Patty Pan Pasta Primavera
As I've mentioned before, I'm not a big pasta eater which works out great for me since its rare to find locally made pasta. BUT, I love pasta sauce. Go figure. Thankfully, I figured out how to get creative with pasta alternatives like spaghetti squash (winter squash) and squash ribbons (made from any summer squash).
Squash ribbons are easy. Just take a vegetable peeler (I use the skins too, but you can discard this part if you prefer) and make nice long ribbons with your squash (here I used patty pan because it's what I had in the fridge). Stop making ribbons when you get down to the seeds, then start peeling another section. When all you have left is a block of squash with seeds, you're ready to cook the "pasta" ribbons. Sauté them up in a little olive oil until they're translucent and set them aside.
Now, for the primavera. Cut up the rest of the squash (the seed part) into bite sized chunks. I also chopped up a couple medium size eggplant, some green onion, and some red and green bell peppers. Sauté these in olive oil as well as a little salt until the veggies have softened. Then add your favorite pasta sauce (I used 1/2 pint of my homemade sauce) to heat through.
Top your squash ribbons with the pasta sauce (and if you're not a vegan, be sure to sprinkle a little cheese) and enjoy! In fact, enjoy it even more knowing that everything (but the salt) came from the backyard garden or the farmers' market. Now, THAT's good eating!
Rice and Veggie Casserole
Would you believe that this dish finished off the cabbage soup from last February? Perfect really, as I have cabbage growing in the garden which will be ready to harvest in just a couple months. Talk about coming around full circle.
Well, this is another example of my oh-so-easy Rice and Veggie Casserole. Basically, I take the entire quart of soup and pour it into a sauce pan with 1 cup of rice (local from Houston area). Bring the soup to a boil and then lower the temperature to simmer, allowing the rice to cook through (about 45 minutes).
In the meantime, chop up your veggies (I used sweet potatoes, green bell peppers, and green onions - all from the backyard garden) and sauté them in olive oil with a dash of salt to heighten the flavors. When the veggies start to soften, turn off the heat and leave them covered to finish the cooking while you wait for the rice and soup to thicken.
Once the rice is ready, mix the sauteed veggies with the rice/soup mix and you're ready to go! A super easy, completely delicious, all local stove-top casserole.
Even after the Patty Pan Pasta Primavera, I was swimming in eggplant and patty pan squash, so a stir-fry was in order.
First, I chopped and sauteed green onion, green and red bell peppers, eggplant, and a couple of the patty pan squash in olive oil and salt (all from the backyard garden and farmers' market - except the salt, of course). Once the veggies were cooked through, I added just a bit (maybe a couple tablespoons) of the leftover jar of pasta sauce from making the primavera (just enough to coat and add that tomato flavor).
Then, just spoon it over some local brown rice and you have yourself a very filling meal (3 meals, actually).
So that's what made it from the market (or my backyard) to my table this week. What wonderful local goodies hit your table?
Happy (and mindful) eating!