This Labor Day weekend involved a lot of chores for us: staining the deck, doing yard work, and drying or canning our bounty of fruits and veggies (including the peaches, tomatoes, and jalapeños we got this week!).
I also shredded and froze the last of our summer squash, and made a curried corn soup to freeze so we can enjoy its bright flavors in the depths of winter!
In addition to a few recipes I didn’t get around to last week, here’s what I’ve planned for the week ahead.
- Smoked ribs and roasted potatoes
Clockwise from left: Jalapeño Peppers, All Blue Potatoes, Yellow Peaches, Baby Green Bok Choy, Red Tomatoes, Concord Grapes, Purple Garlic, Red Beets, Carmen Peppers, Yellow Doll Watermelon, Red Onions
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.
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?
Top Row: Little Baby Flower Watermelon, Banana Peppers, Nectarines, Green Savoy Cabbage
Middle Row: Slicing Cucumbers, Red Beets, Orange Carrots, Jalapeño Peppers
Bottom Row: Mixed Cherry Tomatoes, Yellow Peaches
These week in reviews make me realize how often I make one-pot or bowl meals. Salads and stir fry were this week’s mainstays. (Still have a head of lettuce left over somehow, along with my cucumbers and a few scallions!) Here’s what I did use this week…
It doesn’t look so pretty, but I make this salad with beets very often. If you make the quinoa and roast the beets ahead of time, it comes together very quickly and stores great for leftovers.
This stir fry with brown sauce couldn’t be easier or more adaptable. Thinly slice the bok choy and stir fry the white parts in a wok until softened and slightly browned. (I also added in some frozen stir fry mix for more flavor.) Then stir in greens and cook until wilted. Stir in sauce and top with protein. (I used pan-fried tofu here.)
For as simple as this kale salad with farro is, it’s so flavorful! Besides the marinated kale and farro, we topped this with toasted pecans, Craisins, goat cheese, and scallions. It also kept very well for leftovers the next day!
I like the flavors of this beef and broccoli, but if I made it again, I would thicken the sauce in a separate skillet much like the bok choy recipe above. I would not choose to substitute elk again; I didn’t prefer that taste.
Even though there’s not nearly as much lettuce to eat this week, you’ll still notice a few salads in the mix this week.
Here’s what I have planned:
- Beet quinoa salad, one of my very favorite beet recipes, although I might change up the dressing for a more simple citrus vinaigrette
- Garlic tofu stir fry with Bok Choy and other frozen stir fry mix veggies that have been hanging out in the fridge for too long. I’ll top it with this easy but tasty brown sauce,
- Kale and Potato Bowl. According to the original recipe, this is not a salad, it’s a bowl.
- Farro salad with kale. Does it still count as a salad if it’s a grain salad? I’ll make this salad more summery than autumnal by tossing in whatever fresh cherries we have left by this point in the week.
- Beef and broccoli. Although I will use very thinly sliced elk roast, I’ll follow a recipe similar to this one.
- Blueberry muffins! I’m sure these will be delicious no matter what recipe you might choose to use. I might try the one from Bravetart.
Since I’m posting this a bit later than usual, I can shared that we’ve already enjoyed a paella with the peas both from our basket and from our backyard garden! I made a few changes to the original recipe, including swapping fish fillets in for the clams and cooking the seafood a bit longer at the end (closer to 20 minutes for the fish) to make sure everything was fully cooked. This overcooked the shrimp, so for future recipes, I’d probably simmer the fish and peas in the middle step when the rice was cooking, and then just steam the shrimp at the end for 5 minutes as directed.This enormous pan of paella (note that it almost stretches the full width of my stove) will keep us in leftovers for the week!
Paella enjoyed al fresco with a glass of white wine is a good way to chase away the Sunday Scaries.