Category Archives: Cooking

Turkey Cottage Pie with Sunchokes and Turnips

The Snarky Gardener welcomes Brooke the Cook to the blog. She has created a recipe to use up his abundance of sunchokes, potatoes, and turnips.

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Photo Credit: gkdavie cc

Turkey Cottage Pie: is it a shepherd’s pie or pot pie?

Inspired by the bounty of root vegetables at Snarky Acres, this recipe combines the rich filling of a shepherd’s pie (sans sheep), the abundance of turkey left-overs available after the holidays, and is topped with low-glycemic white root vegetables to balance the body.

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I recommend pairing this delicious casserole with a side of steamed asparagus or green beans, and a fresh salad of mixed greens.
Serves 6.

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 cups root vegetables (choose low GI: (Jerusalem artichoke/sunchoke, celeriac, white turnip)
  • 1 potato (see note below)
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cup sweet peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1lb / 450g turkey
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder or reduced sodium Old Bay spice
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup flour (all purpose, gluten free or chickpea)
  • 1 cup white wine (or filtered water)

Topping

  1. Roughly chop the root vegetables and potato. Boil in 3 cups of water until soft (15-20 minutes). Partially drain and set aside.

Note: Russet potatoes will give it a lighter-fluffier mash. Yukon Gold will give a smooth but heavy texture. Red or white skin potatoes can quickly turn gummy. For the best texture use a masher. Do not use a mixer or it will go gummy.

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Filling

  1. Finely dice the carrot, onion, garlic and celery. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until soft. Sprinkle flour and add wine and spices. Stir well and cook for 3-5 minutes more. Set aside in a dutch oven or oven-proof casserole dish.
  2. Scramble fry ground turkey, drain. If using left-over roast turkey, chop finely 1-2 cups and pan fry 3-5 minutes to warm. Add the turkey to the vegetables. Note: For a vegetarian option, replace the turkey with 1-2 cups of cooked lentils and/or quinoa, combined.

Assembly

  1. Mash root vegetables with a pinch of salt. Beat until smooth. Spoon evenly over the filling. Bake 40 min at 375F. Let stand 5 min.
  2. Serve with steamed asparagus or green beans, and a salad.

What’s your favourite way to use up left-over turkey?

In health and friendship,
Brooke

Brooke loves to cook, hence the nickname. She is passionate about eating for pleasure and nutrition. Her recipes are health-conscious, though she does enjoy a satisfyingly-rich dessert. If you like what you read, please leave a comment below and subscribe for new recipes at weekbyweek.ca.

Garlic Mustard Pesto for Earth Day

The Snarky Gardener ate garlic mustard to celebrate Earth Day.

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Garlic mustard

It wasn’t until last year that the Snarky Gardener knew that garlic mustard is so invasive in the United States or even what it was. I learned that garlic mustard is a type of mustard that is native to Europe but escaped into the wild here in America. It spreads very easily and is hard to eradicate, especially since garlic mustard’s garlicky smell and taste keeps animals (deer, etc) from eating it. Fortunately for humans, it’s delicious for us if prepared well.

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Garlic mustard at the top left – just to the right of the logs. River is of course digging holes.

The first indication that garlic mustard grew at Snarky Acres was the above picture. Notice the white flowered plants just above the yellow flowered plants (to the right of the logs)? The yellow flowers are Seven Top turnips going to seed. The others are garlic mustard. Over this last weekend, River and I walked the property line next to the woods to see how much garlic mustard we have to make pesto with. The answer ended up being “as much as we want”. So to help the local ecology and my stomach, I made pesto on Earth Day with the possibility of it becoming a tradition (unless of course I eat all the available garlic mustard).

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Too many garlic mustard plants

After a little Internet searching, I found the recipe I wanted to use.

Garlic Mustard Pesto

3 cups Garlic Mustard leaves, washed, patted dry, and packed in a measuring cup
2 large garlic cloves, peeled & chopped
1 cup Walnuts
1 cup Olive Oil
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup grated Romano Cheese (or more Parmesan)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Combine Garlic Mustard leaves, garlic and walnuts in food processor and chop. Or divide recipe in half and use a blender. With motor running, add olive oil slowly. Shut off motor. Add cheeses, salt & pepper. Process briefly to combine.

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Garlic Mustard Pesto with Pasta

Baked Kale Chips

With winter around the corner on 11/18/2013, I decided to bring in some of my Red Russian kale.

