Tag Archives: dinner

Cajun Grill-less Corn Recipe

15 Jul

Our post this week comes from The Farm Table member, and guest blogger, Laura Miller, who blogs over at Beyond the Cuke. When we asked her to come up with a post for us featuring Farm Table produce, we were flattered to get this post in return. First, she had us at Game of Thrones, and while we don’t expect to be adding “milk of the poppy” to our add-on list anytime soon, we were delighted to hear she thinks so highly of us. Thanks for a great post, and recipe, Laura!

3 Reasons Why The Farm Table is the Best of All of the CSAs

Let me just put it this way–If this was Game of Thrones, House Baratheon, House Lannister, House Stark and House Greyjoy would see no reason to wage war because The Farm Table obviously rules the realm. Here’s why:

1. No vegetable ninjas here. I’ve tried my share of vegetable delivery services and I’ve never come across one with such friendly neighborhood coordinators! In fact, not only did these other services not have Angela, my friendly neighborhood coordinator who chats with me about running and blogging, but they might not have had NCs at all for all I know. After all, I’d just leave a box out and sometime by the end of the day–varying times, meaning that my veggies might sit out for a bit since I wasn’t sure when to expect them–it’d be replaced by another box of veggies.

Okay, okay. I’m sure there are neighborhood coordinators for all CSAs but I’m just going to assume they were vegetable ninjas until you provide evidence that proves otherwise.

2. The “S” in “CSA” could stand for “Social.” It doesn’t, but it could. With everything from farm volunteer days like this one in May to local food tastings like the one that I had the pleasure of attending last night at The Savory Grain, your weekly veggie boxes basically come with berries, potatoes and a new set of like-minded friends.

3. Piles and piles of produce. Here’s a visual:

Beyond the Cuke

So maybe we don’t get corn every week but we get the week’s version of corn. No more eating out of season food that has traveled all of the way from South America or the West Coast. In July, you’re going to eat peaches. In September, you’re going to have some apples. And you’re going to enjoy them because they’re delicious, in-season and local.

Since this week’s corn is, well, corn, here’s something to make with the Farm Table box bounty:

Cajun Grill-less Corn, otherwise known as “Targaryen Corn”

What You’ll Need:

4 medium ears of corn
2 tablespoons vegan butter substitute
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup vegetable broth

What You’ll Do With It (before eating it, of course):

1. In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. While the water’s boiling, peel your corn.
2. Add the corn to the water. Return to a boil and cook for 3-5 minutes until tender. Keep an eye on it–you don’t want mushy corn but you don’t want hard corn either!
3. While boiling the corn, melt your vegan butter substitute in a small saucepan. Stir in the chili powder, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne and stir for 1 minute.
4. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and broth. Once combined, whisk into the butter mixture. Bring to a boil and cook and stir until slightly thickened, which should take about 1-2 minutes.
5. Drain the corn and then get your Van Gogh on and paint the corn with the seasoned butter.
6. Sit back and enjoy compliments from your fam, after enjoying at least two ears yourself, of course.

Veganized recipe from Taste of Home

Laura Miller Beyond the Cuke
Laura Miller blogs about each week’s kitchen triumphs–and kitchen “learning experiences”–featuring The Farm Table produce at Beyond the Cuke. Follow @beyondthecuke on Twitter and Instagram.

Ample Harvest

19 Jun
St. Thomas' Food Pantry doors welcomes guests every Thursday from 10-12

St. Thomas’ food pantry doors welcome guests every Thursday from 10-12

Nestled in what is known as Ginter Park in North Richmond, sits St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, a place of simple hospitality that has served the community since 1907. We visited St. Thomas’ a few weeks ago to learn more about their food pantry, which regularly serves people in the 23222 and 23227 zip codes. What we found was a highly organized food market with volunteers dedicated to serving the community.

The food pantry, part of a three church network including St. Paul’s Catholic Church and Ginter Park Methodist Church, is a market-style pantry where guests select the food they like to eat according to USDA nutrition guidelines.

The goal? To provide three meals for three days for each person in the household.

Food Pantry Volunteer Linc Sparks

8-year volunteer Linc Sparks prepares to register guests of the food pantry.

St. Thomas' food pantry

In May, the food pantry served a record number of people: 282 households, totaling 1,114 people. This is up from 2012 (213 households), and 2011 (105 households).

