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.
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!
Clockwise from left: Spring Onions, Green Savoy Cabbage, Orange Carrots, Green Beans, Green Kale, Green Zucchini, Blueberries, Pickling Cucumbers, Yellow Peaches, Fava Beans
Back row, left to right: Escarole, Red Butterhead Lettuce, Fennel
Front row, left to right: Broccoli, Cheddar Cauliflower, Blueberries, Yellow Peaches, Yellow Straightneck Squash, New Red Potatoes
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.
Clockwise from left: Red Beets, Green Kale, Bok Choy, White Scallions (though they really look more like spring onions, right?), English Peas, Red Leaf Lettuce, Red Radishes, Broccoli, Dark Sweet Cherries, Slicing Cucumbers, Blueberries
My recipes seem to come with lots of lessons learned recently (see Zucchini Cake for harsh example). This week’s lesson is: don’t start a recipe before you’ve had your coffee. Your insufficiently-caffienated self might read “sugar” as “butter” and wonder why creaming shortening and butter doesn’t really work. This was made more dramatic by having already added the last egg in the house, so it was either make another run to the corner store or scoop out what appeared to be the excess and hope for the best. After clearing my head with that much needed cup of joe, I opted for the latter, removing what I hoped was around 3/4 cup of butter and replacing it with the appropriate 3/4 cup of sugar.
Mix together the wet ingredients (PLUS SUGAR), add the dry ingredients, and fold in blueberries. Then mix together the crumb topping until it is combined into a fine crumb, and spread it over the cake. It bakes up in about 45 minutes. I found it hard to test doneness with a toothpick, because I always hit a blueberry. So much for the toothpick “coming out clean”; it always came out purple! After a few tries, you may have to trust your baking instincts.
The buckle turned out fine, even if it didn’t buckle, and made a nice breakfast treat with last week’s blueberries.
In addition to items that can stand on their own as snacks or simple sides, these mid-summer items also store better for longer periods. You’ll notice in the next few weeks that I’m still using ingredients from previous week’s baskets. It’s also because I can’t eat it all fast enough to keep up!
White Eggplant (2), Green Kale, Bicolor Sweet Corn (3), Green Bell Peppers (4)
Green Zucchini (4), Purple Viking Potatoes (12), Blueberries (1 pint), White Onions (2), Blackberries (1 pint)
Tomatoes (5), Peaches (5)
I’m not a morning person. Okay, that’s an understatement. But honestly, by the time I get myself moving in the morning, I might have had time to grab a cup of coffee but there’s no way I’ve been awake enough to eat anything. Out of necessity, I’ve become a connoisseur of work-appropriate breakfasts. Yogurt and granola, yes. Blueberry pancakes, no. (May have been some trial and error involved in this…)
Muffins are mainstays of the office breakfast. Bring multiple and share or, you know, don’t!
I used up some of the blueberries making the aforementioned pancakes, but only needed about a cup here. It doesn’t matter if they’re a little bruised or overripe, they’ll get mixed in and you’ll never know.
Add wet ingredients (sour cream or plain yogurt, oil, egg) to the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon).
Fold in the blueberries.
You’ll note this mix is VERY stiff, almost like cookie dough. It cooked up less dense, but I’m wondering if using plain yogurt might have made for a lighter muffin. They bake in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.
Regardless, the finished product is both beautiful and tasty. Enjoy!
This week’s basket was quite a haul. I’ll start posting quantities so you can get a better idea of just how much this is.
Back row: Blueberry jam (8 oz), blueberries (1 pint), green kale, bulls blood beets, red leaf lettuce, 8-ball zucchini (6).
Front row: Peaches (5), green bell peppers (4), heirloom tomatoes (2), bicolor sweet corn (6 ears), gold zucchini (2), and an asian cucumber (although it really looks like a regular cucumber to me, especially when compared to the bumpy, curved one I got last week).