Showing posts with label carrot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label carrot. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Greek Stew Meat Tacos

Beef cubes, marinated in artichoke, lemon, and olive juices served taco style with avocado dip.

Beef cubes, marinated in artichoke, lemon, and olive juices served taco style with avocado dip.

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One way to be a meat-eating local food eater is to buy a cow, or part of a cow.  We did, and that's how I got the cow that lives in the freezer.  One of the cool things about going in on a cow (ok, technically he was a steer), like I've mentioned, is that you get a LOT of cow parts that may be new to you.  And in cooking them, you learn new dishes that you love. Like tail.  I love me some tail!  You also get meats you may be less desirous of--thanks Dawn for bringing over the liver your family isn't fond of--we use it in meatloaf.  When you get a portion of cow all at once, you can find yourself with a package of stew meat tucked away in the corner of the freezer when you're not really interested in fixing a stew.

Beef cubes, marinated in artichoke, lemon, and olive juices served taco style with avocado dip.

Just because a package says "stew meat" doesn't mean you need to make stew with it.  It just means that the meat needs tenderizing, either by long slow moist cooking, or by a long soak in a tenderizing marinade.  I opted for the latter this time.

This goes back to my mom wanting to use up the liquid left in the olive and artichoke jars because she never throws anything away without some sort of reuse.  (See where I get it from?)  When I made the Slow Cooker Greek Chicken Tacos the artichoke/olive juice marinade made for tasty meat--so I did the same thing with beef.  Note:  this has an overnight marinade!

Beef cubes, marinated in artichoke, lemon, and olive juices served taco style with avocado dip.

For more recipes using avocados, please see my Avocado Recipes Collection. For more recipes using carrots, please see my Carrot Recipes Collection. For more recipes using olives, and artichokes, and other veggies in jars, please see my Recipes Using Veggies in Jars Collection. These collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, the garden, the neighbor's garden, and great deals on ugly produce at the grocery store.

I'm sharing more recipes on my Pinterest boards, follow me there. If you like a good peek behind the scenes like I do, follow me on Instagram. Need a good read? I'm sharing articles of interest on my Facebook page, follow me there. Want to know How to Use This Blog?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Overnight Yeasted Carrot Waffles

A light and fluffy waffle tinged with shredded carrots for a Spring breakfast--start it the night before, then enjoy waffles without having to wake up enough to measure the batter ingredients.

A light and fluffy waffle tinged with shredded carrots for a Spring breakfast--start it the night before, then enjoy waffles without having to wake up enough to measure the batter ingredients.

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I promise you I am not that distractible . . . Squirrel! . . . I just have so. many. recipes to share and I want to share them all now.  Easter, Passover, Grilled Cheese month, Spring--ack!  But I don't want to post more than Monday/Wednesday/Friday.  What's a blogger to do?

When I started hashtagcarrotweek last month I fully intended to share 3 recipes, take a brief break from carrots and post some other seasonal recipes, then wrap it up with these waffles.

In the meantime my girl Julie has done WaffleWeek, so I'm awfully excited to point you over to Texan New Yorker if you're intrigued with waffles and want some more options, perhaps without yeast . . .
Me and yeast, we are friends--joining forces on pizza dough and bread.  Me and cutting butter or lard or shortening to make pie crust?  Not so much.
A light and fluffy waffle tinged with shredded carrots for a Spring breakfast--start it the night before, then enjoy waffles without having to wake up enough to measure the batter ingredients.

This is not my first rodeo throwing vegetables into a waffle.  I started with Butternut Squash Waffles, continued through Sweet Corn and Blueberry Waffles, and now carrots?  Carrots.  And not just carrots.  Yeasted Carrot Waffles. Overnight Yeasted Carrot Waffles, if like me you're perkier in the evening and can assemble the batter and let it hang out in the fridge, so that all you need to do in the morning is preheat the waffle iron while your tea is steeping.

Each time I incorporate vegetables into waffle batter I find the flavor of the vegetable subtly enhances the finished product.  The result is a waffle that is familiar enough for those who just want a waffle, dammit, without all this vegetable tomfoolery, but different enough to be a unique change of pace as well.  It is a versatile waffle.

A light and fluffy waffle tinged with shredded carrots for a Spring breakfast--start it the night before, then enjoy waffles without having to wake up enough to measure the batter ingredients.

The first time I made these was for a traditional weekend breakfast.  Subsequent editions got served with fried chicken [store bought--inches of oil are like me and cutting in butter].  All good, though.  This is a flexible, flavorful, unexpected way to incorporate Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share carrots into your family's meal.

For more recipes using carrots, please see my Carrot Recipes Collection. It's part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, the garden, the neighbor's garden, and great deals on ugly produce at the grocery store.

I'm sharing more recipes on my Pinterest boards, follow me there. If you like a good peek behind the scenes like I do, follow me on Instagram. Need a good read? I'm sharing articles of interest on my Facebook page, follow me there. Want to know How to Use This Blog?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Unagi and Avocado Rolls with Carrot Sushi Rice

Barbecued eel and avocado rolled up in colorful carrot rice for an amazing sushi roll

Unagi and Avocado Rolls with Carrot Sushi Rice | Farm Fresh Feasts

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Sometimes you just have to scratch your head and ask yourself 'now why didn't I think of that?'.  I was uploading photos to the food porn photo sharing site Fridgg when I saw colorful carrot rice, and I mentally smacked my forehead and wondered why I'd never done that while making sushi.
After all, I put finely shredded carrots in my Maple Teriyaki Salmon sushi, though I layered them with apples before rolling up.  And I've tossed cooked rice with finely shredded carrot while making chirashi sushi, seen on the blog in my Spam Musubi Chirashi Sushi.  So it's not a giant stretch to think up tossing the carrot with the rice, then using the result in my sushi rolls.

