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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Blanched Fava Beans

Because many have not been exposed to the wonderful world of Fava Beans, please allow me one last post to celebrate this springtime delicacy.

Blanched Fava Beans are a tender treat somewhat reminiscent of edamame.

Top Left: Blanched Fava Beans.
Top Right: Fava Bean peel.
Bottom: Peeled Fava Beans ... ready for snacking!

Shelled Fava Beans have a beautiful green color. Pack them in school or work lunch for simple, healthy snacking!

This is a great cooking project to get kids involved! Shelling and peeling Fava Beans is FUN!!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Grilled Fava Beans

The appearance of fava beans at the Farmer's Market is a sign that spring has sprung. We have been in a perpetual spring all winter in California, so it is good to have a signal that spring has arrived!

(Side note: Bringing up a perpetual spring would have typically been a braggy statement from a spoiled California brat to the rest of the nation and world about how wonderful our weather is. These days it is more of a complaint than a brag because our drought leaves us helpless and concerned. We missed not having a winter this past year!)

Fava Beans, AKA Broad Beans, were made infamous by the character Dr. Hannibal Lecter in the 1991 movie The Silence of the Lambs when he said, "I ate his liver with fava beans and a nice Chianti."

Yum!  Let's get grilling...

Monday, April 27, 2015

Lemony Fava Risotto

This one dish meal pops with bright green colored fava beans combined with the tangy flavor of lemon juice. Many recipes for risotto with fava beans call blending in pureed fava beans, yielding a green rice. Green food tends to be unappealing if it is not found in nature green. (Visualize green fava beans, limes and baby spring mix compared to rice, potatoes and couscous.)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Simple Party Idea: Super Nachos!

Have you been thinking of planning a party but worried about the stress and fuss of the food preparation?  Look no further...

Simple Party Idea: Super Nachos!  

A cinch to prepare (many toppings can be completed in advance) and everyone gets to 'build' their own plate to their specification and liking with things such as:

Shredded Cheese
Sliced Black Olives
Diced Tomatoes
Sour Cream
Browned Hamburger with Taco Seasoning
Pinto Beans
Nacho Cheese Sauce

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Sautéed Red Swiss Chard

Sautéed Red Swiss Chard from Cali's Cuisine.
Spring is in full swing and Red Swiss Chard is abundant at the Farmer's Markets in Cali (and likely everywhere else)! We are a little embarrassed to admit that we have never purchased, prepared or even tasted Swiss Chard. Swiss Chard is known to be one of those 'very healthy' veggies choc-full of vitamins, minerals and fiber.  

Red Swiss Chard is a very beautiful leafy looks much like rhubarb.  It is also available with yellow stems. 

Red Swiss Chard

To prepare, stems and leaves should be separated.  Stems should be cooked first because they are thicker and will take more time.  Once stems are near cooked, leaves are added to complete the side. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Eggplant-Zucchini Lasagna

Eggplant and Zucchini take center stage and by replacing traditional noodles in this meatless lasagna, making it a low-carbohydrate alternative to traditional lasagne. This dish is reminiscent of Greek Moussaka.  

Both vegetables are sliced lengthwise and oven roasted. This is admittedly a labor-intensive process from start to finish, but all lasagna dishes tend to be labor intensive. It is not recommended to prepare this meal on a weekday when you get home from work! It is best to prepare on Sunday for dinner on Monday. (Our trips to the Farmer's Market are on Sunday, so it works out perfectly!)

One short cut is purchasing jarred (or dare we say it...CANNED) marinara. You can call it 'home made' by fortifying with oregano and basil.  (Mum's the word!)