What I Made – Week 27

I’d posted this recipe for risotto with leeks and turnips many years ago, but these days I prefer to make risotto in the Instant Pot! I cook the leeks in butter or oil using the Sauté setting, then I dump in the turnips, rice, and broth and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. After a quick release, I turn it back to Sauté and stir in the cheese and cook for a few minutes to let it thicken up. No aching arm from all the stirring and you have risotto in about 30 minutes!

This white bean soup with Swiss chard and carrots is so nice on a cold night and is another easy Instant Pot meal! I added the thinly sliced chard stems with the onions at the beginning.

A basic chef salad is always good for a quick meal. I cooked the quinoa and eggs ahead of time to make this extra easy on a busy night.

I’ve made beets and mozzarella with poppyseed citrus dressing for a while now. It’s based on this recipe, but I don’t grill the beets, I just roast them in the oven and I substitute the easier to find mozzarella for burrata.

I went all in on the Instant Pot meals this week. Jarred curry paste gives a lot of flavor (and spice!) to this Thai red curry with bok choy and broccoli. I actually cooked the bok choy and broccoli in a wok to give them a nice char, then stirred them in at the very end.

With all these soups, can you tell it’s cold here now? I didn’t have half and half, but I did a cup of cream and a cup of skim milk and this clam chowder turned out great!

What I Made – Week 25


Cooler weather means the return of soup season (and grilled cheese for good measure)! This chicken soup has turmeric and ginger in it and features carrots and rice noodles. I first cooked a whole chicken in the instant pot, then shredded the meat, and returned the bones to the pot with water and the other ingredients to make a flavorful stock. After all the pressure cooking, I heated the rice noodles and carrots and reheated the chicken to bring it all together. It wasn’t a time saver, but it was yummy.


This curry cauliflower and chicken salad is my take on a famous chain’s seasonal salad. I chop cauliflower and red onions and toss them with olive oil, curry powder, and salt to roast in a hot oven until browned. I saved the chicken breasts from above and chopped them up. There’s also quinoa and craisins on top of all of that lettuce. For dressing, I make Tahini yogurt sauce by combining tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper and thinning it with more water or lemon juice until it’s the consistency of salad dressing. Some sriracha on top gives it a spicy kick!

I actually made this shredded tofu and mushroom stir fry after hearing about it on a podcast mid-week! The tangy flavor of lime juice is not something I use in my stir fry often enough. The shredded tofu takes on the consistency of cooked egg whites, giving this dish a very satisfying, comforting texture. I tossed in some chopped bok choy along with the mushrooms for some extra veggie power.

Butternut squash and leek soup looks like such a fancy dish, but it is so easy to make and the base soup freezes really well. The herb butter is absolutely necessary to stir in before serving since it brings a creamy texture to soup that can otherwise be a little thin. My favorite part are the sherry shallots and chives, though!. So much flavor from such tiny ingredients!

These lettuce wraps are made with store bought bulgogi, white rice, and pickled radishes for a really quick and easy dinner. We keep a jar of quick pickled radishes in our fridge all the time to give an acidic jolt to stir fries and noodle dishes.

We’re having this maple pear upside down cake tonight! I used pears that must have been on the larger size, because I had to cram all the slices in to get them to fit in the pan. That meant not as much room for all the batter, which baked over a bit. I put a cookie sheet under it and ate what dripped down, so even though we haven’t cut the cake yet, I can tell you I expect it to be very tasty!

By the way, if you don’t have the maple sugar this recipe calls for, here’s a very similar recipe that uses maple syrup instead. I’d been looking for a good chance to use our maple sugar ever since we got in from the CSA a few years ago!

What I Made – Week 24

I’m still getting back in the swing of things after more than a week of vacation. We did pretty well using up our veggies and working through what has been hanging around in the crisper drawer for a while.

These teriyaki mushrooms with sauteed bok choy and hon tsai tai are supposed to be served over udon noodles, but of the three grocery stores I went to this week, none had the 100% buckwheat variety in stock. These are black bean noodles, which have a somewhat grainy texture but a pretty good flavor, especially when combined with the stir fry sauce.


I’ve made this fajita chicken salad in more attractive forms, but it still tastes great. I missed all the warnings about reserving half the mixture for marinade and half to use as dressing, but I cooked poblanos and onions in a pan, and just poured the “contaminated” sauce on towards the end of cooking to add all the flavor back in.


These white sweet potato gnocchi have 4 ingredients – roasted and puréed sweet potato, salt, an egg yolk, and flour! It’s all combined until no longer sticky, rolled out gently and cut, then boiled in salty water until they float. I’ve made a lot of gnocchi that turn out gummy and tough, but these were pretty close to ideal texture. I chalk it up to more luck than technique… To make it a meal, I tossed them in brown butter and added some chicken breast and chives.

We also had roasted acorn squash (split in half and rubbed with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roasted cut-side down at 450F for 25 minutes) stuffed with a wild rice blend mixed with hot Italian chicken sausage, goat cheese, and Craisins. The menu is certainly starting to look like Fall!

