Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 30 - Thank You Chow Locally!

Well, it's the conclusion of yet another MOFO. I did not gain MOFO rock star status by posting every day while I'm crazy busy. But, we did share a month of local awesomeness and much produce was eaten and given away. I'm already thinking about next year when life will be less hectic and I can truly put all of my creative energy into blogging. So many cool themes. Hoping to start doing some video for next year. So make sure to pop in…maybe even like the page so you can get notification when something new gets posted.

I want to thank Eric at Chow Locally for providing FOUR share boxes to the lucky winners. I hope you all enjoyed the produce and hopefully signed up to get a weekly box. Give yourself a big local hug for supporting sustainable and local farmers. They need  you!

As both MOFO and summer wind down, I leave you for now with a refreshing summer drink created with love and local watermelon from a previous Chow Locally box. Be well and eat your fruits and veggies.


Makes one Drink poo

1 oz. premium vodka
1/3 cup diced seeded watermelon
1/4 cup sparkling mineral water

Add vodka and watermelon to blender. Blend until smooth. Pour mixture into chilled martini glass. Add sparkling mineral water and gently stir. Garnish rim with small, thin wedge of watermelon. Drink!

Monday, September 29, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 29 - Asian Pear Salad with Miso Ginger Dressing

Today's recipes features three things from this past week's Chow Locally share box:

I'itoi Onions from Maya's Farm - I'itoi onions have a ing history in Arizona having been traditionally grown by Native Americans such as the Tohono O'odham for centuries. Store in the crisper drawer. My note: we have had great luck growing this variety in our garden. The onions from last year gave us a whole new crop this year.

Mixed Bell Peppers from Crooked Sky Farms - Bell pepper are a great way to add crunch to salads and stir fries, or simply to slice up and add to lunches as a snack.

Yalo Pears from Sleeping Frog Farm - Yali (Asian) pears can be stored on the countertop or in the fridge. They are slightly crispier than regular pears, so they make for a delicious crunchy snack! My note: The texture vaguely reminded me of jicama.

I got some gorgeous kale at the farmers market and had some nice radicchio left over from a previous dish. I added some almonds for extra calcium and protein and voila, a full meal salad! The dressing I used was a variation from this post. I added a little tahini to make it creamier and boost the nutrients a bit. I love how the hint of sweetness of the pear contrasts the slight bitterness of the radicchio in this salad.

Asian Pear Salad with Miso Ginger Dressing

Makes 2 Entree Salad or 4 side salads

1 small bunch kale (about 4 cups), torn into bite sized pieces
1 recipe Miso Ginger Dressing (recipe below), separated
1 small head radicchio (about 1 cup, can sub regular red cabbage)
2 Asian pears, halved, cored and thinly sliced
1 bell pepper (any color but green), diced small
2 I'itoi or green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 - 1/2 cup raw almonds (I like more than less)
1 medium avocado, diced

In a large bowl, massage kale with 1/4 cup Miso Ginger Dressing. Toss in radicchio, pears, bell pepper almonds and green onions. Taste and add more dressing and salt and pepper to taste. Gently toss in diced avocado. Serve immediately.

Miso Ginger Dressing

Makes approximately 1/2 cup

1 tablespoon red miso
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon low sodium tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

Add all ingredients to blender. Blend until smooth. Can store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

2014 Vegan Mofo - Day 28 - Costco Vegan Pierogi and Pear Sauce

As time has been tight as of late, my eating habits have been iffy at best. I was cruising through Costco to get some Dave's Killer Bread and Pellegrino Water. There was one of those vendor road shows where they pass out samples. Well it was my lucky day! They were sampling 4 different kind of Pierogi - 2 vegan!!! I decided to buy a giant bag of the potato and onion variety. Some people I know eat them with apple sauce. I did a little play on that idea (and a much easier one). A couple of weeks ago my Chow Locally Box had Bartlett pears in it. They were not yet ripe, so I had to wait before I could eat and use them.

I took 3 small very ripe bartlett pears, peeled and roughly chopped them (about 1 1/2 cups before pureeing). Tossed those in the bullet container with about 1/8 teaspoon of cardamom and pureed it all in my Magic Bullet until is was the consistency of apple sauce. NOTE: If the pears are not soft, you may have to add a little water.