Unagi and Avocado Rolls with Carrot Sushi Rice | Farm Fresh Feasts

I've talked about some of the ways I put up our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share vegetables during the growing season, to feed my family during the winter (talking about this is kinda the mission of this blog).  I roast and freeze my garlic crop.  I turn the tomatillos (and freshly roasted Hatch chiles from the grocery store down the road) into salsa verde.  I keep the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve in a cold corner of my breakfast nook.  Carrots are a bit different.  I shred them using the fine shred disc on my food processor then freeze them in zip top bags.  I can take out just what I need and it thaws rapidly.  If you don't have a food processor with a fine shred disc--I'm thinking box grater?
What exactly do those spiky holes on the 4 sided box grater do, anyway?  I've only used the large shred hole side and the slicer side.  Those spiky hole things just snag my knuckles (or get gunked up with cheese when the kids are first learning to grate cheese) and are a pain to clean.  If you know, I'd love to hear it in the comments.  It's been a mystery to me for a while.

Next thing on my mind:  unagi.  Unagi, or barbecued eel, is one of my favorite items on the sushi menu.  When we lived in Hawaii, my daughter and I would splurge on a sushi lunch at the Aloha Sushi nearby.  I'd get a couple of unagi hand rolls--the combination of warm eel and warm sushi rice in a freshly-made hand roll is irresistible to me.  Getting cold, pre made unagi in the grocery store just doesn't cut it, and since I can eat my age in pieces of sushi it makes sense to make it at home.  For this reason I pick up packages of unagi from the freezer section of the asian market (you can see it below).  They are ready when I've got the rest of the ingredients on hand.

Barbecued eel and avocado rolled up in colorful carrot rice for an amazing sushi roll you can make at home!

My first sushi post details a lot of the steps involved in making sushi, complete with step-by-step photos.  I'm not trying to rack up additional page views when I refer you to it--I'm trying to keep this post as concise as possible while showing off the neat photos I took (because I am absurdly pleased with them).  You can check out my How to Make Sushi at Home post here.

For more recipes using avocado, please see my Avocado Recipes Collection. For more recipes using carrots, please see my Carrot Recipes Collection. These collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, the garden, the neighbor's garden, and great deals on ugly produce at the grocery store.

I'm sharing more recipes on my Pinterest boards, follow me there. If you like a good peek behind the scenes like I do, follow me on Instagram. Need a good read? I'm sharing articles of interest on my Facebook page, follow me there. Want to know How to Use This Blog?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Rustic Roasted Carrots

Roasted carrots, simply seasoned with salt and a buttery spread, make a vegan addition to your holiday or Spring table

Rustic Roasted Carrots | Farm Fresh Feasts

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Getting my family to eat cooked carrots can be a challenge.  Sure, they don't mind if I stretch our tacos or meatloaf with diced or shredded carrots.  Eating raw carrots as a vehicle to convey dip into the mouth is also no problem around these parts.  But every cooked carrot dish I've tried has been politely attempted and then untouched.  Until now.  This is too easy and too basic not to share.  I'm becoming enamored with side dishes that let the fresh flavor of the vegetables shine through--without overpowering sauces--and this is a good example of that.
I first made these carrots when I was overwhelmed with carrots from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share, which is a testament to the wonderful soil our famers are creating.  When we first joined this CSA most of the carrots were stubby and deliciously sweet--not really useful for much in the way of a meal, but delicious to snack on.  After consistently amending the soil with a wide variety of organic materials, from manure and compost to donated straw and old hay, our farmers grow still delicious but now fat and long carrots, in large amounts. Which leads to me being overwhelmed with carrots.

Getting bulging bags of fat carrots each week--and not eating an entire bagful in between pick-ups--meant that our crisper was on carrot overload.  The composting guinea pig was thrilled with the tops and tips.  I saved out the largest carrots for eating raw.  I shredded and froze the smaller carrots for adding to all sorts of meals over the winter, like my Thai Turkey Cold Busting Hot and Sour Soup.  That left the medium sized carrots, and since I was roasting beets and radishes I figured I'd try roasting carrots, too.

I lined them up like I'd seen young carrots served at a restaurant in Atlanta in a previous life, gave them a drizzle of oil and a pinch of salt, and secured them in a foil packet.  When it came time to serve, my daughter grabbed some parsley to tuck into the sides for the photo--but this pretty dish never made it to the table.  We ate this with our fingers while standing in the kitchen and called it our appetizer.    Then I had a hankering for it again--inspired by some marked down carrots at the grocery store.  This time I roasted them on a rimmed baking sheet. The results again never made it to the table--or even a serving tray! We ate them off the baking sheet. Simple.  Rustic.  Good.

Rustic Roasted Carrots | Farm Fresh Feasts

Since I had fun with HashtagOrangeWeek last month, where I shared a week's worth of recipes using the fresh Florida citrus from the Band Fruit Fundraiser, I thought I'd do it again.  With Easter coming up, I've decided to have HashtagCarrotWeek.  I'll start with this rustic side dish, continue on Friday with some sushi, and finish up the 'week' with muffins on Monday. So a week's worth of recipes using carrots, but stretched over more than a simple calendar week.  I wanted the savory squash pie linked up well before April Fool's day, you see.

For more recipes using carrots, please see my Carrot Recipes Collection. It's part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, the garden, the neighbor's garden, and great deals on ugly produce at the grocery store.

I'm sharing more recipes on my Pinterest boards, follow me there. If you like a good peek behind the scenes like I do, follow me on Instagram. Need a good read? I'm sharing articles of interest on my Facebook page, follow me there. Want to know How to Use This Blog?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Thai Turkey Cold Busting Hot and Sour Egg Drop Soup

Fight colds with this Hot and Sour Thai-seasoned Turkey, Carrot, and Rice Egg Drop Soup

Thai Turkey Cold Busting Hot and Sour Egg Drop Soup | Farm Fresh Feasts

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When I was in nursing school, in a previous life, Hot and Sour Soup became my magical cure-all for any bugs picked up at the hospital that threatened to take me down.  I'd swing by my favorite Chinese restaurant and pick up a quart when I first felt a tickle in my throat, and usually by the time I'd consumed the container I was right as rain.

