Tamari-Marinated Spring Power Bowls

Tamari-Marinated Spring Power Bowls

I realize I talk a lot about my CSA box these days (side note: this is completely on my own volition, they do n-o-t sponsor my recipes or anything) but I will say that our most recent CSA delivery was especially good. We had… spring green beans! Big carrots! Beautiful red onions! Plus some of my favorite usual suspects: kale, cabbage, etc. After a long weekend of not-so-stellar eating, I was ready to devour these vegetables and get my life back on the right track… with a power bowl!

“Power bowl” is just my way of describing any giant bowl packed full of good-for-you components. Mostly vegetables, some protein, a small amount of good fats, and possibly a healthy grain (although not in this particular version), and some sort of flavorful homemade dressing/marinade. Basically as balanced and natural as you can get – meaning you can eat a huge amount of it and get tons of nutritional benefits without worrying about your portion size. I really like eating huge amounts of things, so this works out great for me.

Tamari-Roasted Spring Power Bowls

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CSA Cooking: Sweet Potato Rainbow Hash

Rainbow Breakfast Hash

Big news! We finally made the leap into signing up for our own CSA box! This is something my bf Rob has wanted to do for awhile, and the rest of the roommates and I quickly got on board.

The natural choice was Johnson’s Backyard Garden, an Austin favorite. If you’re not familiar with CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), here’s an explanation from JBG:

Community Supported Agriculture is much different than going to the local grocery and buying your vegetables. It is a direct partnership between you the consumer, and our farm. CSA members pay in advance for a share of the upcoming harvest and are ensured access to truly nourishing food, food that is grown locally, organically and is delivered when most nutritious and fresh. What’s more, the shareholder cultivates a relationship with their farmer, the land, and with other shareholders. CSA is an opportunity to use your money to support valuable causes: responsible land stewardship, a vibrant local food economy, a healthy community, and the success of local farmers.

Can’t argue with that. Especially considering the amount of vegetables I eat on a weekly basis. We’re getting a medium box every two weeks, plus a half-dozen farm fresh eggs. Our first box, which was delivered last Tuesday, held delights such as sweet potatoes, rainbow carrots (absolutely gorgeous!), kale, spinach, parsley, and even daikon. The fun thing about getting a CSA box is it’s kind of like being on Chopped, except for instead of crazy ingredients it’s a bunch of super fresh, organic produce. You still have to figure out ways to cook it at its peak before it starts going bad, though!

CSA box rainbow carrots

Last Saturday morning I wanted to use up some of our beautiful vegetables and, obviously, try out some of those eggs in our morning meal. I decided to go the hash route. I’ve never put carrots in a hash before, but their crisp sweetness was great with the sweet potatoes. I added some leftover chopped organic chicken breast to bulk up the protein, plus some leftover red  and green onion (not from JBG, but duh, gotta have some onion). The result? A gorgeous rainbow of colors, flavors, and texture. Adding a runny-yolked egg was really just gilding the lily.

Sweet Potato + Carrot Rainbow Hash

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Roasted Carrots with Salsa Verde Buttermilk Dressing

Even for the most committed locavore, this time of the year visits to the farmers market start to get uninspiring. Potatoes, onions, carrots…Potatoes, onions, carrots….There’s just not much to work with. Helping us get creative with what we do have is Theo Peck, who just opened Peck’s food store in Brooklyn. Theo’s great grandfather owned  legendary Kosher restaurant Ratner’s on the Lower East Side, so he knows a thing or two about good, simple comfort food. Here’s Theo Peck’s guidance for spicing up your carrots.

Roasted Carrots with Salsa Verde Buttermilk Dressing

carrots

2 bunches carrots, cleaned and peeled
2 cups carrot juice
1 sprig thyme
1 T honey

1 jalapeño
5  tomatillos, washed and cored
½ onion, rough chopped
2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
½ bunch cilantro, cleaned and picked

Salt, to taste

Buttermilk, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400

2. Bring to a simmer in a medium saucepan the carrot juice, thyme, and honey.

3. Skim any floaters off the top, strain and reserve the liquid.

4. In a roasting dish, place the carrots, pour in the reserve liquid, and season with salt. Then place in the oven and cook about 20 minutes, until just tender.

5. Take the jalapenos, tomatillos, onion, and garlic and place into a shallow pan with a little water. Broil until charred and remove.

6. Put all the charred vegetables in the blender with the remaining ingredients, puree and season to taste with salt and buttermilk.

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Carrot Surprise

carrot2

When the temperature hit 90 degrees here in DC last week, it was clear that time for spring planting was upon us.  Mercifully, this week has brought some slightly cooler weather, but it seems that the time of hard frost has passed, and I am itching for some home-grown arugula.  With lots of “help” from my two-year-old, I began pulling up the weeds from our two raised-bed gardens and in addition to foot-deep dandelion roots, we unearthed-surprise!-some carrots.  Ah yes, I do seem to remember planting those at some point last year.

carrot1

Some of the carrots were clearly past their prime, but a handful were still surprisingly orange and crunchy.   I knew that these semi-miraculous winter survivors deserved some special treatment, so I decided to make a carrot-cashew salad that I had enjoyed at book club a few weeks before.  I even went so far as to (gasp) purchase some ingredients specifically for the recipe.  Served over curried chickpeas and rice, this little salad was the perfect inauguration to a summer of homegrown produce.

carrot3

Shredded Carrot and Cashew Nut Salad

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The Endless Road Trip — San Diego’s Top 10 Eats: 4. The Veggie Burger Comes Full Circle

Once upon a time, veggie burgers were merely a last-resort option for lonely vegetarians at BBQs or meat-centric restaurants that didn’t have a single other flesh-free entree. As we know, they’ve come a long way since then. Now, faux burgers are less likely to be be a poor man’s meat substitute, and more often something inventive enough that even a human carnivore would want to eat.

My second San Diego food truck stop took me to MIHO Gastrotruck. I had heard good things about their carnitas tacos and pork belly bahn mi, but one particular thing on the chalkboard menu caught my eye:

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Snuggle Up: Endless Simmer’s Fall and Winter Recipe Guide

I know what you’re about to say. And yes, summer is truly over. But wipe away that tear. You’re in store for warming winter soups and crispy broccoli florets. Huddle ’round the radiator, with your laptop (or electronic device of choice) and check out our recipes to keep you satisfied until that first asparagus breaks through the ground.

For this first day of autumn, you’ll find below some highlights from our archives, plus the link to the entire collection, which we’ll be sure to update as we try out new far mar finds and desserts that don’t count because it’s sweater season.

Endless Simmer’s Fall and Winter Recipe Guide

Apples and Chickpeas with Apple Cider
Just how you (may?) like it: sweet and vegan.

Apple Chutney Tarts
“As good as McDonald’s apple pies,” says husband.

Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower with Orzo and Arugula, Cream Cheese, Lemon Sauce
Surprise: Brussels can be awesome when boiled.

Carrot Fries
Serve with blueberry ketchup.

Curry Cauliflower and Coconut Milk Soup
Black beans with coconut milk? Yup.

Click through for more cold weather stand outs. And if you wanna take a look at all of Endless Simmer’s cooking experiments – try our Recipe Index.

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