A Big Week for Veggies

Just look at those onions...and that swiss chard. Have you ever seen anything so lovely? It was a good week in our CSA. We received brocolini, green beans, onions, napa cabbage, rainbow chard, and red and yukon gold potatoes. Yum, yum, and yum. We tried quite a few new recipes this week and they were, by and large, successful.

Steve spent Saturday night with friends, so I was on my own for dinner. I treated myself to this yummy plate of quinoa topped with boiled swiss chard and green beans, drizzled with a cashew curry sauce and garnished with cashews. I literally licked my plate clean. Steve missed out.

We used the potatoes in a hash with veggies and topped with poached eggs and salsa. This is quickly becoming our go-to when we need to use up potatoes. The eggs really make it.
(Recipe at Leite's Culinaria)

This one was less of a crowd pleaser. Some of the napa cabbage went into this cabbage and noodle dish. I thought it was decent (the buttery noodles and the apple cider finish to the greens was yummy), but Steve thought it was boring with a capital B, so it's not one that we'll probably make again.

(Recipe in The Family Dinner)

I was skeptical of this fish and brocolini stir fry (as I've never stir fried fish before), but it was actually very good. Understated, but good. I used Alaskan pollack and served it over brown rice.

(Recipe in Chinese Cuisine)

And finally, the rest of the cabbage went into lion's head soup. A popular Shanghai dish, it got its name, I've read, from the resemblance of the meatball to a lion's head with a wavy mane of napa cabbage. Traditionally, that's all that makes up this dish; pork meatballs with cabbage in a simple broth. I consulted several different recipes and then came up with our own riff on this classic. The biggest change is the addition of noodles. We liked the extra body they gave to the soup.

Lion's Head Soup

1 lb. ground pork
1 egg
1 TBS. cornstarch
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 TBS. fresh ginger root, minced
1 tsp. salt
2 green onions, chopped
1 head napa cabbage, large stems sliced and leaves cut into chunks
4 C. chicken stock
1 TBS. soy sauce
1 TBS. oyster sauce
2 oz. thin spaghetti, broken in half

1. In a bowl and using your hands, mix the ground pork, egg, cornstarch, sesame oil, ginger, salt, and half of the green onions.
2. In a wok or stockpot bring chicken broth and soy sauce to a boil over high heat.
3. Form the pork mixture into balls, about 1 inch or more across, and drop into the boiling broth. When all the meatballs have been added, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Add cabbage stems, replace cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Add cabbage leaves, 1 TBS. oyster sauce, and noodles, replace cover and simmer for 5 minutes (or the length of time indicated for your noodles).
6. Taste and adjust seasoning. Garnish with green onions.
7. I like to eat this with a fork and slurp the broth directly from the bowl. Enjoy!


  1. These images are definatly mouth watering - I wish I lived closer (like at least in the same country, haha!) so I could just happen to stop by..! :-)

  2. Courtney, your recipes are always so appealing and I can't wait to prepare the soup for my family. Thanks for sharing as I know they will love it.

  3. Yum yum! Want to come cook at my house for a week? :)

  4. I agree with Emily! I am coming for dinner EVERY day :)

  5. Yummy! Makes my recipe look blahhh today. Everything looks wonderful it's so fun to cook with those fresh veggies :)

  6. My mouth is definitely watering!! The noodles and the soup sound so dee-lish!!!! Don't you just love summer veggies?!!? : )

    ~ Wendy

  7. everything looks so good- great meals.

  8. When can we come over for dinner? Yum!

  9. BTW, CONGRATS!! We both made the Top 25 for CoM!!

  10. Look at those beautiful veggies!! And the scrumptious recipes - I'm going to try the lion's head soup - I love Asian dishes! We had string beans from our garden for dinner tonight. Oh, so fresh and yummy!

  11. Wow, these meals sound amazing, as always. Do you have any other suggestions for swiss chard? Our CSA has been sending us lots of it, and I'm trying to come up with more creative uses for it.

  12. @Kimberly: Mmmmmm...swiss chard. We had so much of it our first CSA year. We tried a bunch of recipes, but found that really the simplest preparations were best. Our top three are: 1. boiled for a minute or less (depending on how mature it is) and served over a grain (as in this post), 2. sliced and put in soup (as in this recipe: http://alifesustained.blogspot.com/2010/06/tofu-miso-soup.html), and 3. braised with onions and chunks of bacon and served as a side. Happy eating!