Food Pantry

To date for 2013, the food pantry has served 2,502 households, a total of 9,536 people.

USDA Guidelines

St. Thomas’ serves people in the 23222 and 23227 zip codes — a restriction based on guidelines from the Central Virginia Food Bank as part of their effort to make sure food distribution is widely spread across the areas where food is needed.

At 19 cents a pound, the food is purchased through the Central Virginia Food Bank (CVFB), which is part of Feedmore, using funds from the church budget. Through CVFB, St. Thomas is able to access the USDA surplus food, which they receive for free and distribute according to specific guidelines set by the USDA.

St. Thomas is also a Food Rescue partner with the Food Lion on Chamberlayne Avenue, gleaning good food 2 times a week that would otherwise by discarded. Other supporters of the pantry include Panera Bread, and The Little House Green Grocery, among many other supporters who provide food on a weekly basis. 

St. Thomas Volunteers

Grace Sparks and her granddaughter prepare pastries gleaned from Panera Bread

St. Thomas Volunteer, Lilly

10 year old Lilly visits every summer from Ohio and serves as the “produce manager.” This is her second year volunteering with her grandparents.

St. Thomas Episcopal Church Hospitality

Coffee, water, and pastries are prepared and served to guests waiting their turn at the food pantry. A focus on hospitality is the trademark of St. Thomas’ volunteers.

St. Thomas revamped their food pantry over a year ago — rather than giving guests a box of food, some of which the clients may not be able to eat because of dietary restriction — they allow guests to choose food for themselves using the USDA guidelines as a tool. The pantry is set up each week, resembling a market, and the people they serve are given a grocery bag where they can “shop” for the food that they are able to eat. The foods the pantry is unable to keep on the shelves include tuna, peanut butter, spaghetti sauce, and cereal. They offer a limited supply of perishable items, mainly because they do not have the means to store fresh food for long periods of time.

Ray Jackson preparing the bread table

Ray A. Jackson, City of Richmond retiree and World War II Army Veteran, has volunteered at the food pantry since the 1960’s. He also helped The Farm Table blogger, Michele, pronounce Norfolk properly, the place where he grew up before moving to Richmond in 1952. He is St. Thomas’ longest running food pantry volunteer.

St. Thomas' Market-style food pantry

St. Thomas’ market-style food pantry allows guests to choose items they need based on USDA requirements.

Perishable items gleaned from local grocers

Perishable items gleaned from local grocers like Food Lion and The Little House Green Grocer on Richmond’s Northside.

This is where Ampleharvest.org and you, our readers, come in. The site links home gardeners and other supporters to the nearest food pantry in the community who accepts perishable items. As gardens begin to flourish with an abundance of food, linking up your food surpluses with pantries in need is a wonderful way to offer the people who need it access to good, healthy, and fresh food.

Dried beans ready for guests to take home

Food items gleaned from local grocers

Sharing from your garden is not the only way to give! Beginning this Thursday, June 20th, we will collect non-perishable items from Farm Table members who place canned, jarred, and boxed goods in their empty boxes. We will deliver them to food pantries in need, including St. Thomas’. We think giving back is one way we can broaden our food community, and we can do that with your help!

Food pantry volunteers, Ray and Bob, preparing to open the doors for guests waiting outside for the pantry to open

Food pantry volunteers, Ray A. Jackson and Bob Wiard, preparing to open the doors for guests waiting outside for the pantry to open. Today they celebrate one of their regular guests who is officially cancer free.

Looking for other ways to give?

Consider volunteering at your nearest food pantry. St. Thomas  is always looking for volunteers to assist with gleaning throughout the week, or helping on Thursday mornings when their food pantry is open to the people who need it.

Food pantry volunteer and member of the St. Thomas community, Andrea Marcinkevicius, hopes to see more youth helping out at local food pantries this summer. “People of all ages and abilities can help!”, Andrea says.

Farm Table member and Ministry Leader at Gayton Care Ministries, Stacy Deyerle, says she regularly donates food from her Farm Table box to the pantry at Gayton Baptist Church in Short Pump. Deyerle says their pantry serves people from Goochland, as well as “folks dealing with a recent job loss or serious health issues.” Food donated to their pantry really helps people in need.

We hope you will join us in supporting your local food pantry this summer and beyond — as we all enjoy the bounty of the season, let’s share it with others.

