Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Salad, chik'n sandwich, and CSA veggies

What better to do with only a week of school and an unstarted 20-page paper due Monday than to update my blog? Nothing of course!

This Sunday was the first pickup for my community supported agriculture (CSA) group, which my family joined this year. As a shareholder in a local farm, my family gets a delivery of local organic vegetables each week. Luckily for us, the pickup location is less than a mile from our house and very convenient. This week we got 6 heads of lettuce (of varying varieties), sugar snap peas, bok choy, and strawberries. We still aren't quite sure how to use all the lettuce, but I'm thinking some lettuce wraps and taco salads are in our future. Any other ideas are appreciated.

I took some of the peas, lettuce, and strawberries for lunch yesterday. With the lettuce and strawberries is also an apricot, grapes, and Craisins. I also brought along some baby carrots, applesauce, and a Boca chick'n patty on some bread from a local bakery.

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Tempura Vegetables

I admit it, I've been a delinquent blogger. Contrary to what the state of my blog looks like, I'm still in school and packing lunches most days. I've sort of burned out on the lunch-making front, though, so I've stopped taking pictures since I'm sure nobody wants to see me eat fruit, carrots, and a bagel every day.

I've been pretty busy with end of the year projects and essays, but I've done a little cooking. My most successful experience being tempura vegetables. Despite my aversion to deep frying at home, I had to try these. The recipe was really easy and I'm one of those people who will eat anything deep fried. When I was an omni I would even eat deep-fried candy bars at fairs if I got a chance. If I could get a vegan variety I'd still eat them.

I saw the recipe on the vegan hedonism blog, which is awesome, you should all check it out.

Tempura Vegetables

for the tempura batter, mix the following:

1 c. unbleached white flour
3 tsp. mustard powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
and about 3/4 c. ice water

note: prepare this batter only immediately before frying the vegetables. the temperature of the batter is crucial to both how it holds to the vegetables, and also to how it cooks once submerged in the hot oil. the consistency should be smooth and just thick enough to stick to the vegetables. (i used canola oil over a high flame. about 2-3 minutes per piece should render them crispy and golden-brown at first, only 1 minute when the oil really gets going. any deep saucepan will work -- just remember to have a pair of tongs at hand!)

Before (this recipe made enough batter for all of the veggies save for a little bit of the broccoli):


In the future, I'd either leave the carrots in the oil longer or not make them at all because they came out pretty crunchy. I also had to make sure to leave the potatoes in a little longer so that they would cook all the way through. Overall, the broccoli and asparagus came out the best. As a dipping sauce I mixed roughly equal parts of soy sauce and white wine vinegar with a few spoonfuls of sugar, but I'm sure you could buy a much better premade sauce or find a better recipe for sauce online.

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