Wednesday, October 19, 2011

CSA Weeks 15 and 16: Finally, fall.

For a summer-loving gal, I sure am happy with the change of seasons. Of course, it’s hard to feel autumnal when the odd 80-degree day keeps popping up, and the leaves don’t seem too keen on changing, but overall, I like it. Week 15’s veggies don’t look too seasonal, but just go with it:

There we have some beautiful chard, another green leafy thing, garlic, and spinach, all of which may have been from One Straw, although I can’t recall if they do spinach or not. The peaches and cauliflower definitely came from other vendors. I don’t even know, you guys. I was too busy mourning the last of the peaches.

I didn’t get too wild with this week’s haul, I’m afraid. The spinach went into this tester wrap (I’m lucky as hell to be testing for Tami Noyes and Celine Steen’s upcoming sandwich cookbook o’awesomesauce!), with some totally-out-of-season strawberries and a delicious hazelnut dressing:

Hold on, let me back up. I need to properly thank Tami and Celine for having me as a tester, because Red and I have enjoyed some of the most amazing sandwiches over these past few months. Both of them are recipe-creating geniuses, and it is awesome to eat food that doesn’t require silverware. Double-mega thanks to Tami, for whose upcoming book Grills Gone Vegan I’m also testing! It’s testing mania in my house! As if I haven’t been blessed enough by the vegan cooking goddesses, Tami was also kind enough to send me a copy of her first book, American Vegan Kitchen. I love it, and it is the best cookbook a homestyle-food-loving guy like Red could ask for. It is fan-freaking-tabulous. We love you, Tami!

Wow, it is so much better writing about how awesome other vegans are than about what we ate all week. Seriously. But I promised you I’d take you through our CSA, and I’m doing it—slowly and with long gaps between posts because I am by turns lazy and mental, but mostly lazy. So, back to my lackluster photos!

After those ballin’ strawberry-spinach wraps, we had…some other stuff. I honestly can’t remember what in hell we did with that chard and the other green leafies, but I am sure it was delicious. Some of the cauliflower went into (I think) a tester recipe, and let me just state for the record that cauliflower is perhaps the longest-lived fridge vegetable I have ever met, except maybe for garlic. We had a bunch of cauliflower left over and no desire to do anything with it, so it sat. And sat. And did not get moldy or mushy or gross. Finally, this past weekend (so, like, after it had been hanging out for three weeks), we used the rest in a squash soup and some caulipots. And it was as good as the day we brought it home. Cauliflower, you are the long-distance runner of the Crisper drawer.

I did a little better with Week 16:

I forget what kinds of apples we got, but they’re all good, so eat more apples, okay? The carrots went to a variety of uses, including just plain microwaved and diced into raw chunks for Lucy. One ended up in that squash soup, as well. You’ll see that sooner or later, I swear. I mean, it doesn’t look like much, but it was delicious. That smallish broccoli we just steamed and ate as a side. Here’s that butternut squash, roasted up all pretty:

I do love me some winter squash. The squash, broccoli, onions, and garlic all came from One Straw; the carrots, apples, and mushrooms were from elsewhere.

You can’t really tell from the photo, but that’s a whole bunch of shrooms. Enough for two mushroom-centric recipes. Here’s one of them:

That’s Salisbury-Style Seitan with Mushrooms from American Vegan Kitchen. The seitan recipe from that book is killer. I am by no means a seitan expert, but I’ve tried a few different versions, and this is one of the best. Those dumb-looking mashed potatoes are the byproduct of another AVK recipe, Tempeh Stroganoff-Stuffed Potatoes (no picture because I was mad at myself), and they are dumb-looking because the fuckers wouldn’t bake, then they fell apart when I tried to scrape out the insides for the stuffed part of the recipe. So, once I finished crying (because yes, I cried over my stupid defective potatoes), I put them in a pot and mashed them like I was mashing the brains of my worst enemy. They still didn’t get creamy and fluffy like proper mashed potatoes, but when you’re putting delicious tempeh stroganoff and/or seitan with shrooms on top, it doesn’t make much difference. The tempeh stroganoff was boss, too, in case you’re wondering.

Oh, right, here’s where some of those carrots ended up:

This is a tester recipe from Tami’s grill book, and it is enough to make you want to fire up your grill in the middle of winter, although I punked out and made it indoors, because when you have a cast-iron skillet you can take it from the stove to the oven to the flames of hell and it will be fine. Behold, Tempeh Chickpea Stew with Harissa Biscuits! I had never had harissa before, and this is but one example of why Tami is cool: She makes me buy weird sauces and things I would have ignored otherwise and now love. I’ve got harissa and sriracha and sambal oelek and I even made my own freakin’ berbere spice. This is the second time I’ve made this recipe, so you know I really like it. The next time anyone gives me shit about where I get my protein, I am handing them a bowl of this and saying, “You’re welcome, douchebag.” Chickpeas! Tempeh! A whole bunch of vegetables! Delicious savory biscuits on top! This will keep you full until you see that Chocolate Pirate’s Booty (Marla, you’re a terrible influence) on top of the fridge and decide it’s time for dessert.

And that’s all. In case you’re really excited for that squash soup, I’ll try to get the next recap up before Thanksgiving.


  1. If Tami's recipes are as good as the soap she used to make, then I've got to check them out!

    I wish we had some of your weather here. Wind chill is in the 30's already and the trees are pretty much bare. Bah!

    Great haul, all around. I'm quite hungry now.

  2. "I am by turns lazy and mental, but mostly lazy," -- ahhh, so well put! I am right there with you, girl, if it makes you feel any better.