26 August 2011

Meatless Monday?

Hey, even Mario Batali's doing it. Meatless Monday, Tuesday, or whatever day you choose, it's a good idea, I must admit. Sometimes we need to let our bodies digest easy stuff, or tip the scales on vegetables. Here is our family's "Meatless Monday" dish – which we actually ate on Wednesday. I was a couple of days late this week, but whatever.

Vegetable Bibimbap
I started (once again) with a recipe from this month's Everyday Food. Their version of this vegetable bibimbap is really easy, and very tasty. You'll just need a bit of prep time for chopping. The only seasoning used is a little bit of soy sauce (you can use Bragg's) and a drizzle of toasted sesame oil.

My tweaks:
* I used gai lan (or Chinese broccoli) instead of spinach. It gave it more...oomph, in my opinion.
* Instead of the fried egg on top (I LOVE fried egg, but we did that the first time), I drowned some tofu in egg. You can't see it very well, but it's under the vegetables.

My egg-soaked tofu:
1 brick organic extra firm tofu (cut into bite sized "brickettes" - or little bricks, not coal briquettes)
2 scrambled eggs
garlic powder
onion powder
salt & pepper

This meal was so good, I'm going to do it again as soon as I get more shiitake mushrooms!

12 August 2011

Squash Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

I'm sure you've heard of spaghetti squash. Well, this isn't it. I like spaghetti squash, but sometimes the stringy quality of that particular squash isn't what I'm in the mood for. This dish was great because it was simple, juicy, and really tasty.

For the sauce, I put together my "usual."
* brown CSA ground beef in garlic olive oil
* remove it from the pan, add in chopped onion in more olive oil
* sweat the onions and additional veggies (eggplant, kale, carrot, whatever you like) then add the beef back
* season the beef well (whatever you've got...I use garlic & onion powder, chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper, maybe some hot pepper flakes)
* add in tomato sauce, canned tomatoes or pre-made spaghetti sauce
* simmer for as long as you possibly can (even longer with fresh roma tomatoes)

I had some zucchini and yellow squash (from Robin's garden, once again) that I peeled and cut into long matchsticks while the beef sauce was cooking. I simmered the squash in water until they were tender -- almost limp. You could probably add some killer flavor by cooking the squash in some stock, but I didn't think of it until now.

Super easy – just takes some cutting time. If you have a handy dandy tool to help you cut, then go for it!

11 August 2011

Yay for Recycling Services!

People for a Better Tomorrow

I started 2011 with a post called "The Good, The Bad and The Awesome." One of the "bad" things that started off the year was our local recycling service going out of business. Sad times...but we found a replacement shortly after! I apologize for not posting this sooner, especially for my local friends.

This service, PBT Curbside Recycling, is amazing. They provide a bin but they also will accept anything in your own bins (in addition to theirs). This makes it so easy because we already had bins for recycling and we usually have more than what their bin can hold. Most weeks we end up with more recycling than trash.

They accept just about everything that can be recycled and you don't have to sort it! Well, you do need to separate the glass items. We simply have an extra smaller bin and taped a sign on the top that says "GLASS." This ensures every one's safety and fulfills their expectations.

It is a weekly pick-up and they usually have come and gone before 8am. PBT has several payment options and we opted for the annual payment (only $12/month for purchasing a year in advance).