Friday, August 31, 2007

Spicy Shelled Beans, Beets and Potatoes, and Fried Soysage

Dinner 8/31 by Dan

• Spicy Shelled Beans

• Beets and Potatoes

• Fried Soysage

Tonight was our Community Dinner (where Rabbits each bring their own plate to the Common House and eat together), so I didn't see Dan to ask him lots of details about dinner, but I have a feeling a lot of it came from his garden. The beans were spicy with chunks of tomato and onion. I'm not sure how the beets and potatoes were prepared, but they had flecks of fresh basil which really brought out the sweetness.

The soysage is from Twin Oaks Community. There were two kinds — one chewier than the other. Both delicious! An amazing meal considering Dan spent most of the day shoveling gravel for the foundation of his house. Thanks Dan!

EDIT: Dan told me that it's three different kinds of shell beans from his garden: hyacinth, cowpea and tongue of fire.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Manicotti, Fried Okra, and Cinnamon Pie

Dinner 8/30 by Tony

• Manicotti

• Fried Okra

• Cinnamon Pie

Tony made this manicotti from scratch based on a recipe in The New Farm Cookbook. The filling is tofu and broccoli "ricotta" with pasta wraps similar to crepes. They were rolled up and topped with homemade tomato sauce made from scratch with the tomatoes from our garden and finished off with a layer of nutritional yeast cheez.

The okra was covered with a mix of cornmeal and herbs and then pan fried until crisp. They get a nice crunchy outside and there is none of the okra's signature sliminess left. It's one of my favorite ways to eat okra!

If you haven't figured it out already, cinnamon is one of Tony's favorite flavors. This pie crust was made with some chocolate cookies from the local market that were going stale — which I think was a great idea! The filling is more Twin Oaks tofu with lots of cinnamon, some sugar and a pinch of salt.

Here's a better shot of it:

Monday, August 27, 2007

Seitan Fajitas and Steamed Broccoli

Dinner 8/27 by Amy and Juan

• Seitan Fajitas

• Steamed Broccoli

Tonight's menu may seem slim, but it was actually made up of many parts. We started with the homemade, whole wheat tortillas. Then added a scoop of brown rice and Juan's fried seitan strips. Topped with fried onions and peppers from the garden. Finally, people could add any combination of condiments — tofu sour cream, nutritional yeast cheez and salsa.

The side dish was particularly exciting to me — broccoli from our own garden! I have never grown broccoli before, it was very exciting to come home and see it in the Skyhouse garden. Last year, I tried to grow broccoli, but didn't have any success. The seeds had very low germination and seemed to take forever to make the florets. Still, I babied them and tried to nurture those five plants as best I could. Finally, a neighbor came by when I was in the garden and said, "I hate to break it to you, but those are turnips." Yeah. So it didn't work out last year, but this year there are lots of broccolis!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Breaded Baked Tofu, Veggie Steam-Fry, Brown Rice, and Brownies

Dinner 8/26 by Juan

• Breaded Baked Tofu

• Veggie Steam-Fry

• Brown Rice

• Brownies

When I came back from the Communities Conference, I brought a cooler full of goodies from Twin Oaks Community. They were quite generous to gift us with a cooler of the tofu and soysage that they make and Bobolinkers are enjoying every bit of it. Thanks Twin Oaks!

Tonight's dinner, Juan breaded some of their tofu thinly sliced and baked it in the oven. We try not to run the oven on hot summer days because it heats up our house, but I had some cocoa powder left over from my birthday last month, so I made some brownies. Since the oven was on already, baking the tofu made sense.

The veggie steam-fry is Juan's signature cooking technique. First, sautée to get the onions and garlic nice and sweet. Then toss in some other veggies — tonight was yellow squash, okra and sweet red peppers that look like hot peppers (we're not sure why!). Next, add some soy sauce, vinegar and spices (Juan won't share his secret recipe), put a lid on and let the flavors all steam together. Finally, take the lid off and allow the liquid to boil off. The end result is tender, flavorful veggie dish.

