vivid greens

yummy vegetarian meals on the fly

CSA Week Twelve February 24, 2011

Filed under: CSA — Vivid Greens @ 10:39 pm

I thought there was a very nice, if concise, selection of items at the pick up today.  I’m particularly excited about the pumpkin butter.  Yum.  And salsa is always a hit around here.  These items would have been a little bit cheaper at a conventional grocery store.  The total would have come to $19.31, instead of the $25 per week fee that we have paid. The $2 jar refund we get at the end of the year will help to even it out a little bit.

And just look at these beautiful spinach greens!  I am in love.

You are probably wondering what recipes I’ve been whipping up with all these pretty greens we’ve been getting. Well, I must admit that I’m going through a little bit of a smoothie phase around here.  They just taste so good! Lately my new favorite thing is to add a little ginger to the green smoothies for a nice sharp bite.  You should try it sometime and let me know what you think.

The basic recipe is: a big handful of greens, a banana, a little water, a little pineapple juice, and a bit of fresh ginger.


Maple Roasted Root Vegetables February 21, 2011

Filed under: CSA,Meals — Vivid Greens @ 8:53 pm

This is a good kid-friendly turnip dish that is easy to make and tastes great!  Granted, there is quite a bit of butter and maple syrup involved.  Just think of it as a good gateway dish to the wonderful world of winter vegetables.  The recipe is out of the lovely cookbook Recipes from the Root Cellar by Andrea Chesman.


  • 4 cups root vegetables
  • 2 shallots (or half an onion)
  • 2 cloves garlic pressed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Cube the root vegetables and shallot and put aside in a bowl.  I chose to make this dish with one small butternut squash, one sweet potato, two turnips and a handful of baby carrots.

Heat the butter, garlic and rosemary until the butter has completely melted.  Turn off the heat, add the maple syrup and vegetables, then toss them thoroughly.  Put the vegetables in an oven safe dish and cover with a lid (or tin foil).

Roast for 40 minutes.  Then stir, remove the lid, and let them roast for another 20 minutes uncovered.  This dish will make your entire house smell fabulous while it cooks.

I served these over red lentils and the peppery taste of the lentils really set off the sweet maple flavor of the vegetables. I’m already looking forward to eating my leftovers for lunch tomorrow.


CSA Week Eleven February 18, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Vivid Greens @ 8:32 pm

Wowsa!  What a great selection of items this week.  I can’t believe that we got kale, not to the mention two pumpkins, two butternut squashes, two small turnips and one huge turnip.  Plus a large jar of tomato cocktail and a jar of tomato relish.  All of this produce would have run us $28.33 at the conventional grocery store.  Which is considerably higher than our weekly fee for the CSA.

Did I mention the monstrous turnip that I got this week?  They were all bundled up like this so that everyone got one really big turnip and a few little regular ones.  I think that this turnip weighs more than our cat.

I’m still searching for good turnip recipes.  I have a recipe for maple roasted root vegetables that I’m going to throw some turnips in and hope for the best.  I’ll let you know what happens.

ps. I think these pumpkins are terribly cute.  Aren’t they just the perfect mini size?



CSA Week Ten February 15, 2011

Filed under: CSA — Vivid Greens @ 10:25 pm

Last week was the tenth week of our local CSA pick up.  I can’t believe it’s early February and were still getting fresh greens.  With the advent of a few pretty days this past weekend I’ve broken out the blender and now I’m making green smoothies again.  Oh, I can’t wait for spring!

This week we picked up milk, a bag of chard, turnips, sweet potatoes, pickles and green relish.  The total at a grocery store would have come to $17.19.  Even with the glass jar reimbursement of $2, this time the local CSA was a little more expensive than the store.


Black bean and wheatberry stuffed squash February 13, 2011

Filed under: CSA,Meals — Vivid Greens @ 9:54 pm

This recipe is a CSA smash up that I created last week – and it turned out so tasty!  The ingredients are all things that were on hand at this late point in the season.  It consists of black beans, wheat berries, dark greens, and roasted squash.  The wheat berries add a nice chewy texture to this dish.  I chose to top mine off with some greek yogurt.


