Beet Ravioli with Sautéed Green Lunar Cabbage

My neighbor, Billy brought me a beautiful head of Green Lunar Cabbage from his garden.  Then, while I was shopping at my local Bastrop, HEB grocery store I saw a package of beet ravioli imported form Italy.  These two ingredients inspired this recipe.  So here it is.

Ingredients:

Beet Ravioli Ingredients

  • Green Lunar Cabbage–1/2 head
  • Beet Ravioli–one 9 0z package
  • Frozen Peas–8 ounces
  • Sage–leaves from one sprig
  • Garlic–4 cloves
  • Shallot–1 large
  • Ghee–2 teaspoons
  • Olive oil–2 teaspoons
  • Red wine–1/2 cup (use a light red such as a Pinot Noir.  I used a Texas red that was a blend of Malbec, Mourvedre and Petit Syrah.  Use the same wine that you are going to drink with the meal.  This will make the dish pair well with the wine.)
  • Grated or flaked cheese–3 ounces ( I used a mixture of Parmesan, Romano and Asiago flakes.)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Prep:

Beet Ravioli Prep

  • Chop the cabbage
  • Mince the garlic and shallot
  • Remove the sage leaves from the stem

Cooking the cabbage:  NOTE–WHILE THE CABBAGE IS COOKING BRING WATER TO BOIL IN A PASTA POT

  • Coat a heavy duty stainless steel skillet with the olive oil
  • Add the shallots, garlic, sage leaves and ghee
  • Sauté till lightly brown
  • Add cabbage with a bit of salt and pepper
  • Sauté until the cabbage is slightly caramelized
  • Deglaze pan with 1/2 cup of red wine
  • Add the peas and toss them with the cabbage
  • Add more salt and pepper to taste. Cover a lid and turn off the heat.  Let sit while you cook the pasta

Cooking the pasta:

Beet Ravioli Cook 5

  • Add a generous amount of salt to the pasta water.  It should taste like the ocean.
  • Place the beet ravioli in the boiling water
  • When the ravioli float to the surface they will be ready to add to the cabbage (for fresh pasta this takes only 3 minutes)
  • Drain the pasta and add it to the cabbage
  • Toss the ravioli into the cabbage gently
  • Add 1/2 the cheese
  • Replace the lid and let sit for two minutes so that the cheese melts and the ravioli finishes cooking

Plate the dish onto a platter.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese.  Top with some freshly cracked pepper.  Enjoy it with a glass of the same wine you used to deglaze the cabbage.

My dad is staying with us this month.  This was today’s Meatless Monday meal.  It was a heartwarming and satisfying family meal.  My mom was a vegetarian her whole life.  I said to dad that I think she would have liked this dish.  My dad replied:  “She would have LOVED it”.  I felt like she was with us.

When you make it let me know how it turns out.

Golden Beet Salad (topped with crispy goat cheese)

Ingredients:

Golden Beet Salad Ingredients

  • 9 medium golden beets (these were grown by JBG Organic Farm in East Austin)
  • 1 large bag of mixed greens (also from JBG Organic Farm)
  • fresh thyme leaves from 2 large sprigs
  • fresh oregano leaves from 1 large sprig
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • white balsamic vinegar
  • 8oz log of goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • Italian Spice Mix
  • salt and pepper to taste

Prepping the beets:

Golden Beets Preped for Oven

  • Remove the tops and bottoms from each beet ( if the beet greens are fresh use them in the salad with the mixed greens)  Note: these beets are so fresh that I have left the skins on.  There are a lot of nutrients and fiber in the skins, so leave them on if you can.
  • Use a damp paper towel to clean any dirt off the beets
  • Arrange them on an ovenproof baking dish
  • Coat each side with olive oil
  • Sprinkle each side with salt, pepper and my Italian Spice Mix
  • Roast in a 450 degree oven until tender
  • Slice the beets and set aside while you prep the rest of the salad components

Golden Beets Sliced

Prepping the goat cheese:

Golden Beet Salad Prep2

  • In a pie plate, mix together, 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, 1 teaspoon of my Italian Spice Mix, salt and pepper to taste
  • In a small bowl, whisk together 1 egg with a pinch of salt and my Italian Spice Mix
  • Cut the goat cheese log into 10 slices.  We will use 8 slices for frying.  Crumble up 2 slices and set aside to top the salad
  • Using a pastry brush, coat each slice of goat cheese with the egg mixture.  Then coat each slice of goat cheese with the panko breadcrumb mixture

 

  • Place in the refrigerator for an hour to chill.  This will allow you to fry the cheese without melting it
  • Coat a non-stick skillet with olive oil.  Heat the skillet to medium-high.  Fry the cheese medallions till they are golden brown

 

  • Set aside while you assemble the salad

Prepping the salad greens and dressing:

Golden Beet Salad Prep1

  • Wash the salad greens and tear them into bite size pieces.  Dry the salad greens using a salad spinner
  • The salad dressing is very simple.  In a small jar, add 1/2 cup of the best extra virgin olive oil you have, 3 table spoons of white balsamic vinegar, oregano, thyme, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.  Shake to combine.

