Posts tagged with Vegetarian
Usually my family food goals revolve around attempting to plan meals and using up everything in our fridge, but last week it was something else entirely.
I was determined to get as many bits of our last CSA box from Rolling Prairie into a single salad as possible.
Hey, it’s good to have goals, right?
So, what was I trying to shoehorn? Summer squash, edamame, watermelon, peppers, tomatoes, a cucumber and green beans.
We wanted to save the watermelon for dessert and the summer squash later to grill, so I threw the rest of the ingredients into a salad and called it good. (This is after boiling the green beans and edamame a bit, because they wouldn’t have been very tasty if we’d just thrown them directly in a salad, unfortunately.)
I'd say that pretty pic right there equals success.
Spoils of Summer Chopped Salad
1/2 avocado, chopped
One tomato, chopped, or 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
10 olives, halved
1/4 large cucumber, chopped
1/2 to 1 whole sweet pepper, chopped
Edamame, boiled and shelled
Green beans, boiled and trimmed
Dressing of choice
Optional: Chopped hard-boiled egg, goat cheese
Separate out all ingredients into two bowls. Enjoy. Serves two.
What’d we get this week? Tomatoes (slicing and grape), cucumbers, eggplant, melon and little sweet peppers.
So, I’m going to change things up a bit.
You see, last week we got a fabulous assortment of yumminess from our CSA, Rolling Prairie: Watermelon, tomatoes, snap peas, cucumbers, starter onions, yellow squash and peppers.
Everything was delicious. As can be expected. But I’m not going to write this week about any of those things.
Why? Because if you’ve just been following along, you know that for weeks when I describe how we use the potatoes we picked up from Rolling Prairie, I would say that we stored them. And I’m guessing if you have a CSA, you may have done the same thing.
So, this week we pulled out those stored potatoes and made some home fries to go along with one of our very excellent CSA meals.
And they were excellent. And addictive. And totally gone in a flash.
Pantry Potato Pieces
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice potatoes into quarter-inch thick slices, leaving the skins on. Place in a glass lasagna dish, toss in olive oil to coat and sprinkle on a bit of salt and pepper. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. Remove and eat immediately. Servings vary based on size of potatoes.
What’d we get this week? Summer squash, edamame, watermelon, peppers, tomatoes, a cucumber and green beans.
Before we get started on how to do nutritional double duty with not one but two kinds of squash in the same meal, I wanted to say thank you to all of you who contacted me with such positive things to say about my writeup on veggies and kids last week.
I heard from several of you who are also doing the very best you can, knowing that perfection just isn’t going to happen when we’re talking kids and food. If you want me to post more frequently on this topic, I most definitely will. Because children’s nutrition is obviously important, especially if it’s doable children’s nutrition.
So, thank you.
Now, to the matter at hand: how to gobble up all that CSA goodness, you’re surely getting/have gotten this week.
We’re more than halfway through the season, and it’s pretty clear from the variety coming in at local CSAs (we use Rolling Prairie) and at the Lawrence Farmers’ Market. As an example of variety, last week we received: blackberries, yellow squash, onions, potatoes, cherry tomatoes, Swiss chard, corn and cucumbers.
The cherry tomatoes and cucumbers were gone pretty darn fast, claimed by the kiddo, who helped “chop” the cucumbers with his kiddie butter knife.
The blackberries disappeared into a chocolate-spinach-banana-hemp seed smoothie.
The chard was juiced, the corn was boiled and the potatoes were stored.
But the squash and onions, they went into a delightful new dish I’m calling Double Squash Skillet.
This warm dish combines a baked spaghetti squash with an Italian-inspired saute featuring mushrooms, onions, garlic, marinara and a chopped yellow squash, for doubly squashy goodness.
Note: You will need to cook the spaghetti squash first. We do this by splitting it in half lengthwise, taking out the seeds, rubbing the edges with olive oil and then baking it on a parchment-lined cookie sheet at 425 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.
Double Squash Skillet
1 spaghetti squash, baked, “noodles” scraped out with a fork
1 yellow squash, cut into half-inch pieces
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 pint button mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
1 ½ cups marinara
1 tablespoon oil for the frying pan (we used coconut oil)
Once the spaghetti squash has finished in the oven, heat oil over medium heat in a large frying pan/skillet/wok.
Add garlic and onion, stir for 1 to 2 minutes, until the onions start to become clear. Add the yellow squash. Wait a minute, stirring. Add the mushrooms and baked spaghetti squash. Stir until they’re heated through.
At the last minute, add the marinara. Keep stirring and cook until all the veggies are soft.
Take off heat and serve immediately. Serves: 4.
A few weeks ago, Karrey Britt and I were discussing all the ways one could serve beets. One of the ways we discussed was roasting them a la my balsamic veggies. But another way I hadn't tried was one so simple it seemed like a bit of trickery: Baked beets, no oil.
