This week, I thought I’d share some recipes that have been hanging around my (browser) tabs recently. They tend towards the green and light, just right for the season.
Beet Salad with Broiled Feta and Sesame Sunflower Seeds – you could save this recipe for later in the season when local beets are back, or you could grab some golden beets at Green Top, and some of the new local goat milk feta (from a farm in Arthur) that make this worth trying now!
Chilaquiles Brunch Casserole – thanks to Smitten Kitchen (from which I never met a bad recipe), featuring eggs and tortillas and lots of options for add-ins.
Savory Green Curry French Toast – Ok, bear with me here. Let’s not call it french toast, maybe? Let’s call it Thai-spiced fried bread. Or something. Read the author’s recollection of her childhood savory-spicy breakfasts, and if you’re on the fence, I think it might help push you over the edge.
Potlikker Papperdelle – Southern (U.S.) and Southern (Italy), already close and made closer. Bacon, garlic and shallot, vinegar, collards and a simple, flat pasta. One-pot, one-dish.
Rhubarb Galette – from Ottolenghi, in case you need a new/easier application for your rhubarb (mine is going gangbusters already!)
I honestly can’t tell most days whether it’s supposed to be fall or still summer. The leaves are just starting to change, the root vegetables are ABUNDANT, and occasionally there’s an actual chill in the air in central Illinois.
Since we’re wrapping back around, in a way, to some beginning-of-the-season offerings (greens, herbs, radishes), I thought I’d pull up selections from prior weeks. Do you have any favorites? We’d love to hear from you! Check out our Facebook page and message us!
Carrot salad w/ harissa & feta & mint
This dish is one of my favorites from Smitten Kitchen, and a great alternative to green salads when you have vegetarians to feed. It’s absolutely amazing when made with locally-grown carrots. If you haven’t had them raw, you’re in for a treat; they’re almost as surprising as a local tomato, I think. This recipe is great with or without the harissa — a spicy, garlic-y paste/spice mix. You can make your own, substitute it with another garlic-y chili paste, or just leave it out altogether. Pantry Check / Shopping list: carrots, caraway seeds (optional), cumin seeds, paprika, harissa (optional), sugar, lemon, flat leaf parsley, fresh mint, feta cheese.
Vegetable Frittata with Greens and Potato
Here’s a base recipe for the frittata (from Epicurious). To that base, add what you have! I like greens, herbs, potatoes, cheese, maybe some bacon or ground pork. If you have leftover roasted root veggies, chop them up (bite-sized) and add them as well; I think it actually works best when you have pre-cooked potatoes (or carrots or sweet potatoes)!
Pantry Check / Shopping List: chives, spinach or kale, eggs, potatoes, milk, sausage (optional), goat cheese (chevre).
(Be sure to check out this post on soups generally)
So easy, though it does call for a lot of stirring. There are a lot of recipes out there for polenta with a braised or steamed green (try beet greens!). This recipe from Food.com has swiss chard and a topping with dried fruits and nuts, as well as cheese (which is a must for polenta, in my opinion).
Pantry Check / Shopping List: Swiss chard, crushed red pepper flakes, golden raisins, yellow cornmeal, milk, grated parmesan cheese, pine nuts.
Green Chickpea & Chicken Curry w/ Beet Greens
Green Chickpea & Chicken Curry w/… The recipe is written for swiss chard, but did you know that beet greens are like identical cousins? They’ll do very nicely in this recipe. Pantry Check: chicken thighs, shallots, green curry paste, chili paste, ginger, coconut milk, chickpeas, greens
Magic Sauce – From 101 Cookbooks, this stuff is like liquid gold… use it on eggs, pasta, potatoes, just about anything. Pantry Check: fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, fresh oregano, paprika, garlic, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, lemon juice
Be sure to check out Jen’s post on beets — we can’t get enough of beets in my house, even though at least half of them end up pickled…
Local oats (or wheat berries!) with your favorite toppings – from Epicurious. Oats are inexpensive and store easily, and it just might be chilly enough this weekend for a hot breakfast. The next time I make oatmeal, I’m going to try adding in some of my homemade applesauce — which is basically just chopped up apples left in a crock pot until they’re soft. Market items: Oats!
Crispy egg on toast – from Smitten Kitchen Market items: eggs, bread
Scrambled tofu with greens – from Yup it’s Vegan. This is a great way to incorporate vegetables in your breakfast, if that’s a thing you want to do. You can also add in leftover roasted vegetables – sweet potatoes are delicious in a breakfast scramble, too. Market items: greens!
