22 June, 2010

Strife in the Vegetal World

So, all this rain we’ve been having here in Ol’e Ohio has put the farm in jeopardy. So much so that we didn’t get our veggies this past Saturday. We still got fruit, however, and that was enough to satisfy me for now! I still had some things to work with anyway. . . like Swiss chard, for example!

Now, I mentioned that I was going to sauté is or whatever but, people, I’ll tell you, 2 pounds of sautéed Swiss chard is still a lot. Also, I latched on to the idea that i wanted to make a pie with it.

oh, I’m an idiot. I just deleted all my pictures. yep. sure did.

Well, that’ll teach me to leave all this blogging to the last minute, hu? Ah well. I can still post a picture of what I did today so you can have at least one! And, I feel like it’s quite good, as well. see:


This is a picture of my Cherry-Apricot Turnovers (Guess what my CSA fruits were) that I made this afternoon. Outside of being a pain and leaking fruity stuff all over my silpat, they turned out pretty good. They’re so ugly they’re almost embarrassing but they taste so good I may try to make them again.

I used the filling recipe from here and the turnover instructions from here. I didn’t follow them to a ‘T’ though. I just cut 4 strips from my phyllo and folded them like those paper footballs we used to make in 5th grade; you know the way. Anyway, give these a shot if you’re feeling up to it. . . or have extra phyllo in your fridge from making a GIANT spanakopita like I did!

Yeah, that’s what I did with all my Swiss chard. I used this recipe here. I also had Mr. Crow help me and make some tofu feta cheese from this recipe. . . . I replaced the eggs with Ener-G which I thought would help bind it all together but I feel like I should have left it out. It was pretty wet when it was done even cold. One good change I made was to put in some mozzarella style Daiya! Mmmmm, so creamy.

The only other thing I wanted to put a picture of was my dinner from two nights ago. I made the creamy tomato sauce from Vegan Yum Yum (delish!) and tossed that with some whole wheat linguini. this would have been fine on its own, I’m sure, but I was craving “chicken” parmesan so I made some breaded “chicken” cutlets with Gardein! They came frozen in a pack of four. I dipped the frozen pieces in soy milk, flour, soy milk, and panko and fried them in the stove top. Although I don’t have photographic evidence, take my word for it, they were golden brown and delicious.


Aaaand, that’s it for today. Sorry it’s not that exciting. I promise I won’t accidentally delete any more pictures!

15 June, 2010

Making CSA Magic

Yes, people, it’s true! I’ve been making more than smoothies for the past four days!

My first challenge was the radishes. I’d never eaten/bought a radish in my life so I was at a bit of a loss. Especially when the woman at the booth said that I aught to cook the greens as well. I didn’t really want to sauté them because that’s boring, frankly, and also I’ve got 4 pounds of swiss chard to eat my way though in what will probably be a similar fashion. So what do I do? 

Make soup of course!

GO GREEN! really, really green.

Creamy Radish Leaf Soup


2T Earth Balance
1 large onion, diced
2 medium potatoes, diced
4c raw radish tops
4c vegetable broth
1/3c soy milk (I used soy for its thickness)
salt and pepper


1. Melt the butter in your favorite soup pot. sauté the onion until tender. Toss in the potatoes and radish tops and stir to coat.Pour in the broth and bring to a boil. Put a lid on it but leave it crooked so the steam can vent a little and simmer 30 minutes stirring occasionally (if you feel like it).

2. Allow the soup to cool slightly, transfer it to your blender. blend.
**note**Be sure you know how your blender works with hot food!!! You definitely do NOT want a giant green explosion instead of lunch.

