Sunday, June 13, 2010

First Kale From Our Garden or Curse You Cabbage Worms

We've been busy working on projects, having parties, birthdays (Rob turned 48 since my last post and my sister's birthday was between then and now as well), working in the garden, moving my sister into our house, enjoying our neighbor's pool, reading books, chilling on the porch, pottery, painting, playing at the park, and so much more.  In between it all, we have been cooking and I do have some pictures.

Our "smoothie" bed (front - kale, beets, carrots, chard, etc.) and "sauce" bed (back - peppers, herbs, onions) while I still had time to weed and mulch.  Rob built three of these raised beds this spring and the strawberries are in a raised bed without the wood.  We have another raised bed in the front yard with blocks instead of wood, but we only have weeds growing in it at the moment.
The same beds after a week of neglect.  If the cabbage worms didn't hit soon after this picture, we'd have an awesome kale haul, but as it is the worms got their share and we are trying to eat ours as fast as we can.  I have to say the cabbage worms have me a little down.  I hate to kill them, but I almost cry when I see how much of my kale they eat in a such a short time.  I put them in the compost bin alive.

Breakfast during the week:  Green smoothie (kale, mangoes, shredded coconut, flax seeds, apples, almond milk), tempeh marinated in peanut sauce, garlicky kale.  The kids also added Ezekiel sprouted grain cereal and blueberries to their breakfast.  The kids are eating more and I'm eating less, but I rarely get a picture before they dig in to their meal so you get to see mine.  We've been eating most meals on our porch lately and it has been heavenly.  We do some after meal reading and relaxing on the porch as well since our house tends to be hot and humid.  Big old porches are one of the best things about this time of year.

Dinner last night:  Kale and Potato Soup (This was going to be the Cheeze Please Soup from Raising Vegetarian Children.  I don't know why it caught my eye, but it did and I was going to make it with sweet potatoes instead of white and I ended up with no sweet potatoes and some white potatoes and no carrots, as the recipe called for, so I went all off recipe and added kale and cashews.  It was darn yummy and not much like the original recipe so I'll post what I did.)  The kids also had grapes and baked tofu sandwiches with mixed greens, green onions, and vegenaise on a whole wheat bun.
Kale Potato Soup

2 medium potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 bunch kale, washed deveined and coarsely chopped
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 1/2 cups water
1 package silken tofu, crumbled
1 cup nooch (we like nooch so you may try a 1/2 - 1 cup)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon onion powder or granules
1 1/2 - 2 cups nondairy milk

Cook the potatoes, kale, onion, garlic, and cashews in a large soup pot with the water until potatoes are tender.  Add the other ingredients except the nondairy milk and cook for 10 minutes.  Turn off heat.  Puree with an immersion blender (the one Rob bought for Mother's Day a few weeks ago broke last night, grrrr).   Add the nondairy milk, stir until completely mixed in and serve.  We dunked olive rosemary bread in ours.

Breakfast this morning:  my version of Vegan Brunch's Perfect Pancakes (white whole wheat, blackstrap molasses instead of maple syrup), grapes, garlicky kale, and tempeh marinated in peanut sauce.

A caterpillar friend recently started his/her transformation into a Monarch butterfly.  Here is the chrysalis on a milkweed plant in our yard.  We've had a great time checking a dozen times a day on this little one.
Several weeks ago our neighbor, Jeff, brought us snakes from our other neighbor, Cynthia's garden.  They are pretty elusive so I haven't snapped a picture yet, but they look a lot like this snake friend from a few blocks away.  This garden is what made me long for my own garden snakes, but now that we have them, I do watch where I step a lot more.

Josie having fun sitting in the Go Cart at the Taste of Champaign today. My kids are suckers for festivals.  They don't care what the occasion is, they just love the crowds and fun.  She LOVED watching the guys on the BMX bikes, but I didn't get a picture.  It was her absolute favorite part of the day.   It was hot and muggy and then rainy and stormy all weekend, but we had a fun filled time anyway.

Josie, Rob, and Dema watching the US vs England World Cup soccer game at Esquire, Saturday.
Parker is much more into watching soccer these days after playing soccer in the park district league this spring.  Josie loves to cheer and yell, but at the end of the game she was done with soccer.

I hope you are all having a great summer, staying cool, and your gardens are growing well.


The Voracious Vegan said...

What an amazing post! You are SO lucky to have your very own garden. I so wish I could do the same, it must be very rewarding to grow the food that you eat! And the food really does look delicious.

Lisa is Vegan on $10 a Day (or Less!) said...

We started out with quite a cabbage worm population in the kale ... but their growth seems to have tapered off and they're leaving plenty for us. I think it was the oddly warm spring. Great blog, btw.