Archive for September, 2010

CSA Share for 2010 Week Sixteen

It’s Week Sixteen; only a few more weeks till pickups are no more :-(.  Hopefully you have some farm veggies in the freezer to extend the season a bit.  In our share this week:

  • bell peppers
  • bok choi
  • eggplant
  • garlic
  • kale
  • leeks
  • onions
  • potatoes
  • red cabbage
  • summer squash
  • sweet potatoes
  • pick-your-own cherry tomatoes, tomatillos, hot peppers, parsley

I was SO happy to see more eggplant because I want to make another, bigger batch of the eggplant parmesan that I tried last week (see my previous post).  It will be easier with the larger eggplant that was in our share this week.  I’m also planning on replenishing my frozen stock of Chocolate Zucchini Muffins (see my previous post).  The Pasta with Lentils and Kale that I made a few months ago deserves another go, and making another batch of the Creamy Leek and Potato Soup is essential (SO good) since the weather is going to cool down nicely this weekend (see my first photo of a previous post).  The new recipe (which calls for a sweet potato) that I plan on trying this week is Chicken and Vegetable Coconut Curry over at abundanceonadime.

I still had the head of broccoli from last week’s share which definitely needed to be used up today, so I made dinner based on this Baked Tofu with Broccoli recipe over at littlebluehen.  Instead of baking the tofu (which I have done before), I decided to try pan frying it with the minced garlic and some cooked chicken pieces.  I then added the sauce and cooked just a bit longer, and combined it all with the steamed broccoli.  Served over rice and drizzled with the toasted sesame oil and sesame seeds, this was very good, but would have been soooooo much better if I had done this last week when the broccoli was nice and fresh!

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Eggplant Parmesan Update

As mentioned in my post from last week, I planned on using last week’s eggplant in an Eggplant Parmesan recipe I found in Prevention magazine, which I did over the weekend.

I had to pare down the recipe to about a fourth, which left me wanting to make it again.  It was so very delicious, super flavorful, and not too greasy/heavy at all.  I used all my farm eggplant, and instead of the plum tomatoes called for in the recipe, I used a bunch of farm cherry tomatoes, mashing them with a potato masher right in the pan.  I also used my farm garlic, and farm basil that I had frozen from a previous share. I liked Prevention’s suggestion to take this on-the-go, as it is just as good at room temperature.  I WILL be making this again!

Soup

I’m having trouble naming a soup that I have been making and refining for years.  Is it Vegetable Soup?  Chicken Noodle Soup?  Veggie Chicken Noodle Soup with Grains?  Mystery Soup?  Whatever you call it, it’s a GREAT way to use up leftover veggies, and is super healthy, complete, and easy on the wallet.  🙂

Instead of using raw chicken, grains or pasta, see if you have any of these already cooked and leftover in your fridge, and then just add them to the pot when the soup is almost done.  If you live in a house where some members are vegetarian and some are not, make this soup without the chicken, then add chicken pieces to some of the soup bowls.  The amounts below are subject to much variation; feel free to experiment.

Soup

  • 1 package chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 to 5 cups cups veggies
  • 5 or 6 cups water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup quinoa (or rice)
  • 1 or 2 cups uncooked pasta
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 can white beans
  • pepper
  • shredded cheese

In a large pot, steam-cook a package of chicken breasts or thighs (I use Bell and Evans chicken) in about a cup of water.  Remove chicken when thoroughly cooked, and shred or chop into chunks.  Leave the chickeny water in the pot as a soup base.

Gather about 4 to 5 cups of veggies, and chop them.  Or, you can fill your food processor with them and process (I do this to make an un-chunky soup, which sits better with my kids).  Be sure to include onions and garlic, and celery if you have it.  Last week when I made this I used, from our previous week’s share, the bottom half of our Chinese cabbage, our broccoli florets, and of course our onions and garlic.   I also added a jar of roasted red peppers.  (I didn’t have any celery, but highly recommend it for this soup.)

Add the veggies to the pot, along with as much water as you like (try about 5 or 6 cups), along with 2 tsp of salt.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup quinoa, and simmer another 5 minutes (you could also try rice, added the appropriate amount of time before soup is done)

Add 1 or 2 cups of uncooked pasta (penne, elbows, chopped spaghetti, etc) along with 2 tsp of dried oregano, and simmer another 10 minutes.

Turn off heat and add 1/2 can of white beans, or any other type of beans, and the chopped chicken.  Stir thoroughly.  The heat of the soup will warm up these ingredients nicely.

Top with pepper and shredded cheese.

