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!

What I Made – Week 8

Pictures are a bit scarce this week. I was too hungry when I made the roast broccoli to snap a picture before we dug in, but believe me when I say it was delicious!

This chicken, fennel, and potato salad is like if your everyday picnic staple got all dressed up for a movie premiere. Substantial enough to be a full meal on its own, if you cook the chicken and potatoes ahead (or buy a rotisserie bird), it all comes together on a weeknight without any/much cooking, perfect for our first heatwave of the season here.

Also heatwave friendly are these bulgogi lettuce wraps. The meat is sliced thinly and cooks very quickly, so it can be grilled outside or on a grill pan inside. I usually top this with pickled radishes or other veggies, but I was trying to get this from plate to face as quickly as possible! For a lunch-friendly meal, I chop the lettuce and top with rice and meat for an easy salad.

And in the comfort food category, we have this gnocchi with bacon and escarole. I swapped sun-dried tomatoes for the fresh ones and used a large head of escarole, so it looks more like a salad than a pasta dish, but it was still delicious. With a slightly smaller bag of frozen gluten free gnocchi than what the recipe called for, this only made 3 servings instead of 4.

The cauliflower will be roasted for tonight’s Taco Friday meal, and I’ll use the squash tomorrow as noodles as planned, just in time for the next basket of veggies to fill the empty space I had started to see in the crisper!

What I’ve Planned – Week 8

The solstice this past week plus the first yellow squash of the season is a sure sign summer is definitely here!

This is what I have planned for this week:

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.