Ocean View Farms

It’s official! We’ve fully assimilated into the Santa Monica culture now that Wayne and I have our own organic garden plot at Ocean View Farms. Located near the Santa Monica airport, there are over 500 garden plots and flower gardens that occupy six acres in the hills of Mar Vista/Santa Monica West LA.

I love this urban garden community space. We have a large 13×17 feet area to grow our own organic vegetables–before we switched plots we grew eggplant, zucchini, kale, broccoli, romanesco broccoli, peas, carrots.

On a normal day we water and often exchange garden advice with veteran members who pass by. It’s a great garden community and everyone is so friendly. We pay a small fee for annual dues and put in 12 hour community work hours a year. There is a tool shed where you can check out garden tools and wheel barrows. Water and compost is also provided!

Wayne waited 3.5 years on the list. Not sure how long it takes to get a plot now. If you plan on living around the area for the next several years, it’s worth signing up! Ocean View Farms.
So far we’ve accomplished our first goal: Make a salad entirely with fresh ingredients from our garden!

Here are some casual shots I took on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in the garden.

cacti trio

cacti trio

neighbor's cute mailbox

neighbor’s cute mailbox

neighbor's rustic mailbox

neighbor’s rustic mailbox

pop of pink

pop of pink

main path. wayne in the far distance. greenhouse to the right.

main path. wayne in the far distance. greenhouse to the right.

compost just around the corner

compost just around the corner

compost bins: it's quite a system they got here

compost bins: it’s quite a system they got here

our cucumber plants !

cucumber de familia

king tree + main path

king tree + main path

i'm hungry

i’m hungry

Recipe: Crab Cakes with Spicy Remoulade

We love crab cakes, but seldom order it in restaurants because they’re so pricey (and fattening). So a favorite recipe of ours is easy to make and healthy (and I get to use Panko!)

Cooking Light’s recipe is a fresh take on the crab cake. This crab cake recipe is low in sodium, calories and saturated fat. We lightly season sweet, premium crab and use just enough mayonnaise, low-sodium panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), and egg to bind it all together. We don’t add any salt to the mixture, to keep sodium in check. The cakes are cooked in a slick of oil instead of deep-fried. We bought the premium crab meat from Costco (also can be found at Trader Joes), herbs, panko crumbs, organic mayo, organic lemons from Trader Joes. The recipe calls for making a remoulade sauce, but we didn’t make it. The best thing about this is it’s just packed with crab, not much fillers!

Premium Crab Meat

Premium Crab Meat

Trader Joes' Panko

Trader Joes’ Panko

Herbs

Herbs

Crab Cakes with Spicy Rémoulade

We keep fillers to a minimum with this fresh take on crab cakes. This lower-sodium, streamlined rémoulade (there are no gherkins, anchovies, or green olives) is best made one day ahead to allow flavors to marry.

Crab cakes:

2 T – finely chopped fresh chives

1 T – chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 1/2 T – mayonnaise

1/2 t – grated lemon rind

1 T – fresh lemon juice

1/4 t – freshly ground black pepper

1/8 t – ground red pepper

1 large egg

1/3 C – Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

1 lb – lump crabmeat, drained and shell pieces removed

1 T – olive oil, divided

Rémoulade:

1/4 C – mayonnaise

1 T – chopped shallots

1 ½ T – capers, drained and chopped

2 t – Creole mustard

1 t – fresh lemon juice

1/4 t – ground red pepper

1/8 t – kosher salt

Preparation

1. To prepare crab cakes, combine first 8 ingredients. Add panko and crab, tossing gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.

2. Fill a 1/3-cup dry measuring cup with crab mixture. Invert onto work surface; gently pat into a 3/4-inch-thick patty. Repeat procedure with remaining crab mixture, forming 8 cakes.

3. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 crab cakes to pan; cook 4 minutes or until bottoms are golden. Carefully turn cakes; cook 4 minutes or until bottoms are golden and crab cakes are thoroughly heated. Remove cakes from pan; keep warm. Wipe pan dry with paper towels. Heat remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in pan. Repeat procedure with remaining 4 crab cakes.

4. To prepare rémoulade, combine 1/4 cup mayonnaise and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Serve with crab cakes.

Step 1: Combine first 8 ingredients.

Step 1: Combine first 8 ingredients.

Add Panko & Crab, tossing gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 30 min.

Add Panko & Crab, tossing gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 30 min.

Form the patties

Step 2: Form the patties

Skillet it until they're golden brown

Step 3: Skillet it until they’re golden brown