Tag Archives: vegetarian

The Bountiful Basket

16 Mar

My coworker Kathryn told me about this Bountiful Basket program. You pay around $20 and get a basket of produce. From what I understand they buy the produce (or the majority of it at least) in bulk from (I’m guessing) the same place restaurants do. So mostly Bountiful Baskets is a way to get a great amount of produce for a really good price.

I was a bit hesitant to sign up because I shop for produce when it’s in season and on sale, so I usually get a good deal. Kathryn signed up and reported back that she thought it was a good deal and liked the program, so I figured I should give it a try.

You sign up and pay for your basket on Monday-Tuesday and pick it up Saturday. The cost is $15 plus a fee or two (there’s a first time participant fee and a handling fee). They also offer an organic basket option for a bit more.

FruitsVeggies

You only sign up for weeks you want which is great because it took me about four weeks to use all my produce up, and was out of town for a week. Now I’m back and looking forward to getting another basket.

I got lettuce, bananas, green apples, strawberries, blackberries, leeks, zucchini, cucumber, oranges, grapefruit, broccoli and asparagus. I’d never purchased leeks before, so I had to find a couple of recipes for those.

They do this all over the country, so if it sounds interesting definitely check and see if there’s a pick-up location near you!

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Labor Day Weekend Recipes

4 Sep

My Labor Day Weekend was pretty chill with lots of relaxing, but I did get in quite a bit of cooking. (All photos are from the blogs the recipes came from.)

First I made Skinny Veggie Lasagna from Pinch of Yum. I always find lasagna a bit daunting because I remember my mom slaving over it, and worrying about breaking the lasagna noodles as they came out of the water. This one uses oven ready noodles which are genius (no boiling), so most of the time preparing was spent chopping veggies. I think I used way more veggies than the recipe called for, but it was delicious.

 

The next recipe was Autumn Chicken Stew from Gimme Some Oven. It may have been a tad bit hot outside for stew, but this was so tasty and really got me in the mood for fall and all my favorite soup recipes. Nate was helping chop veggies for this and I went to throw in the apples and he said “Apples?!?” Fruit in a chicken and vegetable stew is a little weird, but I think when he ate it he didn’t mind too much. I will say if you’re not a fan of hot or cooked fruit this one probably isn’t for you.

 

And finally the crockpot whipped up an old favorite, Pioneer Woman’s Drip Beef. We made drip beef tacos with flour tortillas rather than making sandwiches, but as expected they were fantastic.

 

Did you try any new recipes over the long weekend?

garden

2 Jul

The garden got a bit of a late start this year with all the late frosts, so it’s pretty mellow for the most part (peppers, tomatoes, okra, basil, mint, cucumber, watermelon). I did dump a bunch of compost in the garden and some sort of squash plants have sprouted. I’m curious to see what they make.

We’ve picked a few things. The carrots and garlic were actually left over from last summer/fall. There was some lettuce too, but it was really bitter tasting.

DSC_0716 DSC_0719
Last night I pinched off a bit of basil and made a caprese salad. I’m looking forward to the garden tomatoes being ready so the caprese salads are extra tasty.
Caprese

Things in Tortillas

25 Apr

Do you have a food or meal that’s a go-to when you don’t know what to cook or eat? One of mine is things in tortillas. I’ll often throw some chicken in a skillet with some salsa and whatever else I have on hand, and then wrap my skillet contents up in a tortilla.
SkilletDinner
Last night I threw together some black beans, mushrooms, and red bell pepper. Once that was all heated up and cooked a bit I spread some goat cheese on the tortilla and topped it off with some avocado. It’s not always the case when experimenting, but I thought this one turned out pretty tasty.
BlackBeanBurrito
This other tortilla is an old camping dessert favorite from Girl Scouts. I believe the original recipe was called Smackos (probably because they’re lip smacking good!), but someone in my troop misunderstood and we giggled like junior high girls and called them Spankos. It’s basically a dessert quesadilla, and the possibilities are endless (marshmallows, butterscotch chips, bananas…..). Mine has peanut butter, Nutella, apples, coconut, and peanut butter chocolate swirl chips.
DessertQuesidilla

What’s For Lunch?

10 Apr

I blogged about the amazing Monbento lunch box a while back and Nate surprised me with one for Valentine’s Day! I am a big fan of it and use it almost every day. My co-workers will comment on how I always have good lunches, so I thought I’d just share a little of what I’m having. And a few recipes too!

If you Google or search Pinterest for bento you will find some pretty spectacular themed lunches (seriously click the links to Google and Pinterest). My lunches are nowhere near that fancy, but I’ve been having fun making some really tasty ones.

