Category Archives: to cook

recipes of all kinds

Sunday: Orange waffles, pickle making, and Buddha Bowls

Today is “get it processed” day! Anything that needs to be chopped for the freezer (bell peppers, I’m looking at you) or for quick pickling happens today. 

But first, always start with a hearty breakfast. This morning, while cooking with my 13 year, I got to explain how baking powder works and why you keep wet and dry ingredients separate until the last possible moment. I’m thinking her waffles and muffins will come out even better in the future. 

She started with our regular waffle mix (which she prepped a while ago for just such an occasion), but I managed to stop her from using oil this time (as the recipe calls for) and substitute applesauce. I explained that that substitution, along with our family’s move to almond milk, made each waffle 100 calories lighter, which meant we could each have two. πŸ™‚

Then to use up some stuff from the box, and add to the nutritional content, I made a quick orange sauce (juice of 2 oranges, powdered sugar until it’s sweet enough and syrupy enough – 1/2 cup in this case). I also chopped up a satsuma. My son loved the sauce, and would like me to make more. Like, right now. πŸ˜‰ 
Waffles (each) – 146 calories, 27.2g carbs, 1.6g fat, 5.1g protein

Sauce – 104 calories, 26g carbs, 0g fat, 1g protein


  • 408 calories
  • 83g carbs
  • 3g fat
  • 11g protein

That’s a lot of produce. 

And it’s some of the produce that got me most excited. MORE RADISHES??? Woohoo! Seems strange, especially since there wasn’t a single radish slice on yesterday’s salad. 

Yeah, that’s because I hate radishes. 

But, I wasn’t being sarcastic when I cheered to get them in my box. I have recently discovered quick pickled radishes. So delicious, with none of the funkiness. They’re quick pickled, so no waiting for weeks before you can crack them open or time consuming water bath canning procedure. But also, no storing for months in the pantry. These are strictly refrigerator pickles, good only for a week or two, but they don’t tend to last that long! πŸ™‚  

I made two different batches today. The bowl full of orange and white sticks is for Do Chua, Vietnamese pickled daikon and carrot – the required pickle for making banh mi sandwiches. And these rest of the produce (radishes, carrots, garlic, jalapeΓ±o, baby banana peppers, and lime) is for Taco Pickles. I also have some cauliflower that boiled in the vinegar pickling liquid, that goes in, too. All that good gets nice and pickled together, gets a little sweet and a little spicy, and tastes amazing with any Latin dish you throw at it. πŸ™‚ 
Don’t they look purty? πŸ™‚ 

Speaking of purty.  πŸ˜‰

This is a Spicy Buddha Bowl. A super yummy Spicy Buddha Bowl. Which incidentally used up the end of the spinach, a quarter head of red cabbage, and a couple of sweet potatoes from the box. We are currently working our way through a bottle of what must be the spiciest siracha I’ve ever tasted.  Which is why the kids thought this was too spicy. My daughter mentioned something about breathing fire, but I paid her no mind.  I was too busy enjoying my Buddha Bowl. 

Total: 509 calories, 80g. carbs, 17g. fat (hello, tahini!), 14g. protein

Used from the box today:

  • Satsuma
  • 2 oranges
  • Half bunch cilantro
  • Quarter head cauliflower
  • 9 radishes (all of them!)
  • 5 baby banana peppers
  • 1 daikon (left a little for beer drinking)
  • Red cabbage (froze the other 3/4 of the head. Why??? You’ll see!)
  • 2 sweet potatoes

Pretty good for one day! Tomorrow, goodbye greens! In a tasty way. πŸ˜‰


Beet Bread

Yes.  It IS hot pink. And very tasty.  Most of it went into the freezer for a future soup accompaniment, but some nibbles were had.  It is not a sweet bread, the only sugar is from the beets themselves, but it is an excellent quick bread.

And if you wash everything REALLY quickly, you don’t stain your whole kitchen by making it.  Wanna try? The recipe I used is here. Obviously, I didn’t do the cream cheese swirl, and I kinda wish I got more dill this week to give it a try. I baked it for 45 minutes, which was perfect.  I am totally making muffins with this batter for February lunches!

