Tag Archives: Carrots

Happy Accidents

Had I known the chore of cleaning out the fridge would provide such a delicious meal, I probably would not have put it off all weekend long!  Typically, when I have fresh veggies in need of use, my go-to dish is a curry concoction.  Since my cabinets were lacking coconut milk, I had to come up with something else.

Last winter, while I was canning soups, I had also planned on canning some of my dried beans.  Well, I never got around to it but I did end up freezing some after over estimating and cooking up way too many for another recipe.  After taking inventory of some use-’em-or-lose-’em fridge items, I began creating what I call a happy accident!

Tortilla Lasagna

6 fajita-sized tortillas (I used a mix of multi grain and whole wheat)

1-1/2 pints Tomatillo Salsa

4 cups ready-to-use black beans

3 carrots, chopped

2 cups chopped tomatoes (I used a quart of canned)

1 large red pepper, chopped

1 pkg Daiya Cheddar Cheese shreds

Ground Cumin, Salt, & Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease a 9×13″ baking dish with olive oil and place a layer of tomatillo salsa on the bottom.  Place two tortillas on top the salsa; add half the carrots, peppers, tomatoes, and beans and season lightly with cumin, salt, and pepper.

Sprinkle on a bit of cheese and cover with two more tortillas.  Add the remaining carrots, peppers, tomatoes, and beans, season again and add another layer of tomatillo salsa.  Place the remaining tortillas on the top of the “lasagna” and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Cover dish with tinfoil and continue baking for an additional 20 minutes.  Remove tinfoil, sprinkle on more cheese, and place back in the oven until cheese is melted and begins to brown, approximately 10 minutes.  Allow lasagna to rest for 10 minutes, this will help the layers stay together when serving!

This recipe yielded me about 10 servings, most of which were placed in the freezer for work-week lunches.  I was pleased to find it freezes really well!

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge.

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Weekend Projects

Sun-kissed skin and sore muscles, my definition of the perfect weekend!  The past two days were absolute bliss, especially since I was able to spend most of it outside.  Not only did I organize my garden shed, sow radish seeds, get my indoor seeds started, and weed the flower beds, but I pulled my first harvest of the 2012 growing season!

Some furry little creature made a cozy nest in the shed.  They also ate the sunflower seeds I was saving!

Laundry on the line and seeds in the dirt!

My kale plants are thriving, all 10 of them!  I definitely see some kale chips in the near future!

Overwintered mustard greens.  Had I known they would be surviving the mild winter, I would have put more in the ground!

First harvest of the year: French breakfast radishes, yellow and white carrots, and a black radish!  I put two rows of carrots in the ground late September that received too much shade, so they never got big enough for harvest… ’til now!

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Cooking with Fire

I’ll admit, I’m kind of new to the grilling scene. Not to say I was completely inexperienced, because I’m not, but I never actually owned a grill up until about 2 months ago. That’s unless you count the time I had an in-ground fire pit that we would fill with charcoal and lay grill grates over top. It was kind of awesome. After cooking dinner, we would fill it with wood and have a fire. I, however, was completely paranoid because we had nosey neighbors and there was an enforced ban on open fires, and it was placed right next to my other neighbor’s wooden fence. Do you see where I am going with this? Sure, it was constructed from brick and cinder blocks, but paranoid I was!

Since I am not much of a carnivore, it never entered my mind to purchase a grill after moving into the new place.  Then, the summer holiday super sales on grills began, so I ended up getting one.  I thought about charcoal, because I really like the smoky flavor, but I really don’t want to mess around with coals.  So propane it is!

Mainly, I grill veggies, but it has seen two pork chops and three chicken breasts, too.  I found them when I cleaned out the freezer late Spring to make room for this year’s anticipated veggie harvest!  Last week I grilled tofu for the first time and I must say I was pretty pleased with the results!

