It’s been a busy summer so far, what with the older kid out of school and the younger kid still not sleeping through the night. We’ve been cooking a lot, and really enjoying the bounty of our CSA. We’ve not posting here much but this will remedy that situation, at least temporarily. Tonight we had a slew of potatoes from the CSA that we needed to use up, as well as celery, onions and carrots. We thought about a pot pie but turning the oven on in the summer is not always what we want to do so this stovetop stew from Isa Does It was perfect. We mostly followed the recipe (though we used chickpeas instead of white beans) but you could really use whatever you have on hand and make whatever stew you like – the fun part is the dumplings. These have 1 1/2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary (we used fresh rosemary), 3/4 cup almond milk and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Mix all that stuff together then plop spoonfuls on top of your stew and cover and simmer for another 15 minutes or so. A fabulous one pot meal!
We’ve really been looking forward to the start of our CSA from Bellair Farm. We’ve been getting a lot of greens so far and are awash in bok choy but that’s not such a bad problem to have. This week we got the first carrots of the season too and we thought the carrots and bok choy would make a nice stir-fry. We also had some homemade seitan in our fridge that we needed to use up but you could really do this with any protein (and any veggies for that matter).
For the stir-fry:
2 Tbs. canola oil
about 4 cups chopped bok choy
1 small bunch carrots, sliced (about 1 cup)
1 lb. seitan, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbs. soy sauce
For the sauce:
2 Tbs. soy sauce
2 Tbs. water
3 Tbs. rice vinegar
1 Tbs. mirin
1 tsp. Sriracha (or to taste)
2 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 c. apricot jam
1 Tbs. cornstarch
What you do:
Whisk all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside. In a wok or other large pan, fry the seitan in 1 Tbs. canola oil over medium-high heat until it’s starting to brown. Add the soy sauce and cook for another 30 seconds or so, stirring continuously. Remove from pan and set aside. In the same pan heat the remaining 1 Tbs. canola oil and cook the bok choy and carrots until they’re just starting to soften. Add the garlic and cook for another minute then add the sauce and cook just until thickened. Turn off the heat and add the seitan back to the pan stirring to incorporate. Serve over rice with additional Sriracha if desired.
Since we got our soy milk maker we’ve been generating a lot of okara (the leftover pulp after straining the soy milk). We like to make almond milk too and of course there’s also pulp leftover from that process. A lot of this stuff has ended up being composted but we do try to make use of it as much as we can. We do love to make granola too. So much so that we’ve been buying oats in bulk by the 50 lb. bag.
Now we’ve taken our favorite granola recipe and modified it to include okara. On another note, we also cut way back on the sweetener. We’ve been trying for a while now to limit our sugar intake and have found that in many recipes we can halve the sugar called for and that tastes just fine to us. The thing about cutting back on sugar is that your taste buds adjust and soon anything that has a “normal” amount of sugar tastes sickly sweet. So go ahead and make this as is. If you find you want it sweeter you can always drizzle a little agave or maple syrup on top when you eat it. Also, feel free to cut the recipe in half. This makes a LOT but we go through it fairly quickly in our house.
What you need:
6 cups rolled oats
3 cups nuts (use all one kind or mix it up – chopped almonds, walnuts, pecans or cashews are all good choices)
1 1/4 tsp. salt
6 Tbs. agave or maple syrup
1/4 c. canola oil
1/2 c. okara or almond pulp
1 c. raisins or other dried fruit (optional)
What you do:
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, nuts and salt. In a small bowl, mix together the agave, oil and okara. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until all the oats are coated. Spread out evenly onto two baking sheets and bake at 300° for 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the granola inside for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for another 20-30 minutes. Now you can mix in the raisins or other fruit if you want.
Behold! The Kale Salad that got our 6-year old to utter the words every parent longs to hear, “More kale please”. This was slightly modified from the recipe in Isa Does It. Mainly we added sweet potatoes and chickpeas instead of butternut squash and lentils. We’ll be making this one again very soon.
We’ve been thinking about getting one for quite a while then one day recently I finally did the math and figured (conservatively) that with the cost savings of making soy milk ourselves vs. buying it at the store, the soy milk maker would pay for itself in around 8 months. Darlene just put up a post on her blog with more info and a recipe for using up some of the okara (soybean pulp filtered from the soy milk).
For storing our non-dairy milks we got these glass bottles at World Market that say “Le bon lait”, which is French for “good milk” and I love that our good milk doesn’t come from cows.
A quick post to let you know we’re still here. And that we’ve really been enjoying cooking from Isa Does It. Many nights we’re just whipping up something quick without taking the time to look in a cookbook but when we do decide to cook from a recipe (or at least find one to use as a guide) this has been our go-to book. Tonight we had a red cabbage we needed to use and Isa’s Omaha Yakisoba recipe was a great way to use that cabbage. Alas, we didn’t have udon noodles but it was quite tasty with the whole wheat linguine we did have.
I mentioned ChopChop Magazine once before and the Makhlouta (a Middle Eastern soup) is something the kid was interested in ever since we got the latest issue. Then I saw this article on making fresh pita bread and thought that would go great with the soup. And I made the Smashed Chickpeas from the NY Times article too. Why not? It was all fabulous and though the kid’s never been so keen on chickpeas, he did love the pita and he also lapped up the soup even though he’s typically lentil-phobic. Score! And I’m here to tell you that making your own pita is indeed fun and way better than anything you can buy in the store. The chickpeas were great too though I do recommend including the optional tahini sauce.