Posts Tagged CSA

Summer CSA’s

I stopped taking pictures of my CSA deliveries for a while there.  I like winter squash, greens and citrus plenty, but after a while they’re not that exciting.  When summer produce starting arriving my interest was renewed!  Before I get to that, here are a few dishes that used up the last of my winter and spring produce.

Fajita-style poblanos, fennel and mushrooms over polenta cakes with lettuce, tangerine salsa, beans and a bit of Daiya.

I had some sweet potatoes sitting around and decided to try to make a sweet potato based bbq sauce.  It turned out a little grainy but tasted good enough on tempeh.  In the back is a brussels sprout and corn hash.

To use up some root veggies, I made this Root Vegetable Stew with Herbed Dumplings from Eating Well.

I used Tofurkey Italian Sausage and subbed egg substitute in the dumplings.  This was a very hearty and tasty dish.  You cook the dumplings right on top of the stew!  Some of my root veggies were beets, which turned the whole thing red and a little sweet.  Next time I would probably stick with neutral colored roots.

Black bean and sweet potato hash with cumin, coriander and orange; steamed broccoli on the side.

6-9-11 CSA - corn, lettuce, peppermint, carots and radishes

cherries, cantaloupe, tomatoes

This orzo salad was for Vegan Happy Hour.  I caramelized shallots then reduced some balsamic vinegar in the same pan, and blended the mixture with mayo and seasonings.  The orzo and dressing was tossed with diced tomato, raw corn and fresh basil.

This isn’t CSA related, but these blackberries came from my backyard!  We had some friends over on a Saturday and I had a bowl of freshly picked berries, so I made the Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins from Joy of Vegan Baking into a cake, subbing berries for the chocolate.  I added some cinnamon, which was a great compliment to the banana and berries.  This was a perfect snack cake – moist but not dense, sweet but not too sweet.

6-16-11 CSA - bok choy, avocado, lettuce, cilantro

melon, strawberries, carrots, gypsy peppers, tomatoes

Peppermint tea!  I’m not a huge fan of mint in food, so I boiled a pot of water then seeped a whole bunch of mint.  Strained, chilled and served cold with stevia and lemon, it was a great treat.

After my last CSA delivery included basil, I was wondering what I could use to make an interesting pesto other than nuts.  Lucky for me, that very same day Gena of Choosing Raw posted a recipe for hemp pesto.  Perfect!  I dont’ love hemp seeds as is, so I’m always looking for different ways to incorporate them into my diet.  I used only one tablespoon of oil, and mixed the pesto with some shirataki noodles.  In the back are some green beans cooked with coconut oil, onion, lemon and fresh dill.  I really liked the pesto, and had the leftovers on toast with arugula and sliced tomato.

Lastly, one of my favorite ways to use up random veggies, the hot dog salad.  This salad included lettuce, tomato, gypsy peppers, radishes, carrot, cilantro, sliced veggie dogs and Cesar Chavez Dressing from Appetite for Reduction.  What is most important about this picture is that I finally figured out how to take a good picture of a giant salad!  Normally I just pile stuff in the salad bowl while I chop it up.  For this picture, I kept a bit of each topping off to the side then sprinkled them on top at the end so that you can see all the pretty colors!  Obvious to some, maybe, but I was pretty proud of this accomplishment.

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Appetite For Reduction – Review & Giveaway

When I first heard about Appetite For Reduction, Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s latest cookbook, I knew it would be right up my alley.  The recipes are similar to how I usually cook – whole foods, high flavor, low fat and calories.  I bought the book a few weeks before Christmas and having been cooking from it since.  Most of the recipes I’ve chosen so far have been based on what has been in my CSA deliveries, and there are a lot more recipes I look forward to trying.

Broiled Blackened Tofu.  You just coat the tofu with the spice mix and broil it.  Simple and tasty!

Butternut Coconut Rice.  Mixing in mashed butternut squash is a smart way to make rice yummy and coconutty without adding a lot of fat.  The only thing I would change with this recipe is to dice the shallot instead of slicing it, because the long slices were  kind of weird compared to the texture of the rest of the dish.