11/28/15 Box


Okay, this is last week’s box, and yesterday’s picture was from this week’s box, but you’ll still get the idea. Here’s what’s in a box designed to feed a family of 4 for a week:

  • Small head romaine lettuce
  • Small head red leaf lettuce
  • Bunch of dill
  • Bunch of cilantro
  • mustard greens
  • collard greens
  • bok choy 
  • Humongous head of Napa cabbage
  • arugula
  • 5 radishes
  • 4 beets
  • 4 turnips
  • 2 grapefruit
  • 8 tomatoes
  • 8 little bell peppers
  • 4 Meyer lemons

During the past week, I also bought some garlic, carrots, and celery.  I threw out about 2 tablespoons worth of dill and one tomato.  Those grapefruit may go, too, just because I can’t find anyone to eat them. I still have a few peppers and the lemons, but the rest all got eaten or used in some way! Huge win for me. Highlights of the week:

  • Beef stew is totally the way to go with turnips.  I’ve tried pickling and roasting and hated both.  Stew was awesome.
  • Beet bread. So awesome it gets its own post.
  • Arugula makes good spicy pesto, when cut with some basil.  It reminds me of the pesto my mom makes when she grows purple Thai basil.
  • Taco pickles are fantastic. And the only way I enjoy radishes.
  • Fresh dill and cheddar added to my regular Greek yogurt based biscuits are delish.
  • The secret to greens? Cook them forever.  Either simmered with some kind of pork product, southern style; or boiled and then simmered in a tomato sauce. Both worked.

Fresh 20, Day 6

Breakfast: Breakfast Burritos $0
I knew I would be doing some real cooking for lunches, so I took advantage of some breakfast burritos I had stashed in the freezer. A yummy mixture of sausage, eggs, cheese, and potatoes – and I was shocked that the eggs reheated okay for me.

Lunch: Macaroni and Cheese Cupcakes $2.07
I always buy 2 packages of macaroni when I need some: one bag of regular and one box of whole wheat. I noticed a while ago that they cook in the exact same amount of time, so can be cooked at the same time. I don’t like whole wheat pasta by itself, because of the chewy texture it has, but have discovered that if I mix it half and half with regular that it tastes like regular to me, but I get a little whole wheat benefit.

Which means I always have bunches and bunches of macaroni left over. Not a problem for my kids, but you know me – I like cooking new stuff. So I went to look for a new macaroni recipe. I found this one. The method seemed like less of a crazy procedure than the macaroni and cheese last week, and I knew if I swapped out broccoli for the spinach, both of my kids would gobble these up. The cupcakes really need to cool before you try to pull the out of the pan, or they fall apart. Both kids said lunch was good, though. I added some Orange Juice Carrots for additional vegetable goodness.

Adult Lunch: Taco Salad in a Jar $5.10
My husband decided to take the whole week off of work this week to do some work on the yard which he has needed to do for a while, but between his races and Scouts, his weekends have disappeared. So, I also planned a couple of adult lunches – both salads.

For this salad, I layered a mixture of salsa and fat free greek yoghurt (as a dressing), taco seasoned ground turkey I had in the freezer, chopped bell pepper, chopped celery, chopped green onion, shredded cheese, and then filled the rest with a mixture of romaine and green leaf lettuces. Other optional ingredients you can put in are cherry tomatoes, black olives, black beans, chile peppers, tortilla chips, avocado, corn, anything that would go on a taco.

Dinner: Braised Sage Chicken and Vegetables $13.62
After spending all day chopping vegetables (okay, it was only two hours), I was glad I could just toss a bunch of stuff in a pot for dinner. Although I wish I had cooked the brown rice ahead of time as suggested.

This dish smelled incredible while it was cooking, absolutely incredible. I was glad to find out that it tasted as good as it smelled – but both kids were very meh about it. The boy only ate it because he was promised rice if he did (the rice was still cooking as we started eating, and I figured it would be good to soak up the good stuff from the bottom fo the bowl). DH and I loved it, though. We really liked the way the sweet potatoes, butternut, and onions tasted together. This recipe is a keeper.

The list of what I prepped:
3 Texas sized onions, chopped and sliced
4 green peppers, chopped and sliced
2 red peppers, chopped and sliced
4 ribs of celery, chopped
half a head of garlic, minced
5 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 pound of carrots, peeled and chopped
1 pound of parsnips, peeled and chopped
2 butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1 Honeycrisp apple, chopped
2 large heads of lettuce, chopped

Fresh 20, Day 5

Breakfast: Cheddar Biscuits with Apples and Pears $0
These biscuits were supposed to be leftovers, but since we had Chinese that night, all of my menus got thrown off. So I made them fresh. Eh, not worth changing over from my biscuit recipe. You can pretty much add cheese to any biscuit recipe without needing any other alterations as long as you don’t go overboard. The apples and pear were diced, sauteed in a little butter until browned and slightly mushy, then topped with some brown sugar.

