Wednesday, May 22, 2013

In the Garden: May 2013

I have one little spot yet to fill but most of the garden is now in the ground.

This year's crop includes:

  • 1 San Marzano Roma tomato
  • 2 Roma tomato
  • 2 Martino Roma Heirloom
  • 1 tomatillo
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1 green bean
  • 8 basil
  • 6 kale
  • 1 Alpine strawberry
  • 1 regular strawberry
I am hoping I get to try my hand at making salsa verde with the tomatillo and jalapeno.

Of course, lots of basil to hopefully make lots of pesto to freeze to use throughout the year.

And then some of the usual suspects for a summer garden. No lettuce this year, since we get a steady supply from the CSA box. Same for the summer squash. 

Nearby, the apricot tree is doing well. The apricots are closing in on their full size but they are still green. We got it trimmed earlier this year and we were told that the trim might cause a smaller crop but that doesn't seem to be the case.  It's still a big tree (despite being advertised as a dwarf) and it because of that it tends to shadow one end of one of the beds. Last year, the zucchini was in that shady spot and I got one zucchini out of it. This year, I put the Alpine strawberry in a pot in the shady spot so I can move into full sun if I need to.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Bok Choy and Tofu Noodle Bowl

Bok choy, or Chinese cabbage, has never been too high on the list of veggies that we just love to eat. But we tend to get waves of it in our box and I try to figure out tasty ways to use it up. So I've been trying different recipes that make the most of our bok choy and here's where I currently stand.

This recipe was inspired by a Sunset magazine recipe that caught my eye. The first time I made it, though, I wrote down a number of improvements to upgrade the recipe. So what follows is my current version of the recipe after making it a handful of times.

It's becoming our "go to" recipe for bok choy and it's a great weeknight Asian noodle bowl experience.

Bok Choy and Tofu Noodle Bowl

Ingredients: (Serves 2- 4)
  • 2 pkg. Udon noodles - or substitute another Asian noodle
  • 1 pkg. baked flavored tofu - there are many to choose from
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 4-5 baby bok choy - coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp. Sriracha sauce
  • 2 green onions, trimmed and chopped
  • Ginger powder - a few shakes - or use 1 tbsp. of the real thing, minced
  • cooking oil


Clean the bok choy. There are lots of places in bok choy for dirt and small critters so give it a thorough washing. Coarsely chop discarding the bases.

Cut the tofu into rectangles.

In a bowl, combine the broth, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, and Sririacha. Stir to mix.

Bring a pot of water to boil and add the udon noodles. Now, I got packaged udon noodle in the refrigerated section of my grocery store. Even though I picked up the "original" flavor package, it still came with the seasoning envelope. These things are scary. The first two ingredients are sugar and salt. And then there's a whole host of ingredients that breaks the Michael Pollan rule to not eat stuff your grandmother would not recognize. Instead cook the noodles in a water/broth mix and toss in some soy sauce and/or Sriracha to give the noodles some flavor. Cook the noodles for a few minutes and drain in a colander.

While the water comes to a boil, chop those green onions.

In a large skillet or wok, heat the cooking oil. Add the minced garlic and cook for a minute. Add the ginger, bok choy, and tofu and cook for a few minutes. Add the broth mixture and cook until heated.

Divide the noodles among the bowls. Add the bok choy/tofu mixture. Spoon in the sauce from the skillet or wok. Sprinkle green onions on top and serve.