14 June 2014

CSA week 3 (may 28-june 3)

tatsoi, bok choy, red leaf lettuce, rainbow swiss chard, cabbage, baby vidalia onions, squash and zucchini, cauliflower, sugar snap peas, Asian broccoli. 

Wednesday supper:

Thai inspired pasta with sautéed tatsoi and garlic. The sauce for the pasta had honey, soy sauce, peanut butter, cooking oil (good with sesame oil, but we're out), cilantro, and toasted sesame seeds. This would have also been good with some chopped green onions. Y'all like that fancy rotini/macaroni pasta communication? Just using what we had. 

Saturday lunch: 

Chicken salad bibb lettuce wrap with sugar snaps and leftover pasta. I made mayo for the first time to put in the chicken salad. 

Monday supper:

Roasted cauliflower, fresh Asian broccoli with edible flowers, and fried squash

Tuesday supper: 

Salad with bibb and red leaf lettuces, blueberries from another local farm, and sugar snaps. And pizza with Trader Joe's whole wheat pizza crust, broccoli, spinach, pepperoni, and cheese. 


More swiss chard pesto. This time I uses lemon thyme from my garden instead of cilantro, and almonds for the nuts. 

28 May 2014

CSA week 2 (may 21-27)

Last week's produce was two different kinds of kale (I think they're red Russian and dino), more rainbow Swiss chard, bibb lettuce, cauliflower, and baby vidalia onions. 

Here are our meals and snacks that used these delicious veggies. 

Thursday supper:

Baked potatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper, cheddar cheese, ham, and vidalia onion greens. I also covered my potato with whole plain yogurt after I took the photo.

Friday supper: 

Veggie tacos with salsa and cheese wrapped with bibb lettuce leaves. Spinach and cauliflower salad. The taco filling was chickpeas with a little leftover chopped carrots and bell pepper from the yogurt dip from the week before-- I accidentally chopped too much so I saved it, knowing I could find somewhere to use it. These tacos were perfect for it. Herbs and spices included fresh garlic, onion, and cilantro, and dried cumin and chili powder. And probably black pepper and salt. 

Saturday supper:

Homemade pesto pizza (#1). Trader joes whole wheat crust, with Swiss chard and kale pesto, home roasted red peppers, olives, vidalia onion-- root and greens, spinach, and mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. The photo is before I added the spinach and cheeses because I wanted to show off the pretty pesto and peppers. 

I did make another big batch of pesto with pecans instead of sunflower seeds this time. I think I like it better with pecans. I froze half in cubes. And there was still some leftover for later in the week. 

Tuesday supper:

Homemade pesto pizza (#2) with cauliflower crust. I used this cauliflower cheese stick recipe for the crust, Swiss chard and kale pesto, home roasted red peppers, vidalia onion, spinach, and cheeses. 

Snacks and others:

Kale chips! I used the dino kale and this crunchy kale chips recipe. The toddler and I are both enjoying them. 

I also steamed and chopped the rest of the red kale and froze in cubes for smoothies. No coconut cream this time. 

We have lettuce leftover again this week. I think we're going to need a big salad for supper soon. 

23 May 2014

CSA week 1 (may 14-20)

signed up for a CSA share (community supported agriculture) for the summer. I've been interested in the "produce box" veggie delivery concept for several years, but I had never found anything I could afford with our grocery budget. A couple weeks ago I learned that it's called CSA, so I was able to properly google and do some research. I learned that many of the pricy (for me) produce delivery people are more like distributors. Which I'm sure is great for many farmers, to have a middle man to handle the orders, money, deliveries, work with other farmers, etc; and great for many customers to know exactly what they'll get and have it delivered to their door. But I found several true CSA farmers in my area, including one just down the road from me. I'm using Double T Farm this summer. No middle man, no buying produce from other farms; I get what's growing local in the season. And I pick it up at the farmers' house. 

We'll see if I want to keep this up all summer; I'm going to share my fruit and veggies for the week and how I used them. This was technically week 2 for my farmers, but I signed up one week late, so it's my week 1. 

