Leftovers & Easy Weeknight Dinners
In the week after a big holiday meal, the last thing you want to do is think about grocery shopping and complicated menus. Your fridge is brimming with leftovers, but a cold turkey sandwich doesn't seem appealing on a wet and rainy Tuesday, Day 5 after your Thanksgiving feast. As a novice cook and working parent of a two year old who often schedules his evening meltdown during dinner prep, I'm always looking for something nutritious, flavorful, and--most importantly--quick to get on the table.
I found this recipe on my new, favorite cooking app, via the New York Times Cooking column. Forgive me for the flagrant use of these recipes here--but I love the writing and vivid food photography that makes salad look luxe. And, so far, everything I've made has been a success. And there's nothing like knowing that you can generally count on a family of recipes for saving time in the kitchen.
This week, they have an entire section devoted to Thanksgiving leftover meal ideas, and this one made use of lots of raw, fresh vegetables-- many of them still seasonally available and, of course, found in This Week's Box. Thanksgiving Cobb Salad sounds a little underwhelming, but it's different enough from what you'd expect, I like that it makes use of fresh carrots, radicchio (you could substitute red cabbage), avocado, cooked turkey, hard-boiled eggs, and some leftover holiday herbs (fresh thyme and chives) that you probably already have succumbing to a slow, moldering fate in your crisper drawer.
I also found this will-definitely-make-again, go-to weeknight pasta dish, which features ingredients you probably already have in your pantry, with the addition of fresh kale, anchovy filets (I'm still obsessed with these!) and caper berries. I feel like I'm always trying to find something new to pair with kale, all winter long, and this delicious recipe hit all the marks--simple, richly flavored, satisfying, a little salty, and healthy. As a bonus, our aforementioned sweet and sometimes tyrannical 2 year old actually ate it!! A feat worthy of an extra exclamation point. So don't be scared off by the anchovies--they cook down and meld into the sauce perfectly.
If you're looking for something vegetarian, this last recipe came from a market customer and friend--an easy side dish perfect for a potluck but satisfying enough to make the meal. A favorite with her family, it's extremely versatile with its seasonings, and one I look forward to making this week:
Indian-Spiced Gratin (with Spaghetti Squash)
1 2-3lb spaghetti squash
2 cloves garlic
¼ c. chopped mushrooms (or really any veggie--a mushroom and jalapeno combo is our favorite!)
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp coriander seed, fennel seed, mustard seed, white peppercorn, and cumin seed
(Note: This is an Indian Spice Blend. You could also try an Italian Spice Blend, a Mexican blend, etc.)
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
1 cup sour cream (or 1 c. yogurt and 1 tsp. baking soda)
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cook/bake/microwave squash until skin can be pierced with a fork, then scrape squash out of its shell into a large mixing bowl. Throw away skin.
3. Using a mortar and pestle, grind up coriander, fennel, mustard, and cumin seeds, along with white peppercorns. Add to squash mixture with remaining ingredients. Stir well. Place in well-oiled baking dish and bake in oven for 30 minutes, until bubbly.
4. Add grated cheese or breadcrumbs on top (optional, but preferred!)
If there is a consolation to be found in December, beyond the holidays and merry-making and all of that, it's that it's finally time to turn on that oven full-time, and warm up the dark early evenings with conversation, a glass of red wine and family time in the kitchen. I'm very thankful for that. Cheers!
Who We Are
Green Circle Organics specializes in local and organic produce, dairy and minimally processed, locally produced foods. Since 2003, we've been operating out of the historic Lancaster Central Market, providing a channel for farm fresh, organic and specialty foods to reach city dwellers and visitors. Check here for recipe ideas using the seasonal produce and other goods we sell at our market stand and for our Produce Box home delivery service.