Winter Meals and Produce Delivery
Yay, winter food!
1. Curried lentils with sweet potatoes and spinach, roasted brown rice pilaf scented with leeks (from Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way). I changed up the lentil recipe a little bit based on what we had on hand, using lemon instead of lime and spinach from our garden instead of chard. The lentils were good--very flavorful. The pilaf was fluffy with a nice buttery flavor. A good relatively healthy meal.
2. We bought Dungeness crab for the second time in a week (gotta take advantage of crab season!). This time it was a whole cooked crab from the friendly fisherpeople at the Menlo Park farmers' market. I removed the meat from the crab one night (based on these instructions), made crab cakes and tartar sauce the next night, and made crab cake sandwiches (with roasted root vegetables) on the final night.
The crab cake and tartar sauce recipes were from our newly acquired Jimtown Store Cookbook (similar recipe here), and we were very happy with how they turned out. I used green onions instead of yellow onions, and I used original Puffins cereal instead of cornflakes because Trader Joe's didn't have any cornflakes. The substitutions worked just fine. For the sandwiches, I spread tartar sauce on cracked wheat sourdough rolls (from Trader Joe's) and topped with a crab cake and some arugula. Yum! It took a lot of prep work, but it was worth the effort.
3. We had a large butternut squash hanging out in the kitchen, so Patrick made Tracy's coconut-ginger butternut squash soup, and we ate it with sourdough rolls and orange and arugula salad. I was a little generous with the feta in the salad (I doubt Cooking Light would approve), which made it better. The salad wasn't worth making again, but it wasn't bad. Once again, the soup seemed to improve after sitting overnight.
4. Patrick and I both enjoyed our most recent meal, classic baked chicken, braised leeks with bacon and thyme (from Molly Stevens' All About Braising), quick-cooked collard greens with garlic and red pepper flakes (using a little bacon fat instead of the olive oil), and sweet sweet potatoes. The chicken was tasty and easy to make, the greens and sweet potatoes were yummy as always, and the leeks were silky and bacony delicious (Patrick was less effusive about them; he declared them "fine").
We have been alternating between weekly produce deliveries from Organic Express and Planet Organics, trying to figure out which service we like more. I want to like Planet Organics better, because they seem more locally focused (with more information on where the produce is coming from), and they have a wider range of exciting non-produce items to choose from (I'm very much looking forward to getting some Wooly Berkshire Shoulder Bacon as part of our delivery tomorrow!). However, both services seem hit-or-miss when it comes to produce quality. I guess that's just the way things are; they can't predict whether apples will be duds or not. Yeah, I think it's time to end our relationship with Organic Express and become full-time Planet Organics customers.