Hot Sauce, Casserole, and Soup

From this pile of dishes and utensils…messaftercooking

…emerged these meals:

Veg-CVFPorkSausage-Cassarole vegsoup-hotsauce

On top, is a vegetable and pork sausage casserole. The sausage is from our Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm meat share; most of the veggies are from my garden and include potatoes, tomatoes, yellow sweet peppers, runner beans, tomato sauce, eggplant, garlic, chives, oregano, basil, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Things not from the garden include a generous helping of mozzerella cheese, broccoli, tomato paste, celery salt, organic no salt seasoning, a bit of agave syrup instead of suger and paprika. It is VERY tasty, kind of like a cross between a shepherd’s pie and eggplant parmesean.

On the bottom right is a jalepeno hot sauce with jalepenos, tomatoes, tomatillos and garlic from the garden along with a little dash of dill vinegar and organic honey (not from my hive yet though). So good with tortilla chips!

On the bottom left is a vegetable stock made from whatever I needed to use up from the garden. I’ve been freezing the excess for the past 6 weeks and wanted to use it up before it developed off flavors, as I didn’t blanch anything prior to freezing. In addition to the bountiful tomatoes, tomatillos and peppers, this includes a LOT of dark leafy greens, including kale, Swiss chard, and broccoli leaves. My broccoli never flowered, but I discovered the leaves, minus the tough inner veins, taste just like the flower and are great for juicing, shredding and other uses. To make this stock I put all of the frozen, pureed vegetables in one pot, added Bragg’s and Costco organic no salt seasoning, plus maybe a dash of celery salt, and after about 40 minutes I had stock. To make a quick, delicious creamy soup I added some drinkable yougurt. Yum!

I must admit that my new Vitamix indespensible for making juices, salsas, or anything requiring blending. I bought my first one 20 years ago, and finally wore it out. It is an amazing appliance…I won’t do the full commercial but I will say this: it is my favorite appliance, and it actually does work as advertised. I spent a lot of money years ago and it became and integral part of how I operate in the kitchen. When it started to die I was dismayed. I couldn’t afford to buy one new this time, but a co-worker with a knack for bargain hunting tipped me off to a lady who was selling hers, less than a year old, for half the price! It seems I should have retired my old one years ago. I didn’t realize how poorly it performed in the last few years until I powered up the new one. So now I am back in business.

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