Sweet Potato and Chard Enchiladas

Sweet potato and Kale Enchiladas

Sometimes life feels more like a race to the finish line than anything else.  Like a cross country ski marathon on slushy snow or a face-first ride on a skeleton sled at 80 mph.  On the craziest days, we might as well be careening over a ski cross jump—one minute we’re in gold medal form, the next, a jumbled mass in the ditch.  It’s exhausting.  Terrifying.  Unpredictable.  And more.  Our to-do list spans multiple pages, but all we really hope for is a clean pair of pants—without too many wrinkles—and a jug of milk in the fridge—that’s not too far past the freshness date—to start the day.  These are times when texting family members in the next room seems perfectly normal.  When dishes pile in the sink and dirty clothes in the corner, and no one notices.  Clearly, we’re just trying to hang on, and at the end of the day, what we need is food on the table without a crash.  Food that’s soul-soothing—because really, that’s what’s getting us through this patch in one piece.

These are enchilada days.  With a bit of homework done ahead (Olympic gold isn’t won without the training runs), the classic tortilla bundles are a cinch to pull together, and receive raves around a hungry table.  How perfect is that?

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Caldo Verde

Caldo Verde Soup

Leaf lovers are grateful to kale and its current rock star status—it’s the darling of restaurant chefs and home cooks, food blogs and magazine spreads.  This jaw-exercising leaf has single handedly dragged greens into the culinary mainstream, when for generations many of us have done our best to avoid them.  The surprisingly revelation that kale is not only nutritious but tasty as well, has opened the door to a whole new ruffly green world populated by the likes of spinach and bok choy, collards, beet greens and more.

Take collards for instance:  they’ve been regulars in kitchens across the globe for eons, from Africa to India, Spain, Portugal and even the American South.  Collards are loaded with good stuff including Vitamins K, A and C, folate, manganese, calcium, iron and even protein.

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Roasted Potato Pancakes

Emma's Smashed Potatoes

Adapted for a smaller sized potato, from chef Alejandro Morales’ recipe in Bon Appetit, if you have nothing but large sized potatoes, just cut them in half. These delicious pancakes are a great combination of flavors and textures. The skin of the potato has a nice, roasted Ashley's potatoesand crunchy texture, and the potato itself is sweet and so tasty that you will want to lick the plate clean. These potatoes are very simple to cook.  They are very good by themselves, but they have an even more wonderful taste when accompanied by parsley oil. You may want to use a knife when you eat this delicious meal to help cut through the crispy skin.

This recipe was tested and photographed by Emma P, Katelyn E, Ariana C and Ashley J—7th graders at The Girls’ Middle School.

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Smashed Roasted Potatoes

Caroline's Smashed Roasted Potato

This flavorful, smashed potato recipe has a lovely crispy texture that nobody will forget. With a lighter, more delicate flavor than mashed potatoes, this dish has more possibilities and more flexibility then most potato recipes. This quick and easy-to-make meal is soft and warm on the inside, while crispy and crunchy on the outside. You can adjust the recipe to include your favorite herbs, and it will still have the same scrumptious taste. While still crumbly before cooking, trust your oven! It will transform these morsels from normal mashed potato in oil to an amazing, crisp gourmet side dish! Drizzle with fresh parsley oil for extra pizzaz.

Adapted for a smaller sized potato, from chef Alejandro Morales’ recipe in Bon Appetit, if you have nothing but large sized potatoes just cut them in half.

This recipe was written up and photographed by Caroline W. and Tess M.—6th graders at The Girls’ Middle School

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A Mystery in Layers

We love a mystery. Preferably with a trail of clues, a touch of suspense and opportunities to toss our who-done-it theories around at the dinner table like amateur sleuths. This journal has chronicled such before—tales of monster zucchinis, mystery vines and compost packages. It’s been a while though, so when our youngest decided to clean her room recently it was only fitting that a puzzle emerge—along with a mountain of dirty socks.

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