CSA Week 16

My fridge is groaning with another back-to-back CSA delivery, so we’re enjoying veggies for breakfast lunch and dinner. Thankfully we’re both a big fan of breakfast hash – an amalgam of potatoes and other veggies stir fried with eggs. Sayonara leftovers!

I, for one, am thrilled with the sudden onset of fall weather. I am falling back in love with soup, and my oven and I have reconciled after a sticky summer. The bounty of root vegetables and winter squash is delightfully hearty, and tummy warming this time of year!

In the share this week:
Lacinato Kale
 - Beet and massaged kale salad
Carnival Winter Squash - Squash and sage farfalle
Red Cabbage - Cabbage rolls, cabbage soup
Beets - Beet and massaged kale salad
Thyme - Cabbage soup
Carrots - Roasted root vegetable soup
Munchkins (ornamental pumpkin) - Roasted root vegetable soup
Garlic - EVERYTHING!

Being a former vegan, I am a garlic-aholic. I can’t wait to throw the farm garlic into all of our meals! Nothing brings out the deliciousness of veggies like garlic!

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CSA Week 15

I got some big news this week.

The problem is that it’s a secret that I’m not yet at liberty to share, despite wanting to shout it off the rooftops.

I’ll just have to keep you in suspense, for a little while.

Except maybe I can give you a clue: tomorrow we’re celebrating with boiled dinner, a traditional hearty fall meal with corned beef, potatoes, turnips, parsnips, carrots, and cabbage.

In the share this week:
Carrots – Boiled dinner
Acorn squash
– Squash burritos
Garlic chives
– Chive mashed potatoes
Green cabbage
– Boiled dinner
Spinach
– Baked ziti
Eggplant
– Baked ziti
Mint
– Mojitos
Habanero pepper
– Squash burritos

Thankfully the share this week provided the requisite bounty for celebratory mojitos this weekend… Perhaps sometime soon I’ll be able to share the news and you can join us in a virtual beverage!

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Indian Pot Pie

With the temperature finally dropping, I’m feeling the urge to use my oven again!

Which is why this recipe for Spinach Pie at Budget Bytes caught my eye. Spinach, cheese and pastry? Yum!

So when I was left with a sheet of thawed puff pastry, my mind was filled with ideas of what else I could make… a quick browse of my spice cupboard and I was struck with a serious craving for curry!

And thus was born Indian Pot Pie. It’s like a giant samosa, without the deep frying!

Indian Pot Pie

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

This curried chicken pie is deliciously belly-warming, and adaptable to your taste and the contents of your fridge.

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 10 oz frozen spinach
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs

Instructions

  1. Defrost puff pastry and spinach overnight. Drain the liquid from the thawed spinach, pressing in a strainer to remove as much as possible.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Heat the oil on medium heat, then add the onion and garlic. Saute until onions are soft, about five minutes. Add spices and stir to toast for about one minute.
  4. Mix drained spinach, onion and spice mixture with chicken and two eggs until combined.
  5. Roll out puff pastry to a 12” square on a lightly floured surface. Carefully roll the pastry around a rolling pin, then place over 9” pie plate.
  6. Pour filling into puff pastry, then fold corners of pastry over the top to cover. You can seal the top by moistening the edges where they meet. Break and whisk the third egg in a small bowl then brush over the pastry.
  7. Bake pie on center oven rack for 45 minutes. Allow to sit 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
http://www.madebyleah.com/2012/09/15/indian-pot-pie/

This pie didn’t last long in our house! And of course I’m already dreaming of what else would be delicious in this filling. Potatoes, peas, paneer, carrots, or sweet potatoes would all be perfect additions.

If you don’t have any of the spices, you can use a good premixed curry powder to season the filling. If you are looking for some heat, adding cayenne or red pepper flakes would spice it up nicely. There’s lots of room to play with the filling ingredients!

Goodness knows I love food stuffed into other foods – so this came out of the oven looking like heaven!

Enjoy this beautiful fall weather, and welcome back to baking season!

Posted in Dinner | 4 Comments

CSA Week 14

More veggies!?

I’m sure that’s what our “slim” Manhattan apartment fridge is saying with another delivery just a few days after the last. We’ll be in veggie devouring mode making sure none of this glorious bounty goes to waste.

In the share this week:
Tomatoes – Tomato salad
Carnival Winter SquashSquash mac and cheese
Edamame – Snack!
Cabbage – Sauerkraut
Broccoli – Cream of broccoli soup
Opal Basil – Tomato salad
Shallots – Tomato salad
Beets – Roasted beets
Beet Greens – Sauteed beet greens (and lizard treats!)

A few surefire ways to consume veggies in a hurry: soups and salads. Lunch today was leftover beet coleslaw (so pink!) and dill potato salad with a poached egg on top to make it a meal:

We will be soup-ing and salad-ing until our bellies are full and our fridge is ready for next week’s share!

