Bone Broth; Roasted Sweet Potatoes; “Frittata;” Quinoa-Lentil Veggie Burgers; Guacamole; Freezer Clean-Out of Leftover Proteins with Potatoes and Veggies; Baked Wild Haddock with Ginger-Lemon Sauce; Sunshine Cake

This week’s cooking included batches of:

I started by making a batch of Bone Broth, using beef bones from McDonald Farm. Each week, in the freezer in a big Ziploc bag, I save what I call “ends-n-nubs,” as pictured below and to the right — that is, mushroom stems, the ends of carrots and onions, parsley stems, etc. I use the “ends-n-nubs” in batches of Bone Broth or Veggie Broth:

While that simmered away, I started a batch of quinoa for Quinoa-Lentil Veggie Burgers, and also boiled some fingerling potatoes on the stovetop. And then loaded up the oven with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, and roasted zucchini and roasted cauliflower, both of which I tossed only with olive oil, salt & pepper:

As those cooked, I cut some brussels sprouts off the stem and simmered those in the same water I cooked the fingerling potatoes in. And I gathered the ingredients for and started cooking the lentils for Quinoa-Lentil Veggie Burgers:

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Asian Pesto to add to Soup, Two Ways; Paleo Korma; Vegan Dhal; Apple Butterscotch Blondies

I absolutely LOVED eating so much delicious food in San Francisco and Portland as I mentioned in my last post … and I absolutely LOVED getting back into the kitchen again this past Sunday!  This week’s cooking included batches of:

(not pictured) I began my cooking session by slicing a block of Trader Joe’s Extra Firm Tofu into thick slabs, and freezing it for a batch of Crispy Baked Tofu.

Next on my list: using my big ol’ wok to cook some vegetables. I started by cooking a batch of broccolini and then rinsed the pan to use again to sauté some sliced baby portobello mushrooms, followed by sautéing some onions. When I was finished sautéing the mushrooms and onions, I added some Asian Pesto (pictured in the upper right corner of the photo with the whole ‘shrooms, below):

I thawed the frozen tofu slices and squeezed excess water from them. I brushed them with sesame oil and sprinkled salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides, and popped them in the oven to roast, using the method in my recipe for Crispy Baked Tofu:

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Frozen-then-thawed tofu slices, squeezing out excess water to make Crispy Baked Tofu

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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:

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Thai Coconut-Lime Dressing over Rice Salad Two Ways; Crispy Baked Tofu; Scotch Eggs; Baked Chicken Thighs; Bleu Cheese Shortbread with Rosemary

This week’s cooking included batches of:

If you make nothing else from this post, make the Thai Coconut-Lime Dressing and put it on something!  As the original recipe claims, it is so good you could drink it straight!!!

I started by prepping a batch of Crispy Baked Tofu.  First step — freezing the slices of tofu:

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Prepping a batch of Crispy Baked Tofu

While those froze, I loaded-up the oven with some Baked Chicken Thighs and a butternut squash to roast:

And then I worked on blanching (very briefly cooking and then cooling) some sugar snap peas, and using the same salted water to cook some Italian flat beans from my friend Lisa’s garden, and then — still using the same salted water! — some broccoli (photo on left). I finished with that same at that point now-uber-salty water by cooking some edamame (perfect, since uber-salty water is needed to penetrate that thick pod to flavor the beans inside!) while I cooked some Boiled Eggs (photo on right):

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Pork Tenderloin Salad with Beets, Hazelnuts & Feta; Mixed Grains with Pesto; Blueberry Crumb Bars

This week’s cooking included batches of:

I began the cooking session with a pan of Roasted Summer Veggies:

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A pan of Roasted Summer Veggies

While those roasted, I simultaneously roasted some beets and some cauliflower florets (raw cauliflower florets not pictured — scroll down to see wonderfully browned, delicious roasted cauli):

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Getting ready to roast some beets, and sauté the beet greens and stems

Once the first pan of Roasted Summer Veggies was out of the oven, there was space to roast my pork tenderloin. This pork tenderloin came from Aberdeen Hill Farm — humanely treated pigs, allowed to graze on pastures free from chemicals, pesticides and herbicides. WHAT a difference in the flavor of the meat versus factory-raised! Directions for roasting the beets and pork tenderloin are within the recipe for Pork Tenderloin Salad with Beets, Hazelnuts & Feta.

