Thursday, January 31, 2013


To most people, cabbage either evokes images of starving Irish immigrants huddling around a kettle or celebrity weight loss secrets. For me, cabbage is one of the only leafy greens that I can actually eat (see also: bok choi and all its cousins) so I really love cabbage.

So it should surprise you that until last weekend, I was only using the outside half of a head of cabbage (unless I'm making cole slaw). I always thought the inside was too bitter to eat when not covered in mayo or vinegar so I always stuck to the big leaves on the outside of the head. But then, like a knight in green armor, a vendor at the market Saturday said that I could use vegetable broth, olive oil and a little patience to make the whole head of cabbage not only edible but delicious. You can get cabbage all over this time of year, I got the butter from Simply Local and the seasonings from the Savory Spice Shop.

Soft Cabbage (V)
1 head of cabbage, cut in ~1" pieces, heart removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 cup vegetable broth
Seal salt, Pepper, Celery salt to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon of each)
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet. 
  2. Add the cabbage and stir for about 5 minutes, covering all cabbage with oil.
  3. Add broth and cover. Bring to a boil then turn down to medium/low.
  4. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes or until the cabbage is tender without being soupy.
  5. Add spices and serve hot.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cauliflower Pizza

Raise your hand if you thought I was going to recount a recipe where you just put cauliflower on it. Ok, put them down. Now raise your hand if you believe I can make a pizza crust without any flour products that stays together. I'm guessing there were a lot for the first one and none for the second. Well, prepare to be blown away by the most delicious home made, from-scratch pizza you'll ever make.

My boss (who was actually trained as a chef and worked in the catering business for many years) has Celiac's Disease which means she can't digest wheat. Thus, she always has interesting gluten-free recipes to try and share. The one below she found on Pinterest as a great alternative for those trying to avoid conventional carbs. I got the cauliflower from Houston Farms, eggs from Windy Hill and cheddar from Simply Local. I haven't found a local mozzarella but you could easily find the rest (tomato sauce, mushrooms and garlic) from around Charlotte and throughout North Carolina.

A side note: Since the oven already has to get to 400 degrees, I roasted the cauliflower and garlic slices for 5-10 minutes while I was preparing the rest of the ingredients. This gave them a bit of a smoky flavor which was really nice.

Cauliflower Pizza (v)


1 head of cauliflower, roasted, chopped very fine or minced in the food processor

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese

  1. Combine all and spread on a jelly roll pan (aka a cookie sheet with a rim on all 4 sides).
  2. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes.
1/2-3/4 cup tomato sauce of choice
1 cup mozzarella
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced very thin
2-3 cloves garlic, sliced very thin

  1. Apply tomato sauce, then cheese, then garlic, then mushrooms.
  2. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cheese has brown just a tiny bit.
This is a half batch from my first attempt.
I served my second pizza with roasted yams and rutabagas and a broccoli salad.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Recipes: Random Winter Produce

So far, this has been a very interesting winter in North Carolina. It got very cold very late and then this week it's been in the 60's and the weatherman says tomorrow it will be 75 degrees. I can only imagine what this is doing to the latent winter crops! Luckily, farmers markets still have some great hearty offerings right now including winter squashes, greens and root vegetables.

This week, Lomax Incubator Farm had a product I had never tried before: the mighty rutabaga!

At first, I mistook this beautiful vegetable for a turnip because it also has purple shoulders and luscious greens. The difference is that rutabagas are often much larger and somewhat sweeter than your average turnip. They can, luckily, be used in much the same ways. I consulted Fresh from the Farmers' Market and found that the best way to prepare these is alongside complimentary root veggies like sweet potatoes and carrots because of their slight sweetness. Below is how I prepared just one large rutabaga which went a lot further than you'd think. The sweet potatoes can be gotten from pretty much anywhere right now but I usually buy mine from Houston Farms.

Rutabaga Bake (V)
1 medium/large rutabaga
1 medium/large sweet potato
~1/4 cup olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Peel both the rutabaga and potato and slice in 1/4 in pieces.
  2. Drizzle a little olive oil in a brownie-size baking dish.
  3. Layer rutabaga and potato slices, adding a little oil here and there.
  4. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until at desired tenderness.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste.

A couple vendors in Charlotte are still selling bok choi or bok choi-like greens. I keep meaning to ask if these are greenhouse-grown or have been stored from warmer months but regardless, I buy it whenever I see it. Because of my IBS, I can't eat most lettuce or very dark greens so these are a great replacement for the vitamins I'm missing from those. I threw the following together last night which has bok choi from Houston Farms, Simply Local's medium sharp cheddar and Windy Hill's amazing eggs. It had a great salty flavor without the addition of actual salt so I'm calling this a healthy recipe.

Bok Choi Omelet (makes 2) (v)
About 1/2 head of bok choi, diced
1/4 onion, minced
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 eggs
  1. Whisk eggs. Pour into medium-high heated frying pan.
  2. When cooked mostly on the outsides, add cheese. 
  3. Once cheese is melted part way, add the onions and bok choi and flip one side over the other.
  4. Cook until brown on the outsides.