This week required very little cooking, in anticipation of a lot of freezer and pantry clean-out. I LOVE having leftovers in the freezer for weeks such as these! It’s just so nice to have “lefties” to thaw, and to have a lighter cooking load! For Mr. Batch, I will incorporate Melissa Joulwan‘s technique that she outlines in her first cookbook Well-Fed of having one protein, enjoyed with different sauces and condiments to keep things interesting. This week’s cooking only included batches of:
Yet, we will eat like royalty! Here’s what I did:
(not pictured) The night before, I soaked 1 pound of cannellini beans in a large bowl with lots of water.
The next day, I started by salting 10 pounds of green tomatoes that my friend Hiram gave me, to make green tomato pickles 2 ways. The salting takes 6 hours, so I set those bowls of tomatoes & veggies aside. I adapted a recipe for Green Tomato Pickles (on the left below) and then made the recipe from Kevin West’s Saving the Season (the middle and right pictures below), which is really more like a relish:
Next, I prepped an acorn squash and a kobacha squash for roasting. These also came from my friend Hiram’s garden — Mr. Batch and I are lucky to be the recipients of his extra produce! I salted the cavities of the squashes, added some water (about 1 cup) to the bottom of the roasting pan, covered the pan with foil, and roasted them at 400 degrees F for approximately 30-45 minutes (until a fork inserted into the flesh easily, and the flesh looked translucent). While they roasted, I also roasted the seeds. I tossed the seeds with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and roasted them for 5 minutes in the same 400-degree F oven; then stirred and roasted for another 5 minutes, and repeated until they were toasty brown (about 15 mins total).
While the squash and seeds roasted, I boiled some potatoes on the stovetop:
(not pictured) Once they were done, since the potatoes had imparted very little flavor to the cooking liquid, I used the same salted water to cook some romano beans and then some broccoli.
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After a quick rinse, I used the same pan to sauté some sliced baby portobello mushrooms:
(not pictured) I used some of the sautéed mushrooms + some previously frozen, thawed-and-squeezed-of-excess-water chopped spinach + browned breakfast sausage to make this week’s “Frittata.” Once the squashes and squash seeds were out of the oven, I lowered the temp to 350 degrees F and baked the “Frittata.”
I finally had space on my counter top to set-up my slow cooker, so I started the batch of Slow Cooker White Beans:
Next, I worked on our Fruit Snacks for this week: local cantaloupe from Fisher Hill Farm along with the rest of the black grapes from last week. One reason I love buying grapes in bulk from Costco is their long shelf-life:
Then I prepped our Veggie Snacks for this week: cabbage & red bell pepper from Fisher Hill Farm and tomatoes and cucumbers from the Lovely Lisa’s garden. Each morning, I’ll add a spoonful of Vinaigrette with Fresh Herbs to the Veggie Snack container and shake-shake-shake to distribute:
Next, I whipped-out a quick batch of Guacamole:
And then put a batch of Israeli Cous Cous on the stovetop to cook. I quickly toasted the cous cous in about 2 teaspoons of olive oil and constantly stirred it until it was bronze, before adding the water:
(not pictured) I opened a can of coconut cream whose expiration date was fast approaching and mixed a little with some tahini, lemon juice, minced garlic, and some leftover minced cilantro & jalepeno from making the Guacamole above — then adjusted the seasoning with salt. I didn’t measure — my apologies — but made a sauce for Mr. Batch’s dinners. In the picture at the top of this post, you can see the little dish of white sauce near the Guacamole.
Time to prep our meals for the week. My lunches and dinners will be Freezer Clean-Out of Proteins with Starches and Veggies, using up leftover Nom Nom Paleo’s Kalua Pig (09/14/16 post); leftover Roasted Chicken over Vegetables (09/21/16 post) and leftover browned ground lamb and ground beef (09/21/16) post, to be enjoyed with the potatoes, roasted squashes, broccoli and Veggie Snacks from above:
His dinners will be Slow Cooker White Beans & Israeli Cous Cous with Various Condiments — one night will be with sautéed mushrooms; and then I will alternate two nights with Guacamole for a Mexican flare and two nights with the coconut-tahini-lemon sauce (not pictured). These will be served over the roasted squashes, and with broccoli and romano beans from the Lovely Lisa’s garden:
I finished by baking 2 loaves of Smitten Kitchen’s Coconut Bread (inspired by the intent to use-up the rest of that can of coconut cream):
After cleaning-up and a bit of a break, it was finally time to finish the Green Tomato Pickles:
As the tagline says, “Make a lot. Freeze Some. Now go play!” For this week’s fun, Mr. Batch and I headed to apple country (a 15-minute drive east of Rochester) to buy some decorations for an Autumnal display around our home. While in apple country, we stopped at Blue Toad Hard Cider for the “Toadal Tasting” (har har) of hard cider — delicious! And our friends invited us to dinner at the Rochester Yacht Club, so we saw a new-to-us part of Rochester with spectacular views of Lake Ontario!