Community Supported Agriculture = Fresh Summer Meals

On the Menu This Week:

SNACKS

  1. Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies
  2. Not Quite Caprese Salad

DINNERS

  1. Quick Cucumber, Dill, Feta, & Avocado Salad with Grilled Chicken
  2. Corn and Tomato Pizza With Cilantro and Goat Cheese
  3. Sweet Corn With Beets and Basil With Grilled Chicken Sausage
  4. Cilantro Quinoa Turkey Burgers with Balsamic Watermelon Salad
  5. Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Bacon

As I mentioned before, I’m playing with the formatting on We Eat For Real. I like things organized and simplified.

SNACK NOTES:

Zucchini and tomatoes continue to come in each week from my CSA (Lazy Eight Stock Farm).  While they are typcially what you might think of for snacks, they definitely can be…  Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies are fab! They are cake-like and chocolatey. They do not have a zucchiniey [yes, I made up that word] flavor. If your family will freak with flecks of green, peel the zucchini before pureeing. While they lose some nutritional value without the peel, the flesh still packs a nutritional punch. You win some, you lose some!

I dream of Italy, often. So when I have fresh tomatoes and basil (but no Mozzarella), I make Not Quite Caprese Salads. It’s definitely reminiscent of a Caprese Salad and hits the spot on any summer day. It’s great midday snack, lunch item, or dinner side dish too.

DINNER NOTES:

Two meals repeats because the family requested them – Corn and Tomato Pizza with Cilantro and Goat Cheese and Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. These are tried and true winners. I’ve entertained with this pizza several times too.  The pancakes would make a great Sunday brunch menu item. Pancakes for brunches are perfect because you can make several batches and keep them warm in the oven (200 degrees) until guests are ready to eat. The Balsamic Watermelon Salad has been seen on We Eat For Real before but with chicken. This week, it served as a salad to go with burgers. If you haven’t jumped on the watermelon and feta salad train yet…toot toot, get on board! What are you waiting for??

I gotta be honest; I stretched myself and the hubby this week with the Sweet Corn with Beets and Basil recipe. Beets prepared using the boiling method is typically something I bypass and never look back. When I came across this recipe, I thought that the flavor combination of basil and sweet corn could work if I added some goat cheese. I was right, if I do say so myself! This dish was “slammin,” to quote my family when something is delicious. The only reason there were any leftovers was because I made a small container for lunch prior to serving 😉

I’m happy to have found the Cilantro Quinoa Turkey Burger recipe.  Great flavor and with just three ingredients, they are ready in no time. Do these burgers a solid and slather on some mashed avocado. Make it even better with sliced tomatoes and red onions. My seven year old at a one-half of burger with all of the toppings and then asked for the other half. (That rarely happens with burgers). Try them with whole wheat pita pockets for something different too!

Quick Cucumber, Dill, Feta, & Avocado Salad with Grilled Chicken is a great summer dinner option that is ready in a flash. It would be great for a summer dinner party. It’s creamy, tangy, and crunchy flavor and textures are sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Hope something makes your belly smile…

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 Snacks


Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from My Whole Food Life

  • 2 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 2 organic, cage free eggs (alternative: 2 flax eggs)
  • 1 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. sea salt
  • 1/2 c. pure maple syrup (alternative: local honey)
  • 2 t. organic vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c. pureed organic zucchini (1 small zucchini, skin on or off)
  • 1/2 c. clean chopped dark chocolate bar (try: liberty chocolate)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Puree the zucchini in a food processor.  Pour the puree into a strainer to drain while preparing the dough.  In a large bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (eggs, maple syrup, & vanilla).  In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking powder, & sea salt).  Add the zucchini puree  to the wet ingredients (now that it has had a few minutes to drain excess liquid).  Give it one additional stir.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir just until combined.  Add the chocolate chunks and give it one more stir.  Bake the cookies on a stone or baking sheet for approximately 15 minutes.

Tip: These cake-like cookies tend to require a few more minutes than traditional cookies.


Not Quite Caprese Salad

  • 1 organic tomato, sliced
  • 2-3 basil leaves, chopped
  • ½ T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T. balsamic vinegar (alternative: balsamic vinegar reduction – see recipe below)
  • 1 t. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Sea salt/Black Pepper, freshly ground

Directions: Arrange the tomatoes on a plate. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and basil. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt/pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

  • 1 c. balsamic vinegar (cheap balsamic vinegar)
  • 1 T. organic coconut palm sugar (alternative: 4-5 drops of organic stevia)

Directions: In a small saucepan, add the balsamic vinegar and coconut palm sugar. Bring to a low boil and then reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. It will reduce by about one-half and thicken to a maple syrup consistency.


Dinners


Quick Cucumber, Dill, Feta, & Avocado Salad with Grilled Chicken

Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

  • 1 large organic cucumber, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 c. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 T. fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 3 avocados, diced
  • Sea salt and black pepper

Directions: In a large bowl, add the cucumber, feta, and dill. Gently toss the ingredients. Add the avocado to the top, followed by the lemon juice. Gently toss one more time. Enjoy. If not serving immediately, cover and refrigerate.