Of course I've moved far away from that restaurant, and had good and not as good Hot and Sour Soups in the intervening lives years.

Thai Turkey Cold Busting Hot and Sour Egg Drop Soup | Farm Fresh Feasts

This soup is emphatically NOT a traditional version of Chinese Restaurant Hot and Sour Soup.  Instead, it's got the hot and sour-ness that I crave when I'm sick, coupled with the consistency of egg drop soup that soothes my throat, along with carrots and rice that comfort me like a good bowl of chicken soup should.  Except this is made with a turkey carcass.  Yes, part of my Thanksgiving turkey carcass if you must know.

This is an excellent reason to save your Thanksgiving turkey carcass in your freezer until you're ready for it.  No sense wasting it on some day-after-Thanksgiving soup when you've got amazing leftovers still in the fridge.  No, save that turkey carcass, along with the bits and bobs of vegetables collected in your Soup Pack, for a Real Need.

I made this soup while in Real Need for Soup.  While I was sharing sunny orange recipes here during HashtagOrangeWeek recently, I was sneezing and hacking my way around the Disney World Parks in Florida.  As if being sick wasn't enough, we traveled to/from Florida in a plane and my ears went wrong shortly after take off and still weren't right a week after returning home.  Add to all of the above I had a cough that made me gag and, well, if you've had kids then you know there are . . . consequences . . . when you are walking around having coughing attacks.  So there I am at Disney, sneezing, coughing, and consequencing all over the place, and hoping to survive the flight home so I could make soup. /rant

Thai Turkey Cold Busting Hot and Sour Egg Drop Soup | Farm Fresh Feasts

Thanking again my well-stocked pantry, I slept in (love my bed) and started this soup the day after I got home.  I was inspired by Lydia's Quick and Easy Hot and Sour Soup with Tofu, Shiitake Mushrooms and Noodles and Tyler Florence's Hot and Sour Soup. Now, normally I like the hands off approach of slow cooker soup stock, throwing everything into the crock pot for a day/night before straining and using.  And while that technique is awesome, there is one drawback--in a slow cooker you don't get the flavor concentration from evaporation like you do in an uncovered stock pot on the stove top.  I cooked this stock for 4 hours on the stove top, until it was reduced by about half [and took a picture so you could see**] then called it good.  Using mostly fridge and freezer items I threw together the rest of the soup, snapped some more photos, and we enjoyed a late lunch.  I was fortified for the rest of the day. And then a few more thanks to the awesome leftovers.

Thai Turkey Cold Busting Hot and Sour Egg Drop Soup | Farm Fresh Feasts

If you're looking for the cold-busting properties of a bowl of hot and sour soup, the consistency of egg drop soup, the comfort of a poultry-filled carrot and rice soup--this recipe is for you.

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Confetti Turkey Enchiladas with Slow Roasted Tomato Sauce

Turkey, carrots, and zucchini make a colorful filling for enchiladas in a hearty dish covered in an easy to make slow-roasted tomato enchilada sauce

Confetti Turkey Enchiladas with Slow Roasted Tomato Sauce | Farm Fresh Feasts

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This is a recipe showing how I use put-up summer produce during the winter months when we are not receiving a weekly box from our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share.  If you don't have a package of slow-roasted tomatoes in your freezer (link to Alanna's tutorial), please refer to Andrea's inspiring Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce recipe below which uses canned tomato sauce.  And put this idea in your back pocket--if you get a glut of tomatoes in the early fall (and have some room in the freezer) consider slow-roasting some.  It's ridiculously simple and the end product is nearly as handy to use as the quarts of crushed tomatoes I've got in the pantry.

Confetti Turkey Enchiladas with Slow Roasted Tomato Sauce | Farm Fresh Feasts

I was going to share this recipe during the summer, because it calls for tomatoes and zucchini and I'm all about the seasonal eating, but it's here today for a couple of reasons.
I'll list them, just for kicks.

  • I've got a backlog of enchilada recipes (technically, 4) that I need to post, and there's no time like the present to start sharing them.
  • I made a pan of Creamy Avocado Enchiladas today and it reminded me of these.
  • I'm still reeling from the shock of posting a savory appetizer every day last week for #AppetizerWeek, and I realized I didn't have anything scheduled for today.
While my belly is full of Creamy Avocado Enchiladas, I bring you Confetti Turkey Enchiladas.
Other enchilada recipes I've posted:

Confetti Turkey Enchiladas with Slow Roasted Tomato Sauce | Farm Fresh Feasts

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sriracha Butternut Squash Hummus

Spicy and creamy, this make ahead vegetable appetizer perks up any occasion.

Sriracha Butternut Squash Hummus #Appetizerweek | Farm Fresh Feasts

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I was trying to describe to a friend what a shake of sriracha brings to a dish.
"Well, it's heat.  But with flavor . . .  It doesn't burn your mouth like a really hot pepper, it doesn't numb your mouth like Szechuan peppercorns . . . it's just . . . heat.  But with flavor . . ."
[Clearly I suck at the whole food writing thing. Let me feed you instead.]  When I add a shake of sriracha chili sauce to vegetables, like my Soy Sriracha Roasted Mushrooms, happy things happen.  When Laura adds sriracha to vegetable muffins, StrangeButGood things happen.  I was in an experimental mood when I whipped up this batch of Sriracha Butternut Hummus for #AppetizerWeek.  I'd roasted one of the butternut squash in my Strategic Winter Squash Reserve (link to a photo on my FB page) and used half in Buffalo Butternut Hummus . . . but I had the second half beckoning me to play.