St. Thomas Episcopal Church   3602 Hawthorne Ave   Richmond, Virginia, 23222   804-321-9548 Food Pantry is open from 10:00am-12:00 noon on Thursdays Volunteers needed: Tuesdays at 12:00 noon to help unload food purchased at CVFB. Thursdays anytime between 9am-1pm Gleaning, Tuesdays and Saturdays

St. Thomas Episcopal Church
3602 Hawthorne Ave
Richmond, Virginia, 23222
804-321-9548
Food Pantry is open from 10:00am-12:00 noon on Thursdays
Volunteers needed:
Tuesdays at 12:00 noon to help unload food purchased at CVFB.
Thursdays anytime between 9am-1pm
Gleaning, Tuesdays and Saturdays

 

 
 
 

Meal Planning Template: Free Printable

10 Jun

The Farm Table Meal Planning

With all of the wonderful Farm Table food delivered to your door each week comes the need for a little meal planning to make the most of your produce.

To that end, we thought a meal planning template might be useful for you. Just print and plan your menu out for the week.

You’re welcome!

Bok Choy Stir Fry with Broccoli

Pizza Night

Yucatecan Chicken Tacos

Spring Squash in a Creamy Garlic Sauce

Pad Thai Salad with Green Cabbage

Grilled Garlic Scapes with Herb Roasted Potatoes

Sweet Potato Fries

Bok Choy Stir Fry

4 Jun

The Farm Table Pop-up Market

This recipe comes to you a few days late as we missed Flashback Friday on the blog last week. I promise we weren’t slacking! We were “in the field,” so to speak, taking pictures and working on a future post that will highlight some of the really cool things happening in Richmond that will make all of us proud!

Speaking of cool things going on — The Farm Table is excited to announce that we are expanding to the Hampton Roads area! If you have family and friends that would enjoy receiving a Farm Table box as much as you do, or if you know anyone who might want to become part of our team, please share this with them and contact support@thefarmtable.org. More details coming soon!

We are also having a lot of fun with our Pop-up Markets. Our next market, this Saturday, June 8 from 12:00-4:00pm, will be at Blue Bee Cider in the Manchester District.  We will have fresh local produce, Harvest Hill Farms meats, Quail Cove Cheese and freshly baked goodies from Flour Garden Bakery. Blue Bee Cider will be open for your tasting pleasure from 12-6. Please join us! Details HERE.

Until then, please try this Bok Choy Stir Fry from our May, 2012 newsletter, which features broccoli, snow peas, peppers, and chicken (optional). It is very important to do all of the prep work for this meal before you start cooking, as stir frying relies on being able to move and cook food quickly in a very hot pan. Also, it may seem labor intensive, but once you’ve prepped the vegetables, it cooks very quickly. Delicious!

The Farm Table Bok Choy

Bok Choy Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb chicken breasts, cut into strips and lightly dusted with corn starch
  • 1 small onion, halved/thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2-3 cloves sliced garlic
  • 1 cup snow peas (optional)
  • Peanut oil for frying
  • 2 Tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tsp cornstarch, dissolved in 1/3 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 cups broccoli florets (separated into medium pieces) and stems (sliced thin), keep them separate
  • 1/2 Tbs finely minced fresh ginger
  • 1/3 cup red or green pepper, sliced thin
  • 1 head of bok choy, sliced into thick ribbons
  • 4 Tbs Hoisin sauce

Directions:

  • Preheat a wok or large, deep, frying pan with a heavy bottom over medium-high heat. Coat with peanut oil.
  • Add the chicken and cook 2-3 minutes, making sure to cook on all sides. Remove chicken to a bowl, or push aside.
  • Add the onions, celery, broccoli stems, red/green pepper, ginger and garlic and, stirring continuously until onions become translucent, and veggies start to soften. Add more peanut oil if needed (you need to keep the food moving).
  • Add the broccoli florets, snow peas, bok choy. Keep stirring!
  • After about 5 minutes, add 2 Tbs soy sauce, a pinch of salt and pepper, Hoisin sauce, and the cornstarch/broth mixture. Add the Chicken back to the mixture.
  • Stir for about 3-5 minutes and allow the mixture to thicken. 
  • Serve immediately over cooked rice.

Spring Squash in a Creamy Garlic Sauce with Parsley

24 May

Farm Table Spring Squash

It is flashback Friday on the blog today, and we are featuring a recipe in our May newsletter from the 2011 Farm Table season. With yellow spring squash appearing in our boxes, this dish is the perfect compliment to any dinner as a side, or serve over penne pasta as your main course. 

