Chop vegetables into ½ inch pieces, to cook evenly.
Melt the butter in large pot, on medium-high. Add the garlic, onions, then vegetables. Sauté 10-15 minutes.
Add broth, tomato paste, beans, seasonings, and herbs. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes until tender.
Blend with a hand immersion blender (I have not, so I did it in batches).
Add the cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with buttered croutons, or a grilled cheese.
I had not carrots, but not a big enough pot anyhow. I had 3 on-the-vine tomatoes, so I used that instead of the tomato paste. I ran out of thyme! One of my favorite herbs! I think this is my favorite in the Ravenels series, but this recipe was extra sumptuous, and I had just collected the ingredients for ratatouille, thinking to make a pan satué version (baking is so hot in my apartment, and I haven’t a real baking dish in fact). I loved the description in the book where this dish was served. Can you imagine a 12 course meal? Now if I only had the makings for a grilled cheese…
Heat up skillet over high heat. Add a drizzle of grape-seed oil or other neutral vegetable oil.
Add garlic and then white and light green scallions to infuse the oil. Slightly sauté until the garlic turns golden.
Once oil is ready, add the cooked rice and use a spoon or rice paddle to break up the rice and mix with the garlic and scallions. Add the salt and pepper. Mix.
Fold in the veggies and dark green scallions.
Pour the eggs over the rice and continue to mix until the egg and mixture is dry. Taste and top with extra slices of veggies.
Fried rice (蛋炒飯, dàn chǎofàn) is an amazing standby, the perfect comfort food. I had spinach, and I garnished with just a bit of kimchi for some zing. With the pandemic shelter-in, I’m developing a fondness for eating preserved vegetables at my own pace (getting too many vegetables usually means some portion of rot before I can finish it on my own).
4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
70 g of pancetta, minced (optional)
1 small brown onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 small celery , finely chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and finely chopped
600 g of waxy potatoes, peeled and diced (didn’t have — next time!)
300 g of farro, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
7 ounces (or 200 grams) peeled tomatoes
500 g of dried cannellini beans, or borlotti beans, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed (I used canned)
1 sprig rosemary
4 to 5 fresh sage leaves
sea salt, as needed
freshly ground black pepper, as needed
Heat the olive oil in a wide soup pot or saucepan; add the chopped onion, carrot, and celery and gently cook until soft and translucent. Add the pancetta and continue cooking until the fat has melted. Add herbs and peeled tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
Add the cooked borlotti beans, along with their liquid. Stir to combine everything and add 2 cups of water. Bring the mixture to a simmer, cook 10 minutes uncovered, then remove from heat. Remove the rosemary stick and blend (an immersion blender is ideal for this) until smooth.
Add the farro to the bean purée (along with another cup of water to loosen it, using more or less as necessary) and continue cooking over low heat for about 30 to 40 minutes, stirring every now and then to check that the soup is not sticking to the bottom of the pan, until the farro is cooked al dente (with a pleasant bite to it, like pasta). It should be a fairly thick soup but you can add more water to your liking. Check for seasoning.
Serve the soup with freshly ground black pepper and extra virgin olive oil drizzled over the top.
This came together better than I expected, although I did not soak anything overnight, beans or farro. I used a can of Goya beans in sauce (white beans would have been closer to suitable but I had Green Pigeon Peas in Sauce). I was debating whether to add Latin beans to an Italian dish, but Jesse insisted on including beans in a stew recipe. Pancetta isn’t too shabby as an ingredient, but mushrooms can make such a delicious vegetarian substitute — I highly recommend, so that’s what I used. Also, forgot to add the rosemary until the last minute, better luck next time! Next level: homemade broth.
Place fruit, carrot, celery, apple, peanut butter, cheese and pita bread into meal prep containers.
The only fruit I’m fond of are berries, and since they’re not in season, I subbed with vegetables. Grape tomatoes instead of grapes. Carrots instead of apples. I added elements of my other favorite protein boxes, like the PB&J and the hard-boiled egg (although I want to see if I can get good enough to make soft-boiled eggs!) Instead of Brie and gouda, I used Havarti (on sale at WF) and Queso Oaxaca cheese and Dubliner Cheese wedges and leftover Longhorn (Colby) Cheddar.
4 string Cheeses (or 4 oz. of mixed cheeses, like I did!)
40 mixed Nuts (optional)
4 Mandarin oranges
20 Grape Tomatoes
20 Baby Carrots
2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch sticks
2 Bell Peppers, cut into 1/2-inch sticks (optional)
24 Cucumber slices (optional)
PB&J the sandwich thins, then slice in half. Cut the carrots / celery to bite size. Add the rest of the ingredients.
Please ignore the actual Starbucks fruit & nut packs in the photos, I just saved them since forever and wanted to use them up. ^_^ I tried the cucumber slices previously but they would retain so much moisture and get everything soggy. Same problem with hummus without having a cupcake paper or something to hold its viscous mass.
Costs: 3 lbs. Mandarins $5.99 Oaxaca cheese $4.99 Queso de Papa $1.99 Arnold Sandwich Thins $4.29 Grape Tomatoes $2.50 Carrots and Celery, sliced $2.21
Cover the eggs in a saucepan with water: Fill a saucepan about a quarter of the way with water. Place the eggs in a single layer at the bottom of the saucepan. Add more water so that the eggs are covered by at least an inch or two of water. 6 eggs should be covered by at least an inch, 7 to 12 eggs, 2 inches.