I like the way apples and cheese go together and have several recipes with that flavor combination.

Lunch: Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Sliced Cucumbers, and Apples $0
More cleaning out of the produce drawer. The chicken salad is the last of my stash from the freezer.

Dinner: Well, ummmm . . .
So, the Cub Scout and Den Leader had to go to a Field Trip to a Police Station (and brought the Girl Scout as a tagalong), and I had to go to work, so we scattered to the winds and all went out for dinner. I had a yummy burrito from Freebirds.

(The dinner I had planned on having from Fresh 20, Chicken Noodle Soup did get made by my husband Saturday night for dinner, but without the chicken, which my daughter snagged from the fridge the night before).

Fresh 20, Day 4

Breakfast: Carrot Cake Oatmeal $0
I love this recipe. It started out as a backpacking style recipe, but the concept of eating vegetables other potatoes for breakfast has always been hard for me to picture. But eating carrot cake for breakfast? I can totally get behind that. So first we tried it as written, then I switched it to a stovetop recipe, now it has become an overnight recipe. It is best when topped with a dab of cream cheese and coconut, but even without, it’s pretty great.

Lunch: Oatmeal, Bacon, Cheddar Scones Pizza Scones $1
I had originally planned on using the last of the bacon for this recipe, but then I cooked it up for breakfast this past weekend. So, scrounge through the fridge and find an easy swap – pepperoni and mozzarella – sounds like pizza to me! Using one of my kids’ favorite flavor profiles makes for a guaranteed winner at school. And the recipe makes enough for the freezer, too!

Dinner: Pan Seared Salmon with Honey Glazed Carrots $10.05
This was the first time I have cooked salmon at home, and I was really pleased! Just simple salt and pepper and oil, with a really hot pan, and it was pretty close to perfect, with a nice crunch and not really hard to flip (even though I don’t have a fish turner).The carrots were also very nummy, with honey and Herbes de Provence. They were strange because they were baked in the oven; I am used to glazed carrots being cooked in a saute pan. This is definitely a keeper, although the brown rice needs to be made fresh.

I had a much better day today, with lots of sewing on a new quilt made from fabrics I bought for my birthday, and topped off with a great dinner.

Fresh 20, Day 3

Yesterday was a no good awful really bad day. I wasn’t feeling 100%, and then I spent all morning talking to tech support to try to get my printer to communicate with either of the computers so that I could get some paperwork done. My favorite was the little girl who told me that I needed to call my ISP, because they were the ones who provided my internet service – which is somehow the same as my home network in her brain. And then she had to end her script by saying that she hoped she was able to solve my issue. I really had to stop myself from laughing sardonically and asking her, “Really? REALLY?!?” le sigh. Then my one of my dogs got tummy problems and left evidence of this all over the house. But, this is about the food . . ..

Breakfast: Kolaches $
This morning I was planning on making morning cobbler. And the fact that my husband grabbed fresh strawberries in November instead of frozen was mildly irritating, but not worth a fight over, I could work with them. Not letting me know that he had served almost all of the granola to the kids over the weekend while he let me sleep in was not so cool. The letting me sleep in and feeding the kids, I am in no way complaining about, just not letting me know I needed more granola. So, off to the kolache store. Me and the kids did get some time to sit and chat, though, which was nice.

Lunch: Curried Chickpeas and Cauliflower $2.48
I like this recipe. I found it here when I was cruising for interesting vegetarian recipes. Since I had made a big batch of brown rice early in the week, it was a snap to put together in the morning. And look, I could use some of the strawberries in the kids’ lunches.

Dinner: Chinese Delivery $$$
Did I mention the really bad day? Yeah, I don’t cook on really bad days. I told my husband, and he said Chinese sounded good, but then ate Thai leftovers he brought home from work. We tried a new place, and the kids’s dishes were good, the crab rangoons were good, the soups were good. My fried rice sucked. If you are going to call something Celebration fried rice and make it the most expensive fried rice on your menu, don’t use overcooked shrimp that you haven’t bothered to clean and “krab” when your menu says “crab”.

But I got the oatmeal in the crockpot to try to get tomorrow started on the right foot.