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?
Top Row: Little Baby Flower Watermelon, Banana Peppers, Nectarines, Green Savoy Cabbage
Middle Row: Slicing Cucumbers, Red Beets, Orange Carrots, Jalapeño Peppers
Bottom Row: Mixed Cherry Tomatoes, Yellow Peaches
I crammed two weeks of veggies into one week of cooking!
This is an easy Caprese salad. I quartered the cherry tomatoes, sliced little mozzarella balls in half, and topped with shredded basil, olive oil, and a generous amount of salad and pepper. A perfect lunch for when it’s 98F but feels like a scorching 112F outside.
Stewed zucchini pasta. I subbed in orzo for the penne and added several sprigs of oregano and thyme while the onions were cooking. This could have used a big squeeze of lemon at the end to amp up that tangy flavor, too.
Blueberry Belgian waffle deliciousness. To make sure that blueberries are evenly distributed among the waffles, we follow the linked recipe for plain Belgian waffles and just sprinkle a handful of blueberries on top of the batter before closing the waffle iron rather than stirring them all in at the beginning.
I didn’t notice how blurry this photo was until too late, but the zucchini lasagna tasted delicious all the same. This recipe is a go-to during zucchini seasons.
This Greek Bulgur Salad was a great fridge-clearing dish, featuring cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and even the pickled banana peppers I made a few weeks back. I prepared it a few hours ahead of meal time so all the flavors would have time to combine. I added vinegar and salt to my taste instead of following the recipe exactly, but it was also surprisingly tasty, dare I say reminiscent of a certain Mediterranean restaurant.
Zucchini chocolate cake is perhaps one of the few reasons to run the oven for an hour on the hottest day of the summer. It’s dense and fudgy with a nice crunch from the walnuts sprinkled on top.
Peperonata with a pan-fried rainbow trout was good, but not my favorite meal this week. I wish I had left off the olives and parsley, both of which overwhelmed the sweet flavor of the peppers and the tangy flavor of the vinegar.
Thai steak with noodles and green beans (with elk instead of the steak of course) was also a first-time recipe that really delivered. I made this in my wok, first by blistering the green beans in some coconut oil, then adding the peppers. Instead of grilling steak, I very thinly sliced the elk and marinated it in some vegetable oil and about 2 tablespoons of the red curry paste. I scraped the finished veggies out of the wok, then cooked the elk, then dumped the beans, peppers, cooked noodles and sauce all back in together, tossing to combine.
I made this roasted carrot salad with spinach and goat cheese even simpler to prepare by buying a 50/50 baby spinach/spring mix lettuce blend. I left off the almond because I was too lazy to buy them. It would also be good with grilled chicken added.
The recipe for this blueberry peach cobbler said the dough was supposed to be “poured over” the fruit, but as you might be able to tell from the photo, no pouring was possible. I spooned it out like it was a biscuit topping, and even though the dough rose okay, it certainly isn’t going to win any prizes for looks. The Demerara sugar sprinkled over the topping was a nice crunch on an otherwise squishy dessert.
Another week where I think I made a pretty good effort at using all my veggies. I still have a few zucchini left as well as half a cabbage, and I didn’t use the carrots yet, but they don’t look nearly as sad hanging out in my crisper as two heads of lettuce might have earlier this year. Here’s what I was able to use up and how:
This recipe takes a bit of time since the dough has to rise, but is I serve this Stromboli with Banana Peppers with some marinara sauce on the side for dipping. I couldn’t use up the whole bag I got, so I pickled the rest of the banana peppers.
This wasn’t my first time making a baked zucchini casserole but it was my first time making Zucchini and Chicken Enchilada Casserole. I’ve found enchilada sauce sometimes hides wheat ingredients, so this recipe that amps up a can of plain tomato sauce until it tastes like the pre-made stuff was a great find. To keep my zucchini from getting the casserole too watery. I threw the sliced rounds on a baking sheet and broiled them until they were slightly browned in spots, a trick I’d learned making zucchini lasagna.
I was pleasantly surprised by the flavors in this Lightened Up Pad Thai with Cabbage. The real key was the lime juice, the flavor was definitely missing something when I first left it out.
These Wax beans and chorizo are one of my favorite easy recipes. Crisp tender beans, crunchy salty chorizo (the Spanish dried kind, not the hearty links more typical in Mexico or El Salvador), and the tangy vinegar all go so well together.
I guess I’d been missing salads, because I was absolutely craving this chicken caesar kale salad. It was actually much better the next day, as the kale had time to soften and the dressing flavors came together.
My trick for recipes like these Thai drunken Zoodles is to let the ground pork in this case cook a bit longer than you think it should, so that it gets really crispy. It’s tough to wait that long when dinner time is coming fast, but the texture contrast is needed in a dish where everything else tends to be a little mushy. I loved the flavor of the sauce in the recipe, it would be good on real noodles too!
I also made Fridge dills but haven’t tried them yet because I don’t like pickles!
When I have time later this weekend, I’m going to try making these amazing looking almond blackberry sweet rolls.
Back row: Hyssop (note: the official list said “anise hyssop” but I got that last year, and it looked and smelled nothing like this, so I’m pretty sure this is Hyssopus officinalis), Orange Carrots, Green Cabbage, Green Kale
Middle row: Banana Peppers, Green Zucchini (seven of them!), Blackberries, Yellow Wax Beans
Front row: Pickling Cucumbers, Yellow Peaches