The pierogi were really good! I was surprised. I'm glad I bought the giant bag. There were plenty of onions in them and the dough was yummy. I sautéed the pierogi in a healthy amount of olive oil until they were gorgeously browned. Dip and love! The sauce will keep in the fridge for a day or two.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 25 - Chow Locally Winner and my latest share box

Hello blogatrons. I haven't had much time to create and post, but I have had some time to give away stuff! But before I do that, let's have a look at this week's Chow Locally share box, shall we?

This week's box has some beautiful stuff that I can't wait to have my way with! Look at those gorgeous peppers. Oh and did I mention the apple that is the size of a softball? I am so happy to have the box this week as I plan to do some kitchen time between study sessions. There are some fun ingredients. Hmmm. What to make….

Let's get down to what we are really here for today…free stuff. This is the last Chow Locally giveaway for the month and the winner is…. #1 Jackie! Way to go. I'll be contacting you to set up your pick up. Congrats. Wait, which Jackie is it? :)

Monday, September 22, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 22 - Giveaway Day and My Latest Breakfast Obsession

Honestly this could be eaten any time of day. But for me, I like savory stuff for the early meal of the day. The other day I was totally strapped for time and creativity. I grabbed a few staples from my fridge and counter top. Last week's Chow Locally box had roma tomatoes and cucumbers which are perfect for this easy meal. You can sub any type of tomato or cucumber about 3/4 cup each. Dice up a medium ripe avocado. Top with 2 tablespoon hemp seeds and 1/3 cup of your favorite hummus, salt and pepper if you please and DONE! I like to squeeze a touch of lemon juice over the top for a little added tartness. For variety, change up the type of hummus you use. This version was an artichoke hummus.

It wouldn't be MOFO Monday without a giveaway now would it? I have one more Chow Locally box to give away. One lucky winner is going to take the prize this week.

Here is the fine print on what you need to do to be eligible to win:
1 - You must live or be in the Phoenix area.
2 - You must be able to pick up your fresh produce on the day specified for  the pick up location you chose. (I will contact you with details on pick up locations/times).
3 - You must leave a comment about why you like to eat local by midnight this Wednesday, September 24th, 2014. Please make sure to leave a way to contact you should you be the lucky one.
4 - If the winner is unreachable by Sunday, September 28th an alternate winner will be selected at random

Thursday, September 18, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 18 - Giveaway Winner

Well lovely readers, for the first time in several years, I did not make the MOFO challenge. I missed posting yesterday. I knew this year would be challenging with the new job and classes, and I was right!

No worries though. I will still be posting throughout the rest of the month, just not every day. I gotta make some other stuff a priority right now. I am committed to bringing you more local produce info and recipes, so make sure to keep checking back. Even better, follow the blog and you will be notified when a new post goes up. Yes, I'm shamelessly asking for followers (and suggestions for things you'd like to see on the blog as well).

I just finished a raw food class recently. It was a really fun class. We learned a lot of great skills and recipes. The instructor was excellent. In her day job, she uses raw food diet and nutrition to help people with cancer heal. It's really quite an amazing thing.

Anyhooooooo. I thought I would share a few pictures of the bounty from our final night potluck with you.

It's time to announce the winner of this week's Chow Locally Box!

The winner is…#9 Debbie Martinez! Congrats Debbie! I'll be contacting you to set up delivery!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 16 - Roasted Poblano and Black Bean Soup

This story has absolutely nothing to do with cooking, but I want to tell it anyway. I am the youngest of three kids. If you are a parent or the baby of a family with more than two kids, you can probably relate to how parents slip a little when it comes to acknowledging their youngest offspring. It is not intentional or malicious or because they love them any less. It is likely they are mentally and physically exhausted after raising the older sibs. Or perhaps with their wisdom, they realize that if not every single thing is a big deal with their kids, there is a good chance they will still be well-adjusted adults.

At a very young age I realized my mom had this affliction. There were fewer photos of me, I wore hand me downs, I got to stay up later then the older two did at my age. But the most obvious slippage was my birthday. Mind you, my mom always remembered my birthday, she just managed to get the date wrong most years. She would also make us our favorite cake for our birthdays, well kind of. I was a chocolate lover from word go. A couple of years inadvertently made my brother's favorite: Strawberry. I was a sassy little kid, so she never got a hall pass. I always gave her a hard time. For most of my childhood, there was a debate as to my real birthdate. We often celebrated today, the 16th. After several years of mentioning to my mom I was pretty sure the date was wrong, my birth certificate was drummed up only to realize the mistake…mom's recollection was two days off. So happy fake birthday to me! 