3. Return your super-smooth soup to the pot, mix in the soymilk, and season to taste with salt and pepper

So, that’s what I ate on Saturday. I was really surprised and happy with the results. It had an earthy-peppery taste that i really enjoyed. I’d feed it to anyone :)


Sunday’s dinner I don’t have any pictures of. It wasn’t exactly picture worthy. . . that’s a lie, I was just SUPER hungry and forgot. Anyway.  I made the gnocchi from Vegan Yum Yum (have you gone out to buy it yet?!) but instead of thyme and cashew cream I did a butter and sage sauce since I’d gotten sage in the CSA.  Holy cow. I ate SO MUCH. All you need to do is sauté the sage in a couple tablespoons of butter until they’re crispy, toss it with your gnocchi and nom away until you explode.

I also shelled and boiled the entire giant bag of peas that I got and served those with the traditional butter, salt, and pepper fixing. This pairing of potato and peas was a little on the starchy side for me but still, I’m glad I made it. For you, I’d recommend a nice salad or some steamed veggies as a side instead of peas.

Now, Monday morning arrives and I’m left with a big pile of leftover peas. What to do, what to do. . . Make ravioli! That’s what! I tweaked a Martha Stewart recipe that I had collected years (literally) ago and just kept and forgot about until now. She calls for wonton wrappers for the ravioli skin but I was too lazy to go out an buy some so I made my own pasta. (yeah, I know, you don’t have to say anything, but I can’t go to the store in my underwear, can I?)

I’m putting one picture here for you and one at the end to “incentivize you to scroll all the way down!

Tiny plate or HUGE ravioli? You decide!


I decided to use the pasta recipe from Urban Vegan; the most simple of the eggless pasta recipes I’ve tried and, to date, the only one that has work even remotely well. I had to add more water than she said to but any number of factors could have contributed to that. Just be careful. Also, if you’re going this route, don’t roll the pasta out too thin! It should be a little thicker so it holds the filling in. I stayed at the third thinnest setting on my pasta machine.

Don’t be put off because the recipe seems long. I added extra details for the uninitiated or un-Italian. Just read it though once before you start. Okay, enough of this talk! Time for the recipe!

1 recipe of pasta dough
   3T olive oil
   .25c chopped onion
   1 clove of garlic, minced
   2.25c shelled fresh English peas
   .25c dry white wine
   1c water
   1.5t salt
   2T nooch
   black pepper
a small bowl of water

1. Follow the directions to make your pasta. While the dough is resting make the filling.

2. Heat the oil in a pan and cook the onion until it's translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add peas, wine, water, nooch, and salt, season with pepper and simmer until the liquid has almost evaporated. about 15 minutes. Let the mixture cool a little then puree it in a blender or food processor. Filling is done!

3. Now comes the part of the process that is a total pain in the ass as I do not have a ravioli maker thingie. Not only that, but I don't even have a round cookie cutter. Ah well, where there's a will there's a way. . . the way I chose was the top of a wine glass. Feel free to do whatever feels right for you. Just keep in mind to put the "appropriate" amount of filling for your shape. An over-filled ravioli is an exploding ravioli.

Roll out a sheet of pasta and cut out the shape you want your ravioli to be. Dust them lightly with flour so they don't stick together ad stack them on a little place in the fridge. . . You may not have to stack them in the fridge but my kitchen is hot as Hades in the summer. . hence cooking in my undies. . . anyway. . . Once you've got all your little circles, or squares, or triangles, or giraffes, cut out you can start a little assembly line.

4. First get your pasta shapes out and set them at the beginning of your line. in the middle there'll be your workspace with your filling in one upper corner and your little bowl of water in the other. Get a sheet pan out and line it with waxed paper. Dust that with some flour and set it at the end of your line. You may also need some extra flour to dust your workspace with.  Now, set out some of the pasta shapes (I like making 12 at a time because I'm anal retentive).

Plop down some filling in the centers of your shapes. I had circles about 2" in diameter and I used a teaspoon of filling. just for reference, you know. Now grab another piece of pasta and moisten the edges with a little dab of water all around. Flip that, wet edges down, over the filling and seal the edges with gentle pressure all the way around making sure to get out any air that may be trapped with your filling. Repeat for what feels like eternity.  As you finish each ravioli, place them on the prepared sheet pan. Once the pan is full, move it to the freezer while you fill up the next pan. By the time your second pan is done the first ones will be frozen enough to dump into a Tupperware in the freezer to keep until you're ready to eat them.

