creamy mushroom and leek soup (vegan)

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I learned a very valuable lesson today.

Turns out there really is such a thing as too much coffee.  Who knew?

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We have been running around like chickens with our heads cut off recently. Our usual two cups of coffee in the morning has turned into two large pots of coffee. One pot of coffee each. Gross. I’m pretty sure that is 100 times more caffeine than is recommended for any human to consume in a week. Let alone in one morning. We need an intervention! Taylor and I were both experiencing major shaky hands while seeding our second lettuce planting.

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Jitters and all we got a lot done today. Including whipping up a batch of this lovely soup.  I know it’s the beginning of spring and our soup days should be behind us, but mother nature has other plans. It’s cold here! The only thing I was craving all day was a hot bowl of soup and a bubble bath.

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Creamy mushroom and leek soup.  A bowl of this and a bubble bath should be on your evening agenda.  Dig in!

As always, taste test as you go and adjust seasonings to your liking.

Creamy Mushroom and Leek Soup (serves 4)

2 tbs olive oil

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, diced

2 baking potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces

about 1 pound of mixed mushrooms, finely chopped

1 sprig of fresh rosemary, diced

1/4 cup of dry white wine

4-6 cups of veggies stock (start with less and add if soup is too thick)

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a large soup pot heat oil over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the mushroom and garlic. Cook for about 5 more minutes stirring every so often. Add the wine and bring to a light boil. Add potatoes, rosemary, and stock. Simmer soup for about 30 minutes. With an immersion blender puree the soup. If soup is too thick add more stock or water. Add salt and pepper. Taste test and add any other seasonings you think are needed. The longer the soup sits the tastier it gets!  Enjoy.

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harvest salad with lemon-lime vinaigrette

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I have never been SO happy for a weekend to be over until today! Taylor got back late last night and I gave him the biggest/strongest/I never want to let you go again kind of hug. I think his back might be a little sore today.

Confession. I am scared to be alone. Yes, I am 29 years old and I am scared of the dark and the slight possibility of someone breaking into our house and kidnapping me. I spent the majority of my youth watching too many true crime tv shows and have been traumatized ever since. While Taylor was away my Verizon bill surely went up. I talked to my mom for hours. And when I wasn’t on the phone with her I was talking to my sister.  Hearing their voices made everything a little less scary. And talk about scary, when Henry and I were up at 2 a.m. bringing all of our seedlings into the house during the storm I was positive I was a goner! Surely someone was lurking in the bushes waiting to snatch us up.

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What doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger right? Turns out no one was waiting to kidnap me and all of our seedlings survived. Taylor and I celebrated this morning with coffee and fresh juice. And guess what? The sun came out to greet us.

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It was a nice morning and it felt so good to be together again. Even the plants seemed to be happier.

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Tomorrow is another big day of transplanting and seeding. It’s hard to believe that in just a few short weeks we will start to put our seedlings into the ground. We can’t wait!

In the meantime, you all should make this lovely harvest salad. The combination of hearty winter vegetables with a light and tart vinaigrette is absolutely delicious. Perfect for this time of year. Enjoy.

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Use this recipe as a guideline and adjust according to your preference and taste.

Harvest Salad (serves two)

1 large purple beet, scrubbed clean and cut into matchstick pieces

2 large carrots, cut into matchstick pieces

a handful of large brussels sprouts, sliced in half lengthwise

1 small yellow onion, peeled and cut into quarters

a few large handfuls of arugula

olive oil

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the veggies with olive oil salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 30-40 minutes turning veggies over at least once during the cooking process.

Lemon-Lime Vinaigrette (inspired by The Best 50 Salad Dressings Cookbook)

This makes a lot of dressing. Use only what you need for the salad and save the rest for up to 1 week in your fridge.

6 TBS olive oil

2 TBS fresh lemon juice

1 TBS fresh lime juice

1 tsp dijon style mustard

2 tsp grated parmesan cheese

1 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in a jar and shake well until well mixed.

To assemble your salad mix roasted veggies with a few handfuls of arugula. Drizzle everything with dressing and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Enjoy!

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pear, blue cheese, and red onion toast

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This weekend Henry and I were in charge of the Farm while Taylor was away.

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We thought we had everything under control. After a productive day we kicked back with a little Tim McGraw and a few cold brews.

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As luck would have it, our first night in charge a huge wind and hail storm ripped through the valley. Before I knew it, it was 2 o’clock in the morning and Henry and I were moving all of our seedlings from the propagation house (which had just lost its plastic cover in the storm) into our house.

