Sunday, January 3, 2010

Getting Ahead Of The Game!

Of course you know I get these beautiful boxes filled with a variety of organic produce every Monday.  And as long as we are home and eating dishes made from the produce I can keep up with what we got before the next order comes in.

Some weeks I fail miserably at that!  We have too many activities during the week for me to cook….the kids are not home (they make a nice dent in the produce!)….or for whatever reason we end up eating other things. 

The last few weeks with the holidays I have been overrun with the produce

But this week I worked hard to catch up and I believe I see progress!  (Until Monday when the new delivery comes in that is!)

Yesterday (New Year’s Day) I made it a point to have a leftover buffet.  I pulled out all of our leftovers and we went to town on them.   We had a ridiculous mishmash of little containers full of so many different things!

Cooked spinach, cooked collards, potatoes au gratin, the lentil loaf, sweet potato casserole, half a kabocha to cook, salad….and MORE!

I was surprised, but thanks to my three very hungry guys we made a fantastic dent and I actually have some clear spaces in my fridge!

Part Two of my “clear out the fridge” plan was to make a whole bunch of dishes to bring with me when we went to visit my mom-in-law today.

First came the Good Luck  Hoppin’ John, which I actually made the night before.

During the day I soaked the beans:

 DSCF6673 DSCF6674

Then I tried to use my liquid smoke to imitate the ham hocks and bacon I USED to put in it! 

I sliced the tofu really really thin and put in a baggie with some liquid smoke and honey…I just eyeballed it.  I wanted to put maple  syrup but I couldn’t find where FabHubs had hid it…so I tried to sub honey instead.

I let this sit in the fridge overnight…turning and squishing every now and then.


The next day I fried it trying to get it crispy.  I wanted to use half for the Hoppin John and half for my broccoli salad.  

Let’s just say while the result was usable…this was not one of my best tasting results.  I know I am on to the right idea…it just needs some tweaking!

DSCF6678I  cooked  the beans, then the rice (using brown rice of course) in another pot, and then mixed the whole thing together.    


The bottom line was the whole thing mixed together tasted pretty good…with a dash of salt and another dash of hot sauce on top!

I finished the dish about 11:45 on New Year’s Day and quickly made a cupful for each family member to eat before the clock struck twelve!   You have to eat it on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day for best results!


Then it was onto  the broccoli salad.  I had two heads of broccoli that needed to be used up and this is my MIL’s favorite so I knew she would be thrilled if I brought some up!

First I chopped up the broccoli and put it in the big bowl.  I also chopped up an onion….half went into the bowl with the broccoli, the other half was put aside for the last recipe I was going to take up.


The original recipe calls for sunflower seeds…but I didn’t have any.  I did, however, have cashews and decided to give them a try in here!  I had both raw and roasted salted cashews…I went back and forth….and finally went with the roasted salted. 

I chopped them up and threw them in the bowl….along with a large amount (cup?  3/4 cup?  I didn’t measure!) of golden raisins.


The I whipped up the dressing…which is what makes the salad!   Although I guess the nuts and raisins make a pretty great contribution too…..

The dressing is non-fat plain yogurt (I used Fage) with apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup Sugar In The Raw

I was going to use the rest of the yogurt in the container…so I just mixed the sugar and vinegar right in there….then popped the lid back on the yogurt container and transported it like that.  I didn’t dress the salad until I got to my MIL’s house, although you can…it tastes just fine that way too!


Next I needed to use up these babies!!!

I had two already…and then my mom brought me over another one on Christmas day…this was getting out of hand! DSCF6682

This recipe for avocado salad is so easy and so good….there wasn’t any left!

I used the half of chopped onion (as mentioned above!) DSCF6683Then I just peeled and chunked up the avocado and mixed it all together. 

I poured a few healthy splashes of balsamic vinegar and sprinkled some S&P on top…mixed it all up and VOILA!!!

Now it is brown because of the balsamic….when I was growing up my mom used to make it with apple-cider vinegar and it wasn’t so brown….but I do love my balsamic and decided to try it on my beloved avocado salad.

The taste is so worth the ugly color!  Although everyone sort of turns their nose up at it until you explain….and they taste.


And so we packed all of our kids into the car….and to Grandmother’s house we went!  


Yes! Those are two more kids than usual!  The beautiful young lady would be my FabStepdaughter…and the beautiful little lady is my FabGranddaughter!  (Yes…I am a grandma!)

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