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Meal Plan: Week 7 – Sweet dreams are made from vegetables

Meal Plan: Week 7 – Sweet dreams are made from vegetables

Your mother tells you: "Eat your vegetables." Your doctor will tell you: "Eat your vegetables." Gwyneth Paltrow tells you: "Eat your vegetables".

That mantra is often combined with "Eat more salads." Once I spent 14 of my hard-earned dollars to "eat my vegetables" in a comically disappointing salad, to end up with three peach slices and a handful of mozzarella balls scattered randomly on top of a bed of rocket.

I was outraged – but also weirdly amused – to the point that I told the story dramatically to everyone who would listen that week. They had the guts to call that a salad. And pay me $ 14. Can you believe it? Highway robbery.

I suppose it is my fault to entrust Big Salad primarily to my vegetable consumption. Not anymore.

As far as eating leafy vegetables is concerned, I am Post Salad. I love to stretch the life (and the versatility) of my greens by blanching – a.k.a. fast boiling and shocking with ice water – they are ahead of time.

Bleached vegetables will not fade in your refrigerator after a day or two, take up much less space in the vegetable drawer and can easily be thrown away in a multitude of fast dinners and mixed into pestos. More importantly, blanching maintains the integrity of the greens' taste.

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Mango summer rolls with honey-sambal sauce (V)
It does not have to be hot outside to enjoy this veggie-forward twist to everyone's favorite restaurant appetizer (or perhaps just mine?) For dinner.

Timber-inspired Green Monster Pizza (V)
Come for the "it & # 39; s pizza," stay for the clear Bald Pesto and the thinly cut "zucchi-roni".

Zesty Bucatini with collards and bread crumbs (V)
Lemony breadcrumbs raise even the simplest of pantry pastas.

V – vegetarian

Green means go! Click on this link for an easy-to-save shopping list that contains ingredients for all three recipes.

So what exactly is blanching? As I said above, it is when you hit a vegetable with a quick one-two-burst of burning and ice-cold water. Boiling water boils veggie quickly, sets the color and then an ice-water bath stops the cooking process.

Before we set up a blanching station, we want that prepare the greens. Grab a bunch of lacinato kale and remove the leaves from all except one or two stalks (you'll want a bit of raw kale for your Green Monster pizza later in the week). Squeeze a stem into the soil and put your hand against it to easily separate the leaves, and then tear the leaves into large pieces. Do not worry about what they look like.

For the bunch of Collard Greens that you have bought, you want to be a bit more accurate. Lay each sheet flat against a cutting board and use a cutting blade to cut as close to the stem as possible. You should get two large halves from each sheet. Do not try to rip them; you need eight large, intact halves for those summer rolls.

At that blanching station. Fill a storage pot with water. Season it with a little salt and bring it to the boil. Fill a large mixing bowl with cold water and ice cubes and place it next to the hob.

From there you work in batches to blanch your greens. When the water boils, you start with the torn kale and cook it exactly 3 minutes. Use tongs or a spoon with slits to fish out the kale and transfer it to the ice bath. Let it cool for a few minutes, remove it and pat dry.

Do the same with the green leaves of the kale (but be careful, you do not want to tear them at any time!): Blanch a few pieces for 3 minutes, then transfer them to the ice bath and repeat. After an ice-water bath, lay the leaves of the bushes flat on pieces of kitchen paper and dry them thoroughly. To store them, carefully wrap them in a paper towel and put them in a large zippered bag and close them. They go in the fridge.

As for the blanched kale, you are about to …

Your girl has no pine nut money, so I tried a version with roasted almonds and another with roasted walnuts. The taste of the first was too dominant; if I wanted to, I would eat almond butter. Mellower walnuts let the bite of kale really shine. But you do not want to bite too much, that's why we use a pesto that uses blanched kale leaves instead of the raw stuff.

After a day or so in the fridge, the pesto of raw kale became too sharp and astringent. But the blanched pesto tastes even better a day or so after you have made it. You can store it in a container in the refrigerator for one week, or push it into a plastic bag in a thin layer and freeze it for up to 6 months.

Total time: 10 minutes.