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Every counter space in our kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and living room was being occupied by seed trays. It was the middle of the night and we were wet, cranky, and had to be up early for another project. I have never missed my husband more than at that moment!

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After only a few short hours of sleep we were back at it. The storm had passed and we were able to fix the propagation house and put the seed trays back where they belong.

Thank god the greenhouse up at the farm is almost done! Our set up here is not very reliable.

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The good news is the weather forecast is looking up, Taylor is on his way home, (thank god!) and I have these pear, blue cheese, and red onion toasts to thank for my sanity.

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Wherever you are, I hope you had a more restful weekend than us. But if things got a little crazy for you I highly recommend winding down with this tasty little number.  Cheers to a brighter week!

Pear, Blue Cheese, and Red Onion Toast (serves 1)

1 thick slice of french bread

1/2 of a pear, sliced into 1/4 inch slices

a few tablespoons of diced red onion

a few tablespoons of blue cheese crumbles

olive oil

balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 425.

Drizzle bread with a little olive oil. Layer on the pears, red onion and blue cheese crumbles. Drizzle everything with a little balsamic vinegar. Place in the oven for about 4-6 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is toasted.

Pair with a side of arugula salad and you have yourself a simple and tasty dinner! Enjoy.

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roasted green beans and peppers with soy-sesame vinaigrette

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“I’m gonna live, where the green grass grows.Watchin’ my corn pop up in rows. Every night I’ll be tucked in close to you. Raise our kids where the good lord’s blessed. Point our rocking chairs towards the west. Plant our seeds where the peaceful river flows. Where the green grass grows.” Tim McGraw

Don’t judge us. We love country music. It wasn’t until we became farmers that we really developed an appreciation for it. It always seems to lift our spirits and sets a nice tone for the day. We used to be closet country listeners because we were worried we would lose friends over this matter. But now we are totally out of the closet. Our friends still love us and we blast our country music with pride.

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Today we drove up to the farm singing along to some of our favorite tunes. We lucked out with a wind free day and were able to finally get the lid on our greenhouse.

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All that’s missing is a few doors and tables. Other than that it’s pretty much done. I think our seedling will be very happy up there.

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Once we finished the greenhouse we tended to the garlic patch. Nobody hates weeds more than farmers (or garlic for that matter).

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Everybody pitched in.

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A day spent in the dirt with my family is pretty much heaven on earth. My back may be sore, and I may have hit my thumb with a hammer, but there really is no better way to spend my time.

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We came home, cracked open a few beers (to cure our sore muscles of course) and watched our seedlings continue to grow.

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We also enjoyed this really delicious and easy dinner.

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Roasted Green Beans and Peppers with Soy-Sesame Vinaigrette (serves 4)

For the beans and peppers

1 lb green beans, trimmed

1 large red bell pepper, sliced into 1 inch pieces

1 cup cooked brown rice

1 tbs olive oil

salt and pepper

Directions:

Cook rice according to package directions.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450. Combine the beans and pepper with 1 tbs olive oil. Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes turning veggies once halfway through. Veggies are done once they are lightly browned and slightly crisp.

For the Vinaigrette

3 TBS reduced sodium soy sauce (or tamari)

1 TBS Mirin (rice cooking wine)

1 TBS rice wine vinegar

1 TBS tahini

1 tsp dark sesame oil

1 TBS grapeseed oil (or another neutral flavored oil like canola oil)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp fresh ginger, minced

dash of red pepper flakes

With an immersion blender or regular blender mix all the ingredients together. Taste test and season as necessary.

Once veggies are done remove them from the oven. Combine veggies with rice and drizzle on dressing. Enjoy hot!

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chocolate sunbutter green smoothie

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You rule. It’s all going to be okay. Get shit done. Fist pump!

I hope you all started your day off with a positive mantra. Not only did Taylor and I chant our new mantra pretty hard this morning but we also enjoyed this AMAZING smoothie. We have a big day ahead of us and this puppy is the best way to kick off a long day. Besides if you haven’t tried sunflower butter yet this is your chance to try my new favorite spread!!! It’s really healthy and tastes delicious.

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Now with our bellies full we are headed up to Tumbleweed to finish building our big greenhouse and weed our garlic patch.

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And as always, when our backs begin to give out in the fields we will take a moment to look up at this view and somehow all will be well again.

Chocolate Sunbutter Green Smoothie:

1 ripe banana

1 1/2 TBS Sunflower butter

1 1/2 TBS organic cocoa powder

1 1/2 TBS pure maple Syrup

1 large date, pitted and diced

1 TBS Flax Seeds

1 cup spinach

1 tsp Cinnamon

dash of nutmeg

1 cup of water

a few ice cubes

Place everything in a blender and blend away. Enjoy!

