This is my first blog which was inspired by joining The Produce Box, a local community supported agriculture group. With a weekly delivery of fresh produce, I have been challenged to create healthy nightly meals using ingredients I may not have purchased on my own.

Below is a compilation of weekly meals using the produce delivered by The Produce Box as well as some other recipes which have inspired me.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

June 29- July 5 A menu without a Box

This week I did not get a Produce Box.  Although each box was filled with delicious fresh produce, I still have much of the fruit I received last week and couldn't get through my remaining fruit AND the new fruit included in each box.  So I am left to my own devices to come up with this weeks meals.  I will stop off at both DJs Berry Patch's farm stand and the new farm shop in downtown Apex for some of the fresh produce required to make each meal.

Wednesday, June 29- Tonight I am thinking of making Chicken and Tortellini Salad which I found in my June issue of Southern Living.

Chicken and Tortellini Salad
  • 2 (9-oz.) packages refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 cup frozen sweet peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
1. Prepare tortellini according to package directions.
2. Process olive oil and next 4 ingredients in a blender until smooth. Toss olive oil mixture with tortellini, chicken, and next 3 ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fruit! June 22nd

With vacation plans, we knew we wouldn't be able to use up a regular Produce Box before we left.  Luckily, this week the Produce Box offered a delivered fruit box!  Not only can we take the fruit with us, we are planning on making fruit smoothies! A blender, yogurt, honey and our Produce Box fruit (and ice from the ice machine)-can't get much easier than that!

Needless to say we ordered the Fruit Box which consisted of:
  • 2 cantaloupes
  • 3 pints of Blueberries
  • 3 half pints of Blackberries
  • a sample of Fireside Food's Black Jack BBQ sauce

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June 15- June 21

This week's Box contains:
  • 1 pint Blueberries
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Fresh Garlic Bulb
  • 6 ears Sweet Corn
  • Savoy Cabbage
  • Baby Eggplants (3)
  • Greenhouse cucumbers (3)
I also received a second pint of blueberries as a substitution for my cherries which I gave to another customer who was missing theirs while I was delivering last week.  In addition, I added onto my order a bag of sweet onions (6) and 3 half pints of blackberries.

Most of the berries will be used in smoothies, which my girls can't get enough of!  If we have any blueberries left to use, I'll either make my Blueberry Kuchen or throw them into our pancakes one morning.  My husband was thinking of using some of the blackberries for homemade ice cream.

Wednesday, June 15-  It's just us girls tonight and since piano lessons are earlier this evening, I am contemplating take out.  However, should I decide to cook in tonight, I am thinking waffles or pancakes (maybe even with some of our fresh blueberries!).

Thursday, June 16-  I'm going to try my hand at Unstuffed Cabbage as printed in a previous newsletter from a fellow Box recipient and blogger.

Unstuffed Cabbage
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz of any- ground turkey, chicken, or beef
5 cups coarsely shredded cabbage
2- 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill, or 1 tsp dried
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1. Coat large non-stick skillet with non-stick spray. Over medium-high heat, brown meat, breaking up with wooden spoon. Half way through browning, add onion and garlic continue browning meat.  Drain fat.  Add Cabbage; cover and cook 3 minutes, or until wilted.
2. Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 5 minutes to blend flavors. Good with rice.

Friday, June 17-  I will use my baby eggplants to make Eggplant Parmesan.  Since I am sure these eggplants will not yield an abundance of fried eggplants and I have company for dinner tonight, I will also make up some spaghetti and Italian sausage for dinner.  We'll have a garden salad using some of own garden grown tomatoes and sliced bread.

Saturday, June 18-  My In-Laws are in town.  We will be going out to dinner tonight.  Maybe we'll hit Red Robin.

Sunday, June 19-  In honor of Father's Day, we will be having marinated steaks from the Meat House of Cary (one of my husbands favorites) served along with our corn on the cob from our Box.  I will also make up some oven roasted garlic potatoes.

Monday, June 20- Hamburgers and homemade Macaroni Salad will comprise this evening's meal.  I received a few Boxes ago a sample which can be used in ground beef among other uses.  I plan on incorporating the seasoning into the ground beef and form hamburger patties to grill.  I will also make up some homemade macaroni salad using my cherry tomatoes in the salad.

