I was thrilled and proud that we used up almost all of the veggies in our fridge before this week’s pick-up. When I list out what was left (1 green cabbage, 1 small red cabbage, 1 bunch beets, 1 carrot, 4 oz green beans, some green onion stalks; oh yes and some onions and potatoes) it looks like a long list – but really isn’t that much produce when you try and have produce be the bulk of your meal. I have plans for that bunch of beets (as well as a bunch of beets that are already roasted) and the carrot. I had plans for the green beans but they fell through. This is how every week is supposed to be, but too often, even though we downsized to a half-share, I could come up with a Sunday-Friday meal plan on Sunday (not that I’ve been meal-planning lately, but I’m trying to get back into it).
And so, on Sunday while listening to The Splendid Table (Mario Batali has fish taco night on Thursdays) I decided to make fish tacos on Tuesday. It would use some cabbage and green onions but not be too dependent on veggies (and not require me to buy anything that we might just get in our share that day). I took a look at Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch guide to help me pick a fish, then did a search on Epicurious to help me decide how to prepare everything. Now some will say fish tacos are breaded and fried fish in corn tortillas with a fresh salsa and/or creamy sauce but I grew up with grilled fish tacos (but both are quite tasty when done right, the former when done wrong ends up like fish sticks wrapped in a tortilla) and was feeling a bit out of my element since I hardly ever cook fish. I settled on loosely following this recipe for Baja Fish Tacos. And when I say loosely I mean loosely. I didn’t use the recommended fish, just the marinade (with half the oil) and the crema (done with lemon juice since I was running out of lime juice); the slaw sounded really good but I knew we wouldn’t use that much shredded cabbage so I kept it plain for better storage.
Fish Tacos, fish marinade from Epicurious
- about 1 lb fish, aim for a mild white flesh fish
- fish marinade
- 1/4 c oil
- 3 T lime juice
- 5 t chile powder
- 1 1/2 t cumin
- 1 1/2 t ground coriander
- pinch salt
- shredded cabbage
- sliced green onions
- sour cream turned “crema”
- sour cream
- plain yogurt
- lemon juice
- lime wedges
- corn tortillas
Whisk the marinade together, and place the fish in it. Shred the cabbage, slice the green onion, stir together the crema (note my sour cream, yogurt and lemon juice method was only semi-successful). Cook your fish (the recipe suggest grilling which is nice but we just pan fried/sauted it). Plate and cut into smaller pieces. Heat a tortilla, place some fish, crema, salsa, cabbage, green onions and cilantro in it. Squeeze a wedge of lime over the taco right before eating.
Whenever I read about sesame noodles I read about how common they are as chinese take-out. I must have been ordering chinese take-out from the wrong sorts of take-out places all my life, because I swear I’ve never seen sesame noodles on the menu (maybe it is an east coast or NYC thing?). At first I had plans for peanut noodles, but then this recipe jumped out at me from my growing delicious list as I was researching pickle recipes yet again (why oh why can’t I find my notes from last year’s pickle making venture?). Pickles and sesame noodles you ask? They both share the cucumber tag.
I opted to use tahini as an experiment (the recipe states either can be used), but I suspect my toasted sesame oil is not the same thing as dark sesame oil. Something probably went wrong, because as you can see, the sauce came out a little grainy. Texturally it was unnoticeable in my mouth. I skipped the chicken because we don’t cook meat that often and didn’t have any in the house. I added red bell pepper because we had a beautiful pepper from the Farmer’s Market, carrots and green onions because we had them (also based on the fact that we normally put all three in our peanut sauced noodles).
Cold Noodles with Sesame Sauce, Chicken and Cucumbers from Mark Bittman’s Bitten Blog
My version is: 6 oz noodles, 1/2 recipe of the sauce, 2 small cucumbers, 1/4 red pepper, a few carrots thinly sliced and green onion thinly sliced.
Attention: Yet another thing to do with Kohlrabi!
It is another hot day and another day where the chard lingering in my fridge is not calling to me. But I had two kohlrabi’s waiting to be used and I thought of slaw, specifically some broccoli slaw I tried a couple months ago, and how kohlrabi is kind of like the nice soft part of broccoli stems (once you peel away the tough skin). Then while reading my food blogs this morning I came across this recipe for turnip and kohlrabi slaw, which was perfect ignoring that I don’t have turnips or turnip greens. But the dressing, I’m really more of a ginger fiend than garlic fiend, the dressing is what sold it. So, I have some radishes, radishes are similar to turnips, but I decided against subbing the chard for turnip greens since my chard is on the more mature side (also the raw chard ribbons in that beet salad a couple weeks ago were not that appealing). And that’s it. Luckily I’m not above picking up a few carrots at the grocery store. We just had this with rice, which wasn’t really the best accompaniment, but it bulked out the meal and didn’t heat up the house too much. I think next time I’ll try it with peanut noodles, I do like the combination of asian-inspired slaw and peanut noodles. Also, note the green onions – because sometimes (like now) you just gotta throw them in anywhere they might possibly work.
