Tag Archives: green veggies

Weekly Menus: Week of 6/3/2012

Gentle Readers, The Practical Cook is unsure where June came from, but it has arrived. The good news is with it comes lots of great vegetables. It also means the end of school for most, and more meals to plan! But, never fear, we will be addressing summer lunches in an upcoming post.

For now, let’s see what’s on the menu for next week. After some serious time away from the kitchen, it is back to eating down the stores and enjoying the bounty of the season and the CSA. So the weekly menus are:

Weekly Menus: 6/3/2012

Weekly Menus: 6/3/2012

And the limited Four-Square Grocery List:

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 6/3/2012

The Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 6/3/2012

The CSA from Brinkley Farms:

2 lbs cucumbers
1 bag lettuce mix
2 pointed head cabbages
1 bundle red beets
1 bundle chioggia beets

Which translates into:

Sunday: Pigs in a blanket, sweet potato chips, veg
The Jrs have been requesting sweet potato chips, and the pigs in a blanket are simple and a sure-fire hit.

Sweets in the Oven

Sweet Potato Chips in the Oven

Monday: Pasta and salad
We haven’t eaten much pasta lately, it’s time to go for the basics. The last week of school is a busy one, and this is easy!

Tuesday: Juevos rancheros
Mainly because I both like to say and eat it. With black beans. And green onions. Which I am currently obsessed with.

Wednesday: Pork chops, greens, and cooked apples
I heart Brinkley Farms pork chops a lot. If you haven’t had a thick-cut pork chop lately, run don’t walk. Cooked apples are a great way to use up less than crispy apples. I can’t abide a mealy apple.

Beautiful Pork Chops

Beautiful Pork Chops from Brinkley Farms

Thursday: Meat loaf, mashed potatoes, green veg
I am determined to make meat loaf work for the family. There will be add-ins and toppings, which will include bacon. Or guanciale.

Friday: Pizza and salad!
School’s out for the summer, birthday party on the horizon. There will be wildness. Here’s hoping something gets eaten.

Saturday: Dine Out!
Birthday girl’s choice. We shall report on what that is!

And this week features a special project, Birthday Cake! It will be Birthday Carrot Cake per request. The Practical Cooks Junior are big fans, complete with Cream Cheese Frosting. The theme: fairies. Wish me luck. What are you cooking these days? Share your ideas in the comments section below. It’s fresh as a clean sheet of paper, just awaiting your culinary delights!

Mime jokes, licorice, and Nutella can be quarantined by sending them to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Up next, Can this supper be saved? The Practical Cook is challenged to create a meal plan from the contents of a loyal reader’s freezer! Game on.

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Weekly Menus: Week of 5/15/2011

Another week, another series of opportunities to address the extreme bounty that is the Practical Cook fridge. Strategies this week include freezing a bulk-made dish (palak paneer), inviting people over for dinner, and meals geared toward high-veggie consumption.

Last week included some excellent field research at a local Korean BBQ Truck (video review coming tomorrow) and Chinese restaurant.

Here’s the result:

Weekly Menus: Week of 5/15/2011

Weekly Menus: Week of 5/15/2011

Four-Square Grocery List: 5/15/2011

Four-Square Grocery List: 5/15/2011

From the CSA (Brinkley Farms):

1 pt sugar snap peas
1 bag cilantro
1 bag parsley
1 bundle green garlic
1 pt shelled English peas

Which translates into:

Sunday: Fish and Veggie (carrots)
Fish is a great base protein because it lends itself to going with a variety of veggies.

Monday: Soup and Sammie
I’m pondering making some sort of sandwich spread using the food processor. Details pending from the test kitchen. Will also be making Blueberry Muffins at night for Snack obligation on Tuesday.

Tuesday: Mexican!
Spinach quesadillas or some sort of riff on sopa seca.

Wednesday: Sausage and green veggie
Slight break in the veg on veg action mid-week. Team Practical Cook will eat anything if it involves sausage.

Thursday: Asian Theme, spring/summer rolls, stir-fry
Inspired by the use of Napa cabbage at the local Chinese restaurant, we’ll be rolling some wraps. All I can guarantee is that peanut sauce will be involved.

Friday: Steak, greens and sweet potato fries
The steak is just a cover for the fact that I want to sprinkle garam masala on sweet potato fries, thanks to the KokyuBBQ truck.

Saturday: Dine Out!

Suggestions and ideas? Send an email to practical cook at gmail dot com. Or post a comment here, or connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks to all who have liked; I still need 7 more “likes” to get the official page name. You can make a difference. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Coming up, more Adventures in Eating: Korean BBQ Truck with a review of KokyuBBQ.

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Pasta Toss with Broccoli, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, and Goat Cheese

From the sheer length of the title, you can tell that the fridge is in danger of overflowing. To add to the CSA and the leafy greens supplied by the exuberant picking staff (the Practical Cooks Junior), came the bounty of veggies from the in-laws coming through town. I salute their strategy—far better to tote and drop off at the midpoint than let the brie and tomatoes “ripen” unattended at home.

You Should See the Crisper Drawers

You Should See the Crisper Drawers

This meal was brought to you by “I can’t see the fridge light,” with special sponsorship from “where in the &*(^ can I put the milk?”

Fridge Surprise Pasta Toss Recipe

This definitely falls into the “guidelines” varietal of recipes. Pasta tosses were built for getting rid of as much as possible. Look for variety, strong flavors to tie the whole thing together, and attempt to use a “first in, first out” strategy, using the oldest produce first. Sauteing can greatly improve the flavor of something you wouldn’t necessarily want in raw form (like some wilty mushrooms or languishing tomatoes).

