Tag: Smitten Kitchen

Popcorn, Successful Eggplant, and Other Adventures

Several weeks ago, we got popcorn in our CSA share. We never managed to use our popcorn in past years, but we were excited to give it a try this year. I grew up popping our own popcorn, but I’ve never done it myself. We used this recipe as a guideline; the popcorn was delicious.

CSA PopcornWe’ve been continuing our quest to consume leafy greens; this week’s first adventure was making the White Bean and Swiss Chard Pot Pies from Smitten Kitchen. I’m usually pretty skeptical of baking greens–I have a strong dislike of the stringy texture that sometimes results. But, we tend to trust Smitten Kitchen (and pie crust solves most problems), so we went ahead with the pot pies.

White Bean and Swiss Chard Pot Pies (Smitten Kitchen)

White Bean and Swiss Chard Pot Pies (Smitten Kitchen)

White Bean and Swiss Chard Pot Pies (Smitten Kitchen)

We went to a vegan potluck at FUS yesterday. We wanted to take something different this time, but we didn’t want to adventure too far. We went with the Herb-Scalloped Potatoes from Veganomicon. We included the nutritional yeast topping; we’re sometimes skeptical about nutritional yeast, but I was reluctant to leave out ingredients during the first go-around. The yeast was actually a nice addition–it wasn’t trying to emulate cheese too much, but added a good flavor and texture.

Herb-Scalloped Potatoes (Veganomicon)

This post is getting pretty long, but we’ve made two other fun dishes recently. First, we made these Flourless Chocolate Chip Zucchini Oat Brownies from Ambitious Kitchen. Now, I’ll admit that trying to make healthy desserts is often a lost cause; if you want a gooey brownie, you really just need to accept the calories and lack of nutrition that comes with it. But, it sounded like a good idea at the time. These are…okay. Aaron thinks it was the “flourless” part that really did us in. We’ll definitely still eat the pan (maybe with some powdered sugar on top!), but probably not a recipe we’ll make again.

Flourless Chocolate Chip Zucchini Oat Brownies (Ambitious Kitchen)And finally, the promised successful eggplant recipe. We thought about making eggplant enchiladas again, but decided to try something new. We went with Eggplant and Artichoke alla Napolentana from Vegan with a Vengeance. The recipe suggested that the artichoke can be replaced with zucchini; I really like artichoke, but we had tons of zucchini in the fridge, so we went with zucchini. These were basically fried eggplant with a delightful sauce and a pesto sauce (with basil picked from our patio!); they were deliciousDefinitely a keeper of a recipe. Plus, I discovered that I actually do like pesto; I’m not sure what I was afraid of in the past, but this was much more successful than I had anticipated. We even enjoyed this dinner on our patio! We haven’t been eating out there as much this summer, but it’s a nice change when we do. We were actually rearranging our apartment last night, and our dining room table was otherwise occupied.

Eggplant and Artichoke alla Napolentana (Vegan with a Vengeance)

CSA Share Recap

Clearly, writing about new recipes on a regular basis is still a work in progress. However, I did manage to snap photos of most of the dishes we’ve made the past two weeks, so I’ll go ahead and make one giant post instead.

We went to visit my family for my birthday (and my grandma’s, which is the day before); we wanted to bring a dish that could serve as most of a meal for us, but that someone (anyone!) else might try. We settled on this Asian Quinoa Salad from Two Peas and Their Pod (we skipped the edamame, because we already had the rest of the ingredients on hand). The salad turned out pretty well, though the cucumber didn’t hold up very well for leftovers. I might prefer to stick with the Thai Quinoa Salad from Ambitious Kitchen in the future.

Asian Quinoa Salad

We’ve definitely entered summer squash season; we got zucchini in our last share, and we got lots of zucchini and summer squash in this week’s share (which I’ll blog about next)! My mom gave Aaron a mandoline for his birthday this year, and suggested this great zucchini recipe from Smitten Kitchen to try it out.

