CSA Double Dose #2

This is supposed to be a vegetable dancer. Hold me closer – veggie dancer.

Last week’s CSA: Yams, peppers, carrots, garlic

This week’s CSA Arugula, Kale, Spinach, Peppers, Garlic. Yummy!

Did you know?

That yams can weigh up to 120 pounds a piece? Yikes!

See How (T)he(i)r Garden Grows…

So, quick post on our garden! Eric is the veggie mastermind, and it is sad that I let this summer go by without documenting our garden. That being said, some pictures to share, and some of the things that I wonder at that we are growing. Cheers! PS: WordPress picture formatting sucks. I’ve been jiggering with it for about 30 minutes now, delaying dinner, and so pictures are out of order and text is whack. My apologies – I hope you enjoy none the less!

The beginning trestles for green, scarlet runner and purple podded yard long beans created by Eric. This was taken a few months ago. See next for now.This is the tripod of green beans on the left in the first photo.

Purple Podded Yard Long Beans for winter drying and storage. Erica from B&H told us to put them in a grain sack, and beat the living daylights out of them for the best way to shell them. That should be a blast! 🙂

A chicken carrying a humungous tomato that was buggy.

Snacking ladies! They love questionable tomatoes.

Today’s harvest – green peppers, yellow bell tomatoes, yellow pear tomatoes, green beans, Czechoslovakian black peppers, poblanos, a lone sparks earliana tomato, and a lone black brandy-wine.

The trellis on the right in the first picture – now with Purple Podded Yard Long Beans to store for winter. Lovely flowers commingling from the Scarlett Runner Beans!

Scarlett Runner flowers. So pretty!

the first picture – taken today.

Clockwise: Salad mix (bagged), garlic chives, bell peppers, beets, kale, red kuri squash, watermelon

Did you know?
That watermelon’s have more lycopene per pound than fresh tomatoes? Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that aids the body in fighting off free radicals. While fresh tomatoes are also an excellent source of lycopene, cooked tomatoes can have up to three times as much. All the more reason to eat watermelon now and jar/can our tomatoes for winter. 🙂

 

Frying Pan Turkey Meatballs

Happy Monday everyone!

So with the ridiculous amount of tomatoes that our plants keep gracing us with, we have been in mega sauce production mode. No sooner had I finished making a wicked large batch of spaghetti sauce, than we yielded another crop of tomatoes and I was left going, OK, more sauce! I wanted meatballs, but I try to reserve my “red meat moments” for my occasional steak. Turkey it was!

Ground turkey can be a hazard unto itself. Because there are not percentages of fat to meat ratio on a number of ground turkey products, you can actually end up eating something MORE unhealthy than an 80/20 ground beef. When buying turkey, look for lean or extra lean meat. I conveniently found a 99% to 1% ratio this time. It was really yummy. Also, you can opt to bake them, but with all of this heat I went for the skillet!

For my sauce recipe, see Kelyn’s Rainbow Tomato Sauce.  This incarnation was more of a roasted red pepper version.

Ingredients

1 lb “all natural” extra lean ground turkey
1 -2 teaspoons chopped, local, organic garlic
1TBSP Fennel seeds
1 extra large egg (from our ladies!)
1/2 cup bread crumbs (unseasoned)
1 tsp organic dry oregano
1 tsp organic dry basil
1 tsp organic dry rosemary
Sea Salt and 4-color pepper to taste
Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1.) Add everything to a bowl. Mix it up with your hands until you can’t see the individual elements anymore.
2.) In a large frying pan, heat up enough oil to lightly cover the bottom of the pan over medium – medium high heat.
3.) While your oil heats up, roll your meatballs. I made them about an inch in diameter. If you try to roll them too hard, they can just fall to pieces. It is best to give a little roll between your palms, and then shape them into circles.
4.) When they are complete, gently place them in the pan. I usually try to “seal” 3 sides  of them, and then just toss them around in the pan every couple of minutes until they are brown on all sides. It took about 20-25 minutes I think (but honestly, I wasn’t hawk-eyeing the clock). I cut into one at about 15-20 minutes and saw that it wasn’t quite done. I let them go another 5 and they were good to go. Serve in sammies or atop your favorite pasta.

Potatoes, Salad Mix, Peppers, Garlic, and of course –  Beets!

Did you know?
Lots of groups like to highlight the best things to buy organically – as in the foods that are treated the most heavily with pesticides. I like to check on the “Dirty Dozen”, which I have listed below for 2012.  Click here for the full list of heavily treated crops.

These are ordered with #1 being the absolute worst. Hence, why I get peppers, lettuce and potatoes as much as possible in our CSA!

1.Apples
2. Celery
3. Sweet Bell Peppers
4.Peaches
5. Strawberries
6. Nectarines – Imported
7. Grapes
8. Spinach
9. Lettuce
10. Cucumbers
11.Blueberries – domestic
12.Potatoes

What’s Cooking Double Dose

Last week’s CSA shipment: Beets, 2 head of Romaine, Green Beans, Blackberries and Peppers

This week’s CSA box: Garlic, Hot Peppers, Swiss Chard, Beets, Peppers

Did you know?

That China is the garlic Czar of America? Most of our grocery store garlic comes from China, and lots of it has had contamination issues. With the option of local garlic, why go for Chinese garlic that has been shipped stored, and is pretty old by the time it gets to you? I guarantee if you even pick up one bulb of local (or even regional garlic) you will be surprised at the difference in flavor, texture and cooking quality. Above is a hardneck garlic that once every two weeks I peel, pop in the Cuisinart with a bit of Organic Olive Oil, and then jar for the next two weeks. It takes a bit of extra time, but the flavor is really out of this world!