I like playing with the vegetables from my Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share.  Getting a weekly box of fresh local vegetables means my family is more likely to eat vegetables.  It sounds silly, but just getting the produce into my kitchen is half the battle sometimes.  Figuring out what to do with them?  Well, that's why I created a Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient--so when I've got beets, kale, or peppers I can see several recipes for how to use them and pick which one suits my fancy.  Other folks who enjoy eating from a farm share agree, so I think I'm on the right track.
I've revamped my Visual Recipe Index! For more ideas on what to do with your butternut squash, click here.

Sriracha Butternut Squash Hummus #Appetizerweek | Farm Fresh Feasts

If you are serving vegetarians or vegans I recommend checking your sriracha sauce to make sure it does not contain fish extract, or making Buffalo Butternut Hummus and creating a layered dip to suit your eaters.

Sriracha Butternut Squash Hummus #Appetizerweek | Farm Fresh Feasts

Visit all the other Appetizer Week Blogs for more Snack Time Deliciousness:

Monday, December 16, 2013

Black Eyed Pea and Kale Salad in Salumi Cups: A New Year's Day Good Luck Appetizer

A bite size appetizer of black eyed peas and kale salad, served in salumi cups. A terrific bite to ensure good luck in the New Year.

Black Eyed Pea and Kale Salad in Salumi Cups | Farm Fresh Feasts

Why is it considered good luck to eat black eyed peas on New Year's day?  Since I didn't learn about this tradition until I lived in the South as an adult, do Northerners/East Coasters/ Westerners/Midwesterners not have good luck ever?  What about folks in other countries?  Not everyone eats black eyed peas, you know.
Heavy questions for a busy time.  All I know is in addition to jumping into the New Year (from a stair, not a chair) I like to eat black eyed peas this time of year.  I'm good with these traditions--one's silly fun to do, and the other's tasty.
Sometimes I like to make Hoppin' John, sometimes I like to change it up a bit.  Here's a bite size appetizer way to get your New Year Good Luck, and if meat is not your thing, there's a bonus recipe below to an alternate salad/leftover remake.
Updated Note:  My mom emailed me that she knew salumi was not a typo but she didn't know what it was.  Salumi is the name for a category of dry cured meat.  Salami and prosciutto are examples of salumi.  I'm thinking pepperoni may be as well.  Learn something new?  I try to each day!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Orange Teriyaki Slaw Stir Fry with Orange Sriracha Turkey Meatballs

A colorful, flavorful, stir fry of red cabbage, carrot, celery and onion in a fresh orange and teriyaki sauce.  Served with orange-ginger-sriracha turkey meatballs and rice.

Orange Teriyaki Slaw Stir Fry with Orange Sriracha Turkey Meatballs | Farm Fresh Feasts

This is another Fast from the Farm Share meal, combining Band Fruit Fundraiser oranges and cool weather vegetables in an Asian-inspired stir fry.  Because I had it, I baked ground turkey meatballs flavored with orange, ginger, and sriracha separately and added them at the end, but this orange-sauced stir fry would be terrific as a side with a different protein source.

Working on the savory orange recipes section of my Fall and Winter Fruit Recipe Round Up gave me a hankering for Asian-influenced orange recipes.  Since I like to use what I've got, I opened the fridge and chose a red cabbage, a fat carrot, and the last of the celery for this stir fry.  It's pretty much slaw ingredients--seasoned differently and stir fried. I used ground turkey for the same reason--and because the idea of having my daughter mix, shape, and bake the meatballs appealed to me after a day of hauling fruit in and out of vehicles.

I don't have a juicer--but I have a blender, so I tossed the peeled orange and all of the sauce ingredients into the blender and made quick work of the sauce.  Getting the rice going first, and baking the meatballs while working on the stir fry, means that this meal comes together very quickly.

Orange Teriyaki Slaw Stir Fry with Orange Sriracha Turkey Meatballs | Farm Fresh Feasts

If you want a bright and colorful vegetable side, or a flavorful omnivore meal, try this dish.  It brightens a dreary day.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Stupefyingly Simple Chicken, Rice, and Butternut Squash Soup

Stupefyingly Simple Chicken, Rice, and Butternut Squash Soup

One taste of this soup, and you too will be stupefied.  And your body slammed with enough beta carotene to . . . . well to do something astounding.  Maybe even run or something crazy.

For me, making soup is not a quick or easy thing.  I think it's a Production.  I have my Soup Packs.  There's lots of chopping involved.  I plan to spend hours over my pretty purple pot.  And I generally end up with something good that my family eats happily the first time but the soup leftovers don't usually get fought over like other things.

The day I made this, I had 2 kids home sick with colds, and I was busy with baking.  I didn't have time to devote to soup, but I thought the kids would benefit from a warm bowl for lunch.  The oven was on anyway, so I selected a small butternut squash from the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve in the corner of the breakfast nook, split it, scooped out the guts, and roasted it upside down on a rimmed baking sheet with a cup of water for 45 minutes until it was tender.  That part was easy.  I kept going.

Since I wasn't Making A Production out of the soup, I grabbed a large saucepan, preheated oil in it over medium heat, and dropped in about half a cup of carrots and celery from a freezer bag of pre-chopped veggies.  After they had started to soften I tossed in some Onion Onion and minced garlic.  I also tossed in 4 bullion cubes because I didn't have any soup stock on hand.  After my electric kettle had come to a boil I added about 4-5 cups of water to the pan.  Then a can of chicken, half of a squash, and let it simmer gently until lunchtime (give it at least 30 minutes, could go up to 2 hrs).  When it was time to serve, I scooped out the remaining rice from the rice cooker (last night's dinner leftovers), added it to the pot, and dished up bowls of warm soup.

Stupefyingly easy and surprisingly tasty, especially given the utter lack of effort on my part.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Chicken Cider Stew (from Kitchen Parade): My Personal Fall In A Bowl!

