I’ve got an ambitious plan to make up for lost time with my menu this week, including trying to use veggies that have been languishing in the crisper for several weeks now. (Looking at you, cabbage!)
Some old favorites:
And some new ideas:
- Plum cake (I’ll probably freeze this for later)
I’m also going to see if the cayennes ripen to red on the counter, then dehydrate and crush them to make homemade red pepper flakes!
Clockwise from left: Bicolor Sweet Corn, Heirloom Cantaloupe, Green Cayenne Peppers, Plums, Green Beans, Canary Melon, Italian Eggplant, Mixed Heirloom Tomatoes, Yellow Straightneck Squash, Green Zucchini
As expected, a week of travel meant that I did not do much cooking this week. Here’s what I was able to make.
Chicken and sausage gumbo with okra and peppers
Vietnamese noodle salad (inspired by this recipe, but with peanut tempeh instead of chicken)
The unattractive but delicious fruit platz with plums.
Here’s the before and after of the jalapeños I pickled
The gloves are key to protect your hands from any residual burning! I’ll clean out seeds from the top rings of the pepper closest to the stem, but leave the ones shown here pretty much as-is.
The entire bag I got made one very full quart jar. I heat the brine from this recipe to dissolve the salt and pour it over the peppers.
Another week where I won’t be able to do much in the way of cooking, so this will be a very short list. Hopefully the squash will keep until next weekend when I can figure out how to best use them!
I also pickled the radishes and dried the grape tomatoes in the dehydrator this weekend. The tomatoes will either be diced and frozen or turned into sauce, I haven’t yet decided.
Back row from left: Yellow Tomatoes, Centercut Squash, Yellow Peaches, Plums, Green Okra
Front from left: Slicing Cucumbers, Red Radishes, Red Grape Tomatoes, Green Leaf Lettuce, Little Sweetie Cantaloupe, Escamillo Peppers
(True story, when I was lifting my basket out of the shopping cart while leaving the store after my pick up this week, a peach fell out of my basket, bounced down a stair, and rolled down the sidewalk, stopping just short of 6 lanes of traffic. You definitely know I walked down there, dusted it off, and took it on home with me. I washed it, peeled it, cut out the bruised part and I plan to eat it over cottage cheese for breakfast tomorrow! No peach left behind! 🙈)
This wasn’t a super impressive cooking week since I’m still playing catch up with most of my ingredients, but the variety of different flavors in these dishes was definitely one aspect I appreciated.
Sweet corn brightens up this very brown plate. The potatoes are from the grocery store but the no-recipe recipe is probably my favorite way to make them: toss with olive oil and any seasoning (I like garlic, salt, and pepper), spread on a baking sheet and roast at 425 for 45 minutes or until browned, flipping every 15 minutes to make sure each side gets its turn in contact with the baking sheet.
This Asian noodle bowl with cabbage and carrots is infinitely customizable. I used konjac noodles for the first time ever. They smelled terrible coming out of the package but cooked up very much like rice noodles. I liked the instructions to drain the noodles over the cabbage and carrots, just softening them slightly. Of course the spicy scallion sauce from this recipe would taste good on a brick, but I wish I had let the noodles and veggies cool a little so they didn’t add quite so much water to the sauce. I topped the bowl with some of my go to pan fried tofu.
The award for prettiest meal of the week goes to these crab cakes with German bean salad. The beans are blanched, then tossed with a mustard shallot sauce and topped with basil, hard boiled eggs, and cherry tomatoes. Even though I got cherry tomatoes in my basket this week, the ones in this picture actually came from my very own garden! Meanwhile, the crab cakes came from the freezer section…
I bulked up this recipe for carrot and beet salad with curry dressing by putting it on a bed of mixed greens and adding some goat cheese. The recipe didn’t call for cooking the beets, but I did anyway since I prefer that texture. The curry flavor of the dressing was pretty subtle when mixed with the salad greens. I think I would have preferred feta instead of the goat cheese, though.
If the crab cakes and bean salad were this week’s eyecatching Miss America of dinners, the rosemary peach chicken in a white wine pan sauce is Miss Congeniality. The salty bacon! The melt cheese! The creamy wine sauce! All wrapped around tender chicken and sweet peaches. I even left out the lemon zest and honey, and this one pan(!) dish still became a new favorite.
We’re at the point in the summer where I’m not only trying to use what I got in my basket this week, but also from the last week (or two)! There’s nothing too exciting on the menu this week since I can eat many of the fruits and veggies on their own – think cucumbers and watermelon – without making them part of a larger meal.
I’m also going to try to pickle the jalapeños, maybe turn the cherry tomatoes into ‘sun-dried’ tomatoes in the dehydrator, and hopefully do something with the yellow squash, maybe those cheddar biscuits again?