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CSA Week 13

Forgive the GIF, but these days I’m feeling a bit like this:

(I <3 kermit!)

Big things are happening in our lives right now, so I hope you’ll forgive my late CSA post this week.

Thankfully we’ve been eating well. The slow cooker is best friend of the busy/crazy/preoccupied, which was the case for us this week!

Farm okra and spinach with coconut milk and spices – yum!

We also beat the heat with some fresh summer rolls:

Ignore the empty plate, we were eager to eat! Shredded summer squash and carrot, marinated baked tofu, bean sprouts and peanuts with lime juice, wrapped in rice paper and dipped in peanut sauce. You can imagine why taking photos was not top priority while waiting to get those in our bellies!

Pick-up this week was on Thursday because of Labor day, and I almost forgot about the veggies! Thankfully Doug surprised me after work to help me carry our loot home.

In the share this week:
Tomatoes – Basil marinara with eggplant parmesan
Butternut Winter Squash – Roasted squash with brown sugar
Eggplant – Basil marinara with eggplant parmesan
Broccoli – Broccoli risotto
Basil – Basil marinara, caprese breakfast sandwiches
Shallots – Broccoli risotto
Red Cabbage – Beet coleslaw
Beets-Chiogga – Beet coleslaw
Hot Peppers – We didn’t take any peppers this week, a friend has been giving us handfuls from her own pepper plant so we now have a wonderful stash of jalapenos and a freezer full of baked cream cheese stuffed ”jalapeno poppers.”

Today is a designated day of rest, and I thankfully have a few days off next week to try to de-kermitize myself. Happy cooking!

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Pumpkin Protein Smoothie

Yesterday, Doug brought home the first pumpkin beer of the season. Although I’m not quite ready for fall, I can’t wait to get back into pumpkin-in-everything season!

With veggie delivery coming Thursday because of Labor Day, I’ll take the opportunity today to share a recipe for one of our favorite breakfast treats, which just happens to be a preview of fall delights to come.

Pumpkin Protein Smoothie

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 serving

This quick smoothie packs a tasty, nutritional punch! Adapted from Budget Bytes.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 2/3 cup dairy or non-dairy milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients into a blender, process until smooth.
  2. Make sure your pumpkin-loving kitty and lizard get their share of pumpkin puree!
http://www.madebyleah.com/2012/09/03/pumpkin-protein-smoothie/

I’ll never understand the “I don’t eat breakfast” crowd. I’m barely functional before eating something in the morning, and at times execute an intricate packing-lunches-and-prepping-dinner dance before 6 am. For those who didn’t get the early riser gene, you can put all of the ingredients for this recipe (except the banana) together the night before, so making breakfast in the morning is a breeze!

I keep a container of pumpkin pie spice (and a few cans of pumpkin) in the cupboard just for this recipe. To make your own:

  • 4 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3 teaspoons ground allspice or ground cloves (or a combination of the two)

Happy breakfast, and welcome to pumpkin season!

Posted in Beverages, Breakfast, Gluten-Free | Leave a comment

Nanaimo Bars

Last year, my brother packed up and moved to the US from Canada for school, much like his big sister did 5 short years ago. Although Canada isn’t too far, we both quickly learned some quirky differences in cuisine and terminology. One of our favorite treats to introduce to our deprived neighbors to the south: Nanaimo Bars.


So you can imagine how thrilled I was when I recently received a package of recipes from my grandmother, including my great-grandmother’s recipe for Nanaimo bars! These delicious chocolatey treats were invented in British Columbia in the early 1950′s and a version of the recipe was first published in 1957. The note from my Grammy says that her mother-in-law passed along the recipe in 1959 when she was living in British Columbia. I had no idea there was a family recipe until I got this treasure in the mail!

Nanaimo Bars

Enjoy these sweet Canadian treats with this recipe shared from our family to yours!

Ingredients

    Bottom Layer:
  • ½ cup margarine or butter, softened
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ¾ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • Middle Layer:
  • ¼ cup margarine or butter, softened
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla custard powder*
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • Top Layer:
  • 4 squares (4 oz) semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 Tbsp margarine or coconut oil

Instructions

    Bottom Layer:
  1. Place margarine or butter, sugar, cocoa, vanilla and egg in a bowl over a dish of boiling water, or in the top of a double boiler.
  2. Stir well until the margarine is melted and the mixture resembles custard.
  3. Combine graham crumbs, coconut and nuts (if using). Add to cooked mixture.
  4. Pack firmly and evenly into 9x9” baking pan. Chill while preparing middle layer.
  5. Middle Layer:
  6. Mix milk with custard powder. Cream margarine and add milk mixture.
  7. Blend in icing sugar. Spread evenly over bottom layer. Chill for 15 minutes.
  8. Top Layer:
  9. Melt chocolate and margarine in double boiler or microwave. Spread over middle layer.
  10. Score top of chocolate layer before it hardens completely to make it easier to cut squares.

