Thursday, February 28, 2013

FARM FRESH 2-28


We have been members of our local CSA for almost a year now and I have nothing but positive things to say about it. There are those times when the sheer volume of weird veg (I'm talking about you beets and kohlrabi) can be a bit exasperating, and of course living in the South, I've learned that sweet potatoes are pretty much a given ALL YEAR LONG but overall, it rocks. 

I've had to get really creative with our weekly meal plan. Though it can be a challenge, thanks to Pinterest (follow my boards at beautyinbits) and sites like allrecipes.com, not to mention a zillion amazing food bloggers, there is no shortage of recipe ideas out there for the taking. I hate eating the same thing over and over, and before we belonged to Johnson's Backyard Garden, there were often weeks where we begrudgingly relied on the spaghetti/taco/enchilada/pasta lineup, stocking our carts with oodles of processed canned, boxed, and sacked food--simply because we couldn't think of anything else to make. 
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Having a visual of what produce we are getting for the week--and it is a giant amount if you are wondering-- has forced us to research recipes and ingredients that we would never have attempted before, usually finding that they are delicious as well as healthy. Even if you go to the farmers market regularly, you are probably going to come home with same 5 safe veggies you always buy and shy away from say beet greens, napa cabbage, and fresh parsley. 

It is a good feeling knowing that I am eating and serving a diet wholly based on foods that are fresh, organically farmed, and in season, thus maximizing their nutrients and taste.  As you can see, recipes I find, really just serve as inspiration. In order to keep costs down I usually end up subbing half the ingredients for something I have on hand. Some of my latest cooking adventures, in no particular order: 

Sweet Potato Burgers based on this recipe. Non-meat dinners are a tough sell to the Man, but we agreed these were pretty good but needed some changes: 
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-I would eliminate the egg. The texture got too gloppy. 
-Use black beans instead of white  just for a little more texture and color. 
-Cook the shit out of them and press them a little thinner so they get a nice "chicken patty crunch" 
-Served with roasted red pepper instead of avocado. It's a better texture foil to the mushy potato
-Add mustard to the garlic sauce. It needs the tang. 

Kale Quiche based on this recipe. This recipe is EASY. Thumbs up from all family members. I served with fried potatoes for a "breakfast for supper" meal. 
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-Save yourself an hour and just saute' the kale. Chop it up. Bam. 
-I used pre-made canister bread crumbs because I was sick and lazy, and they worked just fine. 
-Next time I will pump up the jam (Uh pump it up, yo pump it!..sorry, if you're under 30) with some canned artichokes, mushrooms, and crumbled sausage for a fuller meal. 
-I didn't have any fancy guyere so I used leftover shredded mozz and parm. Same effect. 
DELISH. 
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Black Bean Brownies based on this recipe. These are made with black beans instead of flour (if you're a gluten free hipster). 
Ruby hates black beans but loves chocolate. Mwah ha. Mommy 1. Toddler 0. 

-Use a muffin tin. Easier to portion and no messy pan. duh. 
-There's only 3/4 cup sugar in this recipe which isn't bad but I may try applesauce next time?
-I put 3 or 4 chocolate chips on tops before baking. It's just enough to pretend their chocolate. 

We freakin' gobbled up these suckers and the Man said he couldn't tell they were made o beans. 
SCORE. By the way, these have nothing to with the farm but I'm proud of them and it's my blog. 

Random Ass Salad inspired by whatever I could find in our house the "day before grocery shopping".
Made with variety of farm fresh nummies, and hard boiled egg, on a day when we had "nothing to eat." It turned out so pretty I snapped it. Mega-nutrients.

Sweet Potato Soup based on this recipe. Gorgeous and smelled amazing. Warning if you're from Minnesota..it is spicy! 
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-I roasted up the sweet potatoes in my toaster oven a few days before I actually made the soup and stored them in the fridge. I use that thing so much it is like charred and black and the bottom burner isn't working--time for a new one. I do 90% of my baking it it and it is awesome for roasting up a pepper, garlic, or random ingredients without using so much energy and heating up the whole house. 

-I used half of a tiny can of whole chipotles in adobo sauce instead of powder. Yummy and adds texture and color.
-Instead of the zest, I just squeezed the juice of a small orange into it for some tangety tang. 
-Of course I added a big clove of minced garlic. Because recipes without garlic are just dumb. 

SO GOOD and different!  

Ultimate Chicken Soup for Colds and Flu. 

I have been sick all week and done so much coughing that I was getting six-pack abs and hadn't slept for nearly 3 nights. I found this recipe and literally drank about a gallon of this soup yesterday while recovering. I pretty much followed it to the letter, except:

-I only added 2 chicken legs without the skin so there was a lot less meat
-I added a big spoonful of turmeric to my bowl before serving. That stuff cures everything. 
-Ditto for a small clove of raw garlic. Smooshed it right into the bowl and filled with soup. 
-Squeezed lemon over the top for tang and Vitamin C. 

It is HOT HOT HOT, but so savory and delicious. Again, Scandinavians beware.  I suppose if you're a spice-weenie, you could eliminate the hot stuff, but I could literally feel the soup burning up the germs, the spice clearing my airways and the salty, chicken goodness soothing my sore throat and bronchial tubes. I feel 60% better today.  I even heated up half a cup of the broth, right before bed and crashed out for a decent night's sleep. Note: This pic is the soup on day two. It looked a lot prettier the first day. I strained out the gook today and have just been tugging on the broth all day. 

And finally This Tex Mex Shrimp Salad from this recipe. So delicious! 
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-I used frozen shrimp because we always have a bag on hand. 
-I served with warm, fresh tortillas because quite frankly if we ate a salad for dinner, we would be ordering pizza two hours later. 

Hope the rest of the week finds you inspired in your cooking, and in good health! 
Happy Eating! 
Rachel 

photo credits 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6


1 comment:

jackeline said...

The sweet potato soup sounds yummy, I've never made one before, so I will have to try it.