Just aluminum foil packets and a 375-degree oven.
Supposedly (so said the Internet), you don't even have to peel them — the skins will just slip right off after they finish cooking and cool.
Seems too good to be true, right?
Well, when we received the most adorable little beets last week in our Rolling Prairie CSA, I decided to give it a go, figuring it might be the perfect method (if it worked) for them.
So, I washed them, ripped off their spindly ends and put them in their foil packets, oven set at 375.
After an hour, I pulled them out, let them cool, unwrapped them and let them cool some more. When they were room temperature, I grabbed a butter knife to coax the skin off.
And you know what? It worked like a charm.
What took me so long to try this, I'll never know. But this will probably be my new go-to way of cooking them.
I enjoyed them in a lunchbox salad of baby spinach, local blackberries from the Lawrence Farmers' Market, walnuts, cashew goat cheese and then topped it all with honey mustard dressing.
What's we get this week? Chard, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, green beans, yellow squash and cherry tomatoes.
I might have a tiny, wee bit of an obsession with basil. Not only do I have four basil plants from starters in pots but I also plant some from seed every season as well. And then I freeze it or dry it or make it into pesto at summer’s end.
So, I was pretty excited when we received our first bit of basil at our Rolling Prairie CSA last week. I mean, I already had my basil plants on my deck, but actually getting it? Awesome.
We also got beets with greens, basil, head lettuce, snap peas, kale and broccoli. We steamed the broccoli and snap peas, juiced the beets and kale, and made salad with the head lettuce.
As for the basil, I’m not going to lie — some of it went in the green juice I made with the beets and kale (no, I’m not kidding), but we also used quite a bit in a little dish we were just playing with. We made stuffed portobellos, but called them “pizza mushrooms” so the kiddo would eat them.
And we let him help, which worked extremely well. Helping us cook motivates him to eat something like nothing else.
1 cup marinara
1 package baby bellas or 4 large portabella mushroom caps
1 (4 ounce) package goat cheese, crumbled and/or mozzarella
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (or more)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the sauce in the bottom of glass baking dish. Arrange clean mushroom caps, gill side up, on top. Crumble goat cheese and or mozzarella on each mushroom. Bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Top with the chopped basil. Makes 4 servings. Serve alone or over baked spaghetti squash with more marinara and/or cheese.
The official start of summer is just over a week away. But that doesn’t mean we can’t pretend it’s already here.
I think we totally deserve some pretend summer action after having to deal with snow and frost in May. Right? Right.
So, we put our CSA salad greens from last week to work by taking a practice swing at a basic summer salad.
What makes it a basic summer salad, you ask? Tomatoes.
Yes, it’s not really tomato season, but the kiddo really, really likes grape tomatoes and so we bought some for him the other week. They aren’t as good as the ones we get in the height of summer, of course, but the kid will take what he can get. (Tomato monster: AHHHHH!)
We asked his permission for a few and put them on a bed of the beautiful salad mix we’ve been getting all season from Rolling Prairie. Added in some carrots and some garlic-stuffed olives, added a bit of EFA oil and balsamic and we were off to the races.
Delicious, easy, healthy and a sign of things to come.
As for everything else? In addition to the salad greens, we also got strawberries, Swiss chard, mushrooms, head lettuce and asparagus.
As you can imagine, the strawberries were pretty much finished the second they got home (thanks, kiddo). The asparagus was steamed, the chard and head lettuce juiced and the mushrooms stir-fried in one similar to last week.
Basic(ally) Good Salad
For each serving:
2 handfuls salad mix, baby spinach or chopped head lettuce
1 handful grape or cherry tomatoes
1 handful carrots
1 handful garlic olives, green olives or kalamata olives
Drizzle EFA or olive oil
Drizzle balsamic vinegar
Place all ingredients except oil and vinegar in a bowl. Toss. Top with oil and vinegar. Enjoy!
What’d we get this week? Strawberries and snap peas (gone before I could take a picture), green onions, head lettuce, asparagus and Swiss chard.
I don’t know what made me do it, but last week at the Lawrence Farmers’ Market, I was drawn — drawn — to the baby bok choy at one of the stalls. It was leafy, green and perfect. And it clashed pretty horribly with every other item I purchased.
Yet, I knew that there would be some stir-fry and yummy bok choy pay off for me in the future.
That future came when I showed up to get my vegetables at my Monday Rolling Prairie CSA pickup. There, staring at me were more beautiful bok choy. Plus, green onions. I’d already picked up bell peppers over the weekend and knew I now had enough bok choy to really make a huge stir-fry.
So we did. And it was glorious.
Bok choy does an amazing job of “soaking up” whatever sauce you use. In this case, we created a stir-fry based on a sauce included in Nancy O’Connor’s “Rolling Prairie Cookbook” and it worked perfectly with the bok choy, peppers and green onions. I had it plain, while the hubby paired it with homemade miso-glazed salmon.