CSA Share for 2010 Week Fifteen

Yes, more kohlrabi!  I love this stuff.  I don’t do anything but eat it fresh; just peel, slice and eat.  In our share this week:

  • bell peppers
  • broccoli
  • eggplant
  • garlic
  • green beans
  • kale
  • kohlrabi
  • lettuce
  • onions
  • potatoes
  • summer squash

I also am glad to see more broccoli because I want to make more of that Creamy Broccoli Slaw (see bottom of my previous post).  I’m happy to have another go at the eggplant because I found a good-sounding Eggplant Parmesan recipe recently in Prevention magazine, and then found it online here for you.   I’ll let you know how that turns out.  For the bell peppers, onions, and garlic, try them on Tortilla Pizza tonight.

CSA Share, Week Fourteen, Day Seven

Yesterday, I tried Baked Beet-and-Carrot Burgers from Farmer John’s Cookbook, which used up all the beets from last week’s share (just click on photo for larger view).  I own this cookbook, but did find it online here.  I was a bit skeptical of this recipe, but since I hate frying anything and these burgers are baked, I thought I’d try it.  And I’m glad I did!  I think they’re fantastic; they’re absolutely loaded with good stuff.  However, I was a bit confused when I was supposed to “shape the mixture” into patties, because the mixture would not stay together.  So I just placed them in mounds on the cookie sheet and pressed them down with the back of the spoon into a patty shape. Upon baking, they come together very nicely and can be removed easily and intact with a spatula.  I made these into 21 smaller-sized patties, so it made a lot!  A bit time-consuming, but I froze the patties and now have a nice supply in the freezer.

Today, I reheated a couple frozen patties at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Some curry mayo, farm lettuce, and a side of farm cherry tomatoes and parsley made for a delicious lunch.

CSA Share for 2010 Week Fourteen

Wow, I am quite behind in posting about Week Fourteen’s share!  Life gets busy when school starts for the year.  However, I did have time to make up some interesting dishes, but first, here’s what was in our share last week:

  • beets
  • bok choi
  • broccoli
  • garlic
  • green beans
  • leeks
  • onions
  • potatoes
  • summer squash
  • tomato
  • pick-your-own husk cherries, parsley, and cherry tomatoes

The beets and bottom half of the bok choi are still awaiting their fate in my veggie drawer.  Tomorrow night I plan on making some type of Asian dish with the bok choi bottom-half, and  last week I blanched and froze the top half (greens).  With the summer squash, I pureed them all and froze in 1 cup amounts to add to my stash for later use in Chocolate Zucchini Muffins (see my previous post).  The green beans are great to just snack on fresh throughout the week.

With the leeks and the potatoes, I made a lovely Creamy Leek and Potato Soup from allrecipes.com.  It was fast, easy, and very delicious.  Substitutions I used were vegetable broth instead of the chicken broth, butter instead of the margarine, and whole milk instead of the heavy cream.  I topped mine with lots of pepper and of course some farm parsley.  This recipe made enough leftovers for a few days, and is quite rich-tasting, so you don’t need a lot to feel satisfied.

Another recipe I tried over the weekend was Sticky Gooseberry Sauce for the Soul from food.com, which a member recommended in the comments of a previous post.  I learned from her that husk cherries are also called cape gooseberries.  This sauce was so good, very sweet, and a nice topping for waffles and plain yogurt.  It reminded me of marmalade.  I only had 1/4 cup of the cherries, so had to pare down the recipe, but I found I didn’t need too much anyway since it was so very sweet.  Also, I didn’t have any apple juice or pineapple juice, so I replaced the juice with some grated apple (since it is the season and I have plenty of those around!).

A recipe I’ve been making for years is Ellie Kreiger’s  Creamy Broccoli Slaw, which is the best way I’ve found to use the stalks of broccoli.  I feel so healthy when I eat this slaw!  I add a little brown rice vinegar to this recipe, and sometimes omit the buttermilk for a thicker result.  Many times I need to pare down this recipe if I only have one or two small broccoli bunches on hand.

CSA Share, Week Thirteen, Day Seven

The Chinese cabbage we received last week was quite large, so here’s a few more cabbagey ideas (and of course you can always chop and freeze part of your Chinese cabbage for later use in winter soups):

Try the Cabbage with Indian Spices, which appeared in one of our farm’s newsletters from 2007 — Vol 10 10 (August 20,2007) — and has been a favorite of mine.  I usually use red or green cabbage in this recipe, so since I used Chinese cabbage, I reduced the covered cooking time to just a few minutes (instead of 10 to 20 minutes).  Also, if using both the top and bottom of the cabbage, cook the bottom, thicker part longer.  I like to add chickpeas to this recipe (but only had white beans on hand when I made and photographed this).

One more idea is to make a quick cabbage salad, as described in one of my first recipe posts, A Summer Dressing Recipe.  This dressing is still great to have on hand as we approach the fall season.  VERY yummy.