Three Perfect Hudson Valley Picnics

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The long winter is finally over and I want to share this fun, little piece I recently wrote for Hudson Valley Magazine with you. I got to choose three great picnic spots here in my beloved Hudson Valley and then design three meals made with local ingredients to go with the outings.

I chose a family favorite, the Saugerties Lighthouse, as well as the stately, beautifully manicured marvel known as the Vanderbilt Mansion, and Bear Mountain State Park, an active person's playground that is a bit closer to New York City.

The gorgeous Saugerties Lighthouse on the Hudson River. Photo by Mark (hatschski) via Flickr, copyright 2014.
As for the food, it was a sheer delight researching the many, delicious, locally-made options! Big thanks to my Facebook friends for their super-helpful suggestions including the remarkable baguette du perche at Cafe Le Perche in Hudson, Woodstock's very own Buddhapesto, apple chips from Wrights Farm in Gardiner (one of my favorite vendors at the Woodstock Farm Festival), saucisson provencal from JACüTERIE in Ancramdale and many, many more.

Here's the link to the article if you'd like to read more. Hope you enjoy eating OUT this spring and summer. Below are a few shots of the Saugerties Lighthouse experience to whet your appetite for picnicking.

The picnic table on the deck at the Saugerties Lighthouse on the Hudson River - tree at left is the big mulberry that offers delicious berries in season. Photo by Krissa Corbett Cavouras via Flickr, copyright 2007.
Boardwalk portion of the trail to the lighthouse. Photo by Daniel Mennerich via Flickr, copyright 2011.

You might also like:
For more delicious recipes, gardening ideas, foraging tips, and food-related inspiration "like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.

Curried Kale Cakes + My Plate, My Planet

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Global South curried kale cakes in a sea of blueberries by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Greetings, Earthlings. Have you heard about My Plate, My Planet? It's a new campaign that aims to get sustainability included in the 2015 dietary guidelines for Americans. Meaning that the environmental impacts of our diets would be taken into consideration for the first time, well, ever! Kind of a huge deal...

You can help by sending a comment to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Agriculture by the May 8th deadline this Friday.

In honor of this worthy effort, I created an Edible Earth made of curried kale cakes floating in a sea of blueberries - two sustainable superfoods in one meal. Kale and blueberries are the kinds of foods that are healthy both for us and also for the planet - providing a lot of nutrition without requiring a lot of resources or taking a heavy toll on the environment. And they also taste great - so there's that.

Defrosting frozen kale from my freezer by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

These kale cakes are rather addictive, if I do say so myself. I used some ragged jack kale (seeds from the Hudson Valley Seed Library) from our garden that I'd blanched and frozen back in September. The plants PRODUCED and although it was kind of exhausting to keep up with them, I've been so grateful that I took the time to blanch and freeze that kale all winter long. And we're coming to the end of the frozen goodies right as we begin putting this year's seedlings in the ground. Perfect timing.

While the kale was defrosting, I grated a small mountain of Parmesan cheese and sauteed a big onion. You can never have too much onion, in my opinion.

Grating Parmesan cheese by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

I beat a couple of pasture-raised eggs (more on what pasture-raised is and why it's so much better) and mixed them with a bit of yogurt.

Eggs and yogurt for the curried kale fritters batter by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Then I mixed all that together with a generous dose of breadcrumbs (you can use a gluten-free flour mix, instead, if you prefer), lots of garam masala and a little dried thyme from our garden, a few pinches sea salt, several grinds of black pepper, and mixed.

Then came the frying. I like grapeseed or peanut oil for frying because they've both got a nice, high smoke point and a neutral taste. I like to drain greasy things on a used paper grocery bag - way more absorbent than paper towels and less wasteful. Then I either toss it in the woodstove or put it in the compost.

Curried kale cakes by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Every bite was savory, moist, crunchy and good. Delicious on their own eaten out of hand or with a little yogurt herb sauce or sour cream.

Add your comment by this Friday, May 8th and I hope you like the kale cakes.

