Sunday, September 30, 2007

Tomato Soup, Mac and Cheez, Root Bake, Soysage Patties, Peanut Butter Cookies

Dinner 9/30 by Juan, Amy and Molly

• Tomato Soup

• Mac and Cheez

• Root Bake

• Soysage Patties

• Peanut Butter Cookies

Tonight's dinner was inspired by good old comfort food. We used a big bowl of tomatoes from our garden with a few pointers from this yummy recipe to create a sweet, delicious soup. I think the secret was roasting the veggies first. Adding a little sorghum didn't hurt either. :)

The mac and cheez was by special request. It was pretty simple: mix some cooked pasta with a big batch of nutritional yeast cheez from The New Farm Cookbook. We added a little dill to give it some flavor and color. Then it was baked until the top was crispy.

Root bake is one of my favorite dishes in the whole world. Seriously! It takes whatever yummy veggies are around and transforms them into soft, sweet, creamy versions of their former selves. This bake had the last of the harvested potatoes, a couple of sweet dumpling squash, some carrots, garlic, red peppers and okra -- all from our garden. Just toss them with oil, salt, pepper and rosemary and bake at a high temperature until everything is soft. Even the garlic is sweet!

Molly was the superstar helper of the day. She's an old Rabbit who's visiting for a week and was kind enough to help out in the kitchen. She whipped up a small batch of soysage from The New Farm Cookbook which was then sliced and fried. We pack the raw soysage batter into oiled cans and then pressure cook them. When they cool off, they can be sliced into patties. You can even see the can mark on the bottom of the one that I took.

Molly also made Isa Moskowitz's Peanut Butter Gigantoid Cookies from "Vegan with a Vengeance". These are always a hit in our co-op — so much so that some people like the batter unbaked. It has a sweeter and saltier flavor than the baked cookies. Check out the cosmic plate that my thoughtful friend Judy gave me for plating our desserts:

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Black Beans, Brown Rice, Fresh Salsa, Apple Crisp

Dinner 9/29 by Papa Bear and Alyssa

• Black Beans

• Brown Rice

• Fresh Salsa

• Apple Crisp

Today was Dancing Rabbit's Annual Open House, so we were all busy showing off the village to our neighbors all afternoon. Many thanks to Papa Bear and Alyssa for finding the time and energy to put a yummy dinner together!

Things of note about this meal are that it was made without any references to recipes and it was focused around using up as many tomatoes from the Skyhouse garden as possible. There are still a fair amount in the bowl, so I'm sure they'll make an appearance tomorrow night as well.

The apple crisp was made with a bag of organic apples from town that Alyssa found to be more of the baking variety than the snacking kind. Her crumble topping was made with oats, flour, sorghum and cashew-macadamia nut butter (which we get from East Wind Community and is a totally decadent non-bioregional treat).

Salad, Lentil Tomato Soup, Cornbread, Veggie Saute, Applesauce Cake

Dinner 9/28 by BJ

• Salad

• Lentil Tomato Soup

• Cornbread

• Veggie Sauté

• Applesauce Cake

I am loving having Ironweed salads at meals. They put in lemony sorrel that I can't get enough of. Yum! BJ made a herb dressing that we could put on it. I think it was made of oil, apple cider vinegar, and a bunch of herbs.

The lentil tomato soup was a bit spicy thanks to a hot pepper from Dan's garden. Luckily some cornbread was there to help put out the fire. Tonight's veggie sauté was made up of celery, cabbage and carrots from Skyhouse's garden.

The applesauce cake was made with applesauce that BJ bought at the store and had raisins dotting the top. The recipe is from The New Farm Cookbook, a favorite among Bobolinkers.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Curried Lentils, Brown Rice, Chopped Fresh Tomatoes, Sauteed Veggies, Boiled Beets

Dinner 9/27 by Dan

• Curried Lentils

• Brown Rice

• Chopped Fresh Tomatoes

• Sauteed Veggies

• Boiled Beets

I have to run to sewing circle, but dinner was all yumminess from the garden! :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tempeh Rubens, Roasted Potatoes, Onions and Peppers, Variety of Pickles

Dinner 9/26 by Brian

• Tempeh Rubens

• Roasted Potatoes

• Onions and Peppers

• Variety of Pickles

This isn't the first time that Brian made these delicious sandwiches. I'm a *HUGE* fan of tempeh, so these sandwiches rock my little world. He made whole wheat rolls with Sandhill's organic wheat — ground in our electric mill. On that went the marinated, baked slab of tempeh (also made at Sandhill with their organic soybeans). Then it was topped with ketchup (from Skyhouse's garden), tahini-garlic sauce, and our own fresh sauerkraut. So filling!

