Saturday, January 17, 2015

MY BOUNTIFUL BASKETS MEAL PLAN 11715



An exciting treasure in this week's basket is WHITE ASPARAGUS!  We're also feeling a bit LEMONY!  There are also plenty of peppers to go around and we haven't seen GREEN BEANS in a while.  We also can't overlook the spaghetti squash, gorgeous little tomatoes or the papaya!  There are some great things to work with this week!

ASPARAGUS


Asparagus comes in a variety of colors including white, violet-green, pink and purple.  
STORING:  If you must store any variety of asparagus, treat it as you would treat a cut flower.  Trim the stems and stand them in a glass with one to two inches of water.  Cover with a plastic bag and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days or until ready to use.
WHITE ASPARAGUS is the high maintenance of all the asparagus sisters and requires much more attentive care.  It also takes much longer to cook than green asparagus.  The first few minutes of this Martha Stewart video shows how to remove the woody exterior of white asparagus, which you'll want to do before cooking.  It also shows how to :  The Proper way to Cook White Asparagus.  And here's another one from the UK, because that's where white asparagus is really appreciated and used often:  How to cook white asparagus in the UK.  I liked their idea of topping the asparagus with hollandaise sauce.  Aren't videos just the best?  I think so.  I also liked this idea of a White Asparagus Vanilla soup. 
SEASONING SUGGESTIONS:
  1. Asparagus with Soy Sauce and Green Onions 
    Asparagus with Sesame Oil and Sesame Seeds 
    Asparagus with Parmesan Cheese
    Asparagus with Lemon Juice 

EAT FOR A WEEK (OR MORE!) WITH BOUNTIFUL BASKETS

We've put together a meal plan, with feeding a family of 4 in mind.  However, these ideas would be great no matter how many you're feeding.  This meal plan uses produce from a Utah basket from Bountiful Baskets and is based on MyPlate recommendations.  We'll also use a few simple ingredients from a well stocked kitchen and minimal additional items from the market.  You can click on each recipe name for the recipe.  Everything shown here was included in the basket contribution - $15 plus a small fee ($2.50).  Everything pictured came from my personal Bountiful Basket.  





MONDAY

Basket Items:  2 lemons, 3/4 lb green beans
Our own mom-of-the-year-level-of-awesome Kristi Strongo suggested this family favorite recipe that always pleases her brood of 8.  Sounds delicious to me!  Best part is it's a one-pot meal.  (Add a grain or bread on the side, such as garlic toast.)

TUESDAY


Basket Items:  1 bundle white asparagus, 2 cups grape tomatoes, 1/2 orange bell pepper, 1 lemon (juice)
Delicious white asparagus with an orzo salad would go perfect with the baked or grilled fish of your choice.  I decided to make the asparagus as an au gratin because everything I read about it online tells me that it is going to need either a lot of fat or a sauce.  First time trying it so Im going to err on the side of safety and have it with a delicious sauce.

WEDNESDAY
Basket Items:  1.5 -3.5 Lemons (for the juice
Growing up with Greek family members and friends, this has always been a favorite of mine.  You can go with the meatless option or one with chicken.  Both are delicious!  Serve with your favorite bread, sandwich or go with the theme and make spinach pies!  Both of these recipes are very simple to make.

THURSDAY
OMELETTES

Basket Items:  1-2 bell peppers, handful of tomatoes, 1 onion, 1 papaya
Follow these simple steps to create delicious omelettes.  Serve with toast and sliced or cubed fresh Papaya.








FRIDAY
PIZZA NIGHT

Basket Items:  1-2 bell peppers, 1 onion, a few tomatoes
Follow these simple steps to create pizza from scratch.  Or, like me you might use the Focaccia pizza rounds from BB (pictured).  I suggest sautéing the onion and pepper a little prior to adding as a pizza topping.  I also would slice a few of the little tomatoes thin and add them last before baking.  What other veggies do you have on hand?  

















SATURDAY

Basket Items:  1 Onion, 1 Bell Pepper, 1.5 celery stalk
With plenty of onion, celery, and peppers in this week's basket - it's almost a no brainer to make a sauce, a soup, or a chili from scratch!  Kristi's recipe is tried and true, or maybe it's time to pull our one of your family recipes!  Perfect on it's own, with cornbread, bread bowls, or fry bread.

SUNDAY

Basket Items:  1 spaghetti squash
Cheesy squash for the win!  You can cook the spaghetti squash in the microwave more quickly, prior to adding it to the other ingredients.  Here's a video that shows you how to cut and microwave it.  This makes a hearty dish.  It would go well with a roasted vegetable or green salad on the side, bread or rice, and any grilled protein if you like.





REMAINING ITEMS


6 oranges
6 apples
1.5 lemons
Plenty of celery
onions
1.5 bell pepper
2 onions

Ideas:
Fresh is best!
Orange Julius
Fresh orange yogurt
Cottage cheese w/oranges
Frozen lemon custard
Apples with peanut butter, hummus, cheese, or any other dip
5-Minute Apple Crisp
Apple Bread or dumplings
Ants on a log
Celery and bell pepper with dip (such as hummus)
French Onion Soup
Stir Fry or Lo Mein
Baked Apples and Sweet Potato
Homemade Stuffing (with celery, onion, and apples)

*As always, look at what you have on hand and make something from there!

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