CSA 2012 | Share #6

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Mid-August. Here we go! Another huge share this week — the kind of share that makes me glad we opt for a bi-weekly option. Although we really do eat a lot of vegetables, it would be tough to consume all of this every week! Let’s take a look, shall we?

  • 7 lbs. of tomatoes
  • 1 head of garlic
  • parsley & lemon basil
  • an enormous zucchini
  • carrots
  • beets
  • scallions (2 big bunches)
  • kale (other option: swiss chard)
  • 2 peppers (other option: 2 leek and 1 eggplant — this one was a tough call)
  • 2 heads of lettuce
  • 3 cucumbers
  • 3 onions
  • 1 cantaloupe
  • green beans
  • PYO cherry tomatoes (also tomatillos, but I skipped them this week)
  • PYO flowers

As I write this up, I cooling down some salsa. I had a package of the Ball Fiesta Salsa Mix, which people generally seem to like, so I’m giving that a try because it’s quick and easy. We eat so much salsa in this house that it’ll just go right in the fridge (if there’s any left after my taste-testers get a hold of it). With the rest I might make some roasted tomato soup. We’ll see.

The cherry tomatoes are all but gone. The kids have been nibbling on them like crazy (even Laura who never was a tomato eater until we picked them off our own plant on the deck). I’ve successfully pawned off my beets to a friend. And everything else is pretty straightforward – salad stuff, easy dinner sides… It’s been kind of a crazy week (and the busy-ness continues through next Monday) so I’m not sure if I’m up for trying anything new.

{Recipe} Blueberry-Coconut Chia Pudding

Have you ever tried chia seeds? If you like the texture of tapioca, chances are you will enjoy them. I discovered chia several years ago and I absolutely love them! They’re high in Omega-3, they can help reduce blood pressure, they provide excellent hydration, and because they are so full of protein and fiber they keep you full.

I love this recipe for a mid-morning snack, but it would also make a great breakfast or dessert.

Blueberry-Coconut Chia Pudding

blueberry-coconut chia pudding
1 can full-fat coconut milk (DO NOT waste your money on “light” coconut milk — you want these healthy fats!)
4 Tbsp. chia seeds
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
(optional) sweetner of choice
fresh blueberries, slivered almonds

Shake the can of coconut milk and empty it into a bowl (I mix and store my pudding in the same dish, so I use a Rubbermaid container). Add the chia seeds and coconut flakes and combine well. Sweeten to taste if desired. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. When you’re ready to serve, top each dish with fresh blueberries and slivered almonds.

It’s very simple, and so yummy! If you’ve never given chia a try, they’re a fun little seeds. I usually order mine from Amazon, but they’re available in health food stores, and I have even seen them at Shop Rite in the natural foods aisle, so they are not as hard to find as they once were.

Be sure to visit Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom to check out other delicious recipes!

{Friday Favorite Finds} Whole30 Recipe Ideas

It’s Friday! So that means it’s time to link up with Finding Joy in My Kitchen‘s Friday Favorite Finds. Can’t believe the last time I participated was back in March! Good grief! Anyway, I am gearing up to start Whole30 on Monday (after a gluttonous weekend of anniversary and birthday celebrations). I was describing it to Drew (who, unbeknownst to me had his in ear buds in and didn’t hear me the first time) and he was pretty intrigued. Basically, it’s 30 days of strict Paleo eating. I’ll be blogging my way through it, so you’ll read plenty about it, but in the meantime, head over to Whole9 if you’re interested in learning more.

I certainly have plenty of paleo recipes in my arsenal, but because I’m pretty liberal with the dairy, I thought this was the perfect time to share some Whole30-approved dishes! Please note, that the images in this post belong to the original blog owners. In addition, I am directly linking the name of the recipe to the original source so you can head right over there to get the details. Please pin from the original sources and not my blog. Here are my Pinterest food finds for the week.

Meaty Chili from Paleo on a Budget

 

Paleo Breakfast Burritos from A Real Housewife of NYC

 

Spicy Shrimp with Garlic and Parsley from Cooking Melangerie (have to sub out the wine for Whole30)

Source: melangery.com via Carol on Pinterest

 

Crispy Chicken Thighs With Cauliflower and Cilantro from Real Simple

Source: realsimple.com via Carol on Pinterest

 

Spicy Tortilla Soup with Shrimp and Avocado from Cooking Light (I’ll need to leave out the hominy and the tortilla chips, obviously)

Source: myrecipes.com via Carol on Pinterest

 

And that’s just a few! So many healthy, delicious options. While I’m a little bit nervous about 30 days without sugar, grains, legumes, alcohol, and (most of all) dairy, I can tell that my body needs a reboot because I’m having all kinds of carb cravings and I’m just not feeling on top of my game. Here’s hoping I can make it through!