Tuesday, June 21-  Tonight is golf lessons which means eating in shifts for dinner.  I will throw something quick and simple together for the girls along with fruit. At the moment I am a little stumped for dinner for my husband and I .  Maybe I'll find inspiration from this week's newsletter!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

June 8- June 14

This week's Produce Box consists of:
  • 1 quart sweet Red Cherries
  • 1 pint Blueberries
  • 6 ears Sweet Corn
  • Fingerling or Red Potatoes
  • Green Squash Variety (2 lbs)
  • Greenhouse cucumber
I will using the zucchini along with the blueberries from my Box to make up some more Blueberry Zucchini Bread  I made this with only 2 cups of sugar.  I also made it in 2 loaf pans baked for 1 hour and 10 minutes.I will be making some more zucchini blueberry bread.  And blueberry smoothies!
    Wednesday, June 8-  I delivered for the Produce Box today, filling in for one of the area coordinators.  It was a big delivery and HOT!  Tonight I have a school function to attend as well.  I think it will be either be sandwiches accompanied by the fruit in my Box.  Or take out.

    Thursday, June 9- BBQ Pork Sandwiches and corn on the cob is tonight's meal.  I will use my Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker to microwave some boneless pork strips sprinkled with some BBQ seasoning.
    • Brush with oil and rub seasoning onto pork. Place into baker, cover and microwave on HIGH for 6-10 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 150. Remove from microwave, keep it covered for 10 minutes allowing the temperature to rise to 160. Top with Barbecue Sauce and server as main dish, or shred meat and use in sandwiches.
    Barbecue Sauce

    1 cup ketchup
    2 Tbsp Barbecue Rub
    ¼ cup brown sugar
    2 tsp cider or white vinegar
    • Combine ingredients and bring to boil, stir occasionally.
    Friday, June 10-  One of my daughter's will be attending a pizza sleepover, I think this may be an excuse for the rest of us to go out for dinner!
    Saturday, June 11- Grilled Chicken and Peaches tonight.  I hope to stop by DJ's Berry Patch today and pick up some peaches. 

    Grilled Chicken and Peaches
    1 cup  Italian Dressing 
    4 small  boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)
    1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    1/4 cup  molasses
    4 ripe peaches, halved, pitted
    POUR dressing over chicken; cover. Refrigerate 1 hour to marinate. Drain chicken; discard marinade. Mix vinegar and molasses until well blended; brush onto cut sides of peach halves. Set aside.
    PREHEAT greased grill to medium heat. Grill chicken 8 min. on each side or until chicken is cooked through (180°F), adding peaches to the grill for the last 6 min. of the chicken grilling time and turning and brushing peaches occasionally with any remaining vinegar mixture.
    PLACE chicken on serving platter. Cut peaches into slices; spoon over chicken. Drizzle with any remaining vinegar mixture.
    Variation  Prepare as directed, using 4 boneless pork chops, 1/2 inch thick (about 1 lb.). Grill 6 to 7 min. on each side or until chops are cooked through.

    Sunday, June 12-  I never made the Italian Style Fish.  I think tonight that will be dinner.  Italian Style Fish (olive oil, Italian seasonings, minced garlic, diced tomatoes and a splash of fresh lemon juice).  I'll serve it with my Camper Red Potato Packets (sliced red potatoes, dabs of butter, sliced onion or onion powder- grilled until browned and crispy about 30-40 minutes on low heat). 

    Monday, June 13-  I have had a yearning for some homemade Baked Ziti.  So tonight we'll have baked ziti, bread and a green salad.

    Tuesday, June 14-  Mexican tonight!  This is the night when we can't eat as a full family due to golf lessons.  So the girls will have cheese quesidillas and we'll eat steak fajitas later.  I am hoping to use the great fajita steak marinade we found from Alton Brown.

    Saturday, June 4, 2011

    Garlic Red Potatoes

    We decided on grilling steaks Saturday night from the Meat House. YUM!  I prepared the Garlic Red Potatoes printed in the Produce Box newsletter with some modifications.