Makes 1 cup. You need:

¼ cup of coarsely chopped walnuts
2 cloves of garlic
Bleached lacinato (dino) kale from the past
½ cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Special requirements:
Food processor (but a blender also works well)

If you do not learn anything else from me, remember: always 👏To 👏 your 👏Notes 👏. You will appreciate the warmer, more cozy, more complex taste that a roasted note puts on the table.

All you have to do is put the walnuts in a small, dry frying pan over medium heat and toast, often toss, for 4 minutes or until they are fragrant and light brown.

Let them cool completely and then pulse them several times with the garlic in the food processor until they are finely chopped. Add the kale leaves, Parmesan cheese and lemon juice and wrist, wrist, wrist. Keep going (mixing) as you flow into the oil until you have a soft, lively puree. Give it a taste and season with salt (I add just a little ¼ teaspoon) and a few tears of pepper.

Instead of rice paper, we reach for those blanched kale leaves to pack these crispy and bright little bites. As far as the filling fits, adjust what is available: if you can find mung bean sprouts instead of water chestnuts, go for it. Use peaches instead of mango's when the season is good.

Grab the widest, largest halter halves of Sunday to ensure that you have enough space to work with. Once the things are packed and ready, you throw a sweet and spicy dipping sauce (you have to have some sambal oelek, an Indonesian chili paste, in week 5 in your fridge) to tie everything together.

Total time: 15 to 25 minutes.

Makes 8 rolls (2 servings). You need:

For the sandwiches
1 ripe mango
½ seedless cucumber, cut into thin matches
1 cup of chopped red cabbage
8 large, stalked and blanched collard leaf halves (from Sunday!)
One 8-ounce can cut water chestnuts, drained
1 cup of coriander leaves and / or Thai basil leaves

For the sauce
2 tablespoons of honey
1 tablespoon of sambal oelek
1 teaspoon low-sodium sweet soy sauce

For the sandwiches: I do not bother to peel the mango before I cut the kernel because I prefer to keep all my 10 fingers and those suckers are smooth. Grab your mango and stand up with the tip. Turn it so that the "narrow" side faces you. The well is maybe a centimeter thick and we want to cut it as close as possible. Place your knife just out of the middle and cut along one side of the well, and do the same on the other side. If you have two halves, use a large serving spoon to scoop out the flesh and cut into ½ inch thick slices.

Here you can get a little life-hacky with your mango: instead of scooping out the meat with a spoon, hold a mango half above a thin-rimmed glass cup, so that the edge is pushed up against where the fruit meets the skin. Press down lightly to begin separating the flesh from the peel and slide it down until half of the fruit is in the glass and then repeat.

Before we start rolling (ha ha.), Let's take stock of our stuff. Are your mango & # 39; s cut into slices? Has the cucumber been chopped? Cabbage shredded? Arrange each ingredient in small stacks so that they are easily accessible.

Place a blanched half-high half on a chopping board so that the narrow end is facing you. Grab a few slices of mango and a few pieces of cucumber and place them about one and a half centimeters from the end closest to you. Let's take 3 or 4 water chestnut slices and put them just above the fruit and cover it with a large pinch of grated cabbage and herbs.

Take the bottom end of the collard and fold it firmly over the filling. Send your inner Girl or Boy Scout because we are actually rolling a sleeping bag that you can eat. Squeeze a random collard on the right side and roll, rather tightly. Repeat with the remaining greens and filling.

For the sauce: Mix the honey, sambal and soy sauce in a small bowl. … That is it? That is it. Now immerse the small sleeping bags filled with fruit and vegetables.

If I could eat Timber Pizza for the rest of my days, I would do so enthusiastically. The D.C. pizza joint specializes in oven-fired "Neapolitan-style" cakes, and it has a Green Monster pizza on rotation that I get when I'm in a "greens, but make it pizza" mood.

For my version you do not need a wood oven or even a pizza stone. To mimic the high cooking heat you see in a restaurant, we set the oven to almost alarming heights (you have been warned, make sure your oven is clean!) And use a cast iron frying pan to give us a perfectly clear and round crust. Once you have tried this method, you will never make a sheet pizza again.

Preparation time: 20 minutes. Preparation time: 12 minutes.

