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Archive for June, 2010

swamp scum smoothie

Well, that’s what it looked like. Murky, camo-green and all.

Plus, I’m hooked on alliterations, and those “s” words flowed together so well. Although I must say, swamp scum probably isn’t the most keyword-worthy phrase. Not that I’ve ever cared much about keywords. In my own blog world, anyway. If I write copy for you, I’m TOTALLY into keywords. TOTALLY.

I suppose if I’m going to take this blogging thing seriously, I should start thinking tagline options, SEO, keywords, analytics and metadata. Don’t you think? After all these years?


Just the mention of metadata gives me brain freeze. And without the accompaniment of a huge bite of ice cream, that’s just not fun.

Okay, on to the serious business of figuring out what to do with all this spinach. I’m almost sure someone at my CSA pickup location slipped some of their spinach into my box.

Fine. If anyone can manage an abundance of spinach, it’s me. I’ll take on the challenge.

Nancy Drew meets the Green Goddess (ooh, that would have been a great title).

swamp scum smoothie
what you need

SPINACH (if you don’t have any, I’ll share), washed with stems *
1 golden beet unpeeled, scrubbed, trimmed and chopped *
1 small apple unpeeled, scrubbed and chopped *
1 cup vanilla goat yogurt
a handful of frozen cherries
a handful of pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
coconut water

what you do
1. Place all ingredients in your VitaMix and blend well. If you have a regular blender, shred the beets rather than chopping them.

* The skins of beets and apples contain all kinds of beneficial nutrients and fiber, so choose organic and leave the skin intact. Scrub well, but don’t peel. If you don’t go with organic, then you might want to get rid of the skin as it’s probably been sprayed with an assortment of icky chemicals. Spinach stems contain some nourishing goodies as well, so throw some of them into the mix.

Go forth and celebrate spinach (again and again). No complaining. This is what “eating local” is all about. Especially in Colorado.
Peace, love and green stuff!

Spinach, spinach and more spinach

Are you having an evolutionary flashback?

Belonging to a CSA means eating according to the natural, local growing cycles. Back in the olden days, this was the only option. No avocados if you lived in Colorado. No tomatoes in the winter unless you canned them. No spinach in December.

Here in the Rocky Mountains, you can count on the possibility of snow into May (maybe longer), so June and July mean LOTS of greens (seriously, like a ton). Right now my CSA share box is overflowing with spinach. My crisper drawer is jammed. I can’t shove another leaf into it.

That’s the perceived downside to belonging to a CSA. No variety. Spinach, spinach and more spinach. Hey, we have too many options in life as it is, enjoy the simplicity. Sometimes less is more (or something like that).

Just think “primitive diet” with a contemporary twist. Spinach is our main ingredient, we simply need to resort to some creative accessorizing. How about some maple syrup to sweeten things up? Those of you who have been following this blog for any length of time might recognize a pattern here. Pure, organic maple syrup is often my answer to life’s dilemmas.

warm maple spinach salad
what you need

10 cups washed, stemmed and gently torn spinach
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1/4 cup (or more) chopped pecans
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2-3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste
1/3 cup shredded smoked Gouda

what you do
1. Toast pecans in a small skillet over low heat until fragrant (3 to 5 minutes). Stir often. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside to cool.
2. Toss spinach and cucumber in a large bowl.
3. Heat oil in small skillet over low-medium heat. Add shallot and cook 4 to 5 minutes until softened. Stir often. Don’t let the shallot burn. Add vinegar and maple syrup and increase heat until almost boiling. Stir well. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Immediately pour the dressing over the spinach and cucumber. Toss well and sprinkle with cheese and toasted pecans.

Makes 4 large servings or 6 small ones.

As for the abundance of CSA spinach, if all else fails, make a bouquet-ish arrangement out of it. See photo above.

Go forth and eat spinach! Over and over.
P.S. Cid, I’m counting on you to set me straight on my cheese choice. I’m guessing there’s a more fashionable accessory than smoked Gouda.

CSA Season begins (hallelujah)

Farm-fresh food lovers, start your engines (salad-spinners, blenders, stovetops, VitaMixes, ice-cream makers, juicers, dehydrators). CSA season is upon us!

