Sunday, June 28, 2015

CSA Week 4

Here's what's in the box this week:
Beet greens
Bok choy
Garlic scapes
Sweet and spicy vinegarette 
(Sorry no pic this week)

The beet greens were sautéed and added to what is becoming my standard morning breakfast - scrambled eggs with greens and green garlic butter. 

The zucchini was turned into zoodles then sautéed with the vinegarette, teriyaki and hot sauce. 

The bok choy was turned into an Indian dish with lentils. I loosely followed this recipe but used a pre-made spice mix.

The dill was made into a Greek style yogurt cucumber salad. It has my homemade yogurt, dill, scapes, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper 

I also added the scapes to the salad and to the dal in a scape-ginger paste.

I really enjoyed using my fun new kitchen equipment- my spiralizer!!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

CSA Week 3

Here's what's in the box this week:
Mixed lettuce
Beet green pesto
Lambs quarters
Garlic scapes 

Lambs quarters is something I've never heard of before (far right of pic). Apparently they are native to the area and grow wild. They are spinach-like and can be used where you would use spinach. First thing I did when I brought the box home was sauté the lambs quarters and radish tops. They made an appearance in my morning eggs (along with the green garlic butter, mornings are very happy at my house lately). 

I knew I wanted to make a dip because I was going to a blues festival over the weekend and wanted something portable. Spinach dill dip came to mind. I had some yogurt and ricotta. Added the garlic scapes and lemon. Voilà. The taste is pretty garlicky - I may be overly sensitive to raw garlic taste. I don't dislike it but it's one of those things that anyone around you should also partake...just so you are in the same boat.

What was left of the dill will be dried to be used for pickles. 

The beet green pesto went into a tomato, cucumber and mozzarella salad. It will also make an appearance as salad dressing base for the lettuce and radish. 

I think my approach to the CSA this year is to set myself up for success - sauté what greens you can to be used later so that you don't waste anything. We will see if I can still be so zen when I have more zucchini than I know what to do with...time will tell

Thursday, June 11, 2015

CSA Week 2

Here's what's in the box this week:
Mixed Salad greens
Garlic scapes
Hakurei turnips with greens
Spinach (went to my box-mate)
Vinaigrette (went to my box-mate)

Cut to obligatory salad picture. I am happy to report that there will likely be many pictures of salads to come! I added the cilantro to the salad greens and used the cilantro to make a cilantro-lime dressing (left over green garlic pesto, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, cilantro, juice of a lime, agave). The salad has pickled rhubarb, lactofermented green beans, white beans, turnips and tuna. 

I braised the turnip greens and turnips separately. The greens got a quick wash and chop, to the pan I added fat (I recently confit-ed chicken thighs, so I used that flavorful fat), some roasted garlic, and the washed greens. The beans in the salad I cooked from dry, so I added the pot liquor (aka bean cooking liquid - which, if your are going to store your beans for any time period, store them in the liquid, they will last much longer) as my braising liquid. Cook until your liquid has evaporated and the greens are tender. Once cooked, these can go in anything - for me, it made an appearance in my breakfast eggs with the green garlic butter...oh so good!

The turnips were braised with the garlic scapes. I used my pot liquor again in place of the stock. These turnips are Japanese in origin and raw taste like my mother's favorite veggie - kohlrabi. Braised like this, they are tender and sweet. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

CSA Week 1

I have been away for a few months, and I am sorry about that. My laptop has taken a dive and I have yet to replace it - don't really need one with an iPad and iPhone and work computer, etc. But it does make blogging a bit difficult. Well, since the CSA has started again, I will try to be better about posting more often - don't feel like you all are the only ones being ignored, the spice challenge didn't work out too well either. Will try to incorporate more spices in my CSA this time around...

I started with a different CSA this year - this one is from Fertile Grounds ( They start the season off earlier than my last CSA and they have pick ups right up the street from the clinic I volunteer at on my volunteer days, match made in heaven! They don't do half shares, so I am sharing a full share with a co-worker.

What's in the box this week:
spring mix
easter egg radish
green garlic
green garlic pesto

The CSA was nice enough to send notice of what they were stocking in the box, so I was planning on making green garlic pesto, but since that was included in the box (and I'm still working on my batches of pesto from last summer), I decided to make green garlic butter. I had 3 stalks of green garlic, so ended up tripling a recipe I found from the New York Times. Most of it was put in the freezer and I am planning to use it on a shrimp pasta later this week, but it is just wonderful on warm bread and in eggs!!

