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Monday, November 30, 2009

Organics to You November 30, 2009

Today's box from Organics to You contains:
  • Curly red kale
  • bunch of chard
  • Big head of red lettuce
  • Bunch of red beets w/greens
  • another, larger head of red cabbage
  • more turnips
  • yellow onion
  • 2 bulbs of garlic
  • more potatoes
  • 3 red apples
  • 3 red pears
  • 3 green pears
  • 3 persimmons
  • 2 oranges
From last week the fridge still contains:
  • Lacinato (dinosaur) kale
  • turnips
  • yams
  • More gorgeous, tiny golden beets with equally glorious greens
  • a head of red cabbage
  • bunches of green onions (just don't find a lot of uses for these - any suggestions?)
  • 3 yellow onions
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • flat, Italian parsley
  • nice carrots
  • celery
  • an avocado
  • an apple
  • 3 green pears
  • 2 persimmons
The Compost Pail of Shame (what I didn't use and had to compost):
  • Another persimmon (from 11/16)
  • bok choi (11/16)
  • green curly kale (11/16)
  • salad greens (11/22)
  • satsumas (we just aren't getting to our fruit!!)
Made a great lentil loaf last night and served with some garlic & lemon sauteed collard greens. Thanksgiving cooking helped us out with a lot of the veggies we had on hand, but we still had some things we had to toss. All in all, it seems like we're not composting much more than we did when we shopped for produce regularly.

This week's cooking will see some of the harvested spaghetti squash making an appearance on the menu as a side dish to something. A dish with cabbage in the works, there's a whole lot of red cabbage in the fridge now. Going to try to make us some salads so we don't end up tossing the lettuce the way the baby greens were.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Marvelous Lentil Quinoa Nut Loaf

On the shockingly long list of vegan staples I've never tried making at home is the humble lentil loaf. Kind of a vegan stereotype of sorts, but one I've rarely encountered in person. I actually rather like the idea of a lentil loaf. Green lentils have a nice, earthy taste and I feel they pair well with walnuts & quinoa for a protein dense, rich loaf.

Great Vow has a nut loaf they make for special occasions, however, it is based around the use of eggs as a binder, so no luck in looking to that recipe for much inspiration. Online the recipes are hugely varied, to such a degree it is hard to find something that sounds right. After a lot of reading and recalling the meatloaf my Mom used to make, I came up with a very tasty dish.

It crumbles a little coming out of the pan, but not too much. Slices pretty well and we found it very satisfying, particularly when served alongside the very last of the amazing mashed potatoes Christie made for Thanksgiving. I'm going to be working on an entirely gluten-free version of this dish next.

The Stuff
(for loaf)
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 cups cooked, green lentils (overcooked is better, should be mushy/mashed)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoon red miso
  • 2 T wheat germ
  • 1/4 c flax meal whisked
  • 1/4 c + 2 T water
  • 3 T tomato paste (taken from a 6oz can)
  • 1/4 c nutritional yeast
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t sweet paprika
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1/2 t dried marjoram
  • 2 T fresh parsley
The Making (the loaf)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Whisk together the flaxseed meal and water in a large bowl, set aside. Dice onion and celery small, and mince the garlic cloves. Sauté the onion, garlic and celery until onion begins to caramelize. Add sauteed vegetables and remaining ingredients into large bowl with flax & water mixture and mix well. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray and fill the loaf pan with the mixture. Press down and top with tangy tomato sauce.

The Stuff (the sauce)
  • remainder of tomato paste from 6oz can
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 t sweet paprika
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1/4 t or less ground clove
  • 1/4 c water
The Making (the sauce & the loaf)

Whisk together all ingredients for sauce and spread on top of loaf before baking

Bake loaf 30 minutes covered, 10 minutes uncovered. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Organics to You November 22, 2009

