Member Diary: Caroline’s November 12th Share

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Brussel sprouts are my absolute favorite vegetable and I was overjoyed
when I saw that they had finally been included in my very last
vegetable share. I found a recipe for sprouts, pancetta and shallots
braised with balsamic vinaigrette a few years ago and I make it so
often (like, every single night) that my boyfriend has had to hold an
intervention for me. I invented an even easier version that comes
together with approximately zero effort in just a few minutes.

Cut the brussel sprouts in half, and place them in a saute pan with
olive oil over low-medium heat. When they start to brown, flip them.
When the other side starts to brown, pour in enough balsamic to thinly
cover the pan and stir so that all of the brussel sprouts are covered.
It’s done when it looks like it’s starting to burn.

For the better, and only slightly more involved version, go here:
http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2009/12/balsamic-braised-brussels-with-pancetta/

Most people think they hate brussel sprouts because they’ve only had
them boiled or steamed. If you think you may be one of those people,
please try this fantastic pan searing recipe and hopefully they will
be your new favorite vegetable, too!

Making my way through even more of my vegetables lead me to one of my
favorite vegan soups, which I nicknamed “Punishment Soup” (even though
it’s delicious!) because it’s so insanely healthy for you.  Kale and
roasted fall vegetables combine perfectly with white beans to make a
filling and easy soup than can be served as a main course. I used the
kale and half the butternut squash to make this, but I wish I had
roasted the entire squash because the nibbles I was sneaking after it
came out of the oven were so good that I was nervous I had eaten too
much of it before putting it in the soup. This soup can also easily
handle additions and substitutions. We didn’t have tomatoes in the
share this week, so I added a bit of tomato sauce I made from the last
vegetable share. I only keep chicken broth in my house, so I used that
instead of the veggie broth. A bit of parmesan stirred into the soup
was a welcome addition.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/White-Bean-Kale-and-Roasted-Vegetable-Soup-102844

I still had some kale left after the soup, so I finished it off by
making kale chips.

1 bunch kale, torn into 1″ pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400° F. Whisk oil and vinegar and toss kale in the
dressing until thoroughly coated. Place kale on a baking sheet in a
single layer and sprinkle with salt.

Bake for 15 minutes or so, until crispy. For best results, make sure
kale isn’t too oily before putting it in the oven. Can use a paper
towel to soak up some extra oil, or even run it through a salad
spinner.

After using one sweet potato for breakfast hash browns, I still had
two left that I wanted to use, so I made a big double batch of another
one of my favorite stews. It’s a West African chicken peanut stew and
I sort of made up the recipe based on a few other recipes. It’s easy
to make, but it does involve a lot of chopping vegetables. You can add
nearly any vegetable you happen to have on hand. I added some leftover
butternut squash this time.

1 lb chicken, cubed
1 chopped onion
1 chopped carrot
1 cubed sweet potato
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 tsp each: minced ginger, curry powder, cumin, red pepper flakes
and coriander (optional)
2 chopped and seeded plum tomatoes
1 chopped bell pepper
2 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup peanut butter
1 tsp salt
1 bay leaf

Sautee the onion and sweet potato in olive oil until onion is
translucent. Add the chicken and cook until it is opaque. Add the
carrots, pepper, tomatoes, garlic and other spices. Cook for two
minutes. Add chicken broth, and bay leaf. When broth has warmed, stir
in peanut butter. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until
vegetables are tender, about 15 or 20 min. It’s not the most beautiful
looking stew, but I swear it tastes really good.

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