I received my first CSA bag today! I’m absurdly excited about it.

IMG_0435I received pea shoots, collard greens, lettuces, onions, broccoli and radishes. In the two little paper bags are some type of mushroom (oyster?) and an assortment of sweet potatoes, red potatoes, and russets. This is a nice haul for 15$ a week!

Tonight I think I’m going to simply sautee the pea shoots and mushrooms with garlic.

I rarely buy radishes so I looked around online for some ideas on what to do with them. Here were some of my favorites:

  • raw sliced radishes dipped in ricotta cheese
  • crostini with pesto, thinly sliced radishes, and sea salt
  • sandwich of thinly-sliced radishes and red onion, goat cheese, and mashed avocado
  • thinly-sliced radishes on buttered bread

I think I will need some more radishes!

I also received this cute table linen:

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This week

My new favorite snack:

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Whole plain greek yogurt drizzled with raw local honey and topped with sunflower and chia seeds.

Also:

Medjool dates dipped in whole plain greek yogurt

Favorite meal of the week:

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Garbanzo Bean Soup with Chorizo and Caramelized Onions

Will post recipe later!

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Sauteed Orange Cauliflower and Bok Choy with Tahini Sauce

Today has been a very cloudy and dreary day. It used to be that I loved cloudy weather. It made me feel peaceful- like I had every reason to cuddle up on a sofa chair, read, and drink tea all day. People would be shocked when I told them this; that no, I didn’t find the cloudy weather “soooooo depressing…soooooo depressing,” (as one woman exclaimed to me). I figured growing up in southern California I had enough sunny days baked into me for a lifetime. But after living in Ohio for almost ten years, things are starting to change. When it’s cloudy I crave sun rays.

My boyfriend cracked one of his ribs so we spent much of the morning at an urgent care. I sat and read tabloids for almost two hours, my only other amusement being a sassy old woman who kept giving the staff an earful of her opinion about everything: from not wanting to give her social security number, to the forty minute wait time, to the fact that she didn’t like her name displayed on the “expected wait” monitor for everyone in the room to see.

I just leaned back in my chair and tried to doze off a little, wondering why an 80+ year old woman had more energy than me.

When we finally got home I felt hungry and taxed. I decided to bring a little sunshine into my like by cooking an orange cauliflower I bought yesterday.  

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I simply sauteed some orange cauliflower florets with bok choy in refined coconut oil. I added sea salt and a tahini sauce I wrote about in an old blog post:

2 tbsp of tahini 

1 tsp of olive oil

juice of one lemon 

1 garlic clove

2 tsp soy sauce

Blend all the ingredients in a food processor

I drenched the vegetables pretty heavily with the sauce. It was very flavorful! I had some slices of Tillamook sharp cheddar cheese on the side and then a champagne mango for dessert to keep up the orange theme (and because they’re delicious).

I think we are getting takeout from an Indian restaurant tonight. The leftovers will be a nice side to Chicken Dal, one of my favorites. 

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A few quotes

From Edible Columbus:

  • Things to eat in the springtime in Ohio: asparagus, broccoli, breads, cabbage, carrots, cheeses, cilantro, collards, eggs, honey, kale, maple syrup, meats, milk, microgreens, mustard greens, peas, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, strawberries, swiss chard, turnip greens
  • “For a spring smoothie, blend a handful of fresh strawberries with a frozen banana, a tablespoon of chia seeds, and a handful of baby spinach.”    (This would be wonderful with the addition of pineapple coconut juice)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            “Crisp snow or sugar-snap peas are great snacks and delicious in stir-fries. Whip up a peanut sauce with soy sauce, rice vinegar, fresh ginger, natural peanut butter, and a squirt of local honey. Add in snow peas, sliced red peppers, and carrots for a pop of color.”                                                        Alexis Joseph, MS, RD, LD 

From How to Pick a Peach by Russ Parsons:

  • “And therein lies the paradox of the strawberry. In its wild state, it is a highly seasonal, wildly flavorful fruit that is as fragile as a soap bubble. Yet in our passion for it, we managed to turn this dreamy berry into a year-round staple as resilient as Styrofoam and only a little more flavorful. It wasn’t too long ago that strawberries were a food you anticipated all through the winter and then gorged on in a brief frenzy that was a ritual of spring. Today it’s a year-round garnish, the parsley of the breakfast plate….And yet finding a berry with true flavor-the kind that stops you in your tracks when you taste it-just keeps getting harder…this is one case where the old “buy local; buy seasonal” mantra really pays off.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                             This year I really wanted to go strawberry picking at a local farm. In Ohio, strawberries usually start popping up in late May and into June.

Ginger Rogers:

  • “When you’re happy, you don’t count the years.”

ginger rogers

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Purple Cauliflower Soup

Today I followed a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks Love Soup by Anna Thomas. If you don’t already own this book I recommend that you do. Sometimes I read it in bed like I would a novel. The way she writes about food is so vivid and passionate it just makes me feel at peace with the world and the simple pleasures you can attain from it. This cookbook has absolutely no pictures but the quality of the writing deems in completely unnecessary. 

I’ve been meaning to make a pot of soup for some time. For me, it’s comforting to know there is a pot of soup in the fridge, ready for a quick and nourishing meal. Soup-making is always a long process for me-I’d say I spend at least two hours (sometimes more) making each pot of soup. Maybe I’m just slow with cutting and peeling, or inefficient with my time overall, but it doesn’t bother me. I try to see cooking as a meditative art. 

Today I followed her recipe for ‘Purple Cauliflower Soup’ with a few little tweaks. 

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Purple Cauliflower Soup

I used homemade chicken stock instead of vegetable broth. I also added cream and grated white cheddar cheese to the soup. It was delicious! The flavor of the leeks especially stood out to me- they are so sweet and flavorful. 

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I’ve found that the easiest way to thoroughly clean the white and pale green bottom of a leek is make two perpendicular slices from the top, stopping at the root so all the layers remain attached together. This was you can hold it under the faucet and bend back each layer and rinse until all the grit is gone.

I made sure not to toss the dark green tops of the leeks- they have a lot of flavor. I’m soaking them in water to remove all the dirt, then I will be putting them in a freezer bag to save for the next time I make chicken broth. I love doing this with vegetable scraps: leftover herbs, parsley that won’t be used before its time is done, chard stems, carrot and potato peelings…the list can go on! 

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The soup-making took a lot longer than I expected (like usual) and I got extremely hungry so I had a bowl of whole milk Greek yogurt drizzled with honey while I was cooking…and a medjool date with a handful of sunflower seeds.

This was the finished product:

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I had some sauteed, garlicky kale on the side. I liked the soup better without the lemon, but it was interesting how the lemon turned it magenta.

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Meanwhile, Humphrey had some much needed rest.

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Darling Humphrey

Darling Humphrey

This is my beautiful cat, Humphrey.

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Cashier

The thing I hate most about being a cashier is there is no reward besides a hello and goodbye. I’m not the type of person who finds conversations with strangers potentially rewarding. As an introvert I’d rather have a job in which I can hold the product of my work in my hands (or heart).

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