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Archive for May, 2009

Today I made coleslaw, loosely adapted from this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I chopped some Plan B cabbage,

cabbage

made dressing (I used part yogurt, and green onions from the community garden – thanks, Mel! – and parsley from my backyard, although really Loblaws grew it, not me),

dressing

and mixed it all together.

coleslaw

It’s not bad, although I think (I’m just exploring coleslaw, I used to think I hated it) that I prefer a more watery dressing and less of a mayo-y one – although I do love mayo.

I also cooked up some chocolate chip cookies (most to send to an acquaintance who’s sick), which are mostly decidedly not local, except for the egg and possibly the butter and definitely the flour, which is local and organic and from the Green Barn Market. I was a little worried the cookies would be too dry, as this flour is “all-purpose” but definitely on the whole wheat side of the spectrum, but they seem just fine. In fact, they’re so fine, I need to hide them.

cookies

Also, this weekend I put a bunch of my seedlings in pots, finally. Only now has it been warm enough that I don’t have to bring the tomatoes in at night, although even so some of the leaves are still looking purplish. But the anticipation of home-grown fresh tomatoes is building…

plants

And I made it to Karma today to pick up a few things. The haul: maple syrup (they sell it in bulk, much cheaper than you pay elsewhere), rapini, fiddleheads, lettuce, spinach – all local. Well, and some protein powder. You can’t win them all.

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No pictures today but two good, simple recipes.

I took this asparagus soup recipe from epicurious.com and made it this weekend almost verbatim – just used onion instead of shallots. It was fine the first day, but really good the second and third. I made a fresh vegetable stock mostly out of green garlic tops from my Plan B box and it added a lot of flavour. Be careful not to oversalt this soup as it has a very delicate flavour.

And tonight, I boiled up some red potatoes and tossed them in pesto. I had arugula and made it with pistachios and cheddar (partially inspired by this recipe) but you can use any greens and nuts you have around. Be careful with the garlic quantities. It’s a nice, simple way to prepare potatoes in the summer.

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Food blog(ger) Sassy Radish did a post the other day with a new-to-me cabbage recipe that I just had to try. The twist is that the cooked cabbage is braised in cream, which gives it a much more luxurious taste than many cabbage recipes.

And yes, I’m still getting cabbage in my organics boxes.

cabbage

I made the recipe pretty much as described, but instead of leeks I used green garlic as I’d gotten it in my box. I cooked the cabbage perhaps not as long as I should have, as it was still quite crunchy, but half an hour was long enough to wait – next time I might cook it until soft.

I served it up right away with roasted potatoes, fried shiitakes and a hard-boiled egg, plus homemade pickles, pickled beets and pickled carrots (not pictured, although they should be to add some colour), for a yummy local lunch. (There was stewed rhubarb with yogurt for dessert.)

dinner

And yes, as described in the original, it was better the next day.

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Just a simple meal tonight. Would have had roasted potatoes too but I forgot to put them in soon enough (and we filled up late this afternoon on cheese and crackers from Nancy’s Cheese.)

asparagus

I picked up local asparagus, fiddleheads and rhubarb from Karma this afternoon. I tend to want to prepare fresh seasonal produce simply, especially ingredients like these that I really do only eat in season. The asparagus I tossed in olive oil with a bit of salt and pepper and roasted – you can add garlic but I wasn’t in the mood this evening. I’m thinking poached eggs on the side, maybe with some toast.

rhubarb

I prefer rhubarb roasted as well, but I had a request for stewed so I did it that way, with some maple syrup and a bit of water to get it going. We’ll serve it with plain yogurt.

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Tonight for dinner I went back to one of my wintertime staples, Red Lentils with Cabbage from Smitten Kitchen. You see, such is life in Canada that even though it’s now May and we like to think it’s almost summer, we still have to survive off storage vegetables alongside our green leafy ones, and I got another cabbage in my box last week.

This is a great recipe and freezes well – I like to make a batch and freeze it in portion-sized containers with rice so I can pull one out for a lunch when I need it. This time I bought almost-local lentils, red lentils grown in Saskatchewan, and since they were whole lentils and not split the recipe turned out a bit different, although just as good. I had some leftover millet so had it with that for dinner although I’ll be pulling out the brown rice later this week. I always stir in some spinach if I have it and serve with a dollop of plain yogurt, usually Pinehenge Farms.

And for dessert… rhubarb! I made it to Karma this morning and found it as well as fiddleheads (probably for dinner tomorrow) and ramps/wild leeks, which I didn’t buy as I didn’t think I’d get to them in time. I roasted the rhubarb, it’s the easiest way I know of to prepare it: chop into pieces, sprinkle with some sugar and roast at 450F for 20-25 minutes. (Adapted from the cookbook Simply in Season.) Just be careful – I didn’t have a lot and it was thin and I got distracted and overcooked it a bit. Burnt sugar = not good! And I served the rhubarb with yogurt as well.

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As you know if you read this blog, I get a CSA box from Plan B, and I love it. But I also recently found out about another CSA box program, from Kawartha Ecological Growers. They offer large and small shares for pickup in Toronto, Oshawa, Lindsay and Woodville. This year, they’re also including non-produce items such as meat, eggs, flour, maple syrup, honey and preserves.

Find out more at kawarthaecologicalgrowers.com, or visit their stand at the Greenbarns Market at Christie and St. Clair or Daily Apple at Yonge and Eglinton.

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Last weekend, on a trip to the farmers’ market, I found out from some friends about a cheese CSA that’s in the works. Basically, there’s a local dairy, Monforte (and they’re on Twitter), that needs funds to build a new facility and is raising the cash by selling cheese shares.

It’s a very cool idea and you get more cheese back than you paid for – except that it’s spread over five years. They have three subscription options and I chose the cheapest one, at $200. I give them that now, and starting next year I get $50 in cheese vouchers every year for five years, to be spent at Monforte stands at local markets.

Join up – it’s a great way to support the food producers in our region!

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