Thursday, May 31, 2012

Greenbrier Farms CSA: Week 6

Hard to believe it's already week six of our CSA. It's a been a cool experience and this week we got a couple new vegetables. This week we received a couple kinds of salad, arugula, rainbow chard, cabbage, carrots, leeks, cauliflower, and fennel.

We've gotten into the routine of consuming a large amount of salad every week. Finishing the carrots is no problem. The arugula will go into a stir fry and the leeks will go into the freezer for soup later this year. I'll fry the chard with some garlic and I've already used the cabbage for my second batch of sauerkraut. I'm going to try roasting the cauliflower and fennel.

Tonight's dinner was an epic fail. I tried making chicken butter masala with some spices from the Indian store. They were burn through your stomach hot. So this was our back-up plan, and it was so good...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Greenbrier Farms CSA: Week 5

Life has been busy, busy, busy, but here's a belated updated for this past week.

This week in our CSA we received carrots, greens, green onions, leeks, kale, two heads of cabbage and some tasty raisin bread. The bread was perfect toasted with a little butter, it is long gone. I finally took all our green onions and leeks and froze them for later. Carrots and greens for salads. And kale was blanched and frozen along with peas and beans from our garden. After two years, I finally went under the house and hooked up the ice maker on the fridge so no more going to gas station to buy ice!

Removing the stems, prepping to freeze
I wasn't too sure what to do with the cabbage, so I'm trying my hand at making sauerkraut. It sounds simple enough, we'll see how it turns out. Tiff won't eat it, but I'll find an evening when she has other plans and stink the whole house up with it.

Improvised weight to press the cabbage down
The freezer is slowly filling up with things for the rest of the year. I've frozen a lot of strawberries, kale, green onions and leeks, some broccoli, beans and peas. I boil and freeze batches of beans as we go through them. I'll keep adding as the growing season progresses. Our grocery budget is $400/month. We've been spending more than that, but will save later in the year. 

Trying to start two businesses and our neighborhood association, I haven't time to cook much new. I made some mediocre salmon the other day. And I improved on our saag paneer this week. My basil needed to be topped off and I had some left-over parmesan so I made pesto. Mixed with pasta, it makes a nice early summer meal. Or spread on some rye bread and made into a grilled cheese. I plan on making a bunch and freezing it before summer's over.

The garden is doing well, though we're having a serious lack of rain. My beans and tomatoes are both fighting some bacterial thing (early blight?), so I'm treating them with selectively placed fungicide. We have a perfectly good growing area along a fence, so I built 3 new 1 x 4 foot raised boxes and planted more peas and pole beans. I also had the opportunity to be a part of the community garden up the street so I planted a 4 x 12 foot section of corn and quinoa. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Artisphere & Saturday Market

So, in the summer months, there is a Farmers Market that takes up a few blocks of Downtown Greenville's Main Street. The first Saturday it was open, it just happened to coincide with Artisphere. One of our annual art festivals. I'm not sure if this is a regular happening or if it was just a coincidence, but it was nice to hit both events in one stop.

The Saturday Market is usually pretty crowded. Add in Artisphere and there are even more people milling about! The two events wove pretty seamlessly together separated by maybe one block. I don't really remember.

We decided we would walk all the way down through the market to Artisphere first. Check out the veggies and their prices as we walked, but wait until we came back through to buy any as to not have to lug bags of kale up and down Main Street.

My favorite part of Artisphere were the demonstrators. Glass Blower Ryan Gothrup from Virginia made a beautiful drinking glass which was promptly recycled for the next demonstration.

Ryan Calloway is a local blacksmith who had some amazing work on display. He was making curlicues for another piece.

I didn't get the name of this artist, they were giving away free prints! You would pick which one you wanted and they'd make the print right then. Pretty cool, eh?

On our way back through the market, we stopped at Parson's Produce for a couple bunches of kale.

They also had some other pretty produce that we didn't purchase, but I just loved their set up I had to grab a few photos!

We also bought some broccoli from a vendor whose name I committed to memory but now cannot drudge up. It was delicious, though!

And fresh peaches from Watsonia! I love getting peaches from these people because their tee shirts say "Peaches make you sexy!" Haha. :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Greenbrier Farms CSA: Week 4

Yesterday I completely forgot to pick up our CSA, so thanks to the guys at Community Tap for putting it in the fridge for us.

This week we received: three kinds of salad greens, leeks and green onions, kale, and broccoli. We still have spinach, green onions, and arugula from last week, so we need to eat some serious salad. Honestly I'm a little tired of salad and green onions, but that's part of eating with the seasons I guess. The kale will go in the freezer. I've been pretty busy too, so not much time to try anything new.

