Posts Tagged ‘garden’

When you have excess zucchini…. zucchini bread!


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Tonight’s dinner: Thai basil coconut curry

Between SF Pride week and unexpected physical malady, it hasn’t been a great week for home cooked food. But tonight, I made a delicious Thai-inspired curry with zucchini, carrots, coriander and basil from our farm. I adapted it from the recipe here:

In mine, I sauteed coriander seeds for a minute before throwing a chopped medium onion in the pan. I followed that with minced fresh ginger and garlic, and threw in some red curry paste, cayenne pepper, and red chili flakes. Then I added garden carrots and zucchini (in place of the celery the recipe recommends), red lentils, water, coconut milk, tomato paste, a bay leaf, and a cinnamon stick. Once it boiled, I simmered it for 25 minutes, then poured it over jasmine rice and covered it with fresh basil. Yum!

Here is the giant zucchini (and teeny carrots!) and basil before I chopped them up:



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More garden eats!

Lately I’ve been playing a fun game. It’s called, “how many ingredients in this dish can I get from the garden?”

Tonight, I made an amazing Coconut Curry with tofu and garden peas. The scallions, onions, garlic and hot pepper also came from the garden, as did the thyme. The tofu came from the Hodo Soy Beanery, which is fifteen blocks away, so that’s a pretty good local score, as well. The madras curry powder (Penzy’s) and the coconut milk have quite a bit more distance on them, but overall, the dish was predominantly sourced from West Oakland.

I would have included a picture of the finished dish, but we ate it all within twenty minutes. Instead, I’ll pass along the recipe and some shots of the ingredients.

Five fresh scallions about to be sauteed – beautiful!

Just pulled from the ground

Coconut Tofu and Pea Curry

  • 5 scallions (greens and bulbs) or an equivalent amount of onions
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 – 2 pounds of tofu, depending on how much you want in the dish. I used one this time, but would probably throw in two next time.
  • 1 1/2 cups of peas
  • Three medium sized tomatoes, or size equivalent
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 5 – 8 teaspoons of madras curry powder, depending on hotness level desired.
  • 1 hot pepper, whole
  • Olive oil
  • Hot sauce (your favorite kind)

Remove your tofu from its water bath and brown it lightly in a frying pan with no oil or cooking spray. You want to dry fry it – removing as much liquid as possible – so it retains a firm texture and sucks in all of the delicious marinade you’re going to put it in.

Next, marinate your tofu in hot sauce and olive oil. You will leave it in this concoction as you chop and prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Dice your onions/scallions into small pieces. If you have a food processor, this is a great time to utilize it. Set aside. Then chop up your garlic and your tomatoes. Set aside. Strip the thyme leaves off of their sprigs and set aside. Get out a good sized skillet and throw however much olive (or canola) oil you need in there to saute those onions/scallions. Saute them until translucent.

Add the garlic and madras curry to this mix and saute for another two minutes. Then take your tofu out of its fiery marinade and sear it in the pan with the onions, garlic and curry. Once both sides of the tofu pieces are lightly seared, add in the tomatoes and the peas. Stir it all in and saute a bit more. Then, add your coconut milk and thyme. Stir, and then turn the heat down to a simmer, cover loosely, and let the magic happen, for about 45 minutes. About 25 minutes in, remember to make some basmati rice. Mix and enjoy!

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A homemade and homegrown food week

We’re now at two weeks, and only one lunch out at work, mainly because I forgot to throw my lunch into my bag. I am saving so much cash and eating much more balanced food than before!

I haven’t gone out for lunch at work this entire week, but I’ve eaten very well! We’ve been making big batches of food for the house, all with a few ingredients from our garden thrown in, and I’ve been taking the leftovers to work. 

I’ve had funky dal (red lentils, garlic, olive oil, tomatoes and a lemon finish) with rice and steamed chard. Then there was Alex’s potato, pea and spinach curry, with the latter two ingredients coming fresh from the garden. Alex made a superb mushroom risotto on Tuesday, with our own chard. Tonight, I’m making a Caribbean influenced coconut chicken curry – the scallions, chives, thyme and hot pepper all came from the garden on that, as well! I got a late start, but it should be ready soon, and the house smells heavenly. 

I’ve been mostly snacking on bananas and unsalted mixed nuts at work. I’m feeling good, and feeling frugal, too. More on the frugality in a future post.

And of course, every morning has been starting with a mix of homemade yogurt and homemade granola. 

Last night, I also had a My Drunk Kitchen, Oakland edition, and made a batch of brownies from Bob’s Red Mill GF brownie mix that’s been sitting in the kitchen for a few months. It was awesome to pull out my little brownie square as an afternoon indulgence at work today. I made them for the house, so they’re going pretty fast, but I should be able to take another square for dessert tomorrow. 

As long as the tupperware in the fridge is filled with a variety of delicious, sustainable food, I don’t feel sad about cutting back on my meal spending. I feel damn lucky to be able to know so much about the origins of my food, and know that it was lovingly crafted. 

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