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use up your csa veggies stirfry

What did I want for breakfast on a Monday morning to start off the work week?!  Dessert, of course!

I had a few frozen bananas in the freezer just waiting to be used, so I whipped up a batch of banana softserve, but made it a little bit fancier.

To my food processor, I added:

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 tbsp of peanut butter

Once it formed my peanut butter banana softserve, I put it into a bowl and added a sprinkle of trail mix on top and a drizzle of chocolate coconut butter.

It was so good and very filling.  You should make this right now!

My lunch options were limited today because we were away for the weekend and don’t pick up our CSA until tomorrow night.  But, we still had some kale and and avocado left, so I made do.

Honey Avocado Massaged Kale Salad

I tore up my kale stalks and washed the leaves.  Then massaged in some homemade dressing – 1/2 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tbsp balsamic, drizzle of honey and lemon juice,  pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

Really use your hands and massage the leaves to spread the dressing evenly and to break down the kale a bit.  After it was coated in dressing, I mixed in 1 very small chopped avocado and 1 ounce of sweet curry sunflower seeds (from Kaia Foods).

It turned out great.  Along with my salad, I had an apple and chocolate yogurt.

Snacktime came late today, but I needed something to get me through my workout and cleaning before dinner, so I snacked on a Liberate Glo Bar and a few dried mango slices.  This bar was great.  I like the texture of the regular Glo Bars better, but for a raw and gluten free bar, this was awesome!  And, the flavor tasted just like banana bread!!

For my workout, I did 40 minutes of Jillian Michael’s No More Trouble Zones, then cleaned my whole condo!  That was a workout itself!

Once dinner rolled around, we needed to use up the rest of our veggies before picking up our new CSA tomorrow.  In the fridge we had the following:

  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 2 spring onions

What do you do with those crazy ingredients?

You make a Use Up Your CSA Veggies Stirfry!

My feeling is that anything can be made into a stirfry.  I chopped one onion and fennel and sauteed them over medium heat with a little olive oil and garlic.  After about 7 minutes, I added in the chopped green pepper and cooked the mix for 5 minutes.  Then added 1/2 of the chopped cabbage along with some lemon juice, white wine, salt and pepper and cooked for another 5 minutes.  The flavors actually worked!  I was pleasantly surprised.

I served the stirfry with some leftover eggplant parmesan from Friday night’s dinner and a locally made pickle.

I am stuffed! 🙂

allandale farm csa, week 3 (+ recipes!)

Another week, another trip to the farm to pick up our CSA, and another great recipe using the goodies!!

This was an exciting week – lots of new stuff.

More sugar snap peas!  More kale!  Herbs!  And broccoli!  Can you tell I am excited?!

Garlic Scapes

Green Garlic & Scallions

 

Cilantro

 

Dill

Mesclun Mix

Lettuce

Kale

Sugar Snap Peas

Broccoli

Collard Greens

After everything was washed and put away, I decided to make up a delicious dinner using my CSA goodies!

Wheatberry, Kale & Apple Salad

(recipe adapted from Gena at ChoosingRaw.com)

  • 2 cups sprouted wheatberries
  • 1 cup chopped or shredded carrots
  • 2/3 cup chopped dried apples
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
  • 3 cups chopped kale (CSA)
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp hemp oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Throw everything into a bowl and mix!

I served my wheatberry & kale salad with roasted sugar snap peas.

Roasted Sugar Snap Peas

  • 1 lb fresh sugar snap peas (CSA)
  • 4 scallions, chopped (CSA)
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped (CSA)

Start off by blanching the peas in boiling water for 1 minute while your oven is preheating to 400°F.

Then, spread the peas out on a cookie sheet.  Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with your chopped scallions, fresh dill and a pinch of sea salt.  Bake at 400° for 10 minutes until warmed and a little browned on the bottoms.

Enjoy!

This was a great meal.  Both the salad and peas were a bit sweet, but not overpowering.

The best part?  Leftovers for lunch today!

lots of local foods!

I wanted greens for breakfast, but I figured that oatmeal would be better. 🙂

I whipped up some steel cut oats to which I added 2/3 of a banana and 1/2 tbsp chia seeds while cooking.

Topped with vanilla almond butter, maple cream(!!), leftover banana and dried raspberries.

The maple cream was awesome!  I got it in Vermont back in September, but haven’t used it much.  It melted all over the oats.

For lunch, I used some local lettuce salad again and made a similar salad to my dinner last night.

Topped with black beans, dried chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, local strawberries and dressed with fig infused balsamic vinegar.

