Posts Tagged ‘lettuce’

Unrecipe of the Week: How To Pack A Mason Jar Salad

January 21, 2016

 

How-Make-Mason-Jar-SaladAhh, mason jars; Pinterest’s vessel of choice. While we are totally tired of seeing them as mugs, vases and other types of kitchsy decor, we still love them for what they were originally intended to be used for, which is hold food. They are recyclable, don’t have any BPA’s or other harmful chemicals in them, and can go into the freezer, refrigerator and microwave when the metal top is removed.
The glass jars are the perfect vehicle for storing soups and sauces, and grains. They also allow you make a salad complete with the dressing and not let it get soggy. You can actually pack a few lunches in advance, and store them in the fridge until you are ready to eat them. The trick is the order in which you layer the ingredients in the jar.

First, add the dressing. It might be a tablespoon or two, or even more, depending on how much dressing you like and how big the salad is.

Next, layer the heaviest ingredients on top of it, that will not absorb the dressing. This means items like carrots, cucumbers, celery, and beets.

Add any grains, pasta or beans on top of that.

Next up is the protein layer, containing any chicken, meat, fish, hard boiled eggs, tofu or cheese.  Don’t add these yet if the salad is going to sit for several days. We recommend adding it within 24 hours of eating for best, freshest results.

Any soft vegetables and fruits such as avocado, tomatoes, or berries go on next. Again, if you are keeping the salad for several days, add these at the last minute. Avocado or apple should be soaked in lemon juice to avoid it turning brown.

Add any nuts, croutons or seeds in the next layer, followed by a hefty helping of clean and well dried greens. Screw on the lid, pop it in the refrigerator and anticipate lunch!

Chopped Salad

When ready to eat the salad, give it a little shake and dump it into a bowl. The lettuce will be on the bottom, and the other items on top of it. The dressing will mix in as it is poured. Enjoy!

Photo: top: POPSUGAR

bottom: Glasshouse Images

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Eat Your Vegetables

October 23, 2015

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We all know that we should eat our vegetables; specifically 9 servings of fruits and vegetables, or about 4 1/2 cups per day. The USDA suggests that 3 of those cups be vegetables. The problem is, only about 1.7 cups of vegetables are actually available to us to consume.

Of all of the vegetables and legumes readily available in the United States, a whopping 50% of them are potatoes and tomatoes. Lettuce comes in at 3rd place. Of these amounts, 1/3 of all potatoes and 2/3 of all tomatoes were sent for processing. With these statistics, it is no wonder that the average American thinks eating their vegetables means french fries and ketchup.

The federal guidlines perscribe a variety of vegetables in a rainbow of colors, including dark leafy greens, yellow and orange vegetables and beans all of which help us stave off heart disease, some cancers and strokes.

According to an article on NPR, only 13% of American adults were eating the recommended amount of vegetables each day. That number varied by region, with only 5.5% of those living in Mississippi getting their fill. California, thought of as a healthier state, had only 13% meeting the requirements.

A recent report by the USDA states that the U.S. needs to up its supply of vegetables by 70%, mostly in the vegetables other than potatoes, tomatoes and lettuce, in order to meet our nutritional needs. The real question remains, will the people eat them if they are more readily available? Unfortunately, the supply will not increase without the demand.  Many people stick to the few foods that they know, and have not developed a taste for other vegetables.

The CDC reports that since 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act was passed, there are more schools serving two vegetables and more whole grains than previously. A Rudd Center study of kid’s food habits showed that they are eating more fruit, throwing away less vegetables, and eating more of the healthier entrees being served to them. Hopefully, these children will develop a taste for healthy vegetables beyond potatoes and tomotoes, and the demand for more variety will serve to increase the amount of these more nutritious vegetables grown in the United States. For now, it is a self fulfilling prophecy.

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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Download the Homemade app to get home-cooked food in New York City.

Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Lettuce for a Crowd

March 17, 2015

This tip comes from my mother, who suggested it when I was making salad for a crowd:

 

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Wash and tear or chop the greens as usual, and spin them in the salad spinner. Once done, store them in a clean pillowcase in the refrigerator.

The pillowcase not only houses as large quantity, but it also absorbs any excess water, keeping the greens crisp and fresh until it is ready to use.

Just make sure the pillowcase has not been dried with a scented dryer sheet or anything that could give off an unpleasant flavor to the food.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Summer Salad Rolls

May 19, 2014

These vegetable rolls are riff on the traditional Vietnamese Summer roll. A study in simplicity, these rice paper rolls are filled with fresh julienned vegetables. The secret lies in the sauce: we dipped ours in a carrot, sesame oil and soy based dressing that brought the flavors to life. The best part? We’re torn between how healthy and low calorie they are, and the fact that nothing needed to be cooked.  Twice the reason to try this unrecipe!

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For the rolls:

Julienne a variety of vegetables, including cucumbers, carrots, diakon, red bell pepper, radishes and beets. Mix it up to suit your tastes. I used a mandolin, but depending on how many you are making, you can just cut them by hand. Be sure to peel the carrots, diakon and beets first!

To assemble:

Dip a large rice paper wrapper* in warm water to soften. There is no need to soak them, just get them hydrated enough to be pliable.

