Last Wednesday marked the first delivery of my CSA share from Riverbend Farm. The spring has been so long and cool that it took a little longer than usual for harvestable veggies to start appearing, and some stuff, like the delicious broccoli, never got particularly big and robust, thanks to the cool weather. But the greens pulled on through!
Lots of things about buying a CSA share totally appeal to me, but one of the things I like the most is the surprise element. I'm not a total neophyte w/r/t to when certain veggies are in season, so I have some idea of what to expect. I guess what I'm saying is that the idea of preparing meals with whatever mystery veg is delivered on Wednesday appeals to me quite a lot (hence this blog).
So on Wednesday night I used the broccoli, tatsoi, some of the broccoli rabe, and scallions in a stir fry, and then I made a simple salad with the beautiful green and red lettuces and tender radishes.
It's not much of a recipe: fry the tofu in veg oil and Bragg's or soy sauce, separately. Smash a garlic clove and toss into a saute pan with olive oil and some crushed red pepper. Heat and add greens, sauteing until tender, adding water as needed. Season with sesame oil and a bit of salt or soy sauce, or just eat straight up with tofu. Top with scallions.
I also got a pot of herbs in my first CSA box--just need to divide and replant so that the couple we're splitting our share with can also enjoy the parsley, sage, oregano, thyme, basil, and chives.
This week's Quantity Bean is the Kidney, a powerhouse of fiber, protein, and iron. Here's what I've done with it so far:
-Made a vegan risotto with kidney beans and kale, using homemade vegetable stock (a first for me, how sad). I know, it sounds boringly nutritious, but it is actually quite good and settles like a ton of tasty bricks in your stomach. Use any basic risotto recipe and stir in kidney beans towards the end. Recommended for cold, blustery weather.
-Adapted the Veganomicon Chickpea Cutlet recipe that I am always talking about with kidney beans. I think this recipe would work well with any combination of beans and spices, really. It's magic.
Kidney Bean Cutlets
1 cup cooked kidney beans
2 T olive oil
1 medium carrot, grated fine
2 scallions, chopped
1 T of Braggs Liquid Aminos (I used 2 and it was too many, just FYI)
2 t adobo sauce
1/2 t chili powder
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup bread crumbs. I don't ever have bread crumbs handy, so I just toast a slice of bread and crumble it, and that works just fine.
Knead for a few minutes until the gluten strands form and the whole mass is holding together. Divide into four equal pieces, knead each briefly, and press into patties or cutlets or animal shapes, if you like, as long as they're flat and more or less uniform in thickness. Fry in delicious olive oil at medium-high heat until both sides are brown and the patties are firm. Serve with hot sauce and avocado.
I have made the Chickpea Cutlets many times, by the way, and have screwed up the recipe more than once, too, either by adding too much liquid or forgetting something, and it never seems to matter--they are always delicious.