June 2011


Today I spent a nice day drinking wine and eating such things as oreo balls and and a strawberry and whipped cream concoction that was lovely.  On the way home I was thinking about the damage I had done to my veggie quest.  I stopped at Tops in Arcade on the way home to buy a chicken breast, but I was disappointed.  The packages of chicken breasts were partially frozen and contained more chicken than I could use in a night.  I went to the Butcher Block and was horrified that the Butcher Block display case is full of meat, poultry, fish, and seafood all next to each other.  (This is the meat, etc products that are not already packaged.)  They did not have any chicken breasts in there, not that I would buy them with all the possible cross contamination.  So, I went back to the packaged meat and got a thin steak.

When I got home I had a plan in mind for a salad.  Here is what you will need:

  • 2 garlic scapes
  • 6 small peppers
  • 1/2 pint of sugar snap peas
  • 1 tomato
  • leaf lettuce
  • thin steak
  • Italian dressing

I used a medium flame.

Use the Italian Dressing as you would olive oil in the bottom of the pan.  Chop up the garlic scapes and add to the frying pan.  Slice the steak into long strips (like you would for fajitas) and put in pan.  Brown on both sides.  Add sliced peppers and peas broken in half (but still in the pod).  If the mixture looks a little dry – add more Italian Dressing.

While the mixture is cooking, fill the bottom of 2 salad bowls with the leaf lettuce (use as much or as little as you like).  Slice the tomato and put it on top of the lettuce.  At this point take the mixture and divide it evenly between the two bowls.  Pour the liquid from the pan over the salads and enjoy!

*I must say, I was disappointed with the meat.  I have become used to the local and higher quality meat I have been getting.   This piece was tough and tasteless.  (Even though I cooked it in a way that should have made it tender enough.)  It didn’t take too much from the salad, but I believe if I do this again and use the better beef, the flavor would be much better.

So, between my CSA veggies and my visit to the East Aurora Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning, I had a plethora of veggies to choose from for Saturday’s meal. So, this is what I picked out to work with:

 

  • 2 bundles of baby Swiss Chard
  • 3 garlic scapes
  • 6 small peppers of various colors
  •  3 locally grown tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  •  3 fresh sweet basil leaves
  • 2 Greek oregano stalks
  • Also 2 cilantro ice cubes from the cilantro I grew last year.

I also used some long grain rice.

First, make rice (1 cup dry) according to directions.  While the rice is cooking, chop up all the veggies and herbs and put in a bowl. ( I was in a lot of pain from my PT in the morning, so I just used the food processor – so everything was finally chopped.)

Once the rice is done cooking according to the package directions, mix in the vegetable herb mixture.

Let the rice cook on a low flame for about 20 minutes.

I also picked up a package of the goat cheese chevre  that I like.  This week I decided to try the garlic and dill flavor.

I decided to make some spinach pies that I had picked up at the Lebanese bakery to go with the rice.  I spread some of the chevre on top and served it along with the rice.

It made for an enjoyable and satisfying meal.

Before I give you my recipe for tonight, let me show you some pictures of what I picked up on the way home tonight:

A sweet basil plant that smells awesome!

Greek oregano plant

Local strawberries

Local tomatoes 🙂

And now for tonight’s recipe:

  • 1 steak, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 garlic scape, chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped

  • 1 zucchini, chopped

Bought this beauty at Wegmans

  • 1 head of pac choi, cut up

  • 6 small red, orange, & yellow peppers, chopped

  • 1 can mushroom pieces
  • hoisin sauce
  • soy sauce

 

I found this baby scallion in bunch

Isn’t it cute???

 

 

I have found the best way to chop up pac choi, lettuce, etc. is with kitchen shears.  Cut the leaves crosswise into strips:

Chop up the meat and vegetables before you get started.

Put extra virgin olive oil in a pan with the pieces of steak.  Mix together a tablespoon of hoisin sauce with a tablespoon of soy sauce and pour over the steak pieces.  Cook the steak pieces on a medium high heat.

After the steak is browned on the outside, take the meat out and set it aside.  Put vegetables in the same pan – using the the liquid remaining in the pan to cook the vegetables in.

Cover the vegetables and allow to cook on medium for about 5 minutes.  Stir at least once.

Uncover the vegetables and add the meat back to the pan.  Turn up the flame to medium high.  Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add salt & pepper to taste right before serving.

Enjoy!!!!

This week in my share I received kale, which I have never cooked before, and garlic scapes, which I had never heard of.  I decided I would try to find a recipe where I could incorporate both things.  I found a recipe for Garlicky Kale and White Beans in an old CSA newsletter and decided to modify it a bit.

  • 80z kale

  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic scapes

  • 1 can butter beans
  • salt & pepper

Bring 2 quarts of water to boil in a pot.

Strip off the leafy green portions of the kale.  Put the stems aside to put in the compost container that you take back to the farm.  Tear the leafy portions in to small pieces.

