Sunday, March 1, 2015

BOUNTIFUL BASKETS MEAL PLAN 2-28-15

Some highlights from the basket:

Asparagus  Celery  ENGLISH CUCUMBERS  blueberries   
Rosalynn-Apples  PINEAPPLE  Broccoli
We are loving this amazing basket this week!  So many good things.  I admit that within a couple hours of getting home I had already devoured 1/3 of our blueberries and several slices of cucumber.  I think those are my favorite things this week.  Here is more info on blueberries and if you scroll down, you'll see our meal plan and recipes using this week's basket ingredients.  Enjoy!



BLUEBERRIES
You can see from this photo why blueberries were once called "star berries" by Native Americans.  These darling little things are packed with goodness, including Fiber and Vitamin C & E.  Their prime growing season ended in October, making them a prize addition to our basket this week.  Also, according to a study done by the University of Michigan, blueberries are natural anti-depressants!  Perfect for chasing away the winter....um...blues.  ;-)
You'll want to store them in the fridge and wait to rinse until it's time to eat them.  Blueberries can stay well in the fridge for up to 10 days.  Keep an eye on them though and enjoy them while they are nice and fresh!


EAT FOR A WEEK WITH BOUNTIFUL BASKETS



We've put together a meal plan, with feeding a family of 4 in mind.  However, these ideas would be great no matter how many you're feeding.  This meal plan uses produce from a Utah basket from Bountiful Baskets and is based on MyPlate recommendations.  We'll also use a few simple ingredients from a well stocked kitchen and minimal additional items from the market.  You can click on each recipe name for the recipe.  Everything shown here was included in the basket contribution - $15 plus a small fee ($2.50).  Everything pictured came from my personal Bountiful Basket and all photos are of actual produce from the basket.

This week I wanted to feature healthy recipes from some fabulous local blogs!  We have so much knowledge and inspiration at our fingertips these days - the web is a fantastic resource for ideas to make the most out of food we have on-hand.


MONDAY
ROASTED BROCCOLI with PARMESAN by lovetobeinthekitchen.com
Basket Items:  Head of broccoli
Simple.  Quick.  Delicious.  Serve on the side of a protein or over pasta.


TUESDAY
EASY PESTO ASPARAGUS QUINOA CASSEROLE by ohsweetbasil.com
Confession:  I like eating raw asparagus.  I've already snacked on a few stalks just since bringing it home this morning.  I'm also obsessed with roasting asparagus with garlic.  This week, I wanted a one-pot meal I could throw together for a busy night and this one is just the ticket.  I even have all of the ingredients already stocked in my kitchen. 

WEDNESDAY
RED, WHITE & BLUE KALE SALAD by lovetobeinthekitchen.com
Basket Items: blueberries.  You could also use the lettuce instead of kale or mixed with it.  Either way, this salad will be packed with quite the super-food punch.


THURSDAY
LO MEIN & FRESH SPRING ROLLS
Basket Items:  Carrots, lettuce, cucumber
I'm not sure what I love more - eating fresh spring rolls or making them.  There's something therapeutic about wetting the delicate rice paper until it's just soft enough to work with... and then rolling them one by one until there's a beautifully stacked plate of them.  ....or is it just me?  

FRIDAY
GRILL NIGHT w/COWBOY CAVIAR
Basket Item:  1-2 avocado
Kristi was kind enough to share one of her favorite fun recipes with me.  I love avocado and I would just eat it plain, over eggs, on a sandwich, over pretty much anything, in guacamole, in a smoothie, sautéed, or maybe even try one of those baked-egg-in-an-avocado things.  Salsa, which is basically what "cowboy caviar" is, also brightens up my day.  Serving it with grilled meat, fish, or chicken sounds perfect for a special dinner at home on the weekend.


SATURDAY
CREATE A SOUP
FRUITFUL SALMON SALAD by naturesknockout.com
Basket items:  Celery, Carrots, any other veggies you want!
Follow simple steps to creating a soup using whatever veggies you have!  I have salmon in my freezer and this salad sounds great for a lunch or light dinner.  I might even substitute blueberries for the grapes, since I have them.  Laurie, who shared this recipe with me is so warm, friendly, and authentic that I knew her food ideas would be as well.


SUNDAY
MARINATED PINEAPPLE & PORK SKEWERS from epicurious.com
You may already know that the pineapple is a symbol of hospitality.  I like the idea of doing something with pineapple for Sunday dinner, for this very reason.  Having food with company is good for the soul.  I'm giving a shout-out to one of my favorite foodies and best friends-of-all-time, Sarah from the Single Mom Survival Guide.  Happy Birthday!!  I hope you have good food, laughter, and the best people all around you this and every day.

REMAINING ITEMS:
Rosalyn apples, bananas, blueberries, oranges, lots of celery, lots of lettuce and probably a bit of this and that.