Today's box from Organics to You contains:
  • Lacinato (dinosaur) kale
  • Collard greens
  • a pile of green beans
  • more turnips
  • a pile of potatoes, Yukon golds I'm guessing
  • 5 yams
  • More gorgeous, tiny golden beets with equally glorious greens
  • a head of red cabbage
  • a bunch of green onions
  • 4 yellow onions
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • flat, Italian parsley
  • nice carrots
  • Even more celery (eeeek)
  • an avocado
  • salad greens
From last week the fridge still contains:
  • the green, curly kale
  • a couple of little yams
  • 4 little satsumas
  • a bunch of green onions
  • some garlic
  • some flat, Italian parsley
  • a few carrots
  • 3 green pears
  • 2 apples
  • 2 persimmons
  • celery
The Compost Pail of Shame (what I didn't use and had to compost):
  • A few of the persimmons (from 11/16 and 11/2)
  • baby bok choi (10/26)
  • ears of corn (11/2)
  • broccoli (11/2)
  • kiwi berries (10/26 & 11/2 - these need to be eaten right away)
I'm introducing the Compost Pail of Shame to try and track what it is we don't use up. Maybe this means the boxes get changed to reflect what we're really eating. Maybe it just shows that on a busy week, with lots of time away in evenings we don't get a box. Not sure, but I think it will be helpful to show what I just didn't get to.

One thing it is revealed to me already is that we're not so great on eating up the fruit. It is almost a relief to have a mix-up and not get any fruit this week (although we were looking forward to getting the cranberries). Need to work on this - not just to use up what we get, but some fruit every day is quite good for us!

This week, with Thanksgiving on the schedule, will include things like a baked, stuffed Hubbard squash (from our garden no less), a nice stew (today), I'm jonesing for scalloped potatoes, a green bean casserole, some more roasted beets, continued appreciation of raw turnips w/hummus, oven-roasted yam slices, and I think that braised celery is going to have to happen. I'm considering some kind of onion soup too, because we have so many onions.

Tonight I made us a pot of split pea soup. We haven't had it in a while and Christie requested it on the way home from the gym. Making it I manage to use up the following produce on hand: an onion, 3 large cloves of garlic, 3 stalks of celery, several small carrots, and 4 little golden potatoes.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sherperd's Pie - Food Porn!

My Mom really didn't make shepherd's pie as a dish growing up. She had a few other casserole things she did, but not too many. My Dad hated casseroles.

It was at college in Wisconsin that I was introduced to the shepherd's pie. It was any number of rich, hearty, perhaps not entirely-good-for-me fare I came to love in the Midwest. Despite this deep appreciation, for some reason I've never actually made it myself.

Until tonight.

I made a shepherd's pie in a cast iron pan filled will onions, garlic, tempeh, carrots, celery and roasted Brussels sprouts. In is mixed a golden gravy made with caramelized shallots & garlic, red & white miso, nutritional yeast, Earth Balance, fresh parsley and pepper (whole wheat flour & water too). The mixed up veggies and gravy are topped with mashed Yukon Gold potatoes.

I cannot believe I haven't tried this before!

This diner was so good. Hearty, rich, and topped with mashed potatoes! The gravy, a real experiment, turned out so nicely and it only has a little bit of added fat to it (and I sense I'm onto some kind of vegan Swedish meatballs with this gravy). Although we discussed what else could be used instead of the tempeh, it wasn't because it wasn't incredibly tasty and totally satisfying.

There is no recipe. I was in a kind of Zen work-practice mode with cooking tonight, so I am mindful of everything I did. But I just cooked food. I will be making this again and there will be a recipe soon, my friend Vicki has requested it to add to her Meatless Monday dishes.

Used from Organics to You: carrots, celery, onions, garlic, shallots, potatoes, parsley

Monday, November 16, 2009

Balsamic, Maple Braised Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Grilled Tempeh

The name is kind of a mouthful, but it describes it perfectly. So tasty and simple. Come July I'll be dreaming about this dish.

The Stuff

  • 1 8oz. package of tempeh
  • 1 stalk or 2 pounds of fresh Brussels sprouts
  • 1/3 c. maple syrup
  • 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • garlic pepper
  • Canola oil (spray preferable)
  • Sea salt & pepper

The Making

Pre-heat oven at 350F.

