Category Archives: Using ingredients

Summer vegetable and tofu stirfry

I admit that this doesn’t make for the prettiest picture, but it was a delicious way to eat eggplant, onion, carrot and summer squash! I added some tofu for a filling vegetarian/vegan dinner. I always make my own sauce. I think the pre-made ones are usually too sweet, and this lets me adjust it how I like it. This time I went a little overboard on the rice wine vinegar, oops, but it was fine mixed with everything else and toned down by some brown sugar.

Eggplant Tofu stirfry

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Posted by on September 7, 2014 in Using ingredients


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Basil Bread

A couple of friends were over baking when my last CSA box came. I offered them both the basil, but one of them suggested that I keep it and make basil bread. I have had tomato basil bread, but never plain basil bread, so I asked her what the heck she was talking about. She sent me a recipe and it was really good! You process 100g of basil with a bit of oil and garlic, then put that in the dough. I wish so much that I’d snapped a picture because it was a gorgeous bright green before baking, but turned into a more standard bread color afterward. 100g of basil is a ton, it was the whole big bunch from the box, but it made for a very tasty and fragrant bread!

I used the dough cycle on my machine, even though the recipe was for making it by hand, and it worked beautifully! My friend said she has always made it with less basil and just chops it by hand instead of processing it with the oil and garlic, so feel free to try that, too.

Basil bread

Basil Bread (adapted from a cookbook, let me know if you know which it is!)

Makes 1 2-lb loaf

100g basil
2 cloves garlic
4.5 Tbs or 70ml olive oil (I used just 1/4 cup and it was fine)
250g whole wheat flour
250g white flour (or bread flour)
1 tsp salt
1.5 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup plus 1 Tbs or 250 ml lukewarm water

Process the basil, garlic and oil until the basil is thoroughly blended. Place first in the bread machine with the water and salt. Add both flours on top of the liquid, being careful to keep them floating above it. Add yeast. [If you will turn on the machine immediately, you can activate the yeast in 3 Tbs of water, then add that on top of the flour. That’s how I did it.] Turn on machine to dough cycle and let it do its thing!

When dough cycle is finished, remove dough to a lightly floured surface. Punch down and knead until there are no more air bubbles. Shape as desired [I did a free-form loaf] and then let rise 30-60 minutes, until doubled.

Bake at 350ºF (180ºC) for 40-50 minutes if free-form, or 50-60 in a loaf pan. When done, remove from pan and let cool before slicing.

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Posted by on September 5, 2014 in Recipe, Using ingredients



Sautéed Sweet Potato Greens

For Box 6 I failed on the sweet potato greens AGAIN. They look fine until one day they are suddenly brown and weird. Or maybe that’s if I miss three days….

The point is, I was NOT going to let them go to waste for a THIRD time. I sautéed the greens (just the leaves, not the stems) in some bacon grease with a little salt and we easily finished the whole big bunch that came in our box on Tuesday.

Food from the box | Sautéed sweet potato greens

We had the greens with some baked sweet potato fries and baked chicken strips. It wasn’t planned that way, but I guess my subconscious wanted them together. My Designated Dishwasher and I both thought it was funny.

Is there anything that you struggle to use up, even though there are tasty things to be done with it?


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Posted by on August 31, 2014 in Using ingredients



Potato Latkes

I have been trying to find ways to use the many delicious onions that we’ve been receiving. Since the potatoes were amazing with the stew we made, we thought of latkes. 

Latkes with roasted mushrooms and green beans

Latkes with roasted mushrooms and green beans

Now time to figure out what to do with the rest of the onions…

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Posted by on August 13, 2014 in Using ingredients


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Mint, three ways

Some ingredients ‘three ways’ or ‘eight ways’ always sounds pretentious to me. Like restaurants that serve you tiny bits of things and call it food or the contestants on food network that try to do too many things and fail. I went to one of those restaurants once, it had rabbit seven ways and was supposed to be a major thing there. Nobody at my table was impressed, despite the fact that a lot of people love it. I guess me not going will just make more room for them.

But when some amazing smelling spearmint was in the CSA box, I was excited to use it. And also unsure of how. I know mint doesn’t last super long, and wasn’t sure what to use it on. I did have a bit on some lamb tagine, but I wasn’t sure if I’d be making salad any time soon. I could definitely use it all in tea, but I’m quitting caffeine for a while. So I looked up how to preserve mint and couldn’t decide between three options. So here they are:

First, mint extract! (or mint vodka or rum…) Mine will likely go into coffee or hot chocolate as a flavoring. And into brownies, yay! Once I tried to just stick mint leaves into brownies, it was kind of hilarious because they were full of green bits and barely tasted like mint. Not recommended. You can make your own extract by sticking mint into a jar and adding vodka or rum. Just be sure to cover the leaves with the alcohol or they can rot, ew. Shake every few days and strain out the mint when you like the flavor for your intended use.

Yay, flavored vodka! I mean... homemade extract!

Yay, flavored vodka! I mean… homemade extract!

Of course, an easy thing to do is to simply let the leaves dry and then store them, so these will do that.

My camera had trouble focusing on these, hope it doesn't give you a headache

My camera had trouble focusing on these, hope it doesn’t give you a headache

And finally, I liked the idea of freezing them. First, lay them out on a cookie sheet and then pop into the freezer. Move to a container once frozen.

Just the leaves, ready for the freezer!

Just the leaves, ready for the freezer.

 Do any of these look good to you? What’s your favorite use for mint?

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Posted by on August 3, 2014 in Using ingredients


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Watermelon Slush

I think this is my favorite way to drink watermelon. If it’s been a long day, you can add some vodka or tequila. If you are feeling fancy, add in some sparkling whatever (I bet club soda, ginger ale and champagne would all work.) On it’s own, it’s like a thick agua fresca.

You can see the 'pulp' from where I had a sip or two.

You can see the ‘pulp’ from where I had a sip or two.

Just remove the seeds and blend! If I put the watermelon into the fridge before blending, then I don’t think it needs ice, but if it starts at room temperature I definitely drop in a couple of cubes.

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Posted by on July 31, 2014 in Using ingredients


Roasted Okra!

I am ashamed to admit that our next box comes tomorrow and the okra that I was so thrilled to receive 13 days ago was still in our fridge tonight. D. Dishwasher has been working ridiculously long at work, so I’ve been cooking for myself and never remembered to pull out the vegetables down in the drawer….

Luckily they had not gone bad! Well, 3 or 4 of the little guys had, but out of a pound that is not much. So I looked up a recipe that would be similar to the grilled okra that I loved on the 4th of July, but wouldn’t require a grill.

Just okra, oil, salt and pepper!

Just okra, oil, salt and pepper!

If you are interested in trying it out, just chop okra, dry it, add oil and seasonings, then cook at 450º for 25 minutes!

Recipe I used is from here and a slightly different take on it is here.

If you’re curious, the brown ‘sauce’ on the rice and chicken is Madras Lentils. It reminds me of chili and is one of my favorites to use in a super-quick dinner.

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Posted by on July 29, 2014 in Using ingredients