CSA Stir-fry

On Wednesday, when we got the CSA delivery, it looked so good that we had to change up our meal plan and make a stir-fry that night. The stir-fry was so delicious that we had to replicate it again yesterday. So give this one a try – it’s quite traditional, and should be loved by anyone.

We got to use another recent purchase – Trader Joe’s “Chicken-less Strips: Lightly Seasoned.” These were great: and a nice alternative to the usual tofu or seitan. They had a slightly chewy texture extremely similar to the texture of real chicken strips. The seasoning was light enough to be enjoyable and complemented the ginger flavor of the stir-fry.

EDIT: loveofoats raised a good question: if they’re not tofu or seitan, what are they? Here’s my answer: The description on the back says “Made with wholesome ingredients including grains and vegetables, our Vegan friendly Chicken-Less strips are low in fat, naturally cholesterol free, and packed with protein.” They have soy protein AND vital wheat gluten – so I guess they’re like tofu AND seitan! Thanks for the question 🙂

Organic Stir-fry

2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1/3 of a vidalia onion, chopped
1/2 package (about 3/4 cup) of TJ’s Chicken-less Strips (or other meat substitute)
2 cups chopped cauliflower
2/3 cup chopped carrots
chopped cauliflower greens
about 4 cups chopped collard greens (2 big leaves)
a few radish greens, chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1.5 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1. Heat the oil in a large wok over high heat. Add the sesame seeds, garlic, and ginger. Saute until the garlic is aromatic. Add the onions and saute until soft.
2. Add the Chicken-less strips, cauliflower, carrots, and cauliflower greens. Saute for 5 minutes.
3. Add the rest of the greens, plus the soy sauce, sugar, and all of the spices. Saute for 5 more minutes, mixing well to really spread out the flavoring.
4. Serve hot with whole wheat couscous – a perfect combination!

Note – feel free to switch up the veggies, change the spices and amounts – make this stir-fry your own so you really enjoy it 🙂

As a side dish I also made a salad with the fresh CSA lettuce, some onions, CSA oregano, and ginger dressing. Simple and light, it was a great companion to this healthy meal.

CSA Delivery

My dad’s birthday is tomorrow, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD! I hope you have an AMAZING DAY!

As I mentioned yesterday, we got our first CSA delivery. We’re sharing a share with our friends, so each week we’ll end up with half of a full share.

Yesterday we got:

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower
  • 1 bag of spinach
  • 1 head of lettuce
  • bunch of radishes
  • bunch of baby carrots
  • 2 huge collard green leaves
  • strawberries
  • 1 bacon avocado (!) – supposed to taste like bacon?
  • fresh oregano

I made stir-frys yesterday and today (recipes to come soon) – fresh vegetables really make a difference. I love biting into fresh, ripe, organic veggies. They are straight from the farm (some were picked that morning!) and so perfect that some taste almost sweet – the carrots in particular. Bobby thinks I’m crazy because I snack on the raw veggies as I’m cooking, but I love them so much!

Just for fun, here’s a picture of a garden salad that I got at Gelayo Gusto, that froyo place I’m going crazy about. We went there for our 2.5 year anniversary to have the shaved ice. There wasn’t a vegetarian salad on the menu, so I asked if they’d make a garden salad (I wasn’t too hungry, but wanted some real food before the dessert), and this is what they came up with. It was delicious 🙂

Banana Bean Pudding (VEGAN)

I received my first delivery of CSA veggies today! You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to hear more about that, though… Because I want to share a delicious pudding recipe tonight.

Banana Bean Pudding (VEGAN)

1/4 cup almond milk (I used unsweetened plain, but other flavors would work too)
scant 1/4 cup black beans
1/2 banana, mashed
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 teaspoons agave nectar (up this a bit if you have a sweet tooth)

Using a small mixer, blend together the almond milk and black beans until smooth. Add the mashed banana, OJ, and agave nectar, and mix again. Serve chilled.

This was so good. I started out with the intention of using avocado (which came in the CSA delivery) to make an avocado pudding, but it turned out that it wasn’t ripe and I had to change my plans! This dessert is smooth and creamy, and the OJ adds a delightful but subtle zest to its flavor. I love the idea of beans in dessert, and this recipe does not disappoint. I finished the whole bowl 🙂

Menu Plan Monday

Menu for the week of June 2nd – June 8th

Dinner – Mexican wraps with beans and crab (for Bobby), lettuce, tomatoes, onions
Dessert – Oranges with nutella

Dinner – Veggie burgers & salad
Dessert – Frozen blueberries (Bobby’s new favorite)

Dinner – Soba noodle sushi (and probably regular as well – Bobby loves rice)
DessertGelayo Gusto

Dinner – Veggie stir-fry with lots of veggies and seitan & WW couscous
Dessert – More frozen blueberries, plus truffles from Bobby’s family

Dinner – Eat out 🙂
DessertGelayo Gusto

Dinner – Eat out 🙂
Dessert – Fruits (oranges & bananas, probably)

Dinner – Leftovers (or veggie burgers again)
Dessert – Frozen yogurt

Check out more great menu plans at Organizing Junkie each week 🙂

Review: Xanh Restaurant (Mountain View)

Xanh Restaurant is a trendy Vietnamese restaurant on Castro Street in downtown Mountain View. We walked there tonight for a late dinner and were very pleased. The place is hip and modern but serves traditional Vietnamese food. The decor is sleek and clean, and the setup is closer to a night club than to a restaurant. We got to sit outside; though it was a chilly night we kept warm next to the space heaters they had set up.

We started with the Glass Noodles with Dungeness Crab ($14): crab meat sauteed with cellophane noodles, scallions, shitake mushrooms, carrots, and fried shallots.

The crab was delicious, but the rest of the dish was rather plain. The lime juice added a much-needed kick. Though it looks small, once it was out of the cup it became much bigger. The crab was really the star of this plate, and I think there were other noodle dishes on the menu that might have been more exciting.

Next we got the… Papaya Salad ($10)! As usual, this dish was best part of the meal. Poached shrimp, green papaya, carrots, mango, cilantro, mint, and fried shallots topped with crushed peanuts and a light vinaigrette – it was perfect. I’ve never had mango in papaya salad but I absolutely loved it. This plate was fresh, clean, and fabulous.

We also got the Traditional Roll ($9): poached shrimp, rice noodles, green apple, lettuce, cilantro, mint, cucumber, and crispy shallots served with peanut sauce. This simple roll was light and refreshing, and the peanut sauce was smooth and sweet.

We passed on dessert; they had various sorbettos and mousses, and a particularly interesting Pumpkin Gelato inside a real pumpkin shell – but we were pretty full – maybe next time.

Overall I would recommend Xanh if you’re a fan of fresh, clean food and a stylish setting. There are many healthy options on the menu and most of the dishes can be made vegetarian on request. I’m looking forward to going back to try their other salads (grapefruit looked good), noodles, and soups. It’s not too expensive compared to other restaurants in the area, and the food plus the great service are well worth it. Throughout the meal the servers were very attentive and polite; they seemed happy and eager to help all of the guests.