Tag Archives: veggies

More CSA stuff, with a recipe!


Salad from CSA veggies

CSA Meals –

For lunch, I made a salad. Because I don’t really like lettuce, and only marginally like mixed greens or herbs, I have a theory that each salad should have vegetables, fruit, nuts, oil and cheese. And sometimes random crunchy bits.

This one used the Groundwork Organics’ mixed greens and carrots and our former CSA’s cucumber and apple. I also used shallots, Oregon walnuts from Cherryl’s Orchards, Rogue Creamery’s Crater Lake Blue cheese (mmmmmm) that I had picked up at the farmers’ market. The salad was yummy.

Cheese bread
Cheddar Cheese Bread

For dinner, I soaked some mixed dried beans from our former CSA to make a chili. The only ingredient I used from Groundwork was some onion to start it. No pictures of it, it was a pretty standard veggie chili. I did take a picture of the cheddar cheese bread I made for dunking in the chili, but it didn’t have any CSA items in it either, I just liked how it turned out.

Broccoli Tofu Cashew
Broccoli Tofu Cashew

Last night, I made broccoli cashew tofu over brown rice. It’s a slightly tedious recipe, but it turns out really nicely. You slice your tofu into three bars lengthwise, then thinly slice each of those into slices for frying. I press them between paper towels in the fridge while I’m starting the brown rice and doing the prep work.

Prep work is mincing about 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger, julienning carrots until I get bored (maybe 3-4 carrots, if they are a good size), cutting broccoli into small florets, and peeling the brocolli stem so I can slice it into small coins. O! And boiling 1/2 cup of water to create a veggie broth (I just use boullion for this recipe) to which I add 1/4 cup of soy sauce.

Next, pull the tofu off the paper towels, and marinade them in soy sauce.

Start toasted sesame oil heating in the wok (pretty hot, almost smoking), and fry the tofu in batches until each side is golden. Add more toasted sesame oil if needed as you fry the tofu. Pull ’em all out of the work and set aside.

Toast about a 1/2 cup of cashews. Can be done in the oven, I put them in a small pan on the stove so I can keep an eye on them and shake them until they start getting nice brown bits. Remove from heat. I do this while stir frying the veggies.

Heat canola oil or veggie oil in the work, and toss in the carrots with generous shakes of red pepper flakes and the ginger. Saute for a few minutes (you want the carrots to stay pretty crisp) and toss the broccoli into the work. Stir fry that for about a minute (broccoli starts turning a nice green color).

Whisk about a teaspoon of cornstarch into the veggie broth mixture, and pour it on top. Stir everything for a minute or two longer (most of the broth should be gone – if not, turn it up to high for a few seconds). Toss the tofu back in and stir it all up.

Serve stirfried veggies over brown rice with chopped up toasted cashew bits tossed on top.

MMMMMM.

Guess I should type all that up into a reasonable recipe since I’ve gone this far, huh?

Broccoli Cashew Tofu

Ingredients:

  • 1 block extra-firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flake (or to taste)
  • 3-4 good sized carrots, julienned
  • 2-3 heads of broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets, and stems peeled and chopped into coins
  • 1/2 cup veggie broth
  • soy sauce, I recommend Tamari, 1/4 cup for broth, 1/2 cup for marinade
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons canola or veggie oil
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cashews
  • cooked brown rice

Directions:

  1. Slice tofu into three bars lengthwise, then thinly slice each of those into slices for frying. Press them between paper towels in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Start cooking brown rice according to directions.
  3. Mix veggie broth with 1/4 cup of soy sauce, set aside.
  4. Heat toasted sesame oil in wok until nearly smoking.
  5. Fry tofu in batches, flipping so that each side is golden. Remove from wok after each batch, set aside.
  6. Toast cashews in a small pan on low heat, shaking frequently.
  7. Heat veggie oil in wok, stir fry carrots with ginger and red pepper flake until cooked but still crisp.
  8. Add broccoli, stir fry for about a minute.
  9. Whisk cornstarch into veggie broth, pour into wok.
  10. Stir for a minute or two longer. Most of the broth should be absorbed, if not, turn the heat under the wok higher for a few seconds.
  11. Chop cashews.
  12. Add tofu back into work, stir.
  13. Serve stir fry over brown rice, with toasted cashew bits on top.