I'm not sharing this story out of bitterness or self pity. I'm actually pretty amused about it these days. Actually the older I get, the more I can relate to her little slips. I don't even have kids, but life gets busy and some things just fall out of the memory. I'm just grateful she was thoughtful enough to make a cake and later my favorite dinner on my birthday. I now usually call her on my real birthday to say "Thanks for going through labor to get me here, you did all the work". 

To celebrate my un-birthday, I decided to make something nice and sassy and spicy (as I have been accused of being by many members of my family). Today's Chow Locally ingredients are:

Poblano Peppers from Crooked Sky Farms - Poblano peppers are a fun summertime treat as they are larger and milder than many peppers. Sore on the countertop and then try stuffing with favorite ingredients. My note: I didn't stuff these as I have already stuffed some peppers this month. These had a bit more kick than I'm used to in a Poblano = Happy Kimmy.

Yellow Onions from Sleeping Frog Farms

Roasted Polbano and Black Bean Soup

6-8 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 large carrot, diced small (about 3/4 cup)
1 large tomato, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 medium poblano pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced small 
1 teaspoon hot chile powder (you can use mild if you like it less spicy)
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
2 - 15 oz. cans black beans (do not drain or rinse you want those juices for flavor)
2 cups vegetable broth

In a 4 quart pot, warm olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and carrots and sauté until they are just soft and onions are translucent, about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning or sticking. Add garlic, tomato and poblano peppers and sauté for another minute or two. Add chile powder, cumin, black pepper, salt and coriander. Saute until fragrant, about 1 minutes. Add black beans and vegetable broth. Stir to combine. When soup just starts to boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered for about 20 minutes. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and vegan sour cream if desired (optional).

Monday, September 15, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 15 - Greeny Juice is Good for the Bod

After a weekend of a not so great eating and drinking habits, I wanted give my body a big green hug. Green juices are so great for you. They help hydrate, alkalize and detox your body. I pulled out the juicer and got to cleaning out the fridge and my Chow Locally box. This fine day I used the following produce from the box:

Tropicana Green Lettuce from Maggie's Aquaponic Farm - These delicate greens are ideal salad makers. They can be stored as they are in a glass of water in the fridge (keep roots somewhat submerged.

Lemon Cucumbers from Crooked Sky Farms - Lemon cucumbers don't taste lemony despite their appearance. However they are great for pickling or eating raw. Keep in a cool, dry place but use within a week. My note: I actually found these a bit more tart than regular cucumbers and in the juice it almost seemed like a hint of lemon.

Roma Tomatoes from Crooked Sky Farms - Roma tomatoes are a delicious variety that store well on the countertop or in the fridge. Use raw, roast, or cook into recipes and sauces! My note: I didn't have high hopes for these guys. When I got them they were a little anemic looking. But a couple of days on the counter and they were quite good.

Greeny Juice

Makes about 12-14 oz.

1 handful green lettuce
2 lemon cucumbers
1 handful kale
3 stalks celery
3 roma tomatoes
1 carrot
1 handful parsley, leaves and smaller stems
1 medium apple

Feed veggies through the juicer in order above. This helps push all the veggies through and get the most juice out of 'em. Drink immediately.

OK! IT'S GIVEAWAY TIME! On lucky commoner will have a chance to win a lovely, pesticide free box of local produce. I'm posting late today, so I am going to give all of you a little more time to comment. Please comment by midnight, Wednesday, September 17th for this week's  CHOW LOCALLY share box giveaway.

The contest is over and the winner is #9 Debbie!!! I'll be contacting you soon to set up your pick up! Congrats!

Here is the fine print on what you need to do to be eligible to win:
1 - You must live or be in the Phoenix area.
2 - You must be able to pick up your fresh produce on the day specified for  the pick up location you chose. (I will contact you with details on pick up locations/times).
3 - You must leave a comment about what fresh fruit or vegetable you absolutely will not eat and why. Please make sure to leave a way to contact you should you be the lucky one.
4 - If the winner is unreachable by Sunday, September 21st, an alternate winner will be selected at random

Sunday, September 14, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 14 - Watermelon PIzza

This is going to be short and sweet. Literally. I had watermelon left over from a Chow Locally box from a couple of weeks ago. Someone posted a picture of watermelon pizza on FB. I loved the idea. My grandson and his cousin came over for a swim today. This was THE perfect healthy and fun snack. There is no recipes. I recommend using a watermelon that is about 6-8 inches round. Slice the entire circle of watermelon to about 3/4 inch thick. Top with your favorite fruits either diced, sliced or in the case of blue berries whole. Make it look like pizza toppings. Want some "parmesan"? Sprinkle with flaked coconut. Let the kids choose which toppings they want so they can personalize their own.

