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.
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.)
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
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
As expected, a week of travel meant that I did not do much cooking this week. Here’s what I was able to make.
Chicken and sausage gumbo with okra and peppers
Vietnamese noodle salad (inspired by this recipe, but with peanut tempeh instead of chicken)
The unattractive but delicious fruit platz with plums.
Here’s the before and after of the jalapeños I pickled
The gloves are key to protect your hands from any residual burning! I’ll clean out seeds from the top rings of the pepper closest to the stem, but leave the ones shown here pretty much as-is.
The entire bag I got made one very full quart jar. I heat the brine from this recipe to dissolve the salt and pour it over the peppers.
Another week where I won’t be able to do much in the way of cooking, so this will be a very short list. Hopefully the squash will keep until next weekend when I can figure out how to best use them!
I also pickled the radishes and dried the grape tomatoes in the dehydrator this weekend. The tomatoes will either be diced and frozen or turned into sauce, I haven’t yet decided.
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.