Super Natural Every Day

15 11 2011

…Or most of them, anyway.

I was delighted to receive the news, several weeks ago, that I had won a copy of Super Natural Every Day from The Kitchen Illiterate.  Since receiving the book, I’ve been cooking from it quite a bit, as well as finding myself inspired by it while doing my food shopping.  (“Yellow split peas?  I think there are a couple of recipes for those in that new book!” “I should probably be keeping quinoa and bulghur on hand…” “How could we possibly be out of miso?  To the Japanese store, posthaste!” Sometimes I talk to myself in an old-timey fashion.)

I’ve made mention of the book a few times on Seasonal Market Menus, my other blog devoted to CSA eating and menu planning, because the recipes are great for using whatever vegetables you happen to have around, given a few pantry staples.  I certainly haven’t followed any of the recipes to the letter, but that doesn’t stop them from being a fantastic source of inspiration.  Like this soda bread:

soda bread from Super Natural Every Day

I’d never really considered soda bread as a legitimate thing before, but Heidi’s photos convinced me to give it a try.  I substituted leftover pickle brine for half of the buttermilk in the recipe, to no ill effect.  The dough was delightfully springy, and any rye bread that doesn’t insist on caraway is a good thing in my book.  It baked up nice and crusty, with a slightly biscuity or scone-like texture in the crumb.  The bread resisted staling longer than a yeast bread would, which is good because the loaf was huge.  We ate it for almost a week, and then I took the remaining half and turned it into some of the crunchiest croutons I’ve ever made.

The recipe for Yellow Split Peas and Greens was easily adapted to use up a head of escarole I got from the farm share, and Nick gamely put it together one night when I was otherwise occupied (read: blogging).  We both loved the cilantro pesto, of which there was a bit left over which could be used to dress any number of grains, beans, or pastas.

roasting

If there’s one recipe I already can’t wait to make again, it’s the Miso-Curry Squash.  She used delicata, I used potimarron, both of which have thin, edible skins that make them terribly easy to cook with.  But the star of the show was the miso-curry paste, made by mixing miso, Thai curry paste (she called for red, I used yellow), and oil.  Tossed with sliced squash and cubes of tofu, then placed in the oven to roast, this stuff makes the house smell absolutely heavenly.  I also left out the potatoes in favor of serving the vegetables over soba noodles, and replaced the so-rare-it’s-downright-mythical-here-in-France kale with sautéed Napa cabbage.

miso-curry squash skillet

A sprinkle of cilantro and toasted pepitas – these two staples of Mexican cooking being a couple of Heidi’s fetish ingredients, apparently – and we enjoyed a delicious, hearty vegetarian dinner.

yum

But I’m not done mining this book for ideas.  I’m looking forward to making the wild rice casserole, which, come to think of it, would probably make a great Thanksgiving side, and when I read the recipe for baked oatmeal, I declared that I wanted to host a brunch just so I would have an excuse to make it.  I adore oats, so the oatcakes are on the shortlist as well, and though I love French mustard, I’m curious to try my hand at the homemade stuff.

So thank you, Laura, for introducing me to Heidi‘s cooking, and thereby helping Nick and I to eat that much more healthily.

Originally published on Croque-Camille.

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14 responses

15 11 2011
laura k

I’m so glad you’re enjoying the book! And you’ve inspired me to pull it out tonight, as I’ve been racking my brains trying to think of what to do with the squash I have on our counter…and I think I have some miso and curry paste…

15 11 2011
Michel

A new book for me, I shall have to look for it on my next trip to my favorite bookstore; always room for one more cookbook. I was surprised to read that Kale is rare in France; why? I would think it would be very easy to grow there. We serve it at the Bistro and home as well. I had never noticed as we shopped the markets in Provence that it was not available. I will have to ask about this next time we are in Sablet.

16 11 2011
croquecamille

laura – Oh, you’re going to love it! Thanks again!

Michel – Not that it can’t or won’t grow, I think that kale is just unknown here, and therefore people don’t grow it. It’s strange, because it’s such a delicious and healthy vegetable, and it’s quite popular in Italy and Switzerland.

16 11 2011
Anna Johnston

I worked in the kitchen tonight and needed recipe that was a bit different, super healthy and oh so yum. I made the miso curry squash. Went down a treat, so many compliments. Thanks for sharing. So yummy, and good your enjoying your prize so much. :)

16 11 2011
Jessica

Ooh, the miso curry squash sounds delish! I love the feeling of flipping through new cookbooks.

16 11 2011
hungry dog

Sounds like a great book. Any chance you have a link to that soda bread recipe? I have some buttermilk to use up…

16 11 2011
Hannah

This is one of the cookbooks that is making me teeter on my current “no more cookbooks” rule. Everything I’ve ever seen people make from it looks right right right up my alley. And I’ve been meaning to make soda bread again for… three years?!

17 11 2011
croquecamille

Anna – So glad you liked it!

Jessica – Me, too. I love all the possibilities. :)

hungry dog – I don’t, but I could send it to you… ;)

Hannah – Oh, I’ve had a No More Cookbooks rule for four years now. It’s not going very well, but I do try to limit it to autographed books and books I’ve won.

18 11 2011
Ann

Wow, I’m inspired!!! Thank you for the great suggestion. I am always looking for healthy recipes.

22 11 2011
croquecamille

Ann – It is a great flavor combination. And healthy to boot! :)

28 11 2011
Inger Wilkerson

The bread looks great and I have 25 lbs of rye flour looking for a home, as well as a lot of buttermilk. Hmmm, I even have pickle brine ;-). And if you have any tips for slicing squash I’d love to see them–this has always intimidated me.

29 11 2011
croquecamille

Inger – This particular squash has a very thin, easy to slice rind, that is even edible! For tougher suqashes, I’ll often steam or roast them first, to help soften up the skin.

30 11 2011
Inger Wilkerson

Thanks I will try that! I even have delicata left from the CSAs and I can experiment with steaming the butternut when I run out.

3 12 2011
croquecamille

Glad to help!




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