Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Picking Farm and Easy Aloo Gobi with Kale Recipe

I'm embarrassed to say that I promised this recipe to my mother-in-law and sister-in-law almost a year ago after I made it for them for lunch one day during our annual family vacation. Well, I may not have gotten it up on HGK until now, but I have not forgotten!

When we had it that day back in December, my husband, daughter, mother-in-law and sister-in-law literally devoured it. I didn't really remember how good it was until I made it again this past weekend. I needed to take a photograph of it and test the recipe one more time. When I took a bite of that soft, seasoned potato that had simmered in the tomatoes and spices, I was like, "This is why they want that recipe!" It's just so yummy.

The list of ingredients is written so that you can make an uber convenient version of the dish, using frozen diced onion and frozen cauliflower, which comes out just fine, but is quite a bit more expensive. You really pay for the convenience of the pre-cut ingredients. I prefer to just take the time to chop the onion and wash and chop the cauliflower and save the money.

And there's another money saving tip I learned this past weekend. My friend Audrey asked a bunch of friends to join her on a trip to a "picking farm." Dummy me, I had never heard of this kind of thing. Of course I've been apple picking and berry picking in the past, but never vegetable picking. So this farm, and I'm sure there are others, is a farm where you go out into the field and pick the vegetables yourself. The prices of the vegetables are unbeatable. Eggplant for $0.69/pound. One head of cauliflower for $1.00. Large onions for $1.00 a piece. Huge sweet peppers, red and green cabbages, collard greens, kale--all there for the picking. I walked away with four large grocery bags full of produce for $16.50. 

The picking farm that we visited was 

Johnston's Farm
12836 Alexander Road
Valley View Ohio 44125

When I arrived at the farm, two obviously Muslim women (I say this because I am Jewish, and we all know the history there) were filling the trunk of their minivan with eggplants. Literally, a trunk full of eggplants. I should have taken a picture of it. I asked them what they were going to do with all of those eggplants. They replied, "Make baba ganoush."

I said, "That's a lot of baba ganoush! Do you own a restaurant?"

They said, "No, it's for our family."

And we all smiled, so happy that we were getting the freshest of vegetables at such an affordable price. And for one small moment, in one random place, there was a little bit of peace in the world.

This produce was like none other than I had ever experienced. It was just so crisp, firm and fresh. This may sound crazy to those of you that have your own vegetable gardens, but my excitement that day cutting into the cabbages that I had picked myself just an hour before was astounding. I can't wait to go back.

But back to the Aloo Gobi. Many of you are probably wondering, "What the heck is Aloo Gobi?" Well, it's fairly standard fare at any Indian restaurant in the United States. It's a flavorful vegetarian dish made with potatoes and cauliflower. Why do I call this dish "Easy Aloo Gobi?" Because I have eliminated many of the traditional spices and really simplified the dish into something that anyone can throw together. For more traditional versions that you could leave the oil out of, see this recipe and this recipe. But if you are a little shy about preparing and eating Indian food with it's long list of ingredients and full flavor, give this simple recipe a try.

Easy Aloo Gobi with Kale
serves 4

print me!

3 Tbsp or more vegetable broth for sauteing
1 bag frozen chopped onions (or 1 medium yellow onion, chopped)
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 28 ounce cans diced tomatoes (low sodium and/or fire roasted optional)
3 cups medium dice new potatoes
1/2 can light coconut milk or 3/4 cups alternative milk plus 1/2 tsp coconut extract
1 10 oz. bag frozen cauliflower, or 1/2 small-medium head cauliflower cut into large bite sized pieces
1 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
destemmed, rough chopped kale, as much as you would like
salt, or not, to taste
fresh cilantro, for garnish

Place a large pot over medium-high heat and add vegetable broth. When broth is bubbling, add onions and stir. "Saute" onions until they are translucent and soft, at least 10 minutes, lowering the heat as is necessary to prevent burning.

Add curry powder and cumin and stir. Let cook for 2 minutes. adding a bit more broth if necessary to prevent sticking.

Add diced tomatoes, potatoes, and coconut milk (or faux coconut milk), stir and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Add cauliflower and stir. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Add chickpeas and stir.

Add as much chopped kale as you would like and stir. Let simmer until kale has wilted and potatoes are soft. Serve garnished with cilantro.

Got an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker? I imagine you could throw all of these ingredients into it and cook on high pressure for, maybe, five minutes. I haven't tried this method yet, but if you do, please report back!

Have you ever gone to a local farm to pick your own vegetables? What was that experience like for you? Do you know of a farm near you like this? Please name the farm here in the comments section and give us an address if you've got it. Thanks! (If you don't see the comments section, just click on the title of this post and it should show up.)
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