't all the same color brown, we have a variety of egg colors. 

It won't be long before I have enough eggs for a baking binge, and I'm working up to it.  Banana muffins and chocolate chip cookies have been in my thoughts lately, so look for those recipes soon.  

Until I really get the urge to bake, though, I am going to make do with supper.  Tonight's supper was a fritata.  When we first started getting our vegetable boxes from Red Goose Gardens a couple years ago, I was always looking for a way to use up the greens we got every week.  I discovered an easy, flexible fritata recipe online somewhere and have definitely made it my own.  Now that my goal is twofold, using up eggs and greens, I have even more reason to make this delicious meal.  I have served it for breakfast, lunch and supper.  It is good hot and at room temperature.  Whatever I do to this recipe, it turns out delicious, so just throw in what you have and don't worry about it. 

1 T. Olive Oil
1 small potato, washed and diced into 1/4 inch pieces
1 small onion, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced (I use the stuff from the jar)
(if I have some zucchini, I will thin slice it an throw it in as well)
1/2 c. chopped ham
2-3 c. greens, washed and chopped (spinach, chard, beet greens)  frozen works too
handful of chopped basil
1/4 c. shredded cheese (swiss, cheddar, pepperjack, whatever you like)
6 eggs, beaten
1/4 c. milk or half and half

Heat oven to 400.  On top of stove, heat oil in oven proof skillet on medium.  Add potato, onion, pepper and garlic.  Cook, stirring often, until the veggies start to get soft, about 5 minutes.  Add ham, greens and basil.  Cover the pan to let greens wilt.  Cook, stirring often until the greens have shrunk down.  Turn off heat.  Top with cheese, then dump in egg mixture.  Slide into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes until the eggs are done. 

This goes well with nearly any fruit or vegetable side.  I have been known to cut up a melon, make a salad or heat up some frozen vegetables to go with it. In the spring, asparagus is an amazing match for this dish.  Tonight, we had Kale Waldorf Salad, also a result of an online search for ways to use up greens.  Kale is a sturdier green and I prefer it raw rather than cooked.  This salad is best on the second or third day after the flavors are blended, so plan ahead.  It lasts for a few days, so don't be afraid to make a lot, I eat it for lunch often lately.  The recipe is vegan and does not use mayonnaise, but the dressing is still creamy and delicious.

Kale Waldorf Salad (borrowed from the Whole Foods Website)
4 cups packed finely chopped raw kale, preferably dinosaur kale
1 large red apple, chopped, divided
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped, divided
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons raisins or craisins, divided
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons water, more if needed
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Place kale in a large bowl. Add half the apple to kale along with celery, 1/4 cup walnuts and 1/4 cup raisins. Put remaining apple in a blender along with remaining 1/4 cup walnuts, remaining 2 tablespoons raisins, mustard, water, vinegar and salt. Purée until well combined and slightly thick, adding water if needed to thin. Pour dressing over kale salad and toss to combine. 

Kale Waldorf Salad
Ok, I admit it.  Eating all these vegetables has me craving some chocolate.  I just ripped open a bag of dark chocolate chips and dug in.  Hey, dark chocolate it supposed to prevent heart disease or something, right?

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