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Kale Wrapped Enchiladas – Toss the Tortillas!

Use kale to wrap enchiladas instead of tortillas - low carb, low calorie, super healthy recipe!An unseasonably cool day today in southwest Arkansas had me firing up my oven and going on an all day baking spree. This morning we made chocolate chip cookies and for lunch I planned to make enchiladas. (We also made kale chips and carrot cake – stocking up on the baked items to hold us for a few days once the sun comes out again and it is hot and steamy.)

Out in the epic kale row, there are some kale leaves that are really big – too big to comfortably fit in a bundle to be sold to the health food store or included in the veggie bags for my Sunshine for Dinner subscribers, mostly because they won’t fit in the baggies I pack in. I got the idea to use these to wrap my enchilada fillings, instead of tortillas. Replace a white flour processed empty food with a homegrown, never sprayed, super food! Good idea, right?

I did it and the enchiladas turned out yummy. And gluten free, and low carb, and adaptable to the Whole 30 diet and the paleo diet and the One Ingredient diet, and there are lots more ways to use this kale concept, I’m sure. Let your imagination run wild.

Here’s how to make your own kale wrapped enchiladas.

Choose some nice big kale leaves (you could probably use chard or collards, but I haven’t tried it). Soften them in boiling water for a couple of minutes and lay in a colander to drain and cool.2014-05-14 14.37.55

Trim out the thickest part of the stem – I wished I had trimmed a little more, there was a bit of tough stem left on a couple of my enchiladas.

Ok, now get ready to fill your enchiladas. Yesterday we had tacos and I purposefully made extra taco meat so I could make enchiladas with the leftovers, so these particular enchiladas are made with taco-seasoned ground beef, creamy cheese filling, and homemade enchilada sauce.

The cheese filling is the way my hubby likes enchiladas, and it starts with cottage cheese. I put cottage cheese (not non-fat), fresh garden cilantro, garlic and a bit of salt in the food processor and whizzed it a little till it was blended and not quite smooth. Then I added a handful of shredded cheddar cheese and gave it a pulse or two to just incorporate the  cheese but not make the bits disappear.

2014-05-14 13.56.14 2014-05-14 13.58.45I filled the enchiladas with taco meat, this creamy cheese filling, a handful of shredded cheddar, and if I would have had a can of black beans I would have added a spoonful to each enchilada. Sadly, today they are bean free.

Add the fillings, and wrap it up like a burrito. Fold the short ends in over the filling, and roll it up. The kale is pretty sturdy, so it should not be too difficult.

 

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Put a bit of enchilada sauce in a pan and place enchiladas on top. You can use any enchilada sauce you like. For mine, I used Sunshine for Dinner garden tomato puree from the freezer, a can of medium spice enchilada sauce, and a can of Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Green Chilies – like organic Rotel that is soooo delicious. I let the sauce simmer for a while on the stove to reduce and thicken. Since these enchiladas do not have a grain-based tortilla, they will not absorb sauce the way the tortilla based enchilada does. I didn’t want them to come out watery.  Top with sauce and cheese and into the oven they go.

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Twenty minutes or so in the oven, and we had our super-food Kale Enchiladas. The big question is always – did it taste good? I am happy to say, YES! The texture of the kale is sturdy – in fact you might have to cut these enchiladas into bite sized pieces on your plate with a knife and fork – but the texture stands up to a thick and flavorful filling. I’d make this again! And it seriously improves the health of the whole dish as well as tasting good. Win-win!

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Watching your food grow – February 2011

This grassy looking stuff is newborn baby spinach.

After Christmas is over, we set about starting garden plants.  Our indoor lighted plant racks are filled with flats, and soon we can enjoy watching the seedlings emerge and grow.  Above is spinach, and those little clods of dirt stuck on some of the leaves are the seed coat, which split to allow the seedling to grow and is still clinging to the tip of the seed leaf.

Swiss Chard is beautiful straight from the seed - no waiting!

These Swiss Chard seedlings are in their full glory – there is a gold variety – “Bright Yellow,” a pink – “Magenta Sunset,” and a red – “Ruby Red.”  We created this mix from varieties purchased from Johnny’s Seeds.  I call it “Sunshine Mix.”  I hope it finds its way into all of our salad plates in the coming months.

These babies have all been moved outside to a greenhouse area, as they can tolerate the cool weather, and flats of tomatoes have taken their place indoors.

I know you all join me in hoping for a prolific year in the garden!

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Carrots

Cecily eating from the garden

Cecily eating fresh from the garden

Carrots

Our son, Max (not pictured . . .), is five years old, and at the age when kids say a lot of funny things.  He has cracked me up a couple of times lately with his comments about carrots.

When we first started pulling a few carrots to eat at the baby stage, he enjoyed them, but one day he asked me, “Mom, can’t we have some carrots that don’t have these plants growing out of the top?”