Along with my salad I also had some yogurt, homemade chai granola and extra strawberries.

I picked up this yogurt at the Saratoga Farmers Market last weekend from a local dairy farmer.

He told me all about his families dairy farm and how they treat the cows, etc.  It made me feel so good about buying his yogurt!

This is hands down the best yogurt I have ever had!  It has just a hint of vanilla and maple, but it is not overpowering at all.   It doesn’t taste super sweet like other flavored yogurts do.  I never eat whole milk yogurt, but I think I might start, especially as a dessert or when eaten along with a meal.  It is super creamy and decadent.  All you need is a little amount to feel satisfied.  Unbelievable!

Served in my reusable Stonyfield yogurt cup.

I am in search of local yogurt (or of how to make it this good in my yogurt maker!).  Driving up to Saratoga each week to get this could be tough…

This was a great lunch.

Afternoon snack was a Boomi Bar sent to me to sample with a bunch of Prana Bars (full review after I have sampled them all!).

I loved this bar!  Their were big pieces of fruits and nuts and the crisped rice made the perfect amount of crunch.

Check out the awesome ingredients:

Ingredients: honey, dates, cashews, raisins, hazelnuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, apricots, amaranth, sweetened cranberries, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, crisped rice, salt.

For dinner we had more greens to eat!

Kale was on the menu for tonight!  I needed to keep it simple because I didn’t have much time, so I made a massaged kale salad.

Wash, dry and chop up your kale, then place it into a big bowl.


I chopped up all of the kale for both Brant and I and added a healthy drizzle of olive oil, the juice and zest of 1 lemon, pepper and salt.

Then, I got my hands in their and massaged the leaves.  Yes, with my hands.  Massaging the kale breaks it down a bit which gets rid of its somewhat bitter taste.

I served the massaged kale salad with some kaia sunflower seeds and local goat cheese.


Beside a veggie burger topped with green lettuce, ketchup and this amazing hummus from Trader Joes!

Yup, you read that right – Guacamole Hummus!!  Two of my favorite things combined into one!  Absolutely delicious and a great ingredient list too.

And, the cutest pickles ever!


Mmmm…I loved this dinner!

That was a crazy long post, so I’m off!

Have a good night!

zucchini pasta

Today was a “use-up-everything-we can-in-our-fridge” kind of day, since our fruits and veggies are on their last legs!

I started my morning with a big juice!  In my mix were the following:

  • 1 green apple
  • 1 small pear
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 beet
  • 1/2 orange
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 4 stalks kale

I love the addition of the orange and lemon in my juice!

I love drinking my juice while I am getting ready in the morning.  It tastes great, is a healthy way to start the day, holds me over after my workouts until breakfast, and gives the fruit ample digestion time before filling my belly with real food!  On my way out the door, I also enjoyed some oatmeal in an almost empty almond butter jar, but I guess I didn’t take a photo! 🙂

My workout today was a 7 mile run and my Jillian Michaels DVDNo More Trouble Zones!  As I have said before, I don’t love workout videos, but this is broken into 10 minute circuits and it is hard!  You can make it easier or harder by increasing or decreasing the weights that you use.  It works your entire body in 40 minutes, which is awesome!

On my lunch break, I took a quick trip to my favorite workout gear store, Lululemon!  I got there and the entire window was plastered with Operation Beautiful stickies!

I loved it!  Operation Beautiful is so great.  Caitlin came up with this wonderful idea to make girls and women feel confident in themselves and their bodies.  She suggests that women post messages anywhere they can with words of advice and confidence for other women to see!  For example, on a mannequin in Lululemon it said, “Love your thighs!”.  There is so much pressure today for girls to be thin, so much so that it makes us crazy!  It is so important to be healthy and comfortable with who you are!  You can read all about Caitlin’s ideas behind Operation Beautiful here!  I love that Lululemon is being a part of this.  They had post-it notes at the front desk and told you to write something down.  There were notes everywhere, on mannequins, in the fitting rooms, on shirts – awesome!

This note was in my dressing room!

Of course it instantly made me feel great about myself!  I mean, how could it not?!  I should have bought that shirt I was trying on. 🙂

My day got even better when I got home because I had an exciting package waiting for me – my spiral slicer that I bought on Amazon.com.  It was so cheap, I just had to get it! 🙂  It was perfect because I have had a few zucchini’s in my fridge just waiting to be used.

I immediately tore open the package and started spiraling!

How cool is that?!

We decided on a zucchini pasta dish loaded with veggies, tomato sauce and pesto – yum!

