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Has anyone been wondering what happened to my weekly (b)logging of CSA vegetables? I omitted 2 and missed 1 because we #failed to pick up our veggie bag when we were on a short holiday in week 26. Time to catch up!

Amelishof CSA vegetables week 27, 2010

Veggie loot week 27, 2010

  • rocket
  • radishes (French breakfast & icicle)
  • romaine lettuce
  • cucumber
  • sweethearts cabbages
  • field peas

Cukes are always met with a big ‘hooray’ because they taste so good — recalling cucumbers from past times. Strangely enough their organic siblings from the supermarket do not bring the same sensation. That probably has to do with the time and effort invested in the product.

Fresh field peas are great too; I only came to know of them last year thanks to our CSA veggies! (Weeks 30 and 31) They’re completely different from their tinned congeners; tasting a bit like fava beans — not ‘mealy’ like brown beans.

The radishes are the last of the season and the white ones have gotten a bit thickskinned, but nothing a potato peeler can’t take care of ;) They’re obviously related to daikon. We could have used them like that but mostly ate them as a snack or salad anyway.

Other dishes with the greens: pointed cabbage patties (YUM!) and spicy cabbage with foe yong hai (egg foo young) and nasi goreng (fried rice).

Kapucijner peas ready to go

The field peas were stir-fried & stewed shortly with garlic, sundried tomatoes and served with fresh basil & ground pepper. Really nice as a side dish to ricotta cheese filled omelet with tomato and herbs!

Amelishof CSA vegetables week 28, 2010

This week’s vegetables (week 28, 2010)

  • lettuce
  • radicchio
  • fava beans
  • Chinese cabbage
  • tomatoes
  • basil
  • rosemary

Menu planner for the week

  • Broad beans with cheese sauce, served with oven-baked potato, veggie bratwurst and radicchio salad with bell pepper, cranberries & red dressing (mayo, mustard & ketchup). [Friday]
  • Spicy stir-fried Chinese cabbage with cashews & cilantro, rice, emping and salad. [Saturday]
  • Salad of Chinese cabbage with homegrown radish cress, spring onion and orange dressing, served with tomato rice and hazelnut ragout. [Sunday]
  • Ratatouille with couscous and Parmesan cheese, salad. [Tuesday]

On Monday we’ll be eating out :) And on Wednesday… well, the next batch of veggies will arrive!

Do you plan your weekly menu as well?

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Join Beth Fish’s weekend cooking with a food-related post!

Beth Fish Weekend Cooking logo

In the past I’ve referred to Maki’s tutorial on how to make a Japanese switchback cut. It’s really easy to do and looks great!

Cucumber in Japanese Switchback Cut

I also mentioned that my technique (originating from the book The Decorative Art of Japanese Food Carving) is a bit different: it does not leave any leftovers. As promised: here’s my own ‘instructible’! I’ll be thorough, so bear with me ;)

First: the chigai-giri, or ‘opposing cut’, as it is also called, can be best performed on fruits or vegetables with a skin that clearly contrasts the inside. I do use it on gherkins, but it’s much fancier on bananas and cucumber!

Are you ready? Here we go!

So, you’ll need a straight piece of your fruit or vegetable and a sharp knife. Preferably one with a blade that cuts on both sides, but I do not own any.

You’re going to cut your knife through the center of the cucumber, about 1 cm from the end. Note that the sharp side of my knife is on the right.

Cut right-angled, all the way through the center of the veggie, staying 1 cm from the side. In the picture it looks as if my cut went awry but it didn’t! And it wouldn’t really matter that much either ;)

Now, pull the knife out again and turn so that the sharp side is on the left. If you’ve got a double-sided blade you can skip this step.

Put the knife back in at the point where you just pulled it out and slice it all the way to the left — but stop at about 1 cm from the side again.

Pull out your knife and put it crosswise on the cucumber. Have the point of your knife approx. where your cut ends at 1 cm from the side and hold it askew to make a line ending about 1 cm from the other side.

Now cut carefully to the middle of the cucumber: just to the slice you made in the first steps. Do NOT cut all the way through!

Turn the vegetable upside down. Of course I usually pull out my knife first but I wanted to show you that I really only sliced halfway through.

Now do exactly the same as in step 3. So point your knife in the same direction as you did before and cut to the core of your cuke.