Pineapple Collards.  This maybe doesn’t look too appealing because my ginger was stringy, but the flavor is great.  I just wish I had used more collards, because the pineapple/garlic/ginger combo was a little overpowering.  Plus, I wanted to eat more of it.

All packed up to take for lunch.

Curried Cabbage & Peas, served with quinoa.  The texture on these veggies was great – they were cooked enough to be tender, but still have a bite to them.  The curry flavor isn’t incredibly complex, but the dish comes together really quickly, so I’m not complaining!

Not from AFR – I ate this Romanesco Carrot Salad with the curried cabbage.  The recipe was in my CSA’s newsletter, and it was a nice way to use the romanesco.

Irish Stew with Potatoes & Seitan.  This was a bust for me, but not due to the recipe.  I used the steamed white seitan from Viva Vegan, and even after being sauteed the seitan was squishy like raw dough, and really unpleasant to eat.  I’ve heard about other people having trouble with the seitan recipe, and also others who have had success, so perhaps it was just me.  I picked all the seitan out, and the stew was pretty good.

Tempeh Helper.  This is one I was really excited about.  The recipe is posted here, on The PPK blog.  This is super good!  It tastes like junk food from a box, but isn’t junky at all.  I was skeptical about the technique – you cook the pasta and other ingredients in a pan with a smaller amount of water than normal – but it worked out well.  The pasta came out al dente, and the water cooked off without the dish getting dry.  Next time I want to crumble the tempeh more finely so it’s spread throughout the dish.

The Gravy Bowl, slightly modified.  I know how to put together a “bowl” on my own, but the suggestions in the three-page bowl section are good when you’re looking for something easy to throw together.  Brown rice, baked tofu, steamed kale and collards and silky chickpea gravy.  The gravy is not as flavor-intensive as some gravies, but for a gravy made with 1 teaspoon of oil it’s darned good.

Sushi Roll Edamame Salad.  I’m no stranger to the sushi salad.  I had tried this salad previously at a potluck, so I knew how good it was, which is why I was surprised that mine didn’t taste as good.  I think I put too much green onion in the dressing (maybe my onions were particularly strong), and then added more as garnish, and the onion overpowered the whole thing.  Less green onion next time, and it will be great.

Orange-Scented Broccoli, which I served alongside the sushi salad.  This one was not my favorite; it tasted like ginger, garlic, broccoli and orange separately, as opposed to coming together as one big flavor.  It was more cohesive as leftovers the next day, after the flavors had a chance to meld.  Still, next time I would probably just steam the broccoli.

Morrocan Chickpeas & Zucchini served with Caulipots.  I used some early-season, tender zucchini in this dish.  The flavor in this soup is fantastic.  It’s really easy to make, and turns out with a really wonderful spiciness throughout.  The caulipots (mashed potatoes made partly with cauliflower) were a nice, creamy counterpart.  I looked forward to eating these leftovers each day.

Butternut-Apple Soup and Fresh Corn & Scallion Cornbread.  Sadly, this soup was another dud for me.  It’s not a bad recipe by any means, just a matter of taste.  I think I’m learning that I just don’t like apples in soup.  The cornbread was nice dipped in the soup, and the whole corn kernels made for good texture.

Lastly for today, Yam & Black Bean Soup with Orange & Cilantro.  I wasn’t expecting anything amazing from this recipe, so I was pleasantly surprised that it tastes amazing!  The simple ingredients combine to make one wonderfully tasty soup.  The two serrano peppers really turn up the heat, and the orange juice keeps it fresh.  I baked some corn tortilla chips for dipping.

Considering how much I’ve enjoyed the recipes I’ve made so far, this might be the first cookbook that I end up making almost every recipe from.

Luckily for you guys, my mom is an excellent present-buyer.  She also knew that I would love AFR, and bought me a copy for Christmas, which I am now passing on to one of you!  And, I got the book signed when I had the pleasure of attending a cooking demo that Isa did a few weeks ago.  She made the Thai Roasted Root Vegetable Curry and Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits, both of which I now want to make myself.