CSA ingredients used in salad and stir fry: mixed greens, carrots, broccoli.

We are making pretty good progress on the box this week. I’m going to have to hold back more at the farmers’ market – I have too many veggies from there that I’m ignoring!

Just call me uber-healthy girl

MtHood-MtTabor.jpg

Just got back from the farmers’ market where the strawberries are out in full force. If you’ve never had an Oregonian strawberry before, you are missing out, just like with the peaches.

When I was 10 or so, I got my first job picking Oregon strawberries at some ungodly hour in the morning. Mom would walk me to the school bus stop, where a bus would come pick me up. It was kinda scary at first, going to work without my mom. Who would tell me what to do?

Mostly no one, you had to talk to the people around you to find out how it worked. O sure, the farmer would give a nice speech, but the real information came from the older (like 13 or 14 year olds) people around you. You found out that this was a good farm because they paid out 7 cents a pound. The one across the way only paid 5 cents. You found out it was fine to eat the strawberries as you picked, but that they got really mad when the kids would do strawberry washes (grab a handful of strawberries and mash them wildly on someone else’s head. Getting a strawberry wash meant you were liked. Of course, it meant that you had flies around your head for the rest of the day, and everything was sticky, and holy hell was the farmer pissed, but you were liked).

I ate so many strawberries that summer that we found out that I have a fruit allergy. It’s mild enough that I have to eat a good amount of fruit to trigger it, but once it’s triggered, I can do enough damage to myself to scar my face. Or so the doctor told my mom. The fruit allergy went away thankfully when I hit my early teens, only to resurface after a particularly fun margarita party with the neighbors when I was 26. Sob. It’s gone again, and I have to say I don’t want it back. I love fresh organic fruit more than chocolate, cake and ice cream.

I picked enough strawberries that I was the richest kid I knew. And since I was a bookworm, that meant only one thing. I could buy any book I wanted. I bought first edition Oz books because they were all out of print by that point (except for Wizard of Oz and one or two others). I still have them too – pride and joy of my library, mostly earned from picking strawberries (my sister helped me supplement it eight years ago with a beautiful set found on the East coast).

We bought many veggies today at the PSU farmers’ market, and I am starting to get giddy with what is in season. We will be having a fennel and radish salad on the side of fennel steamed fish (what ever is fresh and good when I go pick it up). I’m really dangerously close to eating 3 pints of strawberries well before they make it into the pie I promised Brian (I don’t eat pie, and I dislike warm mushy fruit). I’m starting to learn who the farmers are, who I like and I am glad that I went with the CSA we did. We bought a mint plant from them last week (yes, you will hear a resurgence of “Gotta kill the mint”) and three basil plants this week. Our farmer told us how to water them (I’ve been doing it wrong for a long time) and how to pick the leaves so the plant still grows (that’s what I’ve also been doing wrong).

I’m trying to talk Brian into a hike today, and I think he wants to work so we probably won’t. I’ll have to start finding hikes I’m comfortable doing on my own – he’s been surprisingly reluctant due to being over-worked and generally too busy. I’ve got approximately 4000 hikes I want to do this summer, so I’m worse than a dog who hears the word “walk.”

YAY summer, YAY farmers’ markets, YAY OREGON the best place ever.

Random ramblings

Two nights ago we went and saw Prince Caspian at the St John’s Theater. I don’t know that I will need to see another Walt Disney Narnia movie again, I’ll just leave it at that. I don’t think they quite got what C.S. Lewis was saying. It was nice to wander around in St John’s – ever since we were there for Blue Moon, I’ve wanted to go back and take a look at the downtown area. Because it was a Wednesday night, it was pretty quiet, but we want to go back to check it out more later. If any of you have a suggestion of places to go there, send me an email! We had the theater mostly to ourselves – just one other couple in the place.

Yesterday, I tried fresh peas for the first time I remember (I am sure I’ve had them before from my mom or someone, but I probably didn’t know it). I shelled them, and steamed them. We tried one or two raw – they were quite good, and Gretchen will really like them that way too. I ate them with nothing on them once I steamed them, mmmm, very good. Quite a different thing than the canned stuff. If they are still in season when Maggie and Matt are here, we will sit on the back patio together and shell peas for dinner. Yeah, I’m going to be the weird aunt, no doubt about it.