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…)

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What I Made – Week 18

This was another big week of home cooking for me, although looking back, the recipes seem repetitive. It’s so easy to reach for rice when I’m looking for a fast meal! The plan is to move away from the stir fry and curry next week, but I can’t argue that these recipes didn’t suit my ingredients so perfectly!

This is sweet and sour tempeh, from a recipe that originally calls for chicken. I didn’t have the snow peas the original recipe calls for, but this was still good. (I pick the pineapple out of mine, though!)

More stir fry, this time with chicken, cabbage, bok choy and my favorite easy stir fry sauce. Stir fry like this is the go-to way to use up bok choy.

Elk flank steak with peppers and smashed blue potatoes would really be a perfect July 4 theme meal with the red, white, and blue vibes going on. Instead of serving it as the main dish, I think I would have liked the steak and peppers better on a soft Italian roll with some provolone melted on top.

I used to the last of my green bell peppers in this Creole fish curry. I used a teaspoon and a half of hot curry powder, and it was quite spicy! I’d go half hot and half regular curry powder next time.

I love this recipe for barbacoa using elk! It the probably the most tender way I have found to cook it. To turn it into fajitas, we topped it with cheese, avocado, and slices of pepper and onion sautéed in a pan with some oil, salt, and salsa seasoning.

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 Made – Week 15

    This post is more than a bit overdue, and I had quite a few repeat recipes this week around, so I’ve only posted pictures of the new things I made with my Week 15 ingredients.

    This chicken stew with farro, tomatoes, olives, and feta kinda tasted like a savory oatmeal. I followed the cookbook’s instructions but wished I had cooked it just a little less time so the farro wasn’t quite so mushy. I also pulled out the chicken when the cooking time was up and re-crisped the skin under the broiler.

    I tried this recipe for zucchini blondies, swapping the zucchini for yellow squash and the butterscotch chips for chocolate, naturally. It tasted like a combination between zucchini bread and zucchini cookies. Although they were much chewier the second day, to get more of the brownie/blondie texture out of the oven, I think next time I’d bake it a bit longer and up the butter to a half cup. Also, I find whenever I add cinnamon, I taste more of the zucchini bread than a zucchini cookie, but I suppose that’s mostly personal preference!

    Then I tried some zucchini brownies. The chocolate flavor was really prominent, but I think I would have preferred it with a more finely shredded zucchini texture.

    These pita pockets are stuffed with cherry tomatoes from my garden and kabobs (made with ground elk, of course), all topped with creamy baba ghanoush eggplant spread. I always add more lemon juice and salt than the recipe calls for, and added a bit too much yogurt this time, resulting in the looser texture.

    This dish is cheating, because it’s not using CSA ingredients at all, but instead features cherry tomatoes and basil from our garden. It was very easy to make and too good not to share here.

    These are delicious garlic miso green beans with pan-fried teriyaki tempeh.

    I topped a corn, tomato, and avocado salad (tossed with salt, pepper, olive oil, and lime juice) with a pre-marinated fish filet for a quick and easy no-recipe dinner.

    I also made tuna poke, zucchini chicken enchiladas, and zucchini bread.

    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 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.