Starting to feel a little like the Iron Chef. “Here are your ingredients, not come up with a meal plan, go!” This week, we got:
- Arugula (using in zucchini and arugula pasta dish)
- Lettuce (not romaine this week, will use in salads)
- Basil (will use in recipes and/or freeze)
- Cilantro (used in soup recipe, froze the rest)
- Cabbage (used in salad recipe, see below)
- Chard (used in spanakopita)
- Kale (less this week, so solely for smoothies)
- Cauliflower, small head (up to husband what to do with this)
- Broccoli, half a pound (up to him again, loves the stuff)
- Zucchini, 2 pounds (recipes, salads, use as a stick to beat misbehaving child?)
- Squash, 5 POUNDS (YIKES, will have to use in any and everything)
And still kicking around the house was:
- 3 beets (beet burgers, below)
- 3 turnips (grilled turnips in apple cider)
- Radishes (will probably not leave the bottom of the vegetable drawer, unless I finally gift them)
Here’s what I’ve made so far:
Friday: I made Amanda’s warm collard salad, except I made it with cabbage, which was something she suggested. The only bad thing about making it with cabbage and golden raisins is that it’s fairly colorless. Otherwise, tasty! Even cold! We had it Friday, I had more for lunch on Saturday and we’re eating it with our one day early Memorial Day cookout.
Saturday, we celebrated birthdays and went to Mellow Mushroom. I got a salad. Iceberg lettuce, yuck! And not the fresh stuff I’m now used to eating.
Sunday: this has become my big cooking day. Today, I froze cilantro, made a squash-corn soup, beet burgers, turnips and prepped the chard for the spanakopita.
Found this one on Epicurious, which is a nifty little site AND app, which I use all the time. It’s kind of a recipe aggregator and there are lots of good ones out there, but their app is the easiest to use. It seems to be the first one I usually hit. I typed in “squash,” “corn” and “soup” and bam, got this. With 5 pounds of yellow squash, I doubled this one, which meant that took care of 3 of the 5 squash I brought home. SCORE. And, I know one day the farm share is going to burn up, so I’ve been trying to freeze something every week.
Now when I got to the store, the shallots were pretty pathetic. So, I went with leeks. I definitely used cumin, but I also added garlic salt and smoked paprika. Boy I love smoked paprika. I also threw in a bunch of cilantro.
I also pureed with my immersion blender. That whole “transfer to a blender” thing? Yeah. Forget that. What a mess. Spend $35 and get yourself a stick blender. I use it to make the smoothies too. What a rocking little device that is.
Gave it an hour to cool, transferred to containers and then I got super-smart and used my label maker to ID these suckers. I bought that after reading part of Getting Things Done. That’s one of these books that tells you how to get your life together so you can be more creative, and productive and all. Really, it’s not a bad little book and the dude is hot on label makers. So, why not use it, right?
I’m a big fan of Parks and Recreation. It’s one of the few shows that stays on my DVR. There’s an episode where Chris (Rob Lowe) makes a bet with Ron (Nick Offerman). Chris is a health nut: runs, bikes, eats only organic healthy food, takes supplements. Ron is a throwback: woodworker, outdoorsman, libertarian and loves red meat as much as anything else in his life. Chris wishes to upgrade the food in the commissary and Ron is protesting. So, the bet is who can make the better burger. Chris goes to great lengths to make the perfect organic turkey burger, going to Indianapolis to get the special ingredients, spending hours working on it. Ron, on the other hand, buys a package of ground beef and just grills it, no more no less. Everyone, of course, loves Ron’s burger, including Chris.
I bring this up because I was reminded of this as I made the beet burgers. They are a ton of work. It probably took a good hour to get the thing together, while my husband sat down, spiced up his ground beef, and he was done.
I took many of the suggestions in the comments from the original recipe, so I’m going to include my entire version as well.
- 1/2 cup brown rice (doubled if you like more rice)
- 1 onion
- 3 large red beets (about 1 pound), peeled, cut into pieces
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup black beans (dried)
- 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder and garlic salt
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup oats
- salt and pepper to taste
- Soak your beans. (Or, be lazy and used canned.) Now I kind of forgot to do this, so I soaked them for about 4 hours. Then, I made them in my pressure cooker, which I love so much I’d marry it if I could. (Note: illegal in SC.) I cooked them a little longer, because they need to be mashed.
- Make your brown rice. There are all sorts of ways to make it, but I just cooked it 35 minutes. I used a cup of water. I should have used just a little more water.
- Shred your onion, garlic and beets in your food processor.
- Cook the shredded mixture in a pan on medium heat with a little oil until the onions are translucent. Let that cool a bit.
- Mix the rice, the beets and now the spices and the mashed beans and the oats together.
- Heat more olive oil in a pan. (These have a reputation for falling apart, so I didn’t dare grill them.) Cook 2 minutes a side, flipping until they get a nice little crust on them.
Turnips in Apple Cider Glaze
I’ve made this before, but I didn’t want to turn on the oven today, especially just for one dish. So, I marinaded them in 2/3 a cup of apple cider and a tablespoon of brown sugar. (I heated it in the microwave to melt the sugar.) Then I turned it over to my husband to grill: 4 minutes a side, 4 flips. I made a reduction sauce out of the marinade, adding a little more sugar. Then I poured that on the grilled turnips. Yum!
Found a chard recipe last time and for whatever reason, didn’t come home with chard after all. So I’ve been waiting a few weeks for the chard to return.
Sunday: I made the greens, stuck it in the fridge.
Monday afternoon: assembled the pie with the phyllo, using butter and olive oil. I will confess to getting eggs at the store, but the feta was obtained at Split Creek, when we visited on Saturday for their open house. Covered with plastic wrap, went and did two Jazzercise classes. That’s what us exercise-addicted souls do on holidays, what can I say.
Monday evening: came home and put that sucker in the oven. DONE and delicious. Like, if they had chard again next week, I’d be excited. The kid really loved this meal and the husband took a big old piece himself. (Eating vegetarian for the night was OK as he had a massive burger for lunch.) Thank God for the internet. Even my own husband said we’d just be boiling greens endlessly otherwise. So many resources out there to help us with using these veggies.
Quickie Zucchini Bake
Still had three zucchinis and two squash, so why not toss a bake in there as well? I cut one of those monsters into rounds, then cubed them in my dicer. (GET ONE, when you get your immersion blender.) Then, being the lazy vegetarian that I am, I just poured a little milk (like, 2 tablespoons, enough to coat) and a little bit of corn meal (remember? I didn’t have bread crumbs? Still don’t.) I poured that into a Pyrex pan, dusted with a little bit of Parmesan and some fresh basil, some salt and tossed that baby in the oven for about 20-30 minutes. Nothing left.
Still left to make this week
Still left from the farm share:
- Two zucchinis
- Two squash
- A few radishes
- A lot of lettuce
- Cauliflower and broccoli