The theme this week is simple meals with some big flavors. With the abundance of salad greens in this cooler weather, I like to go for hearty salads. Even though they sometimes have many ingredients, I try to pick ones where I can make some or all of the components ahead of time to save some hassle on weeknights. Here’s what I’m planning to make this week:
Clockwise from left: Bartlett Pears, Poblano Peppers, Green Acorn Squash, Red Leaf Lettuce, Green Cabbage, Green Mizuna (spiky greens under the cabbage) another head of Red Leaf Lettuce, Yukon Gold Potatoes, Ginger, Red Okra, Red Raspberries, Red Onions
I spent Week 16 at the beach and didn’t take pictures of what we made, so it’s a combo list this time around!
- Canary Melon
- Little Sweetie Cantaloupe
- Orange Seedless Watermelon
- Bicolor Sweet Corn
- Green Dandelion
- Italian Eggplant
- Mixed Sweet Peppers
- Red Grape Tomatoes
- Yellow Tomatoes
- Red Okra
Clockwise from left: Red Leaf Lettuce, Yukon Gold Potatoes, Yellow Seedless Watermelon, Green Cabbage, Canary Melon, Bicolor Sweet Corn, Green Bell Peppers, Red Radishes, Bartlett Pears, Red Grape Tomatoes, Orange Carrots
This wasn’t a super impressive cooking week since I’m still playing catch up with most of my ingredients, but the variety of different flavors in these dishes was definitely one aspect I appreciated.
Sweet corn brightens up this very brown plate. The potatoes are from the grocery store but the no-recipe recipe is probably my favorite way to make them: toss with olive oil and any seasoning (I like garlic, salt, and pepper), spread on a baking sheet and roast at 425 for 45 minutes or until browned, flipping every 15 minutes to make sure each side gets its turn in contact with the baking sheet.
This Asian noodle bowl with cabbage and carrots is infinitely customizable. I used konjac noodles for the first time ever. They smelled terrible coming out of the package but cooked up very much like rice noodles. I liked the instructions to drain the noodles over the cabbage and carrots, just softening them slightly. Of course the spicy scallion sauce from this recipe would taste good on a brick, but I wish I had let the noodles and veggies cool a little so they didn’t add quite so much water to the sauce. I topped the bowl with some of my go to pan fried tofu.
The award for prettiest meal of the week goes to these crab cakes with German bean salad. The beans are blanched, then tossed with a mustard shallot sauce and topped with basil, hard boiled eggs, and cherry tomatoes. Even though I got cherry tomatoes in my basket this week, the ones in this picture actually came from my very own garden! Meanwhile, the crab cakes came from the freezer section…
I bulked up this recipe for carrot and beet salad with curry dressing by putting it on a bed of mixed greens and adding some goat cheese. The recipe didn’t call for cooking the beets, but I did anyway since I prefer that texture. The curry flavor of the dressing was pretty subtle when mixed with the salad greens. I think I would have preferred feta instead of the goat cheese, though.
If the crab cakes and bean salad were this week’s eyecatching Miss America of dinners, the rosemary peach chicken in a white wine pan sauce is Miss Congeniality. The salty bacon! The melt cheese! The creamy wine sauce! All wrapped around tender chicken and sweet peaches. I even left out the lemon zest and honey, and this one pan(!) dish still became a new favorite.
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.
- Sichuan cabbage and noodles with tofu
- Rosemary peach chicken
- German bean salad with green and wax beans
- Beet and carrot salad with curry dressing
- Hot stuffed banana pepper pasta
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?
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!
When I have time later this weekend, I’m going to try making these amazing looking almond blackberry sweet rolls.