Week 2: I Dreamed a Kale Pesto

This recipe sounded delicious to me.  Unfortunately, legit summer (and vacation season) is upon us and has swept away my logical winter routines. Due to memorial day weekend, I was only able to prep the kale and chop the garlic. But definitely putting this back on the “make later” shelf.

Lesson learned from this week? A magic bullet is apparently NOT an appropriate substitute for a food processor. I might have tried to blend something only to end up with a Bullet that made strange dying noises. Time to start buying kitchen appliances. >.>

And speaking of which, my roomie just got a fancy salad spinner which will make dealing with this bombardment of leafy greens much more tolerable.

Also, our friend Hema is moving about 10 min away from us for a summer internship! Hopefully we can take advantage of her foodie expertise and force feed her some of these vegetables at the same time 🙂

 

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Week 2: Burrito Bowl

My roommate and I currently have a ridiculous amount of lettuce so last night we decided to team up and try to finish off a good chunk via a burrito bowl before we both go out of town for the long weekend.

This is only 1/3 of the lettuce we have to finish off

This is only 1/3 of the lettuce we have to finish off

 

Prep was pretty quick as usual – she got to try out our new knife on the green peppers (a green thing I’ve never eaten outside of a pizza before!)

Surprisingly tasty

Surprisingly tasty

I boiled some of the dried beans my mom got me about a year ago. These have been life savers because I can make just the right amount of refried beans without having to open up a whole can – and they store nicely in the pantry for basically forever. Seriously need to get more of these via the Indian food network: where people going home (be it India or Michigan) bring back things that their friends’ parents have sent along with them. This is usually limited to sweets and muruku but I suppose I can Americanize it a little bit 😛

Anyways, I basically boil the beans, cut up lettuce (and now green peppers) and then mix it in a bowl with some shredded cheese. Top it off with sour cream and salsa. Big fan of the one bowl meal here. It was fun making and eating dinner with the roomie yesterday – we usually have completely different schedules so I’ve gone 2-3 days at a time without seeing her sometimes. O.o Tonight I’m going to try to make kale pesto so stay tuned for that!

 

Week 2: Roasted Turnips with Cardamom-Maple Syrup Glaze

Woah. Just typing out the title of this post made me feel epic. It is seconded by the very delicious taste of the turnips I’m eating! Today’s recipe comes from the LFF blog again – and it was definitely a surprise win. When I suggested it to my roommate, she was like “What on earth is that? Why would you mix those things together?” I suppose this is the one time in my life when being clueless at ingredients actually helped because I went ahead with it anyway 😛

Cutting the turnips with my new favorite kitchen utensil and slathering on olive oil wasn’t difficult. In fact, I even got to use this cute little packet thing I got from my Goodies box last week. I almost forgot the salt on top to season, but remembered just as I was putting the pan of sliced turnips into the oven. They came out a little brown I thought, but ended up tasting ok and only a little too tender. And what I thought was way too much salt ended up being just right.

Roasted turnips

Roasted turnips

While the turnips were cooking though, I made the sauce – mixing a variety of spices I’ve only ever used in Indian cooking… and pancakes (Did I mention I’m great at breakfast food? I make a mean bowl of frosted flakes). Maple syrup and vanilla extract were the easiest – I kind of forgot what coriander powder looked like so I just Googled the term to translate into hindi and then crushed the full seeds I had sitting in my Indian spice rack (the one I never used to touch). I also forgot I only had full cardamom pods instead of the powder so there were a few awkward minutes of trying to crush it with a spoon, ladle, and knife. Finally I buckled and used my molars. My god, no wonder human beings have taken over the planet – our teeth alone are ridiculously tough. Anyways, the sauce smelled amazing even if there were random little pieces floating around that shouldn’t have been there.

This smells Really Good

This smells Really Good

 

Finally I just dumped everything together, mashed it up and nervously took a bite. YUM! But what I thought would tide me over for two lunches this week is probably more like a snack 😦 But definitely a repeat recipe for later and with far more turnips. It’d make a good surprise side dish or appetizer I think.

YUM!

YUM!

 

Week 2: Basket

This week’s basket is here! We got:

1 Baby Mixed Lettuce

1 Bunch Red Russian Kale

1 Head Bok Choy

1 Head Red Romaine 

1 Bunch Green Mizuna

1 Bunch Baby Hakurei Turnips

And we still have a small amount of lettuce left over in the fridge from last week…

Week 1: Stir Fry

I have success! Finally.