Easy and delicious – this is a quick, no-brainer recipe that will continue to make an appearance in your meal rotation once you’ve tried it.

Enjoy!

Yellow Spring Squash in a Creamy Garlic sauce with Parsley

Ingredients

  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 3-4 small or medium yellow squash
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 + 2 Tbs of butter
  • 1/3 cup cream or whole milk
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/3 cup parsley, chopped
  • finely ground pper, to taste

Directions

  • Remove ends from squash, cut lengthwise, then dice into 1/4 inch thick chunks
  • Remove  garlic from husks, chop into large chunks
  • Melt 2 Tbs of butter into pan over medium heat 
  • Add garlic and cook for about 60 seconds, careful not to burn or brown
  • Add the squash and cook until soft, about 5 minutes
  • While waiting, in another pan, melt 2 Tbs butter. Add diced onion and cook until it just starts to brown.
  • Once the squash as softened, remove 1/2 and place in bowl. Smash remaining squash in pan with a fork or potato masher until it resembles a course relish.
  • Slowly pour the cream into the pan of mashed squash and mix thoroughly. 
  • Add the onion, kosher salt to taste, and remaining squash that was set aside.
  • Serve with chopped parsley sprinkled over the top. A small amount of grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled along with the parsley goes well with this dish.

Might we also suggest a recipe published on our blog last summer, care of Tim Vidra, local Richmond blogger over at E.A.T. He shared a delicious Summer Squash Tart using yellow squash, zuchinni, and dill (you can use up any leftover from your box last week).

Delicious indeed! 

Yucatecan Chicken Tacos with Sweet Potatoes and Onions

15 Apr

When I finished college, I quickly loaded up my books, hauled them to our nearest used bookstore, and traded them in for this gem of a cookbook, determined to learn a few key recipes that we could share with others. My husband and I found several recipes that we loved, but learned quickly that not everyone enjoyed spicy food as much as us — namely our children.

I recently mastered a garlic-spice marinade that we have grilled with, and love it for marinating shredded chicken for our tacos.  Experimenting one night, I decided to try it with onions and sweet potatoes, hoping to add a little more filling to our chicken tacos. I know it sounds odd, but the combination of flavors has soon become a family favorite, and one that my children eat happily. The inclusion of apple cider vinegar, paired with garlic, cinnamon, cloves, and the sweetness of the potatoes, is the perfect combination of flavors.

I have been working on this recipe for the 2013 Farm Table season, and was thrilled to see the addition of sweet potatoes in our first box! Please try this kid-friendly, healthy alternative that you can use to fill tacos, burritos, or to top a tostada with. 

You can click HERE for the full recipe to print off. Recipe inspired from Chef Rick Bayless, Mexican Everyday. Serves 4-6 people.

Preparing the marinade:

The Farm Table garlic

You will need 1 head of garlic, broken into individual cloves (10-12 cloves). Cut a slit into each side of the clove, place in a microwave safe bowl covered with plastic wrap, and microwave for a good 30 seconds.

Garlic-Spice Marinade

While the garlic cloves cool, measure out 1/3 cup olive oil, 6 Tbs apple cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1/4-1/2 tsp sugar, a dash of ground cloves, and salt to taste. After you’ve slipped the cloves out of their paper husk, throw everything into your food processor and blend until smooth.

Pour the marinade over already cooked/cooled, shredded chicken (2-3 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts), and either set aside, or allow it to marinade in a zip-top bag overnight in the fridge.

Garlic-spice marinade

Preparing the taco filling:

While the marinade works its magic on the shredded chicken, grab 2 sweet potatoes, slice lengthwise, and dice into 1/4-inch thick pieces. Slice 1 small onion (white or yellow) lengthwise, into strips. Heat 1 Tbs olive oil in a skillet on medium-high, add the sweet potatoes, onions, and 1 tsp oregano, stirring to make sure they are evenly coated with the olive oil. Add more if you need to, but be sure not to add too much — you don’t want a greasy mess. Allow the sweet potatoes to caramelize  and cover the skillet to help soften the potatoes (about 10-12 minutes), stirring often to prevent from burning.