Some of what I’ve read about bento lunches emphasizes small amounts of a variety of foods, so I’ve been trying to include several fruits and veggies in smaller amounts rather than one or two in a larger amount.

PadThaiHomemade Pad Thai with chicken (This was easy and tasty; I can’t wait to make it again.)/almonds/Cadbury Mini Eggs/clementine/pear/string cheese/carrots/cucumber

BlackBeanSpiced Black Bean, Grilled Avocado, and Goat Cheese Taco – turned burrito (I don’t think I’ve posted about this one before, but I’ve made it several times. It’s like a taco from a fancy restaurant.)/steamed carrots/pineapple/mango/edamame/string cheese/pistachios/Cadbury Mini Eggs

QuinoaBroccoli Quinoa Casserole (This was ok, but I probably won’t make it again. I preferred Quinoa in this.)/pineapple/mango/carrots/edamame/string cheese/honey roasted peanuts/Cadbury Mini Eggs/graham cracker

HamEggHam egg and cheese roll up/steamed broccoli/mango/pineapple/carrots/edamame/string cheese/pistachios/graham cracker/Cadbury Mini Eggs

PizzaPineapple and Canadian Bacon pizza/carrots/clementine/pear/cucumber/almonds

PastaPasta with broccoli and cheese/clementine/strawberries/pineapple/mango/spinach salad with pecans, goat cheese, avocado, and olive oil balsamic dressing

Happy Weekend

22 Mar

Do you have any big weekend plans? I’ve got a few things going on and some other exciting tidbits.

Some people get very excited about Easter candy hitting the store shelves. I do enjoy picking up a bag of Starburst jelly beans which you can find this time of year, but this has been the first year I’ve hunted down a specific Easter candy. I discovered Cadbury’s Royal Dark Mini Eggs last year and have been checking shelves for them all month. My dad finally found some in Kansas, and when I went for a visit last weekend I stocked up on a few bags. A friend said she found some at Target in OKC, so I’ll have to check there the day after Easter and see if I find any on clearance. Do you have a favorite Easter candy?

Royal Dark Cadburry Mini Eggs

I purchased my first DSLR camera today! My little point and shoot camera stopped working a while back and I’ve been getting by borrowing from friends when necessary. My Nikon will take a week or so to arrive, and I cannot wait!

Nikon D3100One of my favorite comedians, Jim Gaffigan, is coming to OKC this weekend and we’re going to see him. I think there are still tickets left, so if you need something to do Sunday night it should be a good show!

I am super close to finishing the t-shirt quilt I’m making for my friend Elyse. Eight more seams.

Tshirt Quilt

I’m making Cheesy Zucchini Enchiladas for dinner tonight.

Some friends are getting married this weekend at IAO. I think an art gallery would be a cool venue to get married at, so I’m looking forward to seeing how everything looks, and the fun time celebrating with friends!

Revolve
Source: IAOgallery.org via Flickr

My grandma was telling me about her garden and a book she got, Lasagna Gardening. So I’m going to pick up a copy from the library on the way home for some light weekend reading.

Lasagna Gardening

Have a good one!

I Love Local Restaurants – LOCAL

26 Feb

The weekend after Valentine’s Day Nate took me to LOCAL in Norman for a little Valentine’s dinner. We’d both been wanting to try LOCAL since it opened last year, so we were pretty excited. I think a lot of other people had the same idea as us – to go out not on Valentine’s Day – so there was a little wait before we could be seated. We were in no hurry though, so it wasn’t a problem.

NSLocal

Their seating area is rather large (Nate told me he thinks the space used to be a Furr’s Cafeteria), so it was exciting to see a local spot so busy!

LOCAL is a member of Keep it Local, so once seated we ordered truffle chips which you get for free with your card. They came with three dipping sauces my favorite of which was the ketchupy barbeque sauce.

They do their menu seasonally and focus on foods that are local, sustainable, and in season. The menu was fairly small (1 page) but still managed to cover a wide range of foods from meat loaf to pasta and vegetables. I tend to be a terrible decision maker, so fewer choices are always good for me! Another thing I noticed was that over half the menu items had special markings next to them indicating that they were or could be prepared Vegan, Vegetarian, or Gluten Free. While I don’t keep to a meat or gluten free diet I have several friends that do, so it’s nice to know that LOCAL will gladly prepare meals to their needs. Nate ordered stacked enchiladas, and I asked our waitress if she would recommend the ratatouille or primavera. She said definitely the primavera.

I had intended to take a picture of our plates when they arrived because I knew they would look fantastic. You’ll just have to trust me that they looked so fantastic that we both dug right in, and I completely forgot about taking a picture! Nate’s enchiladas were tasty right down to the pickled onion (who would have thought pickled onion was even a good idea!). My primavera was just as good as our waitress promised. The pasta and pesto combination was topped with green beans, broccoli, mushrooms, egg plant, and probably other vegetables I’m forgetting. My favorite part was that the green beans and broccoli still had just a little crunch left. Just as we were eating our last bites I remembered my plan to take pictures, so  here’s a picture of our two clean plates.