-- print recipe --Curried Kale Cakes
Serves 4

Ingredients

* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 3 eggs, beaten
* 1 bunch kale, rinsed, washed, dried, ribs removed and chopped
* 1 large onion, peeled and minced
* 1/2 cup yogurt
* 3/4 cup bread crumbs (or use a gluten-free flour)
* 1-2 Tbsps garam masala or curry powder
* 1 Tbsp sea salt
* 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
* Milk or water to thin the batter, if needed
* Roughly 1 cup grapeseed, peanut or sunflower oil to fry in

Directions

1. Heat a few teaspoons of the oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and saute, stirring often until softened. Add the kale and saute briefly to get some of the moisture out of the kale. Pour the onion-kale mixture in a medium sized mixing bowl and set the skillet aside - you don't need to wash it as you're going to use it to fry the cakes in.

2. Add the breadcrumbs, spices, eggs and yogurt and stir well to combine. If the batter is too stiff, add more yogurt or a little milk or water to thin it a bit.

3. Heat the rest of the oil in the cast iron frying pan until hot but not smoking. Test it by dropping a tiny bit of batter in and if it sizzles nicely, it's ready. Ladle large spoonfuls of the batter in and fry until the edges are browned and the cakes are solid enough to flip over then fry for another 3-4 minutes, depending on the size of the cakes and how hot your oil is.

4. When the cakes are nicely browned on both sides, scoop out and drain on a paper bag (this works better than paper towels and is less wasteful - you can compost the bag when you're done with it) and serve warm with sour cream or an herbed yogurt sauce. Chutney can be a nice accompaniment, too.

You might also like:
For more delicious recipes, gardening ideas, foraging tips, and food-related inspiration "like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.

The World's Best Rice Bowl with Tahini-Ginger Kale, Avocado, Egg & Pickled Daikon

Monday, May 4, 2015

Warm rice bowl with ginger-tamari kale, avocado, pickled daikon and carrot, avocado and hard-boiled egg by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Lately, I've been enamored of rice bowls and this one really takes the cake. I mounded up a big spoonful of short-grain brown rice, added some of the delicious leftover tahini-ginger kale I wrote about two weeks ago, sliced a perfectly ripe avocado, peeled a hard-boiled egg and topped it with a little mound of quick pickled daikon radish and carrots I'd made. Then dusted the egg and avocado with some sea salt and sprinkled toasted sesame seeds over it all.

It was so good. Not only was it a pleasure to eat - each bite mixing buttery avocado, spiced kale, nutty rice, hearty egg and zingy pickled daikon, I also felt perfectly full and nourished afterwards.

Rice bowls are one of those things that are easy to make if you've got the right components lying around - the rice, the pickled veggies, the eggs, the kale, the avocado, etc. It is a meal born of good leftovers and a little advance planning.

Brown rice by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

So make a batch of the tahini-ginger dressing and leave it in your fridge. That makes it really easy to make the warm kale with tahini-ginger dressing. And you can either make it fresh or just make more than you think you'll eat and save the leftovers for this purpose.

Tahini ginger sesame dressing by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Make a jar of pickled daikon and just keep it in your fridge. As I've mentioned, I like to just eat it straight out of the jar with a spoon...

Daikon radishes by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

And hardboil a few eggs just to have them in the refrigerator. You probably already do this if you have kids :)

Warm rice bowl with ginger-tamari kale, avocado, pickled daikon and carrot, avocado and hard-boiled egg by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

The concept is so flexible and so tasty - you can use different vegetables, different dressings - whatever you have on hand. I've included links to a few other ideas that would make for a good rice bowl below this recipe. Enjoy!

-- print recipe --Warm Rice Bowl with Tahini-Ginger Kale, Avocado, Egg & Pickled Daikon
Serves 2

Ingredients

* 1 cup cooked brown rice
* 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced in half
* 1 ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
* 1/2 cup pickled daikon (or daikon and carrots)
* 1/2 cup kale with tahini-ginger dressing
* Sea salt to taste
* Pinch of toasted sesame seeds

Directions

1. Put the rice and kale in a ceramic bowl and microwave it for 30-45 seconds to warm it (you can also pop it in the toaster oven for a few minutes if you prefer).

2. Arrange the avocado slices, the pickled daikon and the hard-boiled egg over top of the rice, and sprinkle with a little sea salt and some sesame seeds.