The Farm Table Sweet Potatoes

Once the sweet potatoes have softened and have browned, add the marinated chicken to the skillet. I suggest adding a little water to deglaze the pan, about 1/8-1/4 cup. The water should burn off. Once the chicken has heated through, place in a serving dish and offer it with an assortment of soft or hard tacos, tortillas for burritos, or to place over a tostada with black beans. Add your favorite toppings — avocados/guacamole, diced radishes, Monteray jack cheese, and hot sauce are among our favorites.

Yucatecan Chicken and Sweet Potato Tacos

I highly recommend serving the chicken and sweet potatoes with this Tomatillo Salsa (you can omit the jalapeño if you are not a fan of heat. Do yourself a favor by doubling the recipe!). To cut down on your time in the kitchen you can purchase store-bought tomatillo salsa, but it is really easy to make the night before. If you do make it at home, be sure to roast your tomatillos.

Tomatillo Salsa

The Farm Table Tomatillos

Cut them in half, line a skillet with aluminum foil and place tomatillos cut side down on med-high heat. After a few minutes, flip them over and cook until they are blotchy, turning black, and starting to soften. Use your own recipe, or follow this simple and delicious recipe HERE, although I skip adding the water, preferring a chunkier salsa to go with this meal.

Trust me, you want to eat this!

 

A Progressive Party, Rosedale Style

19 Dec
Spiked lemons and oranges

Vodka Spiked Lemons and Oranges

My family and I live on the North side of Richmond. Rosedale, to be exact. Our block is a modest neighborhood with wonderful neighbors who help take care of one another, and it seems that one household after another is having a baby (maybe it’s the water?).

We have a lot of young children in our neighborhood. Kids naturally want to play with other kids, and that forces us sometimes anti-social adults to interact with one another. With the neighborhood tots at the center of it all, we have formed a tight-knit community to be proud of. We look after each other’s children, celebrate their birthdays, check in on each other’s pets, and borrow a cup of sugar from each other from time to time.

I think that is something to celebrate. 

A couple of weekends ago we held our 2nd-annual progressive party. If you are not familiar with a traditional progressive party, you move from one house to the next, progressing through each course of a meal — appetizers, main course, dessert — you get the picture.

Instead of progressing through each course of a meal, we asked our hosts to pair an appetizer with a drink, and then we moved from one house to the next. The destination? A backyard campfire with desserts , and drinks.

Progressive Party

Neighbors who were not interested in hosting, brought something to share at the end, potluck style. Some of us co-hosted, and we spent about 30-45 minutes at each house. The more houses involved, the less time you generally spend at each house, but you make it what you want, and flexibility is key. In the end, it all works out.

I thought you might enjoy a recipe one of our neighbors came up with, along with links to some of the many other delicious food and drinks we enjoyed together, if not for a future progressive party, maybe for your New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Rosedale’s Mini-Tostadas

Ingredients:

  • Meat: duck, chicken or pork all work well — you get to decide.
  • Spicy Red Mole Sauce (makes approx 3 quarts): 4 tomatoes, 1 jalapeño pepper, 1 yellow onion, chopped, 1 red bell pepper, 1/2 Habanero pepper (leave Habanero out for a milder sauce). 1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, 2 tbsp. white sesame seeds, 1 tbsp chopped garlic, 1 quart chicken or veggie stock, 1 tbsp ground cumin, 1 star anise pod, 1tbsp chile powder, 2 bay leaves, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 bunch cilantro, sour cream, 1 wheel Mexican chocolate.
  • Round tostadas (small round tortilla chips work perfectly)
  • Sour Cream (light works well)
  • Cilantro, pulled from the stem

Directions:

  • Roast meat and the pull into bite sized pieces after it is cooked.
  • To make the Spicy Red Mole Sauce: Chop peppers, onion, tomatoes. Roast in oven at 375 until they begin to brown, about 1/2 hour. Mix all other ingredients together with stock, let simmer. Add roasted veggies. Simmer until chocolate is dissolved. Purée mixture. Add 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped. Add cooked pulled meat into sauce.
  • Lay out round tostadas, place small amount of sauce covered meat on each.
  • Top with a small dollop of sour cream and 1 cilantro leaf.

Here are links to some of the other tasty treats we enjoyed:

Want to arrange your own progressive party, or celebrate the New Year? Do it. It’s easy and oh so worth it to celebrate the good people in your life.

