Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Spinach Pizza Party

I've recently discovered how easy it is to make pizza dough in my bread maker. You can also buy dough to make homemade pizza at Trader Joe's, Italian specialty stores such as A. Litteri or at a pizza shop. This one in the picture is one I made using a mix of white and wheat dough. I rolled it very thin so it was crispy. For toppings, I put tomato sauce, roasted spring onions from the share, roasted cherry tomatoes, spinach from the share, chopped parsley, dried basil and oregano, mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper. I like to drizzle a little bit of oil over the top of the pizza before putting it in a 425 degree oven for 12-15 minutes. Depending on the thinness of the crust, watch it so it doesn't burn!

I served the pizza with the Super Summer Salad with a slight variation on the dressing: Whisk together 3 T. olive oil, 1 T. balsamic vinegar, 1/2 t. dijon mustard and 1 t. agave nectar. The dressing had a more delicate flavor that went better with the fruit.

A Sink Full of Spinach

I find it's best to wash delicate greens by soaking them in a big tub of water in the kitchen sink. All the dirt settles to the bottom of the sink and then you can give them a quick spin in the salad spinner to get rid of excess water. To store, I wrap bunches of the mixed greens and spinach in paper towels and put them in a Ziploc bag. This is a trick I learned from my grandmother to keep excess moisture from prematurely rotting your salad greens.

Easy Homemade Iced Tea

Here's a picture of some iced tea that I brewed to use up the gorgeous Korean mint from our share. The Korean mint has a slight licorice flavor to it, but I think it still worked for this tea. I added blue agave for sweetener and the juice of a whole lemon. A refreshing summer drink!

A Semi-Homemade Lunch

I took some of the mixed greens and made a cross between a salad and a dumpling platter for lunch, using Trader Joe's delicious frozen dumplings, which cook up in just a few minutes in a fry pan. I sprinkled some cherry tomatoes on top and then made a dipping sauce for the dumplings, which also made a nice dressing for the greens when I was done chowing down on the dumplings. Recipe for the dressing was just soy sauce, olive oil, ginger and garlic if I recall!

Strawberry Parfait

I made this a couple of days ago, when we first got our strawberries from the share. It's a delicious and healthy dessert. I used some granola I made homemade from a recipe from the Washington Post. I started with a layer of plain yogurt, then did a layer of strawberries, then a layer of strawberry yogurt and some granola then topped with more strawberries. Everyone was begging for seconds!

A Super Summer Salad

Using the strawberries and mixed greens from the share, I made a summer fruit salad. I also incorporated apples from Virginia and Amish blue cheese from Pennsylvania, as well as grapes and cherry tomatoes. The salad dressing was homemade using soy sauce, dark mustard, grated ginger, grated garlic (optional), olive oil and blue agave.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Red Lentil Coconut Curry

Here's an adaptation of a recipe from the cookbook "Simply in Season" that used the following ingredients from the share: 1/2 cabbage from last week's share; 1 head of broccoli, and 2 small zucchinis. Serves 8-10, quite a crowd or good for leftovers!

1 large onion (minced)
2 T. olive oil
1 T. garlic (minced)
1 T. ginger root (peeled and minced)
1/2 t. curry powder
1 1/2 t. garam masala
dash of red pepper flakes (to taste)
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
3 bay leaves
13.5 oz can of coconut milk (preferably lite)
1/4 c. tamari or soy sauce
1 c. tomato sauce
2 c. dried lentils (preferably organic)
6 c. water
1 medium-sized head of broccoli (or cauliflower), cut into 1 1/2 inch florets
1 large sweet potato (peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes)
1/2 head of cabbage (cut in 1 1/2 inch pieces)
1-2 cups of peas (optional)

In a large soup pot saute minced onion in olive oil over medium-high heat until transparent but not browned. Add garlic, ginger and all dried spices, reducing heat to medium-low. Cook and stir constantly for 3 minutes; do not let onion or spices brown.

Add coconut milk, soy sauce and tomato sauce to the pot and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring often.

Add red lentils, sweet potato and water, cooking over medium heat for 15 minutes until lentils and sweet potato are soft. Add broccoli/cauliflower, and zucchini, cooking until just tender. Add the peas and cook until just heated through or tender.

Serve over brown rice, quinoa or other grain of your choice with toppings such as Indian chutneys and pickles and plain yogurt. Optional: Serve with naan or whole grain bread for dipping!

Delicious Creamy Lettuce Soup

I got a couple of weird looks from my husband and neighbors when I said I made creamy lettuce soup. But they all loved it and ate it up when they tried it. I adapted a recipe from the blog
Hide the Cheese.

Here's my recipe below:

Creamy Lettuce Soup (aka a Good Way to Use Up a Bunch of Lettuce Before You Get More in Next Week's Share)

This recipe is a great way to use up wilted lettuce or those outer leaves that have seen better days. Don't use anything brown or slimy, though, as that will give the soup an off flavor.

4 tablespoons butter
3 cups chopped onion (about 3 medium)
2 bay leaves
1/4 t. coriander
1/4 t. thyme
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups diced potatoes
1 cup edamame, defrosted & shelled
6 cups vegetable stock or 1 bouillon cube and 6 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 cups chopped lettuce/assorted salad greens
1 bunch parsley
2 egg yolks (save the whites to make meringues)
1/2 cup milk
Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and spices and cook until it onions have softened, 7 or 8 minutes. Add the edamame and cook for a few minutes. Add the flour and stir until it has been fully incorporated. Add the potatoes and stir to coat them with the butter. Add the salt, and vegetable stock or bouillon cube and water. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are soft, 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the lettuce and parsley. Cook until completely wilted but still green, about 5 minutes. Extract bay leaves. Puree the soup with an immersion blender.

Just before you are ready to serve the soup, whisk together the egg yolks and milk or cream. While whisking, add a few ladlefuls of the soup and incorporate the egg mixture completely. Add the egg-soup mixture back into the soup pot and stir it in. If necessary, warm the soup over low heat, but do not allow it to simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with parmesan cheese and bread for dipping!

Monday, May 24, 2010

This Week's Share

2 heads of lettuce
2 bunches of spinach
1 bunch of mixed Asian greens
3 turnips
5 radishes
2 heads of broccoli
spring onions
5 small zucchinis
1 box of strawberries
Let this week's adventure begin!


Hello everyone,
I started writing about some of my CSA cooking adventures on my Facebook page, but recently decided to move it to an official food blog. Please join me as I attempt to creatively use the farm share I receive each week from
Jug Bay Market Garden.
I think it's important to support local farmers and eat as close to where you live as possible. Many nutrients are lost in transportation across the country, not to mention the carbon footprint made by all that trucking! You will note that all of my recipes are "pescatarian" or vegetarian, as that's what we usually eat in our house.
As Michael Pollan says, "Vote with your fork!"