  • 2 small winter squash
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 cup cooked wheat berries
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon BBQ sauce
  • Dash of cayenne, chili powder, and cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

First roast two small winter squash in the oven.  I used two small butternuts which I halved, seeded and put face down on a cookie sheet.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and let them cook for about 30 minutes or until the squash is tender.

Heat your black beans and (pre-cooked) wheat berries add seasonings to your liking.  Be sure to taste and adjust as you go.  As it heats you will notice the gluten in the wheat berries begin to thicken the mixture and make it a little cloudy.

Next throw in some chopped dark greens for added flavor and nutrients.

After the greens soften, spoon the filling into the center of the squash.  I used a knife to carve out a little extra room in the narrow part of the squash.  This makes a pretty dish that could serve 2 people with leftovers.


Library Haul 2.6.2011 February 7, 2011

Filed under: Books,Cookbooks,Library haul — Vivid Greens @ 10:39 pm

Oh, these look so good!  I am very excited about all four of my new books.

The first one, How to Pick a Peach was recommended by a good friend.  It is the kind of knowledgeable book that you might just want to keep around for future reference.  It is divided up seasonally and covers just about anything you would want to know about fruits and vegetables.  Focusing on growing seasons, farming techniques and nutrition information, and then finishing up with how to determine ripeness (hence the title), how to store, and how to prepare.  I think it’s a great read for these cold and snowy days.

The next book has been a great tool to have in the house.  Complete Book of Knife Skills is something I should have read a long time ago.  Apparently, it’s a miracle that I still have ten complete fingers at this point!  This book uses some very helpful pictures to teach you how to properly hold a knife, where to put your fingers so as to keep them attached, and in what direction to cut which vegetables.  It is a very, very helpful primer indeed.  A good 3/4 of this book covers meat cutting, and so it makes for a very quick vegetarian read.

Superfoods: the Healthiest Foods on the Planet is a beautiful book, full of gorgeous pictures that might just inspire you to eat a few new things.  Every page lists a new featured food and there are helpful sidebars that list the nutrition information of one serving.  Each page also has a “healthy evidence” citing the most recent study touting that particular food item.  While this book might seem a little faddish at times, it does encourage a healthy varied diet and makes some new foods look particularly appetizing.

The last book on the list is the smallest, and it’s not really a food book at all.  Edible Stories is collection of short stories that interweave relationships and food.  It is written by Mark Kulansky, author of the books Cod and Salt.  I haven’t started this one yet, but it looks perfect for a nice evening read.


CSA Week Nine February 3, 2011

Filed under: CSA — Vivid Greens @ 8:41 pm

This week we got a bag of wheat berries!  I’m very excited about their addition to the weekly rotation.  Let me know if you have a favorite wheatberry recipe.

We also got a big bag of chard, turnips, two butternut squash, a dozen eggs and a jar of salsa.  The total came to $25.71 which means that it would have actually been more expensive to shop at the grocery store for these items.  Yay CSA!

And, did I mention that we got greens?  After this cold, cold weather I was delighted to see chard for the week ahead. Look at how pretty and tender it is!


Oatmeal Raisin Muffins (with buttermilk) February 1, 2011

Filed under: Breakfast,Recipes,Sweets — Vivid Greens @ 10:22 pm

I’m working my way through a half gallon of buttermilk this week, so here is another tasty buttermilk treat.  These muffins are sweet (but not too sweet) and the rolled oats give them a nice texture.  The recipe comes from Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins and More by Carole Walter.  I definitely recommend checking it out next time you feel like baking.  Every recipe I’ve tried out of it has been lovely.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.


  • 1 and 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 and 1/4 cup oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts (optional)

Mix all the dry ingredients together in one large bowl.  Then mix together the eggs and sugar in a medium sized bowl, then add the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.  Pour the wet mixture into the dry and gently mix together.  Add the raisins and nuts, if you choose.  Let that sit for 5 minutes.  Bake for about 25 minutes or until the tops have just started to turn brown.  These are very good with butter or jam.  Enjoy!