Spinach and Kale Cheddar Cornbread Muffins

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This week’s CSA contained kale and I am not a fan of kale, but I didn’t want it to go to waste.  I searched Pinterest for recipes that contain kale but might appeal to the non-lovers of kale out there.  I am all about eating healthy and I know kale has been dubbed a “superfood,” however, I still like my food to taste good and not bitter.  I also can’t stand quinoa, but more on that later (or not).

I came across a recipe for spinach cheddar corn muffins and decided to use it as inspiration for the following.  The original recipe from Spiced can be found here.  I eliminated the sugar and exchanged the all-purpose flour for whole wheat to make the recipe clean.  I also added some spices, including freshly dried oregano from my garden.  The kale and spinach are both from this week’s CSA.

Spinach and Kale Cheddar Cornbread Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups chopped kale
  • 1 ½ cups chopped spinach
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk (I used 2% since that is all we had in the house, but feel free to use any milk of your choice)
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil*
  • 1 cup shredded white cheddar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients and spices in a large bowl.  Add in the wet ingredients and the cheddar cheese.  Stir in the spinach and kale until well combined.20160526_110253
  3. Fill each cup in a greased or baking cup lined muffin pan about ¾ full.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the muffins look golden brown.2016-05-26 11.38.55

Be warned:   Your kitchen will smell delicious while these are baking.  Resist the temptation to take the muffins out of the oven too early.  I highly recommend serving them warm with a nice glass of milk.

*I initially omitted this, but the muffins came out dry.  You could probably use any oil of your choice.

Asparagus Spaghetti

My grandparents have made Asparagus Spaghetti every year for as long as I can remember.  On more than one occasion, I have helped myself to three servings of this delicious dish.  This recipe uses two items from this week’s CSA share:  asparagus and green onions.  Also, I promise my food photography skills will get better as my blog progresses.

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Asparagus Spaghetti

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Angel Hair or Spaghetti
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 1 cup green onions, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup light cream
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • salt

Directions:

  1. Cut asparagus in ½” diagonal pieces.  Boil in salt water for 3 minutes.
  2. Cook the pasta in a large pot according to the directions.  Drain and return to the pot.
  3. Saute the bacon in a pan until it is crispy.  Add the onions, pepper, and asparagus to the pan.
  4. Add the butter and cream to the pasta.  Stir in the Parmesan.
  5. Toss all together.
  6. Enjoy!

CSA Week 1

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I picked up my first share from the CSA today from Strite’s Orchard.  CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  CSAs are a way for local farmers to share their harvest with members.  A CSA member typically pays a fee up front for a certain number of shares and each week receives a share from the farm’s harvest.  Some CSAs may even include eggs, dairy products, or flowers.

The CSA program from Strite’s consists of 26 weekly boxes of in season fruits and vegetables.  Each box contains 6-7 different items.  Because of the rain we have been having in the area, the CSA at Strite’s started a week later than anticipated.  In addition to a four pack of Impatiens, this week’s box contained:

  • Radishes
  • Asparagus
  • Spring Onions
  • Kale
  • Spinach

The Strite family, who started farming in this area in 1843, has a 300-acre farm where they sell produce and baked goods, as well as milk, grass-fed beef from another local farm and more.  Throughout the growing season they sometimes have something called “pick your own” where you get to go out into the field and pick produce items, such as strawberries, pumpkins, etc.  It is only about a five-minute drive from my house so I love to support it.  There are also other pick up locations throughout the area to make it convenient for community members to participate.  One of the employees at the farm even sends out a weekly newsletter with recipes that include the produce received for the week and other farm information.

Find a local farm in your area to see if they have a CSA at LocalHarvest.

April Showers and May Showers

I got too excited to plant the seeds I started and soon after I planted them, we had an unexpected freeze.  Most of the seeds I started died.  Then came the rain.  It rained so much that the plants I had started in containers drowned.  I drilled extra holes in the bottom of them, but it was too late for my spinach.

While I am upset that my garden did not work out this year, that is something that comes with inexperience.  Here are some of the mistakes I made and what I will do differently next year.

  1. Not hardening off my plants.  I was so happy that I had sprouts blooming, that I wanted to plant them right away.  The correct thing to do would be to harden them off, that is, get them used to being outside first before transplanting them.
  2. Not waiting until the last frost. This was almost unavoidable.  The weather was so nice and I did not have to plant them right away.  I should have waited an extra week when the threat of frost was gone.
  3. Not planning for rain. I should have drilled extra holes in my planters prior to planting everything.  My spinach probably could have been saved.

I do have some lettuce coming up that looks fairly good.  The broccoli is doing well and I have a few sprouts that are still making it.  The garden is not as rich with plants as I would like.  I direct sow some of the remaining seeds I have soon.

In the meantime, I have joined a CSA which starts next week.  I am looking forward to that.