Monday, April 23, 2012

Great food from last week.

I have an abundance of veggies in my house at any given time. I have to refrigerators and although one holds countless amounts of water (we live in a desert) and the hubby's passion, beer we also have to use it for the spill over of food. The refrigerator in our kitchen is kind of a dwarf fridge, it came with the rental house we live in, I'm not sure why it's not a normal size fridge. Lately, it's been quite annoying, the size and all. I pack things in then have to take every last piece out to find the one thing I was looking for. If I had my dream fridge it would definitely be a side by side. No more large box for refrigerator and small box for freezer. Too impractical.

The one good part of a small fridge is being forced to use what we have in a timely fashion. And, I've noticed I've become more creative with the vegetables I have on hand. Either the ones I buy from the market or those I get out of the CSA loot. With CSA ever week I never know what I'll be getting until the evening before. It's like Christmas every Tuesday.

When I plan my meals for the week I always include vegetables I just don't always know what we will be eating. I do buy the essentials, avocados, radishes, green onions, mushrooms, onions, garlic, parsley, cilantro, lemons and limes. Those items are generally on my list every week. And, if I don't think the CSA will give enough of an item I may be using I will usually pick up a few extras. They definitely give us a lot of carrots when it's that time of year!!

This past week was full of vegetables! One night we made black bean and rice burritos so to go with I included what we had on had as condiments. Kind of a buffet table to take what you like. The hubby grilled up some Nopales (prickly pear cactus) to enjoy on the side as well. I've never had it outside of candy form and I have to be honest I thought it was awful! Perhaps pickled, as a friend mentioned, would be best. The hubby liked it, he was the only one. I made an easy fresh salsa and we had chips to go along as well. The picture does not show the avocado I sliced up after the picture. No worries, it was not left out!

All those veggies in one place! My burrito was busting at the seams! With all the stuff that fell out of the burrito I crumbled a few chips on top and had a bit of a salad. The beans and rice were super simple as well. I made the rice in my rice cooker while I was out picking up the little one from school. I then cut up some onion and sauteed until translucent, added garlic and heated until fragrant. Add the rice, a can of diced tomatoes and the juices, a can of black beans (drained and rinsed), some jalapeno and seasonings. My "Mexican" type seasonings usually include; chili powder, cumin, coriander, garlic and oregano. Once the rice is made all you really need to do is warm it all up in the pan. It was quite tasty. Then mixed with all those great condiments made it all the better.

On another evening I made a cabbage stew from the website, Fat Free Vegan. I altered the stew a bit, adding black beans instead of great northerns (I bought those but completely forgot) and add a few more seasonings to taste. Wow, such a great stew/soup!! I made our huge Tuesday night salads as well. Really, Tuesday was all about the veggies!! Look at all the color!!

I added avocado as a garnish. Mixed in the soup, it gave it a great creaminess. Very refreshing! If only the little one would eat avocado. Not that I can complain she pretty much eats everything else! :)

A few nights later I asked the hubby to take over for dinner. So, off to start the grill! He made up some chipotle black bean burgers which we absolutely love. They are prepackaged but I have yet to master a black bean burger that will stay together properly. Inside I made up my favorite tater tots (I just can't seem to let go!), green beans, and kale. I simply sauteed the kale in some vegetable broth with garlic. Since I had left overs from burrito night I put those out on the table to see what everyone wanted to use to put on their burgers. On mine, stone ground mustard, a little ketchup, kale, pickles, radish, romaine, and cabbage. Yes, it was difficult to eat, but it was so darn good!!! Kale on a burger, why didn't I think of this before??

That was my week in food! Veggies being the key term. What about you? Anything exciting?

Cheers and happy eating!

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