Becoming Vegetarian: Greens

CSA Share Week 6:  kale, scapes, cilantro, Italian parsley, green onions, sugar snap peas, beets (gave away the beets, kept the greens), zucchini, butter lettuce, Hopi black beans, eggs

Recipes:  microwaved zucchini (The Teenager), black bean gumbo with greens (modified from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone ), basil-mint pesto sauce

Adventures in cooking — and eating — continues!  I have never had kale before, though I enjoy the way they look, with their ruffly leaves and lovely grey-green color.  Yesterday, I made gumbo with greens, another great recipe from Deborah Madison.  The woman is a goddess.   I substituted Hopi black beans for the kidney beans (because I am awash in Hopi black beans right now), used up the kale, beet greens, and some green onions and cilantro.  We had it over brown rice last night, and I had it with mashed potatoes for lunch today.  I am eating way too well these days 🙂  Actually, we are all eating really well these days, including Opie, who loves all the different varieties of lettuce we have been getting in our boxes.  But being the discriminating pig that she is, she does not believe in zucchini . . . .  or beets . . . .  or radishes . . . .

Bedbugs Redux

CSA Share Week 5:  Spinach, chard, scapes, snow peas, beets (gave away), parsley, butter lettuce, eggs

Recipes:  spinach Catalan style (Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone), strawberry oatmeal muffins, sauteed chard and scapes over creamy polenta

A couple of days ago, we looked down the street and saw this:

Apparently a local company will come by in the middle of the night and do lawn decorations as a surprise for various celebratory events.  I loved the goofiness of this display 🙂

Today, I came upon this article in the American Journal of Medicine (one of those freebie journals I get just for having M. D. after my name):

deShazo, RD, Feldlaufer, MF, Mihm Jr, MC, and Goddard, J. Bullous Reactions to Bedbug Bites Reflect Cutaneous Vasculitis. The American Journal of Medicine. 2012; 125(7): 688-694.

I was interested, of course, after my encounter with bedbugs at the YMCA of the Rockies a few years ago.  At that time, I had a bullous reaction to the bug bites, but the reaction didn’t set in for a couple of days.  So, it’s nice to know that it is not a totally unknown reaction — according to the authors of the article, up to 6% of patients get bullous lesions from bedbug bites.  The timeline of my bullae looked exactly like the picture sequence in the article, from blister to bulla, lysis, and gradual healing at bulla base with scarring and hyperpigmentation.

I read the article to DH, and he said: “So, hon, you are allergic to bedbug spit.”

Short and sweet.

Becoming Vegetarian: Parsley and Beans

CSA Share Week 4: curly parsley (gave away), spinach, heirloom Mexican red beans, scapes, radishes, beets (gave away), butter lettuce, eggs

Recipes:  bean and spinach quiche (from Bean Banquets), braised red radishes (from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone), Louisiana red beans and rice (from Bean Banquets), spinach sauteed with scapes and roasted garlic

Opie, the CSA share pig

Unlike other pigs we have had, Opie was never that crazy about parsley, until we began feeding her Italian parsley from our CSA shares.  She has since decided that she also likes cilantro — all good, since we keep getting various species of parsley in our boxes, with no end in sight.

We also keep getting various heirloom beans in our shares: Mexican red beans, kidney beans, mayocoba beans; this week, I think it’s Mexican red beans again.  What to do with all the beans?  Yesterday we rode downtown, and happened upon the Old Town book fair.  Lots and lots of used books to dig through:

Just in time!  Breakfast this morning was Bean and Spinach Quiche, made with Mexican red beans instead of generic “drained white beans,” and it was delicious.  One of the things I am really enjoying about our CSA shares is that every week, I am challenged to find new recipes and try new vegetables.  This week my challenge is radishes.  Radishes are like beets in my book: I don’t like the taste, texture, or smell.  But, Deborah Madison has a simple recipe for braised radishes, and she has not failed me yet!


CSA Share Week 3:  spinach, scape, softneck garlic, beets (gave away), cilantro, Italian parsley (gave away), rhubarb, red-leaf lettuce, mayocoba beans, eggs

Recipes: rhubarb crisp, spinach and cheese strata, mayocoba beans with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes, sauteed spinach with onion and garlic over fettuccine

Meanwhile, 100% containment of our wildfire!

June 30, ~7:30 PM, the day before 100% containment announcement

On a different wildfire: I hope the police find the looters at the Waldo Canyon fire and throw really heavy books at them!

Becoming Vegetarian: Beets!

CSA Share Week 2:  beets, spinach, garlic scapes, softneck garlic, rhubarb, red kidney beans, cilantro, snow peas, spring onions, eggs

Recipes:  rhubarb muffins, rhubarb margarita, ensalada rusa (beets, potatoes, cilantro, eggs), beet-dyed yarn, snow peas/scapes/garlic/spring onions stir fry, red bean curry with greens (heirloom Mexican red beans, beet greens, spinach, garlic, spring onions)

Who knew beets and rhubarb could be so versatile?

I have never cooked with rhubarb, but since I gave away our rhubarb share last week, I thought I should at least try doing something with the rhubarb share I got yesterday.  So, first thing this morning, I made whole wheat rhubarb muffins (based on a recipe found here).  I substituted whole wheat flour for the all-purpose and halved the amount of sugar, and the muffins were still delicious!  On a roll, I made rhubarb syrup out of the rest of the bag, and an hour ago DH made me a rhubarb cocktail (because somewhere in the world, it was happy hour) with vodka and fresh strawberries.  I saved the pulp for the Teenager, who mixed it in with her morning oatmeal and claimed that it was really good;  having given up sugared oatmeal, I think she is willing to try anything to liven up an otherwise dull breakfast!  I suppose I am a rhubarb convert now; after all, if you can make a drink out of it . . . .

Clearly I had nothing better to do on a Saturday morning, so I moved on to the small bundle of beets.  I don’t like beets — just do not like the taste, the texture, or the earthy smell.  But, I found a cooked salad recipe, ensalada rusa — a Latin American version of the Russian original — and thought that it sounded palatable: it is essentially a potato salad with boiled beets, hard-boiled eggs, mixed with vegan mayonnaise and topped with some chopped cilantro.  DH and I agree that it was surprisingly good (though an odd shade of pink), but we also agree that we are probably going to give away next week’s beet share.

I had all that lovely red beet cooking water left, though — surely there must be something I could do with it?  Years ago, before I knew what “superwash” meant, I bought a bag of white superwash merino yarn from a sales bin.  I never liked that yarn, but didn’t know that it was because of the superwash process that the merino did not feel like “merino” to me.  Anyway, I have been slowly using it over the years for doing provisional cast on, and this morning I thought I would give dyeing a go:

Dyeing yarn in beet juice

The surprise was the final result, a lovely, muted orangy-peachy color:

Beet-dyed yarn, drying in the breeze

I have no plans for the yarn, but that’s OK.

Next up, doing something with the snow peas and beet greens!  Who knew CSA shares could be so exciting 🙂