June 27, 2011

Fennel, Orange & Beet Salad

Last Thursday was the last CSA pickup for Wild Turkey Farms, and it went out with a bang! The two big highlights of our pickup were quite odd. The first was:


YJDKIY has been meaning to try fennel for a while. I'm not a fan at all of licorice, but I am a fan of unique veggies and this is certainly one of those.

For this salad, I diced up the bulb and saved some of the fluffy tops for garnish.

The add some pieced up orange. It helps if it is really juicy - and that keeps the fennel from turning brown, as well. Boil a few (local!) beets, cool, and peel. Chop and add to the salad and shake it up!

For the "dressing" I just poured about 1-2T of really good quality balsamic vinegar. Thanks, Dottie! Let it chill for a while. Prepare a few romaine leaves with EVOO for the grill to serve as the base.

Plated with this summer dinner. Delicious other cooker tunka steak! I resisted the urge to marinate remembering that I actually prefer the flavor of plain grilled tuna to a flavored version. Topped with creamy lemon-dill. 

I'll remain quiet on that other side item. ;)

Somebody else might tell though. She looks suspicious. You can tell because she is "sitting good."

Once she figured out she wasn't getting any, back to her normal un-ladylike sit.

Ok, really starting to get worried she won't get a taste.

But of course she ALWAYS does!

June 26, 2011

Independently Healthy Week

Get it?

Just because we celebrate Independence Day with picnics, cook-outs,  and classic “American” food, doesn’t mean you have to shoot your healthy eating habits off like a bottle rocket! Over on the Salisbury Post, the Green Kitchen compiled a few favorite Fourth recipes and gave them a make over! The fat, calories, and processed food might be missing, but you won’t misÃ¥s them!

Here is a great article for making wise cookout choices.  And, over the next few days leading up to the big cookout weekend, I’ll be posting some alternative, healthy menu items and recipes. Be sure to check back each day for a new Cookout "Redo" Recipe!

June 24, 2011

Bottom of the 6th...

...month that is!

SUNDAY: Orange, Beet & Fennel Salad, Grilled Tuna
MONDAY: Mama Pea's Yukon Gold White Bean Basil Burgers
TUESDAY: Salads with Gardein
WEDNESDAY: Mellow Mushroom Style Tofu Hoagie Saute, melon
THURSDAY: Lemon-Parm Brussels Sprouts, Loaded Sweet Potatoes
FRIDAY: Shrimp & Asparagus Polenta

GROW/MAKE MY OWN: sprouts, basil, salad dressing

CSA: beets, fennel, yukons golds, brussels sprouts, onions (our last week!)

FARMER'S MARKET: green pepper, tomato, cucumber, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, peaches

1. Produce: orange, lettuce, celery, bananas, kale/spinach (so sad leafy green season is over at our market)
2. Packaged: buns, white beans
3. Cold/Dairy: tuna steak, Silk, provolone, ricotta, Oikos, Gardein

YJDKIY is pretty proud of that ingredient list - especially the packaged items. I only wish I could find more of the produce locally.

June 22, 2011

Wednesday Wardrobe

It's been a while since YJDKIY has featured anything beside food! So, I went to play with my old pal polyvore and came up with my summer fashion trend:

STRIPES! Especially bold colors or chevron patterns. Everyone thinks horizontal stripes are not flattering, but with careful consideration, I think they can actually be pretty attractive. In fact, one of my favorite shirts is black and grey stripe. Too bad every time I wear it, I get called Pablo.

To be fair, I guess I am the one that hung that poster on the wall.  Right on, Pablo. In case you're curious, his were Breton Shirts.

June 20, 2011

Father's Day Soup

Who cares if Father's Day falls in June and it is 93 degrees? Soup is good anytime!

I had an abundance of potatoes from the CSA,

and leeks. And the corn is coming in. Not Rowan County local, but NC local!

Off the cob!

And diced.

And a local veggie crop for the salad, all from a 10 mile radius.

