Saturday, May 12, 2012

Organic Harvest Box for May 10, 2012

We arrived back from holidays on Saturday, one day late for getting our veggie order last week.  The fridge was bare so we went for groceries on Sunday morning - I was confused - what do you mean I have to decide which vegetables to get?  We are going to get the vegetables that are on the list that comes in my email, I don't have to decide, it's decided for me.  It was certainly odd having to make a whole vegetable and fruit list from scratch.  I did make it through the grocery experience and it reminded me to thank Tasha for making part of my grocery list for me each week.

When I picked up my box from Tasha on Thursday she mentioned a couple of substitutions, firstly, zucchini instead of cucumber this week.  She also mentioned that the strawberries might need to sit out of the fridge for a half hour or so prior to eating.

My eyes zeroed in on the cabbage in the list this week - it is truly my nemesis on the veggie list.  I don't dislike it, I just am not very creative, inventive or fun with my cabbage recipes.  That last cabbage recipe that I gave you in the April 12, 2012 post was a hit with my family - how can I top that?  For now, I probably can't top it.  However, one of my previous favorite recipes for cabbage was a recipe that my mom passed down to me for Chinese Hekka.  This link does not list the source, but I'm pretty sure that it is from Company's Coming.  I hadn't had this meal in years until I was talking to my mom about my challenges with using up the cabbages and she reminded me of this.  It is really easy, basic ingredients, the kids like it (always important for me) and is really good served over rice.  This time of year, using the cabbage for coleslaw would be great to have alongside a BBQ.  This recipe from the Tabasco site has a great looking dressing for coleslaw.  The bagged coleslaw can be substituted by using shredded or finely chopped cabbage and some grated carrot.  If I'm making coleslaw, I do prefer this recipe that we make almost every time that we have a crowd at the cottage for a long weekend, it will last a couple of days in the fridge:

Japanese Coleslaw 

1/2 head of medium cabbage, shredded or finely chopped
2 big handfuls of bean sprouts
2 c. of sliced mushrooms
1/4 c. sunflower seeds (preferably unsalted)
1 pack of ichiban noodles, broken up
2 c. chow mein noodles

Seasoning pack from the ichiban noodles
1/2 c. oil
4 tbsp. soya sauce
3 tbsp. vinegar
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix the cabbage, bean sprouts, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, and half each of the ichiban noodles and chow mein noodles together in a large bowl.  Mix all of the dressing ingredients together.  Pour 1/2 to 3/4 of the dressing on the salad.  Let the salad sit for 2-3 hours before serving.  Add the remaining ichiban and chow mein noodles to the salad just prior to serving and add remaining dressing if required.

Recently, we barbecued hamburgers and my husband made a fantastic burger topper of sauteed mushrooms and onions.  It's a really easy way to dress up your hamburger and the cremini mushrooms and yellow onions on this week's list would be great to use.

Put a bit of oil in a saute pan, add some minced garlic, and start heating on medium.  Slice the onions and add to the pan.  While the onions are starting to soften, slice the mushrooms and add to the pan.  Saute over medium heat until everything is softened.  If there is too much liquid then turn the heat up and cook a bit longer.  If you are serving it over meat, you can add a little bit of cream at the end to get it saucy.  Serve this over burgers, steaks, grilled chicken, over even toast.  

If you are having burgers, slice up the cucumber, trim the snap peas, and half the cherry tomatoes for a nice side to the burgers.

I didn't get to try the baby kale last time as we were leaving on holidays, but I'd be interested to know (use the comment link at the bottom of the post) if anyone tried the baby kale recipes from the April 26, 2012 post.  I am hoping to try the baby kale salad or actually making kale chips with this week's order.

I can't wait to see if this week's strawberries are as good as on Easter weekend.  I have rhubarb in my garden that is in good shape so I am going to use it alongside the strawberries in this Rude Barb's Strawbapple Crisp (anyone cooked out of Looneyspoons before?  All their recipe names are witty!).  It is a great crisp recipe and you can substitute the fruit for berries, pears, or peaches, as long as the amounts stay the same.  I can tell you that the peaches in this week's order will not make it into any cooking.  If they are as good as some that Tasha got in last week, I may just hide them from the rest of family and eat them fresh.

With gardening time upon us, the plant list from Belle Terre got me really interested in their products.  I am hoping to do a field trip to their greenhouse this weekend, if they'll have us.  I hope that I will be able to report back next week with photos and tips on how best to use their plants.

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