The pesto was incorporated into a salad dressing for the greens and radishes (oil, red wine vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, agave). I also added it to my morning eggs before I made the green garlic butter. Green garlic is baby garlic - when the farmer plants all the garlic in the winter, they are not totally sure what will and will not come up in the spring, so they over plant. Then they need to thin out the beds and thus, you get green garlic. It looks a lot like a green or spring onion but garlicy.

I'm a huge fan of rhubarb. I was so excited about spring that I made a big batch of strawberry rhubarb sauce 2 weeks ago when the rhubarb started showing up at my local farm stand, so this time around I wanted to try something different and I found a recipe for pickled rhubarb. Not quite sure how I'm going to use it now that it is pickled - it may just be eaten alone or incorporated into my salads.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Curry Powder Part 1

Since I have so many different curry powders, I thought I would start there. Did you know that curry powder is a British invention? When the English took over India, they loved the spiced dishes but wanted a spice mix to approximate these dishes. When a true Indian curry uses separate spices to make the whole dish. Tikka Masala isn't even a true Indian dish - it's English. Anyway....I have curry powder to be used. All I know is that it is labeled 'hot'. 

Looking though my recipes, I found a chicken curry in the crock pot. 

This is a little different than the curries I think about - no coconut. The mix is curry powder, garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper. Also should have fresh ginger but I was out, so I added a touch of ground. I also have some nice scallions that I added. Everyone into the pot for 8 hours. 

Turns out very tender, of course, and easily shredable. Add some rice (flavored with a rice spice) and pickled red onion. 

Another use I have found for curry powder is roasted chickpeas. These I cooked from dry but you can use canned that are well rinsed. Toss in oil and put into a 400 degree oven for 30-40 min. Then toss in the powder. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The 2015 Spice Challenge

Starting to unearth a work space in my new kitchen after moving so I am now starting on my 6 month adventure to use all my weird spices. First up, something easy - salad dressing

Yes, unfortunately I am sitting at my desk at work... Tells you how busy I have been lately. 

This dressing is my standard one - roasted garlic, red wine vinegar (homemade, will discuss in a future post), olive oil, mustard. It all goes in the Magic Bullet with the whipping blade. My ratio of oil to vinegar is on the tart side, so I usually have more vinegar than oil. I added Turkish salad dressing seasoning to taste - it ended up being a teaspoon for about 4 large salad's with of dressing. I actually have 2 different seasonings, so will have to make more dressing and compare. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

New Year, New Place

It's been a while since my last post. My computer was on the fritz then we got into the holidays and well, I just got out of the habit of blogging. I was doing pretty good there for a while, hoping to get to it most weeks this year (a continuation of my resolution for last year). One of the things that has been keeping me busy of late is that my landlord informed me right after the first of the year that she's giving up the house. Lots of drama there and frankly I'm glad to be out of the place soon - the smoking, the wonky washer, the running toilet! I think I will be MUCH happier in the new place. Here are some pictures!

Look at all that counter space!!

Much more open concept and the dreaded desk (which is currently in the hallway of my old place) will fit! Success!

One thing I have learned about myself is that apparently, I am a spice hoarder. You will see below that I have three (count, them 3!!) reusable grocery bags of spices. Now to be fair, the blue bag has 2 bins of bags of spices, so that's not too much and the insulated bag has my box of herbs/spices for bitters. So I guess it isn't really that much (the rationalization of a true hoarder)...

After packing it all up, I vowed that I was going to go through it all. There has to be duplicates, right?

As it turns out, not really that many duplicates. Oye. As any good, OCD, pharmacist, I made a list of the weirder spices that I have and gave myself a deadline of using everything at least once in 6 months. If I don't, then it is getting thrown away. I'm sure some of it isn't even good anymore, I mean some of those spices are from when I lived in Tucson (which was almost 4 years ago). There is some sentimental attachment to most of these though - spices I brought back from Bali (anyone know what to do with black chilly?), lemongrass and galangal powder from the Indonesian Super Bowl party my mom, aunt Lora and I threw, Turkish salad seasoning and curries from when my mom went to Turkey, Indian curry from when she went to India, my friend Ravi's dad's special home mixed garam masala he brought back for an Indian dinner party, chile from Tucson, the list goes on an on.

I am so looking forward to breaking in my new kitchen using all of these spices! Will keep you all posted how it goes along the way.