What I Made – Week 8

Pictures are a bit scarce this week. I was too hungry when I made the roast broccoli to snap a picture before we dug in, but believe me when I say it was delicious!

This chicken, fennel, and potato salad is like if your everyday picnic staple got all dressed up for a movie premiere. Substantial enough to be a full meal on its own, if you cook the chicken and potatoes ahead (or buy a rotisserie bird), it all comes together on a weeknight without any/much cooking, perfect for our first heatwave of the season here.

Also heatwave friendly are these bulgogi lettuce wraps. The meat is sliced thinly and cooks very quickly, so it can be grilled outside or on a grill pan inside. I usually top this with pickled radishes or other veggies, but I was trying to get this from plate to face as quickly as possible! For a lunch-friendly meal, I chop the lettuce and top with rice and meat for an easy salad.

And in the comfort food category, we have this gnocchi with bacon and escarole. I swapped sun-dried tomatoes for the fresh ones and used a large head of escarole, so it looks more like a salad than a pasta dish, but it was still delicious. With a slightly smaller bag of frozen gluten free gnocchi than what the recipe called for, this only made 3 servings instead of 4.

The cauliflower will be roasted for tonight’s Taco Friday meal, and I’ll use the squash tomorrow as noodles as planned, just in time for the next basket of veggies to fill the empty space I had started to see in the crisper!

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What I’ve Planned – Week 8

The solstice this past week plus the first yellow squash of the season is a sure sign summer is definitely here!

This is what I have planned for this week:

What I Made – Week 7

These week in reviews make me realize how often I make one-pot or bowl meals. Salads and stir fry were this week’s mainstays. (Still have a head of lettuce left over somehow, along with my cucumbers and a few scallions!) Here’s what I did use this week…

It doesn’t look so pretty, but I make this salad with beets very often. If you make the quinoa and roast the beets ahead of time, it comes together very quickly and stores great for leftovers.

This stir fry with brown sauce couldn’t be easier or more adaptable. Thinly slice the bok choy and stir fry the white parts in a wok until softened and slightly browned. (I also added in some frozen stir fry mix for more flavor.) Then stir in greens and cook until wilted. Stir in sauce and top with protein. (I used pan-fried tofu here.)

For as simple as this kale salad with farro is, it’s so flavorful! Besides the marinated kale and farro, we topped this with toasted pecans, Craisins, goat cheese, and scallions. It also kept very well for leftovers the next day!

I like the flavors of this beef and broccoli, but if I made it again, I would thicken the sauce in a separate skillet much like the bok choy recipe above. I would not choose to substitute elk again; I didn’t prefer that taste.

What I’ve Planned – Week 7

Even though there’s not nearly as much lettuce to eat this week, you’ll still notice a few salads in the mix this week.

Here’s what I have planned:

  • Beet quinoa salad, one of my very favorite beet recipes, although I might change up the dressing for a more simple citrus vinaigrette
  • Garlic tofu stir fry with Bok Choy and other frozen stir fry mix veggies that have been hanging out in the fridge for too long. I’ll top it with this easy but tasty brown sauce,
  • Kale and Potato Bowl. According to the original recipe, this is not a salad, it’s a bowl.
  • Farro salad with kale. Does it still count as a salad if it’s a grain salad? I’ll make this salad more summery than autumnal by tossing in whatever fresh cherries we have left by this point in the week.
  • Beef and broccoli. Although I will use very thinly sliced elk roast, I’ll follow a recipe similar to this one.
  • Blueberry muffins! I’m sure these will be delicious no matter what recipe you might choose to use. I might try the one from Bravetart.

Since I’m posting this a bit later than usual, I can shared that we’ve already enjoyed a paella with the peas both from our basket and from our backyard garden! I made a few changes to the original recipe, including swapping fish fillets in for the clams and cooking the seafood a bit longer at the end (closer to 20 minutes for the fish) to make sure everything was fully cooked. This overcooked the shrimp, so for future recipes, I’d probably simmer the fish and peas in the middle step when the rice was cooking, and then just steam the shrimp at the end for 5 minutes as directed.This enormous pan of paella (note that it almost stretches the full width of my stove) will keep us in leftovers for the week!

Paella enjoyed al fresco with a glass of white wine is a good way to chase away the Sunday Scaries.

What I Made – Salmon and Swiss Chard and Cheddar Squash Biscuits with Bonus Strawberry Shortcake

I’m making a bit of an unscheduled update to show Friday night’s dinner. That’s Crispy Salmon with Wilted Chard which really is a perfect recipe. It became a go-to this winter and early spring when we seemed to have a constant supply.

But what I’m really here to share with you are these cheddar squash biscuits. Squash? In a biscuit? I was skeptical, but since basically hiding squash in recipes is the only way we prepare it (seriously, do any of the squash or zucchini recipes on here not involve shredding it?), I thought this was worth a try.

And the shocker?

It was pretty good!

The drop biscuits bake up fluffy and the combination of cheese and garlic makes it salty and savory. There are a few changes I’d make to the recipe, so I’ve written it out in full below.

Cheddar Squash Biscuits, adapted from Little House Living

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups Yellow Squash, shredded fine
3 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
4 Tablespoons Butter, melted
1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
3/4 cup Milk

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 and spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
3. Stir the shredded squash into the dry ingredients and toss to combine. Mix in the cheese, followed by the milk. The batter will be super sticky!
4. Form into balls about 3 inches in diameter and place in prepared pan.
5. Bake 20 minutes until brown.

These would be excellent brushed with additional garlic butter while warm, too!

In keeping with the biscuit theme, we also had strawberries shortcakes/biscuits! Tough to mess this up, yet I overbaked the biscuits a little – they were tough and too dry on the outside. As you might guess from the picture, we suffered through and ate them anyways. In fact, we ate ALL of the strawberries and will have to go buy some more to enjoy with the rest of our biscuits.