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roasted carrot and beet salad with tahini dressing

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This morning when Taylor and I got out of bed we decided to take a moment and chant a new mantra. Things have been a little stressful and sometimes it’s good to remind yourself that you are awesome and totally capable of doing anything you put your heart into.

“We rule. It’s all going to be okay. Let’s get shit done.” Followed by a few fist pumps.

Try it out. (Don’t forget to pump your fist.) Feels good right?

I think everyone could use a go-to mantra to start their day on the right foot. And hey, it totally worked. We had a great day and look who has decided to bounce back a bit…

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Only a small amount of our kale died. We still have about 90 percent of it. Big relief!

Tomorrow we seed our first round of scallions and lettuce. We are really excited about both of these crops because they are some of our favorites. We are also going through the process of applying to farmers markets in the area. Fingers crossed we get into some of our top choices!

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On a different note, look who has decided to become great friends. That’s right, beets and carrots. They pair particularly well when roasted and tossed with a tahini dressing.

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This salad was SO stinking good. I am a sucker for roasted root vegetables and when they are paired with quinoa, spinach, and this lovely dressing amazing things happen.

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Grab a fork, chant your favorite mantra, and dig in!

Roasted Carrot and Beet Salad (Serves 2-4)

For the Carrots and Beets:

2 large beets, scrubbed clean and chopped into roughly 1 inch pieces

4 carrots, scrubbed clean and chopped into roughly 1 inch pieces

1 TBS olive oil

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425. Toss the carrots and beets with the olive oil and salt and pepper. Place on a prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes turning veggies over at least once or twice. Veggies are done when they are fork tender.

For the Quinoa:

1 cup quinoa

3-4 cups spinach

Place 1 cup of quinoa with two cups of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed for about 10-15 minutes.  When quinoa is done cooking remove from heat. Add spinach to the pan and mix well. Cover until ready to serve (This will make the spinach nice and wilted)

For the Dressing:

2 TBS Tahini

2 TBS lemon juice

2 TBS water

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

2 tsp tamari

2 tsp pure maple syrup

Dash of Cayenne pepper

With an immersion blender (or regular blender) blend all ingredients together until smooth.

To assemble your salad mix the roasted veggies with the quinoa and spinach. Drizzle with dressing and serve warm! Enjoy

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coconut carrot ginger soup

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I sure as heck hope you guys aren’t sick of soup yet. If so, we may have a problem! We had to make an emergency batch of comforting soup to sooth our souls after we accidentally killed over a hundred kale seedlings.

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The temperature in the greenhouse got a little too toasty while we were out running errands and it seems as though one of our varieties did not survive. We have plenty of back up, but the panic and disappointment is still very hard. Taylor is convinced that it still has time to bounce back, but it sure as heck doesn’t look good.  The variety that we may have lost is only a small portion of our kale planting but it is still a major blow.

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Even Henry is feeling a little mopey and upset. Kale is one of our favorite things to grow and cook and we are hoping we can make a comeback quickly from this mini disaster. The  good news is that we seed a thousand more kale seeds next week so we should be all set; however, we are still pretty bummed.542448_10151010479881404_764853521_n

Fingers crossed that in a few months our kale will look as good as it did last summer. Look at how happy we were. Armfuls of kale is a way to a girl’s heart!

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As much as I love this soup I am hoping we don’t have to make too many emergency batches of comforting food. If so, it’s going to be a long farm season!

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If you are feeling a little out of sorts like us make this soup. It feels like one gigantic hug!

Coconut Carrot Ginger Soup (serves 4-6)

2 TBS coconut oil

1 large yellow onion, diced

2 TBS minced ginger (more or less depending on your love of ginger)

a dash of ground coriander

4 1/2 cups diced carrots

3-5 cups veggie broth (start with less and add more if soup is too thick)

3/4 cup full fat coconut milk

dash of crushed red pepper flakes

salt and pepper to taste

Garnish:

Toasted coconut flakes and diced parsley

Heat coconut oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the minced ginger and coriander. Cook for about 2 more minutes stirring often. Add the carrots. Cook for another minute or so. Add the broth and bring everything to a light boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes. With an immersion blender puree soup. (Or in batches puree soup in a blender) Add coconut milk and stir to combine. If soup is too thick add more stock.  Season to taste with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Garnish soup with toasted coconut flakes and parsley. Enjoy!

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