Evidently the leafy tops didn’t deter him, because one day he came in the house with damp dirt all around his mouth.  I asked him if he had been eating dirt.  He replied, “No, I’ve been eating dirty carrots!”

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Organic pest control or free labor? You decide.

black-seeded simpson lettuce and a hunting spider

black-seeded simpson lettuce and a hunting spider

Just in time for the new year – a new blog home for Sunshine for Dinner!  Our blog is where we give farm news and post the contents of our deliveries each week.

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On the menu – Nov. 19 2007

On the menu – Nov. 19
Farm fresh eggs
Bok Choy
Sweet Potatoes
Salad mix – lettuce ‘Black Seeded Simpson’, green leaf lettuce, baby chard ‘Sunshine Mix’, baby ‘Red Russian Kale’
Radishes
Zucchini
Pimento Peppers
Bell peppers
Bunching onions
Cucumbers
Fresh Rosemary and Chives
Posted by Georgiaberry Mobley at 12/1/2007 5:46 AM <a href=”http://sunshinefordinner.com/2007/12/01/on-the-menu–nov-19.aspx”>http://sunshinefordinner.com/2007/12/01/on-the-menu–nov-19.aspx</a> | Add Comment <a href=”http://sunshinefordinner.com/2007/12/01/on-the-menu–nov-19.aspx”>http://sunshinefordinner.com/2007/12/01/on-the-menu–nov-19.aspx</a>

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On the menu – Nov. 12 2007

On the menu – Nov. 12
Farm fresh eggs
Sweet Potatoes
Salad mix – lettuce ‘Black Seeded Simpson’ and baby chard ‘Sunshine Mix’
Yellow Squash
Baby Eggplant
Bell peppers
Bunching onions
Cucumber
Miller County stone ground corn meal
Posted by Georgiaberry Mobley at 12/1/2007 5:45 AM <a href=”http://sunshinefordinner.com/2007/12/01/on-the-menu–nov-12.aspx”>http://sunshinefordinner.com/2007/12/01/on-the-menu–nov-12.aspx</a> | Add Comment <a href=”http://sunshinefordinner.com/2007/12/01/on-the-menu–nov-12.aspx”>http://sunshinefordinner.com/2007/12/01/on-the-menu–nov-12.aspx</a>

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On the menu – Nov. 9 2007

On the menu – Nov. 9
Farm fresh eggs
Miller County honey
Sweet Potatoes
Salad mix – lettuce ‘Black Seeded Simpson’ and baby chard ‘Sunshine Mix’
Zucchini
Radishes
Bunching onions
Cucumber
Miller County stone ground corn meal
Posted by Georgiaberry Mobley at 12/1/2007 5:40 AM <a href=”http://sunshinefordinner.com/2007/12/01/on-the-menu–nov-9.aspx”>http://sunshinefordinner.com/2007/12/01/on-the-menu–nov-9.aspx</a> | Add Comment <a href=”http://sunshinefordinner.com/2007/12/01/on-the-menu–nov-9.aspx”>http://sunshinefordinner.com/2007/12/01/on-the-menu–nov-9.aspx</a>

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Salad at last!

Salad at last!
Posted by Georgiaberry Mobley at 10/21/2007 6:10 AM
Yes, it is just a little bit of salad, but it is the first of the season. As the weather cools, the lettuce will thrive. This variety, ‘Black Seeded Simpson’, is far too tender to be used commercially. The leaves would just disintegrate in shipping. This lettuce has been a southern garden favorite since its introduction in 1850. The baby chard is very much like spinach in a salad at this stage of development. Its crisp leaves lend some body to this delicate lettuce.
This salad has been washed and trimmed and is ready to eat. As the quantities in the garden increase, so will the quantities in the bag. So enjoy this first salad of the season! Try it with thinly slice pear and blue cheese – delicious! . . . And fancy – impress your friends!

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There were assorted peppers in the bag this week

