Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June Exchange and Summer Guidelines

Four of the families in our group do not have air conditioning and so avoid using the oven in summer months. Since freezer meal heating tends to make heavy use of the oven this can be an issue. We added the restriction of no oven heating for summer months.

Like becoming vegan sometimes adding a restriction can seem daunting at first. One wonders what in the world  to make. But then with a little intention, thought and planning what seemed limiting loosens up a bit you begin to find an abundance of what you can make and enjoy rather then focusing on what is ruled out.

We have been doing dishes that are lightly pan fried-such as the burgers below. A bit more tricky are dishes that are microwave appropriate-any sort of burrito works well for this. Even better are dishes that require no heating-like desserts, muffins or cold dishes. We have also seen more dishes served on rice or pasta.

This month we exchanged:

Kale Pesto and Minestrone Soup (I used the spice mix for this recipe found about midway on the page.
Red Beans and Rice using tofurky
Carefree Curry Burgers and Freezer Slaw
Kasha (an old family recipe from Wendy)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Spicy Kale Pesto - 6 Family Size Portions

I hit the jackpot in terms of in-laws. My mother in law and sister in law keep a veggie garden that I occasionally weed for 30 minutes and get massive amounts of veggies. Recently, I came home with a stuffed grocery bag of kale and turnip greens. I found a recipe for Garlic Scape and Kale Pesto and adjusted it to be vegan and make 6 full servings.

1 grocery bag of greens (from least spicy to more use spinach, kale, turnip, mustard greens).
2 bunches of garlic scapes (more of less depending on how strong you like the garlic flavor)
1/2 t salt (or to taste)
1/4 t pepper
1 cup toasted pine nuts
1 cup toasted walnuts
juice of 1 lemon
olive oil

In a food processor I ground a little bit at a time using olive oil as needed to keep it moving. Transfer properly mashed sections into a bowl to mix together.

Portion for freezing. In this case each person got around 3/4 cup.

I thought it tasted great on pasta. Because it is an atypical pesto with a little bit of bite it should be awesome for pizza.

I'm going to include minestrone soup with the pesto. Have you ever tried soaking beans overnight and ended up demolishing half of them because they expand into a tight, frustrating bean brick? Try soaking in a sturdy ziplock bag. You'll never have that problem again. :)