Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Farm Fresh To You!!!!!!!!!

I've been debating signing up with a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).  I kept going back and forth and just wasn't ready to commit.  This afternoon at work I got a surprise delivery from Farm Fresh to You, the farm I was looking into.  My AWESOME mom knew I really wanted to try it and surprised me with my first box!!!  I am sooo excited!  For those of you not familiar with CSA's it's a way to help support your local farms while getting FRESH, local, and organic fruits and veggies.  The farm that we work with is Capay Farms.  They have a few different farms they work with in this area.  Each week/two weeks/month (depending on how often you want a box) they deliver a box of goodies right to your door.  They have different packages with all different sizes and options that fit your family. 

This week I got Grapes, lettuce, basil, corn, red plums, cucumber, green beans and BEAUTIFUL heirloom tomatoes.  All I can say is AMAZING.  Everything looks and smells ..... for lack of a better word...Amazing.  I can't wait to try all kinds of new recipes with all of my goodies.  Each week they have new produce and fruits they deliver.  Their website has a ton of recipes that incorporate that weeks food.  You can also check the website for what your next week's items will be.  If there is something you don't like, you just let them know and they will give you more of something else.  Pretty sweet deal!  I feel healthier already! 

I ate a few of the grapes, and a plum, both delicious.  The plums aren't quite ripe yet, so I'll save the rest for later.  For my first meal I decided to make a new mac-n-cheese dish.  I searched some recipes on  Vegan Pandamonium and found this mac n cheese recipe.  I decided to add broccoli to the mix.  It turned out well, except the sauce was WAYYY too thick.  I'm not sure what I did.  It made for a pretty dry mac n cheese.  I'm not sure if I should have added more butter?  I used all of the boiling water even though she said you probably wouldn't need it all.  I would maybe thin it out with some soy milk, or more water next time.  I'm thinking when I re-heat the left overs I'll add either some butter or milk to help moisten it up.  I cut the broccoli into florets and boiled for a few minutes.  Then added to the pasta and sauce in the casserole dish.  I didn't have breadcrumbs so I toasted a bun and crushed that over the top.

I have a lot more ideas for all of the goodies I received today.  Stay tuned for heirloom tomato BLT's,  tomato and basil pizza, Cucumber tea sandwich's, and other awesome sides like corn, salad and green beans!!! 

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Goulash, that isn't really goulash

I was originally planning on making an oriental ramen salad but realized I'm almost all out of oil and there really isn't any substitute for it in this recipe.  Since I didn't want to go to the store I had to completely change shifts and find something new to cook.  So I did what I always do when my original idea doesn't go as planned, stare in my cupboard and fridge.  Just sit, and hope that something jumps out at me.  It always reminds me of being young and my Dad yelling at me to close the fridge door.  Dinner wasn't going to jump out at me.  Well in this case it kinda did.  I went back and forth with a few ideas and ended up with this.  The only good word I could come up with to name this dish was goulash.  I realize this really isn't a goulash, but gosh darnit I made it so I get to name it. 

It turned out better than I even imagined!  I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out and just figured it would be another last minute, I'm starving, just okay on the awesome radar dish.  Well I was wrong.  I will probably make this again and again.  It was really easy to prepare and cook.  You do have to turn on your stove top but it didn't have to cook for very long. 

I'm not a huge fan of zucchini and squash (the little round veggie is a green squash).  So typically when I see recipes using them I don't even bother giving them a chance.  Please don't be like me and try this one out.  I think it will change your mind.  Granted the zucchini and squash came fresh from the farm in Clarksburg, so I would recommend getting some fresh.  I'm convinced they taste better than grocery store veggies.  The onion came from my Dad's garden.  The only thing not fresh were the tomatoes.  If I had some handy I would have used them instead.  Here's the recipe for all y'all to give it a shot.

Cooked pasta (any shape would do.  I would stay away from spaghetti though.  You want something that will hold the "sauce".  I used shells and they were perfect)
1/2 Tablespoon of vegan butter
1/2 onion roughly chopped
3/4 zucchini roughly chopped (I cut into slices then cut the slices into fourths)
1/2 green round squash (I chopped the same as the zucchini)
1 can of chopped tomatoes, drained

2 Tablespoons of walnuts (or pine nuts)
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1-2 Cloves garlic
salt and vegan parma to taste
10-12 leaves of basil.  I used thai basil because that is what I have growing on my porch
           Note: Since I used thai basil, the leaves are a lot smaller then regular basil.  My pesto didn't look .
           much like pesto since it wasn't very green but that's okay

1.  I cook my pasta in the pasta boat, so I started that in the microwave while I made the sauce. 
2.  Chop your veggies while you melt the butter in a pot.  You can use olive oil as a sub for the butter but I was short on oil, so I used what I had. 
3.  Once the butter is melted add the onions and cook until translucent
4.  Meanwhile open your can of tomatoes and drain the juice.  I didn't want to make a spaghetti sauce, so I just wanted chunks.  A little juice is okay, just not the whole can.
5.  Once the onions are done add the tomatoes, zucchini and squash to the pot.  Cook down for a few minutes. 
6.  While that is cooking put all of the pesto ingredients into a food processor.  Once everything is highly processed and resembles a paste add it into the tomatoe veggie mixture in your pot. 
7.  Cook for a few more minutes, brining the mixture to a slight boil.  I added a few dashes of red pepper flakes for some heat, feel free to omit if you don't want any spice.
8.  Once done your pasta should be cooked.  Remove from heat and add salt to taste.  In my opinion it will need some but not a ton so take it slow and taste it before you go overboard.  Because of the pesto it can get a little salty. 
9.  Mix your pasta with sauce in everyone's bowl and top with vegan parma!  DELISH!

Note:  Feel free to double the recipe.  I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out and figured it would just be me eating it.  Next time I'll probably make more and adjust some of the measurements.  It's still a work in progress. 

Just for fun here's a photo of some beautiful Dahila's from my parents garden.  LOVE!

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Monday, July 18, 2011

White Bean Quesadilla

This post is dedicated to my co-worker/supervisor/queen.  She was telling me today that she has been giving out my link to her friends who were interested in vegetarian/vegan recipes.  She's so sweet for thinking of me and I haven't even been updating the blog.  Because it's summer I've been taking it easy on the cooking.  My apartment gets pretty warm in the summer and if I turn on the stove or oven it's like a sauna.  So even though I've been taking it easy here are a few summer recipes. 

I actually made these a few weeks back on the Fourth of July.  I was looking for something easy.  I had all of the ingredients ready and I had just made fresh salsa.  I found the recipe on vegweb.com.  Follow this link to the recipe.  I followed the recipe exactly except I left out liquid smoke because I was out.  My omnivore sister even loved them. 

There is nothing better than a farm fresh meal!  This weekend my parents and I went to Clarksburg.  They have a farm right off of the river you can stop at and buy fresh veggies.  We got corn for 6 ears/$1, squash, zucchini and tomatoes!  The corn I cooked, melted some vegan butter, salt and sriracha.  Tapatio is great on corn too.  I also made my zucchini "pasta" dish that I've posted about before with some asparagus, and then fresh salsa with the tomatoes.  Nothing too fancy but super delicious. 

I hope to have some new recipes up soon!  Stay tuned!

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!