The roasted potatoes used up most of what was left from our garden. Brian says there's a handful left, so they'll make a tasty breakfast for someone. Fried onions and peppers were for either the sandwich or the potatoes, so I put them on the taters and it was heavenly.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Salad, Rice, Indian Kidney Beans, Okra & Tomatoes, Green Beans w/Cumin & Fennel

Dinner 9/24 by Rachel

• Plain basmati rice

• Ironweed salad

• Indian kidney beans

• Okra & tomatoes

• Green beans with cumin and fennel

Tonight's dinner had a slew of flavors. Indian dishes galore from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian book made all with vegetables from Dancing Rabbit gardens. Rachel even followed the recipe for plain basmati rice in the same book for consistency.

The real treat, though, at least in my opinion, was the salad. This was the first salad of the Fall harvest, and boy did those greens taste good.

I've gotten spoiled by our fresh produce around these parts. Amy and I recently visited my mother and stepfather in Minnesota, so I ate supermarket and restaurant produce for a week. Compared to what we eat here, it tasted like water. Nothing beats fresh, organic, and local.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Seitan Steaks, Mashed Potatoes, Whole Wheat Biscuits, Herbed Brown Gravy, Tofu Cheesecake

Dinner by Juan with a little help from Amy and Dan

• Seitan Steaks

• Mashed Potatoes

• Whole Wheat Biscuits

• Herbed Brown Gravy

• Tofu Cheesecake

Juan decided to experiment with his usual seitan recipe by slicing the unboiled seitan into "steaks" and then boiling and baking them. He also used no sage which is quite a change from his usual flavor and I was able to taste the tomato juice in the final product. They came out the perfectly!

The potatoes are from our garden's harvest. Just a quick boil and mashed with some salt. Sometimes we add pepper and oil, but tonight he kept it simple.

I helped by mixing up some biscuits and gravy. The biscuit recipe is the "Jane's Good Biscuits" one from The New Farm Cookbook — which if I haven't mentioned enough in here to make you go buy it, please follow the link and add it to your cookbook collection. You won't be sorry!

The Herbed Brown Gravy is from "The Nutritional Yeast Cookbook" by Joanne Stepaniak. Nutritional yeast (or "nut yeast" as we affectionally call it) is a dried yellow yeast that we buy in flakes which has a cheesy flavor. You can read here for more in depth information from Wikipedia. I love it on popcorn with some soy sauce sprayed on.

Dessert was a surprise made by Dan. It was made with some of his homemade tofu and Sandhill wheat and honey (gathered only 3 miles away). Below is a photo, but it doesn't really do it justice:

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Fried Rice, Dal with Fried Onions, and Roasted Potatoes

Dinner 9/22 by Dan

• Fried Rice

• Dal with Fried Onions

• Roasted Potatoes

Dan put together a yummy dinner that started to feel like autumn. Perhaps it helped that the weather today was so much cooler than yesterday.

The fried rice had veggies from the garden: yellow squash, carrot, and broccoli. The fried onions were a tasty complement to the red lentil dal. We can be especially proud of the little potatoes which came out of our garden not too long ago.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Lentils with Veggies, Sweet and Sour Cabbage with Tart Apples, Brown Rice

Dinner 9/21 by Amy with lots of help from Juan

• Lentils with Veggies

• Sweet and Sour Cabbage with Tart Apples

• Brown Rice

I spent most of today making applesauce and canning it, so dinner was pretty simple. The apples came from an orchard up in Minnesota where we just visited. They aren't organic, but since we only had one come in due to frost (and everyone's eyeing it!), we thought it would be good to pick some up for the winter. So, 12 quarts seem to have canned without any trouble, but when time to cook rolled around, I was pretty beat. Luckily Juan jumped in to help and he washed almost every single dish. He's my hero!

The lentil dish came from Aveline Kushi's "Complete Guide to Macrobiotic Cooking" which I find to have lots of great, simple, mostly-bioregional recipes. Onions, celery, carrots and lentils were layered in a pot and then water was added. After boiling, some soy sauce was added and then it was simmered a little more.

