Butternut Rancheros

Can you believe it? Two new dishes and two back-to-back posts. I know, it’s crazy.

Our CSA items have been dictating our meals, so I needed to find a recipe that would be a great fit for the small butternut squash I received. The first place I looked was the Post Punk Kitchen website, where I found this Butternut Rancheros recipe. And, seriously, it’s one of the best dishes I’ve had in a while. The beans are so flavorful and pair perfectly with the roasted butternut squash.

I did change up a few things. The original recipe calls for cumin and coriander seeds, but I only had ground for both, so I just added it to the onions, jalapenos and garlic instead of roasting first. Also, the recipe calls for blending the onion and tomato sauce mixture before adding the beans, but I just left them whole. And, honestly, my only reasoning was that I didn’t want to have to wash my blender. Call me lazy. And I had some flour tortillas that needed to be eaten, so I threw them on the side, but they’re not necessary.

The dish comes together really fast. While the butternut squash is roasting in the oven (be careful slicing it!!), you can prepare the beans. And it’s really budget-friendly, too, if you have the spices on hand. I’ll definitely be making this dish again.

Enjoy!

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Blackened Tofu with Summer Vegetables

I’ve been eagerly waiting to receive some okra in our CSA box, and finally received some in our last pickup. I’m a big fan of it, though, previously, I had only had it at restaurants, and mostly in fried form. I thought about trying to use it to make an Indian-inspired okra dish, much like the one that we get at our favorite Indian restaurant, Dakshin. But being on a tight budget, I just didn’t have the money to go out and buy the spices necessary to make it. So, I was perusing the Internet when I came across this very simple Roasted Okra recipe on Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. The okra was so delicious cooked this way, and you just pop them in your mouth like french fries.

My husband and I were craving a simple vegetable plate, so I served the okra with sliced heirloom tomatoes, fresh corn on the cob and a side of Chow Chow relish. For our protein, I made the Blackened Tofu recipe from “Appetite for Reduction.” It was the first time I’ve tried it and it was so wonderful, especially with a little bit of the relish on top of it.

The meal was simple to put together, and it’s a great way to use up your summer vegetables.

CSA Week 11

This week’s CSA pickup was another good one. It included a few items that we haven’t had before, such as carrots, tomatoes and a huge bunch of basil. I used the basil to make a delicious walnut pesto, which I served with diced tomato and whole wheat linguine.

The tomatoes and basil also went to one of my summer staples: tomato sandwiches.

I roasted the carrots with last week’s turnips and beets for a light vegetable plate. I’m going to use the beets in this week’s pickup to make the Roasted Yellow Beet Salad with Warm Maple Mustard Dressing from the PPK website.

I hope everyone is doing well. I’m going to be playing around with the site layout and design this week, so bear with me as I fumble my way through the changes.

Minestrone Stew

Despite the unseasonably warm weather (we’re talking highs in the 90’s!), I’ve been on a soup kick. I had planned on making a big pot of basic vegetable soup, but I decided at the last minute to add some kidney beans, kale, and pasta to make it more of a minestrone-inspired soup. And really, it’s pretty thick, so I’d say it’s more of a stew than a soup.

Minestrone Stew

Serves 2 + leftovers for freezing

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
6 carrots, sliced evenly
5 red potatoes, chopped into 1-inch cubes
1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups frozen okra
1 15-ounce can of dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
6 cups vegetable stock (I used 6 cups of water with 6 tsp of Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base)
1 1/2 cup tomato juice
1 1/2 cups rotini pasta
1 small head of kale, chopped into small pieces
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp basil
1 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Add the olive oil to a pan set to medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring to keep the garlic from burning. Add the carrots and potatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, okra, kidney beans, vegetable stock, tomato juice, and spices. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the pasta and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes, then add the kale and cook for another 2 minutes. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!