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Jon and I started actively cleaning up our diet nearly 3 years ago.  On a whim, I had picked up an issue of Clean Eating and was instantly smitten with their recipes.  I quickly got a subscription and ordered all of their back issues.  When they arrived, we sat at the table and paged through each magazine, marking the recipes that sounded yummy.  Not being a beef eater, I virtually ignored each and every beef recipe.  Jon, who never met a piece of beef he didn’t like, seemed to tag virtually each and every beef recipe.  What to do, what to do…

Ever the woman of compromise (cough, cough), I decided I’d try a recipe he wanted but with chicken.  I decided on the Soba Noodle Salad with Flank Steak from the May/June 2009 issue.  At the time, I prepared it exactly like the recipe but I substituted roasted chicken for the flank steak.  It worked!  Since then, with a few tweaks, it has become a household favorite. 

When I saw the beautiful head of Napa cabbage in my CSA box this week, I knew this was one meal that would certainly grace our table.

Salad Ingredients:

2 to 3 roasted chicken breasts – cubed

1 package soba noodles – cooked to instructions

1 head Napa cabbage

4 carrots

2 cups pea pods

1 generous handful chopped cilantro

Dressing Ingredients:

1/3 cup soy sauce

¼ cup rice wine vinegar

1 inch nub of fresh ginger – grated

2 Tbs. honey

1 Tbs. sesame oil or olive oil

1 tsp. Sriracha

Slice Napa cabbage into thin strips.  Place in very large bowl.

Finely grate carrots.  Trim ends from pea pods.  Add to cabbage.

Add chopped chicken and cilantro.

Combine dressing ingredients.  Whisk until honey is fully incorporated.

Add soba noodles and dressing to cabbage.

Toss to combine.

Happy Homesteading,

Kris

Tips & Tricks:

I slice up my Napa cabbage and then wash and spin in the salad spinner.

This salad is great warm, room temperature or cold.  It’s just great.

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Our CSA, Lancaster Farm Fresh, does not operate like the traditional CSA.  To my understanding, most CSA’s work with one farm and you get a share of what that farm grows.  Lancaster Farm Fresh works with many different organic, transitional and IPM farms to give its members a huge variety of produce.  Becoming members has broadened our horizons and introduced us to produce that we had never heard of before.  Garlic scapes are one such example.

Garlic scapes are the greens that grow above ground while a head of garlic is growing below.  They have a slightly less pungent garlic flavor than the bulbs and don’t give you “don’t kiss me” breath.  Sadly, scapes are only around in the late spring and early summer when they are cut to keep more nutrients in the actual garlic bulbs. 

Linguine with garlic scape pesto is, by far, our favorite early summer meal.  Quick and easy and oh, so delightful! 

Ingredients:

6-8 garlic scapes

5 basil leaves

1 c. grated pecorino romano

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of ½ lemon

½ c. olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste

1 cup pasta water

1 lb. linguine – cooked to package instructions

NOTE:  Generally, pesto contains nuts.  Our little guy has not yet had tree nuts, so I did not use them in our pesto.  We didn’t miss them.  If you’d like to include them, ¼ c. would be perfect.

Prepare pasta to package instructions.  Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining.

Meanwhile, cut garlic scapes into 1 to 2 inch segments.

Place scape, basil, pecorino romano, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in food processor.  Pulse to combine.

Add pasta water in ¼ c. increments until desired consistency is achieved.

Toss with linguine and serve.

Happy Homesteading,

Kris

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