Our garden has been treating us quite well this season! In addition to LOTS of lettuce, we’ve been harvesting garlic scapes, chard and a bit of purple kale. This melage was used in this white bean salad of sorts. Heated up some olive oil, added a sliced shallot, added chopped garlic scapes and cooked for a few. I then added the chopped up greens and until they wilted and added a little more than a cup of white beans and a handful of dried cranberries. Salt and pepper to taste and then some toasted almonds thrown in for good measure. Delicious on its own or over a whole grain or lettuce.
OK, we’re gonna try to continue the blog, but we’re going to try something new and probably start it in the month of November. We might be changing the budget restrictions a bit and focus on creating everything for the month of November from scratch – no processed foods. Still working out the kinks, but we’ll be back!
In other news, here’s a few of our tomatoes from the garden and a batch of green tomato pickles I made from the garden as well. The tomato pickle was created from leftover brine from another batch of pickles – boil the brine, fill a jar with thickly cut green tomatoes and top them with the brine. Seal and eat in a day or two – they last for a couple of weeks in the fridge, but you shouldn’t have them that long.
While we’ve been away for summer vacation, we’ve still been doing a bit of cooking. Our garden has been providing us with tons of kale and chard and in an effort to stop making so many frittatas, I went online to search for some recipes. This very simple chard stir fry was in the NYTimes Recipes for Health Series and was easy and delicious. We served it over quinoa for an added protein bonus.
Earlier in the week I was craving some deep, rich, earthy, leafy greens for dinner. As we were swinging by the grocery store anyway, I availed myself of the opportunity to pick up a big bunch of collards. Didn’t need to do anything fancy with them – just diced a small onion and a few cloves of garlic and sauteed those up in half a tablespoon of butter and half a glug of olive oil. On a whim, I also sliced up one of the Italian frying peppers we brought home from the garden and threw it in there.
After everything in the pan had begun to soften, I turned down the heat a bit, threw the collards (ribbed and chiffonaded first, of course) on top and covered the pan. After a couple minutes, I mixed everything up with some tongs and let it cook uncovered until the greens were all dark and wilted, but not too limp or mushy.
Grabbed some items from Chinatown (smoked tofu, Chinese spinach, baby bok choy and fresh rice noodles), which brought our weekly budget to $23.36. Tonight’s dinner was a stir fry with rice noodles and stir fried bok choy, Chinese spinach and fresh corn with soy sauce and homemade spicy oil.
Feeling a little decadent, I started by sauteing onions and sage in butter, then added the collards (julienned) and a red pepper (chopped). Served over Israeli couscous, cooked in veggie stock with some sage added in there as well. We had some mango pickle on top, which was sort of incongruous, but frankly we can’t stop eating that stuff. I think we’re going to finish the quart jar by next week.
What we have here is baked spaghetti squash with a sauce made from yellow tomatoes, lobster mushrooms (dried, from Chinatown, rehydrated in homemade veggie stock), onion, and rosemary, all sauteed in olive oil, covered, for a good half hour. Added a hard-boiled egg on top for some protein. The squash was baked whole at 375 for about an hour, rotating every 15 minutes or so.
Basically, some brown rice cooked in the rice cooker and then heated again in the oven in stone bowls to get it crispy on the bottom. On top of that went some greens (kale, I think) that I sauteed with soy sauce, garlic, and ginger, raw tofu, raw chopped cucumber. Tina had picked up some dried lobster mushrooms in Chinatown, which we soaked in hot veggie broth, then sauteed with onions. Lacking kimchi, we topped it all with some mango pickle, and of course a fried egg (not pictured).
With semi-cooler weather coming, we had a ragu for dinner out of garden tomatoes, garden cabbage, diced onions, garlic, homemade veggie stock and a bunch of frozen things I found while cleaning out our freezer (a few veggie sausages, a very sad looking veggie burger and a piece of tempeh bacon – luckily bought just last week).
We basically let that delicious mess simmer for a while and then topped some pasta with it and topped the ragu with grated pecorino.
After starting to saute some veggies (onion, Italian frying peppers, and tomato) to serve over barley, I realized the meal was a little short on protein. I had just added a giant heirloom tomato (from a colleague’s garden) to the pan and there was a good quarter-inch of juice in the bottom of the pan. I just threw some eggs in on top, covered the pan, and let it cook for a bit. Ended up with some partially tomato-juice-poached, partially fried eggs with plenty of tasty veggies.
Not sure if this resembles any common recipe, but it was tasty for sure.