spicy sesame roasted eggplant and green bean salad

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Top ten things likely to be said on a typical day at Tumbleweed Farm

10. Oh thank god, we didn’t kill the kale

9. Quick, grab Henry before he eats the neighbors chickens

8. Did you check the weather forecast?

7. My back is killing me

6. Will you pop my blood blister?

5. No

4. I’m so hungry I wish these darn plants would grow faster so we could eat them already

3. The F**ing gofers better stay away from our garlic

2. I hope we win the lottery or else this whole farming thing will drowned us.

1. I’m ready for a beer.

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Don’t get me wrong Taylor and I love farming. Sometimes complaining is the only way to get through the day. That and the promise of a hot meal and an ice cold beer.

Crack open a tall one and dig in!

Spicy Sesame Roasted Eggplant and Green Bean Salad  (serves 2-4)

1 cup cooked brown rice

2 TBS olive oil, divided

1 large eggplant, cubed

1 cup green beans, trimmed

1 bunch of scallions (or half a cup) diced, white and light green parts only

1 bunch of kale, stems removed and torn into bite size pieces

1 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed

For the Sauce:

2 TBS Tamari

1 garlic clove, minced

1 TBS sesame oil

2 tsp pure maple syrup

1 TBS rice wine vinegar

2 TBS water

1/2 -1 tsp Sriracha Hot sauce (more or less depending on your spice tolerance)

Whisk all ingredients together and set aside.

Meanwhile preheat your oven to 400. Combine eggplant and green beans with 1 TBS olive oil. Place on a prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 20-25 minutes. Turning veggies over once.

While veggies roast heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining oil. Saute’ the scallions for about 3 minutes. Add the kale and cook for about 3-5 more minutes stirring. Add the chickpeas and turn heat down to low.

Once veggies are done roasting combine them with the kale and chickpeas. Serve over brown rice with a drizzle of the spicy sesame sauce. Enjoy!

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roasted apple and brussels sprouts grain salad

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This is a lazy farmers dinner.

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There really isn’t time to cook fancy dinners when there are weeds to pick, seeds to plant, and bugs to kill. Oh yeah, and The Voice is back on T.V. and we definitely need to set aside some quality time to watch that as well!

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This is the kind of salad you make when life seems to be a little bit too hectic. You can throw this dinner together in a flash and guess what….It’s totally tasty! The combination of the sweet roasted apples with the roasted brussels is a match made in heaven.  Easy, healthy and delicious. Our kind of meal! Dig in everyone.

Roasted Apple and Brussels Sprouts Grain Salad (serves 2)

1 TBS olive oil

1 large apple, cut into 1/4 inch chunks

1 1/2 cups of brussels sprouts, sliced in half lengthwise

1 red onion, cut into wedges

1 cup cooked grain (quinoa, millet, rice, ect.)

a few handfuls of spinach

a handful of parsley

a small handful of crushed walnuts

a few crumbles of blue cheese

For the Dressing:

2 TBS balsamic vinegar

3 TBS olive oil

1 TBS Honey

2 tsp Dijon Mustard

1 garlic clove minced

salt and pepper

Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing together and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400. Drizzle brussels sprouts, apple and onion with 1 TBS olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Place on a prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 25-30 minutes turning once.

Cook your grain of choice. Once grains are done cooking throw in a few handfuls of spinach in the same pot so that the spinach wilts up a bit.

Combine grains, apples, brussels, and onion.  Divide among two plates and top with blue cheese crumbles, walnuts, parsley, and dressing. Enjoy!

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spicy black bean and sweet potato stew

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When you spend all day spreading manure over your fields a hot shower, a glass of wine, and a bowl of spicy soup is only necessary.

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What if I told you that despite the smell and the blood blister forming on my thumb this was the best day I have had in ages. I know I’m dramatic and all and I sometimes say “the best” way too often, but it’s the truth! I love spending time in the dirt with my family.

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Broken backs, blood blisters, and too much country music. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

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Whatever your plans are for the weekend they should included this lovely soup. Slow down, pour yourself some wine, and savor every bite. Happy Friday everyone!

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Spicy Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew (serves 4-6)

As always adjust seasonings to taste.

2 TBS olive oil

1 medium-sized yellow onion, diced

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced

1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 medium-sized sweet potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 TBS ground cumin

1 TBS chili powder

2 tsp dried oregano

2 (15 oz) cans of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 (28 oz) can of crushed tomatoes with their juices

3 cups of veggie stock

salt and pepper to taste

In a large soup pan heat the oil. Add the onion and saute’ for about 5 minutes. Add the peppers, garlic, and sweet potato. Cook for about 3 more minutes. Add the spices. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the beans, tomatoes, and veggie stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for about 30-40 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

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swiss chard and black bean quesadillas

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It’s no secret that we love swiss chard. In fact holding an armful of swiss chard on a hot summer morning is my idea of heaven.

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Actually, a truck full of chard with my friend Amanda hiding back there may be my idea of heaven. I’m not quite sure though!

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Either way you get the point. We grow a lot of chard and today I want to give it a little love. These quesadillas are easy and ready in a flash. Play with the recipe and add whatever you wish. The idea is to make them easy and ready in just a few minutes. Enjoy!

