Last Week I Cooked…

Last Week I Cooked - Vegetal MattersI can already feel seasonal produce anxiety starting to set in. I went strawberry picking with my roommate yesterday and we bought almost 8 pounds of strawberries. She made hand-pies, I made strawberry balsamic jam, and we still have two quarts leftover for general consumption. But I made the mistake of looking up my pinned strawberry recipes and found tens of options for tarts, ice creams, sorbets, pies, popsicles, salads and other sweets. More than I could ever reasonably make in strawberry season. Plus strawberries are just a gateway berry for me – I love blueberries and the very best, raspberries, so much more. It’s time to pick a few recipes I’m most exited about, make them while the time is right, and then float on into the next fruit or veg in line.

Last Week I Cooked - Vegetal MattersTacos with mashed sweet potatoes, black beans, pickled radishes and cilantro sauce. These were born of things already in the fridge/freezer. When I made these baked sweet potatoes I ended up freezing an extra one. I defrosted it in the microwave, and then scraped out the flesh and composted the skin. I mixed some salt, cumin, and paprika into it and mashed it up. The black beans I cooked with some onion, and the shredded up the radishes and quick pickled them in some white wine vinegar. I chopped up half a cup of cilantro, then made it into a sauce with about a quarter cut of olive oil, salt, pepper, and a few cloves of chopped garlic.

Last Week I Cooked - Vegetal MattersLast Week I Cooked - Vegetal MattersRoasted chicken and spring salad with new potatoes. I used my favorite basic roast chicken recipe from The Homemade Kitchen, and while it was in the oven I made the potato salad (sans snap peas, because there were none to be bought), and did some gardening. There is probably about 30 minutes total hands on time for this meal, which is just right for this time of year. I love a mustard-y, vegetable forward potato salad and this is all of that.

Last Week I Cooked - Vegetal MattersStrawberry and leek quesadillas and salad with roasted beets, toasted almonds, goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette. These quesadillas might be the most springy dish of all time. My only complaint is that the strawberries make for a soggy dish, but it is still delightfully sweet and decadent with the goat cheese. Just don’t have as high of expectations for the leftovers.

Last Week I Cooked - Vegetal MattersChicken salad toasts with sauteed kale. I started this dish off thinking that I was following this recipe, but realized quickly that I didn’t actually read the recipe and I had a completely different recipe in mind. So using the rest of the roast chicken from earlier in the week, plus 3 hard boiled eggs to stretch it out, I made a dressing with 1 tablespoon mayo, 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon horseradish, cucumber, chopped scallion, salt, and pepper. I served it with whole wheat toast, avocado, and sauteed kale.

Lamb kebabs in fresh pita. These have been on my to-cook list for years. I made them into meatballs and broiled them because I don’t have a grill. They were heavily spiced and awesome with fresh pita, onions, cucumbers, herbs, and yogurt.

Whipped yogurt cheesecake with roasted rhubarb. This is my ideal dessert, and not just because I already had everything to make it but the cookies. The whipped cheesecake took 15 minutes to put together the night before my sister came over for dinner. She brought some almond biscotti that I pulverized in the food processor as the rhubarb roasted. It was a light dessert, but an awesome combination of fluffy, creamy, tart, and sweet. As written the portions are pretty small. Four of us polished off all the yogurt cheesecake, and 3/4 of a pound of rhubarb (because I didn’t have a full pound on hand).

Last Week I Cooked - Vegetal MattersI froze some bagels leftover from a work event and then enjoyed them this week with butter, honey and salt, as breakfast sandwiches with chorizo and eggs, and classically with cream cheese and scallions.

 

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