happy CSA day!

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Once it hits spring, we switch from a medium share to large share at our local farm and with the 12yo home for all but one of her weekly meals, this switch could not have come at a better time. We are going through LOTS of food at el castillo. This stash is obviously going to occupy me in the kitchen today and that, too, could not be better-timed. The sweet potato mountain is out of control, the greens must be dealt with, and my head could use some of the peace that comes with cooking. 

Here’s what I picked up: chiogga beets, golden beets, bok choi, carrots, chard, kale, spinach, fennel, parsley, lettuce, spring onions, sweet potatoes (ugh), red radish, and rutabaga. 

kitchen = function

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It has been a hard few days around here and the kitchen has been reduced to absolute function. Mac & cheese, quick sandwiches, and nachos are about all that is happening in there. In place of magic and care there has been ramen. I don’t think we can stand it much longer, so today I am busting out the slow cooker. If all goes as planned, there will be posole at the end of this grey day. 

tejas, go vote now!

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If you (like me) were waiting for the magic that is Super Tuesday to go out and vote, today is the day! Plan a slice of time into your day if you can to mosey over to your precinct (or any precinct if you are in Travis County) and cast your vote.

The Travis County website has had downtime on and off since last night. If you need to take a peek at your sample ballot, you can generate one here.

Not registered to vote? It may be too late for today, but you only need to register 30 days prior to an election so go register now!


vegetarian meal plan – feb 22

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I have decided that I have gone far too long in my cooking life without knowing how to make a proper pad thai at home and this is the week that I am going to try to conquer it. Gonna use this recipe as a base and modify it into a vegan and vegetarian version.

The rest of the week will come together with the following:

Roasted beet pasta
Vegetarian bouillabaisse
Mongolian soy curls
Cabbage ginger noodles

Carrot muffins
Mojo de ajo sauce
Almond milk + banana smoothies
Grapefruit Popsicles

yay for CSA!

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We haven’t picked up our CSA box since the end of January so I am super-duper excited to have some yummy, farm-fresh veggies to work with this week. Pantry and freezer living shows off all my preservation and improvisation skills, but it still doesn’t beat FRESH. I have kale, spinach, mixed salad greens, beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, fennel, parsley, spring onions, and watermelon radishes (my fave of the season).

Meal plan coming!

winter stretch & salsa cravings

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We have officially reached the part of the food season where I am closely guarding my tomato stash (so low this year!!) and counting down to the change in season. Currently fending off our fresh salsa lack with this lovely shelf-stable habanero sauce that I put up last summer. Charring the habaneros on the grill (an improvisation) was well worth it. Great on breakfast tacos, a bowl of rice and beans, and gives some kick to your morning fried egg. 

vegetarian meal plan – 2/1/16

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vegetarian meal plans


Happy February from Austin! Apologies for the late meal plan post. It took me a little longer than usual to figure out how to cook through our veggies. Whatever is left of the CSA stash will get used up in stir fries, salads, and breakfast over the next week.

I have the following in mind for the next 7-10 days:

Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas & Kale
Portabella & Brussel Sprout Salad *
Brown Sugar Tofu & Mushrooms **
Caldo de Papa
Crispy Salads with Grapefruit Vinaigrette
Harira **
Tacos (fillings TBD)
Pasta Salad with Cauliflower & Mustard Vinaigrette ***

Whole Wheat Bread
Roasted Beets

Green Ice Cubes (with Kale)
Grapefruit Jam
Dijon Mustard

Happy cooking!

P.S. Chop that bunch of scallions as soon as you get home with them and place them in a jar. Having them ready to go means they get used up! Throw in your salad or morning scrambles. :) 

* Salad Samurai by Terry Hope Romero
** Near & Far by Heidi Swanson
*** Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

go-to recipes

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I’m sure you guys have them – those gems that you go back to so often that you don’t really need to look at them. Well I have accumulated a kazillion of those over the years. The recipes that I have on repeat tend to have only a handful of ingredients and are simply seasoned, making them flexible enough to swap and change out as the seasons change. There are two in particular that seem to be making it into the weekly meal plans on the regular at the moment:

Latin-American French Lentil Salad

The tiny dice of the veggies makes it easy to swap out sweet potatoes or other tubers and in the summer I load it up with cucumbers and tomatoes. Currently it is my favorite vehicle for watermelon radish.

Kale Quinoa Bites

These little nuggets are total chameleons! You can put finely sliced brussel sprouts into them or cauliflower in the fall. Leeks are perfect in the spring and in the summer you can shred zucchini into them.

Do you have recipes that you like to use over and over again? Or maybe you have a favorite cookbook?