This week’s cooking included:
I began on Saturday evening, with roasting a fresh chicken (never frozen) for our dinner, that I bought from one of my favorite local farms, McDonald Farm. What a difference the fresh/never frozen makes!!! Toward the end of its roasting time, I added several ears of corn to the oven to roast, still in their husks. Oven roasted corn, still in the husk, is one of my favorite kitchen smells. While the chicken and corn cooled a bit, I used some of the juices and veggies from the Roasted Chicken, to help wilt some collard greens from my friend Lisa’s garden. At the very bottom of this post, you can check of a gleeful-but-rain-soaked moi who harvested chard, collard greens and basil of paleolithic proportions from Lisa’s garden! 🙂
Once the chicken was out of the oven, I put in a batch of Slow-Roasted Tomatoes, to slowly do their magic over the rest of the evening. These are incredibly easy, and super delicious! Make these now!
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The next morning, I began the cooking session by scoring and salting some eggplants I bought from the G & S Orchards Farm Stand. The eggplants, tomatoes, corn, broccoli, onions, cabbage, cucumbers, cantaloupe, and green bell peppers for this week’s consumption all came from that stand! I feel very fortunate to be able to eat pesticide-free produce grown locally, and likely picked that day! After 30 minutes, I rinsed the salt and bitter juices off the eggplant and then finished the Oven-Roasted Eggplant.
While those were roasting, I cooked some broccoli and also roasted a large-diced onion. Not pictured, I also roasted some slices of zucchini, and 2 very large green bell peppers.
It’s been awhile since I showed pictures of my “Frittata” prep. For this weeks “Frittata,” I wilted a bag of Trader Joe’s organic spinach, and once it was cool, I squeezed the excess water from it. After a quick rinse, I used that same pan to brown 1 lb. of breakfast sausage — Bob Evans brand is my favorite. Then I chopped the spinach (look at that wee pile in the 3rd photo! Always impressed that this is an entire bag of spinach!), and stirred it and half of the cooked sausage into 4 farm fresh eggs from McDonald Farm. I poured all of that into a buttered 8×8″ baking dish and baked at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. This creates enough for four breakfasts for me to enjoy throughout the week. I froze the other half of the cooked sausage for another week’s “Frittata.”
Using the small mount of sausage fat that rendered while cooking (one of the reasons I like Bob Evans brand — not a lot of “filler” fat … mostly lean meat!), I first sautéed the chopped stems of some chard my friend Lisa let me pick in her garden. And then quickly wilted the leaves.
When those were finished, I rinsed the pan and then browned 1 lb. of Aberdeen Hill Farm Hot Italian Sausage mixed with 1 lb. of their ground pork. I like mixing bulk ground sausage with ground beef, lamb or pork and then having that batch of pre-cooked, seasoned meat in the freezer, to use in various meals. I’ll use half of this browned meat this week, and will freeze the rest for use another time.
Afterward, I rinsed the pan and then used it to brown a package of Wegman’s soy sausage for Mr. Batch. The names of their meat substitutes crack me up: Don’t Be Piggy; Don’t Have a Cow; Don’t Be Chicken. 🙂
While all of that cooked, roasted and cooled, I worked on our Veggie Snacks for this week: arugula, cucumbers and cabbage, topped with leftover Red Wine Vinaigrette or leftover Lemony-Ginger Vinaigrette.
Our Fruit Snacks this week will be cantaloupe with blackberries and blueberries I picked at Wilbert’s Farm.
Time to pack-up our lunches for this week: Mr. Batch had his usual Vegetarian Sandwiches, made the Trader Joe’s Masala Burgers. I had leftover Roasted Chicken Over Vegetables and broccoli. I’m trying to cut-back on the starches I am eating.
Our dinners will only differ by the protein-component — Mr. Batch will have some Don’t Be Piggy surrounded by veggies, and I will have a mixture of pork/pork sausage surrounded by veggies. The protein will be on top of a bed of wilted chard, and served with roasted zucchini, onion, green bell pepper, eggplant and onion and a Slow-Roasted Tomato half or two. All topped with chopped basil & parsley from Lisa’s garden.
Since my motto is Make A Lot, Freeze Some, Now Go Play … for fun this week, I was an #orchardnerd and shopped at local farm stands for flowers and produce … and I picked peaches and blueberries:
And then I made things for the freezer: a batch of Bone Broth to sip like tea throughout the weeks. I’d like to dedicate this week’s broth to my friend Aleks, who encouraged me to try making it with chicken feet, which I was able to buy from McDonald Farm. She was so right — it is VERY tasty! I also blanched (cooked very briefly and then cooled) 13 ears of corn and then froze the kernels and cobs for use another time. And I made a LOT of pesto and froze it, using basil from Lisa’s garden — I made Ina Garten‘s recipe for Pesto (though I did not add the cheese. I’ll add that when I thaw it).
I’ll close with this picture of me — caught in the first rain we have had in *months* while harvesting chard, collard greens and basil of paleolithic proportions from Lisa’s garden! 🙂