Serve with grilled organic chicken breasts.

Oops – forgot to take a pic.  Next time…this will be a repeat recipe 🙂


Corn and Tomato Pizza With Cilantro and Goat Cheese

Adapted from Bev Cooks Dough

  • Trader Joe’s premade whole wheat dough, prepared per package directions

Pizza Toppings

  • 2 T. extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2-3 NON GMO sweet corn ears, shucked and kernels removed (alternative: 2 c. frozen NON GMO sweet corn)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small pkg. organic cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 c. organic mozzarella, shredded
  • 2 oz. goat cheese
  • Sea salt/black pepper, freshly ground
  • Tabasco style hot sauce, optional topping (recommended if you omit the jalapeno)

Directions: Preheat the oven to required pizza dough temperature. In a medium/large skillet warmed to medium heat, add the olive oil and onion and jalapeno (if using). Sauté until onions are translucent (about 5-7 minutes). Add the corn and sauté another 5 minutes. The next step happens quickly because you do not want to burn the garlic! Add the garlic, stirring constantly, allow it to cook until for about a minute or until you can really smell it. Immediately squeeze the lemon over the skillet and add the cilantro. Stir in the cherry tomatoes and allow the heat to release their juices (about 5 minutes). Remove from the heat. With the dough on the pizza stone or baking sheet, add a thin layer of mozzarella cheese, followed by the corn mixture. Crumble the goat cheese atop the pizza and add the remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake according to your pizza crust directions. This is amazing – especially with a few drops of hot sauce on each slice!!!


Sweet Corn With Beets and Basil With Grilled Chicken Sausage

Adapted from Martha Stewart

  • 2 ears of organic corn, husked
  • 8 baby beets, trimmed and scrubbed
  • 1-2 T. fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 oz. goat cheese
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions: In a large pot of salted water, boil the corn until cooked (about 4-5 minutes). Remove corn and set aside, retaining the water. Add the beets to water and simmer until soft (about 30 minutes). Remove the beets and allow them to cool slightly. Before peelings the beets, protect your hands with “sandwich bag gloves.” Once the skins are removed, dice the beets and place them in a bowl. Cut the kernels from the cobs, add them to the beets. Gently mix to combine. Top the salad with fresh basil and goat cheese crumbles. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tip: Do not over stir the salad or all will become pink.

Serve with grilled preservative free chicken sausage.


Cilantro Quinoa Turkey Burgers with Balsamic Watermelon Salad

Adapted from Simply Quinoa and Pinch of Yum Cilantro Quinoa Turkey Burgers Burgers:

  • 1 lb. all natural ground turkey
  • 1/4 c. cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 c. chopped cilantro
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Optional Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado, smashed with a bit of salt/pepper
  • 1 organic tomato, sliced
  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
  • Whole wheat buns or whole wheat pita pockets

Directions: In a large bowl, combine the turkey, quinoa, cilantro, and salt/pepper. Form the mixture into 4 or 5 patties, depending on your preferred size. Pan sear 5 to 6 minutes on each side. Assemble sandwiches with buns or pita pockets (our favorite) with your preferred toppings. Tip: The avocado is really not optional as it makes for such a creamy addition to a deliciously juicy burger.

Balsamic Watermelon Salad

Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

  • 1 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T. organic coconut palm sugar (alternative: 4-5 drops of organic stevia)

Salad

  • 4 c. organic baby spinach or other organic greens
  • 2 c. cubed watermelon
  • ½ c. blue cheese crumbles (alternative: Feta cheese)
  • ¼ c. sliced or crushed almonds (alternative: pine nuts)

Directions: In a small saucepan, add the balsamic vinegar and coconut palm sugar. Bring to a low boil and then reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. It will reduce by about one-half and thicken to a maple syrup consistency.

To a large serving bowl, layer the spinach, watermelon, feta, and nuts. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar reduction to taste.

Tip: Strain the cut watermelon while preparing the other salad ingredients to drain some of the excess liquid.


Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Bacon

Adapted from Sugar and Charm Dry Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c. whole white wheat flour
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. sea salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 6 drops or organic, organic liquid stevia (alternatives: ¼ c. honey or pure maple syrup)
  • 1 c. organic milk (ideas: almond milk, cashew milk)
  • 1 organic egg
  • 1 T. organic butter, melted
  • 1 t. organic vanilla extract
  • 1 c.  organic whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • Zest from 2 lemons

Directions: In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.  In a small bowl, stir together the dry ingredients.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  Stir just until combined – do NOT over stir.  Make these pancakes as you would any other pancakes by adding a small amount of clean oil or organic butter to the pan (ideas: coconut oil, olive oil, etc.).  Top with hot, pure maple syrup!

Tip: If you want to take the lemony flavor to the next level, squeeze some lemon juice in the maple syrup before serving!

Serve with preservative free bacon.

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