The brownies were an adaptation of this recipe from Vivacious Vegan's blog. We used sorghum from Sandhill instead of the sugar and omitted the chocolate chips and walnuts. It was quite a treat!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Empanadas, Crudités and Hummus, Fried Squash, Edamame, and Melons

Dinner 8/24 by Rachel

• Empanadas

• Crudités and Hummus

• Fried Squash

• Edamame

• Melons

I'm baaa-aaack! I've been traveling for about two months having all kinds of eating experiences far and away from Dancing Rabbit. Still, there's no place like home and after eating so many processed, refined and convenience foods, Bobolink's simple, pure, whole fare was just what my heart (and tummy) needed!

Rachel put together these beautiful plates of summer's very abundant bounty. Everything looked so good, I wasn't sure where to start! The empanadas were filled with either lentil paté or black beans — an excellent use of leftovers from previous meals.

The veggies were all grown in our garden and had so much flavor! It's amazing how spoiled we get by eating vine-ripened fruits and veggies. The stuff sold in stores (that's picked early and gassed to bring out the color, or waxed to create not-particularly-important-in-my-opinion shine) just can't compete with the real deal.

Bobolinkers who have been here all summer may be tired of eating squash, but to me, it was buttery and delicious. I can't wait to eat my fill and find new and interesting ways to cook it up!

Just look how easy and delicious sustainable meals can be! I am really infused with so much excitement about what we're cooking up here. We've all been busy with the bustling activity of summer, but we hope to update more frequently and have more recipes for y'all soon, so please keep coming back! ♥

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Stuffed Tortillas, Fresh Tomatoes, Mexican Fried Vegetables, Honeyloupe

Dinner 8/23 by Tony

• Stuffed tortillas

• Fresh tomatoes

• Fried vegetables with Mexican spices

• Cubed cantaloupe and melon

Tony surprised us all with tortillas stuffed with black beans. Apparently, Penn made these once and called them papooshkas or something similar. I tried looking them up and had no luck. Regardless of what they're called, they're delicious. The veggies had a distinctive south-of-the-border flavor, and the fresh tomatoes were sprinkled with fresh basil. Yum!

We have so many tomatoes coming in from our garden now that we have to process several times a week. We won't be short of tomato products this winter, that's for sure.

Some of our melons and cantaloupes fell off their vines (or the vine withered) before they reached optimum sweetness, so Tony reinforced these with a bit of honey. Honeyloupe!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mashed Potatoes with Chickpea Gravy, Lentils, Sauteed Squash, Deep-fried Okra

Dinner 8/22 by Brian

• Mashed potatoes with chickpea gravy

• Lentils

• Sauteed squash

• Deep-fried okra in chickpea flour

Tonight was the last meal at DR for Ali, Summer, and Purl. We'll miss them. As a farewell, Brian whipped up some deep-fried okra that Summer, who's allergic to wheat, can actually eat. The chickpea gravy was fantastic over the mashed potatoes, and the lentils added some protein to the dinner.

I pretty much mixed it all together into a big blob and dug in.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sushi fest

Dinner 8/20 by Juan

• Nori rolls of various types

For tonight's dinner, I made several varieties of nori rolls. From the typical cucumber & carrot rolls to the experimental fried onions and white miso. I also made pesto-and-sauerkraut versions, as well as the ever-popular nut-butter and sauerkraut.

I think I may have underestimated how hungry people were. There wasn't a single bite left after dinner.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Okra & Potatoes, Curried Lentils, Brown Rice, Chapati

Dinner 8/16 by Tony

• Okra and Potatoes

• Curried Lentils

• Brown Rice

• Chapati

Tonight's dinner was an Indian feast. There hasn't been much okra from the garden until recently. We finally had enough to make a meal of it, and Tony did just that. The brown rice and curried lentils rounded off the meal, with chapati on the side.

Purl also whipped up some lemonade using lemon juice from the local Mennonite general store. Its refreshing coolness was the perfect balance.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Pakoras, Home Fries, Fried Squash, Iced Tea, Fruit Salad

Dinner 8/15 by Dan and Summer

• Vegetable pakoras

• Home fries

• Fried squash

• Iced tea

• Fruit salad

For tonight's dinner, Dan got some help from Summer, who's on leave from Twin Oaks. The pakoras were delicious, and had just a little kick to them. We had them with apple chutney or barbecue sauce. The home fries helped to balance that kick, and the iced tea cooled it all off.