When you are ready to serve, toss the greens with the salad and place in the center of a large platter.  Arrange the sliced beets surrounding the salad greens.  Top with the crumbled goat cheese.  Finish by arranging the crispy goat cheese medallions on top.

This is a yummy and  satisfying salad that can also be used as a vegetarian main course, along with some crusty bread and a glass of your favorite white wine.

Pumpkin Gnocchi with Collard Greens

Ingredients:

Pumpkin Gnocchi Ingredients

  • 16 large collard green leaves
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 red chillies, minced
  • 16 oz package of pumpkin gnocchi
  • 8 oz package of shaved or grated Italian cheese (Parmesan, Romano , Asiago or a mixture)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Prep:

Pumpkin Gnocchi Prep

  • Remove the stems from the collard greens.  Cut the leaves into strips.
  • Dice the onion
  • Strip the leaves off the oregano and thyme stems
  • Mince the garlic and chilies

Cook:

  • Coat a large stainless steel skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place on medium heat.  Add the onions, garlic, chilies, oregano and thyme.  Saute until golden brown.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • Add the collard greens and stir.  Let the collard greens wilt for 2 minutes.

Pumpkin Gnocchi Cook 3

  • Add salt and pepper to taste.  Then turn off the heat and cover with a lid while you cook the gnocchi.
  • Coat a large non-stick skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place on  medium high heat.  Add the pumpkin gnocchi and cook until brown on all sides. Toss the gnocchi gently with a plastic or silicone spoon so that all sides get brown without bruising the delicate gnocchi.

Pumpkin Gnocchi Cook 5

  • Add the browned gnocchi to the cooked collard greens.  Add half the cheese and gently toss everything together.

Pumpkin Gnocchi Cook 4

  • Plate the dish.  Sprinkle with additional cheese .  Serve with a glass of Chianti or any red wine you like.

Pumpkin Gnocchi Feature

I served this as a side dish at Thanksgiving.  Also for those who don’t eat meat, it serves as a yummy and satisfying main dish.

If you can’t find pumpkin gnocchi, you can use another flavor.

Hope you enjoy!!!

 

Roasted Carrots

Ingredients:

Roasted Carrots Ingredients

 

  • 3 bunches of baby carrots (grown by JBG Organic Farm in East Austin)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of my Italian Spice Mix
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • served with center cut gorgonzola on the side

Prep:

Roated Carrots Prep

  • Coat the carrots with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  • Sprinkle with my Italian Spice Mix
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Toss to coat the carrots evenly

Cook:  Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Place the carrots in an oven proof baking dish and roast in oven until tender and brown (about 15 minutes.)

I have kept this recipe very simple so that the flavor of the beautiful carrots shines.

Serve as an appetizer with the center cut gorgonzola and a glass of your favorite red wine.

Roasted Carrots Instagram

 

 

 

Stuffed Tromboncino Squash

Ingredient Source:

Trombocino Squash

Tromboncino Squash grown by Sunset Hill Farms in Smithville, Texas.  I used the long part to make Roasted Tromboncino Squash Medallions.  Now I am using the bottom part.

Ingredients:

  • The bottom part of the squash cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 4 teaspoons of my Italian Spice Mix
  • Olive oil, enough to coat the squash
  • Paneer stuffing, enough to fill the squash cavity.  I used the same stuffing that I used in my Stuffed Peppers.  You can use any stuffing you like.

Prep:

  • Cut the bottom part of the squash in half and scoop out the seeds
  • Put the squash on a baking sheet cavity side up
  • Combine the Italian Spice Mix with the smoked paprika
  • Sprinkle the squash cavity with the spice mix and drizzle on olive oil to coat
  • Roast at 400 F for 10 minutes

Fill with the stuffing and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Recipe Notes:  This a great main dish for a vegetarian.  You can par bake the squash and stuff it ahead of time.  Then, just before serving you can do the final baking step and serve it hot out of the oven.

Roasted Tromboncino Squash Medallions

Ingredient Source:

Trombocino Squash

Tromboncino Squash grown by Sunset Hill Farms in Smithville, Texas.  I bought the beautiful, longest one at the farmer’s market in downtown Bastrop, Texas.  I was very excited to see this squash because it is an Heirloom vegetable originally from Liguria, Italy.  It tastes halfway between butternut squash and spaghetti squash.  I used the long part to make roasted medallions topped with pesto.  I used the bottom part to make Stuffed Tromboncino Squash.

Ingredients:

Trombocino Squash Ingredients

  • The long part of the squash cut into one inch medallions (use any squash you like)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 4 teaspoons of my Italian Spice Mix
  • Olive oil, enough to coat the squash medallions

Prep:

Trombocino Roasted

  • Cut the long part of the squash into one inch medallions.  Set aside the fat part to make Stuffed Tromboncino Squash.
  • Put the medallions on a lined baking sheet for easy clean up.
  • Combine the Italian Spice Mix with the smoked paprika.
  • Sprinkle the first side of the medallions with the spice mix and drizzle on olive oil to coat.  Gently rub in the spice mix and olive oil into each medallion.  Flip the medallions and repeat on the second side.

