At the end of the last blog I said “up next what to do with those weird ingredients you find in your CSA”.  Well I thought instead of one post I would spread it out over a few; seeing as the shares change almost weekly.  Now if you have no idea what I’m talking about… the CSA is short for Community Shared Agriculture.  This is where a local farm will charge one price for the season and every week you get a “share” of the crops.  The better the farm does the more you get and vice versa, when there is drought and produce is scarce the shares are smaller.  This is a great way to support your community.  Check local listings or your local market to find a farm near you. 

We are very fortunate to live just down the road from a wonderful organic farm!  If you are in Waterloo Region find them here: Nith Valley Organics.

My favorite day of the week is CSA pick-up day!  It’s like receiving a Christmas present once a week!  I can be pretty funny opening a box, tending to to get overly excited about what I find in the box!

This Weeks Feature: Spicy Asian Mix!

What is this spicy Asian mix you say?  It is a mixture of “spicy” greens (Green Mustard, Red Mustard, Kale, Tatsoi, and Hon Tsai Tai) that are not only super delicious but also super healthy.

All of these greens are super charged with vitamins C, B, K, E and calcium, each with varying levels; where as a mix they create a perfect blend of flavours (spicy, bitter and sweet) and nutrients.  Add in fiber and antioxidants and we have a perfect food.  Mustard greens (all varieties) offer up just over 600% of the daily value of vitamin K in just 1 cup.  This vitamin has been in the news lately  for its bone mineralization properties.  Vitamin K has been shown to prevent bone loss in those with osteoarthritis, shield against various forms of cancer and support brain function.

This mix is totally great in salads but this is not a one trick pony.  Add this mixture to just about anything you can think of!

Pizza or Flatbread

Flatbread with Asian Spicy Mixed Greens
Gluten Free Flatbread topped with pizza sauce, homemade radish greens pesto, Asian Spicy Mixed greens and gouda cheese.  

Take a naan bread or other flatbread of your choice spread with pesto, top with greens and cheese of choice.  Bake at 400F until cheese is melted and bread is toasted.

Stir Fry

Love, love, love coconut oil!  Add a tablespoon of coconut oil to a large fry pan toss in some chopped garlic (OR better yet garlic scapes!) and a couple handfuls of spicy Asian mix.  Saute until wilted and serve hot as a side dish or a main over steamed rice.

Ramen

As I call it “Cheater Ramen”.  In a large pot add in 4 to 6 cups vegetable broth, 2 star anise, 3 cloves, a teaspoon of peppercorns, a 2 inch chunk of fresh ginger and a cinnamon stick.  Bring to a boil and let simmer for 15 minutes.  In a separate pot cook ramen noodles of choice to package directions (I love GF Brown Rice Ramen find it here on amazon.com or amazon.ca ).  When ramen noodles are ready strain and run under cold water to halt cooking process.  Put enough ramen into bottom of bowl for 1 person add a handful of Asian Spicy Greens and top with hot broth. Takes about 20 minutes start to finish and is sooo worth it.

Apple and Greens Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe

Moving on to the feature…Celiac disease means no gluten (wheat, barley, rye and other grasses) otherwise you will find me on the floor of the nearest washroom puking my guts out.  Sorry, super gross yes, but I am still amazed at how many people just don’t get it for some of us Gluten Free is NOT a choice!

I was never really that into bread anyway but one of the things I do miss is the occasional grilled cheese.  While GF bread is pretty nasty I have found a couple brands that are not so bad when grilled and dressed to the nines.  My top 3 in order of favorite grocery store find (not including local bakeries) gluten free breads, best to tolerable:

  1. Little Northern Bakehouse Seeds and Grain Loaf
  2. Presidents Choice GF Multi-grain Loaf 
  3. Compliments GF Multi-grain Bread

Ok so here’s my take on the ultimate grilled cheese.

Sliced granny smith apple, asian spicy mix, swiss cheese, GF sliced bread

For 1 sandwich you will need swiss cheese, 1 apple, greens and bread.

  • Lightly butter 2 slices of bread.  Place one slice butter side down into a fry pan.
  • Place 2 slices of swiss cheese on non-buttered side of bread
  • Top with thinly sliced half of 1 granny smith apple (or apple of choice).
  • Add on a small handful of Spicy Asian greens (or baby spinach).
  • Top with 2 to 3 slices more of swiss cheese.
  • Place second slice of bread on top buttered side up.
  • Cook on medium-low heat until browned on one side then flip and brown other side of bread.  Cheese should be melty!  Enjoy!

Not too fancy but super yummy and quite filling.  The bitter/sweet flavours of the greens balance out perfectly with the sour granny smith apple and the sweet mild cheese.  Swiss can be quite mild so if you prefer a stronger cheese extra old cheddar works great too!  I love a good 7 year white cheddar paired with apples.Gluten Free Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Have another favorite dish you like to make with your CSA greens?  Let me know about it!  If you have a food blog I would be happy to link recipes 🙂

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