Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Veggie veggie veggie

We are consuming mass quantities of veggies, no excuses since we get a mega box every Tuesday from our lovely CSA. I am proud/still embarrassed that since early December when we started the CSA we have only thrown out: 1 head of lettuce, 1/2 stalk of broccoli, 1 box of mushrooms (they were left out of the fridge & smelled AWFUL), and a couple tomatoes.
So if we are eating all these veggies, how am I preparing them? Well, we got a ton of broccoli 2 weeks in a row and although the girls love plain old steamed broccoli, I wanted something different. The weather dropped like 2o degrees since the weekend - down to 60 today, which meant: Soup Time!

This is the broccoli potato soup from Veganomicon. We sometimes unvegan it by stirring in a spoonful of plain yogurt at the table. Used 4 cups of broccoli, 2 pounds of potatoes (non local, but organic), 1/2 an onion, garlic (from the store), mint (from my patio), dill and tarragon. Totally yummy.

Soupy soup

Next we have massaged kale salad. What the heck? Yep, I literally massaged the kale to create this gorgeous and unbelievably tasty salad. I mean, it was really super great. And I love kale, and this would make anyone into a kale lover. The purple curly-leafed kale had the thinnest stems, so I didn't even take out the center rib before chopping. The whole head went into a bowl, with 2 tablespoons of olive oil (I think I can reduce this next time) & 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Then my hands went in the bowl and massaged it and son of a gun: the kale got all wilty! Magical massage. I added 1/2 of a small red bell pepper chopped up real small, one minced scallion, 2 teaspoons of brown sesame seeds, 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Except for the sesame seeds & olive oil it all came out of the CSA box. So awesome.

G-Rated Massaged Kale Salad

And next time I'll get back to talkin' bout our awesome camping trip!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

You are taking your baby camping?????

Yep, a few weeks ago my girlfriend and I decided we wanted to take our families camping. My mom had gone camping with a group in January to a place called Agua Caliente in the desert in far eastern San Diego county. The attraction to this particular campground is the hot springs. With our other friends included, there would be 3 families total. Each family has a 3 year old girl and a baby. 2 of the dads have camping experience (we would later learn one was an eagle scout) and one hadn’t been camping in 20 years. After some quick phone calls to check our spouses’ work schedules, we hopped online and grabbed the last 2 campsites available. The weekend we picked was 3 or 4 weeks out, and considered ourselves extremely lucky we got spots when we could all go.

The weather outlook looked like low 80s in the day & low 50s at night. That wouldn’t be too scorching during the day and not too cold at night for babies in tents. We had taken our 3 year old to Yosemite over 4th of July when she was 19 months and she woke up freezing the first night before I put her in my sleeping bag with me. I triple-checked the weather reports pretty much daily that the temps weren’t going to drop too low in the desert.

My other concern was the distance to the campground. It is about a 2 ½ hour drive, including a pretty windy section heading up to the local mountain town of Julian. The little bean gets SUPER carsick. I mean, this kid puked a ½ mile from our house once. I’ve even gotten sick on the way back from Julian (that could’ve been from all the aplle pie I ate, but that’s another story). The other route is flatter but goes south so takes 20 minutes longer & would have possible Friday traffic, delaying us further. Since we were leaving after preschool got out I wanted as much time for setup as possible. Hmmm, deal with a pukey kid or end up cooking, etc in the dark. I decided to risk puking…

Thursday, March 4, 2010


OK, after an hour-long trip to Von's with both girls, pushing the giant grocery store "car cart" and simulataneously feeding the baby as-yet-unpaid-for crackers, and after picking up our CSA share, and after sending my lovely husband to Joe's on his way home from work last night, and having Grandma here to distract the youngins', you would think I would be ready for a couple hours of serious make-ahead meal makin'.

You would be oh so wrong. We had vietnamese sandwiches for dinner last night, yep had all the ingredients for that one, even had nice leftover rolls and seitan for sammies for lunch. Well, I gets to cookin' this afternoon.
My plan: Spicy tempeh and broccoli rabe with bowtie pasta (dinner for tonight)
Steam broccoli and serve to kids with some of the pasta
Lentil soup
Vegan lasagna
Tempeh bacon

I get 2 bunches of broccoli rabe washed and chopped, about 1/2 head of garlic minced (all the recipes need garlic!), 2 bunches of kale washed and chopped. Cooked down both batches of greens. Washed, chopped and steamed a small head of broccoli. Made cashew/tofu ricotta (freakishly good), & pulled my favorite marinara from the pantry. This is round about when things went in the pooper. Realize that I've cooked teeny baby-friendly pasta and not the bowties I meant to. Oh, and I'm missing fennel seed for the sausage-flavored tempeh for the broccoli rabe pasta dish, I don't think I have enough lasagna noodles for the lasagna (the kale and ricotta were for this), no tomatoes fresh or otherwise for the lentil soup (didn't even get REMOTELY close to even starting this one), likewise for the bacon. At this point I TOTALLY threw in the towel. And picked up the phone so someone so nice would bring home thai food for dinner on his way home tonight.

He did and it was yummy. And the little bean and the mini bean ate a ton of steamed broccoli with their pasta. And I did find more lasagna noodles and put that together afterall (ONE make ahead meal complete!) And tomorrow I will go back to the store. And I'll start this process where I left off. Maybe after a beer.