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Posts Tagged ‘Beef’

Comfort Food

Do you know what I like? Coming home from a day of reading-until-my-eyes-might-fall-out and teaching-until-my-head-might-explode to find this waiting for me:

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That Trent is something special.

The meatballs consist of CSA lean, hormone- and antibiotic-free, grass-fed, free-range beef and whatever else the Joy of Cooking told Trent to add. They taste divine.

Come back tomorrow to see this week’s veggie haul. Things are getting interesting now that the seasons are changing!

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We’ve been accumulating large amounts of ground beef in our freezer thanks to our meat CSA. In an effort to make a dent in our stash, I made a veggie-stuffed meatloaf. This was my first meatloaf making attempt (though not my first Meatloaf experience – I’ve been know to rock this at karaoke bars), and it wasn’t too shabby. I combined a few different recipes to come up with the following:

Veggie-Stuffed Meatloaf

For the meat layers:

2 lbs ground beef

2 small potatoes, grated

1 carrot, grated

1/2 an onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 tbsp rolled oats

1 egg

1 tsp each salt and pepper

2 tsp soy sauce

dash of Sriracha

For the veggie layer:

spinach and shitake mushrooms (or greens/mushrooms/etc. of your choosing)

For the top layer:

ketchup

Method:

(1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

(2) Combine all of the ingredients for the meat layers in a large bowl. When well-combined, put half of the mixture in a pan (I used an 8” square pyrex).

(3) Top with a few handfuls of spinach and chopped mushrooms (I’d say I used half a bag of spinach and a whole container of mushrooms).

(4) Put the remaining meat mixture on top of the veggies. Brush desired amount of ketchup on top of the meat. Bake for 45 minutes.

(5) Enjoy this:

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I think that next time I will use a larger pan so that I can add more veggies. The spinach shrunk considerably (as it is wont to do), so there wasn’t quite as much roughage as I was hoping for. All in all, though, not bad for a first meatloaf!

Hope everyone’s having a fabulous labor day! Enjoy the day off if you’ve got it. 🙂

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No, not Christmas time. Late summer/early autumn time! The weather is mellowing out, local farms and gardens are bursting with ripe produce, Boston is experiencing the few consistent days of sunshine it gets all year, and pumpkin overload is just around the corner. Superb!

I took advantage of this golden day by going for a nice, long, leisurely run and using the small amount of sunlight that comes in our ill-placed apartment windows to photograph the cherry tomatoes I snacked on:

 

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The beautiful weather inspired us to defrost some CSA burgers and fire up the grill:

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We had another salad with more lackluster dressing. Hint: when trying a recipe for the first time, don’t make a large quantity. You’ll never know if you’ll dislike it. I never make a big batch my first time testing a recipe – I have no idea what possessed me. The veg is still pretty though!

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Also pretty? Free-range, hormone- and antibiotic-free local beef served with a fat, juicy, local tomato and raw onion on a grilled bun (Trent is APPALLED that I eat raw onion, but it tastes soooo good with beef!).

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And last but not least, grilled sweet corn served with lime juice and cayenne pepper.

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I would have taken a picture of the completed dish for you, but I was covered in lime juice and my lips were burning from my overzealous application of cayenne. Still, roasty corn with sour lime and spicy pepper = perfection.

And that was our all-American evening. What do you like to do on beautiful days? Are you an autumn person? Nothing thrills me like the first autumnal chill and the first golden leaf of fall, unless it’s the first pumpkin beer I spot on tap. 😉

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We’ve been in leftover/scrounge mode lately. Last night we made a lovely dinner out of our CSA meat sauce, served over rice with a side of boiled kale. Boiling is the worst method for conserving vitamins in your food, but I really love the texture of slightly boiled kale, so we went with it. When served with lemon juice and s&p it’s delightfully chewy and just a little tart.

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Check out that steam! We paired it with a Trader Joe’s find, which Kelsey recommended a while ago on Bites + Bowls.

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This was really good! Fruity, juicy, and $5.99. There is nothing I dislike in that half-sentence.

Nothing too exciting happened in our kitchen today until this evening, when I made the most delicious healthy dessert EVER. No lie. It was so good that it deserves its own post, so you’re going to have to wait. Don’t worry, it’s worth it.

Have you done anything exciting in the kitchen (or elsewhere) this weekend?

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I love veggie pick-up day. It’s like Christmas comes every week! I didn’t get a group shot of all the produce together this week – I’ll just have to shoot it as we cook it.

Tonight we made the pasta we meant to make last night, plus some of our new bounty.

