First things first, adding to the state of amazement that represents my feelings about summertime produce (and further complicating my love/hate relationship with sunshine) is new a CSA share I’m getting from my workspace! It’s small yet mighty, and something I could not pass up. The CSA comes from Our Table, a collaborative farming effect based out of Sherwood, OR. Realistically, and economically (and eco-comically) speaking, this means I’ll be picking up way less from my farmer market trips and actually sticking to one market PER week, but I can deal. It’s been at least six years since I had my last, incredibly eye-opening and inspiring CSA, and I am stoked to play the community-supported agriculture game again. To think I was all set to declare my new passion as a contemporary farmers market blogger, but week after week, challenge after challenge, I’m in it to win it…which means I’m pretending my produce is a reality show?
Our Table summer share, week #2
Pssst. In other news, I’ve been one of Beyond Meat’s blog ambassadors for some time now, which basically means that my freezer has more Beyond Meat than you. J. Legume (who is now J. LeScone, if you’re counting) devourers the stuff on a regular basis: whether it’s cooked or seasoned, or even right out of the package. Bike fuel, baby.
I can’t exactly see myself doing that, but I have been enjoying the chickin’ varieties in an array of different dishes. In this day and age of commercial vegan products, this one stands out as blatantly passing for ‘the real thing’, in terms of convenience, ease of use, texture and all that protein-factor. The very easiest way I like to prepare it is in a hot cast iron pan, super quickly pan-fried with olive oil, sliced garlic, maybe some cornmeal or breadcrumbs, whatever spice profile I’m going for, and then thrown in a taco, over pasta, grits or what happened many times this week for lunch and dinner: Chickin’ Caesar Salads. It was so vegan cookbook-y, and that’s clearly a good thing.
There I was on Tuesday, carrying around a bag of lettuce and arugula in mid-90sF heat, sitting through meetings and an early happy hour, meal planning in my head, and recognizing that dinner had to be fresh.
Beyond Meat Garlic-Chickin’ Potato Caesar Salad
Pan-fried Garlic Chickin’ & Potatoes
This method is super simple and reminds you that a hot cast iron pan is your best friend. I used the grilled Beyond Meat chickin’ in this, but any variety would work. It totally hit the spot over super fresh, dressed greens and a nice helping of toasted sunflower seeds.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 or 3 red potatoes, rough parts peeled and diced into large chunks
- 1/2 package Beyond Meat chickin’, cut in half
- 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
- pinch cayenne pepper
- Heat the oil in large cast iron pan. Add the potatoes, douse with pepper, and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Toss in the Beyond Meat chickin’ strips and sliced garlic. Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, until the garlic is golden and both chickin’ and potatoes are crispy.
- Remove from heat, add the salt, smoked paprika and cayenne, stirring well.
- Serve warm or cooled on top of dressed salad.
The requisite, tangy, garlicky dressing hails from Vegan Cooking for Carnivores. I halved the recipe, and plenty remains in my fridge awaiting my next bunch of greens.
Now, this week’s fennel is so calling for cocktails:
Time will tell.
Last week’s first summer share:
Pick up in the workspace kitchen (I get such a kick out of this phrase):
Biking with produce, as usual
Other stuff that’s since happened with farmers market goodness:
Cherry, white nectarine & strawberry-infused Pinot Grigio Sangria
Red potato hash with kale, napa cabbage, seitan, fresh garlic and stoneground Dijon
I’ve been making variations of this dish, another cast iron must, at least once a week.
And because I must, last weekend’s slightly smaller trip to Lents International Farmers Market:
Cast iron pizza, pre-baked (and tofu ricotta with all that basil)
It’s a fascinating challenge to make sure my meals feature as much produce as possible. I’m in odd place (the story of my summer) where I’m making so little money, yet relishing such exciting, affordable produce. The pizza is clearly not utilizing as much CSA and market goodness as it could, but it was a nice example in my clean-out-the fridge mentality.
I’m remembering how:
- to cook for one
- pack colorful work lunches
- eat greens at breakfast
- eat my dang leftovers
- always eat before biking
- make food memories with friends, by cooking together and hosting intimate dinner parties
- to always, always make my own stock
I won’t be doing a breakdown of all of my produce this oast week because as you can see, there was such a bounty, and much of it was chosen to be enjoyed immediately: like blueberries and basil, or to last the week out: the potatoes and garlic, galore.
Til next time.