What I’ve Planned – Week 7

A good mix of roots and leaves this week. I’m trying to plan a lot of quick meals good for a busy workweek with long hours, or at least with parts that can be prepped ahead of time.

We’ll probably just eat the peaches plain and either turn the scapes into more pesto, or save them for another week.


What I Got – Week 7

Happy first week of fruit share! Unfortunately with the cold weather, the usual farms are not producing much yet, so our fruit this week came to us from Georgia!

Clockwise from left: Orange Carrots, Little Gem Romaine Lettuce, White Kohlrabi, Red Beets, Garlic Scapes, English Peas, Peaches, Blueberries, Green Zucchini

What I Made – Week 7

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.

What I’ve Planned – Week 7

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.

What I Made: Venison Pot Roast

This summer has not been a scorcher like we have grown accustomed to around these parts.  We have even had some downright cool days, especially considering this is usually the hottest part of the year in the DC region!  That’s my excuse, at least, for why I made a meal more closely related to fall or winter cooking.  Nothing like coming home on a dark, cold evening to a roast waiting in the crock pot.  It even tastes pretty great in the summer, too.

Instead of the classic beef or pork, this roast was made with some Grade-A Colorado venison tenderloin.  The fact that I got potatoes and onions this week, combined with carrots from last week, meant a roast was the obvious choice. As with most crock pot recipes, add all the ingredients, set on low for the day, and let the crock pot work its magic.


Veggies for roast

Potatoes, onions, and carrots for pot roast base.

Naturally, I was too busy digging in to get a photo of the finished product.

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What I Made: Caramelized Fairytale Eggplant

The day of my CSA pickup, I get emailed a list of what I’ll be receiving in my share for that week. Most of the time, the descriptions are pretty basic (blueberries, escarole) or are variations that, while unfamiliar, are otherwise straightforward (8-ball zucchini? dinosaur kale?) adaptations of a better known ingredient.  But then I’ll come across something in the list that really throws me for a loop.  That was the case with fairytale eggplant.  Small and delicate, they don’t really lend themselves to a lot of the standard eggplant treatments.  My first move is always to do some thorough Google research, and when I did, i found this New York Magazine recipe for caramelized eggplant.

It’s a simple recipe: slice the eggplant lengthwise, sauté in some olive oil until caramelized, deglaze the pan with balsamic vinegar, and season with herbs. It’s a great, quick side dish.

The original recipe recommends 2-3 inch eggplant for this recipe, and I think that is the key. I had some larger fairytale eggplants that I cut into 2-3 inch pieces, but I found the skin on some of them to be tough, although they softened up after a day in the fridge and made great leftovers.


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What I Made: Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake

This post begins with a tragedy and a word of warning.  REFRIGERATE THIS CAKE. If you do not, it will get moldy and you will have to throw out more than half of it and you can probably still hear my anguished cries. *sniffle*

But enough doom and gloom, before this “unfortunate incident”, I was raving to everyone about how great it tasted and how happy I was with how the cake turned out.  It’s moist, but still light and very chocolately.  And fear not, I’ve got tons of zucchini and plan to make it again soon.  The full recipe is after the jump.

The recipe starts out pretty basic and has the consistency of a regular pudding cake, until the 2 cups (!) of grated zucchini are added.  Hidden veggies are still some of my favorite veggies.



Top with 2 cups of chocolate chips and a half cup of chopped walnuts, and the cake comes out as pretty as it does tasty!CCZucCake2

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What I Made: Plum Tart

Nothing tastes as good as homemade, except getting to eat dessert much sooner because you used a pre-made pie shell.  Just call me Sandra Lee, because even though the original recipe called for a delicate tart crust, I swapped that sucker out for something pre-made.  I ate it all before I even had a chance to run to the grocery store for vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for topping, but I suggest you plan ahead and buy those now!

The recipe couldn’t be easier.  The hardest part was halving the ripe plums and placing them in the pre-baked pie shell without mangling them into a pulp.


Even if they’re not perfectly cut, piling a bunch of sugar on top and baking it for 45 minutes means the details are mostly lost. I didn’t do a great job getting the cinnamon sugar mixture on evenly, but as the tart sits, it gets incorporated into the plums.


The final product, with unabsorbed sugar.

If you can wait that long before digging in, that is.

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What I Made: Oven Baked Ribs with Beets and Potatoes

This post has no recipes.  Astonishing, right?  It’s only because all of the components to this meal are so simple, no recipes are needed, only patience.

I originally found instructions for these oven roasted ribs from Recipe Girl. Start with your rack of beef ribs.  Remove any membrane and rub both sides well with your favorite dry rub.  Put onto a couple of sheets of foil, put a few more sheets on top and crimp edges to create a nice foil packet. Put that on a baking sheet and pop it in a 275 degree oven for 4 to 4.5 hours.


The red potatoes couldn’t have been easier, but they were incredibly tasty.  They were creamy, not too starchy, and all I did was wash and boil them!  Serve with some butter and salt and pepper.


For the beets, trim greens down to about an inch above the beet root.  Apparently this keeps them from losing all the juices as they cook.  Put them in a steamer and steam until easily pierced by a fork.


All good until this point, but the beets are still not edible.  The quickest way to learn how to peel a beet?  Google, obviously.  I came across this YouTube video.

That’s it! Once the beets are cool, just rub them with a paper towel.  Besides making your kitchen look like a crime scene, this is also a super effective technique!


Some butter, salt, and pepper, and the beets are ready as well.