To enter to win this copy of Appetite For Reduction, leave a comment on this post with a healthy cooking tip.  It doesn’t have to be anything complicated, just any tip for cooking healthy vegan food.  The contest will be open until midnight PST this Wednesday, March 9, and I’ll pick a comment at random.  Please be sure to include your e-mail address (unless I’m able to find it by following a link to your blog).  I’ll be back on Thursday to announce the winner and show you a few more recipes I’ve made from AFR.  Good luck!

PS – I should mention that this is open to residents of the US and Canada only.  Sorry, everyone else!  If shipping was less costly, I would love to send it around the world!

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Salads of the Millennium

Wowzers, it’s been a long time!  Turns out blogging is one of those things for me that, the longer I go without doing it, the harder it is to jump back in.  So, here we go!

First, here is a CSA delivery I received in early December.

lettuce, spinach, arugula, bok choy, leeks & romanesco

carrots, apples, butternut squash, oranges, pears & a red onion

I’ve had The MIllennium Cookbook for years, but never cooked out of it because I was under the impression that all of the recipes would be too time consuming.  I’ve seen other bloggers do it though, especially Cooking The Vegan Books, so I gave it a shot.  The greens in my CSA delivery were so salad worthy, and I figured that salads were a good place to start.

This beauty is Bitter Greens, Figs, Butternut Squash, and Beets with Curried Almond Dressing, a great example of a composed salad.  It wasn’t my favorite flavor-wise, but it was certainly fun to put together.  Look at those figs!  I never would’ve thought to present figs like that on my own.  The squash was a little undercooked for my taste, so next time I would roast it at a higher temperature instead of baking at 350 like the recipe calls for.  I looooved the dressing, and it’s low fat/low cal to boot, but when used on the bitter greens it was kind of like bitter on bitter.  I think the dressing would be nicer on mild greens like spinach or butter lettuce, with some sweet components to round out the flavor.  I had some of the leftovers with dried cranberries instead of the figs, which was also a nice option for when figs aren’t in season.

I had these cute little roasted romanescos on the side.

The second salad I tried was the incredible Millennium Warm Spinach Salad.  The combination of red onion, mushrooms, smoked tofu and spinach in the warm balsamic vinaigrette was mouth-watering.  The recipe says it serves six, but I could have eaten the entire pan of it!  It took some extreme self-control to make it last for four meals.  Next time I would double the amount of spinach to extend the recipe a little, and sop of some of the extra dressing in the pan, which turned out to be really good on a baked potato.  This salad is guest worthy, for sure.  Note to self:  Make this for guests!

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VeganMoFo: The Dregs of My Fridge

And so we come to the end of VeganMoFo 2010!  I didn’t meet my goal of blogging every weekday, but I did write make-up posts on the weekends when I missed, so I am still declaring my goal met.  I’ve really enjoyed reading lots of the other MoFo posts.  Sadly, I barely had enough time to keep up with the blogs that I already read, and I didn’t have much time to check out new blogs.  I’ll be reading through all the other blogs now that things are slowing down.

My themed weeks were really fun – Other Bloggers’ Recipes Week, Vegetarian Times Week, and Flavor Bible Week.  I don’t cook from recipes as often as I like, nor do I force myself to work with ingredients I’m not used to, so it really took me outside my comfort zone.  The unfortunate side effect was that I mostly ignored my CSA deliveries in November, letting the fruits and veggies wither away.  Here are the contents of the latest box.

napa cabbage, broccolini, kohlrabi, lettuce and spinach

pears, cranberries, carrots, apples, sweet potatoes, radishes, beets and radicchio

So, while MoFo was fun, I’m looking forward to going back to using my CSA deliveries well, going to the farmer’s market, and bringing my grocery budget back into a normal range.  Tonight I used some of the sad vegetables to make dinner.

While it doesn’t photograph well, this casserole has everything I want in a one-dish dinner:  protein, green veggies, complex carbs, healthy fats, creamy and crunchy textures, and a good calorie count.  I wasn’t sure I liked it at first, but as I kept eating the flavors totally grew on me.  This casserole may not be for you if you don’t like cabbage, tempeh and sweet potatoes because, well, that’s what it’s made from!

