What I Made – Week 6

It was a lot of salads this week, but I did manage to make some other types of meals as well. Not pictured below include my go-to quiche with beet greens and green garlic from my garden and a garlic scape pesto made with basil from the farmers market.

This was the Tandoori Chicken and Rice Bake. I’ve really liked this recipe in the past, but the chicken turned out very tough and dry this time. Maybe it was because I used a 14.5 ounce can of light coconut milk and 1.5 cups of broth instead a 14.5 ounce can of broth, a cup of coconut milk and a half cup of water? Maybe I over cooked the chicken even though I didn’t fully cook it through in a skillet like the recipe says? I may never know.

This salad is inspired by chicken shawarma. The instructions had you marinate the whole chicken thigh with lots of spices, but since they were skin-on and bone-in, most of the spices stayed stuck to the skin. Even though I marinated these overnight, I didn’t get much flavor once the chicken was shredded.

Another day, another salad. This no-recipe salad includes roasted beets, quinoa, chipotle sausage, and goat cheese with a citrus vinaigrette (chopped shallots, orange juice, honey, red wine vinegar, and olive oil).

This may not look like much, but this pasta with hot Italian sausage and dandelion greens is one of our all-time favorite recipes for using up any greens from dandelion to Swiss chard to escarole. I do make some changes to the recipe. I use whatever type of pasta I have available, typically substitute hot Italian sausage for mild for the additional flavor, and use an imprecise mix of skim milk and some cream in place of the non-skim milk. After the sausage is browned, I leave the drippings in the pan and add whatever amount of butter I think will make up the difference to get around 3-4 tablespoons.

The dressing on this Vietnamese-Style Chicken & Noodle Salad is the perfect balance of sweet and tangy. I kept the veggie ingredients for the salad to cabbage, cucumber, cilantro, mint, and pickled radishes, only because I was too lazy to buy the other items. I layered this more like a traditional salad, but I wish I had tossed the cabbage and other veggies with the noodles as directed in the recipe to more evenly mix the ingredients and distribute the dressing.

Even though we made a lot of salads, we still have a head of red leaf lettuce and most of the head of cabbage left to use. The Swiss chard will be served with salmon for dinner. I’m thinking about trying these biscuits to use up those last two yellow patty pan squash. I’ll be making strawberry shortcake/biscuits tonight to finish up those strawberries, since our fruit share starts next week! Maybe soon we’ll move away from lettuce and start fruit salad season? A girl can dream…

What I Made – Week 4

I made pretty much everything we had planned this week. We still have a head and a half (!) of lettuce left to use, as well as some cilantro. See a selection of what I was able to use up in the photos below.

Here’s the pasta with mushrooms, escarole, chicken and sun-dried tomatoes. I followed the planned recipe pretty closely, except that I used penne instead of shells and cremini mushrooms instead of shiitake. I also let the escarole cook with the lid off to further reduce the broth since reviewers complained it turned out a little soupy. Tasty, easy, and a great way to use escarole!

Knowing how much lettuce we had to eat this week, I turned this harissa-roasted broccoli and tofu quinoa bowl into a salad! I was rushing to finish dinner and forgot the red onion and mint. (This also explains the less than stellar plating and lighting conditions.) I think the red onion would be good sliced and roasted with the tofu and broccoli. I’ve also made this before with quick pickled red onions and that’s delicious as well!

This was my first time making this Instant Pot butter chicken recipe. I swapped chicken thighs for the boneless skinless breasts since that’s what I had thawed. I used tomato sauce combined with my four chopped up tomatoes because I couldn’t find tomato purée. Once the pressure cooking finished, the sauce was thinner than I wanted, so I put it on Sauté for several minutes to reduce before I completed the last step and added the butter and cream. I also only added two tablespoons of butter at the end instead of four because I couldn’t bring myself to put nearly a half cup of butter plus almost a cup of heavy cream in this dinner! The result was creamy and delicious all the same.

Tonight we’re trying the clam pizza with kale and white sauce. Maybe with a side salad? 🙈We have too much lettuce!

Whatever you’re having today, have a happy Friday!

What I’ve Planned – Week 4

A long weekend provides such a chance to catch up on my home to-do list, including meal prep for the week ahead. With summer temperatures setting in, it’s going to be more difficult than usual to spend a whole day over the stove. Alternating roasting veggies with a pan of brownies in the oven might be just the motivation I need!

Here’s what I’m thinking for how to use up my basket this week:

    Smoked ribs, roasted asparagus, green salad
    Instant Pot Butter Chicken (will chop up and toss in my tomatoes along with the tomato purée, didn’t get quite enough to cook it down for a substitute)

I’ll probably also use the kale and last week’s green garlic in a quiche. I definitely need to make some salads to work on using up all the romaine we got this week. I have some extra berries in the fridge and I love a Black and Blue salad – I add sliced steak to make it a more substantial meal.

What I Made: Veggie Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Remember when I said I was too lazy for a complicated dumpling recipe? Apparently that doesn’t apply to spring rolls, so hold on for a long post! The full recipe is after the jump.

 

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Half of the sauce ingredients in one photo!

Since the peanut sauce needs a chance to sit, it needs to be made at the beginning.  For 6 ingredients (rice wine vinegar, water, chili oil, minced garlic, chopped roasted peanuts, sugar), it packs a lot of flavor.

 

After the ingredients sit for around 10 minutes, they somehow mix into a spicy, peanutty dipping sauce!

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The first step in making the spring rolls is soaking cellophane noodles in hot water for around 30 minutes.  That’s not very pretty, though, so before I get to the spring rolls, here is a glamour shot of my cilantro from this week’s CSA share.  The newsletter had a good tip that you should treat fresh herbs like flowers and keep them cut and in water. Look how beautiful this cilantro looks!
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Along with 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro, add 1/3 cup chopped mint and 1/4 cup basil.  This smelled wonderful.

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Next, quarter green onions lengthwise and chop.  This makes really fine pieces.

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Next, blanch 1 cup bean sprouts.

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Once the noodles are soft and pliable, cut them into 2 inch lengths.springrolls5

Then, to all the other ingredients, add the cabbage and shredded carrot.springrolls6

Finally, make a paste of garlic and 2 Serrano peppers in a food processor. (Take out the pepper seeds for a less spicy taste!) Mix the paste with lime juice, and add to the filling, tossing to coat.

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For the wrap itself, dip a rice papering a big bowl of warm water. Spread the paper out on a towel, and pile a handful of the filling on the bottom third of the wrap.  Fold the bottom up over the filling once, then tuck in the sides.  Roll the wrap all the way up and set aside.springrolls8

And the finished product!  They’re lumpy and uneven, but that didn’t affect the taste.  Fresh and delicious, these wraps are definitely worth all the steps.springrolls9

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