Chicken With Sour Cream and Red Bell Pepper – Recipe

The original recipe calls for serving with warm naan or chewy flatbread, but I decided to finish off Allen’s rice from the other night by serving it on the side.  I was also able to use up some sour cream that would have been doomed to becoming a science project in the fridge if we didn’t figure something out for it.  And yes, those are turnips in the picture above.  That recipe will follow.  It comes from the same source, Anjum’s New Indian – a gift from Sam.


• 1 1/2-inch piece ginger root
• 6 large cloves garlic
• Splash plus 1 1/4 cups just-boiled water, or more as needed
• 1 medium onion
• 1 large red bell pepper
• 3 medium vine-ripened tomatoes
• 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 2 teaspoons ground coriander
• Salt
• 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon red chili powder
• 1/4 cup regular or low-fat sour cream (do not use nonfat)
• 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala (Indian spice blend)


Peel the ginger and cut it crosswise into coins, then drop them into a blender along with the garlic and a splash of the hot water. Puree into a paste, adding water as needed.

Finely chop the onion. Stem and seed the bell pepper, then cut the flesh into 1-inch pieces. Finely chop the tomatoes, reserving their juices. Cut the chicken into 2-inch chunks, trimming any fat.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick saucepan or saute pan over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Add the onion and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring often, until it has picked up color. Stir in the ginger-garlic paste from the blender; once its water has evaporated (about 30 seconds), stir in the ground coriander, salt, chili powder and tomatoes; cover and cook for about 6 minutes to reduce the juices a bit. Add the chicken and cook for 2 minutes, stirring, then add the remaining 1 1/4 cups of hot water. Once the liquid has come to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, add the pieces of bell pepper, then cover and cook for 10 minutes. The chicken should be almost cooked through.

Increase the heat to high; cook for 3 minutes, then remove from the heat. Add the sour cream and garam masala; mix well. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. The mixture should be creamy but not too thick; if you want it thinner, stir in a little of the hot water.

Divide among individual plates; serve hot.

Adapted from “Anjum’s New Indian,” by Anjum Anand (Wiley, 2010).

Whole Wheat Carrot Muffins – Recipe

My friend Lizz had a spa day at her place yesterday.  It was a perfect event for this whole wheat carrot muffin recipe I found through a cool site my friend Pete recommended called, Gojee.  You type in an ingredient you want to use and they show curated recipes personalized to what you have on hand.  You have to sign in to use it, but it’s worth it.  Their algorithms are set to get to know you and what you tend to have in your kitchen and they make recommendations that are truly relevant to you.   I had just enough carrots from this week’s share to make a whole batch.   I hope I get more carrots next week!

Whole Wheat Carrot Muffins <CLICK


  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled a bit, plus more for greasing tin
  • 2 cups (7 ounces) finely grated carrot
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice from 2 lemons
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 liquid cup honey
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tin with butter. Toss the carrots with the lemon juice in medium bowl. Add eggs, butter, and honey to bowl and whisk to combine.
Whisk together whole wheat flour, cake flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger in large bowl. Add carrot mixture to bowl with dry ingredients and stir with wooden spoon until combined. Beat vigorously with wooden spoon for 30 seconds.
Fill wells of muffin tins a little more than halfway with batter. Bake 15-18 minutes, until the centers of the muffins spring back when lightly pressed with a finger tip.

Note:  After making the muffins and noticing that mine looked a LOT different from the ones in the demo photo, I looked the recipe over again and realized I had coarsely ground my carrots, instead of finely.  And I screwed up by only adding 1/4 cup honey instead of 3/4 cup.

Turnip Soup – Recipe

Turnips, turnips, turnips!  Got a lot of  ’em from my farm share, which is why I made turnip soup.  Another fine example of something that never, NEVER would have happened in this kitchen had I not joined a CSA.  As it happens, I really like turnips!!  And even Allen had to admit the soup was really good – a concession he refused to make about the mushy peas.

I tried garnishing two different ways.  First with a dollop of the Avocado Pesto from the previous post swirled in, and then with just chopped fresh dill.  Both were pretty tasty.  The original recipe, which I was directed to by The Harmonious Kitchen, suggests Garnishing with carrot strips, turnip strips and chopped fresh dill.  And of course cracked black pepper is a must.


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced (white and pale green parts only)
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 turnips (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 medium russet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 5 cups (or more) canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 2 carrots, cut into matchstick-size strips
  • 1 turnip, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

Melt butter in heavy large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks and onion and sauté until onion is translucent, about 12 minutes. Add 5 sliced turnips and potato and sauté 2 minutes. Add 5 cups broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes.

Puree soup in blender in batches until very smooth. Return to Dutch oven. Add milk and cream. Bring to simmer. Season to taste with nutmeg, salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Cook carrot and turnip strips in pot of boiling salted water until just crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain.

Bring soup to simmer, thinning with more broth if necessary. Ladle into bowls. Garnish with carrot strips, turnip strips and chopped fresh dill.
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Avocado Pesto – Recipe / Basil Rescue

A common characteristic of CSA membership is that sometimes you can lose track of various items you have in the midst of a constant inflow of produce.   It’s not uncommon to find some sad, wilty casualty cowering in the corner of your icebox.  I’m getting better at managing this dilemma as I become more experienced in the kitchen, but yesterday I was saddened to find a batch of once-fresh basil that was no longer right for this world.  I had to toss it.  Fortunately I had a fresh bunch ready and waiting in the line up and I decided to put it to use immediately before it met a similar fate.