Creamy Cabbage & Tempeh Casserole with Mashed Sweet Potatoes

1 1/4 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
2 Tbs cashew butter
1 Tbs white miso
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp vinegar
2 Tbs nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs canola oil
medium leek, light green part only, halved, rinsed and sliced
large carrot, finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
medium head green cabbage, shredded
8 oz package tempeh, crumbled
1/4 cup chickpea flour
1 tsp fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp dried
1 cup vegetable broth or water
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Place 1 cup of the milk in a measuring glass or small bowl.  Add the cashew butter, miso, Dijon mustard, vinegar, nutritional yeast, salt and a few grinds of black pepper.  (If using water instead of vegetable broth, add a pinch more salt.)  Whisk together – It’s okay if there are a few small lumps of cashew butter left.
3. Place the oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the leek, carrot, celery and garlic and saute for about 10 minutes, or until vegetables are starting to soften.
4. Add the cabbage and increase the heat a bit.  Continue to cook for 5 minutes, until most of the cabbage is wilted.  Stir frequently so that the cabbage doesn’t brown too much.
5. Add the tempeh, chickpea flour and thyme and cook for 1 minute, stirring very well to fully incorporate the flour.
6. Re-whisk the milk mixture and add to the pot, stirring well.  The mixture will be absorbed quickly.
7. Add the vegetable broth or water and mix well.  Continue to cook and stir until there is little liquid at the bottom of the pan.
8. Transfer the mixture to a 9 X 9 baking dish.  Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
9. Meanwhile, place the sweet potatoes in a pot and cover with water.  Cover the pot and bring to a boil.  Boil for about 10 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork.
10. Drain the sweet potatoes and return to the pot, adding the remaining 1/4 cup milk and a pinch of salt.  Mash well.
11. Uncover the baking dish and carefully spread the sweet potatoes over the top, trying not to disturb the cabbage mixture.  Grind some black pepper over the sweet potatoes.  Return the casserole to the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
12. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.  To serve, cut each portion with a knife then transfer to plate with a spatula.

Servings: 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 431.67
Calories From Fat (33%) 144.56
% Daily Value
Total Fat 16.93g 26%
Saturated Fat 2.73g 14%
Cholesterol 0.62mg <1%
Sodium 910.7mg 38%
Potassium 1240.32mg 35%
Total Carbohydrates 53.99g 18%
Fiber 12.42g 50%
Sugar 13.32g
Protein 22.88g 46%

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Vegan MoFo and September CSA’s – Simple Food


I bit the bullet and signed up for VeganMoFo.  To be honest, I’m excited but dreading the work and extra time it’s going to take to blog more often, but in the end I’m sure it will be worth it.  My goal is to blog at least every weekday.

If you’re unfamiliar with VeganMoFo, this oughta explain it:  http://veganmofo.wordpress.com/about/

VeganMoFo Headquarters will post roundups and updates, and this dedicated forum at The PPK will provide lively discussion and inspiration.

My plan for November is such:

Week One – Random but interesting posts to get caught up and eased in.
Week Two – Other bloggers’ recipes.  I read so many food blogs with so many good recipes but never get around to making them, so I’ve picked five of my favorite blogs and will prepare their recipes.
Week Three – Vegetarian Times week.  I’ve subscribed to VT for over five years, and I read regularly but rarely make any of their recipes.  I’ve picked out meals from the October or November issue of VT from the last five years.
Week Four – Flavor Bible Challenge.  The Flavor Bible is a big book which lists flavor matches for tons of different ingredients, so to get my creative juices flowing I flipped to five random pages and will make a dish with a match from that page that is either unusual or something I’ve never paired.  I haven’t decided yet whether I’ll adapt recipes or create my own, or both.

My criteria for choosing MoFo recipes is essentially that they fit the way I eat, which is seasonal, relatively low-cal/low-fat, and not ridiculously time-consuming.