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Pork tenderloin from Aberdeen Hill Farm, ready to be roasted

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Roasted Chicken Over Vegetables, Leonor’s Pasta Salad, Pink Lemonade Bars, Tuna Salad

 

This week’s big batches included:

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Wilting Trader Joe’s “Cruciferous Crunch Mix” while prepping veggies for Roasted Chicken Over Vegetables

I started my session of batch cooking by cooking some locally grown broccoli in my big wok. After a quick rinse, I used the same pan to cook a pound of breakfast sausage (my favorite commercially available brand is Bob Evans — no sugar added and all ingredients I recognize), and then leaving some of the fat in my big wok to flavor a bag of Trader Joe’s “Cruciferous Crunch Mix” while it wilted.

While that wilted, I prepped the vegetables that would be used for Roasted Chicken Over Vegetables.

 

Next, I worked on everything else needed for Roasted Chicken Over Vegetables: the Compound Butter and then prepping the bird. This free-range chicken had to forage for its food on the pesticide- and chemical-free pastures of local McDonald Farm. I’m very grateful to have access to their meats!

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Beef Pot Roast (Slow Cooker); Juiciest Baked Chicken Breasts; Tomato & Garlic Cauliflower Rice with Lemon; Fruit Pie Bars

Please forgive my delay in posting — I’m several days late from my usual Sunday posts, so this should have been posted on July 3. I’ve been doing a lot of traveling recently, which I love — it means I have gotten to see people who I adore. Thanks for waiting!  I hope you enjoyed last week’s Reflection titled “Acupuncturing.”

This week’s cooking included a batch of:

 

I began this week’s batch cooking, by baking a “Frittata.” This week’s had Boursin cheese (Soft cheese that has garlic and herbs.  If you’ve never tried it, rundo not walk … to the store and check it out); left-over sweet potatoes; and a bag of wilted & chopped  Trader Joe’s “Power Greens.”

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“Frittata” ingredients of eggs, Boursin cheese, left-over sweet potatoes, and a bag of wilted & chopped Trader Joe’s “Power Greens”

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Tomato Soup with White Beans & Kale; Crispy Baked Tofu 2; Peach Almond Cake

I had a lot of fun writing this week’s “Reflection” called “I have the coolest brother. Period. “Hope you’ll enjoy it, too! He’s a swell guy!

This week I got a break from doing much big batch cooking, as I’m still focused on a freezer clean-out of proteins I’ve cooked in past weeks. This is one of the many benefits of big batch cooking and freezing — some weeks you can eat lefties, which gives you more time to PLAY! So at the end of the post, I’ll include some pix from how I played.

This week, I cooked:

 

I began my cooking session by making a fruit puree to use-up the rest of the peaches, nectarines and  apricots that Mr. Batch and I didn’t eat from last week’s Fruit Snacks. I cut them up, left the skin on, added 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/8 cup of water, and let them simmer on very low heat for about 30 minutes. Once cool, I pureed the fruit into a very thick sauce.

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Fruit Puree of leftover peaches, nectarines and apricots from last week’s Fruit Snacks

 

While that was simmering, I sliced up a different kind of tofu than I’ve used in the past — Trader Joe’s Sprouted Tofu — and froze the slices, to make Crispy Baked Tofu. Once they were thawed and I had pressed them to release excess water, before baking, I brushed them with a flavored oil I had been given, “Tuscan Garden.” Since this is using a different type of Tofu and brushing with a flavored oil, I’ll refer to this as Crispy Baked Tofu 2.

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Ingredients for Crispy Baked Tofu 2

 

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