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I received a baked kale chip recipe from a work-related health event this month. Being that I’m a better gardener than a cook, I usually go with easy recipes (the simpler the better). This one would only get easier if the instructions were “Just eat the kale raw.”  The only issue I had with this was overcooking (also known as burning).  Start checking at 6 minutes in 30 second increments.

On a side note, I learned during a work road trip that kale chips in a plastic baggy look like something else to the untrained eye.  To this day people are still putting air quotes around the word “kale” as in “Don’t you get the munchies after you eat your ‘kale’?”

Baked Kale Chips

Kale Chips Recipe

Makes: 4 servings, about 2 cups each

Active Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:
– 1 large bunch kale, tough stems removed, leaves torn into pieces (about 16 cups)
– 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
– 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

  1. Position racks in upper third and center of oven; preheat to 400°F.
  2. If kale is wet, very thoroughly pat dry with a clean kitchen towel; transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle the kale with oil and sprinkle with salt. Using your hands, massage the oil and salt onto the kale leaves to evenly coat. Fill 2 large rimmed baking sheets with a layer of kale, making sure the leaves don’t overlap. (If the kale won’t all fit, make the chips in batches.)
  3. Bake until most leaves are crisp, switching the pans back to front and top to bottom halfway through, 8 to 12 minutes total. (If baking a batch on just one sheet, start checking after 8 minutes to prevent burning.)

TIPS & NOTES

  • Make Ahead Tip: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
  • Note: Choose organic kale when possible. Nonorganic can have high pesticide residue.

Turnip, Apple, and Sunchoke Soup

In case you have Jerusalem artichokes (aka sunchokes) and don’t know what to do with them, here’s what I decided to make with my own turnips, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, onions, and garlic.  I made a few modifications, including adding turnip greens and not peeling anything (I’m lazy if not anything).  I would make this again so, but alas, I’m out of turnips for now.  Could always buy some at the local farmer’s market.

Turnip, Apple, and Sunchoke Soup

YIELD: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients
1 leek, trimmed
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Fine sea salt
2 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 pounds turnips diced plus greens
1 1/4 pounds sunchokes, diced
2 tart apples, cored, and diced
Coarsely ground black pepper or Aleppo pepper
Medium-coarse sea salt

Instructions:
1. Cut leek lengthwise in half and rinse well. Finely chop leek together with onion and garlic.

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2. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium heat. Add leek mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a gentle simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until water is almost completely evaporated, about 15 minutes.

3. Add turnips, artichokes, apples, and remaining 2 cups of water. Cover and simmer until apple is soft and flavors have blended, about 30 minutes more.

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Knobby sunchokes – 11/23/2013
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Turnips (including greens)
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Local apples

4. Puree soup using an immersion blender until smooth. Add salt to taste. Serve drizzled with oil and sprinkled with a grinding of pepper and with salt, if desired.

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Yum! Finished soup

Vegan Potato and Turnip Green Balls

Thanks to Shop.Cook.Make for this wonderful recipe.  I’ve modified it several times over the last 6 months, sometimes using turnip or mustard greens (instead of spinach), green onions (instead of chives), and/or cilantro (instead of cumin).  I finally arrived at that point in summer where it could be made using just ingredients from my garden (except the cumin).  With this batch, I also added a Jalapeno pepper to give them a little more kick.

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Vegan Potato and Spinach Balls

3 Potatoes (any type)
3 cloves of Garlic
2 or 3 cups of Spinach fresh or frozen (or any other leafy green) – I used turnip greens
1 tbsp Basil
2 tbsp Chives – I used green onions
2 tbsp Parsley
1/2 tsp Cumin
2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast (optional)
3 tbsp White Wine (optional)

Chop the potatoes in big chunks and boil until done but very firm (about 6 minutes). Add some salt to the water if you want. You can use frozen spinach. Just make sure to get all the water out before cooking.

Chop the Spinach (or other greens). Cook in a pan with the chopped garlic and the wine (or substitute for water) for 3 or 4 minutes until it’s soft.

Chop the herbs (if fresh). Dried can be used also.

Mix everything in a bowl, (including the nutritional yeast if you have it on hand) and let it rest until it’s cool enough for you to touch it without burning your hands.

Then proceed to make small balls (like meatballs). Use cooking spray in the pan.

Bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees.