With a more limited ability to grab groceries, we’ve tried to use a lot of the flavors and ingredients we have already for meals through the week. Colder weather this week means heavier meals mixed in with salads (still have to use up all that lettuce, after all!)
- Pasta with sausage and dandelion greens (adds a bit more bite than the chard this recipe calls for, and I use whatever pasta I have on hand)
- Grilled eggplant risotto, not what you’d think of as a traditional beach meal, but great on a stormy evening with some fresh scallops
- Grilled corn, either slathered with mayo, feta, and a squeeze of lime to echo Mexican flavors, or with good old fashioned butter
I’m planning to cut the rest of the corn off the cobs and freeze it for use in soup or chicken chili later this fall or winter.
I also let those cayenne peppers turn red on the counter, then I finally dehydrated them and pulsed them in the food processor to make red pepper flakes. I didn’t use the good appliance, so the size of the flakes is a bit inconsistent, but they are definitely potent!
To make this week, I’ve planned ways to use peppers, peppers, and more peppers
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…
If I could rename this blog, I would call it “Salad Season” because each May we laugh about how much lettuce we seem to get, saying it’s to prepare our bodies for lounging beside swimming pools and on beaches. Somehow, the sudden bounty of leafy greens doesn’t have much effect on my physique, but it’s still nice to be eating lighter as the weather gets warmer, at least, most days.
Here are some of the things I’m planning to make this week.
- Tandoori chicken bake (I shred an entire zucchini or squash to make this casserole that is loaded with hidden vegetables!)
- Salad with goat cheese, quinoa, and roasted beets
- Pasta with Sausage and Dandelion Greens (adapted from this recipe, substituting hot Italian sausage for sweet, and dandelion greens for the chard)
I’m trying to put that lettuce to use in lots of salad recipes this week. We typically take leftovers as lunch, so it really works out to salad every day. I won’t wish this time of year away, though, because after Salad Season comes Summer Squash Overload, and it will be here before we know it.
From left: Red Beets, Garlic Scapes, two heads of Red Leaf Lettuce, Dandelion Greens, Napa Cabbage, Yellow Patty Pan Squash, Rainbow Chard, Strawberries