Trim Brussels sprouts of outer leaves and slice in half. Toss with olive oil and a sprinkle of the sea salt & fresh ground pepper. Pour into 9x12 baking pan and roast in oven until sprouts begin to brown in places, about 15-20 minutes, then remove from oven.

Pre-heat cast-iron grill pan on medium. Slice tempeh into 1/2" strips. When cast-iron is hot, reduce heat to medium low. Spray tempeh with canola oil and sprinkle with garlic pepper. Grill tempeh on both sides until golden and set aside.

In a small bowl whisk together maple syrup and balsamic vinegar. Move sprouts to sides, add tempeh strips into the bottom of the baking dish, and scatter sprouts around evenly. Drizzle maple & balsamic mixture evenly over all of the sprouts and tempeh. Return baking dish to oven and continue to roast in braising liquid for another 10-15 minutes.

I served this up with the most beautiful roasted potatoes from Organics to You:

Taking a little over a pound of fingerling potatoes washed and cut into 1" chunks. These are then microwaved for 4 minutes, stirred, and microwaved for an additional 3 minutes. The par-cooked potatoes are then tossed in a bowl with olive oil, sea salt and a little fresh ground pepper. Roast potatoes in a pan at 350F until golden brown on all cut sides, stirring about half-way through - approximately 30-45 minutes. If you're making this with the sprouts & tempeh, start the potatoes first and they can roast in the oven alongside the sprouts.

Serves 4.

Grilled, Glazed Eggplant & Tofu

We'd received a nice eggplant from Oragnics to You, but since I'm really alone in my appreciation for eggplant, so this became my lunch one Monday afternoon.

Although I used eggplant in this dish you can use any vegetable to accompany the tofu.

The Stuff
  • 1 small eggplant, sliced into 1/2" thick slices
  • 8 1/3" slices of extra firm tofu, patted dry
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Garlic pepper
  • Maple, miso sesame glaze
  • Canola oil (spray works best)
The Making

Heat cast-iron grill pan at medium heat and set oven to low broil. When cast-iron is hot, reduce heat to medium-low

Lightly sprinkle one side of the tofu and eggplant slices with nutritional yeast and garlic pepper. Spray sprinkled sides with canola oil and transfer, oiled side down, to heated grill pan. When ready to flip, sprinkle top sides with more nutritional yeast, garlic pepper, and spray with canola oil first.

Transfer the grilled tofu and eggplant a broiling pan. Liberally coat the top sides with the maple, miso, sesame glaze and put in oven to broil for 5-7 minutes. Tops should be browned as the glaze caramelizes under the broiler.

Pair with brown rice or other hearty grain. Serves 4.

Maple, Miso, Sesame Glaze

I like to add this glaze to grilled veggies, tofu & tempeh. I apply liberally on top then throw into the broiler for 5-7 minutes until it all caramelizes up nicely.

The Stuff
  • 3 T. white miso
  • 2 T. maple syrup
  • 1/2 t. canola oil
  • 1/2 - 1 t. sesame seeds
  • 2 t. hot water
The Making

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl and either brush or spoon onto veggies, tofu, tempeh, etc. Use glaze as either a sauce for grilling or apply and broil food on low for about 5-7 minutes until glaze caramelizes and thickens further.

Organics to You November 16, 2009

Today's box from Organics to You contains:
  • Green, curly kale
  • more turnips
  • some Russet potatoes
  • a couple of little yams
  • More gorgeous golden beets with equally glorious greens
  • 4 little satsumas
  • a bunch of green onions
  • a couple of shallots
  • a head of garlic
  • flat, Italian parsley
  • nice carrots
  • 4 green pears
  • 4 apples
  • 2 persimmons
  • Even more celery, amazingly long stalks (frantically looking for recipe for braised celery I spotted a while ago)
From last week the fridge still contains:
  • turnips
  • radishes
  • 1 golden beet
  • glorious beet greens
  • A big bunch of arugula
  • 3 little satsumas
  • a couple yellow onions
  • a few intertwining carrots
  • more celery, amazingly long stalks
  • A big bunch of arugula
  • 3 lovely, mid-sized bok choy
I feel that this week will certainly feature the Saag-style beet greens, lots of raw turnips for lunch, roasted beets, and maybe we'll have another try at scalloped potatoes.