Add kale & 1 tsp. salt to the boiling water.  Cover & let cook till kale is tender (about 8 minutes).  Drain well.

Heat oil on medium heat.  Add chopped garlic scapes.

Cook the scapes in the oil for about 4 minutes.  Add the kale and cook till all the oil disappears.

Add butter beans (liquid and all) to the kale mixture.  Let simmer uncovered for about 5 mins.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

I served this with burgers made from the natural beef I get at the Farmer’s Market in East Aurora.

It was delicious and very satisfying.

So this was kind of a change for me.  I’ve never done a spaghetti pie before and hiding veggies was an extra bonus.  I originally used 8oz of spaghetti in the pie, but I think I need to cut it down to about 6.  The “crust” was too thick.

This recipe makes about 6 servings.

Ingredients

  • 6oz uncooked thin spaghetti

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1lb ground beef

  • 1/3 c. parmesan cheese
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 4 oz mushrooms
  • 4 stalks of swiss chard
  • 1/2 jar spaghetti sauce (no meat)

  • 1 can diced tomatoes

  • 3/4 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp. basil
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 2 oz spinach

Cook spaghetti according to directions.  Drain.  Mix parmesan cheese and eggs into the spaghetti.  Press into the bottom & sides of a greased 9″ dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Dice up the carrots, onion, and swiss chard.

   

Mix it in to the ground beef.  Cook the ground beef over medium heat until the pink is gone.

Stir in spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, mushrooms, and seasonings.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat & cover.  Let the pot simmer for 10 minutes.

Lay a layer of spinach leaves over the spaghetti crust.

Put meat mixture on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Cut into squares and serve with some parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

We have about 2/3rds of it left over.  I covered it and put it in the refrigerator for dinners later this week.

 

Just a side note:

We have 2 wayward peacocks roaming our neighborhood.  This is what I saw out my kitchen window tonight:

Definitely not something you see everyday!

So this week, part of my CSA distribution was lamb’s quarters (they are an edible “weed”).  I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do with these, so it took a bit of research and thinking.

 

It appeared that bacon was a popular addition to lamb’s quarters.  Well, I hate bacon.  There were also man recipes with navy beans.  I like beans, but navy beans are not a favorite of mine.  So, I had to start thinking about how I could cook these using things I actually eat and also while using supplies we already had in the house.

I came up with the following concoction.  Mom gave it a two thumbs up, so I guess it is a keeper.

I had three thin pork chops in the freezer, so I thawed, trimmed, and chopped them in to strips.

I put these in a frying pan and sprinkled with a little bit of garlic salt.

I had bought some shallots at the Farmer’s Market last weekend.

I chopped up the bunch of shallots and added it to the frying pan.

Then I opened up a can of butter beans (yes, it is just another name for a large lima bean).

I poured the butter beans along with the liquid contents of the can into the frying pan and mixed with the pork.  (I am always afraid of pork drying out, so I figured this was a good way to cook the pork.)

I put the frying pan on a flame set at 6 and let it start to cook.  I kept an eye on the pan while I got the asparagus ready.

At the Farmer’s Market last week I had purchased a bunch of asparagus.  We had about a third of the bunch left and I thought it might go well in this dish.  I cut up each of the asparagus spears into about 1 inch pieces.

I added these to the frying pan and turned up the flame to 8 and let the liquid boil off.

While this was occurring, I pulled the leaves of the lamb’s quarters off the stems.  (I had about 8oz of lamb’s quarters.)

Once the liquid boiled off, I turned the flame back down to 6.  I added some worcestershire sauce twice around the pan and mixed it in.

I put the lamb’s quarters into the frying pan and mixed them around a bit.

Then I covered the pan to allow the lamb’s quarters to wilt.

Once the leaves looked about half in size, I turned off the flame.  I let this sit for about a minute.

I put it on our plates and served it.

It was not the most beautiful dish to look at, but it was very good.  As I said before, Mom gave it two thumbs up.  The lamb’s quarters were delicious.  They tasted like a milder form of spinach.

I already enjoy dandelion greens, so here is another weed I can keep a look out for.  I guess as long as we have weeds growing around the house – we will never go hungry! 😉

Tonight is just a quick, easy recipe (with no pictures) that I made on the fly tonight after looking at different suggestions on how to make asparagus. (I bought some fresh asparagus yesterday at the East Aurora Farmers Market.)

Put some extra virgin olive oil in a pan and turn the flame to 5.  Break your asparagus in halves or thirds (depending on the size of the pan).  Put the asparagus in the pan and sprinkle some garlic salt in with it.  Mix the asparagus around so it is well coated.  Cover the pan and let cook for about 2 minutes.

Take the cover off the pan and sprinkle in some crushed/powdered rosemary.  Mix  it all around again so that the asparagus is covered.  Cover the pan and let it cook for another two minutes.

Scoop the asparagus out of the pan and put it on the plates.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on the asparagus (do as much or as little as you like, I like a lot).

I served this along side a Parmesan encrusted pork chop.

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