You might also like:


For more delicious recipes, gardening ideas, foraging tips, and food-related inspiration "like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Three Perfect Hudson Valley Picnics

The long winter is finally over and I want to share this fun, little piece I recently wrote for Hudson Valley Magazine with you. I got to choose three great picnic spots here in my beloved Hudson Valley and then design three meals made with local ingredients to go with the outings.

I chose a family favorite, the Saugerties Lighthouse, as well as the stately, beautifully manicured marvel known as the Vanderbilt Mansion, and Bear Mountain State Park, an active person's playground that is a bit closer to New York City.

The gorgeous Saugerties Lighthouse on the Hudson River. Photo by Mark (hatschski) via Flickr, copyright 2014.
As for the food, it was a sheer delight researching the many, delicious, locally-made options! Big thanks to my Facebook friends for their super-helpful suggestions including the remarkable baguette du perche at Cafe Le Perche in Hudson, Woodstock's very own Buddhapesto, apple chips from Wrights Farm in Gardiner (one of my favorite vendors at the Woodstock Farm Festival), saucisson provencal from JACüTERIE in Ancramdale and many, many more.

Here's the link to the article if you'd like to read more. Hope you enjoy eating OUT this spring and summer. Below are a few shots of the Saugerties Lighthouse experience to whet your appetite for picnicking.

The picnic table on the deck at the Saugerties Lighthouse on the Hudson River - tree at left is the big mulberry that offers delicious berries in season. Photo by Krissa Corbett Cavouras via Flickr, copyright 2007.
Boardwalk portion of the trail to the lighthouse. Photo by Daniel Mennerich via Flickr, copyright 2011.

You might also like:
For more delicious recipes, gardening ideas, foraging tips, and food-related inspiration "like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Curried Kale Cakes + My Plate, My Planet

Global South curried kale cakes in a sea of blueberries by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Greetings, Earthlings. Have you heard about My Plate, My Planet? It's a new campaign that aims to get sustainability included in the 2015 dietary guidelines for Americans. Meaning that the environmental impacts of our diets would be taken into consideration for the first time, well, ever! Kind of a huge deal...

You can help by sending a comment to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Agriculture by the May 8th deadline this Friday.

In honor of this worthy effort, I created an Edible Earth made of curried kale cakes floating in a sea of blueberries - two sustainable superfoods in one meal. Kale and blueberries are the kinds of foods that are healthy both for us and also for the planet - providing a lot of nutrition without requiring a lot of resources or taking a heavy toll on the environment. And they also taste great - so there's that.

Defrosting frozen kale from my freezer by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

These kale cakes are rather addictive, if I do say so myself. I used some ragged jack kale (seeds from the Hudson Valley Seed Library) from our garden that I'd blanched and frozen back in September. The plants PRODUCED and although it was kind of exhausting to keep up with them, I've been so grateful that I took the time to blanch and freeze that kale all winter long. And we're coming to the end of the frozen goodies right as we begin putting this year's seedlings in the ground. Perfect timing.

While the kale was defrosting, I grated a small mountain of Parmesan cheese and sauteed a big onion. You can never have too much onion, in my opinion.

Grating Parmesan cheese by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

I beat a couple of pasture-raised eggs (more on what pasture-raised is and why it's so much better) and mixed them with a bit of yogurt.

Eggs and yogurt for the curried kale fritters batter by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Then I mixed all that together with a generous dose of breadcrumbs (you can use a gluten-free flour mix, instead, if you prefer), lots of garam masala and a little dried thyme from our garden, a few pinches sea salt, several grinds of black pepper, and mixed.

Then came the frying. I like grapeseed or peanut oil for frying because they've both got a nice, high smoke point and a neutral taste. I like to drain greasy things on a used paper grocery bag - way more absorbent than paper towels and less wasteful. Then I either toss it in the woodstove or put it in the compost.

Curried kale cakes by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Every bite was savory, moist, crunchy and good. Delicious on their own eaten out of hand or with a little yogurt herb sauce or sour cream.

Add your comment by this Friday, May 8th and I hope you like the kale cakes.