Kristy of Gastronomical Sovereignty is on vacation in Merrye Olde Englande, so I'm sharing with her readers how I get two 'storage amounts' of my favorite cook's crops--garlic and basil--out of one garden plot over the course of a year.  The time to start this endeavor is now, and if you like to cook with garlic and pesto, you need to check it out!  You can read all about it here.
I'm doing this whole "I've got a guest post up, go see" thing completely wrong. Instead of just directing you to Kristy's blog today and calling it good, in fact I'm sharing the second installment (but first post) of my Food Bloggers Change My Life series.  Confusing?  Yes, sorry--I shared Rebecca at Foodie With Family's Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala previously, but I started the series because of Alanna of Kitchen Parade and A Veggie Venture.  She is my friend and Food Blogging Mentor (and I'm so grateful last year that she didn't laugh at my email of 'I'm thinking of starting a food blog').

Chicken Cider Stew is a savory stovetop dish that comes together quickly and uses the great stuff I'm getting from my CSA and my garden right now:  sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, onions and apples.

We like this served with a hunk of sharp cheddar cheese.

Every time I read a food blog, I get inspired to try all sorts of new flavor combinations, and sometimes I actually follow through with my ideas.  Rarely, though, does a recipe--exactly as written--become part of my regular menu rotation.
I'll digress at this point and say by 'menu rotation' that would imply that I actually have a menu plan.  Ha!  During the CSA farm share season (mid-May to Thanksgiving-ish for me) I never know what I'm going to get in the farm share crate.  And other than the cow in the freezer I never know what protein I'll have on hand.  So I just kind of wing it on a daily/weekly basis.  However, there are some meals that, when the right elements collide, I already know what I'm making for supper.
This recipe is one of those.  I read it when Alanna put it up on Kitchen Parade in 2007, had almost all the ingredients--still don't have savory--and made it.  Loved it.  The following Fall when it cooled off and my thoughts turned to stew, my farm share box had sweet potatoes, apple cider appeared in the farmer's market and the stores, I craved it again.  The next year, again.

And so it goes.  Reading that recipe six years ago made a permanent change in my Fall menu rotation. See, food bloggers are making a difference!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Thai Inspired Creamy Chicken Noodle soup (dairy and gluten free)

What's the most comforting bowl of soup you've ever had?

Thai Inspired Creamy Chicken Noodle soup (dairy and gluten free)

Many years ago my employer sent me on a long, all-expense-paid, trip to an exotic foreign locale just before a major holiday.  My friend drove me down to the airport, we said our goodbyes, I put my gun in the armory and settled down in anticipation of an early call for the next day's flight.

I woke to an ice storm instead.

After a day or so of 'will the weekly flight go late or just be cancelled' my friend came back, picked me and my gear up, and brought me back home.  Where I wasn't supposed to be.  I'd already celebrated the holiday, emptied my fridge, given away my houseplants and sent my dog ahead to my spouse.  It was a weird few days, of being there when I wasn't supposed to have been there, my brain straddling what was happening with what should have been happening.

My friends invited me to many meals during that time, and it was during one post-holiday gathering that I had the most comforting bowl of chicken soup.  It was chicken and rice, and I know my friend's mom added some food coloring to make it more visually appealing, but no matter.  A mom made me chicken soup when I needed some nurturing and it was good.  A few days later I left on my deployment without any weather-related or other drama, but the memory of what a good bowl of chicken soup can do for you stayed with me.

As you can see from the title, this is not your run-of-the-mill chicken noodle soup.  It's got a Thai twist because I had opened jars of Thai ingredients in the fridge, and the wonderful food bloggers I turned to for advice suggested I use them up in soup.  My recipe is an adaptation of both Kalyn's Thai Chicken Soup recipe and  Winnie's Thai-inspired Chicken Noodle soup.  I used what was on hand in my pantry, and I like my substitutions enough to write up the recipe on its own.  We ate this soup as chicken noodle soup for dinner, using a large handful of rice noodles.  The next day, since soup is better the next day, I brought this plus my rice cooker to serve chicken and rice soup for lunch at work.  If you need a little nurturing, and can access Thai ingredients (see NOTE below), keep this soup in mind.  Use coconut milk, not cream, if you like, or chicken breasts, not ground chicken, add sliced Bok Choy if you've got it in your CSA farm share--but do add the peanuts, fresh herbs, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice for garnish.  It's very tasty.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Green Pork, Corn and Zucchini Enchiladas (Can you can? Yes, you can!)

Ground pork sautéed with zucchini and corn makes the filling for these green salsa verde enchiladas. Home-canned sauces enjoyed all year long.

Do you can?  I've made jam over the years, but I really need to give a shout out to Marisa of Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round because a year ago, through her wonderful blog, she gave me permission to can 'just a little bit' of something without making a Big Production out of it.

Last summer, when my local grocery store was roasting fresh Hatch chilies in the parking lot and the farm share had tomatillos every single week, I decided to try my hand at canning salsa verde.  I first tried salsa verde the previous winter when I made tongue tacos from the cow in the freezer.  My family tolerated the tongue, but we all loved the salsa verde and I resolved to learn how to make it when the farm share tomatillos overwhelmed me appeared in the box.  I followed the Ball® Blue Book recipe, subbed the roasted Hatch chilies, and this was the result--six lovely jelly jars of salsa verde.
Since I had the canning pot up from the basement and hot water anyway, I figured I'd make some peach jam from peaches that had been hanging out in the freezer, awaiting a canning day and some pectin.

