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The first two weeks of summer brought some really nice greens to our dinner table. Introducing a new feature on Graasland as well! But you gotta read on a little for that. ;)

Organic CSA vegetables week 26, 2011

Here’s what we found in our CSA box the previous week.

Amelishof organic CSA vegetables week 26, 2011

  • Leek
  • Spinach
  • Radicchio
  • Gooseberries
  • Celery
  • Chinese cabbage (napa, michihli)

It may seem a bit meagre but there’s something missing from the picture! Half a head of Chinese cabbage and a whole head of red Batavian lettuce. We picked up the veggies on our way to my aunt’s and since our fridge was still rather full we decided to leave some of the loot with her.

Organic CSA vegetables week 27, 2011

Now more importantly: this weeks veggies…

Amelishof organic CSA vegetables week 27, 2011

  • Broad beans!!! Love ‘em!
  • Tomatoes
  • Field peas
  • Basil
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Pak choi (bok choy)
  • Savory (bonenkruid)

I hope I won’t bore you by sharing another menu plan?

Menu plan July 7-12 2011

Due to our schedule there’s a lot of ‘easy food’ on the menu this week.

  • Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese [Wednesday]
  • White bean & tomato soup (freezer stash), baguette, green salad with scapes, radicchio and pinenuts [Thursday]
  • In between hike and going to the vets: Indian lentil soup (dahl, freezer stash), homemade pizza, cabbage & carrot salad (recipe below) [Friday]
  • Broad bean soup, rosemary focaccia from Broodnodig, leftover mashed carrot salad, radicchio salad [Saturday]
  • After a day of hiking: vegan ‘shoarma’ (Vivera roerbakreepjes) with pita bread, garlic sauce and leftover carrot-cabbage salad [Sunday]
  • Field peas with veggies Provençale (adapting recipe for fresh peas), baguette, salad
  • Stir-fry of pak choi, leek, mushrooms and tofu with rice

New feature!

Cabbage contours by Jacqueline Tinney

Cabbage contours by Jacqueline Tinney

Many people don’t know what to do with cabbage. That’s a pity because it’s such a healthy vegetable; loaded with vitamins A & C, potassium, calcium, phosphor. It is also thought to be anti-carcinogenic! And if you’re a CSA participant like us you’ll often find it in your box. :)

So. I decided to share some cabbage recipes I like as a special feature on Graasland! Starting of with this week’s side dish of cabbage & carrot salad. Other recipes you can expect in the future are ‘Cabbage with Coconut’ and Indonesian ‘Sambal Goreng Cabbage’.

Easy cabbage-carrot salad

This is a veganised version of Eethuis Iris’ recipe from Zonnig zomers tafelen (p.20).

Cabbage-carrot salad & orange juice

Cabbage-carrot salad & orange juice

Ingredients
Serves 4.

  • 350 g pointed cabbage (I used a mix of pointed and Chinese cabbage; you could also take ordinary white)
  • 100 g carrot, cleaned
  • 3 tbs veganaise
  • 0.5 dl fresh orange juice
  • pinch of curry powder
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 tbs of roasted sunflower seeds
  • chopped parsley (optional: it’s not in the original recipe but I added it for colour)

Preparation

  1. Clean cabbage and cut out the hard core.
  2. Shred the cabbage very finely.
  3. Grate the carrot — or pulse a few times in your kitchen machine.
  4. Make a sauce of veganaise, orange juice, curry, salt and pepper.
  5. Mix vegetables and dressing, top with sunflower seeds and parsley.

On the contrary of what you may expect, the cabbage in this recipe is not overwhelming. I will make this salad again, maybe tweaking it here and there looking for an even better version: like adding a dash of lemon juice and possible some sweetener like agave syrup or golden raisins.

Do you have any favourite cabbage recipes to share? I’d love to hear them!

Join Beth Fish’s Weekend Cooking with a food related post!

