Before I head into work today and start working on cooking my next staff lunch, I still need to show you the fun things I ended up serving on Friday! I actually did some of the prep work on Thursday, since I had to make both lunch and dinner on Friday.
Part of my purpose at the farm is try to educate the staff there about different types of healthy food – I want to get past the broccoli and potatoes mentality. For lunch I decided to make a grain salad as our main dish, so I started with one of my favorites – bulgur.
I don’t eat a lot of bulgur at home anymore, because I try to stay as gluten-free as possible, but I knew the staff had never tried it before and it would be a good grain to start off with. I soaked it in some boiling water until tender and cooked.
In the meantime, I trimmed and washed a pound of fresh green and yellow beans.
Then I dropped them one handful at a time into a pot of boiling water for a quick blanch.
Cooked for five minutes and then strained them out with a skimmer, and ran them under cold water to stop the cooking.
On the menu was a three-bean salad, including fresh lima beans. But since the lima beans weren’t fully grown yet, I used a pack of frozen beans left over from last year’s harvest.
I boiled the beans for 20 minutes, until tender, and then drained and cooled them in a colander. Aren’t lima beans so pretty?
I mixed the beans and stored them overnight, since I was prepping for lunch the next day.
The farmhouse kitchen is such a warm and inviting place to cook!
Once my bulgur was done, I got the rest of the salad mix-ins ready to go. Chopped up a bunch of dried fruit – cranberries, cherries, and apples.
And a few cups of chickpeas for protein…
Mixed it all together and stored it overnight as well – I am so glad I was able to get prep work done the day before, because Friday was BUSY!
When I got to work on Friday, I found out I would be cooking in the pool house. Not a big deal, except that I had to take ALL of my prepped dishes and ingredients across the farm to a different kitchen. Several trips later, I got everything to my new spot.
I got to work immediately on my salad – I didn’t want to start it early and have it wilt on me overnight. I thinly sliced up about 10 small bulbs of fennel, and cut segments out of six big oranges.
I washed a giant bag of endive, and tossed it all together with an orange yogurt salad dressing.
With the salad finished, I put the finishing touches into the bulgur salad – chopped fresh HERBS! I think having an unlimited supply of fresh herbs is my favorite thing about working at the farm.
The bulgur salad turned out AWESOME, and I think it was a great way to introduce new grains to the staff. Lots of people went back for seconds and thirds, which I always take as a good sign. :)
Next up, I finished the green bean salad. Topped it with toasted almonds and shaved parmesan cheese, mmmmmm.
This salad turned out SO good – I couldn’t stop sampling it while I was cooking.
Final fennel and orange salad, all dressed up on a pretty platter. :)
At this point I still had some time on my hands before my lunch guests arrived, and I also got word that there would be 12 people at lunch, about 4 more than I was expecting. We have a major cucumber surplus on the farm right now, so I decided to throw together my delicious orange and raisin cucumber salad so that we would have a little more food for the group.
It was a HIT! It was fun to see everyone enjoy one of my personal recipes so much.
I am making lunch AGAIN today, and I have NO menu planned – aaaahh! Better get to work and figure out what I can have on the table by 12:15…