Member Diary- Katerina’s September 3rd Share

This is our fourth year as CSA members.  We have a Full Monty share.  Each year it gets easier.  By now we pretty much know what to do with everything and rarely get surprised by new vegetables.  We cook mainly vegan at home (no meat, fish or dairy), but love the “happy” eggs we get from the farm.

We usually make a couple of big dishes each week that can then be eaten for lunch or dinner on days we don’t have time to cook.  We try to come up with ideas for what to do with our fruit and veggies on Monday evening, then drop by the grocery store for extra recipe ingredients on Tuesday after work, and spend a couple of hours Tuesday or Wednesday cooking.  We’re both competent cooks, so together it only takes us a few hours to turn most of our share into food for the week.

This week’s share included Eggs, Peaches, Apples, Acorn Squash, Kale, Japanese Eggplant, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Radishes, Mint and Rosemary (traded half our mint for half my sister’s rosemary, so got some of both).


Eggs and Kale

One of our favorite meals is eggs over stir-fried kale.

This year, I finally learned how to make perfect boiled eggs.  It may seem silly to include a such a simple recipe, but I promise your eggs will turn out so much better this way.  Bring water to boil in a saucepan.  Carefully lower the eggs into the water.  Cover the saucepan.  Let the eggs simmer for one minute, then turn off the heat and let sit for 5 – 7 minutes depending on how runny you like your eggs.  Light and fluffy eggs every time.
We paired the eggs and kale with corn fritters, made with another egg and serrano peppers left over from a previous week.  This recipe is insanely good:  http://www.alexandracooks.com/2011/08/04/corn-fritters/
Our other default egg dish is a frittata or omelette, filled with whatever vegetables we have lying around.

Acorn Squash
We’re happy that autumn squash season has arrived.  With acorn squash, we often just cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, put a little olive oil, salt and pepper in each half and bake in the oven.  When we have more time, this recipe for acorn squash with chili-lime vinaigrette is delicious:  http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2006/10/unflinchingly-good-things/
We paired the squash with quinoa and amazing, fresh tempeh from the Barry’s Tempeh booth at Smorgasburg (http://growninbrooklyn.com/).
 
Cucumbers, Cucumbers, Cucumbers
We’ve been getting a lot of cucumbers.  Luckily, we love pickles, and they’re super easy to make.  I used this recipe:  http://www.eatniks.com/2009/08/i-made-pickles/.  But with our next batch of cucumbers, I plan to try this new recipe:  http://veganyumyum.com/2012/09/black-pepper-and-cumin-pickled-carrots/.
 
Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Radishes, Mint
Whenever we get mint or parsley, I make Lebanese tabbouleh using this recipe as a guide:  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/16/health/nutrition/16recipehealth.html.  I substituted quinoa for the bulgar wheat to add more protein and included cucumber and radishes.  This salad has enough lemon juice to keep it fresh for days in the fridge, which makes it perfect for lunch throughout the week.
 
Eggplant and Tomatoes
We turned the eggplant and the rest of the tomatoes into pasta sauce.  Eggplants take forever to cook, so I recommend microwaving them whole until they soften (5-15 minutes depending on their size) before adding them to a recipe.  Then, halve the tomatoes and microwaved eggplant and roast in the oven until brown and cooked through.  While they’re cooking, saute onion and garlic in a large pan until browned.  Chop up the roasted tomatoes and eggplant and add to the pan.  Add a can of tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil, oregano and a cup of dry red wine.  Bring to a boil, then turn down to low and simmer until the sauce thickens.

Rosemary

Whenever we get rosemary, I make focaccia.  I use a vegan recipe from the cookbook “Veganomicon”:  http://theveganproject.wordpress.com/2010/07/16/fresh-rosemary-focaccia/.  It turns out great every time and goes perfectly with the pasta sauce above.

 
Apples and Peaches
We’ve been using up our fruit every week by making a large crumble.  Crumbles taste just as good as pies, but are much less work as there’s no pastry to roll out.  I follow this basic recipe:  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Any-Season-Fruit-Crumble-106927.  This recipe is endlessly adaptable.  For the topping, I use Earth Balance margarine in place of butter.  Sometimes I use rolled oats instead of flour or brown sugar instead of white.  I’ve made peach crumble, a mixture of peach and apple, added in frozen berries — it always turns out delicious.
And eaten with a couple of scoops of vegan vanilla ice cream from Lulu’s Apothecary, it’s the perfect summer dessert.

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