There were a few tart apples left from making applesauce, so I plucked some cabbages from the garden and made the cabbage dish. It's from Christina Pirello's "Cooking the Whole Foods Way" which I love. The recipes are a little more complex than Aveline's book, but I like how they are vegan (with the exception of the "Fish" section) and much more whole than most other books.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Flatbread, Hummus, Broccoli & Green Beans, Curried Okra, and Ginger Spice Cake

Dinner 9/20 by BJ

• Flatbread

• Hummus

• Broccoli & Green Beans

• Curried Okra with Tomato

• Ginger Spice Cake

Tonight's dinner was very bio-regional. BJ made flatbread with freshly-ground organic wheat from Sandhill community, only 3 miles away. She also made a large bowl of hummus to spread on it. The broccoli, green beans, okra and tomato came from Skyhouse's garden. The ginger spice cake was sweetened with sorghum from Sandhill as well.

It feels good to know that most of dinner was pulled from the garden or grown within a 5 mile radius. Sadly, the weather is starting to cool off, so this is the beginning of the end for our garden produce. In a month or so, we'll be opening cans of food that we so diligently preserved over the abundance of summer.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sicilian Pizza

Dinner 9/19 by Tony

• Multiple Pizzas with lots of Yummy Toppings

So, the blog hasn't been updated too much since Juan and I went traveling. That's okay because even though you don't get to see what we ate, Tony got lots of important stuff done around the house. It's nice to be able to travel knowing that things are well-cared for in our absence. We'd let Tony take a vacation, but we'd miss his pizza too much! :)

Tonight's pizza had a thicker crust than his usual recipe, but it was just as delicious. Toppings included broccoli, peppers and okra from the garden, "squickles" which are the amazing squash pickles I'm going to blog about one day (the photos are already on the computer!), onions and homemade sauerkraut.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Yuba Knot Stir Fry, Brown Rice, Spring Rolls, Szechuan Green Beans

Dinner 9/16 by Rachel

• Yuba Knot Stir Fry

• Brown Rice

• Spring Rolls

• Szechuan Green Beans

The photo for this meal was on the camera, too. Luckily, Rachel told me she intends to write something up about it, so check back and hear the scoop!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

While I Was Away #1

Dinner 9/9 by Liat and Avi

• Soup

• Crudité

• Dip

• Tomato and Basil Salad

• Pot Pie?

• Baked Apples

This meal was made while I was away. The photo was on the camera, but no one had posted it. Perhaps I'll be able to get the info from someone who ate it!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Chipoti, Indian Tomato&Okra, Indian Tofu with Mint Chutney, Zucchini Bread

Dinner 9/8 by Rachel, with some last-minute help from Tony

• Chipoti

• Indian tomato and okra

• Indian tofu and vegetables with mint chutney

• Zucchini bread

Tonight's dinner was an extravaganza of Indian flavors. Using some Indian-spiced tofu from Twin Oaks as a base, Rachel whipped up what you see. The veggies are starting to slow down to a manageable level - it wasn't long ago that it felt like we were swimming in tomatoes. Even that notorious squash is letting up.

So while quantity may be slowing down, variety is at its peak. Celery, tomatoes, okra, and beans are just a few of the ones that made it into this dish. The mint chutney made with mint from our garden topped it all off.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Thai Coconut Curry, Long Grain Brown Rice, Corn on the Cob, Tomato Salad, Melon

Dinner 9/7 by Dan

• Thai Coconut Curry

• Long Grain Brown Rice

• Corn on the Cob

• Tomato Salad

• Melon

Dan made his own coconut curry from scratch tonight. It was incredible! He used some lemongrass, cilantro root, hot peppers and garlic from his garden with some galangal and coconut milk he bought during a recent trip. The veggies are onions, patty pan squash, dakota squash and yard long beans. Served over some long grain rice (made with tomato juice) from his personal stash, it was just like I've had at Thai restaurants.

The tomato salad isn't in the photo because I don't like raw tomato and therefore didn't serve myself any. From what I remember, it had large chunks of tomato and fresh basil. I imagine it also had a dressing of some sort, but I'm not sure.

The melons are some of the last from our garden. We had lots of small cantaloupe and a few tiny, not sweet watermelons this year. Some of the cantaloupes were sweet and others not so much. I wonder what we could do to encourage sweetness in the melons we grow. Perhaps it's the variety?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Corn Chowder, Corn on the Cob, Cornbread and Edamame

Dinner 9/6 by Tony

• Corn Chowder

• Corn on the Cob

• Cornbread

• Edamame

Corn! Wonderful corn! We purchased a few dozen from a local organic farmer and have been happily munching away at it. I guess it was getting to the end of it's super-delicious window, so Tony cooked it all up to be a totally corny dinner. :)

