Roasted Rhubarb

So I'm a big fan of rhubarb after discovering it last summer. I've made countless crisps/crumbles with it.

But now I'm realizing why should my enjoyment of it be limited to times when I feel like making a crisp? Why can't rhubarb be part of breakfast or salad?  Roasted rhubarb is the answer.

Very quick to prepare and the resulting chunks are just slightly sweet, still have some texture to them, and are beautiful as they retain their color better than stewed rhubarb.

I'd like to put these on a salad (much like you'd do with oranges which are also tart-sweet).   I've enjoyed roasted rhubarb pieces over my morning granola or greek yogurt too! And of course for rhubarb lovers, you can eat it as is in a bowl.

Clean, dry and cut up  14-16 oz rhubarb into 1" chunks.
Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet.
Sprinkle 1/8 cup of sugar over the rhubarb. 
Bake for 12-15 minutes at 375 F oven, until soft but not too squishy.

Enjoy hot or let cool. Store in the fridge. Here's what it looks like in a mason jar ready for the fridge. You'll notice it started to seep out a little liquid- perfect for topping oatmeal:

Freezing Rhubarb: I've recently read you can freeze raw rhubarb! Sounds like you clean it, dry it, cut into chunks then freeze on a cookie sheet. Once frozen (4 hours?) then transfer to a freezer ziplock back for freezer storage.  Definitely trying this soon!

Sunflower Microgreens

I realized that even in the rainy winter of Oregon, I can still grow my own salad.  I've had a hard time with lettuce during the winter (I just don't do much outside in the rain, even with row covers).  But you can grow sprouts indoors next to a window easily.
Honestly not sure whether to call these Microgreens, Sprouts or Greens. They are the miniature sunflower plants. If you let 'em grow long enough they'd make flowers.

They are quite delicious and have a nice snap/crunch as well as sweetnees.  And they seem to hold up better than more delicate sprouts like alfalfa, broccoli or clover.

To top it off, the seeds are CHEAP. You can buy sunflower seeds (the ones in the shells) in bulk for 50 cents a pound or less.  Compare that to trying to buy broccoli seeds (harder to get in stores, sometimes have to buy online and several dollars and up per pound).

Equipment tips: I found an indoor gardening/hydroponics place that sells these trays and lids.  You can also order online. The tray is two parts, the inner part has holes for drainage.  I bought super tall (7") plastic dome lids which I like a lot. I paid less than $10 for each tray/lid. I also use these for starting greens or seeds for the garden. 

You can try this in a large pyrex cake pan, but the lid is really helpful in reducing the amount of work (watering) required. So you might consider wrapping the top of the pan with plastic wrap to keep in the moisture.

Growing Method:
1. Soak 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds (or 1 cup for a whole tray) in water overnight.
2. Drain the water off
3. Layer 1" of soil in tray. Pour and spread the seeds evenly over the top. Cover with a sheet of newspaper or unbleached paper towels.
4. Water generously and let drain.
5. Cover with the lid and set aside.
6. A few days later check on the seeds. When they are pushing the towel/newspaper up, then remove the newspaper. If it needs water, give it a little more water (with the lid on I never need to add water). Recover with lid.   Let the sprouts grow until 3-6 inches long.
7. Harvest by cutting close to the soil with scissors.  Wash.  Enjoy!

Note: in this photo I did a whole tray. That was way too much at once! Next time I'll do half or quarter this size.

How to enjoy Sunflower Greens/Microgreens:

Grilled Whole Trout

This was great, felt like I was eating a feast! And it totally reminded me of the simple broiled fish that is typical in japan.

Serves two people (one trout per person)
Wash and dry 2 whole trout (gutted and de-scaled, but not filleted)

Stuff the cavity with:
lemon slices
olive oil
fresh herbs: oregano, parsley, thyme

Tie the fish up with kitchen twine and cut off loose ends of twine.

Spread a little more olive oil over the skin.

Grill for 6 minutes on first side. Flip. Grill for 5 minutes on final side, or until flesh flakes easily.

Eat to your heart's content- the crispy skin is delicious.  Be careful working around the tiny bones!

Kale Salad over Rice with Taco Nut Meat

Got this idea from my friend and couldn't get it out of my mind! The "taco nut meat" is vegan as it's made with sunflower seeds-- the original idea came from Oh She Glows.

I've made this salad a few times since, it's quite delicious and doesn't take a lot of stuff to assemble (or maybe it's just ingredients I normally have on hand?). And this can be made nearly year round as kale is plentiful most times of year as are lemons (from California).  It's vegan to boot. The rice makes it more filling than "rabbit food", so I've had success with the hubby liking it too!

Serves 2

Wash several stems of kale (I like Tuscan/lacinato best).  Get about 2-3 cups of kale prepped (usually takes about half a large bunch). Spin dry in a salad spinner. Remove the fibrous stems. Finely chop the kale.

Toss chopped kale with:
lemon juice (or lime juice)
optional lemon/lime zest
oil (olive oil, hazelnut etc)

Massage the dressing into the kale with your hands, then let sit for a few minutes while you assemble the rest.

Chop up in a food processor:
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (unsalted)
1 tsp mild chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp lemon juice

You're looking for a coarse "taco meat" texture.

Pile hot cooked rice (warmed up leftover rice is fine too) on a plate. Layer a good amount of marinated kale on top. Then add optional grated or thin sliced carrots (or bell peppers), avocado slices, taco nut meat and sprinkle some chipotle powder on top.

Enjoy while hot.