Thursday, June 18, 2009

Market to Table - June 18, 2009

The greens in our garden (lettuce, collards, and chard) were starting to bolt so it was time to do some serious backyard veggie eating (remind me next time to plant less greens and more green beans - there's only so many greens even a Texan can take). So this week, the only meal that didn't feature greens was breakfast. Everything else? Well, let's just see...

Veggie stir fry - Collards don't really go well in salads. It's just not really that kind of green. Stir fry it up, though and it's heaven! The stir fry pictured above was the most frequent meal for me this week since it pulled a lot of bountiful (aka overflowing) goodies from our very own backyard, like swiss chard, collard greens, lambs-quarter, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and basil. A few farmers' market goodies made the dish like white eggplant, pinto beans, garlic, and olive oil. Local brown rice finishes off the ingredients.

Easy as always (would you expect anything but easy from me?), I simply started by sauteing the tomato, onion, garlic, egg plant, and any stems from the greens (swiss chard stems are a great substitute for celery) in a drizzle of olive oil. Once the tomatoes have completely broken down and you have a nice thick tomato-veggie paste, dump the rest of the greens in, cover, and cook until the greens have softened. Then toss in the cooked brown rice and pinto beans, heat through, and enjoy (and don't forget to lick the bowl - it's THAT good!).

Veggie plate - Earlier in the week, I needed to finish up some leftovers lurking in the fridge. Rather than picking any one thing, I let myself enjoy a smorgasbord of goodies. Those are boiled red potatoes from the farmers' market (we're pushing 100 degrees here, so I've been eating them chilled from the fridge - Mmmm!), steamed green beans (from the backyard garden), and some stir fry leftovers (greens and onions from the backyard, carrots from the farmers' market). Although you can't see them here, the local peaches I had for dessert that afternoon really topped off the meal. 

Stuffed Tomato - Ok. It doesn't get any easier than this. Remember all those stir fry goodies from the beginning of this post? I had some leftovers (my eyes were bigger than my stomach one day) so I cored two nice big juicy tomatoes from the backyard (be sure to save the tomato innards for your next stir fry) and stuffed the tomato shells. Drizzle your baking sheet with olive oil (brush a little on top of the stuffed tomatoes too) and bake at 350 for 25 minutes (I baked it in my toaster oven) and have the all-local meal of your life! Experiment with the stir fry veggies to find what you like best. You can even dress it up with some homemade croutons or shredded cheese. 

Peaches and plums - Ok. You talked me into it. I just couldn't close this post without showing off the local fruit. Just about every morning for breakfast, I've had a couple of the juiciest sliced peaches ever and a few perfect little plums (both local, of course) alongside a nice hot cup of sage tea (sage harvested from the backyard garden). Is there a better way to start the day? I think not.

Well, there's plenty more greens in the backyard where these came from, so I'm sure I'm in for another week of sauteed greens and plump red tomatoes. I'm not complaining though. There something magical about walking into the backyard, asking "So what's for lunch?" and finding a beautiful harvest just waiting for my plate.

Happy (and mindful) eating!


Beany said...

When you first began posting your stir fries, I thought they were great (for you), but didn't think I'd like it without a gazillion spices. Well..I was wrong. I've been eating stir fried rice with local veggies and a bit of olive oil for the last few weeks and the results are amazing!

Tomatoes are in my future this weekened...the stars have aligned :)

Chile said...

Braising greens and salad greens are two different critters, both wonderful in their own worlds. :)

Your meals look delicious! I like stuffing tomatoes with cooked bulgur. In fact, I have some big tomatoes...I think you just figured out what we should have for dinner. Thanks!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

I never thought to use chard stems as one would celery.

As always your simple stir fries are mouth watering. When I first started cook stir fries I made the common mistake of adding way too much flavor, as I got better at it, I simplified the recipes and found that the simpler they are, the better!

Oh, and another good thing to do with collards, that will make them a bit more breakfast appropriate is to steam them with some garlic and put a bit of vinegar or tobasco sauce on 'em. We like to have them as a side to a "diner style" brunch of eggs and hashbrowns. I have had them in stir fries too though and they are really good.

I have to say though, my favorite thing from this post is the stuffed tomatoes. I bet those were absolutely amazing.

sharli said...

We had stuffed tomatoes for dinner this week. They were delicious!

Heather @ SGF said...

Beany - I'm glad you like it! It's so easy and so tasty. It just doesn't get any better than that. Enjoy your tomatoes!

Chile - They were wonderful! In fact, I had one again today for lunch. I'm looking forward to stuffing peppers too as soon as they start producing (I found blooms on on of the pepper plants this morning...) Enjoy dinner!

Jennifer- Thanks for the tip on the collards! I do occasionally eat veggies for breakfast. I used to never until I realized one day that I'm an adult and if I feel like veggies for breakfast, well, why not? :)

Sharli - Ooh! I'll bet! What did you put in yours?

Chile said...

I started doing more veggies for breakfast when I read that the Japanese often have rice, pickled vegetables, and a small piece of fish in the morning. It's not uncommon for me to have rice with kimchi for breakfast, with hot sauce!

Beany said...

Chile: I often have chappatis and veggies for breakfast. So tasty and healthy.

Heather @ SGF said...

Mmm. Rice and veggies sound good for breakfast. Maybe I'll move up my main meal to breakfast instead of lunch. At least at 10 or 11 AM the temps are still in the high 80's and I can afford to eat something warm...