What I’ve Planned – Week 15

I’ve got an ambitious plan to make up for lost time with my menu this week, including trying to use veggies that have been languishing in the crisper for several weeks now. (Looking at you, cabbage!)

Some old favorites:

And some new ideas:

  • Plum cake (I’ll probably freeze this for later)

I’m also going to see if the cayennes ripen to red on the counter, then dehydrate and crush them to make homemade red pepper flakes!

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What I Got – Week 15 2019

Clockwise from left: Bicolor Sweet Corn, Heirloom Cantaloupe, Green Cayenne Peppers, Plums, Green Beans, Canary Melon, Italian Eggplant, Mixed Heirloom Tomatoes, Yellow Straightneck Squash, Green Zucchini

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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What I Made: Spaghetti Squash with Gruyere Cheese

To someone who has never made it before, spaghetti squash seems so intimidating.  Somehow I’m supposed to take something that looks like a regular, unremarkable squash and turn it into something that looks like spaghetti? Turns out it’s not so hard after all.  Then tossed with cheese and some fresh parsley, it makes a great pasta substitute for those looking to go gluten free or just upgrade to a healthy option.

To get squash into cooked form, you just jab a couple of vents in it with a knife (to keep the thing from exploding inside your oven, the recipe explains!) and bake it for at least an hour until it’s soft, much like baking a potato in the oven. Next, cut it in half and scrape out the seeds, without removing too much of the flesh.  To create the “spaghettis”, just scrape the remaining flesh with a fork and scoop it out from the skin.  Toss it with some butter, gruyere cheese, garlic and fresh parsley, and season with salt and pepper to complete the dish.

SpaghettiSquash

You can tell a dish is really good when all I have is a photo of the leftovers ready for another day’s meal.

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What I Made: Chard Greens with Dill, Parsley, and Green Onions

When I have received chard in the past, I’ve tended to rely on my old standby recipe of chard baked with feta and egg. I’m a real dairy lover, but I’ve become conscious through writing these posts just how much cheese I use in these recipes.  The chard recipe I’m sharing today is lighter, but no less flavorful thanks to the fragrant punch from the herbs.

It’s an especially fast side dish, as well. Chop up the chard, cutting out any ribs larger than the width about your pinkie fingernail. Next, wilt the chard.  Leave it wet after washing and toss it for a few minutes in a hot pan. Cook some green onions, dill, and parsley in oil over medium heat in a skillet until wilted. Then, add chard and toss until warm.  Season with salt and pepper. Easy, right?

ChardHerbsOnions

As always, full recipe with detailed steps is below. Continue reading