Freezer-friendly breakfast burritos – from The Kitchn Market items: eggs, potatoes, peppers, bacon or sausage
Five days of Lunches
Carrot Salad – This is a fantastic grated carrot salad with parsley and lemon, from Once Upon a Chef. While not a meal on its own, it would go well with some cheese and fruit and/or another assortment of things. I’d put money on this going well with feta cheese, in particular.
Market items: carrots, parsley, cheese, apples
The Peppers and Sausages below make great leftovers, if you chop up the sausages before packing into individual serving containers. Add some rice or bread for a hearty lunch.
My favorite and most reliable lunch these days is chicken and sweet potatoes and applesauce. We’re in the heart of sweet potato season now, so I suggest that you stock up. I like to peel and cut my sweet potatoes into large chunks and boil them (and then mash), or else cut in small-medium (1/2″) cubes and roast. I’ll bake the chicken with a glug of italian dressing and foil over the baking dish, and then retain some of the liquid that remains after cooking (otherwise the chicken can get dry). If you’re going to chop the chicken up after cooking, be sure to let it rest first — otherwise, you’ll definitely have dry chicken.
Five days of Dinners
Spicy Stuffed Cabbage Rolls – filled with rice, spicy pork, and fresh napa cabbage. Made by the Serious Eats folks, in their “Cook the Book” series, from Faith Durand’s Not Your Mother’s Casseroles. As the Serious Eats staff note, the filling can easily be customized for your family’s tastes: less or more spicy, different vegetables, substituting ground beef for pork, etc. Market items: Ground pork
The recipe is dead simple, and takes only 10 minutes in the morning. Slice the peppers and onion (I’d probably do this the night before, and wrap gently – who wants to go to work with onion hands? not I!). Then you add whole-grain mustard and beer, and put the whole sausages on top, and let it cook for the day.
Not only has the weather turned perfectly just in time for hot dinners, but this has been an AMAZING season for peppers! Just check out these beauties at the market!! Market items: Peppers, onions, sausages
Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs and Cabbage – from Food52. This calls for a head of green cabbage, and chicken thighs or drumsticks, and a simple quick marinade of sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sriracha and salt and pepper. The cabbage goes in later – this is the key with sheet pan dinners, is getting the timing right. If you haven’t roasted cabbage or brussels sprouts before, you’re in for a treat. If it were me, I’d make some mashed potatoes to go along with this hearty dinner. Market items: cabbage, chicken, potatoes
Roasted Root Vegetables and Hummus – if you’ve ever felt like making a dinner of appetizers, then this is your recipe. A combination of roasted vegetable chips and three different hummus recipes, to which I’d add some cooked quinoa and roasted broccoli, and maybe a hard-boiled egg. Some crusty bread, maybe. Market items: beets, turnips, radishes, broccoli, eggs, bread
Vegetable Mulligatawny Soup – I adore this recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian. I’m not a vegetarian, but I make this at least once every fall, with an array of local vegetables. It calls for a long list of vegetables, but a small quantity of each: potatoes, carrots, turnips, basil, garlic, onion, plus fennel, cumin, coriander and peppercorns that you dry-roast in a pan and then grind fresh. It calls for vegetable stock, but chicken would be just fine if you eat chicken. Market items: potatoes, carrots, turnips, basil, garlic, onion
For many of us (your co-authors included!!), it’s just about that time of year when the academic calendar takes over our lives again. Or at least for a little while, until we regain our balance. Having some food prepped for the coming week helps to take a little pressure off at the beginning of the term.
Whether it’s you or your kids or spouse who are headed back to school, check out some of our ideas below for prepped meals to help you out. And if no one in your house is headed back to school, then I hope you’ll relish your continued summer and this lovely weather!
Stuffed Bell Peppers
I’ve wanted to try making stuffed bell peppers for a while now. The peppers in our CSA basket this week were gigantic, so it was a great time to try! My sister was game and offered the use of her kitchen, so we each made a big batch to freeze.