Tonight we made quick work of most of the broccoli. I've been wanting to try this recipe for Rustic Garlic Butter Pasta with Roasted Broccoli. It was very good. My only complaint is now its 9:45 and I'm starving again. This was the first time I roasted broccoli and I'll definitely do it again. Shaved parmesan is a nice treat.

Tomorrow night will be stir-fry with tofu, broccoli, green onions, arugula, snow peas from the garden, and a daikon radish from our friend Jessica. I'll probably fry the tofu in peanut oil, sauté the vegetables, then add the tofu with some teriyaki sauce and top with sesame seeds. Now I'm even hungrier.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Miso Soup

In our CSA we've been getting a regular supply of green onions. So with our efforts to not waste everything we've had to get creative. We were out eating sushi a few weeks ago and had miso soup with green onions in it. Which got me thinking about making it at home.

I visited the asian market and bought miso (soy paste). Miso is fermented soy beans. Its been eaten for centuries across Japan and China and has great health benefits.

I also bought some wakame, a dried seaweed. The tiny pellets turn into 1" sheets of seaweed in the hot water. Wakame is super good for you.

Chop one green onion and cut up a little tofu.

For one serving, I boil 3 cups of water with a couple heaping teaspoons of miso paste. But easy on the paste, it's high in sodium. Add a tablespoon of wakame, simmer a couple more minutes and pour into the bowl with green onion and tofu. For a more filling meal, I put 1/2 cup of rice in the cooker and eat it on the side. 

The container of miso will go a long way, as will the wakame. And they both keep a long time. Total cost for a bowl of miso soup is about fifty cents. I'll keep these on hand for when I need a good quick meal.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Coconut Curry Paneer

Our friend Gloria started a new blog called Foodie Gone Vegan and posted a delicious Indian recipe. I wasn't feeling very vegan tonight, so I made it slightly less healthy. Tiff and I enjoy paneer, an Indian cheese. You can make it yourself or pick some up at the Indian grocery. I've found most Indian recipes you can kinda interchange chicken, paneer, tofu and sometimes chickpeas.

You can't even begin to imagine how good this smells. Coconut milk, basil, garlic, and all those Indian spices. I didn't have chili sauce, but added a little garam masala. I also used cashews instead of peanuts because I had those on hand. I added the cashews at the beginning so they'd get a little soft. Also the basil so that flavor would get all over everything.

Delicious paneer. You know it's authentic when they get it from a freezer in the back and its in a ziploc bag. I paid $8.99 for a couple pounds I think. This'll make three meals.

Added the paneer and some baby bella mushrooms. And a little salt to taste. This meal takes almost no prep work. Just throw everything in. This is my new favorite Indian recipe to make at home.

Yum. Namaste.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Greenbrier Farms CSA: Week 3

Well the past two days we've finally gotten rain. My garden is happy and my rain barrels are full once again. I've been picking a handful of snap peas from my garden every day and i'm getting ready for (hopefully) a whole lot of beans and tomatoes here soon.

We just received our third installment of our CSA. This week we got a couple kinds of lettuce, spinach, arugula, green onions, bread, and rainbow chard. Chard is one of my least favorite things, someone please tell me how to make it taste good. Otherwise, I think we're just going to eat a ton of salad this next week. So far the amount of vegetables has been pretty much perfect for two people. We finish almost everything just in time for the next batch.

I hear huckleberries and peaches are ripe or almost there. Scheming to make some more preserves. Also planning to buy a few pounds of spinach, kale, and snap peas at market to freeze for winter soups and stir fries. Next year I know to plant way more. Also have been going through frozen strawberries like crazy since I started going to the gym and drinking smoothies afterward. I think I can still snag a bucket or two to freeze.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Greenbrier Farms CSA: Week 2

Yesterday we picked up the second bag of goodies from our CSA. Sorry for no picture, it's all in the fridge and I'm not dragging it all back out. This week we received a couple different kinds of lettuce, a big bag of spinach, more kale, more green onions, bok choy and pizza dough!

So here's the plan. With some tofu in the fridge, we have all the ingredients for my very favorite stir-fry (will use spinach for the asian greens). We also have everything we need to make another batch of Cornmeal and Kale Spoon Bread. We ate that pretty much every meal all weekend and don't hate it yet. I'll also buy a nice heirloom tomato and make a margarita and pizza.

The best thing is this first couple weeks we've been able to make use of everything. We've also been able to stretch it pretty far so we're eating a lot of healthy meals and spending hardly anything on groceries.

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