What I Made – Week 11 and Week 12

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.
  • What I’ve Planned – Week 12

  • After being away most of last week, I’m still catching up on the recipes I’d planned for last week and planning for the veggies I haven’t gotten around to using just yet. The list is underwhelming, but I’ll do a combined Weeks 11 and 12 “What I Made” post later this week so you can see what all we actually ate!
  • Also, many of the recipes I’m saving for the end of the week when the heatwave is supposed to subside and I’ll be able to stand having the oven on without fear my air conditioning might not hold out!
  • What I Made – Week 9

    This elk ragu with carrots and garlic scapes is inspired by this recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks in recent years, Six Seasons. With only about an hour total cook time, it comes together more quickly than many other similar recipes, with no loss of flavor.

    I know I’ve posted about poke salad bowls on here before, but I thought this time was a bit more photogenic. Maybe? Not really? Oh well.

    These are my favorite quinoa bowls with marinated kale. I changed the recipe a bit by using pan-fried tofu instead of chicken and using jarred roasted red peppers instead of the tomatoes for a sauce with a bit of kick.

    Fish taco salad, inspired by a local salad chain restaurant. I think sliced the cabbage and combined it with lettuce to make the bed of greens. Topped with pan fried catfish, quick pickled onions, and cilantro-queso fresco dressing and it’s almost as good as the one from the store.

    Our July 4 cookout lunch included roasted potatoes, smoked cider can chicken (for a gluten-free take on a beer can chicken) and these blistered green beans with miso.

    This pasta with garlic scapes and fava beans was also a hit. In the future, I’d add red pepper flakes for a bit of spice (even though I used hot Italian sausage like the original recipe said).

    On the sweet side of things, I also made a blueberry buckle. I just call it coffee cake and eat it for breakfast with no regrets! 💁🏼‍♀️

    Chocolate chip zucchini bread is another of my favorite dessert-for-breakfast meals. I plan to wrap these loaves tight and freeze them for to enjoy once zucchini season has passed.

    What I’ve Planned – Week 9

    The tomato plants in our garden seem to grow a foot every night these days. I’m glad someone is enjoying this hot humid weather! Since weeknight dinners usually involve me rushing in from a sweltering walk from the train, I do most of my ambitious cooking on Sunday, when I can stay inside in the AC all day. Slow simmering ragu, cooking a big batch of quinoa that will be repurposed into multiple meals this week, baking something that will make the whole house smell delicious just as we’re saying goodbye to the weekend and facing down the workweek ahead – it’s a different form of meal prepping.

    Here’s the planned lineup this week:

    • Elk ragu with carrots and garlic scapes (inspired by this incredible lamb ragu recipe from the Six Seasons cookbook – everything from this cookbook is a hit but this recipe is among my favorites)
    • Poke salad to use some of this week’s spring onions and finish off last week’s lettuce
    • Quinoa chicken bowls with marinated kale
    • Fish taco salad on thinly sliced Savoy cabbage
    • A July 4 cookout with smoked chicken, green beans, and roasted potatoes
    • Pasta with fava beans and garlic scapes (adapted from this Food Network recipe)

    I’ll probably also make a blueberry buckle and maybe (hopefully) will find a way to use all those zucchini!