1/2 to 3/4 pound dry pasta of your choice (we used whole wheat shells)
10 ozs button mushrooms, sliced
1 bundle of broccoli, cut into florets (Brinkley Farms CSA)
1 bulb green garlic (CSA)
1 languishing tomato, diced

For the sauce:
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
a couple of ounces of local herbed goat cheese

1. Prepare the pasta according to the directions. Be sure to add  a healthy dose of salt to the water. (The Sr. Practical Cook Jr. called me on the carpet for not salting the dish enough, true story, and I promised her I would advise the Gentle Readers accordingly.)

Mushrooms, Sliced

Mushrooms, Sliced

2. Saute the mushrooms in olive oil over medium high heat. Set aside. Saute broccoli in olive oil over medium heat, with a splash of water to steam-fry it, adding the garlic at the very last minute. Set aside.

Chopping Broccoli!

Chopping Broccoli!

3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour, cook until light brown. Whisk in the milk. Stir and reduce a bit. Take off heat and add goat cheese. Stir until melted.

Tomatoes Feeling the Heat

Tomatoes Feeling the Heat

4. Drain the pasta. Put a dash of olive oil in the pasta pot and saute the tomatoes a bit. Add the other veggies, stir. Add the pasta, stir. Add the sauce and toss with glee. (Thus the name, the glee is optional, but this was pretty fast, so I hope you’re feeling some joy here.)

Fridge Pasta Toss

Fridge Pasta Toss

5. Top with more goat cheese, parsley, salt and pepper, crushed red pepper, whatever, and serve.

How do you deal with a vegetable overload?

Send your cooking thoughts and ideas to practical cook at gmail dot com. Or post a comment here, or connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks to all who have liked; I still need 7 more “likes” to get the official page name. You can make a difference. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Coming up next, Sunday, Sunday, Sunday: Weekly Menus.

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One Ingredient, Three Ways: Green Garlic Edition

Spring means Green Garlic time for the Practical Cook, and there are so many excellent options. What is green garlic, you say? Why is it better/different than standard, government issue garlic? Read on and find out.

Green Garlic

Green Garlic

To confirm my own thoughts about green garlic, I did a little research. I’m sure those of you who know me find this shocking. Here’s a fabulous article called Garlic Defanged (which amuses me on multiple levels). Great read, and tempting to say, “yeah, what he said,” minus the part about not liking garlic.

Green Garlic, Sliced

Green Garlic, Sliced

Green garlic is the less pungent relative of garlic, and thus I find it useful for the light, clean tastes I crave in spring. If you like but don’t love garlic, try it. If you love garlic, you really have to expand your repertoire and try it. It’s this week’s reason to go to the Farmer’s Market!

Here are 3 more ideas for green garlic:

1. Potatoes. Cheating here, because you’ve seen them already. In this very blog, I’ve used them in mashed potatoes, potato salad, and yesterday’s potato tart.

Springtime Potato Salad

Springtime Potato Salad

2. Pasta. Toss with lemon and ricotta, some pea shoots, and you’re talking spring in a bowl. For the basic guidelines, try the Pasta Toss  with Lemony Ricotta recipe.

Linguine with Lemony Ricotta and Asparagus

Linguine with Lemony Ricotta and Asparagus

3. Dressing. Mix with olive oil and lemon juice, or stir into mayo (commercial or your own). Use as a dip for steamed veggies, on a salad, with pan-seared tuna or salmon. Are you low on lettuce? Visit the Farmer’s Market, or ask your gardening friends. Special thanks to Garden Boss for supplying the red leaf lettuce to Team Practical Cook this week!

The Great Tuna Salad Experiment

The Great Tuna Salad Experiment

Are you a green garlic fan? Send me your thoughts, pictures, recipes or signed commitment to try green garlic in the next two weeks.

Email your questions to practical cook at gmail dot com. Or post a comment here, or connect on Facebook (The Practical Cook Blog: Thanks to all who have liked, I still need a few more “likes” to get the official page name. Please “like” on Facebook today!)

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Tomorrow it’s Kitchen Tool Talk: Three (More) of My Favorite Things.

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Weekly Menus: Week of 4/24/2011

Time is flying by quickly—the Practical Cook must confess that she almost got caught without chocolate bunnies. It took three stores  to deliver this necessary basket filler. Apparently Easter is a shop early occasion. Just know that it took restraint to not make Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs the dinner item for Sunday night.

If you’re not hitting the farmer’s market, this is a great time to start. Lots of variety and don’t forget the baked goods. The lemon curd stash is getting low, about time to make a trip.

Here’s what’s on the menu this week:

Weekly Menus: 4/24/11

Weekly Menus: 4/24/11

Four-Square Grocery List: 4/24/11

Four-Square Grocery List: 4/24/11

On order from the CSA:

1 dozen eggs: $4.00
1 bag pork bones $4.00 (hello pork noodle soup)
1 bundle tuscano kale $2.50
1 bundle green garlic $2.00
1 bundle spring onions $2.00

And this means:

Sunday: Leftovers!
Will claim a small piece of the ham for use in sandwiches or for split pea soup.

Monday: Salmon Cakes, Potatoes, Greens
Growing small brains is hard work, have to push the salmon (and walnuts).

Tuesday: Frittata and Salad
Eggs and asparagus will be involved, salad on the side, possibly with some toast crisps.

Wednesday: Lasagna or Frozen Pizza (punt!)
Business dinner this night, so I’ve got to make ahead. If I fail, it’s punt time.

Thursday: Sausage, Greens, Pierogie
The Red Russian Kale is very, very abundant at the family farm.

Friday: Indian Food
To be determined, based on what’s left in the house.

Saturday: Dine Out!

Coming up to start the week Saving the Papaya Smo0thie.

Are you meal planning more? Making a grocery list? Write in and let me know you’re out there: practical cook at gmail dot com

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