Also, you must be living under a rock if you’re a vegan blogger who doesn’t know about this yet, but the first vegan blogger conference, Vida Vegan, is taking place in Portland next August.  I haven’t registered yet but plan on doing so as soon as possible.  I can’t wait to visit Portland for the first time!

On to the food!

9-9-10 CSA:  fingerling potatoes, broccoli, zucchini, radishes, basil and lettuce

pears, tomatoes, purple peppers, plums, cantaloupe

The first thing I did with those fresh veggies was a big salad for lunch.  This one had lettuce, cucumber, radish, tomato, purple peppers, and an herbed balsamic vinaigrette heavy on the dried oregano.

I wanted to use the zucchini raw, and I had what I thought was the great idea to blend it with the basil and some silken tofu to make a pasta sauce.  I don’t know which ingredient was the culprit, but it turned out bitter and not that good.  Thank goodness I added marinara and vegan parmesan to the whole wheat penne, which saved my dinner!

One day, I craved a big ol’ veggie plate.  Roasted fingerlings, seasoned tomato, steamed squash and black eyed peas with onion, turnips, turnip greens, some other sort of green, and some liquid smoke.  The plate was perfectly tasty and filling.

9-23-10 CSA:  grapes, bok choy, radishes, honeydew and fennel

turnips, basil, swiss chard, pears, peppers and tomatoes

I actually did a really poor job of using this CSA delivery, and some of it went straight in the compost bin :(  My coworker did give me some Thai basil from her backyard, which inspired me to put what was left into this.

Red curry soup with onion, green pepper, turnip, carrot, swiss chard and peas.  I started with coconut oil and red curry paste and added everything else according to cooking time.  I didn’t have any coconut milk on hand, nor did I want the extra fat, so I added some almond milk at the end to make it a little creamy.

10-7-10 CSA:  green beans, collards, a leek, fennel, cilantro, lettuce

fingerling potatoes, swiss chard, purple peppers, plums, oranges, tomatoes, apples and radishes

Tofu scramble brunch with carrots, collard greens and Ezekiel toast with Earth Balance.  I don’t normally butter my toast, but man-oh-man it was so worth it!

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August CSA’s, and Getting Dave to Eat Tofu

8/12/10 CSA:  cauliflower, cucumber, bell peppers, plums, cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, pears, patty pan squash, basil and a cantaloupe

Most of these veggies went into a salad that wasn’t worth mentioning, but some of them went into this.

I turned a standard tagine recipe into a stew by adding more broth and some millet.  Also included were cauliflower, carrot, chickpeas, tomatoes, peas and dried apricot.  This turned out pretty well, but the flavor was a little watered down, so I guess I didn’t compensate for the extra ingredients by adding enough spices.

8/26/10 CSA:  lemon cucumber, jalapenos, fennel, lettuce

lots of tomatoes, pears, apples, peaches and a cantaloupe

Some of these veggies went into a delicious Mexican-inspired meal which I will post about, just as soon as I get those recipes written up!

One Friday afternoon we came home from work, both ravenous.  I didn’t have anything planned for dinner and wanted to throw something together quickly, and asked Dave if he wanted to have what I was having for dinner.  When Dave is hungry and has no food in the house, it’s easy to get him to eat almost anything.

Ugly picture, tasty sandwich.  I thawed a block of tofu that had been living in the freezer for lord knows how long, and baked it with a smoky maple sauce.  Topped with a really nice tomato and crisp lettuce, and served on wheat toast with Vegenaise.  Who could say no?

I had some rice left over from Chinese takeout which was begging to be made into fried rice, so I threw it in the wok with all the veggies I had – onion, garlic, carrot, celery, tons of cabbage, edamame and broccoli.  This was light on rice and heavy on cabbage, and if I remember correctly Dave had some of it too.

Lastly, some braised mustard greens that I made to accompany some beanie weenies.  I bought the greens in a pre-washed and -chopped package from Trader Joe’s, which made ‘em that much quicker to prepare.  I started by cooking onion and garlic slowly to develop the flavor, then added the greens, a chopped tomato and a thin layer of veggie broth.  And, if I know myself at all, there was probably a bit of liquid smoke.  The greens turned out really well, and I could’ve easily eaten the entire pan at once!