TADAAH! You can easily pull both parts aside.

I know I used a lot of pictures to show you how to make an opposing cut, but it really is easy peasy! Just try it!

I’d like to point out that my cuke is organic. I was told once by a nutritionist that cucumber is a vegetable collecting so much pesticides directly under its skin, it’s not healthy to eat without peeling it first. Mind you, that was a long long time ago ;)

Why don’t you join Beth Fish’s weekend cooking with a food-related post?

Beth Fish Weekend Cooking logo

Salad of leek, tomato, cucumber, gherkin, lettuce, grilled zucchini, red onion and parsley, to be topped with pine nuts & walnut from the other tier.

Houmous with harissa, yoghurt coated apricot, plum tomatoes, cucumber & carrot sticks, homemade parsley pesto with walnut.

Cracker and yoghurt with cooked red currants on the side.

Today’s bento is a mix of several Asian dishes. Yes, Gnoe likes her Asian foodies :)

Upper tier

  • Indian egg-tomato curry (one of our all-time favourites!)
  • Japanese edamame
  • Indonesian nasi goreng
  • gherkin fox
  • cucumber
  • two types of parsley
  • on a bed of lettuce

Lower tier

  • Indonesian emping
  • raspberries and red currants
  • yoghurt coated apricot
  • carrots
  • basil
  • and another fox

Selamat makan!

I’m not superstitious and I don’t believe Friday the 13th means bad luck. Hey, on Fridays it’s almost W.E.E.K.E.N.D.! But Monday the 13th… Yaiks, that’s something else indeed! I don’t like Mondays… And now both July and August bring us that black day :(

Today I hoped to balance things out a bit by bringing bento #61 to work: 6 + 1 = lucky number 7! :)

First tier:

  • bed of romaine lettuce
  • pesto egg with sundried tomato
  • carrot
  • hot pepper (from the balcony) with houmous
  • slice of cucumber
  • cauliflower florets
  • black olives
  • pine nuts

I also added some walnut after making the picture.

Second tier:

  • mexican nut mix (‘pepita mix‘)
  • carrot sticks
  • seedless grapes
  • pasta salad (corn, hot pepper, (fresh & sundried) tomato, pine nuts, pesto, basil, red tofu)

This bento really helped me get through my busy day! :)

Of course macaroni rigate is a bit too large for a real pasta salad but I am not small-minded when it comes to using leftovers!

BTW: did you spot the 3 song titles in this post??? Answers behind the cut :)

Here’s the recipe for the tzatziki that I took in bento #58. I’ts really easy to make and tastes great. A fresh dish that will make you think of vacation on any summer day!

dilleIngredients

  • 1 organic cucumber
  • salt
  • 3,5 dl Greek yoghurt
    (I like it full-cream)
  • 1 piece of garlic
    (2 if you wish)
  • 2 table spoons of olive oil (extra virgine)
  • pepper
  • 2 table spoons of fresh dill (finely cut); see Gnoe’s tip for cutting herbs below!

Preparation
Wash and roughly grate the cucumber (including the skin). Because you’re not peeling the cuke, it’s really best to use organic! Put in a colander, sprinkle with salt en put a weight on it for half an hour. I often use a saucer and small pan filled with water to weigh something down.

In the meantime crush the garlic. Mix yoghurt with garlic, olive oil, dill and pepper to taste (blend by mixing). When the cucumber is ready it can be added to the mixture.

You can make tzatziki a while in advance if it’s kept refrigerated.

Use
Use as a starter or side dish with salad and black olives (think mezze!), as vegetable dip, for a picnic or buffet — you can even put it on your sandwhich, but it will get soggy ;) I like to serve it with Turkish pide bread.

To give you an idea of the quantity: it’s about 4 servings as entree.

Gnoe’s tip for cutting herbs
An easy way to cut dill (or parsley) is putting the leaves in a cup and snip-snap with your kitchen scissors! You can’t use this method for all herbs though; e.g. basil leaves should be torn to allow their fragrances to appear.