So why do lots of grocers use Chinese garlic? Why else? It’s cheaper. Click here for a great NPR article that further discusses this issue.

Fiery Beet Salad

This past Saturday we had our CSA supper with B&H,  which I had been excited about since June. We had no Internet for a few days, and had been talking about how excited we were to go on Sunday… then we got the Internet back, checked our email ( at 3 PM on Saturday), and discovered that the dinner was in 3 hours! I needed something tasty and with speed! I had roasted another batch of beets to make pickled beets (Seriously, all summer production in small batches IS the way to go 🙂 ), and decided that I would attempt to make a beet salad for the masses. Eric, my fiance, is generally not a beet fan, but he went gaga for this spicy salad, and has eaten it 3 days in a row. I must have done something right!

Ingredients
6 large local, organic beets without stems or bottom “tails”
1 large, local organic carrot – shredded
2-3 local, organic cubanelle peppers – chopped
Spicy peppers of your choice (I used 3 hot wax peppers) – diced fine
6 TBSP  Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 TBSP local, raw honey (I used Buckwheat)
1 tsp of lime juice (fresh would have been best – I was in a pinch though)
20-30 organic mint leaves (from our garden – I used apple mint)
1 bunch of local, organic cilantro
3 cloves of local, organic garlic – finely chopped
1 small ginger root (mine was the size of my thumb or smaller)
1/4 cup organic sesame seeds
sea salt
tri-color pepper

1.) Roast the beets at 350 degrees for about an hour. I paint them lightly with olive oil, put them on aluminum foil, and put a sheet of aluminum over them (making a beet pocket). They are ready when they are soft.
2.) Let the beets cool before peeling them. I peel by hand, but lots of folks use a paring knife because they don’t want pink hands. I have never had a problem with stained hands (cuticles a bit sometimes, but usually no).
3.) While your beets cook, or cool, mix your other ingredients in a bowl. I did liquid and spices first, then I added the carrots, garlic and peppers.
4.) When your beets are cooled, cut into little julienne strips. Add to mixture, stir, fridge, and eat whenever you like!

What’s Cooking – Special Edition!

Happy Thursday! (If you follow the blog, this is the official announcement that “What’s Cooking” will now be a Thursday feature.)

So, I was recently granted a beautiful blogger award from a fellow blogger who is a revolutionary riot grrl looking out for all of our furry friends, Life of Bun! She mans a great cruelty free blog, with gusto. Thanks to Life of Bun, and I graciously accept!

With that being said, when you accept such an award, it is customary to list 7 random things about yourself, and pass the award on.

First, I would like to pass this award to In Her Chucks, and Maggie’s One Butt Kitchen. Check out their blogs for some yummy ideas! In Her Chucks is an ardent CSA supporter, and Maggie’s One Butt Kitchen is just chock full of crack food that makes me wish I grew up in her house!

And on to the 7 random things:

1.) I have had over 35 jobs ranging from being a perfume model to teaching ESL to llama shearing to costume design, and am only 27! In other words, I am a jack of all trades. I usually hold down more than 1 job at once, so largely they are part-time things and there is overlap.  I haven’t been a lounge singer yet though, and that was “what I wanted to be when I grew up.”

2.) In addition to our lovely ladies (chickens), I also have 4 cats, Dylan, Cleo, Bebe and Vishnu. They needed their 15 minutes.

3.) I’ve broken my nose 4 times…. There is no cartilage left in the front, so it is squishy now.

4.) In my “real” life, I currently work for a college in the Alumni Relations office, assisting with coordinating, planning and executing events, as well as with Down Home Acres selling organic produce.

5.) I was a vegetarian for 10 years before doctor’s told me I had to stop. I still eat largely vegetarian, but admittedly when I took that first bite of a pizza burger hoagie after 10 years, I was pretty blissed out.

6.) I have a degree in Creative Writing with a focus in Non Fiction and Poetry, and my first official published poetry chapbook “Heart”, debuted in 2006.

7.) I’m an only child, and actively work to defeat the stereotype.

Thanks for reading everyone, and thanks for the award Bun! 🙂

This week’s bounty – Salad Mix, garlic chives, beets, peppers and potatoes!

Almost Too Easy Bruschetta Grilled Chicken

This took me like, maybe 10 minutes to prep. SOOOO YUMMY!

Ingredients
4 small, local, organic chicken breasts
2 large, local, organic orange tomatoes (mine probably weighed 2 lbs together for perspective)
2 moderate to hot local, organic peppers – I used Czechoslovakian Black from our garden
15-20 small, organic, local basil leaves – I used variegated pesto basil from our garden
1 TBS local, organic garlic – chopped
4 TBS as fresh as you can get Parmesan, Asiago or Romano Cheese – I used a blend
Organic 4 color pepper
Sea Salt
Extra Virgin Olive Oil to taste

1.) Mix it all in a bowl. Let sit in the fridge to chill. Grill chicken. Top grilled chicken with summer bruschetta. Done and done!

How’s that for simple! 🙂 Mine is pictured with Yukon Gold mash with dill and sautĂ©ed Swiss Chard.

Beets, potatoes, blackberries, romaine, tomatoes

Did you know the blackberry is not an actual or true “berry”, but an aggregate fruit ?

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