-- print recipe --Curried Kale Cakes
Serves 4

Ingredients

* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 3 eggs, beaten
* 1 bunch kale, rinsed, washed, dried, ribs removed and chopped
* 1 large onion, peeled and minced
* 1/2 cup yogurt
* 3/4 cup bread crumbs (or use a gluten-free flour)
* 1-2 Tbsps garam masala or curry powder
* 1 Tbsp sea salt
* 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
* Milk or water to thin the batter, if needed
* Roughly 1 cup grapeseed, peanut or sunflower oil to fry in

Directions

1. Heat a few teaspoons of the oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and saute, stirring often until softened. Add the kale and saute briefly to get some of the moisture out of the kale. Pour the onion-kale mixture in a medium sized mixing bowl and set the skillet aside - you don't need to wash it as you're going to use it to fry the cakes in.

2. Add the breadcrumbs, spices, eggs and yogurt and stir well to combine. If the batter is too stiff, add more yogurt or a little milk or water to thin it a bit.

3. Heat the rest of the oil in the cast iron frying pan until hot but not smoking. Test it by dropping a tiny bit of batter in and if it sizzles nicely, it's ready. Ladle large spoonfuls of the batter in and fry until the edges are browned and the cakes are solid enough to flip over then fry for another 3-4 minutes, depending on the size of the cakes and how hot your oil is.

4. When the cakes are nicely browned on both sides, scoop out and drain on a paper bag (this works better than paper towels and is less wasteful - you can compost the bag when you're done with it) and serve warm with sour cream or an herbed yogurt sauce. Chutney can be a nice accompaniment, too.

You might also like:
For more delicious recipes, gardening ideas, foraging tips, and food-related inspiration "like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.

Monday, May 4, 2015

The World's Best Rice Bowl with Tahini-Ginger Kale, Avocado, Egg & Pickled Daikon

Warm rice bowl with ginger-tamari kale, avocado, pickled daikon and carrot, avocado and hard-boiled egg by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Lately, I've been enamored of rice bowls and this one really takes the cake. I mounded up a big spoonful of short-grain brown rice, added some of the delicious leftover tahini-ginger kale I wrote about two weeks ago, sliced a perfectly ripe avocado, peeled a hard-boiled egg and topped it with a little mound of quick pickled daikon radish and carrots I'd made. Then dusted the egg and avocado with some sea salt and sprinkled toasted sesame seeds over it all.

It was so good. Not only was it a pleasure to eat - each bite mixing buttery avocado, spiced kale, nutty rice, hearty egg and zingy pickled daikon, I also felt perfectly full and nourished afterwards.

Rice bowls are one of those things that are easy to make if you've got the right components lying around - the rice, the pickled veggies, the eggs, the kale, the avocado, etc. It is a meal born of good leftovers and a little advance planning.

Brown rice by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

So make a batch of the tahini-ginger dressing and leave it in your fridge. That makes it really easy to make the warm kale with tahini-ginger dressing. And you can either make it fresh or just make more than you think you'll eat and save the leftovers for this purpose.

Tahini ginger sesame dressing by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Make a jar of pickled daikon and just keep it in your fridge. As I've mentioned, I like to just eat it straight out of the jar with a spoon...

Daikon radishes by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

And hardboil a few eggs just to have them in the refrigerator. You probably already do this if you have kids :)

Warm rice bowl with ginger-tamari kale, avocado, pickled daikon and carrot, avocado and hard-boiled egg by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

The concept is so flexible and so tasty - you can use different vegetables, different dressings - whatever you have on hand. I've included links to a few other ideas that would make for a good rice bowl below this recipe. Enjoy!

-- print recipe --Warm Rice Bowl with Tahini-Ginger Kale, Avocado, Egg & Pickled Daikon
Serves 2

Ingredients

* 1 cup cooked brown rice
* 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced in half
* 1 ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
* 1/2 cup pickled daikon (or daikon and carrots)
* 1/2 cup kale with tahini-ginger dressing
* Sea salt to taste
* Pinch of toasted sesame seeds

Directions

1. Put the rice and kale in a ceramic bowl and microwave it for 30-45 seconds to warm it (you can also pop it in the toaster oven for a few minutes if you prefer).

2. Arrange the avocado slices, the pickled daikon and the hard-boiled egg over top of the rice, and sprinkle with a little sea salt and some sesame seeds.

You might also like:


For more delicious recipes, gardening ideas, foraging tips, and food-related inspiration "like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.