I try to make a mix of quick, small meals we will finish in one sitting and larger meals that make plenty of leftovers and space them throughout the week. Salad on repeat gets old fast. The ingredients this week help me mix and match flavors for many different styles and tastes. Here’s what I have planned.
This is the week of the year when it’s almost too hot to stand over the stove, but we’re no longer getting much lettuce for salads! Only one salad this week, everything else I tried to make quick and easy or in the crock pot!
We ate the peaches plain, and are still up to our eyeballs in cucumbers with plenty of onions still on hand, but we did a pretty good job using up the rest of our veggies this week.
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?
Clockwise from left: ten Bell Peppers, six ears of Sweet Corn, Yellow Wax Beans, Thumbelina Carrots, five Costata Romanesca Zucchini, Little Baby Flower Watermelon, Indigo Rose Tomatoes, Blueberries, two Sweet Onions, four Asian Cucumbers
Another week where I think I made a pretty good effort at using all my veggies. I still have a few zucchini left as well as half a cabbage, and I didn’t use the carrots yet, but they don’t look nearly as sad hanging out in my crisper as two heads of lettuce might have earlier this year. Here’s what I was able to use up and how:
This recipe takes a bit of time since the dough has to rise, but is I serve this Stromboli with Banana Peppers with some marinara sauce on the side for dipping. I couldn’t use up the whole bag I got, so I pickled the rest of the banana peppers.
This wasn’t my first time making a baked zucchini casserole but it was my first time making Zucchini and Chicken Enchilada Casserole. I’ve found enchilada sauce sometimes hides wheat ingredients, so this recipe that amps up a can of plain tomato sauce until it tastes like the pre-made stuff was a great find. To keep my zucchini from getting the casserole too watery. I threw the sliced rounds on a baking sheet and broiled them until they were slightly browned in spots, a trick I’d learned making zucchini lasagna.
I was pleasantly surprised by the flavors in this Lightened Up Pad Thai with Cabbage. The real key was the lime juice, the flavor was definitely missing something when I first left it out.
These Wax beans and chorizo are one of my favorite easy recipes. Crisp tender beans, crunchy salty chorizo (the Spanish dried kind, not the hearty links more typical in Mexico or El Salvador), and the tangy vinegar all go so well together.
I guess I’d been missing salads, because I was absolutely craving this chicken caesar kale salad. It was actually much better the next day, as the kale had time to soften and the dressing flavors came together.
My trick for recipes like these Thai drunken Zoodles is to let the ground pork in this case cook a bit longer than you think it should, so that it gets really crispy. It’s tough to wait that long when dinner time is coming fast, but the texture contrast is needed in a dish where everything else tends to be a little mushy. I loved the flavor of the sauce in the recipe, it would be good on real noodles too!
I also made Fridge dills but haven’t tried them yet because I don’t like pickles!
The basket brings a wide variety of ingredients this week. I think the biggest challenge will be using up all these zucchini! We smoked two whole chickens for July 4, so this week’s meals will make the most of having an abundance of pre-cooked, shredded chicken ready to use.
Back row: Hyssop (note: the official list said “anise hyssop” but I got that last year, and it looked and smelled nothing like this, so I’m pretty sure this is Hyssopus officinalis), Orange Carrots, Green Cabbage, Green Kale
Middle row: Banana Peppers, Green Zucchini (seven of them!), Blackberries, Yellow Wax Beans
Cantaloupe, Charentais French melon, red onion, Malabar spinach, Hungarian hot wax peppers (5)
Green zucchini (5), peaches (5), red tomatoes (3), Early Gold apples (3), yellow wax beans (2 pounds), grape tomatoes (1 pint)
This week may be a bit light on recipes, since there’s a lot in this basket I can eat plain or in a simple preparation, no recipe needed.