Sunday, January 25, 2015

MY BOUNTIFUL BASKETS MEAL PLAN 12415

This week we were thrilled to find in our basket:  

 Napa Cabbage  CAULIFLOWER Corn Tomatoes YOUNG THAI COCONUT  blood oranges and lots more. 

THE POWER OF CAULIFLOWER

At just 27 calories per cup and packing high levels of potassium and Vitamin C, Cauliflower is a nutritional super star.  For tips on cutting, storing, and cooking with cauliflower, check this out:  Guide to Cauliflower.  Cauliflower has rapidly become one of the most versatile vegetables.  I've seen it used to replace anything from potatoes to chicken to rice to pie filling in a recipe.  There are truly endless ways you could choose to prepare yours this week.  For more ideas on using cauliflower and other items from your basket, check out the LIVEWELLUTAH Farmer's Market recipe book.  It has some fantastic ideas:  Recipes using fresh produce.

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:  4 large carrots, 1 lemon
This recipe comes to you this week from Kristi's test kitchen.  In this case it was mom-tested and kid-approved!  It's a slight twist on an old favorite. Serve with the grain and protein of your choice.






TUESDAY
FISH TACOS WITH NAPA CABBAGE AND AIOLI and CAULIFLOWER COUSCOUS PILAF



Basket Items:  1.5 cups of the cabbage (shredded), 1 orange, 1 head of cauliflower
It's recommended that adults eat about 8 ounces of seafood each week, to help prevent heart disease. Fish also contain important oils that promote a healthy nervous system, especially in young children. If you don't believe me, let these delectable fish tacos do the talking.  This Cauliflower pilaf makes a great side and can be made ahead of time.






WEDNESDAY
BAKED POTATO BAR

Basket Items: 4 or more potatoes
Potato Bar is one of those fabulously convenient menu plans that lets you use up leftovers from the previous several days, also using up things like cheese, sour cream, marinara, alfredo, salsa, and even other veggies as toppings before they expire.  It can also be a way to use some of your food storage like canned or frozen chili.   Perhaps best of all is that this often results in a meal that costs practically nothing and requires very little actual cooking.  If you don't need a potato bar night in the near future but you are going to be entertaining or just looking for Super Bowl food- loaded potato skins might be in your future!

THURSDAY
STIR-FRY

Basket Items:  Anything from some of the corn, carrots, celery, cabbage, peppers, cauliflower....
Truly the veggies in this basket would be perfect for stir-fry, or soup, or adding to sauces.  It's a wonderful variety that would work well in so may dishes.  We're already having stew later this week, so a stir fry seems in order.  We'll use these simple steps and serve over quinoa cooked in broth and seasoned.









FRIDAY
ROASTED CORN and BRUSCHETTA or CAPRESE SALAD
At first I thought that I needed to plan something more complicated than simply just roasting the corn.  There are so many things I could do, including making a salsa, or making more of a meal out of it with Tostadas.  My tastebuds just kept telling me that roasted corn was the way to go.  I think part of it is that I miss summer and I want to pretend a little that winter is over.  So one way to do that is to eat summery food!  If you roast the corn in the oven in the husk, you can get a sweet flavor similar to grilling it in the summer time.  Simply peel back the husks (but leave them intact).  Remove the silk and then fold the husks back over.  Then I soak mine in water for 10 minutes before roasting in the oven for about 40 minutes at 350.  You can add butter and seasonings, parmesan cheese - whatever you'd like-  after roasting and eat it right from the cob.  If you'd like a visual, here's a tutorial I found.  This guy even cooks his in the microwave!

I'm always in the mood for bruschetta which also reminds me of the summer time and Caprese salad is something I can make and keep around for a few days and often take for lunches.  Both the corn and the tomatoes served with some kind of grilled protein should help chase away those winter blues.







SATURDAY
VEGGIE BEAN WRAP (or quesadilla) with COCONUT-MANGO SMOOTHIE

Basket Items:  2 bell peppers, 1 young coconut
The salsa that goes on this wrap includes one of my favorite flavor combinations - mango and avocado.  I sometimes turn this wrap into a quesadilla because I think the cheese adds a lot and sautéed veggies and cheese make a very happy couple.  Whichever way you try it - you'll be getting a meal loaded with veggies!
Don't be intimidated by this young Thai coconut.  There are actually a lot of things you can make with it and opening it isn't as hard as it looks.  Here is a video I found with detailed instructions on how to cut into your coconut to remove the meat and water:  Opening your coconut.  That can be really handy!  Once you open your coconut you can use both the water and the meat in sauces, homemade curries, desserts, and so many things.  I had some mangoes left from a tropical pack I got recently and I'm going to use some of them in the salsa for my wrap and some in a delicious smoothie with this coconut.  Use your coconut in a way that fits what you have on hand and what you're in the mood for!






SUNDAY
AFRICAN BEAN STEW 


Basket Items:  1 carrot, 1 celery stalk, 1 bell pepper
This stew features a lot of vegetables, including sweet potatoes.  It has a lot of flavor, including curry and peanut butter.  It's chunky and filling and would be great for Sunday dinner or Super Bowl food.  If you want something a bit meatier, checkout the chili recipe from last week.  I had everything in my kitchen that I needed to make this.  If you don't, you can make substitutions that sound good!






REMAINING ITEMS
Basket Items:  several blood oranges, 2 lemons, most of a bunch of celery, 1-2 carrots, 1 - 1 1/2 bunch of cabbage

IDEAS:
Cabbage Soup
Celery Soup
Ethiopian Cabbage Dish
Egg Rolls or Spring Rolls
Veggie Tray with dip
These oranges are delicious by themselves!
Ants on a Log
Try new things on celery like maybe cream cheese and dried cranberries
Warm lemon water in the morning is good for you!
Add veggies to pasta sauce

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