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July CSA’s – Pizza, Almondine, Beety Potatoes & Delicious Italian Food

I’m considering participating in VeganMoFo this year.  (If you don’t know what VeganMoFo is, check out Kittee’s post here.)  While some people save up pictures and posts to meet their self-set VeganMoFo post quota, I would like to catch up to at least fairly recent so I’m not blogging about food I ate three months ago!  It’s harder to remember the details of all these dishes, but I will do my best…

7/1/10 CSA:  cauliflower, gypsy peppers, green beans, zucchini, basil and lettuce

peaches, tomatoes, grapes, carrots and a watermelon

Taco salad!  Lettuce, tomatoes, roasted corn, cilantro, a quick ranch dressing made from Trader Joe’s reduced-fat mayo (which explains the weird color and sheen), and to be honest, I don’t remember what the taco part on top was.  I think it might have been sauteed peppers, mushrooms, onions, spices and other stuff – Whatever it was, I remember it being good!

Zucchini pizza on a brown rice tortilla with basil and Daiya mozzarella.

Tofu Almondine with Lemony Green Beans, adapted from Clean Eating Magazine’s Chicken Almondine recipe.  I also had some dry-roasted cauliflower on the side.  The flavor of the tofu and green beans was really good, but it was kind of dry.  I felt some sort of sauce would have brought it together.

7/15/10 CSA:  grapes, lettuce, beets, purple basil, corn and a lemon cucumber

peaches, tomatoes, plums, an onion, a cantaloupe and carrots

I wanted to eat the corn raw, and I remembered that when I was in England I tried corn mixed with tuna salad and actually really liked it.  So, I made some chickpea tuna salad, mixed in the corn, and rolled it up in a Flat Out with lettuce.  Those are Food Should Taste Good chips in the background.  I love their chips!  They’re so good that I don’t buy them very often, because I’ll eat the whole bag much too fast.

I don’t know what possessed me, but I decided that I would make beet-stuffed potatoes.  I baked the potatoes and beets, sauteed some minced leeks, scooped out the potatoes then mashed the insides with the beets, the leeks, some parsley and probably some sort of vinegar, knowing me.  They turned out a little dry, but tasted really good, and turned everything red!

Clean-out-the-fridge Roasted Veggies:  sweet potato, onion, portobello, tomato, swiss chard and possibly some other things.  I roasted everything except the chard, then tossed the hot veggies with the greens to wilt them slightly.

7/29/10 CSA:  watermelon, lettuce, cucumbers & corn.  I don’t know why they keep sending me watermelons!  I don’t like ‘em!

tomatoes, an onion, nectarines, grapefruit and grapes

Salad:  lettuce, corn, black beans, lime-marinated cucumbers, salsa & pepitas.  Super tasty and light!

Caponata over gluten free pasta.  I used this recipe for the caponata.  The raisins and red wine vinegar and capers made this TOTALLY delicious.  The eggplant seemed a little undercooked, but that might have been because I reduced the oil called for a little.  I would definitely make this again.

To go with the caponata and add some protein, I made mashed white beans, I think using this recipe.  They were easy and tasty, with a very satisfying mouthfeel.

I was going to slice the zucchini into long, thin strips and use it as the “noodles” in a lasagna, but I was feeling really lazy the night I planned to make it, so I sliced it into half-moons instead and threw the lasagna together as a free-form casserole.  Still just as tasty.  Also in there was tofu ricotta, spinach, jarred sauce and Daiya mozzarella.  This post makes me feel like I eat a lot of Daiya since I’ve mentioned it twice, but I’m pretty sure the cheese here was leftover from the pizza above.

This isn’t CSA-related, but I wanted to share it because it was really good – Tofu Migas for breakfast.  I’ve never had real migas but have read several descriptions, so I figured I could wing it.  I scrambled the tofu with Mexican spices then added salsa, tortilla strips and some green onion.  I would definitely make something like this again if I had an extra tortilla laying around.

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