I saw a recipe for turnip soup on the blog The Harmonious Kitchen that I’ve been wanting to try.  It suggests swirling parsley-pistachio pesto in as a garnish.  What a great idea!!!  I decided to get started on some  avocado pesto for my turnip soup.  This recipe will make a lot of pesto, so I’ll use the rest as a spread for turkey sandwiches and I’ll cook up the remaining fusilli pasta from the creamy mascarpone cheese and arugula pasta dish from Saturday and mix in some sun dried tomato or red pepper flakes and parmigiano cheese for a simple pasta salad.

Avocado Pesto:

1 bunch basil leaves
½ cup pine nuts
2 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 cloves garlic
½ cup olive oil
Salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a food processor, blend basil, pine nuts, avocados, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

– Adapted from the classic pesto recipe in my head…

Radicchio and White Beans – Recipe

I decided to try making the Vegan Catalan-Style Radicchio and White Beans and I am very pleased with how it turned out.  The combination of white beans and bitter greens is truly remarkable.  And the bright reds, whites and greens of the Radicchio make it visually very striking to serve.

I really enjoyed the entire process of making this dish, from soaking the beans to inhaling the aroma of fresh thyme and garlic as I worked in the kitchen.  I served it as a stand alone stew, but next time I may try a small serving of it beneath a mild, flaky white fish of some kind.  Hmmmm…

Vegan Catalan-Style Radicchio and White Beans <CLICK


For the beans:
  • 6 ounces (about 1 cup) dried cannellini beans,
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 to 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
For the radicchio:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 head radicchio, stem and core removed, leaves cut or torn into 1 1/2 inch squares
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • Cracked black pepper, for garnish.
  • 1. For the beans: Place the beans in a bowl and add cold water to cover by two inches. Allow to soak overnight. The next day, drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again.
  • 2. In a medium pot, combine the beans, garlic, thyme, and cold water to cover by 2 inches. Place over high heat to bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until tender, 25 to 45 minutes; do not salt the water. When the beans are tender, add 1 to 2 bouillon cubes, to taste, and cook 5 minutes more; the liquid should be slightly salted. Drain the beans, reserving the liquid; discard garlic and thyme. Set beans and reserved liquid aside.
  • 3. For the radicchio: In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add radicchio, turning to coat with oil. Add pepper flakes, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • 4. In a separate skillet over medium heat, add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add garlic, and sauté until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add beans and 2 cups of the reserved cooking liquid. Simmer until the liquid becomes somewhat creamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Add radicchio and parsley, and simmer 10 minutes more, adding more of the reserved cooking liquid if the mixture seems too thick. Serve in bowls, garnished with a sprinkling of cracked black pepper.

Source: Adapted from Jonnatan Leiva, Executive Chef, 10 Downing Food & Wine

I was intrigued at the size of a cannellini after soaking.  Here’s a before and after result.

More images:

Creamy Mascarpone Cheese and Arugula Pasta – Recipe

Beyond the Simple Salad with Arugula.  My friend Tina posted this recipe on fb and I decided to try it.  Not bad if I do say so myself. The lemon zest and red pepper flakes really bring out some subtle flavors.

Creamy Mascarpone Cheese and Arugula Pasta <CLICK

This luxurious pasta is elegant enough to serve for a dinner party yet quick enough to enjoy as a midweek meal. Mascarpone cheese is a creamy, spoonable cheese found at Italian delis and specialty markets as well as the cheese section of most major supermarkets. If you can’t find wild arugula, use regular arugula instead.

Makes 2 large or 4 small servings

1/2 pound gemelli, or other similar shaped pasta, such as fusilli, rotini, or cavatelli

3 ounces mascarpone cheese

Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1-2 tablespoons hot pasta water

3 packed cups wild arugula

3 to 4 tablespoons grated Reggiano-Parmigiano or Grana Padano cheese

1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling, optional

In a large pot, cook pasta in salted boiling water according to directions, until al dente.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk mascarpone cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, black pepper and hot pasta water until smooth and creamy.

Drain pasta and return to pot. Add arugula and toss. Add the cheese sauce and toss until well coated. Divide among plates. Sprinkle with grated cheese, red pepper flakes and, if desired, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve immediately.

Irish Mushy Peas, Please! – Recipe

I visited Ireland in 2007 and had an opportunity to try real Irish mushy peas for the first time.  Ever since, I joke with my Irish friends, Laurence and Barbara that the thing I miss most about Ireland is the mushy peas.  This week’s share included lots and lots of snap peas, so I decided to try the recipe that Native Offerings Farm suggested on their recipe blog.  I don’t know very many people who like mushy peas, so I got to eat them all by myself, and they were GREAT!!!


2 c shelled peas
1/4 c heavy cream, or half-and-half, or sour cream, or yogurt…., plus extra if needed
1 T butter, softened, or vegetable oil
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Bring a pot of water to the boil. Add peas and cook for about 3 minutes, or until tender. Drain in a colander.

2. Transfer peas to a food processor or blender. Add remaining ingredients and whizz until puréed–the consistency can be chunky or smooth, your call. Add more cream if needed or desired. You can also just put the cooked peas and remaining ingredients in a large bowl and mash (mush?) them with a potato masher (musher?).

Note from My CSA Adventure:  I tried the potato musher.  No good.  A blender is fine.

Wedge Salad: Recipe

The Wedge Salad is an all time favorite when I eat out and I’ve tried various versions of it in all corners of the US.  This is a very easy recipe I found online.  What a great way to dress up boring old iceberg lettuce!

Wedge Salad


1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into quarters
Blue cheese dressing
1 tomato, minced
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 cup cooked bacon, crumbled


On each salad plate, place 1 wedge of lettuce turned on its side. Pour blue cheese dressing on wedge. Sprinkle with tomatoes, green onions, crumbled blue cheese, and crumbled bacon.