This past week we received a lot of green tomatoes and bell peppers from our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). So I got busy looking for ways to use up our abundance. I just started using Zip List for compiling my weekly grocery list and used it to find most of my recipes this week. Here’s what’s been on the menu this week:
Balsamic Portobello Burgers with Bell Pepper and Goat Cheese
- Image via Martha Stewart
These were not a hit with the husband or the baby girl. To be fair, I’m pretty sure I messed up the recipe. In fact, I know I did. Here is what I did differently from the recipe. First I used provolone instead of goat cheese. I did this for two reasons. The first was my husband hates goat cheese (a pretty good reason I think) and the second is that goat cheese is expensive! I got 3 pieces of provolone from the deli counter for 63 cents. No way could I get goat cheese for that. I also did not grill these as it’s November and kind of chilly out. I used a grill pan instead. I had the brilliant (or not as I found out) idea to pour the remaining marinade in the grill pan. All that did was produce a whole lot of smoke which, in turn, made the Portobello’s taste very smoky. I also used a green bell pepper instead of a red since that is what I have the most of. My poor meat loving husband also was very disappointed when I found out that when I said Portobello burger I didn’t mean a Portobello on top of a hamburger. I think this was doomed to failure from the beginning. Sigh.
I served the above with Bell Pepper Slaw. This recipe had some potential. I used a food processor for the cabbage and used the wrong attachment so instead of “thinly sliced and rougly chopped” it was finely chopped. This made it too soggy. I used a dash of ground mustard instead of the mustard seeds and celery salt instead of celery seeds. I thought these two substitutions were fine. I actually think the ground mustard gave it a nice kick. I didn’t measure either of these…just a couple dashs of ground mustard and I just guessed one what would be a good amount of celery salt. I love celery salt in cole slaw so I figured I couldn’t go wrong on that. As I mentioned before, I did not have red bell pepper so I substituted green but did have the orange and yellow. I would be willing to try this again and would either hand chop the slaw or actually use the slicing attachment!
The next dish I tried was Unstuffed Bell Pepper Skillet. Marcella (my daughter) loved this. My husband and I were happy with it, too. It can be made ahead and frozen, too so. It wasn’t anything amazing but for an easy, inexpensive weeknight dinner, it fits the bill.
- Spanish Tortilla with Bell Pepper Image via Martha Stewart
Tonight I made Spanish Tortilla with Bell Pepper. We enjoyed this but felt it needed a little more flavor. The 1/2 teaspoon of hot pepper sauce (I used Tabasco) wasn’t even noticeable. I will say we like things spicy though in our household, baby girl included. :) I definitely want to make this again but I’d kick up the spice factor for sure.
I saved the best for last. This morning I made some Green Tomato Bread. It was phenomenal! Seriously. I am going to make more and freeze it. SO so good! It is like a spice bread, super moist with a nice crunchiness on the outside. Delicious!
I also plan on making Spaghetti with Green Tomato Bacon Sauce for dinner tomorrow night.
So, true to my word, I have used my cookbooks. And I’m here to post about it, just like I said I would. :) I got “Deceptively Delicious” for Christmas and, although I don’t have to “hide” anything in my daughter’s dinner, it is still a fun cookbook to have. If you haven’t heard of this cookbook, it is supposed to help you hide veggies and fruits in your food so that your kids (and spouse, even) will eat it. You do this by using purees.
I decided to try the Aloha Chicken. The purees hidden in this dish were sweet potato and pineapple. I normally abhor pineapple so this was a test to see if I could eat something I hated, too. In theory, you should do the purees ahead of time and either freeze or refrigerate but I just did it as I was preparing the meal. This was pretty simple to do since I have a food processor and had purchased the already cut up pineapple in the produce section at the store. It ended up being a great thing for me since then I could give the leftover whole pieces of pineapple and steamed pieces of sweet potato to my daughter who throughly enjoyed it that way. (Interestingly enough, she wouldn’t touch the sweet potato when I mashed it up on her tray but loved taking bites out of the steamed pieces.)
So, on to the rest of the food prep. The rest was super easy. Just cut chicken into finger pieces, dip in flour, then a mix of the 2 purees, coconut and egg white and lastly breadcrumbs. (The recipe actually called for flax seed to be added to the breadcrumbs but I was out and to make it healthier you could use whole wheat bread flour. It also called for soy sauce which I did not add as I did not have any and wanted to be able to give it to my daughter anyway so I didn’t want the extra sodium.) I didn’t have the wooden skewers the recipe called for so I just put the chicken straight in the frying pan with the olive oil.
This was really delicious! The taste reminded me of coconut shrimp actually which I really like. And I did “deceive” myself and was able to eat the chicken without gagging on pineapple. ;) I actually don’t like coconut either (don’t like the texture) but you just get the taste without the texture in this chicken meal. Basically this is fancy chicken fingers which is a very kid-friendly meal if you DO need to hide ingredients.
I’m looking forward to trying other recipes from this cookbook! I think next time I will make the purees ahead of time, though and I can freeze what I don’t need that way for next meal.
Have any of you tried out a new cookbook recently? I’d love to hear about it!