LocalNorman

After dinner we had discussed heading back to the city and stopping by Cuppies and Joe for dessert, but our meals were so good (and I’d just had a cupcake from Cuppies the day before) that we decided to splurge on dessert at LOCAL. Boy was that a good decision! Our waitress recommended the Sticky Toffee Pudding which was a delicious warm bread pudding with crunchy toffee bits. I’m not sure that I’ve ever tried bread pudding before, but that one sold me on it.

BreadPudding

So, after one meal I’m a big fan of LOCAL. The metro has another restaurant or two that do the small seasonal menu focusing on local items, but this one, in my opinion does it right for everyone. It’s reasonably priced, and I think anyone, no matter how unadventurous your taste buds are, could find something to like on the menu. So check out LOCAL! I was just browsing their website and they offer so much more that I didn’t even cover: a kids play/eating area, a market that includes to-go meals, a private gallery/eating area for events.

LOCAL
2262 West Main Street
Norman, OK 73069
Tuesday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

3 Easy Vegetarian Recipes

14 Feb

One of my former roommates Steph requested more recipes on the blog so that she’d have some ideas for things to cook. So here you go Steph! I’ve made all three of these in the past two weeks, and they’re all on my list to make again. All the photos are from the original recipe/site, so click on through!

Zucchini, Black Bean, & Rice Skillet
This one is simple and filling. I just used regular tomatoes rather than the fire roasted tomatoes this one called for, and it definitely could have used a bit of extra flavor. Next time I’ll either add some salsa, Mexican type spices, or Italian spices.

 

Quinoa Black Bean Burrito Bowl
My family made a really good Asian Quinoa salad at Thanksgiving, so ever since I’ve been wanting to try Quinoa in something else. This was delicious, and I love when you can add whatever sounds good to a recipe.

Source: theshiksa.com via Sommer on Pinterest

 

 

Baked Spaghetti Squash
Honestly I like this recipe for her method of baking the squash which doesn’t require pre-cutting it. I stop at the end of step two, throw some cheese over my bowl of squash and call it good. I just baked a 4.5 lb squash last night, so maybe I’ll give step three a try tonight.

Veggie Stew

16 Oct

The weather here for the past few weeks has been fluctuating between not quite fall and near winter temperatures. But despite the too warm or too cold temperatures I’m in an Autumn mindset. This past week I picked up pumpkins, planted pansies, baked apple crisp, and made this veggie stew.

This is my mom’s stew recipe that I’ve been enjoying on chilly evenings for as long as I can remember. It’s simple and easy. I enjoy it as is, but any vegetable or spice you like could easily be added. The recipe calls for beef, but I’ve eaten it plenty of times without – you could even swap beef bullion for vegetable and have a vegetarian stew.

Vegetable Stew

Ingredients
package of beef stew meat
3 beef bullion cubes
potatoes
carrots
onion if on hand
1 can corn, drained
1 can green beans, drained

Directions
1. Brown stew meat in stew pot (don’t drain grease).
2. Add enough water to cover the meat plus a little more and the 3 beef bullion cubes.
3. Simmer the meat for 30 minutes (add more water as necessary).
4. Cut up as many potatoes, carrots and onion as you’d like and add to the pot.
5. Simmer the meat and vegetables until tender (approximately another hour) add water as necessary, but not too much (keep just enough liquid as needed for cooking).
6. Add corn and green beans a few minutes before serving.

Pesto Pizza

13 Aug

I started growing basil last year after my grandma gave me some plants from her out of control basil plant. I didn’t have a plan for it, but I rarely turn down a free plant! We soon realized how easy it was to grow and how easy pesto is to make. I found this pesto recipe and just very slightly adapted it to the one below (mine just leaves out parsley because I never have fresh parsley on hand).

Pesto
Very slightly adapted from Baked Bree

Ingredients
3/4 cup basil leaves
4 garlic cloves
1/3 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese grated
3 Tablespoons pine nuts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil

Directions
Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth.

Off the same blog I got the Pesto recipe from we’ve made this yummy Corn, Pesto and Tomato Pizza several times. This year making the pizza was extra exciting because the basil, garlic, corn, and tomatoes for the recipe all came out of the garden. We also made a second pizza that night with tomatoes and zucchini. So it was pretty close to a garden feast!

It’s been pretty hot lately, so rather than turn on the oven and heat up the kitchen Nate fired up his grill and heated the two pizzas up there. They turned out just perfect!

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