5. I'm sure, by now, you're starving because you've been making ravioli for 3 days so put a big pot of salted water on to boil. When it comes to a rolling boil carefully dump in your frozen ravioli. Once it seems that most of them are floating to the top let them boil for 1 more minute and gently drain them. 

How you sauce them is up to you. Martha suggests butter and chiffanade mint leaves. I, being the rebel that I am, made a basil cream sauce for mine. Usually I go for vegan Yum Yum's hurry-Up Alfredo but I used the recipe from Urban Vegan instead. It tasted alright but I added about a tablespoon of Bragg's Liquid Aminos to tone down the tangy nooch-ness this sauce had.

I barely managed to take some quick photos before scarfing this all down. It was TOTALLY worth all the effort and I'm defiantly making this again if I ever end up with another ton of peas in my fridge.

It's not easy being green.

12 June, 2010

CSA Pickup 1

. . . But first, a little catch-up (yet again) regarding what we’ve been stuffing our faces with!

First up is the Seitan Katsu recipe from American Vegan Kitchen. I didn’t have seitan and I didn’t want to spend the time to make it so I used some tempeh I had lying around instead. I steamed it for 10 minutes and marinated it in in Better Than Bouillon's “Not Chicken” broth along with some poultry seasoning while Mr. Crow and I made the salad portion to go underneath. This was super delicious and I would definitely eat it again. We especially liked the tempeh fingers. The only thing we thought we’d do differently next time is to mix the katsu sauce right into the salad. We did this for the left-overs and it turned out great!

Crispy, cool, and delicious!

Next we have a n’egg salad sammie from my Student’s Vegetarian Cookbook. I’ve never had egg salad before and I didn’t really care for this. The only thing that made it edible for me was the extra veg I added to the sammie. Mr. Crow liked it alright, though. Takes a nice photo, though, hu?


And finally, What I’ve been calling my “farm stand pepperoni” pizza. This is my favoriete pizza creation to date. It had broccoli, carrots, red pepper, spinach, and onion all lightly sautéed in olive oil, some vegan pepperoni, and tomato sauce. Add to that the pizza seasoning from Penzy’s and a generous sprinkle of Daiya and you’ve got yourself one great pie. So good, in fact that it deserves a close-up.




And now, finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for:


So that’s our spread for the week. It includes (clockwise from the right) 8 tonnes of strawberries, 1 lb of Brioso coffee, lettuce, sage, radishes of some kind that I can’t recall, about 2 pounds of English peas and an equal amount of Swiss chard.

Here’s some of my clean berries:

   Beautiful Berreis!

We had straw-nana smoothies for breakfast!

mmm straw-nana

Also, Mr. Crow bought some local eggs at the Greener Grocer. LOOK! One is blue and slightly smaller than the rest!

Do you thnk a robin is missing its baby?   

I’ve got some exciting plans for my produce so stay tuned!

03 June, 2010

Lemon-Herb Risotto With Peas

That’s what we had for dinner and it was so good!

Mr. Crow ate 2 bowls!

It’s day. . . something on “clean-out-your-fridge-freezer-and-pantry-week” here at the Crow household. At this point I don’t have much to go on but this turned out just fine in my opinion. I even had some bellini left in my fridge to go with it! This dish was really quick and easy- about 1/2 an hour – and it was really light and refreshing on a hot summer night. Thank goodness. And, lat’s face it, who doesn’t have that lonely half-bag of frozen peas to get rid of?


2T Earth Balance
1 small onion, chopped fine
1c aborio rice
1/4 c vino verde
3c vegetable stock
1T dried parsley
1t dried oregano
1t dried basil
2T nooch
1c frozen peas
1T lemon juice

1. Melt the earth balance in a heavy-bottomed pan on medium heat while warming the stock in another pan on low.

2. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sweat the onion until soft.

