Monday, July 27, 2015

Oatmeal Orange Beet Blender Muffins

These perky morning muffins have roasted beets from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share, oatmeal, and orange juice. They are easily made in the blender for a smooth batter, bright flavor, and golden hue.

We were only engaged for a week, so we didn't undertake any type of pre-marital counseling. Instead we drove from Michigan to New Mexico, seeing the sights en route but probably not avoiding chain restaurants--see this post if you want tips on Local Eating on the Road--since we'd just been living in Germany and were craving all things American. We got hitched once we arrived in Alamogordo.
Why the rush? Well, if you're someone in the military who loves someone else in the military there's this thing called a Join Spouse assignment preference. There's no Join Boyfriend or Join Fiancee or Join Significant Other assignment category. You need the paper to make it officially easier to be with the one you love. It made more sense to my spouse and I to get the paper rather than have a big To Do. So we did.

Had we undergone pre-marital counseling, however, I would hope that it included the orange juice pulp issue. There are too many choices in the grocery store and the amount of pulp and/or calcium in your OJ is just one example. My spouse likes Lots of Pulp. I'd rather have pulp than not have pulp, so I'll easily go along with his desire.

For other recipes using beets, please see my Beet Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. I've been working behind the scenes adding links to recipes from a host of creative and generous bloggers to make this index a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share. For another muffin recipe using beets, how about a sweet Cherry Beet Yogurt muffin or a savory Beet Horseradish muffin?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Deep Dish Sausage, Eggplant and Artichoke Pizza (Alternative Recipe Ideas for Eggplant)

Deep dish pizza with eggplant, artichoke and pepperoni tucked under a blanket of sausage.

Eggplant is a wonderful way to illustrate how life is different when you're eating from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share.

The other week I was chatting with my hair gal about farm shares and explaining what sort of produce we were getting during midsummer. I mentioned eggplant. She replied that she loved eggplant parmesan and it got me thinking. [Get ready for the rant]
If the only way you know to eat eggplant is Eggplant Parmesan, what do you do when you have a farm share and get 3 eggplants per week for 4 out of 5 weeks in a row? I suppose you could make a weekly pan of eggplant parmigiana. I hear it freezes fine. Or you could share it with friends who need a bit of love through food. Or me!

If you're looking for alternatives, though, think about grilling slices of eggplant, baking eggplant chips, or roasting cubes. Amazing flavors and endless possibilities. Please check out my Eggplant Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. I will be updating it like I've done with beets and kohlrabi, including recipes from other food bloggers to generate a useful resource for folks like me eating from the farm share. Folks who may not feel like eating a pan of eggplant parm once a week in July and August. /rant, on to the pizza!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Fruity Green Gazpacho

Sweet peppers, mild vegetables, grapes and mint make a refreshing chilled soup with a bit of an edge.

Do you ask for recipes when you taste something yummy--and homemade? I sure do. Even a vague "well, I used a bit of this, a smidgen of that, and a handful of the other thing" is enough of a jumping off point for me. When I've got the right blend of vegetables from our community supported agriculture (CSA) farm share, it's time to grab the appropriate fruits and give it a whirl. Literally.

Last September at a Cool Soups for a Hot Cause fundraiser I had a refreshing green gazpacho. It was sweet, but had a bit of edginess to let me know it wasn't entirely a fruit soup. [I've got my family's Scandinavian Fruit Soup on the blog if you want an entirely fruit soup.] After my second helping--which came after tasting ALL THE SOUPS on offer--I asked how it was made. The generous cook behind the tureen told me it had white grape juice and mint, and that she'd used the recipe from The Silver Palate Cookbook(Amazon Affiliate link). I made a mental note to find it, but after googling a bunch I never found that recipe.

Instead, I found this recipe for a green gazpacho without white grape juice. That looks good, but not the sweet-with-a-bite soup I'd enjoyed. I kept on searching. This recipe has the grape juice, but also jalapeño and the soup I liked was not spicy. Alanna shares her recipe--a more precise version with honeydew and grapes--here.

In the end I cobbled together a few ingredients in the blender and hoped for the best. The result was cool and creamy, sweet and just a little bit edgy, and we enjoyed drinking it. I cannot find my paper with precise measurements yet I'm going to war with the troops I have so I'm deliberately vague in the recipe below. This is clearly one of those 'taste as you go' situations.