Last night I made a stir fry recipe that I found on the Lancaster Farm Fresh recipe blog. I even took a page from my roomie’s handbook and tossed in random vegetables just because I had them – deviating from a set recipe for the first time in my life. O.o  I used a lot of ingredients I’ve never cooked with before – namely sesame oil, peanut oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, bok choy, green onions, ginger, mizuna, garlic, mushrooms. So yeah… basically everything except the spinach. :/

So. Much. Green.

So. Much. Green.

On the right side above you might notice a little silver thing… that’s right! I got a new knife (only $8 at ShopRite) that is amazing at cutting up veggies. I’d gotten sick of having to saw through tomatoes to make bhel puri last week and my roommate’s been dying for one any way. This isn’t quite a “Iron Chef” knife or anything, but it definitely does the job. See?

 

I like cutting things with my new knife :)

I like cutting things with my new knife 🙂

Normally you prep the tofu before you start on the greens, but as my tofu was still partially ice

Tofu ice

Tofu ice

I figured it was best to proceed with the veggies while the tofu thawed. It was rather easy actually – toss in these random liquidy things, toss in those green things, toss everything until something wilts and then add the next green thing. After I was done with those, (see picture below) I set aside the wok (borrowed from my roomie who borrowed it from her sister about 3 months ago) and moved on to the tofu blocks. Now I usually make tofu into little blocks and cook in oil for a snack, but adding the soy sauce flavor made them really yummy. My wok went from blah..

Almost ready!

Almost ready!

To fancy just like that!

Finished!

Finished!

Add in a little mango (below) and a friend (not pictured) for company…

Had to throw in some mango lassi

Had to throw in some mango lassi

Voila! My first legitimately good meal from the CSA vegetables. Perhaps the next 24 weeks won’t suck as much as I thought they would 🙂

Now if I could just find a way to get rid of that nasty radish sambar.

Week 1: Radish Sambar

Today I attempted to my mom’s version of the very yummy radish sambar.  I emphasize the word attempt in the sentence above, because at one point in this process I got so hungry that I called my mother and almost burst into tears. Why does Indian food take so FLIPPING LONG to make?!? Also – it is not smart to wait until you are actually hungry to start cooking.

At first things went well. I had some nice cooking music on, I chopped my radishes and onion quickly and fried/ sauteed/ whatevered my fenugreek and urad dal in oil.

Then for some reason I misread my notes from the recipe my mom had given me over the phone yesterday. I took my beautifully chopped vegetables and tried to fry them…

in water.

(I blame the hunger as I hadn’t eaten lunch properly)

After getting more confused when the next line read “boil until cooked” I called my mom and discovered my error. Thankfully she is a much better cook than I (and my dad can make jalebis around us both while blindfolded) so she was able to make a very good suggestion: “Well, it’s all still edible. Keep going and add more spice to cover up the taste. Did you make rice already?”

Thanks Mom.

Wait – what?

Oh that’s right. I was trying to make radish sambar and forgot to make the rice to go with it… *SIGH* Seriously folks, do not cook when hungry.

Determined to finish, I added the watery tamarind mixture and the remaining spices to the mix (neglecting the toovar dal I had also forgotten to make).

It ended up looking realistic enough I suppose. I’m waiting for the rice to finish cooling while I write this. I may have also made an emergency batch of instant sambar just in case (Thank you GITS!)

If I die, at least I won’t have to eat any green veggies. But who would’ve thought it would be the white ones that did me in?
Fenugreek & urad dal in oil

Fenugreek & urad dal in oil

Beautifully chopped radishes

Beautifully chopped radishes

WAY too much tamarind compared to proper ratio

WAY too much tamarind compared to proper ratio

WRONG POT

WRONG POT

Finished product?

Finished product?

Week 1: Setting Up

Lesson #1: Kale looks like really wrinkly spinach and apparently the most popular thing to do with it is make kale chips.

Lesson #2: Red scallions are actually red and look VERY similar to leeks, garlic, and other food things.

The beautiful cupcakes I had to pull out of the fridge to make space for this week's vegetables.

The beautiful cupcakes I had to pull out of the fridge to make space for this week’s vegetables.

My fridge looks like a farmer's market decide to move in.

My fridge looks like a farmer’s market decide to move in.