A significant amount of melon, cantaloupe, and watermelon, have been falling off the vines in Dan's garden, so Summer chopped them up and made this fresh fruit salad. That felt like an incredible luxury; it's so rare that we have enough fruit in season to make something like this. Yum.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Moroccan Chickpea Stew Over Rice, Corn on the Cob, Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Dinner 8/13 by Rachel
Cake by Tony

• Moroccan chickpea stew over brown rice

• Corn on the cob

Rachel whipped up this fantastic chickpea stew from World Vegetarian. It had a little kick and was complemented easily by the rice. The corn on the cob completed the meal.

As part of a three-person birthday celebration for Ali, Rachel, and Thomas, Tony whipped up this pineapple upside-down cake from a recipe he found here. He added cherries in between the pineapples for extra flavor.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Rice & Beans, Sloppy Joe Mix, Indian Squash

Dinner 8/12 by Juan with help from Skyhawk

• Short-grained rice and beans

• Sloppy joe mix

• Indian squash

Tonight I had the unique pleasure of being the only Bobolink member at dinner. Nevertheless, I tried to ensure the Dancing Rabbit visitors had a tasty meal before leaving tomorrow morning. As such, I started with the sloppy joe mix from The Farm's cookbook served over rice with some black beans thrown in for extra protein.

One of the visitors, Skyhawk, claims to be a complete amateur at cooking, yet he suggested the idea of frying squash and spicing it heavily with Indian spices. I ended up adding curry, pepper, cumin, and a little ground mustard. It ended up making a meal we've had frequently of late, fried squash, new again.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Seitan Stir-fry, Steamed Winter Squash, Brown Rice, Corn on the Cob

Dinner 8/9 by Tony

• Seitan stir-fry with sweet & sour sauce

• Steamed winter squash

• Brown rice

• Corn on the cob

With a little visitor help, Tony came up with a new tasty set of dishes. His seitan's texture and flavor was fantastic, and it went very well with the combination of fried and steamed vegetables. The winter squash were harvested out of necessity; we'd normally have left them until the late fall, but pests and weather had other plans.

The sweet & sour sauce used honey for its sweetness, vinegar for it's sourness. It had a little kick in the form of diced cherry-bomb hot peppers from our garden, and some spices (including the Tony standard - cinnamon). Great on the stir-fry, great on the rice.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Creamed Corn, Chick'n Nuggets, Cheezy Squash, Green Beans

Dinner 8/8 by Ali & Apple

• Creamed corn

• Chick'n nuggets

• Cheezy squash

• Green beans

Ali called this dinner "like grandma used to make." We recently acquired a rather large amount of corn from the local Mennonite farmers. A lot of it is now frozen for winter, but we kept some for eating. Ali cooked some of it up for us to enjoy, along with two of our other abundant vegetables, green beans and squash.

The chick'n nuggets were from a recipe created by former Dancing Rabbit member Penn. The primary ingredient is okara, giving us another use for it besides soysage. It's great to have new options.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Leftover Burgers, Fried Squash & Beans, Crispy Chewies

Dinner 8/5 by Juan

• Leftover burgers with various condiments

• Fried squash and beans

• Chocolate crispy chewies

Leftover burgers are the dinner that happens when there's just far too many tupperwares in the refrigerator. In an attempt to make room, I took a lot of the leftovers, blended them up with a little salt, spices, water and flour to bind them together, and fried them up. These particular burgers hold lentils, rice, chickpeas, green beans, onions, tomatoes, and other things I'm sure I'm missing.

There was an abundance of squash and beans from our garden, so I simply threw them in a pan with some onions, a little oil, and some soy sauce. I'm really quite pleased with how it turned out.

I came back from visiting my mother with a box of a chocolate-flavored crispy rice cereal. I couldn't let such a treat go to waste, so I pulled out Cooking The Whole Foods Way, found the recipe for crispy chewies, and made this super chocolafied dessert. I ended up using sunflower seed butter instead of almond butter (since we didn't have any of the latter). I'll tell you how it came out after my sugar coma wears off.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Pita and Hummus, Fresh Vegetables, Green Bean Casserole and Fried Squash

Dinner 8/3 by Ali

• Pita and hummus

• Fresh vegetables

• Green bean casserole with gravy

• Fried squash

For community dinner tonight, Ali got some help from Panda in making this feast. The vegetables fresh from the garden complemented the hummus on a pita, for a fresh-tasting start. The green bean casserole included onions and other veggies, and Ali made extra gravy for both the casserole and the fried squash. Tasty goodness.