Since the beginning of June I have been receiving a box of farm fresh fruits and vegetables from Coopers Farm every Thursday. Two weeks ago a wrote about Why I (Sometimes) Choose Organic and included a photo of what was included in that week’s delivery. So what was in yesterday’s box? As pictured below, there was: 1 broccoli, some strawberries, 1 cantaloupe, a bunch of basil, 1 medium white onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 large cucumber, a bunch of yellow beans, 3 sweet banana peppers, a bunch of jalapeno peppers, and several tomatoes (which I forgot to include in the photo)! Sadly, there was no corn – hopefully there will be some again next week, because last week’s corn was truly some of the best tasting corn in the world! Still, even without the corn, this week’s delivery is pretty great.

I’ve already used the strawberries to make a Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp using the recipe I posted yesterday for Blueberry Crisp. I just can’t get enough of that crumble topping!

For lunch I made some Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers and also used some of the stuffing in zucchini halves left over from last week’s box, similar to the Zucchini “Boats” With Home Fries I posted last month. I sprinkled a generous amount of chopped basil over top the stuffed peppers and zucchini. It was so yummy!

I will probably use the yellow beans as a side vegetable for a meatball dinner, similar to the picture below. I made this last month but haven’t gotten around to posting the recipes for the meatballs, coleslaw, and German potato salad, so stay tuned for those coming very soon.

I cooked the broccoli this evening and will use it in tomorrow’s lunch: Noodles and Cheese – definitely one of my children’s favourites.

The cucumber, garlic and onion will either be used in a Refreshing Cucumber Soup or in a Mixed Bean Salad for which I would also use some of the tomatoes and basil. Here is a photo of the Mixed Bean Salad (just pretend you see some mixed beans in there!). Recipes for these to follow soon. If you can’t wait, you can make this Cucumber Salad With Kefir Dressing recipe I posted in the spring. You can subsitute greek yogurt, sour cream, or buttermilk for the kefir.

My kids have already been eyeing the cantaloupe, so that will probably be one of their snacks tomorrow!

So that leaves only the peppers. Honestly, I have no idea what I will use them in but I promise to tell you if it turns out to be blog-worthy!

How would you use the contents of this week’s box?!

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There’s just something about a roasted red pepper that takes a meal to the next level. Last night it was just me and the kids for dinner and so I decided to make something vegetarian. Thursdays is when my weekly CSA box arrives so it made sense to use at least one of its (entirely green!) contents – enter broccoli. I had opened a new jar of tomato sauce (my favourite one is from Costco – see picture below) at lunch time for some 10-Minute Pizza and so I decided to boil some whole wheat Fusili and voila – I had a quick and tasty meal for the children. I usually stay away from carbohydrates at dinner time, but I was famished and the children’s dinner smelled soooo good, and who really wants to eat like a rabbit every lunch and dinner!?!? Then I recalled the roasted red pepper in the fridge, left over from a BBQ dinner earlier this week, and together with some of the fresh basil in my CSA box I served myself a big bowl of bliss!

How to Roast a Pepper on the BBQ:
Spray* with olive oil (or rub on some oil using your fingers)
Place on hot BBQ and turn pepper every few minutes (leave BBQ on medium-high)
Remove the pepper once it has softened and blackened (approximately 10 – 15 minutes)
Let pepper cool slightly and then peel the skin off and discard the skin, stem, and seeds

How to Roast a Pepper in the oven:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
Spray* with olive oil (or rub on some oil using your fingers)
Place pepper on baking tray or in casserole dish
Remove the pepper once it has softened and blackened (approximately 15 – 20 minutes)
Let pepper cool slightly and then peel the skin off and discard the skin, stem, and seeds

* Several years ago I purchased a refillable oil mister and highly recommend them, as they make it possible to use as little oil as necessary for stir fries, etc. I have seen them at Winners, Kitchen Stuff Plus and Costco.

Chicken Parmesan Bake

May 6, 2012

Imagine you’ve had an extremely busy day and now you are supposed to quickly prepare a healthy and super-delicious meal using the chicken breasts you had thawing in the fridge since last night, but the thought of all those dirty dishes to wash once dinner has been served and devoured is enough to make you want to order in a pizza instead. What if I told you I have a recipe that, approximately 35 minutes after starting to follow said recipe, results in a healthy and super-delicious meal with just one dish to clean?!  Impossible, right?! That’s what I thought, too, when my friend first told me about this recipe not that long ago. I have made it several times now and it has always exceeded my expectations.

You can click here to view the original recipe (literally, as there is no written recipe – it’s a video demonstration!), or you can read below to see my (healthier still) version of this recipe.

Ingredients:

1 jar of your favourite tomato sauce (as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my two favourites are the “Blue Menu” tomato sauces by “President’s Choice” available at No Frills, etc. and “All Natural Marinara Sauce” by “White Linen Collection – Gourmet Pasta Sauce” available at Costco – both are low in sodium and contain no added sugar)

fresh Basil leaves, chopped

1 – 2 cloves garlic, chopped or pressed (optional)

4 – 6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (I typically purchase the chicken breasts with the skin on and bone in and remove these myself – it’s usually cheaper this way AND allows me to make homemade chicken stock with the discarded bones – I’ll be doing a post on how to make your own chicken stock soon!)

1/2 bag whole grain, garlic croutons

shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese – as much or as little as you like!
 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pour some tomato sauce into a 2.8 L baking dish (I prefer glass), just enough to provide some moisture for the chicken breasts, which you then place on top of the tomato sauce. Sprinkle the chopped basil and garlic (if using) over top of the chicken breasts.

Pour tomato sauce over chicken breasts (I LOVE tomato sauce, so I am generous here). Next, sprinkle croutons over top, however much or little you like. (I would have used more if I hadn’t run out!) Sprinkle cheese over top, again as much or as little as you like.

Place in oven and bake for 30 – 35 minutes.

Steamed broccoli makes a good accompaniment. Or, as pictured above, enjoy with some brown and wild rice and a garden salad with my Honey Mustard Salad Dressing!