Prepping ahead goes a long way toward helping you stay on budget and curbing the need for take out under the notion of “I don’t have any thing easy to cook at home.” It’s helpful to always keep a couple of quick cook options stocked in the freezer whether leftovers from a large batch of beans or meat sauce, or pre chopped veggies and seasoning that can be added to your protein of choice. Seasonal vegetables like squash, zucchini and potato can last for several months in the freezer and make an easy breakfast, lunch or dinner meal in a pinch. I’ve added sausage and have also smothered it with onion and garlic to go with chicken. It can also be seasoned a variety of ways to keep things interesting.
A quart size bag makes 2 to 3 servings and a gallon would make roughly 6-8 servings. It’s best to chop and freeze it in your preferred quantity. You can always add bell pepper and/or onion (green, white or yellow) to your mix for added flavor. Personally I prefer a higher ratio of the squash and zucchini to the potato for a higher fiber, lower card ratio.
After thoroughly rinsing the veggies, I chopped roughly a cup to 1 1/4 of squash and zucchini and a 1/2 cup of potato. when adding the onion and bell pepper, add only a cup of the first two veggies to make sure the quart size bag has space.
As some of you may have seen last week, I am attempting to add a videos to support these post. That will be a work in progress :). Please share your thoughts and happy prepping!
There is something to be said about roasted vegetables. Add in some sausage and spice and it’s a win win! Check out this tasty win from today’s demo at the Red Stick Farmers Market!
2 cups large diced eggplant
2 cups large diced squash
2 cups large diced zucchini
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1 cup diced green onion
1 tbsp. olive or avocado oil
1 lb. Italian sausage (optional or sausage of choice)
1 14.5 oz can of tomato sauce
2 1/2 cups of water
1 tbsp. Sunny herb blend (Red Stick Spice) or Italian seasoning
1 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 tsp salt and black pepper
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Rinse vegetables. Cut ends off of zucchini, then cut in half and halve each half. Cut into strips, then dice. Repeat with squash and add to baking sheet.
- Cut ends off eggplant, the cut in half. Cut a half in half horizontally, but only midway through to stabilize it. Slice into strips then dice, repeating with remaining eggplant. Add to baking sheet.
- Coat in oil and mix well. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Rinse and dice bell pepper and onion. In a large pot, brown the sausage with the peppers and onion for 5-7 minutes over medium high heat.
- Once roasted veggies are done, add to the pot, then open and add the can of tomato sauce. Add one and a half cans of water to the pot. Reduce heat.
- Add seasoning, stir well and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
- Enjoy! (Can be served with rice or quinoa).
While I enjoy a nice tuna or salmon fillet, I’ve been itching to try the canned and pouched varieties with an inspired twist. Both varieties of fish are great sources of omega 3s and vitamins such as the B complex, selenium and magnesium which means they are great sources of antioxidants which fight oxidative stress in the body and helps defend the body from chronic disease. Fish is recommended to be consumed at least twice a week to get the best benefits from these powerful sources of nutrients and lean proteins. I started with salmon cakes, as an alternative to the traditional crab cakes and served it on a bed of arugula and mixed kale greens and cucumber from my local farmers market. Of course I was proud to add a few tomatoes from my own back yard. J To top things off I used a little lemon juice and black currant balsamic vinegar, though any preferred variety will work with this dish. Check out the recipe below. Please l note that no salt was used because of the wonderful addition of capers and Kalamata olives in the salmon cakes; however if you are not as fond of them as I am and prefer salt, a small pinch will do. Share your thoughts and enjoy!
1 5oz can of boneless skinless pink salmon
2 tsp capers
5 kalamata olives chopped
2 tbsp. green onion chopped
½ tbsp. flour of choice
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp olive oil
2 cups of salad greens (mixed or preferred choice)
1 cup of sliced cucumber
½ cup tomato
1 tbsp. dressing of choice
1 lemon juiced
- Open and strain liquid from the can. Add to a small bowl.
- Rinse and chop green onion. Chop pitted Kalamata olives. Add both to bowl
- Add capers and pepper to the bowl and the juice of half a lemon. Mix well. Add flour and mix well.
- Add oil to a medium skillet over medium heat.
- While it heats, form two patties and once hot add to oil. Cook for 2 minutes or until it starts to brown then flip and repeat on the other side. Turn off heat. (It may break and if so, the other browned side will help bind the patty back together.)
- Rinse salad greens, cucumber and tomato. Slice cucumber and tomato and add to plates. Add cakes then a drizzle of lemon juice and dressing.
I’ve been exploring gluten free dishes and pastas to better support friends and family with gluten sensitivities. Simple is best and adding great flavor is what makes it great. Pasta is a simple dish that can be dressed up many different ways and for this dish I went Greek with a dash of North African flavor. I was also excited to use some produce from my own backyard. I have been growing sweet peppers, tomatoes and of course fresh herbs such as rosemary and green onion. This was easy to pair with baked chicken that I seasoned two ways (lemon rosemary and garlic and herb) for some variation this week. Check out the recipe below and be sure to share your thoughts.
Gluten Free Pasta Salad
1 cup of dry gluten free elbow pasta
1 cup sliced tomato
1/2 cup sliced sweet peppers
1/4 cup green onion
2 tbsp. harissa
2 tbsp. chopped kalamata olives
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. fresh rosemary
1 tbsp. garlic infused olive oil
- Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil.
- Rinse vegetables and herbs. Slice tomato; cut peppers in half and remove seeds before slicing thinly. Chop rosemary.
- Boil pasta for 8-9 minutes. Chop whole olives or used canned, by straining liquid.
- Once boiled, add to a bowl, then add remaining ingredients.
- Mix well and enjoy.