- Chicken salad wraps and sweet potato - I don't know what made me think of this, but I'm so glad I did. I guess I was feeling sandwich-y without the desire for bread. Does that make any sense? I started out with some chicken (not local), chopped a boiled egg (local), added some chopped green onion (local - back porch), added some chopped mustard green stems (local but I'd better explain this - what do you do with the stems from your greens? These tasted a lot like celery to me, and even better, they were local. So that's why they're in there)... Anyway, there's also a little canola mayonnaise to hold it all together. Then I spooned the chicken salad into the largest of the mustard green leaves and rolled them up like burritos. Voila! A side of sweet potato, stir-fried in some olive oil with just a pinch of salt made the perfect accompaniment. This has definitely made it to the favorites list. Mmmmm!
- Tomatoes and rice - You've seen this one before (well, kinda). I have been simmering some of my local rice with the stewed tomatoes I canned over the summer. But that's not what this is. A friend of mine, who visited the Austin Farmers Market over the weekend, came home with tomatoes just for me (it's been months since I've seen a REAL tomato and I'm still drooling over this dish). With the tomatoes, she also brought tomatillos. I'd never had them before, but they are very popular here in Texas, so what the heck. Let's give them a shot, huh? I dumped 1/2 cup of brown and wild rice into a saucepan, added the leftover stock from steaming green beans on Sunday (instead of water), chopped three tomatoes (skins included), two of the tomatillos, the better part of a yellow onion, lots of fresh basil from the back porch, more of those chopped mustard green stalks, some salt, and a nice drizzle of olive oil (other than the salt and olive oil, this is all local). I allowed it to simmer, stirring it occasionally, for about 75 minutes and talk about mouthwatering! This is one meal I ate very slowly, savoring every bite. And even better, the meal just kept on giving. For the rest of the day, every time I'd walk back into the house I could smell it. Yummy!
- Vegetable soup - In an effort to try to whittle down the volume of veggies in the refrigerator and clear out the older veggies to make way for fresh veggies on Saturday, I made another half pot of soup. I started out with 2 chopped onions, the rest of the tomatillos (about 5 of them cut in half), diced mustard green stalks, and the two smaller italian squash that our neighbors shared with us (not that the 2 smaller squash were anything to laugh at - they're still huge). Everything (all veggies are local so far) went into the pot with some olive oil, salt, pepper, 2 jars of my homemade canned pasta sauce, and enough water to cover. It simmered on the stove for about 1-1/2 hours until the flavors had blended nicely. Then I filled each of my jars (mostly old peanut butter and mayo jars) and allowed it to cool. I can eat these as they are, as soup, or pour one in a pot with some local rice and make a nice vegetable rice dish. Mmm. Either way sounds good to me!
- Zucchini ribbons with pasta sauce - Last, but certainly not least, with those 2 small zucchini in the fridge for almost 2 weeks, it was time to turn those into lunch while they were still fresh. I used a vegetable peeler to make nice long ribbons and tossed them into the frying pan with some tomatillos, onion, mustard green stalks, and a little olive oil. Once all the veggies had softened, I poured a jar of my homemade canned pasta sauce over top and heated it through. Looks good, no? And all ingredients, except for the olive oil are local!
Drooling yet? The best part of all this is that 1) everything was super easy to make and 2) it didn't really take any planning, I just used what was in the fridge. And trust me on this, if I can do it (lazy culinary bum that I am), anyone can do it! Happy (and mindful) eating!