Don't forget to stop by tomorrow and comment for the next Chow Locally share box giveaway!!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 13 - Raw Tacos

This week was the last night of my raw foods class at SWIHA. The class was really informative and fun. As always there were so many inspirational people in class. Some of their own health tranformaion stories blew my mind and reminded me of how much what we put into and on our bodies matters. Our instructor, Janet, is truly passionate about raw food and its ability to heal and keep people healthy.

For my final project I wanted to make a WOW dish. I have had the raw tacos from Pomegranate Cafe in Ahwatukee and loved them. This is my attempt at recreating them. They aren't exactly the same, but they were pretty, delicious and RAW! When I eat traditional Mexican food, I always feel bloated, heavy and tired. After eating these you will feel satisfied, energetic and not at all bloated. These are great for an entree or a pot luck!

NOTE: This recipe does require a dehydrator.

Chow Locally produce used:

Yellow Onions from Sleeping Frog Farms
Roma Tomatoes from Crooked Sky Farms

Kim's Raw Tacos

Makes 15-20 small tacos

2 cups raw walnuts (soaked and dehydrated)
16 oz. cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
1/2 cup unpeeled zucchini, very small diced
2 tablespoon minced white or yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1 large lime (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons tamari or nama shoyu
1/3 cup chile powder (I like it hot, but you can use mild, medium or hot)
1 teaspoon mexican oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt

15-20 leaves radiccio or other firm cabbage, lettuce or green for the shell NOTE: If leaves are large, tear them down to "taco shell" size, about 4 inches or so.

Pulse walnuts in food processor until they resemble a very coarse meal. Don't make them too fine or the final texture will be too soft. Transfer walnuts to a mixing bowl. Place mushrooms in the food processor and pulse until they are in very small pieces. Add mushrooms and remaining ingredients to mixing bowl. Combine well.

Spread mixture evenly on a dehydrator tray lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Dehydrate for 2 hours at 110 degrees. Remove tray from dehydrator. Carefully scrape taco "meat" from the tray into a bowl. Crumble mixture.

To assemble tacos, place 2 tablespoons taco "meat" on each lettuce leaf. Top with your favorite taco toppings. I highly recommend tomatoes, avocado, chives (or green onions). Add a generous amount of Salsa Fresca and your favorite raw cashew sour cream (I used Judita Wignall's version).

If not serving immediately, the taco meat will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Just warm it up in the dehydrator for 20-30 minutes before serving.

Friday, September 12, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 12 - Salsa Fresca

Dang! I still haven't gotten to the giant pattypans yet! Oh well. Sometimes raw food classes move you in a different direction. I can't blame the raw food class really. I just veered my own way. There were some beautiful chives in last week's box that were going to go bad if I didn't act. So in a Superwoman style saving mode, I rescued those green, lush beauties. Oh and I am using this salsa as part of my final project for my raw food class!

The Chow Locally featured ingredient for this recipe is:

Garlic or Onion Chives from Taylor Herb Garden - Chives can be used in so many different ways fro dips to salads, to cooked meals. Store in the crisper with a damp towel.

Salsa Fresca

Makes Approximately 2 1/2 cups 

3 cups fresh tomatoes (I recommend heirlooms), roughly chopped
1 fresh medium hot Hatch green chile or medium green chile*
1 clove garlic, minced
juice of one lime
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1/4 cup garlic or onion chives, very thinly sliced

Place tomatoes, chiles, garlic, lime juice, sea salt and black pepper in blender. Pulse until peppers are minced. Make sure not to puree! When you are using those precious heirlooms you want some of that beautiful tomato texture and flavor. Pour mixture into a medium non-reactve bowl. Stir in chives. Refrigerate for at least two hours to let flavors meld. Overnight is even better.

* If you prefer hot salsa, substitute hot chiles or jalapeños

OK so salsa is the ketchup of the southwest. Enjoy this on EVERYTHING! If you are raw, this one is for you! Freshness and flavor abound!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 10 - Black Bean and Red Potato Stuffed Marconi Peppers

Today's recipes features the following Chow Locally veggies:

Dried Garlic from Sleeping Frog Farms - Garlic is a staple ingredient for so many recipes and can store for a long time. Keep with onions in a cool dry place in the pantry (I keep mine in the fridge during the hot summer)

Dried White Onions  from Sleeping Frog Farms - These great onions are a staple ingredient for innumerable recipes. Store these in a cool dry place and away from any potatoes.