Be sure to head over to Finding Joy in My Kitchen and see what inspired everyone else this week!

sauerkraut, take one

raw sauerkraut

A few years ago I started reading about the benefits of lacto-fermented food, but it all sounded so complicated and, honestly, a little strange to me. Leave jars out on the counter for days or weeks? Really? But as I’ve expanded my culinary skills and learned the arts of canning and pickling, I figured that fermenting had to be next.

I read Diane’s tutorial for raw, fermented sauerkraut on her blog Balanced Bites and realized that this was pretty easy. It just required a little babysitting. And as I thought about it, it dawned on me that my childhood was filled with this type of food. My Babci regularly made traditional Polish fermented pickles, and we ate homemade sauerkraut all the time. I had to get over my fear of bacteria. Seriously, people have been doing this for hundreds of years. It’s no big deal.

So I set about to shredding my cabbage and carrots, adding garlic and then the salt, and massaging the cruciferous veggies until they started to weep like little babies. I was amazed how much water came out! I kept saying to Drew, “Isn’t this so cool?” I don’t think he was as excited as I was, though.

I packed it in quart-sized Ball jars, covered the top of each with an outer cabbage leaf, then set a half-pint jelly jar filled with water on top of that to weigh everything down and keep the water level above the cabbage.

Then I put the jars in my dining room, covered them with a clean dish towel and waited. And waited. And waited. If you’re anything like me, you will become giddy with excitement when you see those little bubbles appear that let you know fermentation is happening! After a week and a half, I no longer saw bubbles. I think that it was too cold in the room to encourage the process, so I called it quits for this batch.

It is quite tasty, but definitely not there, if you know what I mean. But it goes great with my morning eggs! (Please forgive the horrible quality of this photo – morning light is not great in my kitchen and I wasn’t going to sacrifice hot eggs for a good shot, LOL!)

kraut & fried eggs

Next time around I think I’ll keep the jars on top of my fridge. I’ll also add the caraway seeds so I don’t get that sideways glance from my dad again. Anyway, don’t be afraid of fermenting food. If it’s going bad, you’ll know it. And the benefits of eating sauerkraut and other fermented foods are overwhelming! So give it a shot – you’ll be glad you did.

indian spiced chicken meatballs

indian spiced meatballs with savory tomato sauce

Earlier this week I finally had a chance to try Cinnamon, a new (well, new-ish) Indian restaurant in Rhinebeck. The food was delicious and I’ve had curries on my mind ever since. Yesterday I had some ground chicken in the fridge, and an idea in my head: meatballs simmered in a creamy sauce, infused with all of my favorite Indian spices.

If you use a food processor, this recipe comes together lightening-fast. And even if you chop everything by hand it shouldn’t take too much longer.

Indian-Spiced Chicken Meatballs
in Savory Tomato Sauce

Meatballs:
1 lb. ground chicken
1 med. onion
1-2 jalapenos, seeded
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. coriander powder
1/4 tsp. tumeric
1/2 tsp. salt

Coconut oil (or fat of choice)
1 Tbsp. cumin seeds

* Sauce:
1/2 cup plain yogurt
3/4 cup tomato sauce
1/2 Tbsp. garam masala
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
salt to taste

For the meatballs, combine onion, jalapenos, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the vegetables are finely minced. Add the ground chicken and spices and process to combine. Shape into meatballs of your desired size. Melt coconut oil in a pan over med-high heat and add cumin seeds. Turn heat down to medium and let the seeds sizzle for just about 30 sec. – 1 min. until you can smell them. Add the meatballs to the pan

While meatballs are cooking, combine the tomato sauce, yogurt, garam masala, and cayenne in a bowl. Add salt to taste. (You can also add more yogurt or tomato sauce, adjust the spices, etc. The sauce is pretty forgiving.)

When meatballs are about halfway done, add the sauce to the pan and finish cooking until the chicken meatballs reach an internal temp. of 165 degrees F.

Garnish with cilantro.
Serving suggestion: cucumber and onion salad dressed with a squeeze of lemon juice; basamati rice (if you eat it) or riced cauliflower.

* PALEO OPTION
I realize that many people who follow a Paleo diet do not eat dairy. If that’s the case, my suggestion would be to add some fresh chopped tomatoes and extra onions to the coconut oil and cumin seeds, along with the garama masala and salt, allow it to cook down a bit, and then add your meatballs.

These meatballs were delicious, considering I threw them together at the last minute (since the kids ate all the taco meat I’d made!). I’m making another batch today for the freezer. I think this is a pretty versatile recipe that is easy to adapt to whatever diet you follow, whether it’s a standard diet, low-fat diet, low-carb diet, or Paleo. A little something for everyone 🙂