Friday, May 8, 2009

Simple Baked Fish and Local Veggies

The phrase "Be a Yocal, Buy Local" still rings in my head from my Bozeman, Montana days. Yes I used to live there and loved it! The co-op there had stickers with the above phrase that I had plastered on my Nalgene water bottle. (No, I do not use Nalgene bottle anymore - stainless steel for us).

Greens, greens glorious greens are the local veggies that are available at our Farmer's Market right now. Last Saturday we bought loads of fresh kale, arugula, mixed baby greens, sorrel, baby bok choy, napa cabbage, green onions, and baby garlic.

I thought I would offer you a few ideas on how to incorporate these highly nutritious, local foods into your meals.

Pictured above is a simple baked wild king salmon fillet topped with sauteed baby garlic. I placed the fillet over a bed of lightly sauteed, tender kale.


What is Baby Garlic?

Baby garlic, or green garlic, is the tender green sprout of the garlic plant and is only available during spring. It is much milder than the garlic clove that lies below. You can use them to replace green onions in most recipes. I simply sauteed them in a little extra virgin olive oil with a few pinches of pink Himalayan sea salt. Garlic scapes, on the other hand, are the flowering, curly, central stalk of the garlic plant. They curl upward as they grow, then grow little seed-like bulbs, and are then snipped off so the plant puts energy into the bulb instead of the bud. Garlic scapes are usually available in mid-June and can be used much like baby garlic.

How to Saute Kale:

Rinse the kale leaves but do not dry them off. Finely chop them with a sharp knife. Heat a large pot over medium heat, add a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and a few dashes of sea salt to the bottom of the pot. Add your wet greens. Saute for a few minutes (tender spring greens don't take long), add as many cloves of crushed garlic as you can tolerate and continue to saute until the kale is tender and wilted but still bright green. Add a little more sea salt to taste.


How to Bake Fish:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse your fish fillet and place into a baking dish (I use an 8 x 8 glass dish). Generously sprinkle the top with Herbamare or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle the top with olive oil. You can add other dried herbs if you wish, but with the sauteed garlic scapes for a topping, salt and pepper are all you really need. Place fish into your preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes per inch of thickness. I actually never calculate this or even watch the time, I know when the fish is done by the smells in my kitchen. If you are not sure if it is cooked all the way through, simply remove the pan from the oven and pull away some of the flesh with a fork in the thickest part of the fillet. If it is very pink it still needs some time, if it is opaque pink, then it is done. Remember, fish still cooks after you remove it from the oven, so be careful not to overcook.


Sorrel Millet Burgers:

We had a pot of leftover millet on the stove so Tom decided to make millet burgers using the sorrel and green onions from the market. We have a similar recipe in our cookbook on page 237.

Using a food processor fitted with the "s" blade process 2 carrots, a few large handfuls of sorrel, and a few green onions until finely ground. Add a few pinches of sea salt and a few cups of cooked millet, pulse again until the millet and veggies are incorporated. Form into patties and fry in a little olive oil in a heated heavy-bottomed skillet.

More Ideas:

Here are some other ideas for recipes using fresh greens from a few other food bloggers:

Elana at Elana's Pantry has a delicious, simple Arugula and Orange Salad that would compliment a fish dish.

Melissa at Gluten Free For Good has a recipe for Kale Chips that looks amazing!

Heather at Life Gluten Free has a recipe for Kale Dip that looks so inviting and yummy!

Kim at The Nourishing Gourmet has a fantastic Everyday Salad Dressing that could be used to dress all of those fresh spring greens!

I have many more recipes to share. Please let me know what interests you the most so I can post accordingly. The other night a created a fantastic grain-free, vegan brownie recipe. I also have simple main meal ideas like a Chipotle Black Bean and Yam soup. I could post my Rhubarb Muffin recipe? And, of course, I have a never ending array of veggie recipes awaiting to tickle your taste buds!

Happy Cooking!

16 comments:

  1. Yes, yes, yes, and yes! ALL those recipes sound good to me! I so appreciate what you're doing, Ali. Thank you so much!

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  2. Such beautiful food! I'm finishing my breakfast of roasted chickpeas (my addiction) and then I'm off to buy local. Our farmer's market is a week old today. I didn't get there last week, but I'm really looking forward to going today. :-)

    I'd never heard of garlic scapes, but they made me think of wild garlic. Love that baked salmon--I could eat salmon any time of day, hot or cold.

    I love anything you post, Ali. A lot of your recipes are ones I wouldn't normally make ... so I prefer you surprise me so I can learn new foods, recipes, and methods! ;-)

    Thanks,
    Shirley

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  3. We love any and all ideas that revolve around vegetables, beans, and grains. Thanks!