Recipe submitted to the July Whip Up Something New! Challenge hosted on Joyfully Retired

Button Whip Up Something New! Challenge

Organic CSA vegetables week 24, 2011

Our tomcat Ringo coming to check out the escarole among the organic vegetables again…

Amelishof organic vegetables week 24, 2011

  • Radishes
  • Broad-leaved endive
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Chinese cabbage (napa, michihli)
  • Red & green basil
  • Broccoli
  • Scapes (garlic flowers)

Organic CSA vegetables week 25, 2011

Amelishof organic vegetables week 25, 2011

  • Pointed green cabbage
  • Rhubarb
  • Red lettuce
  • Rapini (turnip tops)
  • Courgette (zucchini)
  • Snow peas
  • Parsley

It’s the last rhubarb of the season and I haven’t figured out yet what to do with it. Any ideas?

Here’s the rest of our menu plan!

Menu plan June 22-27 2011

  • Pea soup from a can [Wednesday]
  • Sambal goreng cabbage tahu (Vegetarisch Indonesisch kookboek p.93) [Thursday]
  • Szechuan noodles (leftover sauce) and Chinese cabbage with coconut (Exotic & Traditional Vegetables p.2) [Friday]
  • Simple dinner with guests before going to piano recital: Cream of tomato soup (La Dolce Vegan p.114), salad with snow peas, brownies [Saturday]
  • Imam’s Eggplant, mashed carrot salad & tabbouleh (World Food Café p.37, 39 & 31)
  • Tomato, cucumber and green pepper mezze (World Food Café p.37), Turkish lentil soup (Met machtig mooie menu’s de wereld rond p.36), leftovers

From the menu plan I previously posted I’ve already shown you the Couscous salad with Orange Basil-Tempeh and Sweet Miso Dressing. Here are the pictures of two other dinners I photographed.

Lentil loaf with scapes (garlic flowers) and Turkish takeaway leftovers

Lentil loaf (from Food for Thought podcast) and Turkish takeaway leftovers

Szechuan noodles from Vegan Family Meals

Szechuan noodles from Vegan Family Meals

Join Beth Fish’s Weekend Cooking with a food related post!

That I don’t have a garden doesn’t mean I have to do without fresh herbs, fruit and veggies. Here’s a view of my balcony. ;)

Our Herb Garden

On the drainpipe are hanging baskets with oregano, sage, strawberries, thyme and rosemary. On the little tiled table you see lavender (not sure it’s an edible variety though, when it gets awfully quiet here you’ll know it wasn’t ;) and in the back are a 3-coloured raspberry plant and blackberries.

And that’s not even the end of it. Outside of the picture are cherry tomato plants, red hot & sweet chili peppers and a yellow bell pepper. The fruits are an experiment but we have successfully grown vegetables on our balcony before.

We also have some additional herb plants within reach in the kitchen: parsley, basil and cilantro. But these usually don’t survive for very long.

Let's Get Naked with Jamie Oliver Cooking ClubThanks to Carol of There’s Always Thyme to Cook who pointed me in the direction of Jamie Oliver’s Let’s Get Naked Cooking Club in her contribution to Weekend Cooking.

Now I can’t join the club today because I didn’t cook up a recipe of Jamie’s, but it inspired me to post about our own little herb garden anyway.

It seems appropriate to conclude by recommending a recipe by Andy McDonald, the ‘vegetarian Jamie’, that’s an all-time favourite at our place: Beetroot risotto with herb oil (in Dutch). We usually substitute some of the stock for wine and since turning vegan I just leave out the Parmesan cheese or throw in a little soy cream and nutritional yeast.

Red beet risotto with green herbs

I’m curious what Jamie’ll be cooking up tomorrow!
I hope it’s something vegan :)

– – – – –

Join Beth Fish’s Weekend Cooking with a food-related post!

Beth Fish Weekend Cooking logo

Hooray, CSA season has started again!

Yesterday Mr Gnoe went to pick up our vegetable bag for the first time in 2011. It’s the 4th year we’ll be getting a bag of local organic veggies from Amelis’hof garden (formerly known as De Aardvlo) every week till Christmas. And the 3rd year I’m consistently logging them with a picture on Graasland.

For those of you wondering what CSA means — have you noticed the Glossary of terms on Graasland?

First Amelishof veggiebag of the season! (2011 week 18)

  • Herb flowers
  • Leek
  • Tomatoes
  • Rapini (or turnip tops)
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce

I already used some spinach and tomato in a pasta salad I had for lunch today. Those beautiful white flowers accompanied last night’s vegan pasta with white asparagus. So now I need to think about what to make of the rest… I guess it’s back to menu planning for Gnoe!

