Posts Tagged ‘Recipes’

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:



(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:


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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We did a little make-it-up-as-you-go-along cooking last night. We knew we wanted to use our Swiss chard, sweet corn, and pork cutlets, but our plans didn’t get much farther than that until it was time to cook.

I was in charge of the veggies. For some reason I’ve been thinking about spiced nuts (possibly because of Gliding Calm‘s review of some Living Nutz products?), so I decided to use those as my inspiration. Here’s what I came up with:

Sweet and Spicy Swiss Chard with Walnuts and Cranberries

1) Sautee 1/4 cup walnuts in olive oil for 2-3 minutes (I set our gas burner to medium-high heat for this recipe)

2) Add a dash of cayenne pepper (to taste) and a handful of dried cranberries. Cook together for 1 minute

3) Add roughly chopped Swiss chard and cook until just wilted

And that’s it!


I loved this. The heat from the cayenne and the sweetness of the cranberries work perfectly together, and both the chard and the walnuts have a nice crunch.

Trent took charge of our pork cutlets, which he rubbed with olive oil and a few grinds of The Spice Hunter’s Fiery Chile Fusion Blend (Tellicherry black pepper, crushed red pepper, green chile, green bell pepper, chipotle chile) and grilled on our charcoal grill. They had a nice smoky, grilled flavor with just enough kick from the peppers.

We also boiled a few ears of our sweet corn, which was perfectly ripe, sweet, and buttery. Lovely! Here it is all together:


I love it when things come together on the first try. 🙂

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We’re clearly in the midst of summer bounty – I wish we had a cornucopia to display all the beautiful veg we got this week.


Swiss chard, Chinese broccoli, beets, SWEET CORN (mostly unpictured because it wouldn’t fit), potatoes, carrots, more delicious summer squash, and green onions.

I got right to work stir-frying the Chinese broccoli, which is a member of the brassica family and is sometimes called Chinese kale. It looks almost exactly like collards and tastes a little like kale/collards. I modified a recipe that came in our newsletter to make this:


Here’s what I did:

1) Sauteed 2 cloves of garlic in sesame oil until they started to soften.

2) Added about 1/4 cup of roughly chopped peanuts and cooked those for a little bit

3) Added a few teaspoons of soy sauce and a spoonful of sambal oelek (garlic chili paste)

4) Added the roughly chopped bunch of Chinese broccoli and cooked until it was bright green and a little wilt-y.

This was really good. Just a tad spicy, with some sweetness from the well-done garlic and a nice crunch from the peanuts. Nothing better than a quick and delicious recipe! Speaking of which, I could go for some banana softserve right about now…

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What do you do when your CSAs hand you a pound of ground pork, a head of cabbage, and a whole mess of garlic chives and green onions? You make dumplings, of course!

Step 1: Finely chop the cabbage, mix it with 1 tsp of salt, and let sit 10 minutes until water starts to leech out of the leaves. Check 10 minutes later to find that this isn’t quite working. Add more salt. Wait longer. See some water and try to drain the cabbage, only to find that there isn’t enough water to drain. Give up and dump the cabbage on paper towels, hoping this soaks up enough moisture.

Step 2: Chop your chives and onions, and add these, plus the cabbage, 6 tbsp sesame oil, 2 tsp sugar, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper to your pork. Mix well.


Step 3: Make the skins. Mix 3 cups flour and 3/4 cup cold water and knead until smooth. Let stand for 10 minutes, then roll dough and cut into 50 equal pieces. Use ruler because eyeballing seems ill-advised.

Step 4: Roll out each individual piece into small rounds. Fill each round with 1/50th of the pork mixture. Or, you know, however much fits into the skin, because how are you going to divide that bowl into 50ths?? Pinch the tops of the dumplings closed in a decorative manner. Have significant other tell you that your adorable, purse-like dumplings may not be the right shape. Revise technique.


Step 5: Repeat. Repeat, repeat. Repeat. And so on.


Step 6: Boil as many as will fit in your pot for 5-6 minutes.


Step 7: Admire your handiwork.


Serve with a side of fried rice (leftover rice from Chinese takeout, CSA peas, 2 eggs, more garlic chives, soy sauce)


and a dipping sauce of rice vinegar, sambal olek, and soy sauce.


Pan-fry leftover filling, because there will be leftover filling. Save it to serve on top of rice, or in scrambled eggs, or in sandwiches, etc.

The low-down

We (tried to) follow the recipe for meat dumplings (shwei jaudz) in Chinese Snacks by Huang Su-Huei. This is a really fun cookbook, but sometimes the directions are a bit unclear. Great for trying to recreate your favorite dim sum dishes though!

These dumplings were fabulous. Truly, truly fabulous – restaurant quality taste, if not looks, in spite of our cabbage-drying mishap. There are so many things to love about dumplings. For instance, they are a great way to stretch out your meat, since you mix it with other ingredients and hence don’t eat a whole lot of it at once. Good for your body, the environment, and your wallet! Although the skins are made with white flour, these are pretty nutritious. Pork is a great source of potassium, and cabbage is basically a superfood. I imagine that you could vegetarian-ize them pretty easily with tofu or a soft cheese subbing for the pork. They can be cooked a variety of ways once you get through the (admittedly arduous) process of assembling them – boiled, steamed, fried, etc. If you’re really ambitious, you can make extras and freeze them for a super easy dinner/lunch/snack. We thought about doing this, but decided we’d just make them all and eat them as leftovers for the next few days.

The fried rice was also a hit. We used to throw out leftover rice, but then Mark Bittman informed me that this was stupid since fried rice is delicious, easy, and fridge-cleaning, since you can throw whatever you have on hand into it. I heart you and your cookbooks, Mr. Bittman!

So all in all, this was a major success. Have you had any great kitchen successes lately? Or any experiments gone horribly awry?

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The green monster smoothie is ubiquitous in the blogosphere. I think I first saw it on Angela’s site, but it pops up everywhere. A green monster of a different sort made an appearance at my lunch table today, and I’m pretty psyched about it.


That, my friends, is a white (turned green) bean dip, inspired by Swell Vegan‘s lemony scape and herb spread. It’s served over toast and avocado slices, and it tastes like heaven. The recipe is as follows:

Garlicky Bean Dip

1 15 oz. can cannelini beans

2 large cloves garlic (less if you don’t love it as much as I do)

1 cup, loosely packed, of chopped parsley

2 medium handfulls spinach

juice of 1 lemon

2 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Puree it all in a food processor until it reaches a consistency you like.



I learned this amazing trick from the Nourishing Gourmet. If you soak your beans for a few hours before you cook with them, they’ll digest much easier, which means less gas. Huzzah! I soaked this can overnight and then made the spread mid-morning. This trick has made such a difference for me. Hummus and other bean dips are such good versatile, portable lunch food, but also a big gassy food. This solves that dilemma.

We also made linguine carbonara last night with our CSA bacon (I think the recipe came from allrecipes.com, but I’m not sure). I’m also in love with this bacon – it has such a pure, concentrated pork flavor with just a touch of maple. Perfection!

We served the pasta alongside some of our CSA mystery zucchini (not sure if it’s really zucchini or something more exotic), which we sprinkled with olive oil, salt, and pepper and baked in the toaster oven at 350 for 15ish minutes. I love baking in the toaster oven in the summer – no preheat time, plus the kitchen doesn’t overheat.


Breakfast for the past two days has been Elvis oats. Extremely repetitive? Yes. Still so delicious that it’s the highlight of my whole day? Yes. 😉

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