Grilled Herb Tofu and Agave-Dijon Root Vegetables – adapted from Cookouts Veggie Style

for the tofu::

1 block extra-firm tofu, sliced and pressed to remove excess water

2 Tbsp lemon juice

2 Tbsp rosemary infused olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

8 fresh basil leaves, sliced into ribbons

1 med sprig of fresh rosemary, chopped

several splashes of vegan Worcestershire sauce

salt & pepper to taste

Whisk together lemon juice, oil, garlic, rosemary, basil, and Worcestershire in a shallow bowl.  Marinate tofu “filets” for 20-30 minutes.  Overnight would have been awesome, but I had just gotten home from work and I was starving!  Remove tofu from marinade and sprinkle each side with salt and pepper, place on a hot grill over a medium flame and cook approximately 5 minutes per side, or until browned.  I have one of those veggie cage things (I have no idea what they are really called) and it worked perfectly!  Seriously, when I saw it at the store I gasped out loud and was like “MOM! Oh my god, that is awesome and I am so grilling stuff with it!”  She just shot me the one eyebrow raised “you’re so weird” look.

for the root veggies::

4 Tbsp agave

3 Tbsp Dijon mustard

4 Tsp lemon juice

2 Tbsp olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

4 medium beets, sliced and quartered (you can peel them if you want, I don’t)

4 medium carrots, coined into 1″ pieces (I don’t peel my carrots either)

Marinate veggies 20-30 minutes, then transfer to foil.  Double wrap the veggies and place them on a hot grill over a medium flame.  Cook for 15-20 minutes, turning once.   Remove from grill with tongs; use caution when opening the foil package, the steam will come rolling out!!

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Garden Tour and My Battle with Blight

Last weekend, I spent most of Friday night, all of Saturday morning and some of Monday afternoon tackling the beginnings of late blight on my tomatoes.  Late blight is usually our precursor to the ever loathsome dog days of summer.  Every July, the bottom leaves develop spots, turn yellow, shrivel up, and die, leaving my tomato plants looking like a sad mess.  Thankfully, late blight seems to favor my leaves and not the actual fruit itself.  However, it can affect and destroy the leaves, stems, fruits, and tubers of potato and tomato plants.  Late blight was responsible for the Irish Potato Famine.

Late blight spores are asexual and are spread by rain splash and wind currents.  One way to slow down this ugly fungus-like pathogen is to begin removing the infected leaves as soon as they appear.  I should have started that task around Tuesday, but alas, I had too much other stuff to tend to.  By the time I got into the garden Friday, it had spread through the first three rows of my tomatoes.  My Cream Sausage were the hardest hit.  Since they are a determinant variety, I will be pulling them after the harvest.  My Amish Paste, Hillbilly, Cherokee Purple and Green Zebras are all indeterminant varieties, so I will continue to clip off leaves and suckers well into the fall till our first hard frost.

And now, I shall take you on a 365 degree tour of the main garden!

Several of my sunflowers had what appeared to be powdery mildew, so I pulled them.  I’ve started new ones for transplant.  Two weeks ago, I pulled the sugar snap peas and rebuilt the trellis to accommodate my tiger melons, which I will be growing vertically.  My bush peas will most likely be pulled this weekend and replaced with winter squash.  Carrots were next to the bush peas, but I pulled them after the picture was taken.  The brassicas will most likely come out next week.  Some are forming heads and others I don’t believe ever will.  I will be planting carrots, beets, and beans in that space.

After the empty space on the left is celery, then Brussels sprouts.  They may or may not do anything.  Regardless, I am going to give them another go this Fall!  I love me some Brussels sprouts sautéed in an obnoxious amount of butter and garlic!!  And now begins the tomatoes.

L-R Cream Sausage, Amish Paste, Hillbilly, Cherokee Purple, and Green Zebra.  I think it took me a total of about 10 hours to cut out all the blight damaged leaves.  I also thinned out the suckers (stems that will never flower) and restaked everything!  You can now walk down each path; by thinning out leaves, I’ve increased air circulation, which will hopefully help in protecting against other tomato diseases!

Some of my tomato plants have reached a height of 6 feet, they are now taller than me! :)  I did some companion planting this year and placed a row of carrots between the Green Zebras and the Purple Tomatillos, they were shaded by the rapid growth of the plants flanking them.  After the leaf trimming, they are getting more light, but it will be a slow grow for them!  This is my first year for tomatillos and I did not realize just how big they got!  I did not stake them, but they are holding up well.  I may go in with supports later if they begin to look stressed.  To the very right of the picture are my ground cherries.   Only two made it and they are thriving; I’ve started two more that now have true leaves.

Beans, beets, beans, and cucumbers!  I’m going to seed more carrots next to the last planting of beans.  If I need to, I will trellis my cukes to keep them off the ground and away from my carrots, which is most likely the case.

