Asian Slaw

I’ve been getting things from my CSA that I have never dealt with before. That’s actually why I joined the CSA, to push myself out of my culinary comfort zone. Of course I also enjoy the fresh, local, organic produce, and I love being able to support a farmer that lives only a few miles from my home.

This week my share of the harvest included heads of cabbage, napa cabbage, and kohlrabi. Strange as it sounds, I’ve never worked with cabbage in my kitchen. And I’d never even tasted kohlrabi. So after some discussion with my bff, I decided that an Asian slaw would be my best bet. Let’s ignore the fact that I don’t care for cole slaw, and I’d never had an Asian slaw before. She told me how she makes hers, I read over a dozen different recipes, and then I dove in. What I ended up with was beautiful and delicious.

The salad:
2 heads of green cabbage
1 head purple cabbage
2-3 bulbs kohlrabi
2 carrots
a few handfuls of snap peas
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves

The dressing:
2 limes and 2 oranges, juiced
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup hot chili oil

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Chunky Pasta Sauce For Cheaters

I like my pasta sauce chunky. Mighty chunky. Chunkier than any jarred sauce could ever provide, yet I’m too lazy and pressed for time to start completely from scratch. My sauce is a hybrid, using fresh ingredients to bulk up a good store-bought jar of sauce. On this particular day I forgot to buy mushrooms, which was disappointing. Don’t be like me. Use mushrooms.

Chop up 2 sweet bell peppers.

And a few tomatoes. This is 6 Roma tomatoes.

Make sure you have some basil. Basil brightens up the whole dish.

Saute the peppers and maybe some onion in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, until they brown and soften a bit. Add some garlic in there, too. I didn’t because I was using a sauce that started pretty garlicky. While they’re cooking, brown some ground beef if you’re into meat sauce. I am very into meat sauce, so I use 1-1.5 pounds per jar of sauce.

Add your tomatoes and basil.

Cook over medium heat until the tomatoes break down most of the way.

Grab your sauce…

And pour it in. If you’re using meat, add it now.

Cook the sauce for a few minutes to get it nice

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Eating Habits

I feel old, let me tell you. The years of decadent eating have caught up with me. I was diagnosed with borderline high cholesterol a few weeks ago. I had transitioned my diet already, while pregnant, to include a lot more vegetables and a lot less fat. That wasn’t too tough, really, since I craved vegetables. I also craved cheese, though, and that’s where things are getting sticky. With the high cholesterol, I need to lower the amount of dairy fat I consume. My love for cheese hasn’t waned, and the low-fat varieties are, frankly, crap. I made the switch from sour cream to plain fat-free greek yogurt. I started eating fat-free greek yogurt for breakfast, too, in place of eggs or buttered toast or bacon. I cut down the amount of cheese I would put on my tacos, sandwiches, burgers, crackers, etc. I was making real strides. And then…

2 days ago I was told by my baby’s pediatrician that I should stop consuming dairy because Sagan may have a milk protein allergy. That’s right, she actually said stop consuming dairy. My heart almost stopped. I love dairy! The last thing I ever thought I would do is

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Gardening 2011

Yesterday I was featured on My Square Foot Garden! This is super exciting for me, because I don’t think I’ve ever been featured anywhere before. Certainly not for my garden, anyway.

Just a couple days ago my husband and I ordered our seeds from the Seed Savers Exchange. I’m very excited to use lots of heirloom and organic varieties, most of which would not have been available to me had we gone with Burpee for our seeds like we did last year. The variety of tomatoes and peppers they offer is just astounding; it made it really hard to choose.

After much debate, we decided to go with the following list:

Climbing French Pole Beans
Lazy Housewife Pole Beans (How could I resist such a name?)
Scarlet Nantes Carrots
Japanese Climbing Cucumbers (I might try my hand at pickling!)
Tennis Ball Head Lettuce
Amish Snap Peas
Green Arrow Peas
Bulgarian Carrot Peppers (They didn’t have jalapeno, these look close.)
Sweet Chocolate Bell Peppers
Black Beauty Zucchini
Yellow Crookneck Squash
Chalk’s Early Jewel Tomato (This variety was developed 30 miles from my home!)
Gold Medal Tomato (I couldn’t resist a yellow tomato with such a lovely description)
Genovese Basil

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Week 2

My seeds went in the soil just 2 weeks ago, and already they’re huge.



That’s tomatoes on the left, peppers on the right.



Look at those roots! These guys are going to need to go into some sort of container soon. Or right into the ground in a cold frame. It’s a bit up in the air right now, but clearly we’ll need to make up our minds soon.

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Vegetables

Dinner: A steak, broiled. Broccoli, steamed. Potatoes, mashed.

Simple enough, right? Make the steak a chicken breast, the broccoli a pile of peas, and the potatoes white rice. It’s not any different. It’s protein, vegetable, and carbohydrate.

I was just browsing the vegetarian section over on Tasty Kitchen, and I realized that all of the recipes suck. They look good, but in essence, they suck. They all involve fruit. None of them are for men, that’s for sure. They’re full of odd ingredients that normal people don’t typically have around their kitchen. I know vegetarians aren’t normal people, and this helps to account for some of the recipes. But none of those odd, healthy little people seem to think about us meat eaters. Their recipes are for people like them only. People that have a 50 lb sack of quinoa in their pantry, a wedge of raclette in their fridge, and daikon in the fruit bowl. The fact that my spell checker thinks all of those words are nonexistent means I’m on to something.

I ask myself, why does a vegetarian need those things? To be honest, my husband actually asked me. Here is the conversation we had:

Him:

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