Marconi Peppers from Crooked Sky Farms - These large peppers are quite versatile and can be used in salads, salsas, pastas and more. Roast, grill or fry to your heart's content. Store on the countertop. My notes: This variety is actually a sweet red variety from Italy. It is also very tasty raw. I'd love to try them red!

I am on a spicy Southwestern kick this week. I had it in my head to make some potato stuffed Hatch chiles. The shape and size of these were similar, so I figured, let's stuff 'em! I got some red potatoes over the weekend and the farmers' market. To make it a complete meal black beans were added to add some protein action. These can be served as a fun side dish or as an entree. 

Black Bean and Red Potato Stuffed Marconi Peppers

Makes 12 side dish and 6 entree portions

1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, unpeeled 1/2 inch or so dice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium white onion, minced (about 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used soy)
1 - 15 oz can black beans drained and rinsed.
6 Marconi peppers (can substitute Anaheims or Hatch Green Chiles)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Place potatoes in a steamer and steam until very tender, about 30 minutes. While potatoes are steaming, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until onions just start to brown, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add ancho, chipotle, smoked paprika and salt. Saute for another minute. Remove from heat and set aside until potatoes are done.

In a large mixing bowl, add potatoes, onion mixture, nutritional yeast and non-dairy milk. Mix on lowest speed of hand mixer until fairly smooth. I personally like mine a little bit chunky. Add more non-fairly milk of they are too stiff. Be careful not to mix too fast or too long or potatoes will get gummy. Fold in black beans. 

Slice peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds and pith. I like the way they look if you can keep the stems on. Over stuff each pepper half. Place stuffed pepper halves in lightly oiled 9 x 13 baking dish. Lightly spray tops with olive oil. Bake for 15-18 minutes until potatoes just start to brown. Let sit for 5-minutes. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 10 - Berry Berry Kale Smoothie

I'm interrupting the Chow Locally program today. I had a crazy busy day yesterday, so I am posting a backup post for today. While it does deviate from the theme, it DOES keep in line with my goal of including more raw food into my world.

I made this smoothie a couple of weeks ago and I think it may be the best one I've had. This is an excellent way to sneak some kale into the bellies of unsuspecting children (and adults as well for that matter). Use organic whenever you can. Make sure to use organic strawberries for sure as they are on the Environmental Working Groups dirty dozen list again this year. I couldn't find the smoothie pic, so enjoy this bonus butterfly from our East Coast trip.

Berry Berry Kale Smoothie

2 Servings

1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh strawberries
1 medium banana
2 cups kale, lightly packed
3/4 cup filtered water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 pitted medjool dates
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 cup ice (optional)

Add all ingredients to blender. Blend on high until smoother. Drink and be happy!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 9 - Filthy Cajun Rice

Today's recipe features the following ingredients from the Chow Locally box:

Dried onions (I really don't know why they are listed as dried, they are regular white onions) from Sleeping Frog Farms - These great onions are a staple ingredient for innumerable recipes. Store these in a cool dry location, such as a pantry away from any potatoes.

Mixd Bell Peppers from Crooked Sky Farms - Bell peppers are a nice vegetable to use in cooked or fresh meals. Their crunch adds texture to salads, or they can be sliced up for snacks. Store in the fridge crisper.

I had planned to make something with the giant pattypan squashes I got in the box this week, but suddenly, I went an entirely different direction. We had a significant flood here last night. It certainly wasn't the magnitude of Katrina, but the images on the TV reminded me of what the folks in Louisiana endured back then. I thought it fitting to do something Cajun inspired. This is my play on Dirty Rice. Tempeh stands in for the flecks of meat. Somehow I forgot the garlic when I made mine, it still tastes really good without it, but I put it in the recipe cuz it should be there!! Look at dat! You know you want some.

Filthy Cajun Rice

Makes 6 - 8 servings

Cajun Spice Mix

2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon thyme

Blend in a small bowl and set aside.