Delicious and super simple and quick.
Simple Stir-Fry (Adapted from Nancy O’Connor’s “Rolling Prairie Cookbook”)
6 small bok choy, stems cut on the diagonal, leaves cut into the ribbons
3 to 5 bell peppers, chopped
2 green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoons tamari
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon honey
Heat coconut oil in large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
While that’s heating, whisk together tamari, garlic, ginger and honey. Set aside.
Once the coconut oil is nice and melted, add bok choy and peppers, stirring the whole time. When the bok choy is nearly cooked down and done, add green onions. Keep on for 30 seconds more and then take off the heat. Serve alone or with protein of your choice. Serves 4.
What’d we get this week? Strawberries, Swiss chard, mushrooms, head lettuce, asparagus and salad greens.
I warned you last week that I'm deep in the midst of enjoying salad season. And you know what other season we're just starting? Berry season.
And the collision is beautiful.
I just adore fruity salads. They're light and beautiful and exactly what I want as it gets hotter out. They also pair nicely with something savory — try mixing berries with olives or something pickled like onions or cauliflower. The mix is fabulous.
Now, to refresh: last week we received asparagus, salad greens, spinach, eggs, radishes, green onions and head lettuce.
That meant steamed asparagus with a bunch of eggs, spinach and green onions cooked like our kitchen-sink tofu. We also had plenty of salad, including one that marries salad season and berry season in one fruity punch.
There's not a ton of "oomph" to this salad, so I called it a "starter" salad rather than a dinner salad. It's perfect before a nice veggie or regular burger or maybe a bit of fish or chicken, depending on how you eat. It's sweet and sunny and completely uncomplicated.
Fruity Starter Salad
Mixed salad greens
1 tangerine, peeled, sectioned and each section halved
1/2 cup raspberries
Roasted beets or other cooked root vegetables
EFA oil, hemp oil or olive oil (to taste)
Put salad mix in bowls, top with fruit and roasted vegetables. Immediately before serving, drizzle a bit of oil. Serves 2.
Now, what'd we get this week? Head lettuce, radishes, asparagus, green onions, baby bok choy, whole-wheat flour and salad mix.
Have a great week!
It's officially salad season, my friends! Sure, we've been getting greens for weeks, but we're really rolling now. And, if you've been following this space for a few years, you know I couldn't be happier.
So you've been warned: We'll have a lot of salad posts in the coming weeks.
But now to this week. At our last CSA pickup, we received: Asparagus, spinach, green onions, whole-wheat flour, mustard greens and salad mix.
As you can imagine, we had steamed asparagus and lots of salad with our box of goodies. We saved the whole-wheat flour for more pizza. Meanwhile, I’m sad to say that we still haven’t used the mustard greens. They’re still healthy-looking, I just haven’t found a home for them as of this writing.
One of the best things we did with the salad mix was combine it with a local Mediterranean treat: Lebanese beans.
A mix of garbanzos, fava beans, herbs and spices, it’s a nice salad topper and pita filler. Mixed with CSA salad mix, avocado, olives and a little something sweet, it makes for a fantastic salad.
Mediterranean Flair Salad
2 large handfuls local salad mix
Half an avocado, cubed
10 to 15 kalamata and/or garlic-filled green olives, cut in half
1/2 cup Lebanese Flower Lebanese beans or other mixed beans
1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional)
Olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste
Divide salad mix among two salad bowls. Add 1/4 avocado to each bowl. Divide the olives, beans and cranberries. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste.
This week we received: Asparagus, salad greens, spinach, eggs, radishes, green onions and head lettuce.
It is FINALLY 80 degrees. And mid-May. And sunny.
And all those things mean summer is right around the corner — as underlined by the fact that I bought a dozen or so herb starters this weekend for my container garden. Including three kinds of basil, aka summer in a leaf.
But before the basil and those delightful tomatoes that go with it, we're in the thick of greens season. Both at the CSA and the Lawrence Farmers' Market.
In last week's CSA bag, we received red lettuce, green onions, garlic chives, carrots, spinach and pesto. A very good, very green mix.
At this point in the local growing season, my hubby begins dreaming of anything that isn't green (the carrots made him so happy), so we have to get a bit creative in how we use our veggies.
So, I made some green juice using some of our spinach.
Admittedly that isn't very creative when we're talking about my wheelhouse. To that end, I also made a salad that I totally forgot to document (food writer fail).
But we used most of our veggies and several of our Farmers' Market veggies in a chef's choice egg version of the Kitchen Sink Tofu Scramble featured in week 2.
The hubby and head chef mixed four eggs with several handfuls of veggies, including CSA spinach, carrots, garlic chives and green onions and then added in store-bought extras like red pepper. Then he topped it off with CSA pesto or salsa and some cheese.
What'd we get this week? Asparagus(!), spinach, green onions, whole-wheat flour, mustard greens and salad mix.