    Garlic Red Potatoes
    2 lbs. red potatoes quartered
    1/4 cup butter melted
    3 cloved of garlic minced
    dash of salt, basil and Tastfully Simple's Onion Onion
    1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

    Preheat oven 350
    Place potatoes in shallow baking dish
    In a small bowl mix butter, garlic and spices.  Pour over potatoes and toss to coat.
    Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over potatoes.
    Bake covered 30 minutes.  Uncover and continue baking an additional 10 minutes or until golden brown.

    Friday, June 3, 2011

    June 1- June 7

    My family had the unfortunate luck of hosting a visiting stomach bug which swept through our house.  Therefore, of course, much of last week's menu went out the window!  Despite family members dropping like flies to this virus, I was still able to utilize most of my Box.
    Hopefully, this week's Box will also bring complete wellness to my family once again!
    My Box consisted of:
    • 1 quart Strawberries
    • 1 pint Blueberries
    • 1.5 lbs tomatoes
    • Napa Cabbage
    • Yellow Squash  (2 lbs)
    • Red Potatoes
    picture from allrecipes.com
    My menu began yesterday, Thursday, with sauteed squash, zucchini (I picked up Tuesday at the Western Wake Farmer's Market), green onions (from last week's Box) and diced fresh tomatoes served over pasta.  Tonight, my husband and I are going out for a much needed kid free experience. 

    I will using up the rest of the zucchini I bought along with the blueberries from my Box to make up some Blueberry Zucchini Bread  I made this with only 2 cups of sugar and before baking I added a mixture of brown sugar, white sugar and all spice to the tops of the loaves.  I also made it in 2 loaf pans baked for 1 hour and 10 minutes.

    Saturday, June 4- I am thinking of either grilling or using my Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker to make up some Italian Style Fish (olive oil, Italian seasonings, minced garlic, diced tomatoes and a splash of fresh lemon juice).  If I grill I'll serve it with my Camper Red Potato Packets (sliced red potatoes, dabs of butter, sliced onion or onion powder- grilled until browned and crispy about 30-40 minutes on low heat).  I might make the recipe I read in the Produce Box's newseltter, Garlic Red Potatoes. (If I make this version I will post the recipe)
    Sunday, June 5-  Since I didn't make this last week due to illnesses, I plan on making it tonight.  I saw this recipe in my BHG magazine.  I will use the cabbage from my Box to make up the slaw.

    Thai Chicken Tacos

    • 1 lime, halved
    • 1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts or tenders, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1Tbsp. fish sauce
    • 2 tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
    • 1/2 to 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
    • 1/2 to 1 tsp. hot chili sauce (such as Sriracha)
    • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
    • 12 corn tortillas, heated
    • 1 recipe Cabbage Slaw
    1. Juice one lime half (about 1 Tbsp.); cut remaining half in wedges. In bowl stir together chicken, cilantro, shallot, garlic, the 1 Tbsp. lime juice, fish sauce, soy sauce, pepper, and chili sauce. Cover; refrigerate 1 hour. In large skillet cook chicken mixture in hot oil over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked, stirring occasionally.
    2. To serve, layer two tortillas. Top with chicken and Cabbage Slaw. Serve with remaining slaw and lime wedges. Makes 4 (2-taco) servings.

    Cabbage Slaw: In a bowl toss together 2 cups shredded napa cabbage, 1/2 cup shredded carrot, 1/2 cup sliced green onions, 1/3 cup sliced radishes, 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, and 1/4 cup coarsely chopped peanuts (optional). Add 1/4 cup rice vinegar; toss.
    nutrition facts
    • Calories454 Total Fat (g)11 Saturated Fat (g)1, Monounsaturated Fat (g)5, Polyunsaturated Fat (g)4, Cholesterol (mg)66, Sodium (mg)596, Carbohydrate (g)55, Total Sugar (g)4, Fiber (g)9, Protein (g)34, Vitamin C (DV%)54, Calcium (DV%)17,  Iron (DV%)18
    Monday, June 6- Grilled Steak with grilled summer squash (thick sliced and halved drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with Tastefully Simple's Garlic Garlic).  If I don't marinate the steak, then I may sprinkle the grilling seasoning from Tastefully Simple over the beef before grilling.

    Tuesday, June 7-  If it isn't left over night, then I will make fajitas.  Tuesdays are a busy night with our family eating in shifts.  Quesdillas for the girls earlier and a quick easy fajita meal for us later that night.