2 tablespoons olive oil, separated
1 - 8 oz package tempeh
1 medium white or yellow onion, medium dice
1 bell pepper (green is traditional, but I used a light yellow one), medium dice
1 stalk celery, medium dice
2 cloves minced garlic
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 cup short grain brown rice
1 - 15 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes, liquid drained
1 tablespoon creole or other hot mustard

In a 4 quart dutch oven or other pot, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Heat slightly over medium heat. Crumble tempeh into pot. Saute until the tempeh has browned, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking or burning, about 7 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Sauté the holy trinity of cajun and creole cooking: onions, celery and bell pepper in 1 tablespoon of oil until just softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until it is just fragrant, about 1 minute. Add Cajun Spice mix and sauté for another minute. Add browned tempeh, broth, rice and liquid smoke. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer covered for 45 minutes. DO NOT LIFT THE LID! Turn off heat and let sit for 15 minutes. It is really important to leave the lid in place for the whole time without peaking or the rice will not cook all the way through and you will be sad.

After the 15 minutes has passed, stir in tomatoes and mustard. Let sit for a few minutes to let the tomatoes warm up.

Serve over sautéed greens.

I'm excited to announce the winner of this week's Chow Locally share box…

#6 Cindy P! Yay! I'll be contacting you today to set up your chow locally pickup point. Thanks to all who participated. You can have another chance to win next Monday, so be sure to come back and comment then!

Monday, September 8, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 8 - Chow Locally Giveaway #2 and Apple Cranberry Hand Pies!

Good Morning. It is a very rainy day here in the Valley of the Sun, so I must leave early for work this morning. Before I head off, I wanted to post a picture of the delicious hand pies I made last night with the gala apples from my Chow Locally share box. I will post the recipe when I get home tonight. It's pretty easy and these are slightly addicting.

Apple Cranberry Hand Pies

Makes 8 pies

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 cups thinly sliced peeled gala apples (about 2 large or 3 smaller)
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch ground cloves
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1 - 1.1 pound package vegan puff pastry sheets, thawed
coconut spray oil 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pour lemon juice into large bowl. As you are peeling and slicing apples, toss slices in lemon juice to prevent browning. Add maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to bowl. Combine well. Let sit for about 10 minutes until apples start to release some of their juices. Stir in cranberries, walnuts and coconut oil and combine well.

Roll puff pasty on floured surface to approximately 10" x 10" squares. Cut 4 - 5 inch circles from each sheet. Put a generous 1/3 cup of apple mixture on one half of each circle, making sure to leave enough of a margin for sealing the pies (about 1/2 inch). Fold puff pastry over mixture and seal using fork tines.
Make three small cuts with a sharp knife in the top of each pie. Place pies on baking sheet leaving approximately 2 inches between pies. Spray tops with coconut spray oil or there neutral flavored oil. 

Bake for 20-22 minutes until pastry is golden brown. Let cool for about 15 minutes before serving. Can be reheated in oven for about 5-8 minutes at 400. 

Now the most important thing to post is GIVEAWAY #2. 

This giveaway is closed and the winner is….

#4 - Cindy P! Congrats! I will be contacting you to set up your pickup spot!

As a reminder, here are the rules:

1 - You must live or be in the Phoenix area.

2 - You must be able to pick up your fresh produce on the day specified for  the pick up location you chose. (I will contact you with details on pick up locations/times).

3 - Please leave a comment about you favorite fall dish by midnight tonight. Only one comment per poster please. Make sure to leave a way to contact you or check back tomorrow to see if you are the winner and contact me.

4- Winner will be drawn at random tomorrow.

Good Luck!!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 7 - Summer Squash Pasta with Walnut Basil Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes

My raw foods class has inspired me, there is no doubt. When I saw summer squash in this week's Chow Locally share box, there was no question what it's destiny would be. Last September, I got a spiral slicer that has been all but ignored. Tonight it was dusted off and very much loved.

I spiralized the summer squash and made some uber flavorful pesto with basil from Horny Toad Farms (another awesome local farm). I sliced up some Sunizona cherry tomatoes and fed it to Fred and my awesome neighbor. The pesto blanketed the fresh veggies and made it one heck of a way to usher out summer.

Zucchini "Pasta" with Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes

2 medium zucchini and/or yellow squash
2 cups cherry tomatoes (any color) halved
1 recipe Basil Pesto a la Kim.

Using a spiral slicer on the smallest setting for noodles, spiralize squash. Alternatively you can use a mandolin in a thin setting or use a vegetable peeler to make thin noodles (do not peel squash).