2 portions. You need:
12 our bought pizza dough
Extra virgin olive oil, for surfaces
3 tablespoons of Bald Pesto
2 ounces of fresh mozzarella, cut into slices
¼ small zucchini, cut into thin circles
Torn kale leaves of 1 or 2 stems (see TIP)
Kosher salt, for the dough
Goat cheese, for crumbling
Crushed red pepper flakes

For the few stalks of kale or collards leave them raw, treat them just like the fresh herbs in week 3 – stand them in a pot of water with the leaf ends lightly covered.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. If you can not touch the heat, call Domino's. A red-hot oven is the only way to guarantee not only a decent, but also a great homemade meal.

About 20 minutes before you are ready to sizzle pizza, remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to reach room temperature on the counter. It gets a bit bigger. It will bubble a little. Things are generally a bit weird, but the better manageable.

Grease the counter and your rolling pin wine bottle lightly and roll out a 12-inch round to the best of your ability.

Heat a cast iron frying pan over a high heat. No pressure, but you really only have one chance to place the dough neatly and accurately in its hot iron pizza tank. That's weird, "Eye of the Tiger" has just started playing a loudspeaker in your kitchen that you've never seen before. However, the atmosphere is set. When the dough is neatly draped in the pan, carefully stop in any rogue edges and then put the fire on medium while you dress the cake. Season the dough with a pinch of salt.

I know I gave you a fairly specific topping list. Consider it more as a suggestion, not as an edict. I will not sit here and pretend I know that someone prefers the cheese-sauce relationship, but that of myself. Do not forget that the greens really shine on this cake, so I choose a handful of not-too-thick slices of fresh mozz instead of my usual heavy fresh low-damp shredded combo. Touch the cake with a couple of spoons of that bald pesto that you have mastered and then follow with how much cheese you want.

We will finish it with some zucchi-roni and ripped kale leaves. Take a oven glove and carefully transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake the cake for 12 minutes so that the cheese melts completely and even turns light brown in places.

Transfer the pizza to a cutting board using a spatula or two. Crumble some goat's cheese on top and beat it with ground red pepper flakes.

Inspired by the Green Monster pizza from chef Daniela Moreira from Timber Pizza in the Petworth district of the district.

2 portions.

You need a vehicle for that hand leftover blanched collards. Well, come in the loser, because we're going to do some shopping. Let's catch ½ cup of panko, 8 grams of dried bucatini (or your favorite thick noodle), some extra virgin olive oil, 3 cloves of garlic and ground red pepper flakes from the pantry. Great, now go to the fridge for a block Parmigiano-Reggiano, those collards, some unsalted butter and a lemon. We are on track.

You know how to cook pasta. I trust you. But do me and your noodles a favor and 1) amply salt your pasta water and 2) shave for a minute or so from the cooking time on the package. While that is going on, you can roast the panko in a frying pan with a little olive oil until golden brown; turn off the heat and throw in a lemon taste. You can also chop the collards in thin strips. Smash and soften the garlic in another frying pan with a knob of butter and a few daubs of oil. Save ¼ cup of pasta cooking water while you dry the bucatini. Beat the pasta water and as much or as little crushed red pepper flakes as you want in the pan with the garlic, butter and oil sauce! – then add noodles and shake for a minute or so. Gradually add about ½ cup of grated cheese. Tang is your best friend here, so keep throwing to make sure that every noodle is kissed by melty Parm. Work in the collard strips and turn off the fire when you're done. You know the exercise: Taste and add salt and / or pepper. You want to squeeze some lemon juice over everything before serving it with those spicy breadcrumbs.

Are you a mean, green machine for meal planning? Prove it.

Tag # resistant on Instagram to show us how to tackle Week 7 for a chance to win a Voraciously carrying bag. And make sure you follow us @eatvoraciously for all that delicious Food Content.

If you need inspiration, @kristamoe and @em_perk will show you how it works. They crushed both the cooking and posting parts of week 6.

Week 8 sneak peek: BIG SHRIMPIN & # 39 ;.

Have a question? Send us a message on Instagram or send an e-mail to voraciously@washpost.com and you can find me at @tanyasic on Twitter and Instagram.

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Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6

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