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!

 

Zucchini w/ Rice April 4, 2011

Filed under: Dinner,Poutlry,Vegetable — theboxexperiment @ 7:53 pm
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Tonight’s dinner was fantastic and simple. More importantly made in 25 minutes!!! We’ve been getting slower about cooking, making us eat later and later. After having dinner at 8 one night, we agreed that we needed to eat at an earlier time so we could get some decent night’s sleep.

For the grilled chicken: coat the chicken in a bit of olive oil and use whatever chicken seasoning you like. We use McCormick Montreal Chicken Seasoning, one of the best pre-made ones we’ve found. Then grill till cooked (~15 mins for 1 chicken breast).

On to the main recipe: zucchini w/ rice. Inspired by the 2 zucchini from last weeks box.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 2 zucchini peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 tbls olive oil
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 1 can tomato paste (a little one)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 c. chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (opt.)
  • 1 tsp onion powder (opt.)
  • 1 tsp dried basil (opt.)

Steps:

  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet.
  2. Add the garlic and zucchini.
  3. Saute until soft (~15 mins.)
  4. Once soft add tomato paste, water, onion.
  5. Saute until the tomato paste and water combine.
  6. Add the other seasons, mix till joined.
  7. Add in rice. (We used less than 1 c.–closer to 2/3 of a cup)
  8. Serve and Enjoy.

The seasonings are not yet perfect. Tomato paste has a very strong flavor: salt, onion, garlic, and basil did a pretty good job improving it. Feel free to tweak, if you find something that works well, let me know!!

 

Chicken Thai Basil Rice January 26, 2011

Filed under: Dessert,Poutlry,Vegetable — theboxexperiment @ 2:05 am
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JEM and I really enjoy Thai food, so for his birthday last year I bought him a wok, a Thai cook book, and an Indian cookbook. We haven’t tried many of the recipes yet, though many have been dog eared and we want to try them. One of the recipes in the Thai book is a favorite of mine, and a dish I order whenever we are out at a Thai restaurant: Chicken Thai Basil Rice.

This dish can easily be more vegetarian by omitting the chicken and adding in more vegetables. It does call for fish sauce, so it might be difficult for a purist but I assume a substitute can be found. We generally do add in more vegetables, namely slices of red and green pepper and chopped carrots. Tonight we were going for simplicity and omitted them.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbls vegetable oil (the recipe calls for 3 tbls and we typically use no more than 1 tbls)
  • 1 tbl coarsely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 red or yellow onion thinly sliced or roughly chopped
  • 1/2 red and/or green bell peppers
  • 5-15 baby carrots (we throw in some random amount every time)
  • ~1 lb boneless chicken, either ground or cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 tbls fish sauce
  • 1 tbls dark soy sauce or soy sauce
  • 2 tbls water
  • 2 tsps sugar
  • 1/2 – 1 coarsely chopped hot green chilies (we typically use a Thai chili or a Serrano)
  • 1 c fresh basil (Asian basil or Italian basil)

Steps:

  1. Heat the oil in a wok (a deep skillet would also work) over medium-high heat and then add the garlic, onions, and carrots.
  2. Toss well and when they begin smelling awesome add the chicken.
  3. Toss well to help the meat brown evenly (and/or to break up big chunks of ground chicken.
  4. Add the bell peppers, fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar.
  5. Cook 2-4 minutes, tossing until the meat is cooked and the seasonings form a thin, smooth sauce.
  6. Add the chilies, basil, and toss well.

JEM likes to mix his rice and chicken basil separately, so his was dished first. He also likes to have cilantro on the top of it.

I like to have my rice and the mixture tossed together in the pan. I’ve convinced myself that the in the few minute the rice and sauce together really help the flavor.

Recipe: Quick & Easy Thai by Nancie McDermott