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  4. All of those recipes sound great, I love everything you post, but that brownie recipe sounds especially intriguing!

    I am making garlic kale for dinner tonight, love the photos. Thanks again for all you do.

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  5. Yes please post the rhubarb muffins! i am a huge rhubarb fan and would love to have the recipe!

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  6. cv - Thanks, I'll just keep posting and assume I am right on track with you! Thanks for your comment.

    Shirley - Roasted chickpeas sound good, especially for breakfast! I could eat salmon for any meal too. Hope you had a good time at the market today and picked up some good eats!

    David D. - Thanks for your response, I always have plenty to share within the realm of grains and beans.

    yogamama - I think I will post the brownie recipe next. Thanks for your comment.

    T - Great, thanks for your response; I will get to this recipe later in the week. Rhubarb is in season now so it is a great time to post something on it.

    -Ali :)

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  7. I would LOVE your rhubarb muffin recipe! My 7yo is in love with raw rhubarb so I'd love to branch him out!

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  8. Hi!
    I agree with Shirley, love all your posts, so keep surprising us! I am a fan of dinners and meal ideas for though. I know desserts are popular but I tend to get stuck in the same old rut for entrees so I appreciate more ideas for gluten free, vegan, soy free main course meals.
    Ali, just because I like to get to know my bloggie friends, I am curious-- I know your family is gluten free, are you vegan and soy free too?
    Happy Mothers Day!!! Xoxo

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  9. Ellen - Wow, I am impressed that your 7yr old likes raw rhubarb! I will post the recipe later this week, thanks for your input!

    CoconutGal - Yes I am sure some of you are wondering about me posting vegan recipes and then meat/fish recipes so let's clear things up...Tom is vegan (has been since he was 10yrs old) and also soy/gluten-free, Grace also can not tolerate soy or dairy in addition to gluten. We used to eat more tempeh and tofu but now I don't make it much anymore because it is too hard for Grace (she really loved the stuff). Every now and then if she is at school I will make a little tempeh or tofu for myself, but not often anymore (and I have not yet introduced soy to my twins). None of the kids eat dairy. I eat some animal products but we all follow a mainly vegan diet (I tend to eat more fish/meat when I am pregnant and during the 1st year of breastfeeding because of the high nutrient demands and I just feel better doing it). I have always made my baked goods vegan so we all can enjoy them, though I think I may have done 2 or 3 recipes with eggs in the past. I know it sounds confusing but it all works very easily. Thanks for your comment!

    -Ali :)

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  10. Thanks Ali!!
    I'm glad you have a method that works for your family. I know how complicated things can get with different restrictions, so I totally understand.
    I wanted to clarify what I said earlier about entrees. I said gluten & soy free entrees that are also vegan. I too, eat chicken and fish, and I guess I forget that is totally not vegan! I say vegan because I can't have eggs or dairy so it just makes it easier.
    So I should rephrase my request to gluten free, soy free, dairy free, cane sugar free, egg free recipes. Phew! Long list! See I told you I understand :-)

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  11. Thanks, Ali! I appreciate the "shout out." I love garlic scapes and get bunches of them in my CSA box. They're a treat!

    Bozeman? Did you go to MT State? We used to have land in Livingston. I've spent a lot of time in MT and my son went to college at the U of MT in Missoula. I love it there.

    I love using leftover cooked grains to make "burgers" or biscuits. I've never tried it with millet, but it sounds like a good idea.

    Thanks, Ali. It's always fun to come and visit here.

    Melissa

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  12. CoconutGal - Thanks, yes I can see you do totally undersand! :)

    Melissa - Yes I did go to MSU before moving out to Seattle to attend Bastyr U. I love it there too! Using leftover cooked grains for burgers can make for a quick meal to feed hungry children, glad you stopped by.

    Thanks, Ali :)

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  13. yummy meal recipe you got there! i love wild salmon!

    those millet burgers look delicious as well...i will have to try that one. are they very mouldable? i would be afraid that they would crumble.

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  14. Sharon - no, the millet burgers don't crumble at all and hold their shape very well.

    Enjoy them, they are delicious!

    -Ali :)

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  15. Those millet burgers look great! Is there something inherently sticky in millet, or would this work with leftover quinoa, rice, or teff (the grain, not the flour)? Also, do you have a sub for sorrel to make this work in winter? Would spinach work? Thanks, Ali!

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  16. Hi Ali! I just found your blog and I am so impressed and excited! I have just begun my nutritional studies at Hawthorn University. It is exciting to find like-minded people who can offer the support toward whole, organic healing cooking! I can't wait to try out your recipes! Thank you for sharing them!!

    Tami

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Thanks, and as always, Happy Cooking! Ali & Tom