Gardening and Harvesting

We have rented a piece of land from the community garden nearby. We’re growing onions, radishes, spinach, chard, cucumber, pumpkin, dill, snow peas, fava beans and potatoes this year.

First some pictures from earlier this summer. The whole garden.

Onions and snow peas. We’ve harvested over 6 kg snow peas so far. Maybe over 7 kg, I haven’t weighted them all.

We planted a lot of potato, because there’s no water supply in the garden and we’re quite dependent on raining and potato survives well through dry periods.

Baby chard.

Chad has grown better than ever. Here I am making chard rolls. Similar to these, but bulgur and mushrooms as filling.

And some pictures from today. Spinach is growing much faster than I expected. I thought we could eat fresh spinach couple of times during the summer, but we have also frozen some, because it’s growing faster than we can eat it.

Our biggest pumpkin is now about size of a football:

Today’s dinner was made mostly of the things we’ve grown ourselves.

For the lasagne I made a tomato sauce with onion, snow peas and chard. I also threw in a half bell pepper that we had in fridge, and some white beans for extra protein. I used garlic, lovage, oregano, thyme, salt and black pepper to give flavour. Then I made a bechamel sauce with spinach. Last I made layers of both sauces, whole wheat lasagna sheets and fresh basil to dish and baked it in the oven.

As side dish we had salad that was made of lettuce, radish leaves, radishes, cucumber, tomato and olives. Only radishes and cucumbers were from our garden, we didn’t have big enough lettuce leaves and tomatoes are very difficult to grow without a green house.

Simple and Good

We still have quite a lot of preserved vegetables from last autumn. There’s no need to hurry with the dried goods, but the frozen and pickled stuff should be eaten before next autumn. We needed to make an easy meal from the things we had in our pantry and ended up with this stew. You could use fresh chard and kohlrabi instead of dried and frozen, but then you may need to add them few minutes before adding the beans. In the picture the stew is served with Sriracha, garden cress, black currant jam and sauerkraut.

Barley, Lentil and Bean Stew

2,5 dl barley
vegetable broth or salted water for boiling

2-3 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin
0,5 tsp caraway seeds
0,5 tsp ground coriander
0,5 tsp brown mustard seeds
3 onions
3 garlic cloves
1 heaping tsp grated ginger
7 dl water
1 dl dried chard, thin and about 3 cm long pieces
2 dl green lentils
4 dl cooked (or canned) white beans
1 dl corn kernels
1,5 dl kohlrabi cubes or strips

Optional: Sriracha or other hot sauce for serving

Cook the barley according to the instructions on the package.

Meanwhile prepare the other ingredients. Chop the onions coarsely and slice or mince the garlic. Heat the oil in a pot and fry cumin, caraway seeds, coriander and mustard seeds 30 seconds. Add onion, garlic and ginger and sauté until onions are soft and translucent. Add the water, lentils and dried chard. Bring to boil and simmer 15 minutes. Add more water if needed. Add beans, corn and kohlrabi and simmer about 5 minutes. When the lentils are soft but not mushy, add cooked barley. Let sit couple of minutes and serve with or without hot sauce.

Using the Leftovers

When we make mashed potatoes, we make a lot more than we’re going to eat that day. Then the next day or two we can cook other things using the mashed potatoes. They’re great for different kinds of doughs, casserole, or you can make potato pancakes.

IMG_4600-1Potato Pancakes

mashed potatoes
wheat flour
soy or oat milk
oil for frying
optional: vegetables

Make a soft mixture from mashed potatoes, flour and soy milk. For 1 l mashed potatoes you’ll need about 1 dl flour and 1 dl milk. Add spices, I used herb salt, garlic powder, parsley and basil this time. You can also add some vegetables if you want to. For example chopped onions,  spinach, mushrooms or grated carrots are good. I used dried chard this time.

Heat oil in a frying pan, form small pancakes in your hands and fry them until they are brown. Don’t try to flip them until the edges turn brown, because they break easily if you try to flip them too soon.

Mother’s Chard Rolls

We have recently moved to a new apartment, which have been keeping us busy and we haven’t had time to update the blog. The food we have eaten lately has usually been “let’s throw everything on the pan” type, so there hasn’t been much to blog about either. But today I made some chard rolls. My mother gave the recipe a while ago and I have wanted to try it, because she told they are good, which made me assume they are awesome. And they were. You should try them too, here’s both my mother’s original lacto-vegetarian recipe and my vegan version.

Chard rolls

Chard Rolls

12 big chards, leaves and stalks separately
2 dl red lentils
1 onion
4-6 garlic cloves
chili, fresh or dry
2-3 tsp curry powder
3 tblsp fresh cilantro (I didn’t have cilantro and used basil instead)
200 g grated Emmental cheese (I used 1 dl nutritional yeast and 1 dl oat cream)
pinch of salt
canola oil
molasses (about 2 tblsp)
optional: cream (I used oat cream)

Cook the lentils in boiling water for 8 minutes, they don’t have to be soft yet. Drain. Chop onion, garlic and chard stems. Heat some oil in a pan and fry onion, garlic, chard stems, chili and curry powder until onion and chard are soft. Combine with lentils. Add cilantro, cheese and some salt, and mix well. Put couple of tblsp filling on a chard leave and roll. Repeat until you run out of leaves or filling (we ran out of chard leaves). Put the rolls into a greased baking dish, tightly next to each other. Pour little molasses on the rolls and put some water (about 1 dl) to the dish. Bake in 175 celsius degrees 35-40 minutes. Spoon liquid from the dish over the rolls couple of times during the baking. You can pour few tblsp cream on the rolls in the end of baking.

We had these with potatoes and simple green salad (lettuce, cucumber and fresh mint with tahini dressing).