Three zucchini’s looked like enough.  You could definitely make this dish without this slicer, as well.  Just chop up the zucchini or grate it.  I guess it would be more of a penne than a spaghetti!

Carrots, yellow peppers, grape tomatoes and snow peas.

We heated the veggies on the stove-top, just long enough to heat them through and stir in the tomato sauce and pesto.

It was great!  The zucchini did not taste exactly like actual pasta, of course!  But, in a way it did.  It was think and chewy, just like spaghetti and the flavors pared perfectly with each other.  We served out zucchini pasta with some sliced bread.

green beans

I tried green juice today!  I added some leftover wilted kale to the mix that was leftover from our kale chips the other night.  I also added the following:

  • 1 apple
  • 1 pear
  • 1/2 orange
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 3 kale stalks

It really tasted like green lemonade!  I think this is my favorite juice combo yet!

I have so much juice pulp now, so look for some juice pulp crackers coming up!

I also started the day with a slice of Millet toast and my favorite superfruit jam (I have yet to try the other 3 flavors!) and a banana with almond butter.  Perfect, delicious, filling and satisfying!

I decided to hit up the gym tonight since my legs were still throbbing from my weekend workouts this morning!  So, before the gym I snacked on a YouBar.  YouBar sent me some samples of their bars, shakes and trailmix to try out a few weeks ago, but I just got around to trying one today!

You Bar is a great company.  They has multiple ingredients on their site and you can literally create your own bar, shake, cookie, trailmix, etc with those ingredients!  It sounds like a really cool idea to me.  I did not get to chose my own ingredients, but they did send me a few samples.

I tried their Great Date with Chocolate Bar today which was a combination of Dates, Whey Protein, Honey and Cocoa.  Sounds like my kind of ingredients, huh?

Well, unfortunately, I didn’t love the bar. 😦  It had the consistency of a powerbar, which I hate!  Kind of rubbery.  I love the idea of the site, but I was hoping that the bar would be more like a granola bar.  I am assuming that the other bars I received will be similar, but I’ll try them out at some point anyways.  I do have high hopes for the trail mix though!  How can you go wrong with some ingredients thrown in a bag?!  So, i’ll be back with a review of those!

At the gym, I did a little warm-up on the elliptical and then hit up some weights.

Back & Biceps

  • Lateral Pulldown (3 sets of 12, 50lb weight)
  • Seated Row (3 sets of 12, 40lb weight)
  • 21’s (3 sets, 18lb bar – these are my absolute favorite!)
  • Hammer Curls (3 sets of 10, 7.5lb weights – tired from those 21’s!)
  • Back Extension (3 sets of 10, 10lb weight)
  • Leg ups (2 sets of 15, twists)

Then, I ran 6.5 miles super easy!  I wanted to get some miles in for the week, and stretch out my sore legs!

Dinner was a quickie, but really really goodie tonight!

Last week, I got my weekly update from 101cookbooks.com and Heidi had a feisty green beans recipe on their.  Brant and I both love green beans, so we had to try it out!

The recipe has quite a few ingredients for green beans, but we both this it was worth it!  It was still quick, and we did leave out a few ingredients that we didn’t have on hand.

Feisty Green Beans

from 101cookbooks.com

Serves 4-6 (we cut the recipe in half and served it over quinoa for a main dish – it was a perfect amount)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound green beans, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (omitted)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder (omitted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • scant 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (omitted)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup crème fraîche or sour cream (omitted)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted (used sunflower seeds)
  • one handful of finely chopped fresh cilantro (omitted)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook the green beans in a pot of well-salted boiling water for about a minute, just long enough that they lose their raw edge. Drain and dunk in ice-cold water to stop the cooking. Drain again and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl cover the raisins with scalding hot water for five minutes, drain and set aside.
  3. Heat your largest skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil, garlic, onion, and bay leaves. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the onions and garlic start to brown just a bit.
  4. Add the wine and cook until it has mostly evaporated. Carefully remove the bay leaves.
  5. Stir in the paprika, cumin, coriander, curry powder, salt, crushed red pepper flakes.
  6. Stir in the tofu and raisins and cook until heated through, a minute or so.
  7. Add the butter and green beans and stir until the butter has melted.
  8. Remove from heat and stir in the crème fraiche, then most of the almonds and most of the cilantro. Taste and add more salt and some pepper if you like. Serve topped with any remaining almonds and cilantro.

Even with the missing ingredients, this came out great!!