Kohlrabi Slaw with Ginger Dressing from Food & Wine via The Bitten Word
note: I’m actually writing the dressing recipe out how I plan on making it next time, namely halving the dressing and preparing it in the same bowl as the slaw to save a dish
- 1/8 c rice vinegar
- 2 1/4 t sugar (or just round down to 2 rounded teaspoons)
- 1/2 T fresh, grated ginger
- pinch salt
- freshly grated pepper
- 1/8 c mild oil
- 2 kohlrabi, peeled
- 2 carrots, peeled
- handful radishes
- 2 green onions
In a medium bowl whisk together the rice vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Add in the ginger and then whisk in the oil.
Prepare the slaw. I used the large grating blade on my food processor – the veggies came out a great size. Cut the kohlrabi and carrots (tip: let them sit flat instead of stand up) to fit through the food processor neck. Grate the kohlrabi, carrot and radish one right after another. Whisk the dressing again and dump the slaw into the bowl, toss to combine. Thinly slice the green onion and add that, toss again.
I was totally craving chinese food on Friday night, and since I was already planning on making egg rolls to freeze I decided to make vegetable lo mein. I found two recipes and went with the easier, I have all the ingredients on hand, recipe. Next time I’ll try the other version since I thought this was a little sweet (considering the source and ingredients I shouldn’t be too surprised). It also didn’t exactly fit the bill for what I remember vegetable lo mein to taste like (of course I don’t think I’ve eaten that in several years so my taste buds might be off too). The sauce was just a little too sweet but overall it was darn tasty – I like all of my additions since both recipes were skimpy on the vegetables.
I used the sauce from Rachel Ray’s Everything Lo Mein recipe in Express Lane Meals, grabbed all the veggies that looked good from my fridge and used whole wheat spaghetti noodles.
- 3 T hoisin sauce
- 3 T soy sauce
- 2 T hot sauce (I used sriracha)
- 4-6 oz fresh shitakes, stems removed and thinly sliced
- 1 bunch broccoli, cut into small florets, and stems peeled and chopped into matchsticks
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped into short fat matchsticks
- several carrot coarsely grated (I think I had about 1 cup)
- 1-2 c mung bean sprouts
- 4-5 green onions, chopped into 2″ lengths and then quartered vertically
- 4 cloves garlic, smooshed
- 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
- 4-5 oz whole wheat spaghetti, broken in half and boiled until 1-2 minutes from done
While I boiled the noodles I did all of my prep: mixing the sauce, chopping or grating the veggies, ginger and garlic. Then I heated oil (a tablespoon or so) in my big 12″ skillet and starting stir-frying the veggies. Start cooking the shitakes then when they are softening add the broccoli and finally adding the bell pepper, carrot and bean sprouts and green onion. When it was all cooked till crunchy-tender I pushed it to the perimeter of the pan and added a teaspoon of oil to the center and added the garlic and ginger and stirred it until fragrant. Then I stirred everything together, added the noodles and poured about half the sauce over everything. More stirring, tasting and adding enough sauce so everything is coated and serve.
Just a simple stir-fry, we didn’t have any tofu so we just left it out and I made brown rice for the whole grain bulk. Tofu (or chicken if you eat meat) would be a good addition of course. Instead of our usual sauce ( a mix of soy sauce, water, ginger, garlic, etc) I used the sauce from a broccoli stir-fry recipe in The New Best Recipe.
Stir fry Veggies
- 1-2 T canola oil
- 6 leaves napa cabbage
- 3 small carrots
- small head broccoli (or 1/2 large head)
- 1/3 red bell pepper
- 1 bunch green onions
Hot and Sour Sauce from The New Best Recipe
- 3 T cider vinegar
- 1 T water (instead of chicken broth)
- 1 T soy sauce
- 2 t sugar
- 2 t minced ginger
- 1 T minced jalapeno
Try to cut your veggies into similar, bite sized pieces, shred the leafy parts of the cabbage into short ribbons. Keep the thicker stem part of the cabbage separate from the thinner leafy parts. Heat a big skillet and add the oil. When it is nice and hot add the cabbage stems and carrots and broccoli. After a few minutes (the veggies should be about halfway done) add the bell pepper and green onions. Finally add the leafy parts of the cabbage and let it get wilty. Meanwhile mix the vinegar, water, soy sauce and sugar in a cup or bowl until the sugar is dissolved. When the veggies are done (crispy-tender and bright) push them to the outer edges of the pan so that you have a small open spot on the skillet and add a teaspoon of oil, the ginger and jalapeno. Stir these together until fragrant and then stir everything together. Pour the sauce over everything and let it get hot.