Top to bottom: romaine, kale, bok choy, rainbow swiss chard, broccoli, spinach (that was less than half), and salad turnips. 

I was so impressed with these beautiful greens! I was also determined not to cook them all in a ham or chicken stock, chop, and serve with chow chow like New Year's Day, or Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other winter dinner. So here is what I did,

Wednesday supper (and my birthday)

Roasted turnips and sweet potatoes, quinoa cooked in chicken broth, spinach salad, and homemade whole wheat bread. The bread looks completely mangled because I give the toddler with six molars and still learning to chew, some of the softer inside part of the bread. This homemade bread gets a crunchy crust, and he can't quite handle it yet. I enjoy it though. 

Thursday supper, I forgot to take a photo. We had sautéed onion, garic, kale, and tomatoes, with sausage. I served it with that same quinoa from Wednesday. It grows. I cook it once and we eat the leftovers for a week. The sausage made this delicious.

Friday supper with family. 

Saturday supper

Pasta with swiss chard pesto**. Spinach and romaine salad with broccoli and carrots. I made the whole recipe of the pesto; I left out the Parmesan cheese so half of it could freeze well. I obviously loaded my macaroni with cheese when it was time to eat. Recipe link at the bottom. 

Pesto cubes!!

There it is. The recipe called for sunflower seeds, which Jonathan and I both thought was a strong flavor for this pesto. If I make this again, I'll try it with walnuts or pecans instead.

Sunday snack, with lots of leftovers. 

Kale and spinach yogurt. I like how mine looks nothing like the photo accompanying the recipe. I skipped the mayo and added some olive oil and maybe a drop of apple cider vinegar. It is garlicky and delicious. 

Kale and coconut milk cubes. 
I had a little more kale than I needed so after I chopped it in the food processor, I mixed it with some canned coconut cream and froze it in cubes for smoothies. 

Monday supper with family. 

Tuesday supper

Leftover quinoa, roasted broccoli, turnips, and bok choy. 

I still have the turnip greens and some romaine. That was a lot of salad last week, so we couldn't eat it all. If Jonathan and I had both had salads for lunch every single day, then maybe, but no. Actually, Jonathan took leftovers for lunch about everyday. I have used the romaine several days for lunch to wrap my ham and cheese, but we got bibb lettuce this week, so I used that yesterday for lunch. Maybe I'll blanche or sauté the turnip greens to freeze and throw them on some pizzas this summer.

**I know I need to add the link for the swiss chard pesto. Blogger is hard to work with from a phone; I'm pleased to get those few links I did. If you follow my good eats board on Pinterest, you can find it there until I get to my computer and add the recipe link. Or I bet I can stick it here on the bottom. Swiss Chard Pesto. Done! 

12 February 2014

toddler parenting (on hard days)

I left my 22 month old for more than 6-8 hours, for the first time ever. I went on a weekend trip to Jacksonville, FL, Friday morning thru early Sunday evening. My Bible study, Bible Study Fellowship, has a weekend leaders retreat with all the other classes in our part of the country, once every three years; it was our turn. I had made up my mind that I wasn't going if the toddler hadn't weaned on his own before then, and last spring I planned to let my teaching leader know. But then she asked me to help with leading our class as the substitute teaching leader. I told her I was concerned about him weaning while I was gone (or more accurately, having a nursing strike upon my return; and at 22 mo, it would be hard to get him back from that), but she confidently said, "he won't. We'll pray against that. You'll be pumping at the retreat, and he'll go back to nursing when you get home." End of discussion. With her. But that was the beginning of the crazy stress in my head. 

The anticipation the week before I left was the worst; at one point I thought I had given myself hives from the stress of it all. But I continued to pray for peace for  my family and me. I knew going on the retreat was the right thing to do, and part of me wanted to be there; but it was hard to be away from my son. 

