Sunday, April 6, 2014

Snack Packs

These snack packs are a lifesaver on busy mornings. It just takes a few minutes to make a bunch of these, and I mix and match flavors so I don't get bored with them during the week. I just pair up any dried fruit, nuts, seeds, sturdy cereal (like shredded wheat), or snacky foods (like wasabi peas or rice crackers). I label them so that everyone can choose their flavors.

This keeps us from buying quite so many packaged snacks, which can get so expensive!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Butter Bean & Arugula Pesto Pasta

Okay, assuming you made the same Cilantro Walnut Pesto that I did this week and have about a cup of it left over, here's what to do:

Cook up some bowtie pasta because it's the cutest.  As soon as it's done, run it under cold water to chill it.

Mix up lots of that pesto with a can of butter beans (I like the Bioitalia organic butter beans from my co-op, but any butter beans would do.  Lima beans or cannellini beans would be good, too).

Combine the beans & pesto with the pasta and a few giant handfuls of fresh arugula.

This pasta & bean salad is super fresh and green as it can be!  And I can tell you from experience that it's even better the next day for breakfast.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Cilantro Walnut Pesto on Snap Peas

I have a little problem with not being able to weed out useful plants from my garden, even when they're interfering with other useful plants.  Last year it was dill.  This year it's cilantro.

So I cut the tops off of a 4x4 garden bed FULL of cilantro and brought it inside to make something with.  Here's what happened:

  • I peeled 3 cloves of garlic
  • I soaked & washed the bundle of cilantro
  • I zested and juiced an orange
  • I threw the garlic, 1 cup of walnuts, a handful-sized hunk of Sartori parmesan, the cilantro, orange zest & juice, sea salt, and a long glug of olive oil into the food processor.  

  • Then I tasted it and realized I was going to want to eat the entire container of this pesto tonight.  
  • So I packed 1 cup of it away in a canning jar in the freezer.

  • Then I thought about how good this pesto would be tossed with the snap peas in my fridge.  
  • Then I ate a whole lot of snap peas.  

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Cocoa Puff Day

Apologies to anyone looking for information about actual Cocoa Puffs (TM).  

In my head, I call today Cocoa Puff Day.  It's first day in spring that I go out into the garden to stir in all the little bunny poops into the soil.

I have mixed feelings about rabbits in my garden.  On one hand, they ate clear through the bark of my brand new honeycrisp apple tree, so I hate them.  On the other hand, they give me free fertilizer every year and seem to wait by my garage so that anytime I come home, they're hopping down the alley looking super cute.  So I love them.  (Cute + free fertilizer) > (Sad, doomed tree)

Do you see the little Cocoa Puffs?  
I've vacillated over the years in my "cleaning up the garden before winter" philosophy.  Some years I clear everything out at the end of fall so that I have nice, clean beds for spring.  I usually feel very accomplished and organized those years.

Other years I'll feel lazy and just leave all the tomato plants and broccoli stems to rot.  The downside to this is that when pulling soft, cold broccoli plants from the garden, it's hard to get a good enough grip to pull them out as their skin slips right off.  And I've watched enough CSI to imagine that this is what it would be like trying to pull a dead body out of the ground.  Ew.

The past few years I've found a happy medium between the two methods: I clear out the beds that get the most sun so that they're ready for early planting in spring.  But I leave some plants remaining in the shadier beds so that the bunnies will snack on my leftover collard stems all winter and leave behind their little poops.  Win, win!

The next step?  Not-so-patiently waiting until it might be safe to plant!  It feels like spring today, but it just snowed two days ago, so I'm trying not to plant any seeds just yet.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Too Much Mustard

 I'm on a mission right now to clean out my kitchen.  I'm reading American Wasteland and feel a little embarrassed by the number of varieties of mustard in my fridge.  I count 7 now, but that's only because we finished off the last little bit of 3 jars this past week.

It's not just the mustard, though.  I've got a whole shelf of hot sauces and varieties of beans I've never even used before.

So here's what I've been eating to clean out the foods I've been neglecting at the back of the fridge and pantry.

1.  Black beans with millet, pickled limes, cumin-coriander-apricot chutney and harissa kale chips.  (pickled these limes 3 years ago)

2.  Roasted broccoli and carrots with WW Israeli couscous and last year's frozen pesto.  (Just enough couscous left for a couple servings.  Been sitting in the pantry for months.  I also poured a little thinned-out mustard over the broccoli and called it a mustard sauce.)

3. Barbecue pinto beans and chipotle lime Gardein strips over romaine lettuce and carrots.  With ranch dressing, of course.  (Finishing off some barbecue sauce and pintos).

 4. Butternut squash ravioli with edamame and pesto.
(Frozen ravioli.  Frozen edamame.  Frozen pesto.  Cleaning out the freezer!)
5. Chora dal na pooda with barley, saag, apricot chutney.  (The last of the hulled barley and finally tried the chora dal!).

I'll have more to share soon.  I have weird cereal no one wants, urad dal, and so many dried garden herbs.  It feels like Iron Chef trying to plan my meals around these ingredients.

Monday, February 11, 2013

So simple, so good

I intended to make something complex, and maybe just a little fancy-pants, when I put some cubed rutabagas and some wild rice on to boil.  But I got hungry and just ate boiled rutabagas and wild rice with a little fresh thyme and ground black pepper.

It was amazing and perfectly simple.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Banana Sundae

Not quite as good as an ice cream sundae, but the toppings are the same.