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Swiss Chard and Black Bean Quesadilla

olive oil

2 whole tortillas (we used spelt flour tortillas)

1/2  bunch of swiss chard, stems removed and torn into bit size pieces

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced

1/2 cup of black beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 yellow onion, diced

1/3 cup of shredded cheese (we used sharp cheddar)

hot sauce

In a large skillet saute’ your onion and jalapeno pepper in a little olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Add black beans and chard. Cook for about 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and place mixture into a bowl. Add a little more oil to the same pan and add one of the tortillas. Add some shredded cheese, half the bean mixture, some hot sauce, followed by a little more cheese. Place the other tortilla on top and fry for about 3-5 minutes per side. Enjoy!

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twice baked butternut squash with kale and quinoa

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I’ve decided a few things over the past couple of days.

1. It’s a good thing the local weatherman’s address is not listed in the white pages

2. There really isn’t anything better than a bubble bath at the end of a cold day

3. We better stuff ourselves silly with sweet potatoes and winter squash before it gets too warm outside and they are nowhere to be found

4. When the sun decides to shine at Tumbleweed Farm I get chills every time I look up at this view (I hope you aren’t sick of all the pictures I take of Mt. Hood. I can’t help it!)

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We have been experiencing crazy weather over in these parts recently. The days have been warm, cold, sunny, and then rainy. It makes it extremely hard to get dressed for the day. And lord knows you can’t trust the weatherman.

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Crazy weather and all we have been very productive. We are preparing a section of our field so we can start direct seeding peas and spinach next week. Ahhhh! It really is feeling like spring! We are also continuing to fill our greenhouse with new seedlings weekly. Things really are moving along fast.

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Including our garlic. Isn’t it looking good? As fast as things seem to be going, we are making it a priority to slow down in the evening and enjoy a home cooked meal every night.  And these twice baked butternut squash were the perfect thing to enjoy after a long day.

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These puppies are stuffed with quinoa, kale, shallots, and blue cheese crumbles. So darn tasty!

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Twice Baked Butternut Squash With Kale and Quinoa (serves 2)

1 medium-sized butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded

2 TBS olive oil (divided)

2 large shallots, diced

1 bunch of kale, stems removed and torn into bite size pieces

1/2 cup quinoa

blue cheese crumbles

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400. Drizzle squash halves with 1 TBS olive oil. Place cut side down on a prepared baking sheet. Roast in the oven for about 30-45 minutes (time will vary depending on the size of your squash) It should be fork tender.

Meanwhile cook your quinoa. Place 1/2 cup quinoa with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover for about 10-15 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is light and fluffy.

While quinoa cooks heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and saute’ for about 5 minutes. Add kale. Cook for about 5 more minutes stirring every so often.  Remove from heat and set aside.

When Squash is done roasting remove from oven. Scoop out flesh leaving 1/4 inch on sides and bottom. Mash the flesh with the quinoa and kale mixture. Add some blue cheese crumbles. Scoop quinoa mixture into squash halves. Crumble a little more blue cheese on top and place back in the oven for about 3 minutes or until cheese has melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

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sweet potato grilled cheese sandwich with kale pesto

This is a farmers lunch that really hits the spot!

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We spent the majority of our weekend up at the farm. There was an unexpected wind and snow storm and we were a little worried that our propane tank (which is how we are heating our greenhouse) was running low. If the propane tanks runs out we are screwed! All of our precious seedlings could be goners in an instant! We brought snacks and beer while we babysat during the storm.

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11 o’clock at night and things are looking warm and cozy.

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Including me!

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Taylor was busying checking the weather forecast while I did jumping jacks in-between sips of beer to stay warm!

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It was a long night but we pretended like we were on an awesome camping trip. We told silly stories, sang stupid songs, and ate snack food. Our heater was almost as good as a bon fire. All that was missing was an endless supply of s’mores and a few rounds of Kumbaya.  We didn’t get home until really late but our seedlings survived. We are bringing sleeping bags with us next time!

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The morning came before we knew it, but we felt well rested. We are getting pretty good at surviving unexpected storms. Our seedlings are proving to be total rock stars, the weatherman on the other hand is on my shit list!

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As always, after a storm the sun will always find a way to shine. These sweet potato grilled cheese sandwiches with kale pesto were the light at the end of a dark tunnel. Enjoy!

The kale pesto recipe can be found in this old blog post of mine

For the sandwiches: Serves two

1-2 TBS olive oil

1 large sweet potato, scrubbed clean and cut into 1/4 inch rounds

4 slices of your favorite sandwich bread

goat cheese

red onion

arugula

salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 400. In a large bowl mix sweet potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper. Transfer to a prepared baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes (flipping sweet potatoes halfway through) or until sweet potatoes are fork tender. Remover from oven and set aside. Leave the oven on.

To assemble your sandwiches first smear a healthy portion of kale pesto on both slices of bread. Place a few rounds of sweet potato, followed by red onion, goat cheese crumbles, and a drizzle of olive oil. Place sandwiches open-faced in the oven for a couple of minutes, or just until bread toasts and cheese melts. Remove from oven and add arugula. Enjoy!

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confessions of an organic farmer IV

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Taylor and I often use the garden hose to hose each other off before we go inside for the day.

When Taylor text messages me “how are the children doing?” I know he is referring to our seedlings.

I sort of dig my farmers tan in the middle of the summer.

When we wash our hands the sink turns brown.

I fear birds/gophers/aphids/deer/rabbits/beetles/any plant killing creature out there more than I fear god himself.

People don’t recognize me when I’m not wearing a hat.

I eat. a LOT!

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If you haven’t tried these kale, mushroom, and chickpea stuffed sweet potatoes you better get on it before the weather get’s hot!

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