Wednesday, September 8, 2010

CSA Weeks 12 & 13: Potatoes and peppers and tomatoes, oh my!

We are crazy full-up on late summer produce, kids. These past two weeks have been full of seasonally delicious delights, and we had a really good time figuring out what to do with our seemingly-random assortment of veggies. Here’s Week 12:

As promised, we made burritos, or something like them. Really, what we did was chop up the scallions and a few of the green peppers, sauté them with black beans and Mexican spices (no, really, that’s what it says on the bulk jar) and roll them up in tortillas with shredded lettuce, Week 11’s tomatillo sauce, Tofutti sour cream, cheddar Daiya, and my coworker’s luscious guacamole. Seriously, dude had never even had guacamole until about a month ago, but he’s made up for lost time and shared the wealth. The burritos were awesome. Messy and awesome. I made a quesadilla with the leftovers, and it too was fantastic.

I feel guilty for the amount of processed food that went into these, even though it was only the Tofutti and Daiya. Still, that’s a lot for us. I try not to rely on pre-packaged foods like those, considering them more of a treat than the fixings of a meal. And while, unlike many vegans, I don’t think Daiya will save the world, I will allow that its flavor is growing on me and it melts most fetchingly. I even made a decent grilled-cheese sandwich with it.

You’ll note the massive watermelon and its less-massive cousin, the cantaloupe. Do I really need to tell you what we did with these? Nom nom nom. However, we did manage to foist some of the watermelon off on Red’s parents and grandmother. For a fruit that’s basically water, it sure can be tiring to eat it day after day. I think it’s the seeds that wear me out.

We decided that we’d try something easy and comforting with the potatoes: soup! I’d say we used a recipe, but we really didn’t. We sort of did, then gave up and just made some damn soup. I think we had minestrone in mind, but with potatoes instead of pasta. We whipped up a tomato base, which was broth from cubes simmered with diced tomatoes. It came out very well, actually. Red is a champ at laying waste to tomatoes with our mandoline, I tell you! Then we added the diced potatoes, the green peppers that were not burritoed, and sliced green beans. We threw in a bunch of salt and pepper and Italian seasoning, too, then let it simmer for a while. It was really good, but it made a ton, so we froze about half of it. I managed to not overfill the jars this time, so we didn’t have any freezing-induced breakage. I still feel really stupid about the one and only time I’ve done that. When in doubt, underfill your jars!

We got a sweet little bunch of marjoram, too. I’d never seen it in its natural state before, and it’s very pretty! Actually, I was trying to find a picture for you just now, and it doesn’t look like the herb we had, so I don’t know if we actually had marjoram (like we were told) or something else. It smelled reliably herby, though, and worked well in the spaghetti sauce that I will tell you about in just a minute.

Here’s Week 13:

Another watermelon! Are they trying to kill us? Don’t they know those suckers are heavy?! I liked this one better than its predecessor, because it had fewer seeds. Still, Red ate more of it than I did, and we gave some to my parents. Spreading the watermelon love around, y’all.

Oh, yeah, that spaghetti sauce. This is probably the most ghetto spaghetti sauce ever. We didn’t bother measuring a damn thing. We sautéed those red onions with a few of the small green peppers (plus some left over from last week) and some garlic in a pot that was too small, because we needed the big pot for the spaghetti. Then we dumped in the diced tomatoes, fearful that they’d overflow and we’d really be in trouble (and out of dinner), and tried to stir that mess. We added the rest of the cheap-ass wine that is only good for spaghetti sauce, some sugar, and a frozen hunk of tomato paste (the only saving grace of many a quick tomato sauce). We tried to class it up on the seasoning front, though: instead of the holy triumvirate of salt-pepper-Italian seasoning, we used salt, pepper, a little dried basil, last week’s marjoram, and this week’s fresh thyme. I love it when we get herbs! Then, we prayed the sauce would reduce into something edible while the pasta cooked. Wouldn’t you know it, it did! It was certainly not our best tomato sauce, but I liked having the peppers in there.

I like the small Japanese eggplants much more than the huge American ones (really, I just learned that they are called American eggplants). They’re easier to slice and less bitter. We diced these and threw them into a curry with the rest of Week 11’s scallions and this week’s green peppers. I made Veganomicon’s Baked Curry Tofu, then whipped up a sauce with the leftover marinade. Everything got together in the wok, partied for a bit, and chilled out over some brown rice just in time to save us from starvation. It was a lovely curry, very flavorful but not too spicy.

As of this posting, we’ve still got the potatoes and most of the lettuce left, along with a few red onions and that garlic. The garlic’s easy: It’s going into the chopper, then into a jar because I have discovered that making your own diced garlic is the best of both worlds. Once it’s chopped, I get the ease of jarred garlic without the weird preservatives and crazy high cost! Lazy garlic for the win!

1 comment:

  1. Jeeze, I'm so glad to hear that I'm not the only vegan who doesn't drool at the mere mention of Daiya! Heh.

    ...that said, the burrito-like creations look delightful.