Saturday, December 13, 2008

Dark Days Week 4

So let me just say that it turns out I left my real camera in Portland, and we're not going to back there until Christmas Eve. So cell phone pictures until then, sorry! They really are so bleak, but in my opinion they're better than nothing.

Dark Days Meal of the Week

Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes and Celeriac, Smoky Braised Greens and Hot-Sauce Glazed Tempeh
Ok, so this meal is a little bit of a cheat, because the Tempeh originates from 229 miles away. What can I say, I meant to make beans but I ran out of time. I thought I'd post anyway! Here are my sources:

Potatoes and Celeriac
Yukon Gold Potatoes - Helsing Junction Farm (86 miles)
Celeriac - Willie Green's Organic Farm (43 miles)
Splashes of Almond Milk, Earth Balance and S&P - non local

Smoky Greens
Braising Greens - Willie Green's Organic Farm (43 miles)
Yellow Onion - Helsing Junction Farm (86 miles)
Garlic - Helsing Junction Farm (86 miles)
Spices and seasonings (Molasses, Chipotle pepper, smoked paprika, tamari) non-local

Hot Sauce Glazed Tempeh
Tofurkey Tempeh - Hood River, OR (229 miles)
Garlic - Helsing Junction Farm (86 miles)
Seasonings (Frank's Hot Sauce, red wine, tamari) - non-local

The celeriac was really delicious mashed with the potatoes! I will defintely buy celeriac again. Next time, however, I will start boiling the celeriac earlier than the potatoes, because the celeriac didn't really mash completely, being a little underdone. It was still really tasty!

The sauce you see over the potatoes and celeriac is the potlikker from the smoky braised greens - it ended up being a little saucier than I thought it'd be, so I figured, Yay! Instant gravy. It was delicious!

And the tempeh has become a standby for us (recipe in Veganomicon). The recipe calls for just any wine you have, red or white (but not sweet) and we had a bottle of open red, so I used that. I didn't care for it as much as the white we usually do. But still a hearty, comfort food type meal all in all. :)

Now, with more recipe testing powers!

Yep, I'm super stoked to be doing some recipe testing for Robin Robertson's new cookbook 1,000 Vegan Recipes, due out Fall 2009! After some funny e-mail mishaps, I finally got my recipe list and I'm so excited!

So I'm obviously not allowed to talk too much about this, but let me just say that this dish, which features pasta, seitan, mushrooms and peas, is so delicious I just know I'm going to be making it regularly for the rest of my natural life! It was so comforting and satisfying, and the toddler even had seconds. A win all around!

Brunch Success!
Hazelnut-Pear Pancakes with Tofurkey Breakfast Links
This was a first try with these pancakes from Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan, and I'm happy to report they are AWESOME. I had a little jar of local hemp-hazelnut butter we got in Portland so I used that and some perfectly ripe local pear for these babies and it was amazing! The hazelnut flavor was so wonderful and for some reason reminded me of cappucinos, as I sipped my Dancing Goats coffee. Next time I will dice the pear slices, because the long slices made pouring the batter a little unwieldy. But they were inhaled by all participants of brunch.

The breakfast links were new to us and are interesting. Neither my favorite nor disappointing, we just agreed that they have a very distinctive flavor that was very forward at first, blank in the middle, and then finishes well. We'll probably only get these every once in a while, but I do so love to have a little easy peasy protein with our breakfasts.

spud!: So Far, So Good
So this was our first week using spud!, a local grocery delivery service. I really like it so far! Here's why.

I really like that they highlight which products they carry are local - although their definition of local is within 500 miles of the warehouse, which is a pretttty long way. But, you can find out how many miles each individual local product traveled to their warehouse, so that's a pretty cool feature for those of us who are trying to buy closer to home. I also really like that I can add and subtract items from my order up until the day before delivery. This is great for meal planning! It kind of forces you to come up with a plan, and cuts down on that whole wandering-around-the-store-aimlessly-looking-for-inspiration-to-strike syndrome (because I'm almost never inspired in the store and usually end up spending more money on stuff I don't need).

