- CSA Week Five
- snap dragon flowers
- (and all the usual herbs)
- mini cabbage
- salad turnips
- chioggia beets
- garlic scapes
- russian red kale
- vitamin green
- snap beans
- summer squash
I love the strong aroma and bright flavor of fresh dill, so I was super excited to have a few items in the farm share this week that I knew would make delicious dill pickles. No need to drag out your canning equipment for this recipe; these refrigerator pickles are quick and easy.
Dill-Pickled Scapes, Fennel and Radishes
makes 2 large jars
* use a wooden skewer to help pack the dill around the veggies
When I got to work on Friday morning, a normally jovial co-worker was standing in the parking lot looking really glum. He’d found a baby bird laying on the hot pavement, unable to move. He figured it had fallen from it’s nest but wasn’t sure how to help it and he was feeling bummed at the thought that it would probably die.
I love all living creatures. That’s a fact. But there is one member of the wild kingdom that I fear above all others.
I know it’s a strange phobia. Birds are cute, they sing pretty songs, they fly. What’s to be afraid of? The theory in my family is that I developed a healthy respect for all things feathered as a toddler, when I used to run around our paddock with the ducks and geese we kept. Their love of shiny objects meant I had to be quick on my feet to dodge their incessant eye-pecking.
Still, our feathered friends deserve the same consideration as everybody else. I was going to do what I could to help. But I had no idea where to start.
Luckily, I had the contact information of local bird rescue guru, Jodi Swensen. I e-mailed her a photo of the baby bird and she quickly identified him as an English or House Sparrow. He didn’t quite have all his feathers and really wasn’t ready to leave the nest yet.
Jodi was unable to take him in because she needed to save what little space she had for species that weren’t doing as well as him. She said that he was just days away from fledging and that there were a couple of things that I could do to help him.
I was not aware of this until Jodi educated me, but it is illegal to intervene with certain species of protected birds. She assured me though, that sparrows are not on the protected list and that I could legally help him by closely following her instructions.
The first thing Jodi asked me to do was to try to return the baby bird to its nest. It is a myth that the parents will reject a baby that’s been touched by human hands. Unfortunately, the nest was in the gutter at the very top of our building and there was no way for me to reach it.
Jodi next asked me to decide whether I wanted to hand-raise the bird, feeding him every half hour from sun-up to sun-down, or to make a new nest for the bird and place it in a spot where the mother and father would be able to care for him.
I wanted to intervene as little as possible, so I thought it best to get the bird back to the wild as soon as I could.
While I worked on his outdoor accommodations, Jodi told me to keep the baby bird inside in a box lined with something soft. She said that even though outdoor temperatures were in the 90’s, he would probably still need a source of direct heat since he didn’t have all his feathers yet. She told me to fill a water bottle with hot water and wrap it in something soft.
I can’t thank Jodi enough for her advice. This is actually the second time she’s successfully helped me with a wild bird dilemma. Please take a look at her website and consider donating something from the list of items she needs. She’s a great resource for Cape Ann residents who come across wild birds in need of help. If you aren’t local, please find a qualified wildlife rehabilitator in your area. It’s really important that you have the right information before trying to help any wild animal.
It’s been hot, hot, hot out lately! Without AC in the house, the whole family has resorted to our own tactics to stay cool.
Moe’s preferred method?
And what is the more sophisticated plan in which Brad and I partake?
I’m really proud of this recipe. I’ve served these delicious lime bars to vegans, non-vegans, and people who don’t even know what “vegan” means. Everybody loves them. I’ve secretly smiled to myself as people who would never dream of eating tofu scarf down second and third bars. Healthy they are, but sinful they taste.
My first few batches were a bit anemic looking, so I started brainstorming ways to brighten up their color. Synthetic food coloring wouldn’t do…the chemicals in those dyes have been linked to too many scary health problems. It would have to be something natural.
When I saw the bright green dinosaur kale in our farm share this week I knew I had to try it. And that’s the secret ingredient in my vegan lime bars. Kale juice. It adds no detectable flavor to the scrumptious confections but it both brightens up the color and amps up the health factor. I imagine spinach juice would work well too.
Of course, moderation is key (couldn’t cut out the sugar or the calories), but sans butter, egg yolks and white flour, you can feel a little better about indulging in these vibrant tasting bars. The antioxidant boosting shot of kale juice is an added bonus!
These bars are dense and rich, so you can cut them pretty small – 2 inch squares should do it.
Secret Vegan Lime Bars
makes 16 small bars
1/2 C coconut oil (in solid or liquid state)
1/4 C raw sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/2 spelt flour
1/2 C nigari tofu (from Trader Joe’s in the antiseptic package) or silken tofu
3/4 C raw sugar
2 T lime zest
1/4 C fresh lime juice
1 tsp fresh kale juice
1/2 tsp agar powder (not flakes)
For a quick and healthy weeknight dinner, wild caught salmon is an excellent choice. Using this recipe from Simply Recipes for inspiration, I added some fresh dill and substituted olive oil for the butter. It was done in 30 minutes and tasted delish served over rice!
Fennel and Grapefruit Salad
We in the Northeast are on day three of a heat wave. When it’s super-hot outside, I crave fresh, light meals. This was the perfect cooling lunch for a sweltering day!
makes one portion
1 pink grapefruit, sections removed
1 small bulb fennel, sliced very thin
Himalayan pink salt
Vegetable Potstickers (vegan)
This was my first time using store-bought wonton wraps. I’m a big fan! These were easy to put together and came out crispy, crunchy and delicious! You can serve these on their own with a little dipping sauce (I used Trader Joe’s sweet chili sauce), and/or place them on top of Napa cabbage slaw (recipe below).
recipe makes about 20 potstickers
4 salad turnips, peeled & diced
4 heads baby bok choy, chopped
3-4 C tat soi, chopped
1 clove minced garlic
low sodium soy sauce, to taste
1/4 C cooked white rice
1 pkg Nasoya wonton wraps
Napa cabbage slaw
4 C thinly sliced Napa cabbage
1-2 radishes, shredded on a cheese grater
2-3 scallions, diced
2-3 tsp Trader Joe’s Soyaki (or mix a little brown sugar with soy sauce)
sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds
“Sour Cream” and Chive Kale Chips (vegan)
Adapted from Chef Douglas MicNish’s Sour Cream and Onion Kale Chips. These came out very crispy but the chive flavor was kind of subtle. Next time I might try blending the lemon juice, nutritional yeast, sea salt, garlic powder, chives and olive oil in a food processor to ensure that the chive flavor will really stick to the kale.
1 lb. kale (one big bunch)
juice of 1/2 a lemon
3 T nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 C chopped chives
scant drizzle of olive oil