Cook:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F
  • Place sheet tray of medallions in the middle of the oven.
  • Let roast until you see the moisture in the medallions bubbling.  About 7 minutes.
  • Remove the sheet tray from the oven and flip the medallions over.  Roast until tender.  About 5 minutes.  Then turn the oven off and leave in for another 5 minutes.  This will allow the side resting on the sheet tray to get nicely caramelized without burning.
  • Place medallions on a platter caramelized side up.  Top with pesto sauce (optional.)

Enjoy with a glass of red wine (not optional, HA!! HA!!, LOL:)

Stuffed Peppers

These peppers are stuffed with Paneer (Indian Cheese) and organic red kale.

Ingredients:  Serves 6

Stuffed Peppers 1

  • 32 ounces Paneer (Indian Cheese) (Ricotta can be used as a substitute)
  • 1 large bunch of organic red kale
  • 6 medium bell peppers
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 large plum tomatoes, diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 inches of ginger, minced
  • 2 medium jalapeno peppers, minced (leave the seeds in if you want it extra spicy)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (Indian clarified butter)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Kalonji (black onion seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste

Prep:Stuffed Peppers 2

The onion and tomatoes are diced.  The garlic, jalapenos and ginger are minced.  The kale is removed from it stem and chopped.

Prepping the peppers:

Stuffed Peppers 3
Using a serrated knife cut the top off of each pepper
  • Using a paring knife remove the seeds and the pith 

  • Place the top back on the pepper and place in a small baking dish

Stuffed Peppers 6

  • Rub each pepper with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake in for 15 minutes in a 350 F ovenStuffed Peppers 7

 

Cook:

  1. Place the onion, ginger, garlic, jalapenos, chili flakes, all three seeds and the ghee in a large skillet.  Turn stove to medium and brown (about 10 minutes) 

  2. Add tomato paste and cook for two minutesStuffed Peppers 10
  3. Add tomatoes, turmeric, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika and a pinch of salt.  Cook for another two minutesStuffed Peppers 11
  4. Add the kale and  1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Cook until the kale is soft (about 5 minutes) 

  5. Add the paneer, break it up with a wooden spoon and cook for 10 minutes.  Stir occasionally to mix well and prevent sticking.  Taste and add salt or black pepper as needed. 

  6. Stuff each pepper and replace the top.  At this point you can store it in the refrigerator.  Just before serving, preheat the oven to 350 F and bake for 15 minutes.

Stuffed Peppers Instagram

 

The stuffed peppers can be served as side dish or a main dish for a vegetarian option.  If you have any stuffing left over, it can be used to make hors d’oeuvres such as stuffed tomatoes or mushrooms.

Stuffed Peppers 20

I also enjoy placing it on a small papadum (lentil wafer.)

Stuffed Peppers 17

For a Vegan option, the stuffing can be made with vegetables like sweet potatoes.

 

Traditionally, the peppers are either stuffed with paneer or potatoes and peas.

Paneer (Indian Cheese)

Paneer cured in olive oil with green peppercorns and pink Himalayan salt

Ingredients:

Paneer 1

  • Juice of 2 limes (you can also use vinegar or lemon)
  • 1 gallon of milk (get the best milk you can.  Paneer is usually made with cow’s milk.  This one is special because it is made with goat milk from my goat, Oreo)

Paneer 3

Equipment:

  • large stainless steel pot for boiling the milk
  • medium stainless steel pot with insert (you can use a pasta pot)
  • glass bowl that fits inside your stainless steel insert
  • cheese cloth
  • something to weigh the cheese down ( I used a marble mortar)

Cook:

  • Place the milk in the stainless steel pot.  Turn stove on high and bring it to a boil.
  • Let the milk cool a little bit.  Then add the lime juice.  Stir and bring it to a boil again.  The curd will separate from the whey.
  • Place the cheese cloth in the pot with the insertPaneer 6
  • Slowly pour the curds and whey into the cheese cloth.  Let the whey drain.  The curd will remain in the cheese cloth.Paneer 7
  • Gather the cheese cloth around the curd and place it in the glass bowl.
  • Place the glass bowl with the curd back in the strainer.  Put a weight on it.
  • Cover and let stand in the refrigerator overnight.Paneer 10

 

Don’t throw the whey away.   Store it in a glass container in the refrigerator.  It can be used for other recipes and smoothies.  It is high in protein.  My husband uses it in his protein shakes.Paneer 11

Recipe Note:  The paneer shown here is cured in olive oil with green peppercorns and pink Himalayan salt. The flower in the center is a basil flower.  I did this to add additional flavor and color, but this step is not traditional.