How does your garden grow?

I, with my brown thumb, am trying to keep some herbs alive this year. About two weeks ago, I planted everything in the first picture below except for the rosemary. We’ve had that for a while. So far things seem to be growing very well! I planted:

  • Spearmint – In its own pot since mint is invasive.
  • Basil – 2 plants because we love pesto.
  • Sage
  • Oregano
  • Thyme

Various herbs

Today, I headed out to Home Depot with my dad and bought some arugula and dill that we planted in the pot below. Cross your fingers for me! The top picture has notes on Flickr if you click through.

Arugula and dill

CSA Weeks 2 and 3

It’s time to catch you up on my CSA experience.  Before showing you the veggies we received for the last two weeks, I thougth I’d share how this change in our eating habits is working out.  Everyone who was skeptical of joining a CSA said that they wanted to choose what produce they would have during the week.  Not having a choice makes my life so much easier!  There is no more sitting around trying to decide what to cook for the week.  I have my ingredients picked out for me, and I only have to decide how to cook them and what protein to prepare.  Also, there is a HUGE difference in freshness (lettuce that was over a week old was still perfectly fresh for book club yesterday), and there is nothing like chatting with the farmer who grows your food on a weekly basis.  The woman who runs the CSA is wonderful and always gives us ideas of how to prepare vegetables that are not as well known to the general public.

CSA - Week 2

CSA - Week 2

  Week 2:

  1.  Arugula
  2. Collards
  3. Kale
  4. Lettuce
  5. Mizuna
  6. Tatsoi
  7. Turnips
  8. Oregano
  9. We also bought a dozen farm raised eggs this week. You haven’t tasted an egg yolk if you’ve only had store bought eggs.
CSA - Week 3

CSA - Week 3

Week 3:

  1. Arugula
  2. Beets
  3. Bok Choy
  4. Lettuce
  5. Turnips
  6. Lamb’s Quarters
  7. Lemon Balm
  8. Oregano  

Here are some of the yummy treats I’ve made with our CSA vegetables.  I’ll blog about them in detail soon.  

Delicious CSA Meals

1. Ham Steak with Collards/ Tatsoi, 2. Salad for Book Club, 3. Turkey Polska Kielbasa and Bok Choy, 4. Caldo Verde and Salad, 5. Caldo Verde, 6. Turnip Greens and Sweet Potato Fries

Arugula Pesto

Our CSA share this week included quite a bit of arugula. I do like adding arugula to salads, but there was more of it than we needed for a week of salads so I decided to seek out a pesto recipe.  After looking around the internet at different recipes, I decided on one from the blog, In My Kitchen Garden.  This one looked most appealing because it included chickpeas, which are quite unorthodox in pesto but really cut the sharp peppery taste of arugula.  The only change I made was to use less olive oil than was called for.  I just added it until the consistency looked right.

The recipe was really easy, and I liked the idea of sauteing the garlic a little first to take some of the bite out of the flavor since arugula has plenty of bite on its own.  I alway find that the hardest part of making pesto is cleaning the food processor since it’s basically dumping stuff in the processor and pushing a button.

The pesto was a hit at the cookout we went to on Sunday night. I came home with an empty container.  I highly recommend this recipe.  Here are some photos of the prep:

CSA – Week 1 – Fridge full of greens.

CSA Week 1 - 5/29/10

CSA Week 1 - 5/29/10

If you follow me on Twitter, you have surely noticed that I’m excited about the CSA we’re participating in this summer and fall.  After reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma, I really wanted to change the way I approach food.   I immediately started looking for a local CSA and got on the waiting list for the New Earth Farm CSA here in Virginia Beach.  I got an email early in the spring letting me know that there was a spot free if we wanted it.  This week is our first pick-up week. 

Unfortunately, I worked yesterday so I didn’t get to go with Dan to the farm.  If I had, I would have taken a picture of all the greens before they were washed and stored, but you’ll have to settle for a picture of our jampacked crispers.  Here’s a list of what we got in the share this week:

  • Arugula – I’ve already made some pesto with this that I’ll blog about.
  • Mizuna – Japanese mustard greens.  We’ll throw this in salads.
  • Green Kale – I love kale! I’ll wilt this with red onions, garlic and vegetable broth.
  • Black Kale – This is new to me, and I’m going to make the recipe for Portuguese Kale-Potato-Sausage Soup the CSA included in this week’s newsletter.
  • Deer Tongue Lettuce – For salads.
  • Tatsoi – Here’s a description of tatsoi.  I’ll treat it like spinach.  We got several bunches of this so it will feature in most meals this week.
  • Garlic Scapes – This is a part of the garlic plant that farmers cut off so the garlic will keep growing.  It’s edible, and I made pesto with it (yes, I love pesto and made two kinds already).  I’ll blog that also.
  • Basil

Food

Originally posted at http://fitbookworm.vox.com on 11/18/08:

I’ve been cooking and taking pictures!  One thing I made that there are no pictures of is an italian white bean and kale soup.  We had someone over for that, and I didn’t feel like explaining why I was taking a picture of our food. 

First, there are the gingerbread cookies I made for book club a few weekends ago.  These are from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook:  The Original Classics.

Gingerbread Cookies

Next is a recipe for Chicken Cacciatore in the crock pot from a Weight Watchers Cookbook.  Oops!  Forgot to take an after picture.

Chicken Cacciatore

Last but not least is a meal I call fake Thanksgiving.  I baked a whole chicken with a lemon pierced with a fork and a few cloves of garlic up its butt.  I also made kale with red onions and Cranberry Sage Couscous stuffing.  Basically, it was a Thanksgiving-like dinner except healthy. 

Fake Thanksgiving

Stay tuned for cherry oatmeal cookies!

White bean soup and baked apples with cranberries.

Originally posted on 11/7/08 at http://fitbookworm.vox.com

This was dinner Monday night.  I waited to post it on a day when I didn’t have a better idea of what to post.

First, I made white bean soup with leeks from this recipe.  The onion in the picture below is actually not in the soup.  I didn’t mean to put it in the ingredients picture.

The soup was really easy and fast to make.  The only thing I would change is putting more broth in.  It came out a little too thick, and I’d like it to be more like soup.  It tasted really good though.  The cumin was the perfect spice for it.

For dessert, I baked apples with cranberries.  This isn’t from a recipe.  Just put apples and cranberries in a baking dish with cinnamon, nutmeg, butter spray, and a touch of Splenda.  It is my favorite thing to eat during fall and winter when I can find cranberries in the grocery store.

Bread and soup.

Originally posted on 11/3/08 at http://fitbookworm.vox.com

I decided that one way to keep up with NaBloPoMo is to post about what I cook for dinner.  Here are a few things I’ve cooked recently.  Tonight, I’m making White Bean Soup so I’ll try to remember to take a picture and post it.

This banana bread was a low-fat recipe from AllRecipes.com, and it was pretty good.  Rather than being soft like banana bread usually is, it was crusty.  Dan and I both enjoyed it.  It isn’t as burnt as it looks.  The lighting isn’t great in our kitchen.

The picture below is of a pumpkin soup recipe from Fitness Magazine last year.  It has ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, bacon, applesauce, and a few other things I can’t think of in it.  It’s quite delicious.

The house smells like bread.

We got a bread machine a few weeks ago in the mail from our registry and decided to fire it up today.

We chose the Country Buttermilk Bread recipe from the booklet that came with the machine.

Next time I use this recipe, I'll put it on the light crust setting because buttermilk bread is better with a soft crust in my opinion.  The bread itself is heavenly!  It has a great buttermilk and yeasty flavor and a wonderful doughy texture.

 

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