Last but not least: I like the smoothness of a tzatziki that’s low on garlic but some people might want to use 2 pieces of garlic :-o In that case, remember my post with natural tips against garlic smell ;)

Well, guess what we had for dinner yesterday… Gado-gado! Since my first — and very succesful — attempt to grow my own bean sprouts (taugeh) we have to think of recipes to use it all. LOL Gado-gado is an all-time favourite and had to go on the menu. It’s a salad of either raw or blanched vegetables, served with peanut sauce as a dressing and emping and (dried) fried onions as toppings. Fried tofu and boiled egg are essential ingredients as well. Can’t get any easier, can it? :)

Our meal was (of course) delicious and I had made enough to put some in bento #50. Yay, a real feast! Unfortunately we were out of fried onions and ate all the emping at dinner :\ In my bento I took a Japanese sesame-soy rice cracker instead; not the same — I knoooow — but something crunchy to bite anyway ;)

For those of you who’ve never heard of emping: it’s a type of krupuk (or kroepoek, as we say) that is made of melinjo nuts. No shrimp, so it’s a good alternative for vegetarians like me :) It seems you have to love it or to hate it (it has a bit of a bitter taste) but I really can’t understand that anyone wouldn’t like it! :\

About my jubilee bento. Gado-gado is a great bento filler because it should be eaten at room temperature. The veggies are either blanched or raw so it’s easy to use leftovers ;) Of course it can be nice to have a hot peanut sauce with it, but roomtemp or cold is fine. So what do you see in my bento?

Top tier (which is actually the bottom tier :\ )

  • Japanese grape sweet (Anpanman mix fruit hard candy)
  • 3 stars of dried apricot & wild berries snack
  • mix of cashews and dried cranberries
  • Apricot & wild berries fruit snacksesame-soy rice cracker
  • container with peanut sauce
  • strips of fried tofu for the gado-gado
  • homegrown mustard cress
  • little radish stars

The bottom tier contains a mix of the following

  • red leaf salad (raw)
  • white cabbage (blanched by pouring some hot water over it)
  • bean sprouts (raw, but can be poured over with some hot water as well)
  • cucumber (raw)
  • carrots (blanched)
  • green beans and haricots verts (blanched)
  • slices of boiled egg (obviously)
  • more radish stars
  • radishes with gherkin stars

I’ll post a more precise recipe of gado-gado sometime soon… (oh, me and my promises..! :\ )

Tonight we will be having more Indonesian food with taugeh on the menu: loempia (spring rolls) and lalab taugé! Spring rolls and mushroom soup as a matter of fact, because I ran out of bean sprouts! :-o

I’m afraid the recipes are in Dutch (one of them is really Flemish, to be exact ;)

This is the bento I took to the office on Monday May 10th. It was put together quite quickly!

It contains broccoli quiche (bought), radishes, basil, a small piece of emmental cheese, homegrown mustard cress and dito bean sprouts (taugeh), cucumber and a dressing of soy sauce, lemon juice and sesame oil. Homegrown bean sprouts taste soooo much better!

Yay, my next bento will be number 50! :-o

Royal bento 36OMG I have this big bento backlog again! Of course our computer broke down (I won’t tell you about the terrible service Apple gave us), but that’s not really an excuse is it?

Well, I’ll start off with bento #36: my Royal bento!
You might wonder why this bento is called ‘royal’ since it’s not particularly rich, nor are there any crown jewels on view. But it does contain a lot of orange stuff and Oranje (= orange) is our royal family’s family name ;)

Maybe you’ll also notice that this bento is quite low on carbs. That’s because I also brought two sandwiches. And since I always do that I will have to try to keep my bento’s this way. But it’s not easy!

What Friday 23th November’s bento contained…

  • Nigella’s sticky chocolate pudding! (yummy! GREAT recipe!)
  • cherry tomatoes
  • radishes
  • chives
  • star cress
  • pumpkin cheese stars
  • cucumber stars and leftover pieces
  • water cress
  • black olives in half an orange sweet bite
  • dressing and humus in containers
  • almost hiding is a laughing cow cheese wedge
  • completely hiding is an (orange ;) carrot
  • apple on the side

If the pudding hadn’t been there I could have said this was a very healthy bento ;)
No need to tell you I really enjoyed it :))

'Mexican' bento 34 Quick Indonesian bento 35 Bento 37
Herbivore bento 38 Bento 39
Click on the thumbs of bento 34 t/m 39 to see larger images and their descriptions on Flickr.

There are no December bento’s yet… Next one will be #40!

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!

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