So they let me do it again! I got to bring home that great big box of family-sized local organic produce and whip up some food for the children. As I’ve mentioned before, I just love feeling like I’m a contestant on a Food Network show where I’ve been given mystery ingredients and asked to dazzle the judges with my creativity and undeniable deliciousness in no time. Well, a little time. This is how it goes down.
I got an email in the early afternoon yesterday from Good Life Organics—the nice people who provide my kid’s school with the community supported agriculture boxes. They give us a heads up about what produce our kids are bringing home so we can (ideally) plan. Usually I look at it and think, “Huh. More kale salad!” But on days like these—the challenge days—I put on my organic thinking cap. Believe it or not, I only needed two things from the store to whip this all up. And one of those was actually a garnish. Daaaamn, it’s CSA time.
So after picking up my gluten-free frozen hash browns and cinnamon sticks I headed home to crack open the box. I love the broccoli, so I picked up my new best favorite cookbook, Savory Bites (you guys, you make everything in a cupcake pan! cute overload), and flipped to the recipe that included a broccoli gratin over potatoes, peas and salmon. I ditched the peas and salmon and used my frozen hash browns and gluten-free panko to make this -
It’s like a cupcake of broccoli gratin on top of hash browns! Yes, awesome. I also used my CSA leeks instead of garlic and onions, and was out of dijon and went spicy mustard instead, OH, and I did not pick up half-and-half and used milk. Still her recipe at Savory Bites totally inspired me. It is, however, completely different. (Recipe below)
Okay, so kale chips may not be the most exciting thing in the world. Yet, they are a hit and are delicious. My daughter even jumped and down when I told her I was making them. I have no idea how she came from me. So I did that with the chopped up and de-veined dinosaur kale, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt and nutritional yeast and baked until crispy on 400 degrees. Easy!
Why yes, it IS a salad. And in fact, I used my usual squash salad as inspiration swapping out spinach for my usual butter lettuce, roasting up the delicata squash I found in my CSA box, using almond slivers instead of pine nuts, and adding pomegranate seeds. I mean, I did just learn that nifty de-seeding trick, so I kind of put pomegranate seeds all over everything. I’m not going to make that much effort and not use these suckers, after all. Plus, super food.
Oh, hey, I also made apple cider. My picture is too blurry, but I think you know what cider looks like. Even though I did not press the juice myself, I used apples from the CSA box to garnish (along with that fancy cinnamon stick) and just heated that business up and added cinnamon and nutmeg (always mixing well) until the taste seemed amazoids. Those kids are going to dig it, I think.
And of course, you go there with the fruit salad when you’re done and done -
I don’t know why I get such a kick out of this when I usually dread the after work cooking. I think it’s just the idea that I can show these kids that food is fun, and can be transformed into deliciousness as easy as 1, 2, 3. Or maybe it’s just that I like to show off. Either/Or.
Gluten-Free Broccoli Gratin Muffins
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 45 minutes
inspired by Savory Bites
1 head of broccoli, florets chopped into small pieces
2 leeks, chopped fine
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/12 cups gluten-free panko or bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, divided
2 Tablespoons dijon mustard (or mustard of your choice)
1 1/2-2 cups shredded potatoes, gluten-free hash browns, or the like
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a muffin pan with oil
2. In a medium skillet heat butter until melted and add leeks. Cook leeks on medium-high until soft then add salt and pepper.
3. Add dry mustard and gluten-free bread crumbs to leek mixture and cook for 5-8 minutes until brown. While this is cooking put on water to boil in medium saucepan. Divide potatoes equally into the bottom of each well in greased muffin pan.
4. After bread crumb mixture is browned, turn off heat and immediately add 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan, stirring regularly to avoid cheese sticking to pan. Remove mixture from heat.
5. In a medium bowl combine milk, Parmesan, and mustard. Once water is boiling add broccoli florets and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes until bright green in color. Drain broccoli and add to milk and Parmesan mixture.
6. Mix bread crumb mixture thoroughly with broccoli until well-combined. Divide equally and fill the 12-tin muffin pan, layering on top of potatoes.
7. Bake for 25 minutes or until browned.
Makes: 12 servings