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 – Week 14

    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.

    What I’ve Planned – Week 14

    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.

    What I Made – Week 13

    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.

    What I’ve Planned – Week 13 2019

    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.

    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?

    What I Made – Week 11 and Week 12

    I crammed two weeks of veggies into one week of cooking!

    This is an easy Caprese salad. I quartered the cherry tomatoes, sliced little mozzarella balls in half, and topped with shredded basil, olive oil, and a generous amount of salad and pepper. A perfect lunch for when it’s 98F but feels like a scorching 112F outside.

    Stewed zucchini pasta. I subbed in orzo for the penne and added several sprigs of oregano and thyme while the onions were cooking. This could have used a big squeeze of lemon at the end to amp up that tangy flavor, too.

    Blueberry Belgian waffle deliciousness. To make sure that blueberries are evenly distributed among the waffles, we follow the linked recipe for plain Belgian waffles and just sprinkle a handful of blueberries on top of the batter before closing the waffle iron rather than stirring them all in at the beginning.

    I didn’t notice how blurry this photo was until too late, but the zucchini lasagna tasted delicious all the same. This recipe is a go-to during zucchini seasons.

  • This Greek Bulgur Salad was a great fridge-clearing dish, featuring cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and even the pickled banana peppers I made a few weeks back. I prepared it a few hours ahead of meal time so all the flavors would have time to combine. I added vinegar and salt to my taste instead of following the recipe exactly, but it was also surprisingly tasty, dare I say reminiscent of a certain Mediterranean restaurant.
  • Zucchini chocolate cake is perhaps one of the few reasons to run the oven for an hour on the hottest day of the summer. It’s dense and fudgy with a nice crunch from the walnuts sprinkled on top.
  • Peperonata with a pan-fried rainbow trout was good, but not my favorite meal this week. I wish I had left off the olives and parsley, both of which overwhelmed the sweet flavor of the peppers and the tangy flavor of the vinegar.
  • Thai steak with noodles and green beans (with elk instead of the steak of course) was also a first-time recipe that really delivered. I made this in my wok, first by blistering the green beans in some coconut oil, then adding the peppers. Instead of grilling steak, I very thinly sliced the elk and marinated it in some vegetable oil and about 2 tablespoons of the red curry paste. I scraped the finished veggies out of the wok, then cooked the elk, then dumped the beans, peppers, cooked noodles and sauce all back in together, tossing to combine.
  • I made this roasted carrot salad with spinach and goat cheese even simpler to prepare by buying a 50/50 baby spinach/spring mix lettuce blend. I left off the almond because I was too lazy to buy them. It would also be good with grilled chicken added.
  • The recipe for this blueberry peach cobbler said the dough was supposed to be “poured over” the fruit, but as you might be able to tell from the photo, no pouring was possible. I spooned it out like it was a biscuit topping, and even though the dough rose okay, it certainly isn’t going to win any prizes for looks. The Demerara sugar sprinkled over the topping was a nice crunch on an otherwise squishy dessert.
  • What I Got – Week 10 2019

    Back row: Hyssop (note: the official list said “anise hyssop” but I got that last year, and it looked and smelled nothing like this, so I’m pretty sure this is Hyssopus officinalis), Orange Carrots, Green Cabbage, Green Kale

    Middle row: Banana Peppers, Green Zucchini (seven of them!), Blackberries, Yellow Wax Beans

    Front row: Pickling Cucumbers, Yellow Peaches