But what to make with it?  We haven't finished up the first cow, and most cows only have 1 tongue [not that we were pantingly eager to experience those tacos again].  We are loving enchiladas these days, so I figured an enchilada recipe would be a neat way to take my salsa verde for a test drive.  I found some ground pork marked down at the grocery store and grabbed a bag of zucchini out of the freezer.
Freezer?  Yes, I wrote this post up during the snowy winter, dreaming of temps above the single digits while sharing how I feed my family from our garden and CSA farm share all year 'round.  If you're overrun with zucchini this summer, shred some up--I love my food processor because it has a fine shred disc which is perfect for zucchini, carrots, or cheese.  I freeze bags of shredded zucchini flat in 1 cup portions.
But I digress . . .  where was I?  Oh, right. Ground pork, zucchini, and you know what else would be good stuffed into that tortilla?  Corn.  Grabbed some of that, too.  You'll notice that this enchilada recipe serves 6, but only uses 1/2 pound of meat.  We are omnivores, but I like to serve less meat and more veggies, so this is another way to stretch a pound of meat.  And tasty, too!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Pick a Veggie Sushi Rolls

This is the third time I've written today's post, and no matter if it's the charm or not I'm going with it.  First, I was going to share kohlrabi, egg, and Spam sushi rolls.  Then a post about gyro sushi rolls, then unagi, green onion, and salad mix rolls.  Finally I just decided to combine a bunch of sushi photo collages and call this Pick A Veggie From The CSA Farm Share Box and Roll Your Own Sushi.  However, many of the food porn photo sharing sites I submit to have character limits on post titles, so a bit of editing happened.

I started sharing sushi posts soon after I started this blog, with a smoked salmon, cream cheese, and cucumber sushi.  Later I shared my #strangebutgood maple teriyaki salmon sushi.  Today I'm going to illustrate how I take a (usually leftover) protein and combine it with on-hand vegetables to make sushi.  Sushi makes a great portable lunch when you are outside enjoying nature during warm days.  It's a real treat to open up your lunchbox and pull out more than a squashed sandwich.  I love to send my kids a 'disposable lunch' on field trips (disposable required by the school) using up leftover containers filled with whatever I had on hand, rolled up sushi style.
If you're looking for recipes featuring sushi-grade raw fish, look at some of my links below--I'm in the middle of the country and cooking for my family--you will not find me buying blocks of sushi grade tuna, though if you'd like to send me where it is, I'd be delighted to eat it. :)

My daughter and I have enjoyed lunch together a lot.  When she was a preschooler, she'd have school a couple of mornings a week and come home for lunch/nap.  Later, it was lunch before getting on the bus for afternoon kindergarten.
We'll gloss over the crowded, noisy cafeteria and lunch starting at 10:40am in our last district.  Here in Ohio the kids get an hour(!) lunch break and my daughter usually comes home for lunch.  My son usually finds something worth staying for  at school.
 My favorite lunches-with-my-young-daughter were in Hawaii, picking up a to-go order at Aloha Sushi.  There, my daughter would get tekka maki and I'd have unagi hand rolls.  The warm grilled eel, warm sushi rice, and delicate nori wrapping utterly satisfied me in a way that no store-bought box of sushi can.
When my son asked for unagi sushi for his birthday supper, on a night coinciding with our first CSA farm share pick up, I knew I'd be rolling up some farm fresh produce with our eel.  I just didn't know what it would be until I got the box (I've mentioned I like the Iron Chef aspect of CSA subscriptions, yes?). My possibilities were varied--salad greens, kale, Swiss chard, asparagus, green onions, garlic and strawberries.  I opted for onions and salad mix.  My son thanked me for not getting too wild for his birthday dinner.
I got wild later.  Since I had roasted asparagus, leftover roast chicken, and all the sushi fixings out, I rolled up some Roast Chicken and Asparagus rolls.
Leftovers from Gyro night in a sushi roll?  Why not?  Drain the tzatziki sauce really well (overnight in the fridge) for best results.
These meals follow the Theorem of Cooking Once and getting 2 different meals with the result, just like with my Chicken Adobo Summer Rolls.  The Food Blogger Corollary is simple--you've got the camera out and your kitchen is already messy, so why not get 2 blog posts for 1 kitchen clean up?  When I made Spam Chirashi Sushi I saved some slices of meat in stick form to use in these sushi rolls.  My daughter brought them to school for a food sharing event in her social studies class.  If you've never made sushi, refer to this post for more step-by-step instructions.  It's really fun once you get the hang of it, and even your failures taste delicious.

Pick A Veggie From The CSA Farm Share Box and Roll Your Own Sushi

NOTE:  I created this recipe to be gluten free through my choice of ingredients (Spam is GF!). Check labels to confirm that your products (I'm talking about you, soy sauce) are also gluten free. Good sources for determining that your products are gluten free can be found here: 

Using the recipe in this post for the building blocks listed below, for each 8 piece roll, you will need

1 sheet sushi nori
1 cup cooked seasoned sushi rice (1 1/2 cups if you want double rice inside out rolls)
a thin schmear of mayonnaise
Protein (see NOTE below)
Vegetable (see NOTE below)

With damp fingers, spread the rice across the sheet of nori on an Old Bamboo or the rolling device of your choice (I've got a New Pink Plastic, and while it's easier to clean than my Old Bamboo I like the hand feel of the bamboo better).  Spread a thin schmear of mayonnaise across the rice.  Top with the rest of the components.  Use the Old Bamboo to roll tightly away from you, stopping after one complete revolution to lift the mat so it doesn't get rolled up with your sushi roll.  Squeeze tightly.  Use a sharp knife to cut the roll into 8 pieces, wiping the knife with a damp towel in between cuts.
Serve with soy sauce for dipping.

NOTE:  Protein suggestions are 1/3 cup sliced Japanese Omelette (4 eggs, mixed with 1 teaspoon each sugar and salt, scrambled and chopped); 1/8 can of Spam, prepared per this post; 1/2 cup chopped roasted chicken, dribbled with teriyaki sauce; 2-3 slices prepared gyro meat, fried; 1/4 package marinated BBQ eel, or what else?  Vegetable suggestions are 1/3 cup finely shredded carrot, 1/3 cup peeled kohlrabi, sliced into sticks, 1/4 cup sliced spring onions, 2-3 pieces salad greens, 1/4 cup well-drained tzatziki sauce, or what else?