And some SC peaches for froyo. And then my camera battery died.

Enter trusty iPhone for the final, after dinner left-overs photo. Handy, but it doesn't do it justice. This was the first time I've used fresh corn instead of frozen and what a difference! This recipe is very similar to this one I made in the winter, but lighter, healthier for summer and vegetarian (vegan if you amend the cheese). 

Leek, Potato & Corn Chowder
4 c. diced yukon gold potatoes
3 c. chopped leeks
5 ears of corn, de-cobbed (is that even a word?!)
4 diced celery stalks
64 oz liquid (I used half broth, half water)
2 c plain soy milk
1/2 c grated cheese (I used cheddar and muenster)
garlic powder, Mrs. Dash original

Heat EVOO in a large soup pot, add leek & celery and saute 1-2 minutes. Add spices, liquid and potatoes, bring to boil for 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat and add corn, simmer 10-15 minutes. Add soy milk and cheese and stir well. Continue simmering for 10 minutes until ready to serve.

Happy Father's (a) Day (late)!

June 16, 2011

Now Showing

One day early!

FRIDAY: Fridge & Freezer clean out dinner!
SATURDAY: Stuffed globe zucchini, fish
SUNDAY: Potato Corn Chowder, mini-salad
MONDAY: Tofu-ricotta stuffed shells, broccoli
TUESDAY: Kale & Chicken Sausage, potaotes
WEDNESDAY: Tangy Tempeh Kitchen Salad
THURSDAY: Black Bean Sweet Potato Tacos
FRIDAY: Zucchini pancakes, fruit salad, scrambled eggs

June 14, 2011

H20h My!

As I've repeatedly complained lately, it's been hot! Like dog-days of August at 3 p.m. in Georgia hot (sorry, no offense Georgia). As such, the 32 oz water bottle I couldn't quite finish in the middle of winter just doesn't cut it with those temps and I find it much easier to consume my RDA of water.

While I'm looking for other ideas for water, what I don't understand is how all these other people are guzzling soda or beer or even Gatorade given these conditions. I also hear people say 'I don't like water' and promptly watch my jaw hit the floor. How can you not like water? Here are a five alternatives if you happen to be one of those crazy people. :P

1. Fruit-infused
Flavored waters are popular, but many still contain lots of sugar and additives. The fact is, you can get the same refreshing taste by dropping in your own berries, apples, or citrus (everyone knows about lemon & lime, but try an orange slice!), or melon.

2. Herb spiked
It's not quite a mojito (mmm, I'll take one of those though!), but rubbing a few mint leaves together and dropping in a pitcher of water is like chewing-gum fresh breath + hydration. How could you beat that? Another idea: fresh basil or cilantro.

3. Vegetable-infused
Yes, the crunchy green things you load up with ranch dressing can go in your water. Try cucumber first, its light and green-flavored and complements the water nicely. Celery also works.

4. Herbal or Green Teas (no sweetener!)
Black Cherry Berry, Country Peach Passion, Cranberry Apple Zinger, Mint Magic, Red Zinger, Tropic of Strawberry....Celestial Seasonings tea offers numerous flavors, and a little goes a long way. Just a hint of flavor will spice up your water bottle. Green teas (though they do contain caffeine, so look for the naturally decaffeinated if that is important to you) come in a variety of flavors, as well.

5. Jeltzer
Huh? A splash of fruit juice (since they typically contain a LOT of sugar and a little juice) in plain seltzer water is the most healthy soda choice out there. You'll still get the fizz without all the fuss of off-the-shelf sodas.

Bonus: Kitchen toys to make this infusing more fun!

1. The CB Water Infuser Ball - seriously, it even says culinary refreshment in the description and it is only $4

2. The Fruit Infusion Pitcher - $20 gives you a tasty refresher for the fridge

3. The People's Iced Tea Pitcher - a bit of a spluge at $50, but it lasts forever whereas your 50 bottles of soda will be gone gone gone

June 12, 2011

Grill Baby Grill

Grilled meals are so easy...and 99% local (don't think Rowan County produces much olive oil, kosher salt, or Worcestershire sauce). Potatoes & Onions (I have more of these than I know what to do with!).