There were assorted peppers in the bag this week . . . here is the note that went along with them.
A note from Kandan: These are HOT peppers.
Habaneros look like little pumpkins. Do not eat these straight, or raw! You must use them to cook only. Dispose of the pepper when you have cooked with it, or, if you have chopped it then only use a little bit. This legendary pepper is fabulously delicious but is not for those that are faint at heart and are not familiar with Tex-Mex, Mexican, or Cajun cuisine. Do not eat these things straight! These are used in sauces, fajita mix, spicy Mexican, and a gambit of other dishes. Scoville units are 100-300K, the hottest pepper on Earth. Orange or green.
Cayennes, these are the red peppers of Louisiana fame that have taken over the world. They are long and spindly. It is red pepper. Like the habaneros, they really shouldn’t be eaten straight but won’t get you into the emergency room like the habaneros will. I use them in most sauces containing tomatoes and as a spicy ingredient in marinades and in other dishes. Virtually anywhere I use garlic. Be careful, these are hot. . Scoville units are 30-50K. Red or green.
Tabascos, the other Louisiana pepper that has conquered the world, this is the other stuff that comes in the bottle. They are small with a slightly blunted point. I eat these raw sometimes, but I’m not from here and don’t recommend this for those that aren’t familiar with hot peppers. They are quite hot. A sauce can be made by pouring a small amount of boiling vinegar over them or by taking a small amount of boiled vinegar and pureeing the peppers with it. This sauce blows commercial hot sauces out of the water; there simply is no comparison. They can be used like Thai peppers in the American cuisine we call Chinese, or in Cajun, Southwestern, Tex-Mex, Southeast Asian, or Mexican cuisines. Scoville units are 30-50K, but I don’t find them as hot as the Cayennes. Red, orange, or green.
Jalapenos, likely America’s favorite pepper, they are less predictable than the others, as you never know just how hot an individual pepper will be; what is predictable is that they will not be near as hot as the others listed above here. They are larger and plumper with blunted to semi-blunted ends. I eat these with beer on occasion, but as previously stated, I’m from a culture of hot peppers. They can be used in just about anything that needs a little spice and are great using a rellenos recipe. I use all these peppers in BBQ sauce. Remember that Jalapenos are hot also, just not as much. Scoville units are 2.5-5.0K. Red or green.
Mild Banana Pepper will be in a different bag. These look a lot like Cayennes but are much more plump and are larger. They are not hot and are used in salads or sauces with pepper flavor without the heat. I just eat them plain. Red, orange, yellow, green, or yellow green.
WARNING: You guys need to know that these things are hot. Don’t get it in your eyes. If you do then rinse with cold water and use an ice pack until the burn subsides. Do the same if you get it in cuts or abrasions. If burn in your mouth is too much then milk is recommended rather than water. Wear gloves and/or glasses if you think you should when working with them. Capsaicin is detectable by human taste at the equivalent of a single drop in an Olympic pool. It can be dangerous stuff.
I realize that some of you won’t use these, or won’t use them before they expire. They can be given to neighbors or friends, they can be pureed to make a powerful organic insecticide, and they can be preserved by the boiling vinegar techniques or frozen or dried. To dry them just run a string through them and hang them in a warm, dry place, preferably in the sun. They will last quite some time and you will be happy to have them in the winter and early spring.

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On the farm . . .

On the farm . . .

During the whole month of August, the availability and variety of local produce has been declining dramatically.  This is a natural seasonal phenomenon, resulting from the end of the growing season of crops planted after the last frost, like squash and tomatoes.

To alleviate some of the availability and lack of variety problems, I have temporarily moved all deliveries to every other week.   If you are already on an every other week schedule, you probably didn’t get a call from me to discuss this, as things won’t change for you.

Don’t worry, it won’t last long.  I saw the first tiny baby squash on my plants yesterday, and we have green tomatoes that will soon be red, and other growers have cucumbers coming on, and we bought the first bunches of greens this week.  The chickens are laying more eggs.  Things are looking up!

Next year we may take a break from deliveries during August.  It is a busy time for life outside of the farm, with kids going back to school, and it is a time of low farm productivity, because early crops are tiring and late crops haven’t come on,   and high farm demand on the grower, with watering being critical and the intense heat making every hour of work feel like four hours.

Behind the scenes things are happening!  Delivery trucks bring boxes of seeds, the results of hours of pouring over catalogs, comparing varieties, scrutinizing planting charts and zone maps, and moaning and crying over this summer’s closing of Roy D. Hopkins Feed and Seed.  It is over – no more choosing seeds from little wooden drawers, scooped out by hand and carefully measured on a beautiful worn scale.  No more discussing the merits of one type of pea over another with an experienced seedsman.  No more trying to decipher the handwritten scrawl on the package that seemed clear when we bought it, but after a couple of months becomes cryptic.  I am just thankful we were able to experience it at all – Hopkins, you are missed!

But back to the goings on – we have planted garlic and bunching onions already today.  More ground is prepared for more garlic!  Garlic in all its forms is good, but freshly dug garlic is wonderful!  I can’t wait for you to try it  – but it will be next year, because the garlic must grow all fall and winter.

Seedlings are sprouting and growing in the refrigerated greenhouse (formerly known as my living space!).  There are all the winter brassicas coming up now – the familiar ones like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, and some exciting plants growing such as ‘Romanesca’, a living fractal – see it below, and Brussels sprouts – a family favorite.

I’ve never grown this stuff before – I have two varieties in the trial this year, one is much faster to mature than the other.  It will be cool weather before either are ready to taste, if they grow at all!  I am hoping for the best!

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