Friday, September 30, 2011
Local Beets with Tops
Local Red Chard
Local Bibb Lettuce
Local Green Beans
Local Blue and White Potatoes
Local Green Bell Pepper
Local Red Bell Pepper
Mixed Summer Squash
Sungold Cherry Tomatoes
Flat Leaf Parsley
Local Kiwi Berries
Gala & Buckeye Apples
Local Bartlett Pears
Black Mission Figs
I have to admit, I've never even so much as heard of a kiwi berry but I can't wait to taste them! Kiwi's are one of my all time favorite fruits so I can imagine that I'm going to enjoy these too, I just have to figure out what to do with them first! I also have another new item, blue potatoes, I've seen them, however I don't actually know what they taste like. Maybe they taste just like regular potatoes? The mixed summer squash is also a very fun item, I just love the way they look and their flavor is really incredible. As for the parsley, I'm a huge fan of fresh herbs, so this will come in quite handy this week I'm sure. The black mission figs are a great treat too, I've never really been a fan of them but the more that I cook with them the more I really start to enjoy eating them.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
To go along with the sausage, I served them on a bed of caramelized onions and sauteed spinach. I also made some roasted cauliflower by cutting into large chunks and coating in olive oil, applewood smoked salt (which is amazing, even my daughter couldn't stop talking about how great the flavor is) and fresh ground black pepper, placing in a 425 degree oven until fully cooked through and beginning to brown.
I also felt that this meal needed a little starch, so I diced up some red potatoes and pan fried them in a little olive oil and butter until crispy. I finished the potatoes with a light sprinkling of a mediterranean salt blend. (I know I use this salt blend a lot, but it really is the best way to add a bit of flavor to any dish, a mixture of lavender, lemon zest and salt. It is absolutely wonderful and I highly recommend picking some up if you can find it.)
Having a lack of multiple pans to cook with, I had to make dinner in stages so it ended up taking me quite some time to do, keeping things warm in the oven as I went along. However, everything was extremely simple and well worth the wait.
I've also managed to use up most of the vegetables from my bin this week, so I am really looking forward to receiving my new bin tomorrow!
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Since it's just me tonight, I wasn't really in the mood to make anything fancy and more into figuring out something quick and easy. So, I decided to take some of the leftover eggplant mixture (eggplant, yellow squash, gypsy peppers, onion, tomatoes and garlic) from last night and reheat in my large saute pan. To this I added some rinsed and drained spinach. Once the spinach began to wilt, I removed the mixture from the heat.
Time to assemble! I started off with a layer of white corn tortilla chips and sprinkled with a few spoonfuls of rinsed and drained black beans. Next, I added a layer of the eggplant spinach mixture, some chopped tomatoes and covered in shredded cheddar cheese. This was baked in a 350 degree oven until the cheese was melted and the beans were heated all the way through. I also served with a spoonful each of guacamole and sour cream.
Okay, so I get that I'm supposed to be eating healthier this week and nachos are not exactly healthy, but this was SO good! And, as far as nachos go, I'm calling this a healthy version because they definitely could have been worse. Besides, I'm sure I will find a way to make up for it tomorrow.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Anyways, after having to completely change my original idea for dinner, things started to fall into place. I chopped red onions and gypsy peppers, which were then added to the pan with some olive oil and minced garlic. This was heated over medium until the onion was beginning to brown. Next I added chopped tomatoes, yellow squash and eggplant to the pan, continued to cook until the eggplant was fully heated through and finished with red pepper flakes and a Mediterranean salt blend to taste.
To assemble the taco's, I placed a tortilla on each plate and placed a few rinsed and drained spinach leaves on top. Then I added a large spoonful of the eggplant mixture, a small amount of sour cream (I use Daisy brand because I think that it tastes the best, yum!), and sprinkled some cheese on top (I used gouda parrana, because I didn't have anything else).
I am actually pretty impressed with how this turned out. I personally have never heard of eggplant in a taco, but I guess there's a first for everything. My dishes seem to be getting a bit more creative the longer I have to go without an actual set of pans to cook with, this could be both a good and a bad thing (especially for Dylan).
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Local Red Onions
Gypsy Sweet Peppers
Sugar Baby Watermelon
Northwest Gala Apples
Local Bartlett Pears
Northwest Dandy Dapple Pluots
I look forward to cooking with Dylan next week. Now that my work schedule is getting straightened out and Dylan back in school, we should have more time for creating some healthy meals in the weeks to come.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
I wanted to try and find a way to use my beets and their leafy green tops, especially since I've never cooked with beet greens before. I was able to find a simple recipe in a recent food magazine which I altered a bit and I was quite happy with the end result.
For this dish, I started off by adding chopped red onion to a large pan and cooking in a little olive oil until tender and beginning to brown. I then added some thinly sliced garlic and continued to cook until the onions were a deep brown color. Next I added the beets, which I had cut into bite sized chunks along with about a half a cup of water. This was allowed to simmer, covered, for about 5 minutes, until the beets started to become tender. At this point the chopped beet greens were added to the pan and the dish continued to simmer, covered, for another 5 minutes. The pan was removed from the heat and I added a little red wine vinegar, a drizzle of olive oil, ground red pepper and a bit of salt (I used a mediterranean salt blend, which worked very well).
This dish was very light and flavorful, perfect after the unhealthy eating routine that we had fallen into. Dylan especially enjoyed it, although she happens to be pretty partial to beets
Friday, September 16, 2011
However, when I got home and jammed the sharp end of a garlic clove (unpeeled) under my fingernail, I should have known I was about to screw something up.
