So last week I got some Italian Flat beans in my CSA distribution.  I started nosing around my cook books and on the internet to find a recipe, but I didn’t find any that made me feel like trying them without tweaking them.  So, I came up with my own, which I was told tonight was a keeper.  🙂

3/4 lb Italian flat beans – ends snapped off and beans cut in two

2 red bell peppers, chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

balsamic vinegar

pine nuts

extra virgin olive oil

 

Steam the beans for 8 minutes.  While the beans are steaming cook up the bell peppers in the extra virgin olive oil (once around in the pan) for about 2 minutes.  Add minced garlic and sautee for another minute.   Put into a bowl and set aside.

Once the beans are done, mix into pepper and garlic combination.  Mix well.  Add balsamic vinegar (eveball it to an amount you would like) and a handful of pine nuts.  Mix well again and serve.

Easy and yummy!!!

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I haven’t posted in a while.  It has been a busy couple of weeks.  We finished staining the deck, painting the house, and mom had a total reverse shoulder replacement with bone grafting.  Dinner has been healthy, but nothing really new and inspiring.  Now I am going back to work after a week of vacation and I have to figure out how to cook healthy meals while I am not home home and mom can not help out.  (My commute to work is about 1 1/2 hours each way.  Also, we are short handed, so I am taking on more responsibility which means less time to putter around with cooking.)

So, for my first crock pot creation this past weekend I made a chicken cacciatore -esque dish.  I served it over brown rice instead of pasta.  All the veggies and herbs are from my CSA except for the celery.  The recipe below was just a little too much for mom and I.

2 small-medium onions, sliced

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 rib of celery, chopped

2 – 40z boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/4 c. chicken stock

fresh basil

fresh oregano

fresh parsley

Arrange sliced onions on the bottom of the crock pot dish.  Put the chicken breast on top of the onions.  Place tomatoes, green peppers, and celery on top of the chicken.  Pour the chicken stock over the top.  Put fresh basil, oregano, and parsley sprigs on top.  Cook on low for 8 hours.

Mom and I both enjoyed this served over brown rice.

I was feeling adventurous Sunday.  I had been reading a lot about edible plants lately, so I decided to try out some daylilies in a stir fry.

So I went outside and picked some buds off the lilies.  I put them in a cup full of water and placed them in the refrigerator for a few hours.  (I read this on a web site – this will make any bugs come out.  Luckily,there were no bugs!)  I didn’t pick too many because I didn’t know what we would think of them.

 

First I heated some butter in a pan.  I chopped up some garlic scapes, onions, and orange peppers.  I let these fry until the onions started to become see through.

I then put in fresh shelled peas and the buds, which I had cut in two (ok – I was worried about the bugs even though they soaked all morning).  When most of the butter has cooked off, I added soy sauce twice around the pan.

I also made a napa cabbage salad.  I had some Tuesday at the CSA, but I changed up mine a little bit.

Dressing:

1/2 c. red wine vinegar

4 Tbs mustard (I used Weber’s horseradish mustard – it made the salad esp. zingy)

6 packs Truvia sugar substitute (equivalent of 4 Tbs of sugar)

salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all ingredients together and set aside.

 


Salad

1 head of Napa cabbage

4 large radishes

3 scallions

Chop us cabbage and put into a large bowl.  Cut radishes in to the thin slices.  Mix in with the cabbage.  Thinly slice the scallions (white and green parts) and add to the other veggies.  Toss.  Add dressing and toss again.  Let sit for at least 1/2 hour.

 

I served the salad and stir fry along with 1/2 a piece of steak.  I thought it was very good.  The buds tasted like something green with butter and salt.  My sous chef was not as crazy about the salad.  She liked it, but thought it was a bit too spicy.  I used horseradish mustard – next time I will use regular mustard.

Enjoy!

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!!!!