Okay, so we’re a little behind out here in Colorado. It’s that pesky snow thing. But, we’re a hardy bunch. We don’t let cold weather ruin our fun or our growing season. Last weekend was Grant Family Farm’s spring farm tour and CSA kick-off celebration. It was cold, rainy, dreary and muddy, but in true Woodstock tradition, spirits were high, the beer was flowing and the farm-fresh food abundant.

As I did last year, I’ll be posting recipes according to what I receive in my share box each week. Please join me in eating our way through the season.

spinach pesto
what you need

2 cups fresh spinach, washed, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup walnuts
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic
2 – 3 tablespoons parsley, washed and stemmed
1 – 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

what you do
Place all ingredient in a food processor and pulse. Salt and pepper to taste. Serving ideas: drizzle over roasted chicken, serve with crackers, use on pizza, substitute as a condiment in wraps or sandwiches, use as a pasta sauce. The possibilities are endless. Enjoy!

Photos courtesy of Kirsten Akens, Food & Drink writer for the Colorado Springs Independent. Please follow this link to Kirsten’s article about Grant Farms Spring Farm Tour (more photos included). Thank you, Kirsten!

Peace, love and farm-fresh food.

farm-fresh roasted veggie tacos

This was my lunch today and trust me, it was delicious. Actually, it was more like dinner masquerading as lunch. I have a weekend yoga workshop with Matthew Sanford that starts tonight, so I thought I’d reverse things and eat my big meal this afternoon. I just ate these tacos while watching Nadal make his way into the finals of the French Open.

I think I’m evolving into a vegetarian. While I haven’t made it a definitive, 100% choice yet, I’m moving in that direction. I’ve never been much of a meat eater, so this all-veggie drift is natural for me. I don’t find it difficult to make up vegetarian versions of typical mainstream meals. In fact, it’s fun and entertaining. Plus, my Grant Farms CSA deliveries start soon, so farm-fresh, organic veggies will be abundant. Might as well start experimenting now.

farm-fresh gluten-free roasted veggie tacos
what you need for the tacos

1 medium/large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into small squares
1 cup broccoli, chopped into bite sized florets
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 can (15 oz) pinto beans, rinsed (I like Eden Organics because the cans are BPA-free)
olive oil
veggie broth *
sea salt
red pepper flakes
shredded cheese
taco shells

* I keep some homemade veggie broth or a container of Imagine vegetable broth in the fridge for oil-free sautéing and for adding moisture to mixtures like this.

what you need for the pico de gallo
1 avocado, chopped
1 tomato, chopped with juice
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
3 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced well into the green section
2 – 4 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green lettuce leaf, finely chopped
juice of 1/2 lime
sea salt to taste

what you do
Place all the ingredients for the pico de gallo into a medium bowl. Mix well and let sit while making the tacos.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place chopped sweet potato in a medium sized bowl. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil (maybe 1 tablespoon at the most). Mix it up with your hands so the potato pieces are covered. Place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet, sprinkle with sea salt and place on middle shelf of the oven. Set timer for 15 minutes. Watch as they can burn quickly.

Place chopped zucchini and broccoli in the bowl you used for the sweet potatoes. Add a touch of olive oil and toss to coat.

After about 15 minutes or so (the potatoes should be half-done), shove the potatoes aside and add the broccoli and zucchini mix to the cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt and return to oven for 10 to 15 more minutes. Keep an eye on it as the broccoli florets burn easily. Using a spatula, turn the veggies if needed. Remove from oven once they’re finished roasting.

Heat a small amount of veggie broth (maybe 1/4th cup) in a large skillet. Add beans, roasted veggies, red pepper flakes and sea salt. Stir until well heated. You might need to add a touch more broth. You want it moist, but not drippy.

While the mixture is heating, place the taco shells in the oven. It will only take a couple of minutes to heat them up. Watch carefully, they’ll burn quickly.

Fill taco shells with veggie/bean mixture, sprinkle with shredded cheese, top with pico de gallo. Yum! Who says tacos have to be made with pork or beef? You might also like my kale taco recipe. Check here for details.

Peace, love and veggie tacos!

Disclaimer: All material on this website is provided for informational and educational use only and should not be used for diagnostic purposes. Consult with your physician regarding any health or medical concerns you may have.
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