theboxexperiment

Attempting to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Farmer’s Market and Surprise Box June 15, 2011

Filed under: Box,Vegetable — theboxexperiment @ 8:16 pm
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We went to the farmer’s market again last Saturday. As we get further into summer there are more stands and more shoppers at the farmers market. There are big sellers (one stop produce shops with the longest lines), your small sellers (just a few items and no line), meat, cheese (run by an Amish family), bakeries, plants, and a lettuce speciality stand. I always want to buy things from everyone…and want to buy much more than we actually need. This past Sunday I kept myself in check and only grabbed 2 zucchini (forgetting we had 1 zucchini at home) and 2 lovely tomatoes for a very reasonable $4.92. I had to pull myself away from the strawberries and from the asparagus we had both at home already but fresh strawberries taste so much better and the asparagus at the farmers market was nice and thick (perfect for grilling) unlike the stringy asparagus we had from Teeter (which when cooked did not taste very good).

Tuesday we came home to a surprise box! I went onto WGG a while ago and like I told everyone, canceled several weeks of boxes, unbeknownst to us- we caught up and got a box.In the box: butter lettuce, green beans, eggplant, 2 more zucchini (we recently made Zucchini and Rice using 2 of them), a green bell pepper, bananas, peaches, nectarines, blueberries, and blackberries. I need to admit I ADORE peaches, nectarines, and plums so I was quite excited. I also love blueberries and blackberries so this box was very welcome. If it had apples, oranges, bananas, and mangos I’m not sure what we would’ve done. We definitely need a time out from those.

Apologies for the lack of recipes- we haven’t made much new stuff recently just revisited some old favorites. Monday we made the Zucchini w/Rice and tonight we reheated the leftovers. I was going to use it as the filling of stuffed red bell peppers but the peppers we not stuffable ( too skinny and would not have sat flat). So I halved the bells, drizzled them w/ evoo, salt and peppered and baked them at 350* for 15 mins then 400* for 5 mins until they were tender. The combination was fantastic!

Tomorrow we’ll be doing a new creamy pasta and eggplant dish that I will definitely post for you!

 

Potato Salad May 29, 2011

Filed under: Dinner,Lunch,Snack,Vegetable — theboxexperiment @ 11:13 am
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It’s officially summertime and with summer comes barbecues, picnics, and hot weather. That can only mean grilling and cold salads. I made our first batch of potato salad yesterday and it turned out pretty well. I never remember what I put into it, so I’m here to share with you (and give myself a permanent record!).

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs of potatoes (red, white, yukon…)
  • 1/4 cup of mayo
  • 1 tsp of dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/4 yellow or red onion or scallions
When I made this I was using 5 lbs of potatoes, so the proportions might be slightly off.
Steps
  1. Wash and cut potatoes into similar sized pieces.
  2. Put in a pot and fill with water until the potatoes are just covered.
  3. Bring potatoes to a boil, once boiling lower the temperature till its lightly boiling. Keep on heat for ~15 mins, until potatoes are tender but not mushy. (If you stick a knife, it should go in and slide off easily.)
  4. Drain and fill pot with cold water. Let sit for a few minutes, drain and rinse with cold water again.
  5. While the potatoes are boiling, chop the pepper and onion into small pieces. (Onion to add flavor so you can omit if you don’t like it, peppers to add color and flavor)
  6. Mix the mayo and dijon mustard.
  7. Once the potatoes are slightly cool, mix the potatoes, peppers, onion, and mayo/dijon mixture together until the potatoes are coated.
  8. Salt and pepper to taste.
  9. At this point you can serve immediately or you can store in the fridge for up to a day. (Making this a great make ahead dish!)
  10. Enjoy!!
 

Fire Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Chili February 24, 2011

Filed under: Dinner,Meat,Vegetable — theboxexperiment @ 9:52 pm
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JEM and I  both got home early tonight but started right in on doing lots of back up work. We decided to whip up a yummy fire roasted  tomato and red pepper chili. It was a first but definitely has been added to list of family recipes.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, quartered and de-seeded
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 Roma tomatoes, halved (Or 1 14-oz cans fire-roasted tomatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 spice y sausages, remove skin
  • 1 13.5-oz can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 8oz can tomato paste

Seasoning

  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar

Garnish

  • Sour Cream
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Cilantro

Steps

  1. Cut the Roma’s in half
  2. Quarter and de-seed the red pepper
  3. Place cut tomatoes and red peppers (on tin foil) on baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle EVOO on all veggies.
  5. Place under broiler until blackened.
  6. In a large chili pot, add tomatoes, beans, onion and pepper.
  7. Cook on medium-high heat for 5 mins (until the onion is translucent and the beans are tender).
  8. Add sausage (preferably de-cased), tomato paste, garlic and spices.
  9. Simmer until the meat is cooked (**This turns out very thick, so we added ~1 c. water to get the consistency to where we like it)
  10. Enjoy!!