But coming home was harder. I didn't expect that, but it wasn't completely surprising either. I came home to an over tired little boy who simultaneously wanted to be held and be independent, and couldn't remember that whining and crying isn't the way life works. Monday was a hard hard adjustment day for him, which made my life tough too. I cried more on Monday than I had all weekend while I was away. Almost-two-year-old toddlers are still learning how to cope when things don't go how they think they should, that's normal; but this was way magnified into some sort of insanity. Fussing, whining, crying, hitting, kicking, flopping on the floor, stomping, and a general lack of being able to obey or follow any kind of directions. (But he pretty much got "no ma'am" mastered, since "no" seemed to be the only response to anything I said that day.) I told a friend online that there was nothing "cute" about our day, but to our credit, he did eat 3 good meals and 2 snacks, pooped in the potty and only had one peepee miss. He took two naps, the first started before 10:30am; and we had some quiet book reading time-- maybe that was a little redemptive. And no nursing strike. But it was a HARD day!! 

We survived, and Tuesday was better! We're not back to normal, but it was much much better. When I said, "look out the window, what's that?!" he signed and said snow ("doooe"). Snow was falling, and it's been less than two weeks since we played in the snow, but I think he hasn't seen it falling this winter. So that made me happy that he recognized the precipitation too. He also has a sweet cat sound that he's started doing in the last couple weeks. "Neowmm neow neowmm" He eats Trader Joe's ginger cats cookies after lunch, and says "cat! neow neow neow" the whole time he's eating them. And we got at least an inch of snow to play in Tuesday afternoon. The babe says and signs, "doe" (snow) then "oosh" (shoes) and just signs "outside." He loves playing in the snow, and he likes walking around with lots of little steps and feeling and hearing it crunch under his shoes. I was so thankful Tuesday was a better day (I would have *never* been able to get him bundled up to play outside on Monday). He still had a couple meltdowns, but he calmed down quickly, and I still had to help him follow directions some, but that's par for the toddler-parenting course. 

Monday I got an awesome reminder from my Bible study notes on Matthew 17. This chapter includes the transfiguration of Jesus, and Peter, James, and John got to see and experience it too. They had time alone with Jesus, saw Moses and Elijah, and heard the voice of God. What a glorious exoerience! Then they came down the mountain and joined the rest of the disciples and crowds of people including a father desparate for Jesus to heal his demon-possessed son. Such contrast; but that is exactly why Jeaus came to earth. God reveals himself through our everyday and challenging life situations, and He delivers us from Satan's hold. Our "mountain" experiences encourage and strengthen us, but everyday life tests and challenges the reality of our faith and transformation. 

It's okay that it was a tough day on Monday, and we're still getting back to normal (whatever that may be). I don't respond perfectly to every whiny or meltdown toddler moment, and that's okay too. But I do trust God to continue to guide my parenting and give me strength and consistency for challenges. And His grace covers the times I don't get it right the first time. Paul says in 2 Corintians 12:9, But he [the Lord] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 

Praise God!!

16 April 2013

homemade sunbutter. bullpen butter?

A couple weeks ago I made my own toasted coconut butter. It's very easy to make in a food processor; it turns into a butter consistency pretty quickly, so there weren't ever any, "oh no! I'm doing it wrong!!!" freak out moments. It was so easy and fun I immediately thought, "what else can I turn into butter?!"

Next up were sunflower seeds. I followed the instructions on the Prudent Baby website except I didn't add any sugar, honey, etc.

I toasted the seeds in a pan on the stove-- not in the oven-- then poured them in the food processor to let it do it's thing. Which took like 10-15 min. I have a really good food processor so my motor did not get hot, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if you needed to give an older (or cheaper) food processor a break to let it cool. The bowl got hot though from the friction of all the spinning and grinding and mixing and processing, but that wasn't a problem. Then I scraped it all into a Mt Olive Pickles jar, and stuck it in the fridge for later. Check out the link for the details. And let me know if you try it. A 1 lb bag of raw sunflower seeds is available at Trader Joes for $1.99 in Raleigh, NC; and it made about 14 oz of sunbutter. Get you some.

I think at my house, sunbutter needs another name. I'm kind of liking bullpen butter. Thoughts?