Ideas:
Celery with peanut butter, hummus, cottage cheese, or other dip
Fresh fruit is the best
Smoothies
Salad
Mason Jar salads
Banana bread
Orange Julius
More spring rolls!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

MY BOUNTIFUL BASKETS MEAL PLAN 2-21-15

Some highlights from this week's basket:

Romanesco    cocktail-grapefruit     red onion  Avocado      JICAMA     pineapple




ROMANESCO - Well, there's been a lot of talk (and singing!) about fractals for the last year or two.  These ones may not be frozen, but they are just as entertaining, if not fascinating. The strikingly beautiful cruciferous vegetable is similar in texture and flavor to cauliflower and broccoli.  When I got mine home, I sat and stared at it.  We just let it sit in the middle of the dining table for a while, being pretty.  If you eat with your eyes, this vegetable is for YOU!  It's also a great source of zinc.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Storing it: You'll want to put it in the fridge in a tightly sealed bag
Preparing it:
  • In any dish that you would use broccoli or cauliflower
  • Veggie platter or salad (Raw)
  • Roasted, Steamed
  • Soups or Stews
  • Tossed in a pasta
The thing to remember is that it doesn't need to cook for that long.  The best thing you can do is choose a quick cooking method such as steaming or a quick roast and then add it to the other ingredients in your dish that may need to cook longer.  Check out our recipe below for roasting it.

EAT FOR A WEEK WITH BOUNTIFUL BASKETS


We've put together a meal plan, with feeding a family of 4 in mind.  However, these ideas would be great no matter how many you're feeding.  This meal plan uses produce from a Utah basket from Bountiful Baskets and is based on MyPlate recommendations.  We'll also use a few simple ingredients from a well stocked kitchen and minimal additional items from the market.  You can click on each recipe name for the recipe.  Everything shown here was included in the basket contribution - $15 plus a small fee ($2.50).  Everything pictured came from my personal Bountiful Basket and all photos are of actual produce from the basket.





MONDAY
Basket items:  1 bunch spinach, 1/4 red onion
This is one of my favorite salads.  The adorable bowtie pastas dress it up a little and it's a great way to repurpose leftover cooked pasta.


TUESDAY
ROASTED ROMANESCO
Basket items:  1/2 - 1 Romanesco
When trying something new, I usually defer to roasting.  Roasting brings out the natural flavor of the vegetable, it's simple, and it's pretty hard to mess up.  You can follow these simple steps to roasting vegetables and tailor the flavor to your tastes.  My good friend Marc prepared this a couple weeks ago and here are his suggestions, "I tossed the Romanesco florets with 1 Tbs olive oil, 1 Tbs curry powder, 1 tsp chopped garlic, a touch of cumin and salt to taste.  Broil at 450 degrees for 25 minutes."


WEDNESDAY
CAJUN GRILLED FISH with JICAMA-PINEAPPLE SLAW
Basket items:  1 jicama, 1/4-1/2 pineapple, 1-2 cocktail grapefruit
Cajun grilled fish and a side of rice with this creative slaw will delight your tastebuds!  I was sitting at dinner last night with some new blogger friends I made from 2dorksinlove.com, and a couple others I'll have to find their cards and put their sits in later, but I told them the list of ingredients that i had and this is what they came up with - A slaw with fish.  After that Kristi and I put our heads together to plan this meal. By the end, we were both craving cajun grilled fish.  Voila.


THURSDAY
VEGGIE-STUFFED MEATLOAF
Basket items:  yellow squash
You might have taken a double take when you read that title.  Our Food & Consumer Science expert Melanie Jewkes tells me that everyone she's made this recipe for - both young and old - has loved it.  I think it's a brilliant idea!


Basket items:  1/4 - 1/2 pineapple, 1/4 - 1/2 red onion
Pizza night!  We suggest adding chicken and barbecue sauce for something extra delicious.


SATURDAY
Basket items:  1 lb potatoes, 1/4 red onion
One of the most inexpensive meals you can make!  It's yummy, too.

Basket items:  1 yellow squash
Another tried and true recipe from Melanie, she loves this quick recipe for an ultimate comfort food!  It calls for Romano cheese, but you could also use Parmesan or I check the small cheese pieces they sell at Sprouts for cheap to get a better deal.  Melanie often makes this towards the end of the summer or when she has a lot of tomatoes and squash, and will make the vegetable part of the recipe and then freeze it in portions.


REMAINING 
Basket items:  Apples, Iceberg lettuce, bananas, avocados and likely some yellow squash, maybe a bit of pineapple, potatoes, red onion, etc.

IDEAS
Saute yellow squash with tomatoes and zucchini
Whole fruits and veggies are best!
Cut apples with dip like peanut butter
Add lettuce and/or avocado to sandwiches
Banana in smoothies
Sliced banana over cereal or on toast/bagel
Guacamole

Bon Appetit!
-Raven & Kristi