 

Fire Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Chili February 19, 2011

Filed under: Dinner — theboxexperiment @ 1:42 pm
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Sometimes you want some food that comforts the soul and sometimes you need to feed a lot of people. Sometimes you need to do both that’s when you should turn to homemade macaroni and cheese. JEM and I spent the weekend in Hanover, NH with JEM’s parents, Skidmore friends, and my sister, MAW. The first night everyone arrived was a bit hectic: we had to go grocery shopping, help clean and prep the house for guests, and somehow coordinate dinner for up to 10 people without knowing when everyone’s timing. So we went with mac cheese: yummy, filling, and easy to reheat for the stragglers. JEM’s mom passed the recipe on to us and I’ve given it over to my family. It is the best mac cheese recipe I’ve ever found.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs margarine
  • 1/2 cup unsifted flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 5 cups milk
  • 2 blocks (4 cups)
  • 16 oz macaroni cooked 6 min, drained
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • Add onion to taste
  • Steps

    1. In saucepan melt margarine over low heat.
    2. Stir in flour, salt, mustard, and pepper until smooth.
    3. Remove from heat.
    4. Gradually stir in milk until smooth.
    5. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat about 12 minutes or until thickened.
    6. Remove from heat.
    7. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of the cheese until melted.
    8. Turn macaroni into greased casserole dish (9″ x 13″).
    9. Pour cheese mixture over macaroni; mix well.
    10. Mix remaining cheese and bread crumbs; sprinkle over casserole. (If you like color, you can also sprinkle a little paprika over the top and it really doesn’t affect the taste.)
    11. Bake 375 oven 25 minutes or until topping is lightly browned. (We end up broiling ours for the last few minutes to give it a nice golden color.)
    12. Bon Appetit!
     

    Stuffed Bell Peppers February 13, 2011

    Filed under: Dinner,Meat,Vegetable — theboxexperiment @ 8:29 pm
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    Both JEM and I enjoy holidays devoted to love, we both like the idea of a day to show each other, above the norm, how much you love them. But we are in no way attached to date itself.  So we’ve decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day, or at least the “fancy” dinner part of it, a night early. We’re celebrating with some nice red wine (Imagine by Gadino Cellars) from a local Virginia winery. We go to a wine and polo festival in The Plains every year and found this red that I liked, a rare event (we also found a white that JEM likes, also rare).

    Along with the fancy red wine, and perhaps champagne if things get really crazy for a Sunday night, we’ll be having Stuffed Bell Peppers. They are a fantastically easy complete meal.

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 c. of cooked rice
    • 1/2 lb of hamburger or meatloaf mix
    • 1/4 of a yellow onion
    • oregano
    • garlic powder
    • onion powder
    • basil
    • salt
    • pepper
    • 2 good-sized bell peppers that will stand up on their own (you can also slice little slivers off the base so they’ll stand flat)
    • Italian-y cheese of choice
    • Tomato Sauce

    Steps

    1. Prep rice following the directions on package
    2. Heat a skillet, add the onion and hamburger
    3. Season with the spices to taste (probably somewhere between 1/2-1 tsp of each)
    4. Cook the hamburger and onion till the hamburger is brown
    5. Once both have cooked, mix the hamburger mix, the rice, and ~1/3 c. of pasta sauce
    6. Cut the tops off the bells, remove seeds and the ribs. Save the tops (or “hats”)
    7. Pour ~1/2 c. of pasta sauce on the bottom of a baking dish
    8. Fill the peppers with the rice hamburger mix
    9. Place the peppers in the baking dish. Top the peppers with their hats.
    10. Cook for 20-30 mins.
    11. Remove hats, add cheese and cook for an extra 5 mins or until golden brown (after 5 mins our cheese had melted but there was no goldening, so we broiled them for about 2 mins–highly recommended, just keep a close eye!)
    12. Let sit for a few minutes.
    13. Mangia!

    Could easily be made into a vegetarian dish by replacing the meat with eggplant/zucchini/tofu.