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S.O.L.E. Menu - Field Peas, Broccoli Raab, Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Posted Dec 20 2010 8:14pm

I've unofficially taken on the 4th Annual Dark Days Challenge from the (not so) Urban Hennery .
The challenge is to make a meal a week during the winter using SOLE foods (Sustainable, Organic, Local, and Ethical).  This is much more of a challenge during the winter than during the spring and summer when there are lots of fruits and vegetables we can get locally.  But that's why it's called a Challenge.

This week I experimented a little.
We went to the Durham Farmer's Market on Saturday and picked up some Field Peas (they look a lot like Black Eyed Peas) and onions from one farmer, a box of goodies from Tiny Farm , including Broccoli Raab, Baby Turnips with greens, Broccoli Greens, and Carrots.  We also picked up a White Sweet Potato, and a Purple Sweet Potato from another farmer.  We bought some local breakfast sausage and eggs from Weaver Street Market (a local co-op) in Hillsborough, NC.

My SOLE meal this week consist of Slow Cooked Field Peas, Sauteed Broccoli Raab, and mashed White Sweet Potatoes.

Slow Cooker Field Peas

  • 1 lb Field Peas (bought at the Farmer's Market)
  • Vegetable Broth to cover at least 2 inches (I used Kitchen Basics Unsalted Vegetable Broth, I didn't have any of my homemade made up right now.)
  • 3 links of local Breakfast Sausage broken up (cook this before putting in slow cooker)
  • 2 sprigs of fresh Rosemary (I got this from Tiny Farm last week)
  • a small bunch of fresh Sage (I also got this from Tiny Farm last week)
  • 1 small onion (from the Farmer's Market)
  • a couple of teaspoons of minced garlic (I don't remember where I got this, but I think it's organic)
Put all ingredients in your slow cooker (I used a 3.5 quart cooker), cook on low for about 8 hours.  I cooked it on high for 1.5 - 2 hours then turned it down to low for 3 hours.  (my beans were still a little crunchy, I should have cooked them a little longer)  Remove the stems of Rosemary at the end, you can also remove the larger leaves of sage.  The flavors from these herbs have been infused, and I just don't like to bite into them. (especially the rosemary)

Sauteed Broccoli Raab

  • 1 large bunch of Broccoli Raab (pronounce Rob), also called Broccoli Rapini, Broccoli Rabe, or Turnip Broccoli (in our box from Tiny Farm)
  • 1 small onion (from the Farmer's Market)
  • 2-3 teaspoons minced garlic (depending on your taste)
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup liquid from Field Beans (or vegetable broth)
Every recipe I read about Broccoli Raab said to Blanch it first,  (you know put them in boiling water for a couple of minutes then in an ice water bath to halt cooking) well I didn't see the need for this.  I cooked the garlic and onion in the white wine until the onion started getting tender.  I added the Broccoli Raab to the pan (I used a large sautee pan for this.), I tossed them in this mixture to sautee for a little bit (until the greens just started to wilt), then added the liquid from the Field Peas turned the heat to low and covered so the Broccoli Raab would steam.

Mashed White Sweet Potato

  • 1 very large White Sweet Potato (purchased at the Farmer's Market, I'd never seen a white sweet potato before, it was not as stringy as a regular sweet potato, and it was sweet!)
  • a little butter (I used Earth Balance Buttery Spread)
  • a little milk (I used Lactaid, because I had it.)
Peel the White Sweet Potato and cut into small cubes.  Boil potato until tender.  Drain off the water and add butter and milk and mash.  These were the sweetest mashed potatoes I've ever had.  You could add whatever you usually add to mashed potatoes or for variety you could add cinnamon.
I tried to make these into sweet potato patties but I used too much liquid, I think, and they wouldn't form.  Different recipes I saw to make patties said to add flour, but I didn't want to do that so we just had them mashed.

The Broccoli Raab is known to be a little bitter, but I liked that.  However, eating the Broccoli Raab with the Mashed Sweet Potatoes took away any bitterness and made the cut the sweetness, which I liked a lot.
I think the Broccoli Raab should be placed right on top of the Mashed Sweet Potatoes the next time I make this.

I love going to the Durham Farmer's Market because I know that all the farmer's that bring their goods there use sustainable, organic measures and ethical measures.  Plus, they are all within about 50 miles or less of our home.

The only items I used that were not SOLE ingredients were the Kitchen Basics Vegetable Broth, the Garlic (but I think it is organic.), the white wine, Earth Balance Buttery Spread, and the milk.

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