Oh, and The Farm Table wants you to be safe, so if you have to travel, please designate a driver and come up with a special non-alcoholic beverage for your teetotaling guest. 

Happy Holidays!

Red Wine-Braised Leeks and Mushrooms

28 Nov

As promised, I tried out one of Terry Hope Romero’s recipes from Vegan Eats World as part of The Farm Table’s cook book review and blog give away. This dish was a wonderful addition to our Thanksgiving meal last week, and topped our mashed potatoes, which we usually don with butter or gravy. What a fancy  and welcome upgrade!

Red Wine-Braised Leeks and Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound leeks, preferably thinner leeks no wider than 2 inches in diameter
  • 10 oz cremini mushrooms, brushed clean and tough ends of stems sliced off
  • 3 Tbs of olive oil
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp salt, plus additional for sprinkling
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 Tbs non-hydrogenated vegan margarine
  • A few twists of freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Trim away most of the green stalks on the leeks, leaving about an inch near the white part. Slice away the tip of root end, and slice each leek in half lengthwise.  Firmly hold the leek so that it doesn’t fall apart, and rinse under cool running water to remove any grit or dirt. Place leeks on a cutting board and slice each piece into sections about 2 1/2 inches long — hold the pieces together to prevent the leaves from separating too much. If the leeks fall apart while cooking, don’t worry, but for the prettiest presentation try to keep them together.

Slice the mushrooms into quarters. Over medium-high heat, sear the mushrooms in 1 Tbs of olive oil. Fry the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until both sides are browned and mushrooms look juicy  (about 4 minutes). Remove from the pan and transfer to an over-proof dish. Sprinkle the mushrooms with a pinch of sea salt, cover with foil, and put in an oven set at 250 degrees to keep warm.

Heat the remaining olive oil and place the leeks cut side down in the oil. Brown the leeks for 2 to 3 minutes, carefully lifting them up to check and see if the undersides are seared and the edges of the leaves are browned. Pour the wine, sprinkle with marjoram and salt, and tuck the thyme sprigs into the wine. Increase the heat and bring the wine to an active simmer and cover the pan. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

If serving on top of white bean puree, potatoes, or pasta, mound the individual servings (about 1 cup) of hot puree in serving dishes. Divide the mushrooms on top of the servings of puree. Uncover the pan and using tongs, carefully lift the leeks and arrange on top of mushrooms. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the juices in the pan to a rapid simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and swirl the margarine into the juices. Use a wire whisk to continuously stir the sauce until smooth and lightly thickened. Drizzle a little bit of the sauce over each serving of leeks and mushrooms and serve immediately.

From the book Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero.  Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright (c) 2012.www.dacapopresscookbooks.com

This dish was easy to make, delicious, and we were able to used left-over wine that was just a tad past its prime — perfect for this recipe. I encourage you to consider making it for your next holiday meal, or even better, add it to your meal plan this week. With Country Fresh Cremini Mushrooms coming in your Farm Table Garden Box this week, there is no reason not to.

I have been very pleased with the recipes I’ve tried from Vegan Eats World and Viva Vegan! over the past few weeks, and would like to thank Terry Hope Romero and Da Capo Press for allowing me to give vegan cuisine a try. I will definitely add recipes from both books to our meal rotation.

If you want to try out vegan cooking yourself, you have until 9:00pm EST tonight (11/28/12) to enter our blog give away. Details are HERE.

Sweet Potato-Chipotle Bisque

24 Nov

I decided to try my hand at Terry Hope Romero’s vegan and gluten-free Sweet Potato-Chipotle Bisque from Viva Vegan! as part of our blog cookbook give away. With the arrival of sweet potatoes in The Farm Table box, and a can of chipotles in adobo sauce that a friend left in my pantry, it seemed like the perfect dish to try this time of year. Served with warm tortillas or corn bread, you can make this bisque with whatever level of spicy heat you can handle.

I have not had the chance to cook with chipotles, adobo sauce, or coconut milk, so this was the perfect level of adventure given the amount of time I had to devote to making this meal, which was not a lot. The recipe calls for a nondairy, heavy cream substitute, which could be unflavored soy creamer, nut-based nondairy cream, coconut milk, or your preferred nondairy milk.

As always, take care when working with chiles, and do not rub your eyes!

I started out with 2 chipotles, but will likely add 1-2 more the next time I make this dish, just to bring the heat up a few notches. Terry’s bisque is the perfect combination of sweet, smoky, and heat, and my husband had no idea that it was sans the heavy cream — in fact, he was really surprised when I told him I made it with low-fat coconut milk.

