August 16, 2013

Week 32 - Easy Eats and Local Treats

Printable Version of Meal Plan

Last Saturday we took the ferry to Halifax for brunch at Stayner's Wharf (nice patio, great food!) and as we were passing through the Alderney Farmers Market we picked up much of the produce we used this week (including kale, zucchini, tomatoes and carrots).  On Sunday we fit in our annual trip to Between the Bushes, a blueberry u-pick in Canning, NS and on the way home popped into Tangled Garden for a jar of Ginger Lime Thyme Jelly.  It all resulted in some pretty good eats this week.  Have I mentioned how much I love summer in Nova Scotia?!

I'm sticking to the same format I used last week... thought is was more to the point and I feel I have a lot to say about the food this week so "to the point" is probably a good thing!

Let's talk about the food...

First - Snacks!  Tuesday evening was cool here so I took advantage and got baking.  I put my fresh blueberries to good use in these Blueberry Spelt Muffins (recipe from The Athlete's Plate).  This was my first time using spelt flour and I was really impressed with the outcome.  They came out perfectly moist and not too sweet. 

Blueberry Spelt Muffins

I also made a batch of Whole Wheat Cheddar Crackers (recipe from Weelicious).  Haven't made these in awhile and we were all a tad excited when they came out of the oven!

Whole Wheat Cheddar Crackers

Toast w/ Butter, Maple Syrup and Blueberries - I don't usually talk about breakfast (well except for hounding you to try Overnight Oats!) but this is one of my summer favorites so I had to mention it.  I'm a toast girl... prior to this year I probably had toast, with either peanut butter or jam and cheese, nine mornings out of ten.  But come summer when I have fresh blueberries and in-season juicy peaches I like to switch it up.  Toast, butter, blueberries or sliced peaches and optionally a drizzle of maple syrup.  mmm. mmm. mmm.

Cheese and TVP Quesadillas - Quesadillas are a go-to packable lunch that I've mentioned before but this time I opted to add a little TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) which is a bit different for me.  I rehydrated the TVP and then browned it with Mexican Spice Blend, using it as you would ground beef.  This is really the only way I've ever used TVP - as a ground beef substitute in quesadillas or nachos.  Just can't seem to get on board with it.  What am I missing?

Grilled Pesto Salmon Packets w/ Roasted Potatoes and Kale Chips - So I totally enjoyed this meal.  I had made the pesto the night before - first time ever, but now I know how ridiculously easy it is so it probably won't be the last!  In fact this whole meal was ridiculously easy and required almost no cleanup.  Bonus!  I coated the inside of each piece of foil with olive oil and then layered carrots, peppers, cherry tomatoes and sugar snap peas.  On top of the veggies I placed a piece of salmon (boneless skinless) and topped that with a spoonful of pesto and a squeeze of lemon juice.  In a separate foil pack I had mini potatoes halved and coated with olive oil, salt and pepper.  While all that was grilling I made a batch of Kale Chips (recipe from 100 Days of Real Food).  It had been a long time since we had a batch of 'green chippies' and Marin devoured them.  Dave liked supper but wasn't as enthusiastic as I was... I don't know, maybe it was just that cleanup only required putting our plates in the dishwasher and throwing away the foil, but I thought this meal was pretty awesome.

Quinoa Feta Patties and Kale Salad - I was loving this lunch too!  I like to turn pretty much anything into a patty these days.  Remember I did whole week themed Patty Cake??!!  I'm at the point that I rarely follow a recipe - just use whatever grain, legume, ground meat or fish I have on hand... throw in a couple of eggs, spices, cheese, breadcrumbs and then shape them into patties and fry them up.  This week was Quinoa with Oregano and Feta and they were delicious.  If you want to follow a recipe I've linked one from Marin Mama Cooks and while you're there you can also grab the recipe for Kale Salad... which I'm pretty sure I'm now addicted to.

Pork Chops with Roasted Vegetables - Another easy one.  Preheat the oven to 425.  Put the pork chops in one baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Chop a variety of veggies (I used sweet potato, carrots, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes) and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper in a second baking dish.  Bake until done... I find the veggies will take longer so get them started first.  But what took this meal from 'ok' to 'wow!' was my Tangled Garden Ginger Lime Thyme Jelly.  I spread a little on the chops for the last few minutes of cooking and then had another little spoonful for dipping.  I could actually skip the chops and the veggies and just have the jelly.

Ravioli with Cherry Tomatoes -  Again, easy peasy!  I picked up some fresh Spinach and Cheese Ravioli at Costco which takes no time to cook.  While the water was boiling I heated some olive oil in frying pan, added some minced garlic and cherry tomatoes and tossed them around until the tomatoes started to burst.  I added the cooked, drained pasta to the pan to coat it with the tomatoes and oil and that's it!  I wasn't sure if it would dry out or reheat well for lunch but it was fine!

Summer Squash Strata -- This was another meal that I was enthusiastic about but Dave and Marin not so much.  Dave liked it but felt it was more of a breakfast dish... fair enough.   I made some substitutions... 
  • Grape Tomatoes instead of Beefsteak Tomatoes
  • English Muffins instead of French Bread
  • Dried Thyme instead of Fresh
  • Old Cheddar instead of White Cheddar

Summer Squash Strata

Plum and Oregano Chicken Kababs, with Roasted Potatoes and Carrots - Dave was happy to fire up the grill again.  I actually used boneless skinless chicken breasts and had read a review that said the plums got overcooked and mushy on the skewers so I just placed the chicken and plums on the grill separately.  I did the potatoes and carrots in separate foil packs.  This chicken was super easy and nothing fancy but turned out really good.  We could have skipped the plums but overall this meal was a hit.

Gourmet Grilled Cheese - My niece Bailey is the "Gourmet Grilled Cheese Queen".... no Kraft Singles for that girl!  I think she'd approve of the Ginger Lime Thyme Jelly with Old Cheddar combination.  However, Dave had a hankering for nachos so we had nachos tonight and I'm saving the grilled cheese for Sunday night.  We're off for a weekend getaway with friends so an easy supper on Sunday will be perfect!

Happy Weekend Everyone!  Hope you're all getting out to enjoy some of your own local flavors!


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