Sometimes I don’t feel like following a specific recipe, so this is more a report on how I made them. I kept track of the ingredients in case you want to try replicating it, though!
the peppers. Between the CSA and market, I had 10 giant peppers to stuff! I sliced off the tops, pulled out the core and gently removed the white ribs with my fingers. I diced up the good parts of the tops to add to the filling, since I wasn’t putting the tops back on after stuffing. And because I was going to freeze these, I decided to blanch the peppers first. I only put them into the boiling water for a minute, but I’d probably follow this chart (which recommends 3 minutes for peppers) next time. After blanching and draining, I set them in small foil loaf pans in pairs, to get ready for assembly. tip: spring-loaded grabbers are quite handy for dunking and removing the peppers without getting burned.
the meat. I figured a pound of ground beef was enough, and though it was sufficient, twice that would have been better. Cook the meat thoroughly in a skillet and drain the fat from the pan.
the filling. Make a pot of brown rice — 2 c. rice, 4 c. water. Set that aside in a large bowl once it’s done and cooled. In a large skillet, sautee a diced yellow onion and the diced pepper-tops together with a little olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Add this to the rice, and mix well.
assembly. You can mix the ground beef into the rice mixture if you like, but honestly I wasn’t sure the rice was all going to fit, and I wanted to be sure that all the meat made it in. So ground beef went into the peppers first, then the rice mixture. The foil containers had thin plastic lids, so I used those for now. But once they’re frozen, I’ll take the covers off and put them in foodsaver bags, since the covers aren’t very sturdy for keeping in the deep freezer.
For what it’s worth, my sister used 2# of ground beef for her batch of 6 peppers, and she added a large can each of black beans and crushed tomatoes to her rice-meat-peppers-onions mixture. It made more than would fit into her peppers, so she just put those portions in their own containers.
nutritional info. As made above, with 1 Tbs. of canola oil (to cook the diced peppers and onion), and with 2 stuffed peppers counting as a serving, these have approximately 384 calories, 20g protein,
25g carbs, 17g fat
They’re quite large, so add a bit of cheese and you have a pretty hearty meal!
I’ve made some version of these many times over, and the potential for variation is great — you can customize them for whatever flavors you like. Maple pork sausage with eggs and shredded potato is a particular favorite in my house.
Another thing your co-authors share is a significant daily work commute, and the ability to pop a breakfast in the microwave and eat it on the road or once I get to my office is a huge plus. I’ve made sandwiches and burritos before, but they’re hard to put down and pick up again. I find a bowl and spoon is actually easier to manage without spilling.
The batch that I made today was designed to be pretty heavy on the protein. I use 2 c. glass containers with lids from Anchor that do well from freezer to microwave, and this recipe stuffs them pretty full.
The eggs are going to be scrambled, so crack 1 dozen whole eggs and 1 dozen egg *whites into a blender jar, add about 3 Tbs. water, and blend until slightly foamy. Heat a large skillet (nonstick is best) and add a quick spray of olive oil. Scramble the eggs in batches — about 1-2 c. in each batch, depending on the size of your pan. I’ve tried doing the whole thing at once, and it’s kind of been a mess. Your mileage may vary, of course. Set the cooked eggs aside in a large bowl/pan. When the first dozen is done, crack your second dozen of whole eggs and whites, and repeat the process.
Using pre-cooked turkey sausage feels a bit like cheating, and I’d rather not do it. But it is a huge time-saver. I need to seek out some local turkey that I can get ground, though; I’d love to try making my own turkey sausage, and cooking it at home.
Assemble the bowls in layers: rice first, then meat, then eggs. I use a measuring cup for the rice (1/4 c. each), and weigh the other ingredients for each bowl.
To figure out the nutritional information for the eggs, I used the total number of eggs and whites — but knowing that number doesn’t help with portioning! So I divided the total weight of the cooked eggs (we found a pan that would fit on the kitchen scale!), and divided by 12 to get the weight we’d need for each bowl. It sounds like a hassle, but it actually goes pretty quickly.
Using only cooking spray for the eggs, and no other added fat, these have approximately 316 calories, 34g protein, 14g carbs, and 15.8g fat. I was going to add cheese, but they’re stuffed into the bowls already!
These actually come together pretty quickly, and you can cook the components ahead of time. Straight from the freezer, these take a little more than 2 minutes in my microwave to heat fully. Friends have asked about the consistency of the egg, and honestly I don’t mind it. If anything, I slightly undercook the egg when I’m scrambling, since they’ll get cooked some more in the microwave. But they’re definitely better than the texture of egg in most drive-through breakfast sandwiches.
*If you’re going to separate your eggs, you might be wondering what to do with all those yolks. Might I suggest making some salt-cured egg yolks? I’ve heard excellent things from friends, though I haven’t made them yet myself. You gently place the yolks in a little well of a salt-sugar mixture, and cover with more of the mix. For 5 days, they sit in your refrigerator, presumably releasing a lot of water into the salt mixture, and maybe taking in some sugar? After 5 days, you brush them off and dry in a 175F oven (or a dehydrator) for a couple of hours. Then, grate on pasta or toast. If you try it, be sure to report back!!