Friday, August 29, 2008

Who Needs a Tractor?

This is the wall that Travis built.

It is every bit as heavy and awkward as it looks. Unfortunately, it belongs in the root cellar, which is 200 feet away from the driveway where it was constructed. We tried picking it up to move it. Yeah, right. Maybe if there were six of us.

So, this is the way we move the wall that Travis built.

Of course, this wasn't our brilliant idea. Log rolling is an ancient technique. Anthropologists theorize it was used to move Stonehenge's monolithic sarsan stones 20 miles about 5,000 years ago.

Hmm. Easy though it was, I'm glad we didn't have to move the wall that far.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Harvest Enchiladas

I'll (almost) shamelessly admit that this recipe is based on Cooking Light's Black Bean, Corn, and Zucchini Enchiladas. The original recipe struck me as a good way to use zucchini, but it looked a bit bland; also, it called for more cheese than I wanted to use.

I added several ingredients to liven up the enchilada filling and replaced the cheese with tofu mixed with cheesy-flavored nutritional yeast, plus a sprinkling of chives. (If you're feeding picky eaters, don't mention the tofu -- chances are, they'll assume it's ricotta or cottage cheese.) Cooking Light's sauce recipe is excellent, and I prepared the original version.

As you can see, I served the enchiladas with fresh tomato salad (diced garden tomatoes with fresh basil, cracked black pepper, a pinch of kosher salt, and a splash of rice vinegar.) If you want something heavier, Spanish rice would be a good choice.

Harvest Enchiladas

2 tsp olive oil
1 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 cups zucchini, diced
1 1/2 cups black beans, cooked
1 10-oz package frozen corn
1 12.3-oz package silken tofu
2 Tbs nutritional yeast
1/3 cup fresh oregano, chopped
8 whole wheat tortillas (8-inch)
1/3 cup fresh chives, chopped
Enchilada Sauce by Cooking Light

Saute onion, garlic, and zucchini in oil for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add beans and corn; heat just until corn thaws.

Meanwhile, stir together silken tofu, nutritional yeast, and oregano.

Spread 1 cup sauce in the bottom of a lightly greased, 13 x 9 inch baking dish.

Fill each tortilla with zucchini mixture and tofu mixture. Place rolled enchiladas in prepared pan and top with remaining sauce. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Sprinkle with chives immediately before serving.

Serves 4.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Fruits of our Labor

Let us not become weary in doing good,
for in the proper time we will reap a harvest.
~ Galatians 6:9

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Digging for Gold

The potato blossoms have faded, the leaves withered, and it is time for harvest. Travis dug the first row of Yukon Golds.

I diced them.

And mixed them with a bit of olive oil, kosher salt, cracked black pepper, and fresh rosemary.

Then roasted them to purest bliss.

Ahh, homegrown potatoes. You simply can't buy this flavor at the store.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Zucchini Egg Salad

Ah, zucchini. It sounds wonderful in March when you tuck the slender, white seeds into wee beds of starting mix. It satisfies by germinating quickly, springing into robust seedings in a matter of days. It fills your June garden with glorious green. Bright blossoms unfurl, birthing the first fruits. You carry them triumphantly to the kitchen. Summer at last!

But they keep coming. No sooner do you pluck a squash than three more grow in its place. You grill them, stuff them, bake them in breads, grate and freeze them for winter soups, pile them by the sink, haul boxes of them to work to foist on your co-workers, and still they come. By mid-August, you've given up picking them, let weeds spring up around them, threatened the sprawling vines with rototiller and hoe...and still they come. What are you going to do?

Try this salad. Not only is it fast and easy, but it's a great way to use up zucchini while reaping the nutritional benefit of eating the squash raw. The texture of raw zucchini is remarkably like that of hard-boiled eggs, especially if you peel the squash before dicing it (I don't). You can use some eggs in the recipe (I do) or replace them with additional zucchini. This version reflects a bit of Italian influence, but feel free to experiment with more traditional egg salad ingredients instead, or branch out and create a zucchini potato salad instead.

Zucchini Egg Salad

6 hard-boiled eggs, diced
3 cups raw zucchini squash, diced
1/4 cup green olives, sliced
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, diced small
1/4 cup pickled pepperocini peppers, sliced
1/2 cup plain, full-fat yogurt
2 Tbs mayonaise
2 Tbs honey mustard
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1/4 - 1/2 tsp black pepper, coursely ground

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir gently. Serve as a side dish, or with spinach in tortillas or pitas for a light meal. Serves 6.