Southeast Asian Meatballs; Lentils with Roasted Eggplant, Pine Nuts & a Lemon-Tahini Sauce; Comforting Chicken Soup; Apple Pecan Cake

It’s officially Fall here in Western New York, which means time for roasted hard squashes; simmering soups; apples, nuts and pomegranates; and zesty warming foods with spices and ginger.  To that effect, this week’s cooking included batches of:

I started by using some of my freshly picked Hurd Orchards apples (pix below) to bake an ApplePecan Cake for Mr. Batch’s group meeting:

While that baked, I worked on a Poached Chicken, using most of the bag from the freezer of veggie ends-n-nubs I collect each week when cooking (ends-n-nubs of carrots, onion, celery, fennel, tomato, ginger, and parsley and thyme stems) and a chicken that I had bought locally from McDonald Farm:

(not pictured) Once the Poached Chicken was finished, I removed the chicken from the broth and let it cool in the refrigerator; and then strained the broth and discarded the vegetables.  Once the chicken was cool enough to handle, I removed the meat and saved the bones in the freezer for a future batch of Bone Broth. I stored 2 portions of the picked chicken in the refrigerator, and stored the rest of the portions of chicken in the freezer. I used most of the broth for the Comforting Chicken Soup (below), and froze the rest.

Then I prepped the next round of items that would go into the oven once the cake was out: this week’s “Frittata” with 1/3 of a pound of cooked breakfast sausage, leftover roasted butternut squash from the freezer, and some of the farm stand broccoli that I had blanched (cooked just briefly & then cooled) and then frozen earlier this Summer:

And prepped an acorn squash from my friend Hiram’s garden, to be roasted simultaneously while baking the “Frittata”:

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Acorn squash from my friend Hiram’s garden, to be roasted

And prepped a batch of Southeast Asian Meatballs, to be baked at the same time as the items above. I used ground lamb and ground beef that I bought from the fabulous McDonald Farm:

To read more, click the “Continue Reading” button below and to the right:

Once I loaded-up the oven with those items, I quickly blanched (cooked just briefly & then cooled) some sugar snap peas, and then cut the other vegetables I would portion into our Veggie Snacks for the week — slices of cucumber from the Lovely Lisa’s garden, sliced carrots and celery, and sugar snap peas:

(not pictured) Our Fruit Snacks for this week are freshly picked Hurd Orchards apples (pix below), served with pomegranate seeds.

Then, I salted some eggplant, to draw out the bitterness. After the salt worked its magic on the eggplant, I roasted them as a component of Lentils with Roasted Eggplant, Pine Nuts & a Lemon-Tahini Sauce:

Next, I cut the veggies and cooked the lentils for the Lentils with Roasted Eggplant, Pine Nuts & a Lemon-Tahini Sauce:

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Lentils for the Lentils with Roasted Eggplant, Pine Nuts & a Lemon-Tahini Sauce

I cut a double-batch of many of these same vegetables (onion, celery, carrots and minced garlic) to make a batch of Comforting Chicken Soup (see photo below). I cooked the vegetables simultaneously on the stovetop with the lentils. Once the vegetables were finished, I added the chicken broth from the Poached Chicken as well as some small-diced potatoes, and simmered the combination until the potatoes  were tender:

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Comforting Chicken Soup made with vegetables and potatoes, simmered in the chicken broth from a Poached Chicken

While the Comforting Chicken Soup and lentils simmered and eggplant roasted, I prepped a batch of Lemon-Tahini Sauce:

Next, I stored the “Frittata” in individual containers for the week ahead:

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“Frittata” made with cooked breakfast sausage, leftover roasted butternut squash from the freezer, and some of the farm stand broccoli that I had blanched then frozen earlier this Summer

And then made and stored Mr. Batch’s Vegetarian Sandwiches that he’ll eat for lunches this week:

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Mr. Batch’s Vegetarian Sandwiches made with Trader Joe’s Masala Burgers

Lunches for me this week will be Comforting Chicken Soup, that I reheated and poured over fresh spinach, which wilted the spinach:

Dinners for Mr. Batch will be the Lentils with Roasted Eggplant, Pine Nuts & a Lemon-Tahini Sauce with wilted chard (not pictured):

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Lentils with Roasted Eggplant, Pine Nuts & a Lemon-Tahini Sauce with wilted chard (not pictured)

My dinners will be Southeast Asian Meatballs with roasted acorn squash and some of the roasted eggplant from Mr. Batch’s dinners, with wilted chard:

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Southeast Asian Meatballs with roasted acorn squash and some of the roasted eggplant from Mr. Batch’s dinners, with wilted chard

I “put some food up” this week, including a batch of homemade vanilla extract:

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Homemade vanilla extract

And picked apples at Hurd Orchards, a nearby fruit orchard and market, west of Rochester:

With those apples, I made and canned a double-batch of Zuni Cafe‘s Roasted Applesauce:

As the tagline says, “Make a lot. Freeze some. Now go play!”  For play this week, I was on my own — Mr. Batch is busy writing-up some of his research in the hopes of publication, so he is working-working-working. I called on my local girlfriends and spent time with them over fantastic meals, good conversation and lots of laughter. We had a great time at Lovin’ Cup and The Cub Room, respectively:

I’ll close with this beautiful picture of the fresh herbs my good friend brought to our get-together at The Cub Room (where our waiter kept us in stitches!) I count my blessings to be loved by Mr. Batch, to have made some very good local girlfriends, and to have a life that includes such delicious foods!

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Fresh herbs my good friend shared with me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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