Last week's little fingerling potatoes just got tossed with olive oil, salt & pepper then roasted until golden and served with balsamic & maple roasted Brussels sprouts & grilled tempeh. The beets showed up in a cabbage soup and in a stir-fry with carrots, cabbage & tofu skin sticks. I am all alone with the eggplant and ended up grilling then broiling with a maple, miso, sesame glaze. Recipes to come soon for some of those!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Golden Autumn Stew

Oh my goodness, I made the best stew tonight inspired by the veggies we had from last week as well as some of the new things delivered today. The result was a rich, almost buttery-tasting, golden stew.

The Stuff
  • 3 leeks, sliced in 1/2 inch rounds & rinsed well
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large golden beets, diced
  • 4 medium carrots, diced
  • 4-5 large stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 small white cabbage sliced into big shreds (about 2 cups)
  • 3 cups cooked Great Northern beans
  • 2 T olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
The Making

Heat oil in a large stock pot, add garlic and saute until garlic has browned. Add leeks and continue to saute until leeks are softened. Add beets, carrots, celery, and cabbage. Toss with leeks and garlic. Add 6-8 cups water, bring up temperature to almost boiling, reduce to low heat, cover and simmer until all vegetables are tender. Add in drained beans and salt & pepper to taste. Continue to simmer another 20 minutes. Serve with toasted croutons.

Makes... it is one of my stew recipes so it makes an enormous pot worth that you'll eat all week (at least 6 quarts). I seem to be incapable of making a small pot of homemade stew.

Oranics to You November 9, 2009, and Ellen's Gone Vegan

First of all, cool news from the world of celebrities (queer celebs at that) - Ellen has gone vegan! She's got some nice resources up on her page as well as interviews, book recommendations, etc.

Today's box from Organics to You contains:
  • The most lovely red, curly kale I've seen in ages
  • turnips
  • a serious pile of fingerling potatoes
  • radishes
  • Gorgeous golden beets with equally glorious greens
  • A big bunch of arugula
  • 4 little satsumas
  • a big leek
  • a few yellow onions
  • adorable, intertwining carrots
  • a lovely eggplant
  • more celery, amazingly long stalks
  • 3 lovely, mid-sized bok choy
We're doing pretty good at making it through the produce that arrives. Mostly. Still leftover from last week:
  • celery (we already had a huge amount of this on account of buying more when we'd forget we had it)
  • garlic (relieved that none was delivered today)
  • onions
  • broccoli
  • corn
  • persimmons
  • a few carrots
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 Russet potatoes
Today I think I'm going to whip up some cabbage, leek, carrot, celery beet & bean soup to use up some of the veggies we have leftover. This week may see a revisit of the scalloped potatoes from last month. I think we were onto something with the creamy, raw cashew sauce and those little fingerling potatoes I think will be really tasty in it. I'm also thinking some kind of balsamic reduction with the arugula, tossed with pasta and beans. The radishes will go right into my lunch, raw, and be eaten with hummus (Christie only really likes daikon and none of the spicer types). I'll likely do a light grill on slices of the eggplant and top with miso, perhaps with some tofu slices as well, and take for lunch since I'm the one who really likes eggplant.

On another note of preserving/getting good at using up our produce purchases -- we aren't getting the apples and pears eaten quickly enough. We both tend to like apples very crisp and tart. I'm thinking of cutting up all of what's left, except the Asian pears (such a different water content), and making a maple & spice compote. Not quite cooked to sauce, thicker and more like a topping for the molasses pancakes Christie made the other day. That will get all the fruit processed before it goes to waste and the canned compote can be part of the edible goodies we'll be giving as holiday gifts this year.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sweet & Sour Braised Cabbage & Carrots

This is last week's cabbage. Gloriously purple, gorgeous shape, and as big as my head. Really. It was the Cabbage as Big as My Head (insert your own dramatic reverb here) This week a smaller head of white cabbage was delivered so it was high time to address the giant head already in the fridge. I'm cold and didn't want salad. We also had a whole lotta carrots and it seemed the sweetness of those would add nicely to the cabbage.