The corn chowder included potatoes, yellow squash, onions and red sweet peppers along with the corn. The cornbread was from The New Farm Cookbook but instead of cooking it in the oven, Tony did it on the stovetop in a cast iron pan with a lid. The result was very moist cornbread with a golden chewy bottom. It may be my new favorite way to make cornbread!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Seitan, Sauteéd Veggies, Brown Sauce, Sweet Brown Rice, Trail Mix Cookies

Dinner 9/3 by Juan and Amy

• Baked Seitan

• Sauteéd Veggies

• Brown Sauce

• Sweet Brown Rice

• Trail Mix Cookies

Tonight's dinner is one that Juan and I make pretty regularly, but usually it's General Tso's sauce. We try to cook together two nights back-to-back; that way we don't have to spend four days in the kitchen. Sometimes when we're busy, we fall back to this old standby. Juan made his delicious seitan. The veggies were onions, garlic, cabbage, broccoli, green beans, carrots and yellow squash — all from Skyhouse's garden. YUM! The brown sauce was sautéed onions and garlic mixed with the marinade from yesterday's tofu satay, some sorghum, more soy sauce and a splash of cider vinegar.

Normally, we wouldn't serve sweet brown rice as a side dish on its own, but we've run out of all the other kinds we stock. Our brown basmati got an unusual moth infestation. Usually that doesn't happen to our rice, so we stopped using it. That meant we ate through our short grain brown rice faster than usual, so only sweet brown is left. It's more glutinous than short or long grain, so it's great for sushi-making (I use half sweet, half short). Now, we're just waiting for the next bulk food order to restock our rices.

The cookies were special though. They were the oatmeal cookie recipe from The New Farm Cookbook but with oil instead of margarine, and sorghum instead of the sugars, PLUS the bottom of a bag of Trader Joe's Cashew Macadamia Cranberry Trail Mix left over from my recent trip. I accidentally overcooked the first batch, but people still seemed to enjoy them.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Tofu Satay, Spring Rolls, and Tofu and Veggies on Rice Noodles

Dinner 9/2 by Amy and Juan

• Tofu Satay

• Spring Rolls

• Tofu and Veggies on Rice Noodles

Tonight's dinner was a Thai extravaganza brought to us by a can of coconut milk and rice noodles galore from the Asian Market in Iowa.

The tofu was marinated in a mix of water, soy sauce, ground ginger and fresh, chopped garlic. I let it marinate for a few hours and then put it on skewers in the oven for about an hour at 350 degrees. Served with our variation of chinese peanut sauce from "Asian Noodles" by Nina Simonds.

The spring rolls were filled with mung bean noodles, grated carrot from the Skyhouse garden, sliced cucumbers from Dan's garden, fried tofu strips (from Twin Oaks) and mint and thai basil also from Skyhouse's garden. Juan whipped up a tasty soy-based dipping sauce to go with them.

The main dish was rice noodles served with fried tofu and veggies. The sauce was *very* loosely based on this one. We served chopped cilantro from Dan's garden and sliced thai chili peppers from Skyhouse's garden.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Edamame, Rice Patties, Fried Squash, Steamed Corn, Leftovers and Gingerbread

Dinner 9/1 by Rachel (with help from Cynder)

• Edamame

• Rice Patties

• Fried Squash

• Steamed Corn

• Leftovers

• Gingerbread

I listed edamame first because it's Rachel's favorite! This year, Skyhouse has a big patch in our garden and it's great to see them coming in such delicious quantity. Edamame is the Japanese name, but they're also called green soys or butter beans (but other things are called butter beans, too). They're just boiled with a bit of salt in the water and eaten right out of the pods.

Rachel is the leftover queen. She does a great job of taking stuff that's been in our fridge (that people are usually tired of eating) and transforming them into something new and exciting. Tonight's magical transformation happened to a container of mostly rice with a few veggies that she mixed with flour and onions and then fried into patties. I thought they were great!

Fried squash. Still delicious to me. Still old hat for everyone who wasn't away for two months. Stay tuned for my blog entry about pickled yellow squash. Some folks made a batch while I was gone and I was blown away by how sweet and crunchy they ended up. It's a great way to use up a bunch of squash and turn it into something the even self-proclaimed pickle-avoiders like!

I'm not sure where the corn came from. Maybe Dan's garden? I'll have to check.

And, for all of you that wonder what happens to leftovers that don't get polished off at lunch the next day, here's the ugly truth. If it's not transformed into something else, we eat it again! Shocking! But true. ;)

The gingerbread was made entirely by Cynder, one of the kids here at DR. All Rachel did was point out ingredients and turn on the stove. It turned out great and I thought it was perfect — moist and gingery. Thanks Cynder!