Saturday, March 03, 2007

A late USG morning

I slept in 'til 10 this morning, so I didn't end up making it to the greenmarket 'til 11. I wasn't surprised to find about the same selection as last week (read: not much), but I did find some inspiration for next week's vegetable dishes.

My short list:
1 butternut squash
1/2 lb. fancy organic spinach
1 bunch fancy organic chard
8 (or so) shallots
2 small yellow onions
1 head garlic
7 lbs. Mutsu apples
Total spent: $28

How did I spend $28 on such a small haul? The spinach alone was about $10 - it's $4 per 1/4 lb., which works out to about twice as much as the Trader Joe's bagged organice spinach. But this stuff has better flavor and hasn't spent a lot of time getting intimate with plastic...and my purchase supports local growers. Everything was a bit pricey - even the squash (which is quite nice-looking) was $3, which is a bargain considering its food value, but still high compared to $1 during peak season.

I had planned to have roasted squash, braised celery, and sauteed chard with Tofurky sausage for dinner, but my photo assistant was feeling sick so I made a version of my Ultra-Soup. This used 4 tbsp. Bragg's Liquid Aminos instead of 3 tbsp. soy sauce, potatoes instead of pasta (I had some left from last week's greenmarket excursion), and - most exciting of all - I used homemade seitan! The idea came from La Dolce Vegan, a book I ordered specifically for its faux-meat recipes; the seitan was very easy to make (I started with vital wheat gluten), and it turned out very well after simmering for an hour in the soup. This was probably my favorite batch yet.

Meanwhile, my beloved Mutsu apples are simmering away on the stove for applesauce, and I'm looking forward to when the greenmarket has produce pretty enough to photograph again.

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