Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup

With our first pumpkin of the season, I made 101 Cookbook's Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup, and it was might tasty. I could go for adding a bit more salt to the recipe, but I may not have measured exactly the first time (or maybe i just shook in salt without measuring at all), so don't take my word for it. As displayed by my constant use of Heidi's recipes, I have yet to be disappointed ;)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Recipe Review: Egg Salad Sandwich

Now generally I abstain from things drenched and dressed in mayonnaise. Mayo just does not appeal to me one bit. I have always called it fat in a jar, the consistency mostly weirds me out and the flavor I detest. I do use mayo when cooking, but very very rarely and only if the flavor is obviously going to be masked by many more overpowering flavors.

That said, I was looking for a protein heavy sandwich to have with a fall salad that I eagerly planned for my menu, and 101 cookbooks had a sandwich entitled, "Egg Salad Sandwich (the only one I'll eat)." Score. After looking over Heidi's post, I realized that she and I were likely kindred spirits when it came to traditional egg salad sandwiches. And when I saw the idea to substitute greek yogurt for the mayo, I was sold. (I am finding more and more uses for greek yogurt as of late and am loving it- by the way.) So along with our salad topped with apples, pomegranate seeds, feta, and a balsamic vinaigrette, we had egg salad sandwiches.

I won't go into too much more detail and invite you to read Heidi's post, but a good trick is to not overcook your hard boiled egg. Sorry no veggies from the farm other than the mesclun. But this was a great meal for an evening in which we had to be out the door by 7 after getting home at 6.

Beets and Greens Pizza

This one is unique, and I am not even sure that "pizza" is the right word, though none more fitting come to mind. Utilizing the lentil and beet salad from earlier this year, I took the flavors that about 75% of the beet recipes I could find used. We love feta, and the only other cheese often paired with beets was goat cheese, and no matter how hard I try, I just can't get into goat cheese.
The great thing about swiss chard is that it is not as moist as spinach after cooking so there is much less of a need to drain the excess fluid. This makes it a great pizza topping.
This pizza has subtle yet deep flavors. When describing it I was torn between saying the flavors were muted and the fact that you could taste each ingredient. Perhaps it could have benefited from a dash of acidity, but the feta helped with that. I loved it just as it was, the earthy, briney flavors complemented each other well.

Beet and Greens Pizza

2 pizza dough balls

4 T olive oil (split)

2 tsp garlic powder

dash of thyme

1 bunch swiss chard, roughly chopped

1/2 block of feta cheese

4-5 roasted beets, sliced


Preheat oven to 400.

Heat a pan with 2T olive oil over medium heat, add swiss chard and wilt.

Roll out dough and brush with 1T olive oil per pizza. Sprinkle with 1t of garlic powder and a dash of thyme. Layer beets and swiss chard over dough, topping with a sprinkle of feta cheese. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top to taste.

Cook in oven for 8-10 minutes or until crust browns. (vaires widely by oven)

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I am awful, I know it. It has been over 2 weeks since my last post, and it wasn't even a recipe! I have been cooking, trust me. And I have been taking pictures, trust me. But the photos all are still languishing on my camera, yet to be downloaded to anything. Our laptop at home has a battery that is seeing it's last days, it drains within 5 minutes of unplugging it. Up until this point, I have grabbed my laptop from the office, my camera from the bar table in our parlour, and plopped down on the couch to watch food network while downloading my photos and posting at least one post. Well now, I would have to grab the power cord as well, which includes crawling on hands and knees under our massive desk in the office and unplugging the cord, then dragging both items downstairs and then getting the camera. Sound like a lot of work? It is. Now, why could I not just bring my camera upstairs you ask? Well, because there is no tv upstairs and I am slightly addicted. And honestly, it is not all that much work to lug the power cord downstairs with my laptop, but I can be lazy on weeknights. I apologize. But what have I been up to lately? I recently discovered the Pioneer Woman and her plothera of websites. She has been recommended to me before by many a friend, but I have always avoided her website, honestly, solely based upon name prejudice. I expected lots of red meat, butter, and pork fat drippings. And there is a lot of that, but there is a reason that people make those recipes: THEY TASTE AMAZING! She has many other less fat recipes, great food photography tips, and is a wonderful writer that inspires me to be more dedicated to this blog. But I must admit that the zero commenting dashes my spirits. Oh well, I cannot hope to be a good blogger followed by hoardes of drooling foodies by only posting every other week. I cannot attempt to be oh so lovely of a blogger, but one can dream right?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Menu Planning

I have not been making a lot of new dishes lately, hence my lack of posting. The drought and then heavy rains made our shares a bit small recently, though we still had plenty to eat. I have been incredibly busy and thus spent less time menu planning (which generally includes piles of magazines and cook books searching for new recipes) and less time in the kitchen. This week I have a bit of an interesting menu planned, well, at least I think so. I thought I would share it with you. Swiss Chard and "Beef" Enchiladas (with frozen enchilada sauce from earlier this summer) Fried Green Tomatoes with jalapeno cheddar grits and steamed collard greens with leeks Chile Verde (using green tomatoes in place of tomatillos) (V) "Sausage" and Peppers and Onions with Potatoes and Salad (V) Beet Salad with Fried Green Tomato BLT Vegetable Dumplings (take on Chicken dumplings) Vegetable Fried Rice (V) We have been trying to have a vegan meal at least 3 times per week, which initially was really difficult. But as time wears on it is getting easier and we are realizing areas that we have some type of dairy where it is not necessary and mostly unhealthy- often cheese is the culprit. I also track my nutritional intake on MyPlate, a portion of the LiveStrong website, and am always amazed on my vegan days how much less fat and cholesterol I intake! If not for any other reason, try going vegan a little more often. My meal yesterday was a rice salad with red wine vinegar, peas, chickpeas, and tomatoes- a great and easy lunch using leftover rice. So a taste of the many veggies we got this week: leeks swiss chard, spinach, collard greens green peppers (A LOT of them!) potatoes green tomatoes (plus more from my garden) red onions garlic bok choi (2 varieties) lettuce butternut squash If you are thinking about joining a CSA next season, why? If you are hesitant, why? I would love some good conversation on this blog!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Orange Glazed Tempeh- Chinese Take-out

This was a wonderful alternative to Chinese take-out. For those of you who don't know, tempeh is an amazing and cheap meat alternative that is minimally processed. It is originally from Indonesia and is made from pressed and fermented soy beans and often other whole grains. There are different types of tempeh, and Trader Joe's near me carries it for under $2 for 8 oz. One 8 oz. package acts as 4 servings generally for us, and has good levels of b12 and protein. It is great also as an alternative to ground beef in things like chili or lasagna. One of my favorite ways to use it is as an open-faced smothered tempeh sandwich. Lately I have been craving chinese take-out and the hubs refuses, saying that our local options are worse than anything I would make. Quite the compliment ;) But it means I still need to cook. When in the mood for chinese, I am also a big fan of Aida Mollenkamp from food networks stir fry in which I generally substitute tofu or tempeh for the beef and often use whatever veggies I have. Her sauce is to die for. Chinese food is full of vegetables and generally quick to prepare, we often have some type of stir fry or curry once a week. This recipe was similar to a dish we enjoy at Pei Wei and much much cheaper. The recipe is from 101 cookbooks, though I did substitute brown rice from my rice cooker. The kale did in fact richly compliment the sweetness of the orange glaze and I happened to have a hearty portion from the farm. Orange Pan Glazed Tempeh