Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Weekly Local Booty 9/28-10/04/08 and A Yummy Local Brunch

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Weekly Local Booty 9/28-10/04/08 and A Yummy Local Brunch

Ah, well, life gets in the way of blogging sometimes, and alas I didn't post a yummy recipe and information about the October Eat Local Challenge yesterday as promised. Work was really busy and I didn't have time to write a post over lunch. After work, I checked out a local grocer called The Root Cellar (more on that below), met Brett downtown and we headed over to a friends house for a going away party. Some friends of ours are in the process of moving to New Mexico. So there was a nice potluck, which we brought some pesto pasta with fresh tomatoes to. Needless to say, by the time we got home I didn't feel like blogging. So after I do this post, I will do a food/Eat Local post.

Brett stopped by the community garden this week and found our hot banana pepper plants doing quite well. We got a few peppers off the plants and there are a lot more little guys going on there. As is the case with Missouri weather, things are starting to warm back up after a week of very mild, fall-like weather, so I imagine the peppers are enjoying it.

Anywho, this is what we got from our community garden plot this week (we didn't get anything from our container garden).

2 Better Boy tomatoes (which are pretty good, by the way), and hot banana peppers (these were frozen so that we can still enjoy refried beans in the dead of winter). Wahoo!

This week's CSA was quite large and full of some really good looking produce. We made out great this week!

Starting from the bottom right: okra (we also got some okra from the Wednesday farmer's market - we didn't get a picture of it), banana peppers, Anaheim peppers, jalapenos, 2 apples (variety unknown), 2 small acorn squash (!!!!!), lettuce, a tomato, boiler onions (does anyone feel refried beans coming on?), and fresh basil.

This week's farmer's market booty ran us a total of $27. We are now stocked up on acorn squash - these don't last as long as some of the other varieties of winter squash, so I want to make sure that we have a manageable amount of them. We have enough delicata and butternut - but we will probably pick up a couple more of the better keeping winter squash such as the mini hubbards and buttercup squash - we'll also make sure to stock up on sweet potatoes - we'll be doing that once our winter squash selection is purchased - we only have so much room in our bags and weight we can manage on foot.

Starting from the bottom right: a buttercup squash, 2 Empire apples, 2 "Jonalicious" apples (a cross between a Jonathan and one of the "delicious" varieties), 2 Ida Red apples, 2 red Spanish onions, a dozen eggs, a large golden zucchini, 2 pimento peppers, 2 gypsy peppers, a 5 lb bag of Enterprise apples (these apples will keep in your refrigerator for up to 6 months, and they taste fantastic!), 2 white acorn squash, and 2 delicata squash (for use this week, not storage).

And I mentioned earlier a trip to a local grocer called the Root Cellar. I had been there a couple of times before, but never really looked around to see what they had to offer. I had sometime before I met Brett downtown and popped in to have a look. I am much more confident about being able to eat locally over winter than I was before - I still think it is going to be difficult, but I think going to the Root Cellar will really help. I found Missouri grown black turtle beans, pinto beans, apple cider vinegar, wheat berries - all sorts of things. When we run out of bulk beans we will have to try these Missouri grown ones, I've never seen Missouri grown beans like this before! Wahoo!

Here is the loot that I ended up getting. All local, of course.

Starting from the bottom right: shiitake mushrooms, 2 ears of sweet corn, yellow and purple wax beans, broccoli (!!!!!), and white sweet potatoes (!!!!!!!!!!).

I've been wanting to try my hand at making tortillas for a couple of weeks now. Last weekend, I was sick and didn't really feel like cooking anything of note - let alone making tortillas from scratch. This week, the things I got from the market are not really conducive to tortilla making - the fresh stuff I need to utilize fastest doesn't require tortillas, and we still have some store bought ones we need to eat. A lot of excuses I know, but I will eventually try making my own tortillas. In fact, if by the end of November, you all haven't seen a post about me making homemade tortillas, please call me out on it.

I guess the next best thing is making something else I've been wanting to for awhile - so for dinner tonight, we are going to do a take on Jessy's (from Happy Vegan Face) Broccoli with Spicy Peanut Sauce. We are going to make her sauce by the recipe, but we are going to use lots of different veggies - 'cause we have them around. I will post about how it turned out...sometime - I'm behind on food posts (as usual), so it'll get done, sometime... ;-)

Anyways, Brett had to get up bright and early to take a final for one of his classes. He got a high A on it, and I thought he should be rewarded with a nice meal - not that I ply him with food, if I did that I would be baking cookies non-stop, but it was really just an excuse for me to get in the kitchen. I had also just seen Laura's (from Peace by Pastries) recipe for oven fried okra, and had also been inspired to buy some lovely looking okra from the Wednesday farmer's market. Brett was really interested to try it. We don't eat fried foods very often at all, but I thought this was a special exception. I've had fried okra before - and know how good it is, but Brett hasn't, so I wanted to show him how good it could be.

So for brunch I made (obviously) fried okra, corn on the cob (which we ate with a little Earth Balance and salt), and fried white sweet potatoes.

The white sweet potatoes are more savory than orange sweet potatoes - I thought they had an almost carrot like flavor, but regardless, they were really good.

Enough of the yappin', here is the picture and the recipes.