I sliced and buttered a few slices of the fresh bread, placed on a baking sheet and baked in the oven on 425 just until the butter was melted and the edges began to brown. For the veggies, I added diced onion, sweet peppers and minced garlic to a saute pan with a bit of oil and allowed this to cook until the onion became translucent. I then added halved cherry tomatoes and diced striped zucchini (unpeeled for color) to the onions. I continued to cook the vegetable mixture just until tender and set aside.
All was going quite well until I got the bright idea to top the vegetables with a light sprinkling of flaked sea salt. Turns out, you have to be smarter than the container it's in to open it. Finally I managed to get the lid off and sea salt went flying everywhere throughout my kitchen (and pan). Needless to say, my dish got some salt and I will probably be finding salt in various hiding spots for the next few days.
I decided to add eggs to my dish as well, mostly because I didn't have anything else and felt we needed something besides bread and a few veggies for dinner. So I simply cracked two eggs into the pan and fried in a little butter until cooked through.
To assemble the dish, I placed a slice of bread onto a plate, topped with a fried egg and a spoonful of the vegetables. I also sprinkled a little cheese on top.
Despite the overly salty taste, this turned out pretty good. My daughter also seemed to like it. Next time though, I will make sure to open the salt over top of the sink (just to be safe). I think that I would also finish it off with some fresh chopped basil and maybe add some ham or bacon or even use shredded chicken in place of the egg to make it a heartier meal.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
I started off by adding some balsamic vinegar to a small sauce pan and simmering over medium low heat until it was reduced by half. Then I sliced the Black Mission figs in half lengthwise, added a slice of goat cheese on top of each half and wrapped each in a slice of prosciutto. The wrapped figs were then placed onto a foil lined baking sheet which I had sprayed with cooking spray. I baked these in a 425 degree oven for about 10 minutes.
To serve, I placed the figs on a platter and drizzled with the reduced balsamic vinegar.
Although, I don't think that I'm as crazy about figs as some people are, this turned out pretty good. I also love that it was so easy to make. I think that the next time I'm making dinner and trying to impress someone this will definitely be making it to the menu!
Monday, September 12, 2011
Local Red Onion
Local Purple Beets with Tops
Italian Striped Zucchini
Local Lacinato Kale
Gypsy Sweet Peppers
Local Slicer Tomatoes
NW Grown Cantaloupe
NW Gala Apples
NW Dapple Dandy Pluots
Black Mission Figs
First up, I'm going to tackle these beautiful figs!! These are a fairly new item for me, since I don't have very much experience cooking with them and I've really only eaten them once or twice. However, I'm going to hope for the best and choose an easy recipe so that I don't screw it up! (At least I hope that I don't!)
I'm also very excited to have the Gypsy Sweet Peppers again this week, they have a really great flavor to them and should go quite well with several other items in my box.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
I sliced the eggplant, sweet peppers, onions and bread and brushed each with a little olive oil (on both sides). These were then all placed on a baking sheet and put under the broiler for a few minutes per side, just long enough to heat through and add a little color (or a lot of color as was the case with my bread, oops!).
To assemble the sandwiches, I spread a little goat cheese on each slice of bread, added a layer of arugula, spinach, eggplant, sweet peppers, onions and topped with another slice of the bread.
Although my bread did get a bit overly toasted, we found out that if we placed our sandwiches in the microwave for about 30 seconds, it softened up. They turned out pretty tasty, I do think that the addition of pesto or maybe even a grainy mustard would have been good too and I will definitely add tomato slices the next time I make this.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
I made a wonderful sauce by sauteing up some chopped onion and garlic in some butter until just beginning to brown, then I added the chopped red bell pepper, sweet pepper and halved cherry tomatoes. I allowed this to simmer until all of the juices had been released from the tomatoes and the peppers cooked through. To finish, I added a little salt and some fresh chopped basil.
Next, I peeled and sliced the eggplant into medium sized strips using a mandoline slicer. The strips were then cooked in a little olive oil, just until starting to brown and set aside on paper towels to drain.
I then layered a spoonful of the tomato pepper sauce in the bottom of a small loaf pan, added a layer of the eggplant slices and repeated until all of the eggplant was in the pan. I finished it off by adding the remaining sauce on top and sprinkling with shredded mozzarella cheese. This was placed in an oven on 425 degrees until the cheese was melted. To brown the cheese, I turned the broiler on for the last few minutes of cooking.
Despite the fact that I threatened to burn the house down by forgetting about my meal in the oven, under the broiler, until it was just about too late to salvage, this meal turned out great! The cherry tomatoes and the peppers made such a great sauce that I wish I had made twice as much so that I could use it for something tonight too! I do think that if I were to make this dish again though, I would use half as much oil to cook the eggplant. My portion of the meal turned out a bit on the oily side (the eggplant is like a sponge and soaked up the oil).
Monday, September 5, 2011
Northwest Grown Eggplant
Local Green and Yellow Beans
Local Yukon Potatoes
Mixed Cherry Tomatoes
Northwest Grown Cantaloupe
Northwest Ginger Gold Apples
As you can see I have quite the variety to work with this week! I'm most excited about the eggplant, it's one vegetable that I never expected to like, but I really enjoy. The new item for me this week is the sweet peppers, I am really looking forward to using them in my dinner tonight!
Thursday, September 1, 2011
I decided to put this somewhat thick soup into a glass baking dish and top with mashed potatoes, because I had a lot of potatoes and needed to use them up somehow. I also topped that with shredded cheddar cheese and baked in the oven on 425 until the cheese was melted and began to brown.
I didn't actually plan on the potatoes incorporating themselves into what little liquid there was in this dish, but that is exactly what they did. Fortunately, this "mistake" turned out to be quite alright. The potatoes turned it into a creamy soup and the added flavor of the cheese was delicious. I may have to remember this recipe the next time I am in the mood for some comfort food!