While they don't have everything I would like, the prices seem really competitive for the things they do carry (which is a lot, don't get me wrong!). For instance, I think field roast sausages are something like $5.75 at the local Thriftway; I got them through spud! for $4.42. Also, you know how organic red peppers are like $5-6/lb? I got 2 good sized reds for $3.66. And before you jump all over me about those not being local, blah blah blah, let me just say: They're for recipe testing! They weren't going to be local at the store either, so I might as well save a few bucks and some miles driving to the store, right? Right.

So the avocados I got are like little rocks and the bananas are underripe, but I'm happier getting them underripe than overripe. It just adds to the anticipation. :)

Oh, and it's free delivery for orders over a certain amount (like $30-40? I can't remember exactly).

So, stay tuned! There will be more recipe testing going down this week, accompanied by sub-par cell phone photographs! We do what we can, thank you.


Misty said...

The braised greens sound fabulous. Would you be willing to share how you made them with a little more detail? I'd love to try them.

I just had one of Robin Robertson's recipes last night, and it was yummy! I'm jealous that you get to test out her recipes - fun!

allularpunk said...

i love that hot sauce glazed tempeh recipe... perfect for cold and dreary days. the tester recipe looks awesome as do those pancakes! i came thisclose to making pancakes yesterday, but didn't for some reason. and today, pancakes are on everyone's blogs! also, it's so cool that you have a grocery delivery service that actually has competitive prices and local foods. i would love to have something like that where i live!

jessy said...

cell phone photos are just fine with me, Chessa! everything is look'n soooooo drooooolworthy! dan & i still have that damn celeriac in our fridge - now i know to smash it with potatoes for ulitmate yumminess! thanks! totally going to do that. and don't feel bad about the tempeh - 229 miles isn't too far! i mean, it's less than 1,000, right!?! ;)

man, i wish we had something similar to your spud program. totally jealousfaced here! that's cool that they're got some good prices as well. wouldn't have expected that. very cool!

and HOOOOOOOORAY for getting to be a tester! oooooooh, that is so awesome & tasty and tasty & awesome! aaaaahahhaaa! yay!

keep on rock'n out the glorious dishes, Chessa! they're all soooooo delicious! and pancakes - ooooh, pancakes. damn, girl! :D

Chessa said...

Misty - the braised greens are soooo good! And sure, I posted the recipe a while back, here. We eat them at least once a week!

allularpunk - despite my rough beginnings with that tempeh recipe it is, indeed, the shit. You must make pancakes! Do it. You won't regret it. I never do.

jessy - eat the celeriac already! it's so good. It really is so uninpsiring looking, but man, it was tasty mashed up with the potatoes. You won't be disappointed!

we are SUPER lucky to have a service like spud! I'm actually feeling a little famous right now because they linked my review to their "news" page on their site! Geez, I would have cleaned it up a little if I'd known!

Recipe testing is the bomb. It's like cooking homework!

Bethany said...

yummy! It looks really great.

Recipe testing sounds like so much fun.

Thanks for the review on the pancakes. I totally underuse that cookbook - just like all of the others.

I've got some work to do on the dark days challenge. I'm just starting to cook again. I got some local stuff at PCC. They don't say which farm it came from. so if there isn't a sticker, you just don't know how far. Oh well.

Also, they didn't say where their lentils are from and I was in a hurry to get home so I didn't have time to ask. We've had snow since last friday and the roads are crap so I didn't want to drive home in the dark when things freeze up. wah!!!

long story short, I have some research to do.

Anonymous said...

I wish that such a delivery service existed around here... not so much for the food, I love going to the local markets and my CSA - but really for the *option*, that people who eat local aren't in such the minority that it can be a viable business, and even people who aren't "local" per se still enjoy fresh local food. Jealous!

And yum to the Dark Days meal - especially the potatoes and celeriac. You know what I like to do? Roast both the veg before combining and mashing - gives it a great smoky flavor and kind of brings out the taste. Option maybe?

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