Place the rice paper on a work surface. Lay a small piece of lettuce and a fresh mint leaf or two at the bottom of disc. Layer on the julienned vegetables. Begin rolling the rice paper, tucking it tightly, but gently as you go. Roll it twice, fold the sides in, and continue rolling to the top. It should look like a fat, transparent egg roll.

Lay the finished roll on plastic wrap. The rolls will stick together, so be sure to keep them from touching. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to eat.

For the sauce:

Peel about 3-4 medium carrots, and cut them into chunks. Place them in the food processor, along with a small shallot, peeled and quartered, a good sized chunk of peeled fresh ginger, about 1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar, a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce, about a 1/2 or 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Puree until everything is finely diced and combined. With the machine running, add about 1/4 cup or so of vegetable oil ( We used grape seed oil, which has a neutral flavor. Do not use olive oil, as the flavor is too strong!) Add about 1/4 cup of water, and continue mixing until it forms a a chunky dressing. Check flavors, and add more vinegar, or soy sauce as needed. If the dressing is too thick, add a little bit more water. Refrigerate until ready to use.

We served the rolls cut in half lengthwise, on a pool of drizzled dressing, and then put the rest on a platter with a bowl of sauce on the side. Sounds like the perfect dish to toss in my lunch bag tomorrow!

*rice paper wrappers are sold packaged in the international foods section of grocery stores, or at Asian markets.

CSA Tuesday: It’s a Wrap!

December 20, 2012

This week marks the end of our CSA series for the season. I have mixed reviews about it. On one hand, I did become acquainted with a few new vegetables, and I did need to flex a little culinary muscle to use some of the items I received.

On the other hand, there was a lot of waste. Things that went bad before I could get to them, and things I just didn’t like that much that kept on coming.

This week we received more beets ( yum), lettuce, spinach and pumpkins (hence the things that just keep coming!). We also got butternut squash and garlic.
I have 4 day weekend coming up, so I hope to be creative and use it all up.

Spinach…That’s an easy one! Saute with garlic. ( 2 items used already!)

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I love beets!

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Roasted beets in a salad? That’s a no-brainer!

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People were leaving the pumpkins behind…they are heavy to carry, and harder to prepare. Late in the season pumpkins are not always so tasty. I will give them a try, one last time!

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photos: Spencer Jones / Glasshouse Assignment

CSA Tuesday

November 28, 2012

It’s a cold rainy day in New York, but the farmers came through with a bountiful array of vegetables.

We got cabbage, leeks, beets, parsley, lettuce and yams. We ended up with only 1 leek, and 1 bunch of beets (which I love!) but a ton of lettuce and parsley. Wanna swap?

Although they said to take 2 cabbages, this one is bigger than my head and truly magnificent. One is plenty!

We got several heads of lettuce and a few giant, lush bunches of parsley.

My baskets of onions and potatoes have now grown to 3, even though I used a lot for Thanksgiving.

I am toying with the idea of making a sweet potato bread pudding that I found a recipe for. Definitely a salad, with roasted beets, pecans and goat cheese.

The parsley and giant cabbage pose a bigger challenge to my creativity. Perhaps stuffed cabbage of some sort? A parsley pesto?

Great ideas are always welcome!

CSA Tuesday

November 7, 2012

It’s CSA day today.  Since fresh food is still not fully available in downtown Manhattan since the storm, this week’s produce share was highly anticipated.

We got a butternut squash, 4 onions, lettuce, collards, red radishes, black radishes, and sage.

I am not familiar with black radishes, so I am looking forward to experimenting with them.

Since the storm forced me to throw away several weeks worth of CSA soups from the freezer, I will be happy to make my next batch this weekend. Unless the squash becomes ravioli first, which would be lovely with a little sage butter. A lettuce salad with mixed radishes perhaps? That would leave just the collards, which are not a favorite around here.

Let’s see what happens as the week wears on..

CSA Tuesday

October 3, 2012

It’s Tuesday and that means it’s time to pick up our farm selection from the CSA. Today’s assortment is more balanced than it has been:

There is a huge butternut squash, a head of lettuce, some young broccoli rabe without any florets ( the jury is out on that one until it’s cooked),red potatoes, a beautiful bouquet of kale, some rosemary and a bunch of celery.

I am thinking about a simple vegetarian dinner tonight, especially if it prevents me from having to go back out in the rain again!

Any great ideas out there?

CSA Tuesday

September 26, 2012

It’s CSA Tuesday, and I am a little unexcited about today’s selection.

There is a head of lettuce, some potatoes, 2 types of squash and a pumpkin.

There is an herb that looks like mint and smells lemony. I think its lemon balm.

I will try that tonight with some sautéed seafood and see how it goes.

The pumpkin will hopefully yield a small pie, something B has been requesting since last Thanksgiving.

Any ideas for the squash?

CSA Tuesday

September 19, 2012

Today’s CSA bounty was very different from last week’s haul.

There are lots of greens, including lettuce, collards, kale, parsley, sage, and kohlrabi.

An lonely acorn squash rounded out the assortment.

With one family member who grew up in the South and remembers over-cooked collard greens simmered in leftover, and possibly rancid bacon grease, and another that only eats green items like gummy worms and M&M’s, this selection is going to be a challenge. And I LOVE a good cooking challenge!

Stay tuned. This week indigo jones is going green and sharing the unrecipes along the way! Wish me luck!


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