And as we continue along the backside…

Zucchini and purslane are behind the tomatoes.  Yes, I eat purslane.  Yes, I know it is a weed.  I have more summer squash growing in the front garden, along with kale and onions…but this post is all about the main garden.

I ended up losing two Swiss chard earlier this year.  I’ve never had them bolt from the heat in their first year till now!  I’m going to start more for my cold frames, and hopefully extend my harvest well into the winter months.  Next to my chard are alternating rows of beets and carrots.  They will soon be ready for harvest.  In front of those are my newly seeded French breakfast radishes.  So far they are doing well!  Next are beets that I have slowly been pulling.

And finally, the remaining brassicas, peas, sunflowers and some empty growing space that will soon be covered with winter squash!

Well, that’s it.  You have now just circled my main garden.  Hope you enjoyed the tour! :)

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A Day of Firsts

First sunflower opened.

First black swallowtail caterpillar.

First summer harvest.

Today was a good day indeed.

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Filed under Micro-farming, The Critters

Wordless Wednesday – Carrots

Images and content copyright © 2009-2010 Danielle R Limoge.

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Summer Solstice Time Well Spent

With yesterday being the Summer Solstice, I felt it only fitting to spend some quality time in my gardens tending to my plants.  (As if I don’t do that on a daily basis already!)  I pulled weeds, picked peas, and replanted some lettuce, radishes, and beets.  Yes, I know radishes and lettuce are Spring and Fall crops, but I’ve been known to throw caution to the wind and put them in the ground anyway.  True they don’t like the hot summer months, but I’ve found that with a bit of love and extra watering, I’m still able to get a good harvest.  Besides, I’m obsessed with growing plants and I will continue to be in my garden well through November, hopefully December, barring any serious snow.  Of course my camera was in-hand, so here is what I’ve got growing on as of late.

Violet Pole Beans
Romanesco and Green Sprouting Broccoli
Rainbow Chard
Ruby Red Sweet Corn
Cucumbers aka PICKLES!!!!
Stuttgarter Onions
Peas
Spaghetti Squash
Spring Mix
Tomatoes
Zucchini
L-R Sunflowers, Corn, Peas Pole Beans
L-R Pole Beans, Carrots, Radishes, Spinach & Spring Mix, Onions, Beets
L-R Carrots, Radishes, Spinach & Spring Mix, Onions, Beets, more Onions, Broccoli
L-R Broccoli, Bush Beans, just planted Radishes, Golden Beans
L-R Onions, Mustard Greens, Carrots
L-R Carrots, Pole Beans, Peas

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Curry Lentil Stew

It has been forever since I posted a recipe or shared any of my latest cooking adventures, so I thought I should remedy that starting today! Honestly, I have lots of unfinished posts just hanging out in my que waiting to be published, maybe someday I will actually get around to finishing them! Maybe.
A little over two weeks ago I went home for a family get together and ended up getting more than I bargained for. My niece had a cold that quickly spread throughout my brother’s family. Not wanting to exclude her Aunt DD I ended up getting sick as well. My colleagues are always on my case about the fact that for someone who eats very healthy and exercises regularly I am ALWAYS getting sick! Folks, I’ve been this way my entire life. :/
Last Sunday, which was day seven of my 2 week cold, I was not in the mood to cook. I wasn’t in the mood to do much of anything really. So while putzin’ around on Facebook I noticed a friend was making lentil curry soup for lunch. Instantly I knew that was exactly what I needed to get out of the blah mood I was currently drenched in. I attribute that to the spice!
There was no recipe following here, just a lot of tossing together what was on hand and I am happy to report it turned out deeee-lish!
3 medium potatoes, cubed
1/2 bag of baby carrots, coined
2 large jars of my canned tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bag of dried lentils
4 stalks of celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
6 cups water
4 chicken bouillon cubes (make this recipe vegan by subbing veggie stock)
red curry powder
seeds from 5 Thai Dragon Peppers
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Step 1. Chop your veggies
Step 2. In a large soup pot heat oil on med-high heat. Add onion, carrots, potatoes and garlic, saute for about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, water, chicken cubes, lentils, celery, pepper flakes and curry powder. The amount of curry powder depends on how hot you like your food. I like it HOT so I generously sprinkled enough to cover the top of the soup pot, twice.
 
Reduce heat to med-low, cover and allow to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.
  
I ended up taking the final picture several days after the soup was cooked, so by then it had evolved into more of a stew consistency!

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