Friday, October 28, 2011

CSA Weeks 18, 19, and 20: Potatoes, sweet and non.

Guess what, darlings? I just realized that I have three weeks of CSA photos for you, and I’m gonna try to get it all done right now! Fun, yeah? No promises that I can remember what we did with every random carrot, but let’s do this thing. Hold onto your squash!

First off, a programming note: Astute readers will notice that this post covers Weeks 18 through 20, while the previous one covered Weeks 15 and 16. Whither Week 17? Damned if I know. Going back through my calendar, it looks like what I called Week 16 is really Week 17, which means I lost a week in there somewhere. Through the looking glass, y’all. Who wants their money back?

We had an insanely long day of outdoor apple butter-making that started before the sun had fully come up, so I hustled to the farmer’s market and back without stopping at any of the other vendors. Here we have sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, lacinato kale, and collard greens.

We freaking love kale, and collards are pretty tasty themselves. We combined them for Vegan Soul Kitchen’s Citrus Collards with Raisins Redux, which we tried for the first time back in July and have wanted to make again since it started getting autumnal up in here. Like before, I scorned the raisins in favor of cranberries. The kale was a welcome addition.

Pretty sure we just roasted up those giant sweet potatoes with some olive oil and a drizzle of maple syrup. Best way to do it. I think in my last post I mentioned some caulipots, too, yeah? Must be where the regular potatoes went. Caulipots are great because you don’t even notice the cauliflower. Insofar as there’s a recipe for them, I use Isa’s from Appetite for Reduction—which reminds me, I need to reclaim that from a friend I lent it to in August. Caulipots are delicious on their own, but Red was feeling experimental and decided we should try a vegan gravy packet in advance of Thanksgiving (we’ll be traveling to my sister’s in North Carolina, so we’re planning ahead). It was fine. Nothing exceptional, but it looked very homey on top of the caulipots.

CSA-adjacent but still delicious is this Spaghetti Pie with Arrabbiata Sauce (with Daiya on top) from American Vegan Kitchen. It is like lasagna without the drama. Actually, there was a little drama, because it turned out to be really hard to dish out spaghetti noodles using a spatula while trying to maintain the integrity of the casserole. It worked much better when the pie had spent the night in the fridge and I sliced it for lunches, but next time I think we’ll make it with penne or rotini or another, more scoopable pasta. Regardless of logistical difficulties, it’s super-tasty and very satisfying. We had too much sauce, which is a great problem to have, so we just boiled up some more pasta and were good to go!

Here’s Week 19:

That broccoli hung out until this past week (Week 20), but no worries—it has a happy ending. I made the prettiest miso soup with the bok choy:

It was good, Red was weirded out because I added some kelp granules to the broth, which it made it grainy. My bad, babe.

Here’s that butternut squash soup I couldn’t shut up about last week. It’s got squash, carrots, some of that ancient-yet-still-crisp cauliflower, and probably some onion and garlic. I am totally blanking on where the recipe came from. If I can solve the mystery, maybe I’ll update the post. Maybe I won’t. Anyway, it’s pretty basic, but good and very comforting as the nights get colder. As I was cooking, we realized we didn’t have any nice crusty bread to go with it. Red ran out to the crappy grocery store down the street (sorry, but it’s true), and the only vegan breadstuff was their generic dinner rolls. First-world problem, ahoy! Trust us, we survived.

Remember when I raved about Tami’s seitan cutlets? That was nine days ago, you guys. Anyway, the seitan recipe basically makes double what you need for any of the recipes in American Vegan Kitchen. Half became the Salisbury Seitan of my last update, and the rest met its destiny as Mexicali Seitan in some fabulous burritos:

When Red took a bite, he said, “Holy shit, this tastes like a grilled-steak taco.” I don’t speak the language of omnis very fluently anymore (what is this “bacon” your people rhapsodize about so obsessively?), but I could tell he was pleased that all the tastes of his former meat-eating life were not forever lost to him. They were goddamn amazing burritos.

Week 20, ready for its close-up:

More potatoes and sweet potatoes! Whatever will we do?

Here’s some excellent potato-and-corn chowder, veganized from a random Internet recipe:

There’s that broccoli, in addition to some carrots, corn and potatoes (obviously). We had bought oyster mushrooms because Red wisely thought they’d be a good addition. Unfortunately, I forgot to add them. Fortunately, we still had miso soup in the fridge, and oyster mushrooms seemed like they’d be a good fit. As you see, they were:

We’d also bought a bunch of portabella strips, some of which ended up in here:

That is Brewpub Tater-Tot Pie from American Vegan Kitchen, and it is why Tami is going to take over the world someday. Let me say it again.


Regardless of your feelings on Napoleon Dynamite (I am apathetic but find it irresistibly quotable), tater tots are the shit. Red and I were stoked to be able to put them on top of a veggie casserole (carrots, celery, onions, shrooms, TVP, tomatoes) and call it dinner. Oh, there was beer involved, too.

The rest of the portabella strips we got for a dollar because they were getting old. The mushroom lady told us to cook them that very day, so we did:

We added them to the leftover spaghetti pie sauce. When in doubt as to what to do with your random/tired veggies, add them to a sauce!

Our final dish was African Sweet Potato Soup from 30-Minute Vegan. We’d made it before, but I couldn’t remember what it tasted like, so it was a pleasant surprise. Looking back through my old posts, I described it in 2009 as “half hearty vegetable soup, half creamy peanut-ginger bisque.” That is a pretty apt description, I must say. We didn’t have fresh ginger this time, but I think the powdered stuff worked fine. It’s a nice change from regular vegetable soup. We had maybe two cups of diced sweet potato left over, so I just roasted it while the soup simmered.

Thanks for hanging with me through this year’s CSA craziness! Four weeks left. You all are champions. Next week I’ll be back with a post about what I did with a million leftover apples and some Halloween/Samhain photos! Have a happy and blessed holiday (or just a fab weekend).

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