Place prepared squash in large bowl. Add cherry tomatoes and pesto and gently toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Basil Pesto a la Kim

1 large garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup raw walnuts (soaked and dried if you are raw)
2 cups fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil

Place garlic and walnuts in small food processor. Pulse until mixture resembles a meal. Add basil nutritional yeast, lemon juice and salt. Pulse until basil is in small pieces. Scrape side of bowl with rubber spatula. Turn processor on to finely chop basil, scraping sides occasionally. Slowly add olive oil in a stream. Process until fairly smooth. It is good to have a little chunkiness.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

2014 MOFO - Day 6 - This Week's Chow Locally Share Box

Holy abundance Batman! This week's box was a whopper. Thought I would give you a preview of what came in the box this week:

Bartlett Pears - They aren't ripe yet, so they won't be in the recipes for this week, but I see a walnut pear salad in our future.

Gala Apples

Medley of Summer Squash - giant pattypans, yellow and zucchini

Dried Garlic

Mixed bell peppers - I got yellow

Dried White Onions

Garlic/Onion Chives

Marconi Peppers (they look kind of like Anaheims)

I was very excited to hear from the winner of the last box. Just a reminder the next Chow Locally giveaway is Monday. Make sure to stop by and leave a comment on Monday's post WITH A WAY TO CONTACT YOU before midnight on Monday 9/8/14. I'm not really yelling, I just want to make sure I can contact the winner.

This is going to be a fun week. I already have some ideas floating around my head. Bur for today I am just going to leave you dreaming of what you would do with these gorgeous veggies. Here is some inspiration:

Friday, September 5, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 5 - Shishito's Unplugged

I love pepper of many kinds. I remember the first time I had shishito peppers. I was at a local place I love called POSH in Scottsdale. They specialize in amazing improvisational cuisine. They do a lot of molecular stuff and very upscale beautiful plates. The shishito peppers I had there were presented simply, highlighting the pepper itself. The shishito is a milder Japanese variety that can occasionally surprise you with a kick. It really doesn't need much embellishment as it is special on its own.

Shishito Peppers from Crooked Sky Farms: This slightly sweet. Japanese variety of pepper that often can come with a kick when grown in hot, dry conditions. Store on the counter or in the fridge.

Sesame Sauteed Shishito Peppers

2 servings 

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cups Shishito peppers
1 teaspoon smoked salt (or sub kosher or large grain salt) or more to taste.

Heat oil in 10 inch sauté pan until shimmering hot, but not smoking. Carefully slide peppers into hot oil.    Caution: peppers may sputter and oil may splatter. Let peppers simmer for about 3 minutes. The skin should start to blister slightly. Turn peppers and sauté for about 2-3 more minutes. Be careful to not over cook. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and place on paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with salt. Serve immediately.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 4 - An Apple a Day

Gala Apples from Briggs and Eggers: Gala apples are a great snack for hot summer days (and nights). They are good sources of both soluble and insoluble fibers. Store on countertop

The apples from last weeks Chow Locally box were so sweet and crunchy, it was hard to do anything than eat them just as they were (which I did with a couple of them). But I always like to try to do something more. I am taking a raw food class at the Southwestern Institute of Healing Arts. It's a lot of fun and has made me think about creative ways to get more raw, whole foods into the daily grub. I've made a few chia puddings in the past few months and I have to say, this little seed has captured my heart. It is so full of protein, omega 3's and 6's and fun texture, I just love using them in recipes. 

Today's recipe is another quick, healthy throw together meal for us busy types or anyone for that matter. It took about 5 minutes to mix up and about 2 hours in the fridge for thickening (you can eat it sooner if you like it thinner). I blend half of the chia seeds to release those awesome omega 3's and keep the other half whole for the fun texture. Fall is just around the corner, so I am dreaming of the fall flavors of apple and cinnamon. This creamy dreamy mixture is a perfect way to start your day!

Apple Pie Chia Pudding

4 servings

1 - 15 oz. can full fat coconut milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
3 pitted dates
2 tablespoons chia seeds, separated
1 cup diced unpeeled apple
1/4 cup chopped raw walnuts (soaked and dehydrated)*

* If you are not raw, feel free to substitute regular walnuts

Place coconut milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, dates and 1 tablespoon chia seeds in blender. Blend until smooth. Stir in remaining chia seeds. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight to thicken. Stir in apple and walnuts. Can be served immediately or it will keep in the fridge for 1 day. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 3 - Roasted Eggplant and White Bean Dip and Giveaway Winner!!

The local produce featured in today's post are:

Eggplant from Sleeping Frog Farms - These great summer veggies are good for sandwiches, cooked preps and many other fun recipes Store in the crisper of the fridge.