Snappy, crunchy, brilliant green beans:

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Everyone has their quintessential summer vegetable, and green beans are it for me. They remind me of sitting outside, snapping the ends off a big bowl of beans with my mom. To be perfectly honest I’m not even sure that we did this, but in my romantic version of my childhood we did. 😉

We also used our green summer squash, which looks like a cross between a zucchini and a cucumber.

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Stir-fried up with some non-CSA mushrooms:

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T ate this mixture as a side dish while I mixed it in with our pasta and meat sauce (1/2 pound of CSA ground beef simmered in a jar of TJ’s marinara sauce with more mushrooms). Topped with fresh CSA basil (so good!) and some parm:

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Sorry, not a great picture. I was in a hurry to eat it!

We also got kale, romaine lettuce, cucumbers, more white carrots, new potatoes, green onions, corn, and leaf amaranth. Have you ever cooked with leaf amaranth before? I’d only ever heard of the grain amaranth, so I was surprised to learn that there is a leafy variety as well. I’m not sure what we’re going to do with these. Our CSA newsletter came with a few different recipes, so maybe we’ll try one of those.

And just in case you need more Christmas in July, Zukay is giving away a whole case of their raw, fermented salad dressings. Check it out at The Nourishing Gourmet!

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T and I rarely do lunch together, but we both happened to be home at the same time today. Our veggie CSA partners are out of town, so we have a whole box of produce to polish off by ourselves. A daunting task, but I think we’re up to it.

We did our level best to make a dent by having Hugh Jass salads.

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Mine had beautiful purple kale, spring mix, lettuce, and grated white carrot (!) from our CSA share, plus half an avocado and a big ol dollop of my garlicky bean spread.

These white carrots are crazy! They look like this:

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but they taste like orange carrots. Intriguing.

Actually, I don’t remember where I acquired this knowledge, but I remember hearing that the orange strain of carrots was popularized to honor a Dutch king and it’s been the dominant variety ever since. History: it’s crazy! (I heart you, Kate Beaton.)

Yesterday I threw some bananas in the freezer in preparation to test out the famous banana soft serve. In a moment of insanity, I thought “why peel the bananas first? I’ll just peel them right before I blend them.”

Folks, this does not work. Of course, you’re probably much smarter than I am and hence you could have told me that, but I had to learn for myself. I left them out for a bit to thaw enough so that I could peel them. T was intrigued by the weird, frosty, brownish lumps on our kitchen table, so he had to watch while I peeled them.

Let’s just say that they did not look appetizing oozing out of their skins. In T’s words, “Ew ew ew, they move exactly like feces!”

And they did.

So if you need a laugh (and have the sense of humor of a 5 year old), I recommend including the “banana poop” stage in your raw soft serve making adventure. If not, skip straight to the “blend and enjoy” stage.

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I added cocoa powder to mine, because, as Katie knows, everything is better with chocolate. 😉

T also added some of the Pacharan we picked up in Madrid to his:

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Both versions were out of this world. The texture really is identical to soft serve – heaven!

Supper was burgers and warm German potato salad (the recipe’s from the trusty Joy of Cooking). CSA potatoes, scrubbed with the help of a blue man and ready to be boiled:

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Hastily snapped photo of unphotogenic but delicious food: it was getting cold fast! This potato salad recipe is one of our favs because it includes bacon. This gave us a chance to use up the last of our CSA bacon, and also an excuse to top our burgers with it. Nothing like an all veggie lunch followed by an all meat dinner. 😉

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We made a heroic effort to finish off our peas, bok choy, and kale with tonight’s dinner.

bok choy and beautiful purple kale

bok choy and beautiful purple kale

sesame oil, sambal oelek (chili paste), garlic, bok choy stems, and peas, getting along famously

sesame oil, sambal oelek (chili paste), garlic, bok choy stems, and peas, getting along famously

T stopped by our closest Asian market since we were out of sesame oil, and he also picked up some beef to add to the mix. We marinated it in a little soy sauce first and then sauteed it up.

all together now!

all together now!

I went pretty light on the beef since we just had red meat last night. I like to keep the red meat consumption to a minimum, especially when it isn’t grass-fed.

We also polished off our final vegan baked donut. I find it very satisfying to use up food stores – it gives me an odd sense of accomplishment.

Almost time to polish off all that Paris has to offer….whee!!!

Question of the day: Any tips for dealing with jet lag? This is a short trip, so we won’t have much time to adjust to the time change. We’ll need all the help we can get!

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