Quick Zucchini Saute

We made dill-marinated tempeh to go with our zucchini and provide some protein in our meal. We’d definitely make this zucchini dish again.

Quick Zucchini Saute

Anyone who’s gone out to eat with me can probably attest to my fear of portobello mushrooms; they’re a frequent substitute for meat, and I detest them. Those who dine with us enough know that I have similar feelings about eggplant. I had an amazing eggplant parmesan at the wedding of two friends last summer; other than that, I have been pretty unimpressed with eggplant.

But, it’s a common summer vegetable, and we’ll get several throughout the summer. So, we need to deal with them. We made the Eggplant-Almond Enchiladas from The New Moosewood Cookbook last summer, but they weren’t that great. We made them again this year, but used flour tortillas instead of corn. Usually, I love corn tortillas. But, in a baked dish that already includes almonds, it was just too much crunch. They were quite tasty with this minor substitution.

Eggplant-Almond Enchiladas

We also tried a new beer from New Glarus: Strawberry Rhubarb. Delicious! Though I’ll admit that I thought it was pretty similar to their more standard Belgium Red.

Overall, we did a decent job of getting through this last share. I didn’t take any photos, but we made this extremely simple Thai Marinated Cucumbers dish to munch on, and we made the wild rice gratin again to get through our swiss chard. We still have carrots, cucumber, and popcorn to eat.

Salads

We inventoried the refrigerator tonight to see how well we’re keeping up with our CSA and Farmer’s Market produce. We’re making progress, but there’s stil a lot left! Next week, I’ll try to remember to take a picture of the fridge once it’s been filled.

We had broccoli parmesan fritters from Smitten Kitchen for dinner. I forgot to get a picture of them, but I assure you they’re delicious. We usually eat ours with parmesan garlic sauce from Buffalo Wild Wings, which  you can buy in bottles. It’s a bit of an odd combination, but the sauce adds a fun spice to the fritters.

We’re having the Roasted Fennel and Hazelnut Salad with Shallot Dressing from Veganomicon on Thursday, so we roasted a bulb of fennel this evening. It’s also a pleasant surprise (for me, at least) to cut into fennel and smell licorice. (Full disclosure: I have no idea how to cut fennel. Aaron did that–I just enjoyed the smell.)

Roasted Fennel Although we’ve had several salads, we still have mixed greens left; we tried to finish up the bag by making salads for lunch tomorrow. There’s probably one salad’s worth left. Oops. I’ve been enjoying the various fruits and vegetables we have available for dressing up a salad; tomorrow’s lunch has beets and strawberries, along with feta and goat cheese. This picture is a little bright with the flash, but it’s a prettier picture than the non-flash version, so we’re going to go with it.

Strawberry Salad

Delicious Strawberries and Swiss Chard

Our fridge is bursting with produce from our CSA delivery last week, and we’ve been enjoying trying new recipes to make use of the variety.

The first night, we made these spicy swiss chard chips. I apparently neglected to get an after photo, but here’s one from before. We’ve made kale chips in the past; while these weren’t quite the same, they were quite delicious.

Spicy swiss chard chips

The past few years, we’ve made strawberry rhubarb pie, purchasing either strawberries or rhubarb from the farmer’s market to supplement the other from our CSA. We missed the rhubarb delivery this year while we were in Door County, but there’s still rhubarb available from the market. However, these strawberries are so delicious that we’re just eating them raw instead.

Strawberries

Tonight, we tried one of the recipes I listed last week: wild rice gratin with kale, caramelized onions, and baby swiss, from Smitten Kitchen. My friend Allison introduced me to the Smitten Kitchen a few summers ago, and we’ve never been disappointed. We substituted swiss chard for the kale in this recipe. I’m sometimes skeptical of recipes with cooked greens, but there was nothing to be skeptical of in this recipe. This gratin was absolutely delicious, and I look forward to leftovers this week. The bread in the background is a ciabatta roll from Madison Sourdough.

Wild rice gratin