vivid greens

yummy vegetarian meals on the fly

Summer CSA – Week Two May 29, 2011

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

This week we got a huge box of greens from our CSA.  It was full of kale, bok choy, romaine, and mint.  We also got our first zucchini and summer squash, and some glorious strawberries!

 The strawberries are incredibly sweet and just a little tart.  So flavorful, and just look at how pretty they are.

 This week I plan to make a big pot of lentils and greens and a bok choy salad.  Check back for recipes!


Summer CSA – Week One May 24, 2011

Filed under: CSA — Vivid Greens @ 6:08 pm

This was the first week of our summer CSA!   We got a good sized box full of salad greens, bok choy, green onions, radishes and strawberries.  The last two items were the very first to go.  Yum.

Tonight I made a quick stir fry with the green onions, bok choy and tempeh.  I had forgotten how good bok choy can be!  I added some rice wine vinegar, sesame seeds and soy sauce and the result was lovely.

What spring vegetables have caught your attention?


Spinach May 17, 2011

Filed under: Basics,Green Scene — Vivid Greens @ 8:50 pm

What do you do when the spinach in your fridge start to go, um, soft?  I have two quick ways to use up greens that need to be eaten fast!

First, I think to sauté them.  Spinach leaves cook down to nothing, but remember that they retain a lot of their nutrients.  So even though it doesn’t look like you are eating much, you are actually still getting all the good stuff.  This way of cooking is quick and easy.  I usually throw a little olive oil in the pan, a little garlic, the greens and then maybe a touch of vinegar.  Another fun thing to try is to add dried fruit (like cranberries or chopped apricots) to the pan.  The heat and the oil will cause them to soften and plump up and it will add a nice little punch of flavor to your greens.

My other favorite thing to do with soft or spotty spinach is to throw it into a smoothie.  A favorite around here is a Greena Colata!  It’s just spinach, pineapple, one banana, coconut milk, lime juice, and shredded coconut.  This easy smoothie tastes great and is a fun way to celebrate the spring sunshine!


Broiler Fail May 10, 2011

Filed under: Basics — Vivid Greens @ 6:38 pm

So.  Last week, I discovered that pyrex is not broiler safe.  It actually says this on the above 8×8 pan.  After the mini-explosion that ruined my dinner, I read the fine print.  “No stovetop or broiler”.  Sigh.

It wouldn’t have been such a big deal, except that we thought I got a tiny bit of glass stuck in my eye.  There were several hilarious attempts to flush it out.  Which culminated in me lying in the bathtub fully clothed, while Dan poured water out of a teapot into my eye.  In the midst of all this, our very curious cat jumped onto his shoulders to see what was happening me.  It was funny in an awful way to look up and see her peering over at me, like, what’s wrong with you? or why is Dan waterboarding you?.  Dan was too busy trying to flush out my eye to move her, and then I got caught up in one of those horrible giggling fits where you are almost crying. It was hopeless.

One quick trip to the urgent care center and another more thorough trip to the eye doctor ran us $75, but we can all rest assured that there is absolutely no glass in my eye.

Note to self, when broiling use cast iron or other sturdy metal pans.  Be sure that there are no plastic parts which might melt or catch on fire.  In case of fire, have fire extinguisher handy.  Or baking soda if it’s a grease fire.

Good luck in the kitchen!


Gardein mandarin orange not-chicken May 3, 2011

Filed under: Dinners,Speedy — Vivid Greens @ 9:38 pm

This was a quick and easy dinner out of a bag.  I’ve been hearing good things about Gardein faux-meat products.  I don’t usually cook from the freezer section, but it is one of Dan’s dreams that we incorporate a few quick meals in to our rotation.  So here is attempt number one from the freezer section.

The ingredients in the Gardein package are as follows:

gardein™ : water, soy protein isolate*,vital wheat gluten*, expeller pressed/canola oil, organic ancient grain flour (kamut ®, amaranth, millet, quinoa), natural flavors (from plant sources), modified vegetable gum, yeast extract, potato starch, sea salt, organic cane sugar, vinegar,pea protein, carrot fiber, organic beetroot fiber, garlic powder, onion powder, extractives of paprika and tumeric. batter: wheat gluten, modified cornstarch, toasted wheat crumbs, soy protein isolate, wheat flour, cane sugar, salt, onion powder, soy lecithin, spices, cream of tartar, baking soda, garlic powder. sauce: water, evaporated cane juice, rice vinegar, less sodium soy sauce (water, wheat, soybeans, salt, alcohol), fruit puree (water, mandarin and tangerine juice concentrate, chopped orange peels, natural flavor), salted sake (water, rice, salt), corn starch, thai chili sauce (sugar, water, chili paste, garlic, vinegar, modified food starch, salt, fermented wheat protein, cayenne pepper, citric acid, xanthan gum), ginger, expeller pressed canola oil, white pepper. 

I started this meal with brown basmati rice.  I chose to make this with one cup of rice, one cup of coconut milk and a half cup of water.  I brought the rice to a boil, reduced the heat, covered and let cook for 40 minutes.  The rice turned out slightly sweet and held its shape nicely with out getting sticky or gummy.

The main course was frighteningly easy.  About 10 minutes before the rice was done I steamed the broccoli with a little orange juice and soy sauce in one pot, while cooking the Gardein in the other.  Then I added the little packet of ‘sauce’ to the faux chicken and added the broccoli.

It was a lovely little dish that tasted a lot like restaurant style orange chicken, with a bit of the texture of seitan.  Which makes sense, since one of the main ingredients is wheat gluten.  If I had prepared the rice the night before, it would have taken me about 10 minutes to get the meal warm and on the table.  Which is a compelling reason to keep a bag of this in the freezer.