I've got some other ideas to tempt you:

California Roll at Just One Cook
Chirashi Sushi at Ninja Baking
Dragon Roll at Just One Cook
Festive Cucumber and Ginger Sushi at Ninja Baking
Ginger Cashew Nori Rolls at Spabettie
Jewshi with Caper Mayo at What Jew Wanna Eat

This post is shared on the Clever Chicks Blog Hop, Tasty Tuesdays, Mostly Homemade Mondays, the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up Pot Luck Party, What's Cookin' WednesdayWhat's In The Box, Food on Friday and the From The Farm Blog Hop.

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Finnish Summer Soup--with Kale

Other possible post titles:  'Finish All The Kale' Finnish Summer Soup, and Kale Keskäkietto

I hesitated to post this recipe now, because I'm not like Lydia who enjoys soup year 'round, or Karen who is addicted to soup.  I need cool weather, or at least a rainy day, to enjoy a comforting bowl of soup.  However, I've had several opportunities to enjoy this soup this Spring, so I thought I'd share and give you another kale idea since Spring 'tis the season for greens.

Because eating up each week's bag of kale from the CSA farm share doesn't come as effortlessly as eating up, say, a pint of strawberries, I need to work at it.  Throw in kids and it's a bit more effort.  This is where soup comes in.  I've found that if I puree vegetables in soup, my kids will eat them.  Even if it's green.  In the fall I put up kale (tear out the stems--feed them to the composting pigs or add them to the worm bin--blanch and freeze the leaves) and enjoy kale in hearty soups like this one.  But I'm not in a hearty soup mood when there's so much green outside.  Instead I wanted a summer soup.

This recipe comes from a little blue cookbook I've had for a long time, Fantastically Finnish: Recipes and Traditions by Beatrice Ojakangas, though I see it was published the same year as my son, and he's only like 5 or something I think.  I'm sure my mom picked it up, along with its Scandinavian brethren, at a Christmas bazaar.  Mom gave it to me because I spent a summer working in Finland and learned to cook a few recipes there.  Whenever I'd scan through the book this soup, Kesäkietto, always caught my eye.  In the head notes, the recipe comes from Esther Louma of Duluth, MN.  As written, it's a vegetarian recipe.  Because I recently had not one but 2 chicken carcasses burning a hole in my freezer, I spent a day making a pot of chicken jelly and substituted a quart of chicken jelly for the water (see NOTE below).  Since some varmint nibbled my pea plants (and parsley, and fennel, and tomato, and dill, though I have rescued almost all of them) I could not add the peas that this recipe calls for.  Therefore, I've utterly changed the recipe but kept the spirit of it--spring vegetables gently cooked in a milk-based broth.

I recommend you make this on a rainy late Spring/early Summer day, using whatever you've got available.  The nice thing about this recipe is that it makes 4 servings--so it's great if you have fewer eaters in the house, as you won't be eating this soup for a week.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Chicken Adobo Summer Rolls (A repurposed leftover)

Even though I live with people who are happy to eat leftovers 90% of the time, I love recipes that transform a leftover entree into an entirely new dish.  One of these repurposed leftover ideas is to make summer rolls.  You can stick just about anything in a summer roll!
I wrote this post the second month of my blog, since the chicken adobo we repurposed was from this post, my 11th post.  I've been sitting on this recipe for months, since by the time I was ready to post we were fully into the Fall season and it would not have been appropriate. There's a lot of sat upon posts appearing this week on the blog.  Something about the beginning of June marks summer eating for me, even if we won't hit the solstice for a few more weeks.

I love summer rolls but shy away from planning to make them because I often think they require too many fresh herbs that I don't have in my garden.  (This year I've planted a stealth herb garden with mint near the downspout by the driveway, and rosemary nestled under the dogwood. I'm attempting to fool whoever has been "going out to eat" in my raised beds, decimating the first round of parsley, dill, and fennel I've planted thus far this spring.)
The basic ingredients for a summer roll, however, are shelf-stable.  Once you've stocked your pantry with rice paper wrappers and rice noodles, you're set when the right herbs, vegetables, and even protein collide in your farm share, garden, or farmer's market.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Maple Teriyaki Salmon Sushi w/ Apple and Carrot (Quick Take)

Sushi and summer rolls are a great way to take a small amount of leftover protein, some farm fresh veggies, and a carb like rice or rice noodles to make a quick, interestingly packaged snack or appetizer.  My family loves to eat something so visually appealing and it comes together super quickly if your pantry is stocked.
We eat rice a lot, so I always make a full pot in my 3 cup version of this rice cooker (the 3 cup size is great for our family, therefore 95% of my rice cooking needs.  It makes no sense to me to buy a giant rice cooker for the handful of times a year I need to cook more than for us).  We never finish the pot, however, so I wrap up the extra rice in single serving patties and save it in the freezer.  That way, I nearly always have cooked rice on hand.  With leftover rice, this rolls up fast and easy.  Get it?  Rolls up?  Back to the sushi, Kirsten.
I had a bit of salmon left over from this dip, and carrots, but right now I'm waiting for the CSA season to start and I had no cucumber or kohlrabi for crunch.  I like a bit of crunch to my sushi, don't you?  Looking through the crisper, I decided to try apple slices.  Why not?  I admit the thought crossed my mind that, if it worked, this could be a candidate for Laura at Sprint 2 the Table's weekly Strange But Good party.  I'd baked the salmon very plainly, with only a bit of Pampered Chef dill mix as seasoning.  That left it a blank canvas, so I mixed up a maple-teriyaki dressing which paired nicely with all 3 elements.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Very Veggie Sloppy Joes for a Crowd

Sloppy joes are a kid-friendly meal. Add finely shredded vegetables to the beef and you'll be boosting the nutrition of this crowd favorite!
Lesson #4 in action.

I went through a long stretch of adulthood without eating sloppy joes.  All Lunch Lady joking aside, I have no idea why that was.  I like my joes.  That long stretch was finally broken one lunchtime when a bunch of moms gathered with their kids at my friend Miho's house.  She served a big pot of sloppy joes and all of a sudden I remembered loving them as a kid.  My kids tried them for the first time and thought they were pretty tasty.  I started making them for my family, and I'm pleased I can stretch a pound of ground meat into multiple meals.