3. Add the rice and stir, cooking for 1 minute.

4. Add the wine and stir.

5. Once the wine has absorbed into the rice, add a ladleful of broth to the rice and stir. Repeat adding the broth as the rice wants it until there's only about one ladle of broth left.

6. At this point, add the herbs, nooch, peas, lemon juice, and the last bit of broth. Stir.

7. Turn off the heat and put a lid on the pot for a minute or two. Give it one final stir and it's ready to go. Serve it with extra nooch and black pepper!

02 June, 2010

Things: Bought & Made

I knew what I wanted for dinner, oh yes. I wanted Lauren Ulm’s Hurry-Up Alfredo sauce (check out her cool cook book!). Thus, Mr. Crow and I went to the Ol’e B&N to pick up a copy her much beloved cookbook. While there, I saw a copy of American Vegan Kitchen which was mentioned on the Vegan Dad blog (that rocks my socks) and a book called The Urban Vegan (which I happen to be) so, for whatever reason, like a girl possessed by the spirit of capitalism, I bought all 3 cookbooks. *sigh* Money may not be able to buy you happiness but a cookbook is a very close second, I dare say. So get ready for some recipe reviews and photos, kids!

The herb garden on my window sill got a little revamp, too. There was some scrap wood outside of our apartment so we snagged it and Mr. Crow made a brand new planter for the basil and sage. Sadly, the parsley did not get transplanted as it had strangled itself before the project was done. Ah well, it was the curly-leaf kind anyway.

New Planter! So Rustic!

It doesn’t look like much but it won’t blow over in the tremendous wind we’ve got up here on the 3rd floor and it has this rustic vibe that I really enjoy. Say what you will, but it was a labor of love.

In other news, Clean-Out-Your-Fridge-Freezer-And-Pantry Week is going rather well. All expired food is gone, leftovers are being defrosted and nommed, and the pantry is finally organized. All of this is in preparation for the day when we get to pick up our first installment of our Wayward Seed CSA! Yeay! It’s a real “advengetable”! This particular farm specializes in heirloom veggies so we’ll be getting things as yet uneaten by either of us! I can hardly wait, but I must. . .until the 12th. Pictures will follow along with recipes galore!

Adventure #176 – In Which We Do Stuff and See Things

I heard about this thing at work where people take pictures once an hour for a day. I thought it was an interesting idea and decided to give it a try. I lost it a little toward the end of the day, but, all in all, it was a fun experience. Take a look:

Heading down for a day in town. Microcenter carpet.

   Some kinda crazy-sounding bird outside of K Mart. Da Bank! Delicious indian sweets called "Jilebi". Salmon headed Mr. Mc!!! Gross. American Target Gothic Mr. Mc. with the eyes of a Buddha.

Yeah. Not very interesting. . . .I would have taken pictures of cooler stuff but I didn’t want to weird out the nice people at the non-corporate stores we went to. Ah well.

Reinventing the Wheel – or, in this case, Hamburger Helper

In my continuing romance with Daiya I decided that macaroni and cheese would be another great way to test its mettle. So I made a simple rue but I didn’t have enough milk to make enough sauce for the whole pound of pasta so, as usual, I improvised. I don’t have a picture of this one but it looks, and tastes, for all the world like what I imagine hamburger Helper tasting like.

2T earth balance
3T flour
1c milk (warm-ish)
1c veggie broth (warm-ish)
1 pkg Cheddar Daiya
salt, pepper, nutmeg
1/2 jar of pasta sauce

1lb whole wheat shells
1lb crumbles

1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.


2. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan.

3. Sprinkle the flour over it and whisk until it’s just slightly past blonde.

4. Slowly pour in the milk and broth, whisking as you go.

5. Once the liquid is fully incorporated, add the Daiya a little at a time.

6. By this time your sauce will have begun to thicken. Go ahead and season it to taste with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

7. Dump in your pasta sauce and you’re all set.

8. Warm up your crumbles in the sauce, then added the shells and called it dinner.