To make this into a main course, instead of a side dish, we served the green beans over quinoa.  We left the quinoa plain because the green beans had more than enough flavor to carry though!

cookies and blt’s

Bet you never thought I’d write a post about BLT’s, huh?  Well, in place of bacon, I used my dehydrated eggplant bacon!

Eggplant Bacon

from Everyday Raw by Matthew Kenney

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/2 dried chipotle chile, soaked at least 2 hours – omitted because I didn’t have any!
  • 1/2 cup soaking water from the chipotle peppers – omitted, and added a little water instead
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons nama shoyu
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • pinch black pepper
  • pinch cayenne

Directions:


Cut the eggplant in half, then slice thinly to make ‘bacon’ strips.



Sprinkle it with the sea salt and allow to sit for 1-2 hours on paper towels.


In the mean time, blend all of the other ingredients in your high speed blender or food processor.


Press our the extra moisture in your eggplant by blotting it with extra paper towels.


Then, submerge the eggplant in the marinade and let sit 30-45 minutes.




Carefully lay out the eggplant strips onto your dehydrator and dehydrate at 115°F until crispy (mine took about 14 hours – I put it on before I went to bed, and it was done mid-morning).




13.5 hours later, my eggplant bacon was crispy and done!


It tasted great!  Definitely not like real bacon, although I probably haven’t had that in at least 10 years!  It was crispy and the flavor was great, so I’m glad I used the marinade!


To make our BLT’s for dinner, I took 2 slices of sprouted grain bread and toasted them, then spread a thin layer of mustard on each.

I layered the toast with green leaf lettuce, yellow tomatoes and eggplant bacon.


After the sandwich was put together, I put it on our grill pan to press it a little bit.


Yummy!  The eggplant bacon was crispy enough that it really did remind me of real bacon, besides the flavor.  But, then again, I used to eat BLT’s because I liked the crunch, so this works just fine for me!



I served our sandwiches with a side of zucchini and kale chips, which I dipped in ketchup!


Yesterday morning, I took my zucchini chips out of the dehydrator after 9.5 hours!  Here is how they turned out:




They were crispy, just like chips!  I liked the flavor better dipped in ketchup, so next time I will use some kind of seasoning before dehydrating.  I’m thinking even italian seasoning would be delicious!

For dessert I made some Super Charge Me cookies from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan.

Super Charge Me Cookies

adapted from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan

makes 12 ‘ice cream scoop’ sized cookies


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quick oats (i used rolled oats)
  • 2/3 cup spelt flour (i used whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon (i used 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/8 cup unsweetened coconut (i used 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4-1/3 cup raisins or other dried fruit ( i used 1/3 cup raisins)
  • 3-4 tbsp carob (to be vegan) or chocolate chips (i used 4 tbsp dark chocolate chunks)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup flax meal
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp almond butter (i used Futter’s Almond Haze)
  • 1.5 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp canola oil (i used coconut oil)

Mix all of the ingredients together, scoop with an ice cream scoop and place on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 350°F for 13 minutes.

I took my cookies out after exactly 13 minutes, and they were perfect.  Enjoy!!

These cookies were great.  It will be my new go-to cookie for awhile now.  They are extremely east to make, and I normally have all of the ingredients in my pantry!

kale chips

Is anyone else exhausted today?!  I’m not sure what it is, but it has been a long day…and I feel so tired!  So, I turned today into my rest day, and skipped my workout.  The thought of getting out of my bed this morning was like torture. 🙂

Brant and I were finally both home at the same time tonight, so we got to make dinner (or I watched Brant make dinner). 🙂  We had some veggies to use up, so he made up a veggie pasta dish and kale chips for us.

Our veggie pasta had the following:

  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 head of brocolli
  • 12 spears of asparagus
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 pound whole wheat shell pasta
  • 1 jar sun-dried tomato basil pasta sauce

Mix it all together and serve sprinkled with parmesan cheese!

On the side, we snacked on some kale chips.  If you haven’t tried them, definitely give them a try!  They are crunchy, salty and delicious (just like real potato chips – kind of…)!

Kale Chips

  • Take some kale, wash it and tear into small pieces

  • Place it on a cookie sheet

  • Spray or drizzle with olive oil

  • Sprinkle with salt and parmesan cheese

  • Place in the oven at 400°F for about 10 minutes, until crispy and browned on the edges.

Enjoy by themselves, or dip in ketchup like I do!  Yum!!

For dessert, I tried a new vegan organic turtle that was sent to me by Futters Nut Butters!  It’s a new treat that they are adding to there already amazing line of nut butters and treats.  It is right up my alley – no butter, no corn syrup, just all natual ingredients!!  Yum yum yum!!