Friday, June 25, 2010

Transportation Pledge

In the wake of the oil spill, I have felt a certain disgust towards my own petroleum usage. Almost simultaneouly, my car has taken an irreperable turn for the worse. This has been surprisingly synchronistic, as I have been forced through necessity to consider other options for my daily transportation.

And so I have committed from both necessity and desire to alternative forms of transportation each day- train, bike, carpool, walk. Most of these I have found wonderfully pleasant; the most difficult is carpooling. It makes me feel a bit needy and dependent on others to ask for a ride- and even though I have many options of people to ask for rides, I still wish the exchange were more mutual. In general, I feel more capable and independent when I take the train. On the other hand, taking the train has meant a re-adjustment of schedules- which has only been possible by a certain flexibility in work situations. I am very happy to have moved to Beacon, closer to my job, to a place where all these options are possible. And I am happy that I have chosen to pursue work only in situations that would align with my values.

As I have turned to 'training it', I have received some lovely gifts- including reduced expenses, more exercise, and encounters with nature. As the train ride is accompanied by a mile long walk through the woods to work, I have encountered squirrels, chipmunks, birds, deer~ and a certain freedom and joy.

I, therefore, make this pledge willingly to give up the luxury of driving my car, and commit to continuing along this path.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Week Day Side Dish

This week, I have been featuring recipes using vegetables from the first CSA pick-up of the year. I served the following with grilled teriyaki chicken and braised greens (including turnip greens and a wild edible called lamb's quarters...)

Turnips with Bread Crumbs and Parsley

4 small turnips, peeled
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley leaves
½ teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

In a large saucepan of salted boiling water cook 15 minutes and drain. When turnips are cool enough to handle, cut each into 8 wedges. In a large skillet cook turnips in butter over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until almost tender and golden on the edges, about 10 minutes. Stir in bread crumbs, parsley, zest, and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring occasionally, until turnips are tender, about 5 minutes.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Lazy Sunday, Light Dinner

Pak Choi

Prep time: 10 mins Cooking time: 15 mins

• 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
• 3 garlic cloves, crushed
• ginger, peeled and finely chopped
• 500g pak choi, chopped

1. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok and fry the garlic and ginger for 3-4 mins.
2. Add the Pak Choi and fry for another 2-3 mins.

Ginger Peanut Soba Noodles

prep time: 10 minutes | cooking time: 10 minutes | makes 4 servings

One package soba noodles
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp peanut butter
1 Tbsp water
1 tsp ginger, grated
1 small clove garlic, minced or pressed
sesame seeds, chopped peanuts, & chopped green onion for garnish

Prepare noodles as directed on package.

Drain noodles. In a small bowl combine soy sauce, sesame oil, peanut butter, water, grated ginger and garlic. Add to noodles and toss thoroughly to coat. If the sauce seems a little too thick, add some pasta water a tablespoon at a time until it looks like it will blend nicely with the noodles and not glop.

Top generously with chopped peanuts, scallions, and sesame seeds.

Eat hot or even chilled or room temperature. Serve with pak choi.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Recipe for a Picnic

Black Bean Dip
15 min | 15 min prep
2 cups
• 2 cups cooked drained black beans
• 4 teaspoons tomato paste
• 3 tablespoons water
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 teaspoons lime juice
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
• 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
• 2 green onions, chopped
• ¼ cup salsa
1. Process all ingredients except green onions and chilies in a blender or food processor until smooth.
2. Stir in green onions and salsa and place in a serving bowl.