I encourage you to try out what Terry calls a, “sophisticated Nuevo Latino-style, creamy dairy-free bisque.”

Sweet Potato-Chipotle Bisque

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs olive or peanut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano or epazote, crumbled
  • 4 cups water or vegetable broth, or a combination of both
  • 1/2 pound white waxy potatoes, scrubbed, peeled, and diced into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, scrubbed, peeled, and diced into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 or more canned chipotles in adobo, sliced open and seeded, plus 1 to 2 Tbs of the sauce
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream substitute
  • 1 Tbs lime juice
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

  • Combine the oil and garlic in a large soup pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic starts to sizzle, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the onion and saute until tender and translucent, about 8 minutes.
  • Stir in the cumin and oregano. Pour in the water and add the chopped potatoes and sweet potatoes. Partially cover and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until both the white and sweet potatoes easily mash when pressed against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat.
  • With an immersion blender, carefully puree the soup until it is very smooth and silky. If you prefer to use a blender, make sure to let the soup cool slightly first.
  • Add the chipotle and adobo sauce and puree until completely incorporated. If you are unsure about how much heat you prefer, start with just 1 chipotle and a drizzle of adobo sauce. The soup should  now have pretty little red flakes of chipotle.
  • If you prepare with a blender, return the soup to the pot and bring to a simmer over low heat.
  • Stir in the cream substitute, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust with more lime juice, salt, and pepper if desired.
  • Stir in the cilantro, and garnish with a swirl of Cashew Crema (recipe in cookbook), if desired, and serve hot.

From the book Viva Vegan! by Terry Hope Romero.  Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group.  Copyright (c) 2010. www.dacapopresscookbooks.com

Serves 4-5 people. 45-min to prepare, most of which is inactive while potatoes cook.

I “eye-balled” the number of sweet potatoes to cook with, and ended up making a bisque that was way too thick. The recipe was easily adaptable with the addition of extra coconut milk, vegetable broth, and lemon juice, making the consistency much thinner.

I also used Farm Table cilantro that I had previously chopped, placed in two ice-cube trays (1 tsp per cube), froze in water, and stored in a gallon size freezer bag for such an occasion as this. I added two frozen cubes of cilantro which melted quickly into the bisque. It worked perfectly, but agree with Terry that fresh cilantro would be best for a more pronounced contrast in flavor.

Leftover Bisque, Coconut Milk, and Chipotles are easily stored in the fridge.

Terry’s collection of Vegan Latin recipes in Viva Vegan! is impressive, and I look forward to trying out more from this cookbook, especially the Mexican Side-Street Corn, Arroz con Coco (Savory Coconut Rice), Spicy Tortilla Casserole with Roasted Poblanos, Mojito’s, and the Coconut Tres Leches Cake. If you would like to try a healthier, meat and dairy free take on classic Latin dishes, I encourage you to turn to Viva Vegan!

Don’t forget that you have until 9:00 pm EST on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 to enter to win either Viva Vegan!, or Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero in our blog give away

Stay tuned for one more of Terry’s recipes from Vegan Eats World, the perfect recipe for your next holiday meal which I will reveal later this week!

Vegan Cuisine meets The Farm Table: A Blog Give Away

18 Nov

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to review Vegan Eats World (2013), and Viva Vegan! (2010) by Terry Hope Romero, a Venezuelan-American, award-winning vegan chef, living in Queens, NYC, who is known for her bestselling cookbooks, including Veganomicon, and her blog Vegan Latina.

When the cookbooks arrived at my doorstep a few weeks ago, I put my boys down for a nap, made a hot cup of tea, and sat down to pour over the recipes, (I’ll take a good cookbook over 50 shades of you know what any day…).

What I appreciate most about both cookbooks is that you don’t have to be a vegan to appreciate vegan food, rather, Terry gives you the tools to treat vegan cooking as any other cuisine, opening the door to so many possibilities. Whether you are looking to get a few meat-free meals on the dinner table during the week, have dairy-challenged members in your family, are a seasoned vegan cook, or are looking to make a lifestyle change, these cookbooks give you the basic vegan cooking know-how to expand your culinary repertoire. Secondly, Terry talks to you, not at you, which makes a cookbook like this accessible to everyone.

