Monday, December 8, 2014

Harvest Monday, 8 December 2014

I've got nothing. No harvests this week. Since what you do with your harvests is fair game for Harvest Monday, today I'd like to write about two items that I cook on a regular basis that I learned from blogs that I follow. One I know where it came from, but the other I don't remember. I wish I did since I love it so much. But I'll start with the first.

Some of the best recipes come from all over the world. I grew up with Mexican food as I lived in Colorado. There Mexican restaurants are on every corner. When I came here to Boston I fell in love with Chinese food. Sadly without being able to eat tomatoes, chilies, or soy, those cuisines are largely not available to me anymore. I can do some of them with heavy modifications, but my cooking repertoire is now sadly limited. In addition my husband doesn't eat red meat anymore. So I'm stuck with poultry and fish. One of our favorite comfort foods was meatloaf. I tried to make a turkeyloaf substitute, but I just didn't like any of the variations I tried (at least without mushrooms which I'm not eating right now either). But then Mark posted one of his dishes - Kofte or Turkish Meatballs.

These we love. I make it with an onion turkey gravy and use ground turkey instead of lamb. Though it certainly isn't a meatloaf it does fill sort of the same niche. When my onions were available I used them. Now it is just the mint and carrots from the garden. And when I made them the other week it was the last of the mint. I should have dried some mint for the winter. I guess that will have to come from the store too. The carrots are cooked in the gravy and they are so delicious that way. And here I paired it with the last of the fresh picked spinach. I'm so sad that is all used up now.

My other well loved recipe is Okonomiyaki. Sometimes it is called Japanese pizza. But it is a vegetable pancake. I don't make it traditionally as I'm gluten free. So mine has a mix of gluten free flours and more eggs than usual. I also use more American toppings. The traditional toppings are bonito flakes (which I don't have and don't use), mayo, and some sauce that can be sort of replicated by equal parts ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. Neither of the later two I can have. And mayos are very problematic. So I use a homemade vegan mayo (which tastes better than the mayos I can eat from the supermarkets) mixed up into a horseradish sauce and plum sauce. It really takes it out of the Asian flavors, but I still like it. It has become comfort food for me over the last several months. And it is a great way to use up any of the cabbage family crops. For a while it was Chinese cabbage. Then it switched to European cabbage. And this last week it was bok choy. Sadly all of my cabbage type greens are now gone. Though I do have some frozen and this coming week I might try to use that.

The main vegetable the pancake uses is 2 cups of cabbage and just about any other vegetable you want. I always use 1/2-1 cup of onions (depending upon whether they are green onions or bulbing onions) and about 1/2c of matchsticked carrots. Sometimes zucchini gets added. It really depends upon what is in the fridge. Like soup you can use up little odds and ends. This last week it was just choy, carrots, and bunching onions. All from the garden.

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to show off, add your name and link to Mr Linky below.


  1. I substitute ground turkey or chicken for ground beef in practically everything (although we don't eat meatloaf so have never tried it in that). We do make kofte with ground beef instead of lamb (based on a recipe in the Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden) - next time I should try them with ground turkey and do the gravy - yours look delicious!

  2. The kofte does look delicious. Seeing your list of forbidden foods must make food preparation quite a challenge. Then throw in spousal preferences--yikes!

  3. Looking yummy, we also didn't have any harvests this week. The lettuce I cut last weekend is only about 1/2 gone. I guess it's just that time of year. But hey only about 30 days till it's time to get starts going for the 2015 garden!!

  4. How sad to have no harvests. My harvests have slowed considerably, but at least I've got something fresh coming from the garden.

  5. Mmm, kofta. I have a bbq coming up and I think I'll be making these now. Thanks for the reminder! I love that you still have a stored harvest even in winter.

  6. I really need to try the kofte. I think it sounds good with lamb, but it seem to be pretty versatile regarding the meat you use.

    I had no real harvests this week either. We ate from stores, and from things already harvested. Your fresh spinach looks great with the meatballs and carrots! I know it's difficult with your dietary restrictions, but what you do eat is full of homegrown taste.

  7. Haha, I'm glad you liked the kofte! Last night we had something similar - Lamb patties with pistachio, from a recipe in "Persiana", Sabrina Ghayour's book. They were really delicious.
    The list of participants in Harvest Monday has shrunk a lot recently, so I feel proud that I have at least managed to produce something, although it was not a lot.

  8. The spinach looks lovely, I'm pretty rubbish at growing it. It always bolts for me.

  9. I love how orange your carrots are, just beautiful. and your Japanese vegie pancakes sounds so fresh and healthy and delicious.

  10. All I harvested was a small amount of kale for my smoothie tomorrow and the kale is about to run out. How sad! I think I would bury my head in the sand if I had to avoid all the foods you do to cook things! You are amazing. Nancy

  11. Hi Daphne,
    Thanks for hosting Harvest Monday.
    It is my first participation and I am very happy to have it. I can see your previous harvest, I am not sure I will always have weekly harvest. So, it is so lovely to enjoy this meme.

    Daphne, your dish looks so yummy. :)

    Have a great time,

  12. No harvesting this week for us either

  13. I;m having trouble deducing the recipe for Okonomiyaki. Is it understood that the ingredients you mention are put into a regular pancake batter? Or no but they are bound together with egg or something? Thanks.

    1. Typically they use some very Japanese ingredients (dashi stock, nagaimo). But I just make them with flour, egg, and water. The batter is very thin. So it is very much like a pancake batter when mixed up and before adding the veggies. I use more eggs than one would usually use as I use the eggs to bind it. Gluten free flour doesn't have the binding power of wheat flour.