Saturday, July 21, 2007

CSA Week 6

Sorry this has kind of become the Leslie Show, but I've become so excited about food lately!

Here is my half of the veggies this week.


The warm weather we've been having has either been making more harvestables or mom is giving me more than half because this is the most I've seen yet! I have to admit it panicked me just a little. Then after work on Friday, I went back out to Sauvie Island Farms with Jen and another friend to pick more berries plus peaches! And now that I have seen how inexpensive it can be, I went a little nuts and picked 5lb of blueberries, 2.5lb each of marionberries and raspberries and a grocery bag full of peaches.


So I spent all day in the kitchen today peeling and freezing peaches (on a pan first so they won't stick together when they go in the bag) and cooking most of the vegetables into a yummy Indian style dish in the crock pot. I would have done all of them but my crock pot isn't that large.


I know what you're thinking: "what were you doing in the kitchen all day after you got done with the peaches, staring at the crock pot?" Well, of course, I was inspired to make Dal and Saag Paneer to go along with the vegetables.


It all turned out just great despite having dumped most of the curry for the Saag Paneer on the floor and having to use some other spices instead - I am so pleased!

But also, I made a giant batch of my mom's granola from the 70s for my BF, who has been very generous with his car lately even though I run into yard debris containers and lose the plastic backing to his side mirror and stuff. And while I'm out being so careless with his posessions, he is coming over and feeding my cats for me. So I think he at least deserves some homemade granola.


I had a bowl and it tasted just like my mom used to make. It is so good - here is the recipe:

Granola (from the Whole Earth Catalog)
4C rolled oats
1/2 C shredded unsweeteend coconut (mom & I omit this)
1C wheat germ
1C chopped nuts (I used cashews)
1C sunflower seeds
1/2C flax seeds
1/2C bran (didn't use it)
1C ground roasted soybeans (mom & I omit this)
1/2C sesame seeds
1C pumpkin seeds (my addition)
1/2C rice cereal (my addition - found it at whole foods - looks like little brown BBs and adds a wonderful little rice krispy style crunch)

Heat: (oops, just now realized I forgot to heat it)
1/2C oil (I used 1/4 C)
1/2C honey (I used 3/4C agave nectar)
1/2t vanilla (I was out)

Combine two mixtures. Spread on cookie sheet with sides. Bake at 325 about 15 min until light brown. Turn frequently.

I ended up baking it longer because it seemed a little wet while I was turning it. But once it's been out of the oven for a while that goes away, even if you really only bake it for 15 minutes - I practiced on the second batch.

Monday, July 16, 2007

CSA Week 5

I made the trek out to Forest Grove to pick up the veggies from my mom this week. Here's a photo of most of the haul:


Broccoli, 2 kinds of squash, onions, blackberries and blueberries (unbelievable head of lettuce not pictured)

I pretty much put everything together into a giant stiry fry very loosely based on another of Heidi Swanson's recipes from her beautiful book, Super Natural Cooking, which I am deeply in love with. I may have mentioned this before.

But when it came time to add the hoisin sauce, I just couldn't. So I didn't. And it turned out that the fresh mint and basil from my mom's backyard, the ginger, garlic and red pepper provided plenty of flavor and I could still taste the veggies (I find hoisin a little overpowering in vegetarian dishes).


I tried serving it with this tofu noodle thing I found at the store, which as it turns out is pretty much devoid of nutritional value but I liked the texture and taste anyway.


So far I've noticed:

The amounts have been good for two people except last week I needed help with all the lettuce because some of it did go bad the week before but probably because I accidentally bought spinach, forgetting I had lettuce coming.

There are little green worms etc. Today I threw a couple of those out my window on a piece of broccoli into the courtyard. I don't know if they can eat the plants out there but at least they have a better chance of survival than in my garbage disposal. I wonder if any of my neighbors noticed. Hee.

CSA Week 4

In week 4 mom and I met halfway at Whole Foods and sat for an hour talking and eating the Bing Cherries we got in the box. Well, mom ate half of one cherry and threw it back in the bag because she wasn't really hungry after her WF Spanikopita. I, however, ate half the bag sitting there and the other half once I got home.

I used part of the yellow squash to make a spicy chipotle frittata with spinach

Frittata after

I'm also excited to be using my iron skillet.

Since mom kept the kohlrabi she gave me all the squash. She likes the idea of one person keeping all of one veggie and I am more of the "split everything" camp. I just want to have a taste of everything, even if it's only a little. She'd rather maximize possibilities for each item, which I totally get.

(Jen, how did you feel about quotes in the above context? Unnecessary? OK?)

So I chopped the rest of the squash in with some roasted red pepper, cannelini beans and basil I'd preserved in olive oil.

Salad toppings

To this, I added tuna fish and dumped it all over some of the lovely Red Tide lettuce we got in the box. Delish.

The blueberries were, of course, smoothie stuff.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

CSA week 3

During week 2, I was out of town so my mom got the whole haul. For week 3, I took the summer squash and broccoli and roasted it in olive oil and balsamic vinegar with my mom's neighbor's onions then ate every day for lunch over the beautiful lettuce from the box with some cotija cheese. While I was out at my mom's, she also gave me some mint from her yard which I chopped in the cuisinart and froze in ice cubes. I pop one of these into my smoothie in the morning with some CSA rhubarb and frozen blueberries from last year that my mom gave me when I was out there. I think, honestly, that I got more from my mom this time than from the CSA! She also gave me some cilantro and basil from her yard, which perked right up when I put them in a jar of water in the fridge. The basil made its way into my salads and the cilantro made an appearance in my second attempt at the skinny omelettes in this post from the lovely 101 Cookbooks blog by Heidi Swanson. The filling is inspired by the demi-vegan crepe at Le Happy down the street - it has tofu, peanut sauce, fermented black beans and cilantro. Mine had all that except farro instead of tofu since that's what was in my fridge.


Again, I ate the snowpeas raw and did the same with one of the Kohlrabi. The other, I sauteed in olive oil with some crushed red peppers and mixed in with a salty-sweet tempeh and spinach over farro.

stir fry

See how beautifully the kohlrabi is chopped up? I bought myself a Mandolin at Goodwill last week. Every time I've tried to use it I think "how could such a dangerous device be sold to the general public?" and even while thinking this thought, sliced my finger a little bit. After a bit of research, I discovered that these things are originally sold with some kind of finger guard - ahhhhh! So I'll have to work on that - I guess I could just use a towel or something to push the vegetable instead of my bare hands. Frankly, a chain mail glove seems the most sensible choice - this thing is sharp and it works so quickly you don't even realize how close it's getting to your fingers until - whoops!

What have you all been doing in week 3?