Saturday, June 29, 2013

A few other recipes this week...

A few other recipes from the week:

Napa Cabbage Asian Slaw - We improvised from lotusmoss' comment on this post at the Kitchn. Our recipe was 1/4 head napa cabbage, 1 carrot, and a dressing of vegan mayo with sesame oil, crunchy garlic in oil, chopped ginger, soy, lime / seasoned sushi vinegar. We put it on top of fish tacos and the next night on burgers. YUM!

Pak Choi Stirfry - Took the sauce from this recipe at Epicurious, omitted the sherry and tripled the rest. Stir fried the whole head of pak choi and a purple scallion with the sauce to make a side dish that we ate with Japanese white rice and steak tips. The full recipe with tofu is also quite delicious, if you're looking for a vegetarian meal.

Bittman's 101 Simple Salads for the Season - Pulled out this classic list and started thinking about all the delicious foods still to come.

Kids in the kitchen

I am a big believer in bringing children into the kitchen and finding ways for them to contribute towards the meal. I try to find tasks throughout our meal preparation that the Rutabaga can do. Right now, he's great at pouring and mixing the ingredients for the granola we make each week. He's learning how to cut the tofu for when we eat cold tofu with rice. And, last night he peeled the cucumber for the lime cucumber salsa destined for the swordfish.

He was eager and excited to take on the task. I hope that one day all these little experiences will add up into a young man who can cook for himself, knows what a healthy plate looks like, and finds the kitchen a warm loving place to be.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Week 2 - Veggie CSA

Here's this week's bag:

Here's the cute part of that picture. Check out the empty pea pods in the middle of the counter. The Rutabaga helped me unpack the bag and he found the sugar snap peas. He loves these things. He likes to open them and eat the peas inside, and then hands me the outsides to eat. Somewhere in the day he had learned the word "enormous", so we spent our time looking for all the enormous peas. 

Contents: 1 head bibb lettuce,1 head cabbage,1 head pak choi,1 bunch red chard,1 bunch french breakfast radishes,1 bunch carrots,1 bunch chioggia beets and 1 pound sugar snap peas 

Plan of attack:
Roasted and ate carrots for dinner the first night.
- Blanched and froze swiss chard and beet greens. In the winter these will go into soup or pasta- sausage-greens
- Bibb lettuce + some radishes + sugar snap peas, prepped and ready for lunch tomorrow
- Composted carrot tops, radish tops and chard stems. Although I was told about a recipe last week that used carrot tops, which I need to look into.
- Need to find a plan for the pak choi, cabbage and beets.

What did others do?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The best part...

The best part of tonight? Eating dinner outside on our brand new patio!

Strawberry Sorbet

In the last 24 hours I've made two batches of strawberry sorbet. The first batch was from here. Delicious, but too sweet for The Husband. Today in paying more attention to the taste of a strawberry, I realized that the flavor of a strawberry is not overwhelmingly sweet, its actually just a touch sour. I needed to make a sorbet that reflected this balance of flavors and wasn't overwhelming sweet. I tinkered with this recipe next. I used basically their list of ingredients, the process from the first recipe, and reduced the sugar down to 1/2c. The second batch of sorbet is still "ripening" in the freezer, but I just snuck a bite. I think we're onto something here.

From the first batch:

See, the reason I'm so excited about sorbet is that since not eating dairy anymore, ice cream is out. It's been a real bummer not being able to enjoy this summertime ritual the last two years. But sorbet offers hope again of summer time sweetness and the fun of teaching the Rutabaga how to eat from an "ice cream" cone.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

What to do with fennel?

Here's what I have my eye on for using this week's fennel:

- Pizza with caramelized fennel, onion and olives from Cooking Light

- Fennel and celery salad from NYT

- Caramelized fennel and onion side dish from Simply Recipes

I might just omit the cheese from any of the recipes above. Anybody do something else delicious?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Roasted Carrots

I finally found a way that I like to eat carrots. Roasted. I basically trimmed the tops, poured a glug of oil over them, sprinkled liberally with salt and then roasted at 425 degrees for 35 minutes. They were amazing. Slow and savory tasting. That's the Rutabega's hand, ready to grab one.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Week 1: Veggie Share CSA

Wahoo! The veggie share has started. It's like a shot of vegetable adrenaline straight to our diet. Vegetables will now be part of EVERY meal until October.

Here's what we got. There were so many I had to take a panoramic shot. There is only one bunch of carrots, visually make them overlap.

Contents: 1 head napa cabbage, 1 bunch beets, 1 head red leaf lettuce, 1 bunch purple scallions, 1 bunch carrots, 1 bunch fennel, 1 bunch swiss chard, and 1 head romaine.

My plan of attack was to:
- First cut off the carrot tops and fennel fronds and compost them.
- Sort what can be frozen - beet tops, Swiss chard, possibly carrots
- Roast the beets. Oil and salt. 375 degrees, for about 35 minutes. 
- Then figure out dinner: Salad with red leaf lettuce, carrots and cucumber and mushrooms that have been in the fridge. Fish sandwiches from the Lemon Sole in the fish share, with a small amount of chopped napa cabbage on top.
- Put everything else in the fridge for rest of week. Most things got wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel within a ziploc bag. I have also tried these bags, and they work well for storing the greens.

What did others do?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Strawberries for the winter

I love strawberries. Love them. I will love them even more in January when there is nothing fresh or local to be seen for miles. So tonight I took 3 quarts of strawberries and they went from here...

To here...

 To here.

I think there are two strawberries near the top of that package making a heart. Now that's a whole lot of love. I am working right now to make several of these packages to tide us through the winter. I do no more to them than wash, cut, and vacuum seal. The smoothies are going to be delicious this winter.

Flour's Banana Bread made vegan

We have recently fallen in love with Banana Bread in our house. For awhile we thought The Rutabega might also be allergic to bananas, turns out not true and the symptoms from before were possibly just bad coincidences. Our favorite recipe right now is from the Flour cookbook, made vegan. Here is how I have adapted the recipe...

- Reduce sugar down to a scant 1/2 cup
- Substitute the eggs for 1/4 cup applesauce + 1/2t baking powder and 1t baking soda + 1 Tablespoon white vinegar. I put all of this into the "wet" ingredients bowl, then skip the step of slowly adding the oil to the eggs.
- Replace the sour cream with 2T coconut raspberry yogurt.
- Cook for 75 minutes

I made it last night and half of it was gone before we want to work today.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Simple dessert - Chocolate covered strawberries

Chocolate covered strawberries. A simple dairy-free dessert to enjoy the fruits of the season.

I brought some down to the boys at the end of the 3rd period tonight. It was a good thing I had made a second plate in addition to these. Lesson learned though, put them on wax paper. Otherwise, the chocolate sticks to the plate. Ooops. Although, no one seemed to mind scraping the chocolate off the plate. Delicious. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

I made this last night.

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam. Yum! Strawberries were from Kimball Fruit Farm, as was the rhubarb. It was the first canning of the season. In talking to someone recently, they responded back to me - sounds like canning is your meditation. Yes, actually that is a very apt description. I love the concentration that canning takes, and yet the simplicity of it. In addition to the fact that you are the saving of the fruits of the season to savor later in the year. The recipe was from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. I am curious to explore some lower sugar jams. This recipe called for 2 cups crushed strawberries, 2 cups finely chopped rhubarb and 5 1/2 cups sugar. I thought the sugar might not actually dissolve into the fruit, but it did. It tastes good. A nice balance of the tart rhubarb with the sweet from the sugar. However, it's almost too sweet for me. Either way, the canning season has begun again. Breathe. Ommmm.