Just a reminder of the local booty legend:
no asterisk = grocery store
* = farmer's market or The Root Cellar
** = CSA
*** = Container or Community Garden
**** = the non-profit buying club, Blue Planet or Purcell Mountain Farms

J's Easy Fried Okra
2 cups of okra, washed and sliced into 1/2 inch coins *
1 cup of flour
dried basil
dried thyme
dried oregano
garlic powder
black pepper
egg replacer for one egg, or an egg *
rice milk
safflower oil

Heat a few inches of safflower oil over medium-high heat.

Get out two small bowls.

In one bowl combine the flour and seasonings. In the other bowl combine the egg replacer or egg with the rice milk.

Dip okra coins in egg/milk mixture, then roll in flour mixture.

Drop (carefully) in the oil and let fry for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown. You will have to do this in batches.

Once okra are golden brown, drain on a paper towel.

Fried White Sweet Potatoes
2 small white sweet potatoes, washed and cubed *
garlic powder
dried oregano
dried basil
black pepper
2 tbsp safflower oil

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and boil for 5-6 minutes. Drain the water.

Heat the safflower oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the potatoes and seasonings and fry for 10-15 minutes or until done.

This was definitely not the healthiest or lowest calorie meal one could have - but the occasional indulgence is a nice thing.

I'll be posting again here in awhile.

'Til next time.


Daphne said...

Though I can't comment on the okra - have I ever actually had it? I have been making my own WW tortillas the last couple of weeks. And white ones occasionally for my husband. My husband likes the ones high in fat (organic canola oil), but it really is easier to make ones with more water. So that is what I've been doing recently. At least for mine. I eat so many more than my husband. I eat them for lunch at least every other day. For dinner I make them about once a month. I grew up on Mexican food, but my husband just puts up with it.

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

the okra looks great. We try to keep fried food to a minimum too, but love it.

Alice (in Veganland) said...

I agree with fried food being a great treat from time to time. But I've never had fried okra!

Courtney said...

Those Better Boy tomatoes are gorgeous! I bet they taste as good as they look :o) And your corn looks pretty darn delicious too!

Your apples sound great--they have apples at our farmers market as well, but I held off on buying them because...I went to an apple orchard yesterday! Yum! I love apple orchards, and I am now the proud owner of a LOT of apples! Eating local really is fun :o)


Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Daphne - You should try okra at least once. Brett and I have now had it in three things and love it. I had had fried okra before, but Brett was a newbie.

That is wonderful that you are making your own tortillas - I have a lot of excuses, but I will try making them sometime soon.

Oh man, both Brett and I love Mexican food - I don't know what I'd do if he didn't!

Lisa - Thanks. We don't have it often - it isn't good for you and I'm honestly not very good at frying things.

Alice - You should have some if you can ever come across it, it is good. Both Brett and I agreed that if you are ever craving seafood, fried okra would be a wonderful thing to have.

Courtney - Thank you - they were delicious. I was stoked to find some end of the season corn.

Wahoo for going to an apple orchard! I bet that was a lot of fun! I really want to go to a "You-Pick" sometime. I think Brett and I might try to go during strawberry season next year.

You are so right, eating local is a lot of fun!

jessy said...

nothing wrong with a little indulging from time to time! fried okra sounds awesome, Jennifer! thanks for the recipe! we don't fry much @ our house (i'm not very graceful in the kitchen and hot oil would probably = disaster! ahahahahaa!) - but i totally want to make some fried okra now! yay!

that's awesome that you found some local beans, apple cider vinegar, wheatberries, and other yummies! what great news! tell Brett CONGRATS on the A++ :)! yay!

ohhhhh - i am excited for you to be trying the peanut sauce recipe - it's a tasty one, indeed! i hope you both love it!

i've never heard of white sweet potatoes. awesome! and those shiitakes = mmmmmmmmmmm! i ♥ shiitakes the most! i love putting a little braggs on 'em and grilling them. yay! i can't wait to see what you guys do with yours!

i'm going to check out the Eat Local Challenge..... thanks!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Jessy - I hear you, that is actually why we do fry very much either. I've gotten burnt and made too many messes. But every once in awhile, I will try it. This didn't work out too badly.

Fried okra flippin' rocks, I hadn't had it since I was a kid and my great-grandma would fry fresh okra from her garden when we would go visit her.

I was really excited, and a little sad that we had so many beans at home still. But the cider vinegar and wheatberries will likely be appearing in our home sometime this winter.

I will definitely pass the congrats on - he worked very hard this session and had a really tough/work intensive class, and a just work intensive class. He really participated this time and got a lot of dialogue going. I'm so proud of him, and he is so intelligent!

The peanut sauce rocked. It. Seriously. Rocked. It put the peanut sauce we usually use to shame! We even thought it might be good to dip apples in. I've got pictures of it on my thumbdrive and will be posting blog love about it later this week.

I hadn't either. I popped in there to see if they had any local garlic - which they didn't (and still don't, it's been hell trying to find local garlic this year), and I saw those. We like sweet potatoes so much I had to pick some up. They guy at The Root Cellar said they had a flavor similar to parsnips, but I've never had parsnips. To me, it tastes ike a cross between a potato and a carrot. Pretty darn good.

Shiitakes on the grill. Mmmmmmmm.

Well, you might be excited to know that those shiitakes were featured in your peanut sauce dish. So good!

The Eat Local Challenge is such a great initiative. I love it when folks put something so valuable out there and encourage us to work together to acheive a goal.