Sunday, September 30, 2012

September's Bounty

Here were my CSA hauls from the last three weeks in September:

Week # 16 (9/12/12):  
Parsley, Sweet Peppers (4), Jalapenos (5), Broccoli (one small one!), Cherry Tomatoes (1/2 pint), Arugula, Collard Greens (peeking out on the right side of the bag of arugula), Green Beans, Eggplants (2),  AND:

Week #16, Cont: Tomatoes! Heirloom and Slicing.

 Pa's Pickins!  Sunday, 9/16/12: 
Slicing tomatoes (2 quarts), Jalapenos (however many pieces we were allowed, I forget), Raspberries (1 pint, yeay!), Grape Tomatoes, and Assorted Herbs (thyme, oregano & chives)

 Week #17 (9/19/12):  
Arugula, Sweet Peppers (4), Eggplant (1), Slicing Tomatoes (behind and below, haha), Pumpkin (YEAH!!), Sage, Green Beans, Jalapenos (2), Grape Tomatoes (1 pint), Parsley and Collards.  In the sink were two heads of lettuce and two beets!

Week #17, Cont: A closer-up of the slicing tomatoes.

And, the last week in September:
 Week #18 (9/26/12): 
Tons of tomatoes (slicing, heirloom, and 3 pints of cherry tomatoes), a HUGE head of Radicchio, Baby Bok Choy (small bunch), Parsley, Collards, Sweet Peppers, Arugula.  

This pepper struck me very funny, like the garlic from Week # 15 :-)

 Week #18, Cont: 
We got two beets and two heads of lettuce, also (they were in the sink).

Look closely at these hauls, my friends, for many of them will be featured in our MoFo adventures!

Can you guess which item(s) will be featured first?

OH SO EXCITED!!  Don't worry, we're going to start off easy, guys...

Don't forget! MoFo starts at Midnight! Stop by here to find out the theme for October!

October 1st through October 31st, 2012.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Vegan MoFo 2012 Starts on Monday!

Prepare yourselves!  

Pa is prepared.

Can you guess why? 

Find out here at the stroke of Midnight on Monday!

Monday, October 1st to Wednesday, October 31st, 2012.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Dawn's BEST EVER Pumpkin Bread

You would never know it's high protein and whole grain.  Let's just do this, right?

Dawn's BEST EVER Pumpkin Bread
Inspired by the Pumpkin Spice Bread in The Joy of Vegan Baking.

Yields 2 loaves.
*However, I could go for two bigger loaves, so I do want to work to increase this recipe by about 25%.
As usual, use as many organic ingredients as you like.  Notes are denoted with a *.

1/4 cup Ground Flaxseed
1/2 cup Water
2 cups Sugar 
*or natural sugars such as date sugar, coconut sugar, etc. but I haven't tried it with these, so let me know.
1/3 cup Sunflower, Safflower or Canola oil
2/3 cup Unsweetened Applesauce.
1 can Pumpkin Puree 
*I used Wegmans brand this time and it was great, though not organic!
1 cup Protein Powder (it's OK if it's vanilla flavored)
*I used TJ's soy powder because I had it, and it was great.
2 cups White Whole Wheat Flour
*I only use King Arthur's brand here, it's the best by far.
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 to 1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp baking Soda
1/2 tsp baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
Optional: 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts or chocolate chips per loaf.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and lightly flour two standard loaf pans and set aside.

In a small bowl, whip together flaxseed and water with an electric hand mixer until creamy and "eggy" looking (it will appear a bit gelatinous). You can also do this by hand (vigorously with a small whisk or fork) or in your food processor.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix sguar, oil, applesauce, pumpkin, and add the flaxseed mixture (your "wet" ingredients).

In another bowl thoroughly mix your dry ingredients: protein powder, flours, spices, baking soda & powder and salt.  Add them to the wet ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon or strong spatula until combined.  Alternately, to save the additional bowl from this step, I use a large fine mesh sieve that I rest over the wet ingredients.  I then sift in my dry ingredients directly into the wet ones, sort of mixing in all the spices and baking powder & sodas into the flour right in the sieve so it blends evenly into the bread.

If you want a plain loaf, pour half the batter into one of the loaf pans now.  For a nut and/or chocolate chip loaf, add the walnuts to the remaining batter and pour into your second pan.  My son wanted a chocolate chip loaf, so I sort of tricked him by only putting some chips on top of the loaf (there were none inside it).

Bake at 350 for about 50-55 minutes.  Let cool at least 20 minutes before slicing (I cool them on a baking rack still in the loaf pans).

These also freeze beautifully. I just cut fairly large pieces once they are cool and wrap those pieces in foil, label, and freeze.  Just put in the fridge overnight to defrost for an amazing breakfast or dessert base anytime.

What pumpkin recipes have you guys been making? I LOVE fall.

P.S. Vegan MoFo is coming!!  You know, that month long event where hundreds of bloggers sign up and attempt to post 20 times about vegan food in October? And people have lots of fun themes and write tons of posts and complain all month about how hard all that work is, and then are super sad when it's over?  OH YEAH.  Well, it's almost here.  I'm still refining my theme and trying to get my head in the game, but I DID sign up!  It's not too late if you want to sign up, too, you have until Wednesday, September 26th.  You don't need a vegan blog to do it, any blog will do, but your posts need to be about vegan food in some fashion to count for MoFo.

Last year, as my first recipe for Vegan MoFo, I made my Pumpkin Biscotti!

Well, I'll be seeing you guys a LOT soon :-)  Prepare yourselves!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Summer Surprises: Snakes and Shakes!


Pa can still dive, he's seventy five! Go Pa!

What's that in the tree?

Surprise! It's Shady the Scare Snake protecting our figs from birds (it worked, at least for a while!).

Surprise! Our CSA farm was open for picking on Labor Day! Oh yes!

Those beans were delish! Aren't the purple ones pretty?

Hey, ever think those blog giveaways are rigged? I used to, until...

 Surprise! I won TWO giveaways this summer!  Nava's new book AND Dreena's new book, YES.

It was too hot to cook anything from the books, so...
 Spinach Mango Blend, inspired by Nava.  

 Strawberry Hemp Blend, inspired by Dreena! 
I learned that hemp seeds are great in blended drinks, they aren't "seedy" at all.

I'll get to some cookin' from those awesome books in the fall! Thanks, ladies for the wonderful giveaways!!

 CSA Week #13 (8/22/12): Three lovely eggplants, including a beautiful ghost eggplant! hmmm...


I love eggplant (I never really LOVED it before the CSA eggplant, it was AMAZING).  And, surprise! I didn't have to skin it, salt it or drain it, it was so sweet and yummy just sauteed right up in lemon, garlic, olive oil and salt.  SO GOOD.

 You thought I forgot to post these, right? Nope, here they are.  
CSA Week #14 (8/29/12): Lots of tomatoes!  

 CSA Week #15 (9/5/12):  Lots of greens, including kale (my favorite!), and all the tomatoes pictured below!

Lots of beautiful tomatoes two weeks in a row meant only one thing.  We had to learn to can!

 Surprise! My first canned tomatoes.  

And homemade raspberry jam (from local, organic raspberries!)

 Summer's almost over!!  Learn to put em' up, folks!  Don't forget to dry those herbs and freeze that pesto!  There's LOTS more awesome produce to be had for these last few days of summer and first crisp days of autumn.

Have you all had any surprises this summer?