Thursday, October 16, 2014

Tasty Thursday: Green Beans

Recently part of our CSA share was pick your own beans.  There were green, wax and broad, flat beans.  We mostly picked the broad, flat ones but did take a few green beans as you can see in the photo.  Having a lot of business travel the next few weeks I didn't want to leave much sitting around for the rest of the family to forget about until it went bad so while I simmered the tomatoes from this week's share into gravy that will be frozen for use during the winter I set out to take care of the beans.  I cut the stem ends off then cut the beans in half.  Tossed them into a pan with a little bit of water, covered and let cook on high for four minutes, stirred, then cooked for another three.  I like my beans to have a little crunch to them so I don't want to cook too long.

After seven minutes I drained the water, added about 1/4 cup of coconut aminos and let cook for another three minutes, for ten minutes total cooking time.  Next I sprinkled the beans with some sesame seeds and recovered the pan, removed it from the heat and let sit for five minutes before plating.  They were quite tasty and had that nice bit of crunch that I love.

Easy enough for a hectic day when you feel like you have no time to cook.  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Tasty Thursday: Baba Ghanouj

Since about a month after my surgery I have had a yen for eggplant.  I may have eaten more baba ghanouj in the last few months than I did in the past five years so of course I wanted to try my hand at making it myself.  I've tried it two ways - baking the eggplant in the oven and roasting it on the barbecue.  I think I prefer the taste of the barbecue method and plan to use it until the part of the winter when it is so darned cold outside that I can't possibly imagine being out there for half an hour while I roast eggplants.  First, I have to ask, how gorgeous are these CSA eggplants roasting on my grill?

The roasting part is really easy, just turn your grill onto high, place the eggplants directly on the rack and grill on each side until charred.  The skin will break and change color.  The juice that drips out onto the grill will smell nice too.  Once you've charred your eggplant, remove it from the grill, allow to cool, then peel and discard the skin.  I'm not ashamed to say it smelled so good I tasted a bit of the skin before I discarded it.  Yummy.

I'm getting hungry just looking at the photo.  So glad there is a tasty jar of the finished product in my fridge waiting for me to dig in.  Here's a peek:

Ingredients:


2 eggplant, roasted, skin removed
3 tablespoons tahini
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon good cider vinegar (I like Bragg's)
3/4 teaspoon smoked salt
1/2 teaspoon of oil from the tahini jar


I tried mashing it together with a fork, however it didn't break up small enough so I dumped it into the chopper attachment of the stick blender and gave it a good spin to get it to the texture I wanted.  This is so yummy, I love the little bite the vinegar gives it.  I hope you'll give it a try and tell me what you think.

Enjoy!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Tasty Thursday: Pickled Radishes

How pretty is this jar of radishes?  Once again I found myself ready to head out on a business trip knowing that by the time I got home all our beautiful, fresh, organic CSA food would be wilted and sad looking in the fridge when I returned.  It feels like my family goes for convenience and ignores fresh food when I'm out of town, which really frustrates me.  So I spent the day before I left cooking, packaging and sometimes freezing up a storm to ensure I wouldn't encounter a sad, wilty fridge when I got back while at the same time ensuring they'd have their convenience while I was away.  I decided to pickle the radishes and after looking at lots of Pinterest search results I chose the recipe I found at Garden Therapy because it was simple and I had all the ingredients on hand.

INGREDIENTS:
10 delicious organic CSA radishes, including the as pungent as they are pretty, watermelon variety
1 large clove organic CSA garlic
3/4 cup water (I used plain old tap water)
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar (I used Bragg's)
3 tablespoons honey (from my local apiary)

Slice your radishes thin.  Place them and the peeled, whole garlic clove in your jar.  Fill it with hot water to warm the vegetables and jar so it doesn't crack when you pour the hot liquid in it later.  Place other ingredients in saucepan and warm until all are dissolved.  Drain hot water from jar, pour pickling mixture in and let sit in fridge for 24 hours before eating.  The recipe I referenced said this would keep 3-4 weeks but I doubt they will go a week before we consume them all.  Still bright and pretty immediately after adding the hot liquid.


After curing for a while the liquid has taken on some of the radishes' color and has a pink tinge.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tasty Thursday: Another Savory Oatmeal


I used to be a huge lover of macaroni and cheese.  Once I became both vegan and gluten free I thought I would never find a substitute for mac 'n cheese that I found as satisfying as the boxed stuff I ate as a kid.  I've been on a binge for savory steel cut oats and it occurs to me that the reason may be that it has become my new mac 'n cheese.  It certainly tastes as good to  my mature taste-buds as that powdery stuff did to my childhood taste-buds so you may see quite a few more versions of the steel cut oats, nut milk, vegetable broth and nutritional yeast combination.  And really, what could be better than something you dump in the crock pot, turn on high and come back three or four hours later to enjoy?