Some of you may have seen my FourSquare tweet last Friday in which I talked about picking up some CSA veggies… #confusing There’s another organic farm nearby from which we get additional vegetables: Groenekans. It’s different in that we aren’t ‘shareholders’ but we do pay a certain amount in advance which enables the farmer to invest in seedlings etc. It also varies from our regular, real CSA in that we get to pick our groceries from a list of availabilities, instead of receiving a surprise packet. And that’s exactly why it is such a good addition to our weekly mystery bag of Amelishof goodies. :)

Any tips on what to cook this week?

CSA vegetable bag wk 18, 2010

You won’t be surprised to hear that I was first in line today to receive our first veggie bag of the season ;) It has been cold so the people of Amelis’Hof are a bit worried that they won’t have enough vegetables to fulfill our needs in the next few weeks — but we’ve heard them utter these anxious thoughts in previous years and all turned out fine ;) Anyway, that’s part of the deal.

This bento grrl was VERY happy to find edible flowers among the greens :) It’s ramsons (daslook): usually over their prime at this time of year, but late now because of the cold. That’s why we haven’t had it before. Another first! The chilly weather does have its advantages ;) We put some ramson leaves in our salad this evening and it was nice. Tastes a bit like garlic chives, but gentler.

Most of today’s veggies will probably end up in a salad or something of the kind.

  • lettuce
  • tomatoes
  • leek
  • herbs: thyme & marjoram
  • bundlegarlic (?)
  • ramsons

I’m one happy grrl.

Well, this bento really was an ordinary lunch bento and not meant for tonight, but because of the shooting star, moon behind the tree (houmous container behind mint) and peppermint planet, it made me think of summer nights. Especially together with my new dark furoshiki, as you can see on Flickr. Now I keep hearing ABBA’s song Summer Night City in my head with a different chorus line… who’s to say they are not subtitling the song Summer Night BENTO in this Japanese broadcast? :P

Left tier: apple, radish, container of houmous, a few pistachios, mint for tea, my very last special babybel from France (emmental), bruschettas and a peppermint candy for the end of the day.

Right tier: fresh field peas á la Provence (in tomato sauce with herbes de Provence, zucchini, shalot, leek and garlic), green beans (hiding behind grass divider), radishes, yellow cherry tomatoes, lettuce, parsley and… tsukemono of turnips (meiknol).

Making tsukemono (pickles) is a Japanese way to preserve food so you usually do that some time before you want to eat it. It is a side dish with totally different texture (bite) and flavour from the rest of your meal. When I say “Japanese ginger pickles” you’ll probably all know what I mean ;)

The mixture I used to make my turnip pickles contained rice vinegar, mirin (rice wine for cooking), a bit of lemon juice and some cayenne pepper because we’re out of shichimi powder. But before I mixed the dressing with the turnip I extracted water from the vegetables by coating them with salt en putting them in a colander for about 15 minutes. Next time I’ll really need to use less salt! After wiping the slices dry and mixing them with the dressing, I put the tsukemono in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight.

As you might have noticed by now, quite a bit of pre-preparation time went into this bento! Thankfully the field peas are a leftover from diner so the work had been done yesterday. It did take me some time because not only were the peas fresh and had to be taken out of their pods, we also never have any pre-composed herb mixtures. So I made the herbes de Provence myself.

tijmAnd here’s another one of Gnoe’s tips! First I dried some thyme in the microwave. You just have to put the fresh herbs (without the woody parts) evenly between two layers of kitchen paper, about 3 minutes on 600 Wt. You know that they’re ready when they are crunchy to the touch. That’s all :)

Ingredients of herbes de Provence:

  • 4 parts of thyme
  • 4 parts of oregano (since we were out of marjoram)
  • 4 parts of savory (bonenkruid in Dutch)
  • 2 parts of rosemary
  • 2 parts of basil
  • 1 part of sage (salie)
  • 1 part of tarragon (dragon)

You could also add fennel, chervil and — preferably — lavender if you have some, but I didn’t want to make my mixture too outrageous ;)

Summer Night Bento… for those of you who can’t get ABBA out of their heads either: here’s another cool version of the song in Wembley Stadium (1979). Enjoy :)

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 ;)

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!

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