Little Sweetie Onions from Crooked Sky Farms - These great onions are a staple ingredient for innumerable recipes. Store these in a cool, dry location, such as a pantry and away from any potatoes.

Roasted Eggplant and White Bean Dip

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

1 small eggplant (approximately 1 pound), sliced about 1/4 inch thick
1 small little sweetie (or sweet yellow) onion, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
Spray olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons hot curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked salt
1 - 15 oz. can Northern beans*, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons sumac**

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Eggplant can be bitter if not properly prepared. To help remove the bitterness, liberally salt sliced eggplant and let it sit for an hour. Rinse the salt from the slices of eggplant and pat dry with a clean towel. 

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray each side of sliced eggplant, sliced onion and garlic clove with olive oil. Place in an even layer on baking sheet. In a small bowl combine curry powder, cumin and smoked salt. Sprinkle evenly over veggies. Roast for 15-20 minutes until veggies are soft. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.

In a food processor bowl, place beans, tahini, lemon juice tahini and sumac (if using). Roughly chop cooled roasted vegetables and add to processor bowl. Pulse to break up large pieces. Then process until smooth; scraping sides occasionally. Transfer to a bowl and stir in chopped parsley. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley, chopped tomatoes and lemon wheel (optional). Serve with fresh vegetables, flax or regular crackers or pita wedges. 

* It is OK to sub any other type of white bean or garbanzo beans
** Sumac is often used in middle eastern dishes. It adds a tart, bright flavor similar to lemon. If you cannot find sumac, you can add the same amount of lemon zest in its place.

OK without further adieu, the winner of the first Chow Locally box is….

#6 Who is an anonymous poster. I don't have any contact for you tomato loving person, so please be sure to contact me by emailing kimcooksveg4u at mail dot com to set up your delivery. Congratulations!

If the winner does not claim their prize by Friday, I will draw another winner. Be sure to check back for more giveaways!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO Day 2 - Spiced Up Sweet Potato Salad - Chow Locally Share Giveaway #1!

Each day I post a recipe, I will post the description and helpful info found on the Chow Locally Share box insert. That way you can learn a little bit more about the ingredients that you may not have known before. This week's box had a darn good variety. I love playing iron chef, so this theme makes me happy on so many levels. I'm starting off with a bang…a spicy bang. The box did not include the yams, but I did find some at my local Farmers Market. I am sure there will be some in future boxes!

The local produce items featured in today's recipe are:

Shishito Peppers from Crooked Sky Farms: This is a slightly sweet, Japanese variety of pepper that often can come with a kick when grown in hot, dry conditions. Store on the counter or in the fridge

Little Sweetie Onions from Crooked Sky Farms: These great onions are a staple ingredient for innumerable recipes. Store these in a cool, dry location, sigh as a pantry and away from any potatoes.

Spiced Up Sweet Potato Salad

Makes 6 servings

3 pounds garnet yams or sweet potatoes (approximately 4), scrubbed, unpeeled diced into 1 inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil

Spice Mix:

1 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon Mexican Oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
5-6 Shishito peppers*, minced (approx 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup sweet yellow onion, minced
1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

Place diced yams in a pot with enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil. Turn down to simmer and simmer for about 15 minutes until yams are softened, but still a firm to the bite as they will be cooking further in the oven. Rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Make sure to drain well.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In a small bowl, combine chipotle powder, smoked paprika, Mexican Oregano, salt and pepper until will combined.

Place drained yams on a parchment lined rimmed cookie sheet. Toss with olive oil and half of the spice mix. Gently toss yams to coat. Spread in an even layer on cookie sheet. Roast for 10 minutes. Gently turn yams and return to oven for another 10 minutes. Remove yams from oven and set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, lime juice peppers, onion, cilantro and remaining spice mix. When yams are cool, gently toss them in the dressing until coated. Let chill for at least two hours, preferably overnight.

OK! It's time for the first giveaway of the month! One lucky local reader will have a chance to win a Chow Share! Here are the fine print on what you need to do to be eligible to win:

1 - You must live or be in the Phoenix area.

2 - You must be able to pick up your fresh produce on the day specified for  the pick up location you chose. (I will contact you with details on pick up locations/times).

3 - Leave a comment about what your favorite produce is and why on this post by midnight (AZ time) tonight. Please leave a way to contact you if you win on the post as well.

This contest is closed. The winner is #6 Anonymous. I don't have contact info for the winner. If the winner does not contact me by Friday, another winner will be selected at random, so please make sure to check back on this post to see if you won!