Into my crock pot I put:

1 cup organic steel cut oats
1 cup 5X protein unsweetened almond milk
2 cups veg broth (I used organic mushroom broth)
1 cup nutritional yeast
6 organic carrots, sliced into coins
1 garlic scape, chopped
3 small yellow beets, peeled, halved and sliced
cilantro (You may cringe, but the cilantro was kind of dried up, having been stored in a cloth bag in a drawer in the fridge, but I came across it and tossed it in anyway.  Tasted fine to me.)
3 organic celeriac stalks/leaves, sliced (I'm sure a stalk of celery would work just fine, however it would be a slightly less strong flavor.)
salt to taste

I set the crock pot on high, went out to an appointment, returned three hours later to a perfectly cooked batch of oatmeal.  Yum!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tasty Thursday: Savory Oatmeal and Veggies


You've probably noticed by now that I am a fan of nutritional yeast and tend to favor carrots, onions and kale when I cook veggies.  I woke up today with a mad desire for savory oatmeal that just wouldn't subside until I set this up in the crock pot, let it cook, then dug in.
  
I forgot to take my vitamins the past two days so I'm guessing the desire for nutritional yeast came from my body seeking B-12.  The yen for steel cut oats came from, I think, the hope of being able to dump something in the crock pot that was easy to assemble but would be tasty and delicious.  Also, I have some business travel coming up and needed some leftovers to freeze in snack-size bags to take along for meals away from home.  Most of the things I cook are quite liquidy and as we all know that doesn't cut it when you're going through airport security.  I shouldn't have any problem with little bags of oatmeal and veggies.  This turned out so yummy I had it for both lunch and dinner.  It fed one sleever, plus two 'normal' eaters with enough for leftovers.

To my crockpot I added:

1 cup Bob's Red Mill organic steel cut oats
1 cup 5X protein unsweetened almond milk
2 cups Pacific organic mushroom broth
1 cup Bob's Red Mill large flake nutritional yeast
1 bunch beautiful organic CSA lacinato kale, chopped
8 medium organic CSA carrots, sliced into coins
1 organic CSA sweet onion, sliced
salt and garlic powder, to taste

I stirred it all together, cooked it three hours on high, then stirred it again before serving.

Have a savory oatmeal recipe you like?  I'd love it if you shared it here.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tasty Thursday: End of Summer Watermelon Salad

We've been blessed with a gorgeous yellow watermelon from our CSA share several times now.  First one went to my Dad's birthday celebration where it got rave reviews from all ages and provided some adorable photo ops with a baby who was having a ball feeding it to himself.  Last week's melon was left for my daughter to share with some company she had while we were out of town for the weekend, however she ended up not using it.  So when I picked up my share this week I knew I still had the one in my fridge and with there being little space for another one I chose the smallest one I could find and set out to make something with the older melon ASAP when I arrived home.  This is what came of it:



Into your nice, large salad bowl place the following ingredients then toss to mix:

Half a lovely organic yellow watermelon, cubed (reserve rind for pickling if desired)
Two cups organic home-sprouted mung beans
Two organic carrots, shredded
One small organic onion, chopped
A handful of organic cilantro, chopped
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste (optional)

I added balsamic to this, however one of the folks in my house doesn't have  a taste for vinegar lately so we dressed the salad individually once plated.  I served it over a bed of organic spring mix greens.

What are you waiting for?  Go cut that watermelon you have sitting in your fridge from this week's CSA share and enjoy!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Tasty Thursday: Baby Eggplant with Sprouted Red Lentils

This eggplant and lentil dish is what resulted from me not being able to resist a pint of gorgeous little organic baby eggplants and a failed experiment with sprouting red lentils.

You see, I sprout green lentils every week.  We use them in everything from salads to hummus.  I decided this week to see what would happen if I used red instead.  What I learned is that although they will sprout, the beans are so delicate that when you rinse them, as I do every two hours while I am awake, the sprouts come off. So with the lentils not suitable for further sprouting and the sweet little baby eggplants needing to be used ASAP, I set out to make something yummy and while it might not be attractive in the photo we sure did enjoy eating it.

Ingredients:

Half a Vidalia onion, chopped
Pint of adorable organic baby eggplant, cubed with stems removed
Four cloves of gorgeous CSA garlic, chopped
One cup of red lentils, soaked overnight, then rinsed every two (waking) hours for a day and a half
Water
sea salt and ground pepper to taste
1/3 tsp turmeric

In your largest cast iron pan brown the onion.  When the kitchen smells heavenly and the onion is done, deglaze the pan with some water.  Lower flame, add eggplant and garlic, cover for five minutes to soften.  Make sure you've got enough water that it steams and doesn't burn.  Next, add lentils, salt, pepper, turmeric and more water if the pan has gone dry.  Give a good stir then cover and cook for a few minutes to allow lentils to come to the same temperature as the vegetables.  Enjoy!

Serve over bed of rice, if desired.  My spouse had it with thick slices of toasted sourdough bread topped with soy-free Earth Balance, I had it with some nutritional yeast on top.  It got two thumbs up from everyone who ate it.