Potato skins are a hard one for me. The skin is notoriously rich in nutrients and fiber (although I couldn't really find much concrete evidence on this, everyone seems to just assume it as fact). However, I think the skin absorbs toxins and chemicals in the dirt or used in mass conventional farming. In this particular case, I chose to leave them on, since I know the farmer that pulled them from the dirt in his own backyard (and his thoughts on sustainable farming and soil & water conservation). I did wash them extensively in warm water, rubbing off the thin skin in many places.

Moving on, these round zucchinis (perhaps also called globe squash) are palm-sized and tasty!

They slice up nice to fit on a grill, but WHY oh WHY did I not think to stuff them? I love stuffing things and these would be perfect. On the list for next week!

And last, Domisty Menius talked me into two chicken breasts from their farm (more on their MPU here because I couldn't stand to photograph raw chicken - in fact, I had to make the other cooker prepare it!). Everything was shake 'n' bake style! Potato-Onions got EVOO, kosher salt & pepper.

Zuchs got EVOO, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano. And chicken got Worcestershire.

Grilled by the other cooker to perfection!

June 10, 2011

Simple Simon Week

YJDKIY is still recovering from a somewhat hectic last week, so the meals this week are KISSing. say what?

Saturday: TOC!
Sunday: Grilled Zuch & potatoes, WTF meats of choice
Monday: Black Bean Quesadilla with homemade salsa
Tuesday: Pesto Pasta & Peas
Wednesday: Tofu Stir Fry with Brown Rice
Thursday: Personal Pita Pizzas (didn't happen last week!)
Friday: On your own!

June 9, 2011

Leaping Leeks!

Our Wild Turkey Farm CSA gifted me with some extra leeks last week! YJDKIY loves pretty much any kind of onion, especially the sweet, mild, woody flavors in these guys.

Did you know leeks are one of the national emblems of Wales? Me neither. Wiki has an interesting story on that.

Anyhoo, discard any tough, dark green leaves. Chop them up in fine round slices down to the white base.

For this quiche, I also had some asparagus and salmon on hand (you can use a poached filet crumbled, or canned boneless skinless AND low sodium if you can find that!). Preheat the oven and bake the crust for a few minutes first.

Sauted in EVOO all together...now (add salmon in too). Cook for about 5-7 minutes to reduce moisture. Just before you're ready to remove them from the heat, sprinkle about 1-2T of flour over the veggies and stir to coat.

On the side, mix 1 c. egg beaters (4 eggs) and 2 wedges of Laughing Cow Original Light, and some parm. Add 1/2 the veggies to the crust and then top with half the egg mix, filling in holes and around the side. Add remaining veggies, and the remaining eggs, mixing together in the crust.

Bake for about 45 minutes on 400 until springy. This was a near-perfect flavor combination and I haven't enjoyed a quiche this much since the Mustard Green & Shiitake one. If only I didn't have to turn the oven on this would be the perfect summer meal.

Such a lovely font in that clip.

June 8, 2011

I like oats

By Emily Wilder For The Salisbury Post
Have you noticed a postage stamp logo on your favorite cereal or bread packaging? It’s right there on the front, that black and gold icon. Do you know what it means? It is issued by the Whole Grains Council to identify products that are 100 percent whole grains, or contain at least half a serving...

June 5, 2011

Patty Pans

Remember those adorable little squashes? Simple summer side dish that was delish!

Slice them up thin

Use local butter, melted after about 20 seconds in the micro, mix with lemon juice

first basil pick (and possibly only, I won't lie, the basils are not looking happy, maybe it's the 3 weeks of 90 degrees and no rain, or that chilly spell we had, but this year, I have some serious underachievers on my hands) 

Chop it up, and layer

Fresh basil smell upclose!

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

Plated with crunchy fish and a local carrot!



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