Notes

*You can substitute 2 Tbsp cornstarch and 1/4 tsp vanilla for custard powder.

http://www.madebyleah.com/2012/08/31/nanaimo-bars/

These are a favorite at pot lucks, they disappear faster than you can say chesterfield! They also freeze well, making them easy to prep ahead of time. Happy snacking!

Posted in Dessert | 2 Comments

CSA Week 12

Last week got away from me! We have some big things brewing in our personal lives so I’ve been a little preoccupied lately. Grammy’s Nanaimo bar recipe may have to wait another few days…

Thankfully I did have a chance to make some yummy food this week, including some quinoa tabouleh with mint, parsley, tomatoes and cucumbers.

Since I know I’ll be busy and preoccupied again this week, most of the meals this week will be simple to prepare or can be prepared ahead of time. I’ll make a big pot of marinara sauce one morning while we’re getting ready, so we can throw together quick pasta for dinner. I’ll roast the broccoli in a pan so it’s in the fridge when we’re ready for it. Over the weekend I made a big tub of hummus to dip raw veggies into (which I will pre-slice and keep in the fridge), and I’ll throw okra and spinach in a slow cooker with some coconut milk for an easy curry.

The one non-make-ahead meal I have planned is summer rolls (rice paper rolls). I’m a fan of almost anything wrapped in anything, and rice paper is no exception! I’ll slice up some veggies, add some peanuts, sliced tofu and a splash of lime juice, and encapsulate them in the sheets I found at the grocery store. Add a little peanut sauce for dipping and you’ve got one of my favorite fresh summer meals!

In the share this week:
Tomatoes - marinara sauce
Broccoli – pan-roasted broccoli
Summer Squash - summer rolls (rice paper rolls), marinara sauce
Summer Savory – savory-rubbed pork loin
Onions – marinara sauce
Peppers – summer rolls, hummus and peppers
Spinach – curried spinach and okra
Carrots – summer rolls, hummus and carrots
Okra – curried spinach and okra

All stocked up with beautiful veggies like these, I’m ready to face another busy week!

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CSA Week 11

So much for my sugar fast.

Last week I received a package from my grandmother full of recipes. Apparently my love of baking is genetic (and what a delicious gene it is!). Now that I’ve had a chance to try it, I may just share our family Nanaimo Bar recipe with all of you later this week!

After indulging my sweet tooth this weekend, I am extra glad to see veggies tonight. Just look at all those tomatoes…

In the share this week:
Slicing Tomatoes – Tomato basil pasta, Quinoa tabouleh, Roasted tomatoes and leeks over tilapia
Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes – Tomato basil pasta
Eggplant – Baba ghanouj
Basil  - Tomato basil pasta
Walla Walla Onions - Quinoa tabouleh, Stewed okra
Sweet Peppers - Quinoa tabouleh
Hot Peppers – Spicy baked tofu and greens
Bright Lights Swiss Chard - Spicy baked tofu and greens
Summer Leeks - Roasted tomatoes and leeks over tilapia
Okra – Stewed okra and onions

Dinner tonight came together quickly.

Whole wheat rotelle, cherry tomatoes, slicing tomatoes, basil and ricotta salata left over from pasta alla Norma. A touch of olive oil and salt brought together this tasty, photogenic summer meal!

Sometimes simple meals are the best meals. Particularly when followed by a Nanaimo bar!

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Sugar Cube Skulls

Some time ago, Doug came across a photo of some adorable skull-shaped sugar cubes being sold on Etsy. When he electronically expressed his delight, I immediately replied “We can totally make those.” And then we did.

Simply mix 1/4 cup of sugar with 1/4 tsp of water, vanilla extract or another flavored liquid until is ressembles wet sand. Press carefully into your mold of choice and allow to dry for 8 hours to 2 days (if your place is as humid as ours, lean towards the 2 day mark!). Carefully pop out of the mold and enjoy in your beverage of choice!

We used a plastic mold intended for halloween chocolates or candies, but almost any mold will work. I suspect a silicone mold would make removal of the “cubes” even easier. Once they’re out of the mold. store them in an airtight container for up to 2 years. They would make a really cute gift, party favor, or a great addition to a macabre-themed party!

The vanilla extract gave our skulls a nice aged bone look, while the ones we made with water had that new skull gleam. I’m still working on reducing my sugar intake, but Doug has been enjoying these in his morning coffee. Nothing starts off the day like a sweet little skull!

 

Posted in Beverages, Crafts | 5 Comments