Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Summer CSA Week 14 and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

I love fall days like today.
Warm weather, sun shining but still definitely fall.

For me fall seems to move a little bit slower. There is still lots to do, no question.
 One hoop house is planted for the winter, but I still have two to go. Tomorrow's job.

The winter rye cover crop is up nicely on one of the back fields, and I planted the Groundhog radishes tonight which are a cover crop as well.

I've got a beautifully tilled area for my garlic. Next years garlic crop is planted now, and I am experimenting with lots of different varieties next year. Likely no surprise at all to people that know me.

Next year's big crops will be tomatoes, peppers, garlic, basil and runner beans. Oh...likely a few more things too.

I've got to get my special basils potted up and "un-harden" them off to bring them indoors for the winter. They will provide cuttings for next years plants.

There's also still lots of food to harvest, and happily no frost in the 14 day forecast. I sure hope they are right!

That means the tomatoes will continue, though they have certainly slowed down. The peppers will carry on as will the tomatillos, ground cherries, and a bunch more things too.

Some crops will just be better after a nice frost. Kales, chards, beets, carrots and I bet the root chicory crop that I grew for Balzacs Coffee roasters.

Busy, but relaxed. Do you know what I mean? Working at my own pace...except Tuesdays. Tuesdays are a rush. CSA day, restaurant and store day.

Next week is the last week of my summer session, and the week after we carry on right into the fall and winter.

Today's baskets still had a good hit of summer in them.

Tomatoes, peppers, both hot and sweet, tomatillos, ground cherries, basil, lemon grass, oregano-thyme mint, rosemary, swiss chard, Paris Market carrots, leaf celery, and a brassica (either kale, cabbage or broccoli). Likely more I can't think of too.

Basil alert though! My basil drinking friends, I advise you of a new drink to try. Basil, peach juice and vodka.
And perhaps if the vodka holds no appeal, peach juice and basil would be a great combo too. That's what I'll be trying.

For food? How about this recipe which uses many of the veggies in today's basket.
(From Vegetarian Times)

I would substitute chard for the frozen spinach, leaf celery for the celery and fresh tomatoes for the canned.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Serves 8
This dish freezes well for future meals. Quinoa provides whole-grain goodness and a serving of protein.
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped (½ cup)
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
  • 1 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¾ cup quinoa
  • 3 large carrots, grated (1 ½ cups)
  • 1 ½ cups grated reduced-fat pepper Jack cheese, divided
  • 4 large red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs removed
1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery, and cook 5 minutes, or until soft. Add cumin and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in spinach and drained tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.
2. Stir in black beans, quinoa, carrots, and 2 cups water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Stir in 1 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour liquid from tomatoes in bottom of baking dish.
4. Fill each bell pepper half with heaping 3/4-cup quinoa mixture, and place in baking dish. Cover with foil, and bake 1 hour. Uncover, and sprinkle each pepper with 1 Tbs. remaining cheese. Bake 15 minutes more, or until tops of stuffed peppers are browned. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer stuffed peppers to serving plates, and drizzle each with pan juices before serving. 
Basil and Stella waiting for me upon my return!

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