It is always so nice to have a dinner plan when you get home. I went ahead and made the pasta with fresh herbs and sauteed patty pan squash. This would have been a nice quick meal if I hadn’t also been in the middle of putting all the produce from the pick up away (that squash is still sitting on my table, oops). Half way through making the pasta I realized that it is basically a fancified version of what I used to make in college (fresh herbs instead of dried). My one note is that the recipe states it serves 3-4, which of course it might; but to counter my cheese-love I’m trying to get better about serving sizes and 1 pound of pasta says it makes 8 servings, so typically I weigh out the 2 or 4 ounces of pasta for our dinner. I made the squash in the same pan I heated the garlic and oil for the pasta and cooked it very simply then just threw it on top the pasta.
I made this with whole wheat spaghetti which helps up the nutrition factor as well. Not all whole wheat pasta is created equally though, my first few purchases turned me off of it for quite some time. And I still crave the more refined version at times (like when making fettuccine alfredo). I’ve been happy with most Trader Joe’s brand whole wheat pastas (though not big on it in the rotini form), BioNaturae and Bella Terra.
When I made this I used 4 oz of pasta for 2 servings, 2 handfuls of parsley and one green onion as well as 1 clove garlic. Then I quartered and sliced 2 smallish pattypan squashes and threw a bit more olive oil in the pan and the squash, about half-way through I added 1 minced clove of garlic and a pinch of salt; I stirred occasionally and removed it from the heat when I liked the done-ness of the squash (it only takes a couple minutes).
Last summer I found a couple recipes for quinoa and black bean dishes. During one of my early experiments cooking quinoa I ended up accidentally combining two recipes (one a hot dish, one a salad) into my quinoa and black bean salad. Honestly every time I make this it turns out slightly different. I really prefer it with some tangy crumbled cheese like feta or queso fresca. One of the original recipes calls for diced avocado and I think that would be amazing in it.
I decided to make a pared down version for our camping trip the other weekend (with more quinoa and less red bell pepper -oops, that is what happens when I cook without consulting the recipe). For the camping trip I stored the whole (cherry) tomatoes in a separate container and chopped them into individual servings and omitted the crumbly cheese altogether. I like to use cherry tomatoes because I can find good cherry tomatoes more reliably and they seem to make the salad less soggy. This version is what I normally make.
Quinoa and Black Bean Salad
- 3/4 c quinoa
- 1 1/2 c weak veg broth
- 1 c frozen corn kernels
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 c. worth diced tomatoes (approximate)
- cilantro, large handful of leaves, chopped
- 3 T red wine vinegar
- 1 large clove garlic, crushed
- good shake of chipotle powder
- good pinch of cumin
- 2 T canola oil
- opt. crumbly cheese like queso fresco
- opt. diced avocado
Rinse the quinoa well before you cook it (something about removing a bitter substance from the surface of the grain). Cook the quinoa with the veggie broth (about 15-20 minutes of simmering). In the last few minutes dump frozen corn on top to thaw it. Let cool, if time allows.
In a medium-large bowl add the beans, red bell pepper, green onion. Add cooked quinoa and corn, toss. Add tomotoes and cilantro.
Mix together vinegar, garlic, chipotle powder, cumin and canola oil for dressing. Pour on top of salad, gently toss.
The recipe for chimichurri in Mollie Katzen’s Vegetable Heaven intrigued me for a very long time. This is now the second time I’ve made it and I think I managed to get it right this time. The first attempt (a few months ago) turned out a lot like a vinaigrette, but this batch was smooth and green like a pesto. Now I just need to figure out what to eat it with in the next two weeks. Katzen only indicates that it would be used as any condiment.
So far I’ve spread this in a quesadilla made with a flour tortilla and pepper-jack cheese with great success and used in instead of salsa in a burrito made with my left-over kale, black bean and quinoa filling. I think it might be a good dipping sauce candidate for our kohlrabi and squash empanadas.
- 1 cup packed cilantro leaves (one large bunch)
- 1/4 cup packed parsley (just over a tightly squeezed handful)
- 6 green onions cut into 1″ pieces
- 1 t dried oregano or 1 T fresh oregano
- 2 T Roasted Garlic cloves (just smoosh them down)
- 2 T red wine vinegar
- 1/8 t salt
- 1/8 t black pepper
- dash cayenne
- 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
Place the cilantro, parsley and green onions in a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped. Add the oregano, roasted garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper and cayenne and pulse until it is well incorporated. You will probably need to scrap down the sides of the bowl a couple times. Finally drizzle the olive in a slow stream while the food processor is on, again you might need to scrap down the sides a couple times. Make sure the olive oil is well incorporated before continuing to add more. Store in a lidded container in the fridge (I used a 1/2 pint canning jar). It made close to 3/4 cup for me.