The Stuff
  • Half a large head of purple
  • 4 large carrots
  • 1/4 medium red onion, sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced small
  • 1/4 c. maple syrup
  • 2 T white wine vinegar
  • 1 8 oz block of tempeh
The Making

First slice tempeh into 1" wide slices and grill until golden brown on the cut sides. Sprinkle with garlic pepper and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, roughly cut into 1" chunks and set aside

Halve the cabbage again and slice into 1" strips, set aside. Slice carrots on bias into 1/4", coins and set aside. Heat canola oil in large saute pan on medium heat and add onions. Cool until onions are shiny and starting to go translucent, then add garlic. Continue to cook garlic and onions until the onions began to darken and caramelize a little. Add carrots, cover, and cook until onions began to take on an orange hue from the carrots. Add cabbage, sprinkle with sea salt, cover and cook until cabbage starts to soften. Add in the grilled tempeh, maple syrup and vinegar. Cover and continue to cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed and cabbage is tender.

Feeds 4, I served this with qunioa for a nice, nutrient-packed grain accompaniment

Monday, November 2, 2009

Organics to You November 2, 2009

Last week's cooking also saw another squash/bean/polenta casserole to serve to guests on Halloween, a delicious soup, a Saturday breakfast scramble and sweet & sour cabbage, kale cauliflower & tofu. I didn't make it through all the veggies, not even close!!

Some notes on the Halloween casserole. This variation on this casserole included 1 of the Schwartz Hubbard and 1 Delicata squash from our basement stash, roasted until they caramelized on the edges and mashed. The squash all went into the bottom of the 9 x 12, oiled pan and was topped with the white bean, leek, garlic, rosemary & olive oil combination. The beans were topped with dry-toasted pine nuts and a chiffonade of fresh basil & oregano (I am thinking a light sprinkle of shredded sage leaves would be more fitting to the autumn season). The polenta had once again been cooked in the pressure cooker, this time I'd darkened the garlic in the olive oil then fished it out so it was just the garlic infused oil. Then in went the polenta, sea salt, nutritional yeast, white miso, and a generous amount of pepper. The cooked polenta went on top again. Baked, the under the broiler to toast the polenta a little. Delicious!

I didn't touch the giant head of purple cabbage, the radishes (only I like these, Christie does not), the greens of the beets, the garlic (already had some), or the bok choy. The Halloween party helped use up some of the beets (served raw, sliced thin, most people hadn't seen Chioggia beets before, so fun to introduce folks), the carrots, some of the cauliflower and the rest of the broccoli. All of the produce, except perhaps the baby bok choy (which seemed a little beat up), was very tasty.

That we've started off this delivery experiment with several veggies in the fridge already along with pounds of apples, it isn't too bad. I managed to use up a lot of the veggies we had already and many of the ones delivered. I'm wondering how I can preserve some things we get too much of in a way we'd enjoy using it. Maybe a big pot of cabbage soup that can be frozen to serve for lunches? I also think I just need to chop up a bunch of stuff so it is easy for us to grab raw veggies to take to work, either to eat with hummus or steam.

This week's box has a much smaller head of white cabbage and some larger, nicer looking bok choy. 2 more good sized leeks, some more broccoli (a real winner last week), 6 very nice looking Russet potatoes, more garlic, 2 shallots & a yellow onion, celery, 3 small ears of corn, a bunch of collard greens, a head of Romanesco broccoli, 1 green bell pepper, and more kiwi berries.

I'm thinking we'll have either stuffed cabbage rolls or do this with the collard greens. Or perhaps some great raw wraps one day using the collard leaves. The corn must be the very last of the season - will just steam this in the husk and enjoy. We learned that we should eat the kiwi berries right away, by the time we were eating them Saturday many were over ripe. I'm also thinking I'm going to roast some of the extra heads of garlic, we now have 4, which is kind of a lot for us. Have a lot of yellow onions as well, which I may caramelize a lot of to serve later (perhaps I'll try my hand at Mjdara this week).