What I Made – Week 27

I’d posted this recipe for risotto with leeks and turnips many years ago, but these days I prefer to make risotto in the Instant Pot! I cook the leeks in butter or oil using the Sauté setting, then I dump in the turnips, rice, and broth and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. After a quick release, I turn it back to Sauté and stir in the cheese and cook for a few minutes to let it thicken up. No aching arm from all the stirring and you have risotto in about 30 minutes!

This white bean soup with Swiss chard and carrots is so nice on a cold night and is another easy Instant Pot meal! I added the thinly sliced chard stems with the onions at the beginning.

A basic chef salad is always good for a quick meal. I cooked the quinoa and eggs ahead of time to make this extra easy on a busy night.

I’ve made beets and mozzarella with poppyseed citrus dressing for a while now. It’s based on this recipe, but I don’t grill the beets, I just roast them in the oven and I substitute the easier to find mozzarella for burrata.

I went all in on the Instant Pot meals this week. Jarred curry paste gives a lot of flavor (and spice!) to this Thai red curry with bok choy and broccoli. I actually cooked the bok choy and broccoli in a wok to give them a nice char, then stirred them in at the very end.

With all these soups, can you tell it’s cold here now? I didn’t have half and half, but I did a cup of cream and a cup of skim milk and this clam chowder turned out great!

What I Made – Week 18

This was another big week of home cooking for me, although looking back, the recipes seem repetitive. It’s so easy to reach for rice when I’m looking for a fast meal! The plan is to move away from the stir fry and curry next week, but I can’t argue that these recipes didn’t suit my ingredients so perfectly!

This is sweet and sour tempeh, from a recipe that originally calls for chicken. I didn’t have the snow peas the original recipe calls for, but this was still good. (I pick the pineapple out of mine, though!)

More stir fry, this time with chicken, cabbage, bok choy and my favorite easy stir fry sauce. Stir fry like this is the go-to way to use up bok choy.

Elk flank steak with peppers and smashed blue potatoes would really be a perfect July 4 theme meal with the red, white, and blue vibes going on. Instead of serving it as the main dish, I think I would have liked the steak and peppers better on a soft Italian roll with some provolone melted on top.

I used to the last of my green bell peppers in this Creole fish curry. I used a teaspoon and a half of hot curry powder, and it was quite spicy! I’d go half hot and half regular curry powder next time.

I love this recipe for barbacoa using elk! It the probably the most tender way I have found to cook it. To turn it into fajitas, we topped it with cheese, avocado, and slices of pepper and onion sautéed in a pan with some oil, salt, and salsa seasoning.

What I Made – Week 17

Back to a full week of cooking! I didn’t plan it this way, but looking at the photos I guess it’s bowl food galore.

This Thai red curry soup was extremely spicy (my preference, I always go a bit heavier with the curry paste than the recipes call for) but wasn’t overwhelming, thanks to the creamy flavor of the coconut milk. If you prefer less spice, you’d be safe with the 3 tablespoons of curry paste the recipe calls for, and two tablespoons would be only a hint of flavor, I think. I also used rice vermicelli noodles per the photo on the site, even though the recipe doesn’t specify.

I turned this Tex Mex Tofu Quinoa Bowl into a salad by putting it over lettuce. Can you tell I had food styling help on this one? 😉

This one pot cabbage casserole may not look like much, but it’s got all the flavor of cabbage rolls with none of the work. Of course, we used fresh tomatoes instead of canned diced tomatoes, so some chopping was involved, but this is still one of my favorite easy recipes and it uses up half a head of cabbage!

I was able to use up several of my veggies and make a meat free, one pot dinner with this lentil salad. (I may have served this with fish, too!) I find the key to this recipe is really tasting the salad and adding vinegar to balance the flavor of mint, earthy lentils, sweet carrots and roasted peppers, and salty cheese. I just should have drained them a lot better to make them less soggy!

This Instant Pot Jambalaya is pictured immediately before I drowned it in hot sauce. There is lots of prep work and chopping for this recipe, but the actual cooking method couldn’t be easier. I used a tablespoon of Cajun seasoning but it definitely could have used more. I added sliced okra right before I cooked it under pressure and thought the texture was perfect. (I have never experienced the burn error this recipe warns you about.)

What I Made – Week 16 and What I’ve Planned – Week 17

  • We didn’t cook much at the beach, but I did manage to use up a few things.
    • 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

    What I Got – Weeks 16 and 17

    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!

    Week 16

    • 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

    Week 17

    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

    What I Made: Chicken Orzo Skillet with Peppers

    Hearty, one-pot meals are my go-to during these season, both to cook up during the cool evenings and as microwaved leftovers to warm me up from my typical popsicle-like state in my office. This has pasta and chicken and uses s many of the peppers I’ve been receiving, along with the tomato sauce I made previously. It’s great served with a nice green salad on the side, along with some crusty garlic bread.

    There’s a bit of chopping involved, but afterwards, the meal comes together pretty easily.  The chicken is cut into tenderloin-sized strips and orzo should be cooked and kept hot.  Half of the chicken is cooked in the skillet, then removed and set aside.  The remaining chicken, along with some peppers, shallot, and garlic are added and cooked until the chicken is done and the peppers have softened.  The reserved chicken is added back and given a toss with the cooked orzo, tomato sauce, and basil. Once the mixture is hot, season it with salt, pepper, and cheese and serve.

    ChickenPepperOrzo

    Sorry the cheese is in the way of the actual dish, but that shouldn’t be surprising by now…

    Detailed instructions follow.

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