What I Made – Week 22

A belated post for Week 22!

Famous breakfast hash! We crisp sausage in a cast iron skillet, then cook onions in the same pan, then set aside sausage and onions and cook potatoes in the skillet. Everything is added back in, and 4 holes are made for the eggs. It’s all cooked under the broiler until the eggs are just set, then dusted with paprika and topped with cheese and sliced green onions.

Personal mizuna-topped pizzas, with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and salami. And yes, I burnt the crust broiling the mizuna… this was a new gluten free crust that I picked up on clearance at the store and I wasn’t a huge fan.

Chicken salad with crispy chickpeas and roasted carrots. I used vegan herbed cheese this time but it would be good with feta or goat cheese too.

Chicken piccata with roasted radishes. The blank space on the plate was for the roasted potatoes I forgot to include for this photo!

What I Made – Week 21

This was a comfort food week, through and through, never mind that it’s still hot enough outside that turning my oven on still makes the air conditioning run…

This is basically eggplant Parmesan without all of the work! The only slicing involves cutting the eggplant in half, then the insides are scooped out and cooked until tender with onions and sausage. I left off the breadcrumbs for the topping and didn’t miss them. By the way, the marinara sauce is made with tomatoes from our garden!

This tempeh stir fry with broccoli was tasty, but I probably should have doubled the sauce for two small-ish heads of broccoli. I just pan-fried tempeh instead of making the crispy tofu from the original recipe. I also added some of the spicy peppers from a few weeks ago. (After stir frying, they are really not that spicy.)

This spaghetti allá vodka with Swiss chard is so good and so easy. And did I mention you only use one pot, so cleanup is simple too?! It’s a great way to use both the chard leaves and stems and you can easily substitute spaghetti for a pasta shape of your choice.

In keeping with the one-pan theme, this was Greek chicken with roasted potatoes and green beans. Unlike the recipe, which suggests putting everything in at the same time, I like to give the potatoes a 15 minute head start, then add the chicken and cook for another 15 minutes, then add the green beans for the final 15 minutes or so.

This poached cod in cherry tomato curry was…bland? Maybe I’m used to my garden’s extra sweet cherry tomatoes, but I also got very little spice from the peppers, and not much coconut flavor from the coconut cream. I’ll have to try again, maybe with some hot curry powder next time.

What I Made – Week 20

Good planning this week let me reuse a lot of the components of different meals in new ways later in the week. I’m not usually this good at meal planning strategy so this is a small victory for me!

Every time we get a small winter squash like acorn squash or this week’s fancy Robins Koginut squash, I stuff it with sausage and grain following the basic techniques of this recipe. To make it for a crowd, I cut the squash into slices and arrange them on a plate or platter with the grain mixture in the center.

The peanut sauce in this Thai pork quinoa bowl wasn’t my favorite, but it was a really easy, fast dinner. Marinating the kale in the chili garlic sauce gave it quite a spicy kick!

I reused the edamame and bean sprouts in this sushi salad with tofu and kale chips. I always forget how easy kale chips are to make! I don’t bother with the flavorings, I just tear, toss with olive oil, bake them and then sprinkle them with kosher salt. Half of them don’t make it to dinner because I shovel them straight into my face!

Another go-to recipe I’m not sure I’ve ever posted here are these herbed turnips and greens with pork tenderloin. The baby turnips are sweet and mild and are delicious coated in the spice-cheese combination.

What I Made – Week 19

Even though we cooked a lot, there’s not much to show here since many of these recipes were repeats. Here’s some of the new stuff I tried this week.

These skillet chicken enchiladas aren’t new to me, they were a staple of our collard, chard, and kale heavy winter last year, but I just had to make them with our first collards of the season. I add some water to a bowl with washed and roughly torn greens, and then microwave and chop them pretty well to mimic the frozen ingredient the recipe specifies. I usually leave off the cilantro and sour cream, but typically do add an avocado. Unfortunately, it wasn’t ripe in time! 😣

Another recipe that I’ve made fairly often, this arugula salad with quinoa, tuna, cannellini beans, avocado, and feta (not pictured, I had started eating before I remembered!) is a staple “fancy salad” that’s hearty enough to eat as a meal. You can also add fresh or dried fruit, or otherwise customize it any way you’d like.

One of my favorite ways to use butterhead lettuce is as salad cups or wraps. This recipe for turkey larb was really quick and not too spicy, even though I added a whole Thai chili pepper. I didn’t have the lemongrass the recipe called for, but I added a bunch of chopped Thai basil (from my garden!) with the mint, which brightened it up and added some great flavor.

Since zucchini season will never end and our freezer is already well-stocked with zucchini bread, I finally remembered that there ways to pass zucchini off as apples by adding plenty of sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Once the zucchini is softened (I did go the stovetop route), this “cobbler” crust comes together quickly. I put Penzeys Pie Spice on the crumble topping instead of plain cinnamon and it was delicious! It’s a perfect recipe for easing yourself into Fall (or if you’re me, dragging yourself kicking and screaming…)