Vegan Eats World is a collection of recipes pulling from cooking traditions around the planet, and allows you to experience Italian, Mediterranean, Asian and many other traditions in a new, surprising, and potentially more healthful way. Vegan Eats World is broken down into three sections:

  • Kitchen Cartography: a guide to vegan pantry basics, cooking terminology, and cooking techniques. Terry guides you through the basic ingredients to keep on hand for easy vegan cooking, such as masa harina for Mexican cooking, hoisin sauce for Asian cooking, cous cous for African cooking, and aleppo-pepper flakes for Middle Eastern cooking.
  • Recipes: Terry provides a basic introduction to each recipe, giving the reader a background for each dish, variations you can try out, suggested pairings with other recipes in the book — all of which entice you to try out a dish that might otherwise intimidate. The recipe section includes, among many others: spice blends, proteins, sauces, sandwiches, entrees,  and desserts. Terry even put together easy markers, so you know if a recipe is for the beginner, if it is gluten-free, or if it is easy on the wallet.
  • Menus, Online Resources, etc: Terry crafted together menu suggestions so that the amateur or seasoned vegan cook can easily round out a meal.

Vegan Eats World helps answer the question, “What if the world was vegan?” and would be a wonderful addition to even the world’s biggest “meat-and-potatoes” cookbook library, and is a fabulous option for people with gluten allergies.

Viva Vegan! reads like a novel, and I am especially drawn to it given my affinity for Latin food. The format to Viva Vegan! is very similar to Vegan Eats World, only with a guide to creating a “Vegan Latin Pantry,” and recipes focusing solely on Latin cooking (not just Mexican cooking). The cookbook offers essential “Latino Vegan” recipes like Annatto-Infused Oil or a Basic Onion-Pepper Sofrito, to Salsas, Empanadas, Ensaladas, and mouth-watering concoctions that combine what Terry calls, “Los Dos Amigos,” also known as beans and rice.

Terry has an entire section on making vegan tamales, which includes shopping for ingredients, preparing corn husks, and prepping your work station, so that this laborious food option becomes a little less intimidating. Want to make Black Bean-Sweet Potato Tamales with Farm Table produce? Terry will walk you through it. 

Viva Vegan! is also a great option for people who would like to eat Latin food, but fear that it is too spicy. Guess what? Not all Latin food is spicy, and Terry includes these non-spicy options for those who can’t stand the heat. 

There are not a lot of photos in this cookbook, so if that is something that is important to you, know that before purchasing. My two cents? The introduction she gives to each recipe, and the way she walks you through each ingredient and how to create each dish makes the amount of photos the book contains unnecessary. 

Many thanks to Terry Hope Romero and her publishers for allowing us to present these two cookbooks to you, and to offer you the opportunity to own Vegan Eats World and Viva Vegan! in our blog give away. We are also pleased to be able to share one recipe from each book, which I will test out and post here in the coming weeks! Stay Tuned!

The outcome of my first Vegan recipe from Vegan Eats World using Shiitake Mushrooms from the The Farm Table’s Garden Box  “Takeout Stir-Fry Noodles with Mushrooms and Greens.”

To enter our Blog Give Away:

  • Farm Table members get 1 entry for simply being a Farm Table member. Just comment on this post telling us you are a current Farm Table member, and which book you would prefer if you won the give away.
  • Sign up for this blog  to the right under “Follow The Tractor” to receive email updates on future posts, then comment letting us know you’ve done so. If you already follow us, just let us know in your comment.
  • “Like” us on Facebook and then comment under this post letting us know you’ve done so.
  • Follow us on Twitter @TheFarmTable, and then comment under this post letting us know.
  • Follow us on Pinterest, and then comment under this post letting us know.
  • “Like” this post and then comment below letting us know you’ve done so.

Blog Give Away Details: Each comment counts as one entry and you have up to 6 chances to enter if you are Farm Table member, and 5 chances to enter if you are a non-member. We will choose two winners at random. One winner will receive Vegan Eats World, and a separate winner will receive Viva Vegan! Entries must be submitted by 9:00pm EST, Wednesday, November 28, 2012. The give away is open to The Farm Table blog readers in the US and Canada only. 

The give away is closed.

Congratulations to Kathleen Bowden who will be sent Viva Vegan! and Jessica Clarke who will be sent Vegan Eats World. Look for your copies in the mail!