When I signed up to bring lunch at the thrift shop, I wanted to make something that would appeal to a variety of meat eaters (I knew there were no vegetarians that day).  I also wanted something with veggies, and something that could sit in a crock pot unattended all morning while I was busy out front.  Very Veggie Sloppy Joes fit the bill.  I fixed this the afternoon before and brought my crock pot and rice cooker in to the store to provide everyone with options*.
*I am all about the options, I realize.  Even the composting pigs get a choice of sleeping compartment each night when we put the Pigloo, the Woodland Hideaway, and the SnackShack into their cage.  Two pigs, three bedrooms.  Back to the topic at hand.

My friend Cathy mentioned that her family enjoys the Pioneer Woman's sloppy joe recipe, so I used that as a jumping off point for this recipe, but added more veggies since I've put them up from my CSA farm share.  We like our first round of joes on buns, with a slice of cheese and a squirt of yellow mustard.  The leftovers get served over rice, with an optional cheese slice sandwiched between the joe and the rice.  My kids enjoy this in a thermos at school, or come home for lunch and eat it here.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Chicken Salad By The Ounce

I love roasting a chicken.  I get multiple meals from a single cooking session, and I can toss the chicken carcass in a bag in the freezer next to my Soup Packs if it's not a good time to make stock.  I had some leftover chicken meat after these Mu Shu Chicken Burritos, and a chicken salad sounded like a nice lunch for my daughter.  Me,  too!
The pigs have heard the peeler, and are ready for a snack.
Before my girl was due home for lunch, I was playing around in the kitchen and had my scale out.  I knew I wanted a carrot in the salad, so after I peeled the carrot (peels, top and tip to the composting pigs who start wheeking when they hear the sound of the peeler) I tossed it on the scale for grins and giggles.  It was exactly one ounce.  I grabbed the red onion and sliced off what I thought would be a good amount.  It too was exactly one ounce.
At this point, I resisted the temptation to get on the scale and see if I, too, weighed exactly one ounce.  Best not to press my luck?
You know I had to measure out exactly one ounce of celery.  Ditto the sunflower seeds.  The chicken? Eight ounces.  Since I had it out already, I figured I'd chop everything with the food processor.  I'd previously chopped dates for these muffins, and I estimate there was about one tablespoon of chopped dates left in the bowl.  I ate this over chopped romaine with a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette, and my daughter turned hers into a sandwich.  I'm just glad I grabbed the camera and got one photo before we dug in!
This chicken salad has plenty of crunch from the carrots, celery, and sunflower seeds, plus a hint of sweetness from the dates.  It's delicious as lunch, on a cracker or pita round for snack, or even for a warm weather supper. I like all sorts of chicken salads, and I'm happy to add this version to my repertoire.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Fish Taco Enchiladas

My dining room table is a battlefield.

I don't mean the battle over homework, though that also occurs at the dining room table, the breakfast nook table, and the Lego table.  I also don't mean the battle for Europe, or orange train cars, or vending cart cards, or goats for women.
Though as an aside, if you want to add more board games to your Game Nights I highly recommend the Board Game Family's recommendations. My spouse, with that site's advice, kickstarted our twice weekly FGNs after years of trying and failing to get a FGN routine going. And these games we play?  Great for adults without kids, too--they are just plain fun, unless you're malicious like my daughter playing Spot It--she always wins.
No, in fact I mean the How To Fold A Burrito Properly battle.  There are 4 of us eating, and we each fold our burritos in a different way.  And of course each one of us thinks we're right.  (My spouse is.) You'll notice in my Mu Shu (ish) Chicken Burrito post that I completely sidestepped the folding debate.  I'm sidestepping it again here, this time by making enchiladas! (I'm sure this says something about my personality or birth order or whatnot, but perhaps it's just that in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter to me how you fold your burrito.  Your sushi rolling is a different story.) I'm sharing this now because it is a tasty recipe and helped me to add variety in the proteins that we eat.

It just makes sense that eating a variety of foods in our diet is best, you know?  My family is fortunate that eating seasonally from our CSA farm share means that the produce in our diet (and that of the composting guinea pigs) is naturally varied.
I mean, I'm not going to the grocery store on Saturday and buying a head of lettuce, a package of tomatoes, a bag of carrots, and a bunch of bananas each and every week all year 'round.  Instead I'm yearning for tomatoes amidst the greens in May and overrun with squash and eggplant in August.  Such is the life of a CSA subscriber!  And that's the way I like it--eating from my CSA farm share appeals to me in ways I never considered when we started 8 years ago. I thought it would be similar when we got part of a cow for our freezer.  And it was, in part--we tried beef tongue tacos and ox tail stew for the first time.
What I didn't realize was that we'd end up eating more beef than we usually do, just because we have it in the house.  I have to work at eating protein sources other than beef--which is why I was tickled to see frozen Swai (aka Pangasius or Basa) fillets for $1.99/pound at the store.  Swai is a white fleshed fish in the "Good Alternative" category on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch website.  Protein that is a Good Alternative, that is a great price, is good for me.

But what to do with the Swai fillets?

I had some leftover shredded cabbage/coleslaw mix, cilantro, Greek yogurt, some of my home-canned salsa verde made with farm share tomatillos and roasted Hatch chiles from the grocery store down the street, and enchilada-size tortillas, so you can easily see why I went in the direction I did here.  While it is technically an enchilada, it's not covered with a ton of cheese and a rich sauce.  The cabbage still had a bit of crunch to it, the fish was firm, the whole dish just worked.  If you have Swai or any firm white-fleshed fish (tilapia, cod, perch and whitefish are all on the approved list of the website) try this twist on the traditional fish taco, avoid the burrito-folding battles, and add variety to your plate.