Monday, February 22, 2010

Dark Days Meal #14

Things have not gone as planned the past two weeks and I have also really not felt like sitting down at the computer and typing, but I also don't want to miss another week! I did eat dark days meals last week but none were photo or post worthy. I made another soup of squash, beans and greens which I think is one of my new favorite things! I also made other go to favorites: stir fry, salads and simple bean/rice burritos with veggies on the side. The kids were sick, I was busy researching blood orange marmalade recipes and rounding up the stuff I needed for my recent purchase of 20 lbs of oranges, and I didn't do anything elaborate in the kitchen. I will be posting soon about my canning mission that ultimately didn't work out...I never thought I'd have such a hard time before I could even get in the kitchen to make something.
This week, Week 14, I did make something post worthy I made a quiche. I love quiche and have made quite a few from my aunt's recipe but I always use a store bought crust and ricotta cheese. This time I switched things up, I decided to make my crust. I remembered seeing a fail proof crust recipe on Sustainable Eats ( I know I get a lot of help from here, but I gotta start somewhere and this is a great place to start) so I went and dug it up. I was advised to leave out the sugar for a savory dish, but I usually buy the graham cracker crust for my quiches anyways, so I figured I'd leave it all in. The eggs and lemon juice were local, the butter was Earth Balance, the flour was Bob's Red Mill and the salt, sugar and vanilla were what was in the cupboard (2/3 were organic/natural). The crust came out perfectly and it was wonderful for my quiche, sweet but not overwhelming like the graham cracker crust. I will definitely be using this next Thanksgiving and hopefully a lot over the summer when fruits come into season...there is a bounty of pies in my future! On to the filling, I chopped up an onion and couple cloves of garlic which I added to a skillet with some Earth Balance butter, I added to that some broccoli, carrots, spinach, and green bell peppers. After this cooked a few minutes I poured it into the crust, sprinkled some Tillamook cheddar cheese over it and then added my wet mixture of eggs from the FM, milk, salt and pepper and a dash of nutmeg. Although the seasonings were not local or organic the salt was special. My son tastes salt from Xroads at the FM every time we go and always asks if we can get some, a couple weeks ago I indulged him and bought some. It's a white sea salt, but soooo delicious especially sprinkled on top of cooked veggies, pasta, etc. They are a couple who reside in San Diego and have started this business of selling Philippine Sea Salts, and although the salt isn't local the couple is and they use sustainable practices and offer a delicious product at my favorite Farmers Market, Little Italy. So into the oven the quiche went and it came out screaming to be eaten. I love quiche!! I ate my quiche that night with nothing else on the plate, though my kids had rice and fruit on the side. The next day for lunch I made a wonderful salad to go aside the quiche. I used up the rest of the spinach and topped it with roasted beets, blood oranges and fresh walnuts from Terra Bella Ranch. Next week I plan to do something with the rest of all these blood oranges, besides juice and figure out something to do with the wheat berries one of my local farmers gave me. I had got wheat berries from Sage Mt. Farm some time back, but hadn't seen any since and hadn't asked since I have yet to purchase a grinder. Then lately I'd been reading up on sprouting wheat berries and all else you can do with them and to my suprise last weekend at the market there was a bag by the scale. I said are those wheat berries and she said "Yes, take them". I will find something to do with them this time and now that I know they will continue to have them a grinder might have to be my next investment.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Dark Days Meal #12

Did I use meat for my Dark Days Main Course? No, it's a black bean burger courtesy of a recipe from SustainableEats. I had been waiting to try this for quite some time and when I finally did I realized it was pretty easy. My only problem was that when I was done mixing my ingredients in the food processor they were not quite solid enough to form a burger. I don't know if I did something wrong or didn't have enough of something, but it worked anyway. I simply poured the mixture in the skillet like a pancake mix and made patties that way. The beans, cilantro, onions and eggs in the burger were local from the market. The bread crumbs I used were from home made bread, but not local ingredients and the spices were not local. Because I ended up with a dry socket from my wisdom teeth extraction, I have had a really hard time eating bread so I attempted to eat the burger on some beautiful red lettuce I got from Sage Mt. Farm and it was delicious that way, but I couldn't stand all the juices running down and my arms and it was hard to bite a burger like that so I ended up eating this with a fork!! Next time I will definitely eat this on a bun!!
The burger toppings were sliced red onions, onion sprouts, green onions (we love onions and garlic in this house), avocado, and yellow tomato from the market and sliced house made pickles from The Linkery, a great farm to table restaurant that sells some good cured meats and other treats to take home. I had got some bacon from there as well that I was going to put on top, but we ate all the bacon before the burgers got made. My kids had these burgers with a side of Alexia fries, and some fruit...I just had the burger!