Heat the pot on high heat and bring the water to a full rolling boil. add in 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
Turn off the heat, keep the pan on the hot burner, cover, and let sit for 10-12 minutes.
Strain the water from the pan and run cold / ice water over the eggs to cool them quickly and stop them from cooking further.
Brush apple slices lightly with fresh lemon juice to prevent browning if desired. Alternatively, keep the slices face down and pressed together prevent browning as well.
Sprinkle eggs with salt and pepper to taste.
Assemble four protein bistro boxes and store refrigerated.
Eggs should be eaten within 5 days. I’m not a big fruit person, so I go cucumbers, carrots, and celery with pesto hummus. I did manage to find sandwich thins (Arnold) by some miracle. My first attempt, I decided to just try hard-boiling four eggs, to see if I could do it right. Next time, I will get a bigger pot or pan, and cook all eight eggs at once so I can meal prep for four lunches at a time. Teacher hack ^_^ This would look pretty with some red bell pepper, if they were in season and cheaper.
Carrots/Celery $1.99 Extra sharp cheddar $2.69 Gouda cheese $4.99 Arnold Thins $4.29 Esti pesto hummus $3.79 Cucumber $0.80 Green bell pepper $1.93 Dozen brown eggs $2.99
Total $23.47 for two ‘weeks’ worth of protein boxes (8 boxes)
6 1/4 cups stock ***Avoid using bullion (or stock) cubes for this! There are only a few ingredients & they should be of the highest quality possible ^_^
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
freshly grated salt & pepper
1 large onion, sliced thin 2 tablespoons
sprig of rosemary
extra virgin olive oil (to taste)
parsley, finely chopped (to taste)
1 large garlic clove, halved lengthwise
Heat the oil in a pan, add the leeks and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until golden brown.
Add the farro, pour in the stock (I cooked carrot, celery, parsnip, turnip from a soup greens package), season with salt and simmer over low heat for 1 1/2 hours or until the farro is tender. Season with pepper.
Ladle the soup into bowls or a soup tureen and sprinkle with Parmesan & drizzle with good quality extra virgin olive oil.
Provide toasted Italian crusty bread, rubbed with cut garlic, to mop it up. Also good to have plenty of freshly grated Parmesan on hand, per person.
A former roommate left this bag of Italian farro, so of course I needed to find the perfect soup recipe for the long winter nights.
1 medium onion, diced fine (or 3 shallots, if you have them)
1/2 carrot, minced
2 cups arborio (or carnaroli) rice
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup white wine
1.5 boxes of hot chicken broth
some pancetta, diced (we used cooked pulled pork)
2-3 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
shucked English peas, about 1-2 cups
1/2 red bell pepper
2-3 brown mushrooms (porcini preferable)
pea tendrils or shoots (or use baby spinach) — didn’t use but sounds fab
Melt butter in a heavy, wide saucepan over medium high heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Or cook at lower heat for longer time.
Stir in rice and season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking for 2 minutes, until translucent. Add the minced carrot and sliced garlic.
Add the white wine, stirring, until it evaporates.
Add 2 ladles of hot chicken broth (simmering in a separate pot, you can also dilute by rinsing the container with water) and bring to a brisk simmer. Cook 6 minutes, stirring regularly as broth is absorbed. Add 2 more ladles of broth and cook for another 6 minutes, until rice is cooked through, but firm. Every time all of the liquid is absorbed, add more stock — do not let dry out!
Add pancetta (or prosciutto or pork of your choice) and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add minced bell pepper, stir to coat and cook 1 minute. When you get to this last cup of water, add the peas and chopped mushrooms. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add 1/2 cup broth and simmer until peas are done, about 2 minutes. Add pea tendrils and cook until just wilted, about 1 minute.
if the rice is still crunchy, don’t stop – you want the rice to be a little al dente, but not so much you’re gnawing on raw grain.
Mix pea mixture with rice mixture and gently stir together. Add enough broth to keep rice a bit soupy. Check seasoning. Stir in parsley, lemon zest and Parmesan.
Visiting family, wanted to use up the arborio rice I found in the back of their cupboard. They also had bought chicken stock in bulk so…
GOYA black bean soup $1.50
Dried rosemary $6.29
1 carrot $0.23
1 zucchini $0.94
4 tomatoes on the vine $1.33
10 oz white button mushrooms $1.79
Chop fine 1 red onion, 3 cloves of garlic. Saute in olive oil in a medium pot. Season with salt, cracked black pepper, red pepper flakes, crushed rosemary. Chop 1/2 carrot, 1/3 zucchini, 1 tomato, 5-6 mushrooms. Saute vegetables over medium heat. Add the can of black bean soup, plus another cup of water rinsing the can. Season with turmeric, thyme, oregano, paprika, and cumin. Raise heat and cook until boiling. Reduce heat to a simmer. Here I added 1/4 box of penne rigate and enough water to cover it, cooking it al dente for 5 minutes. Serves 3-4.
I recently acquired some cheese from Trader Joe’s, so feel free to slice / grate some on top for a Tex-Mex feel. It’s rather hard to shop plastic-free at TJ’s I realize now — not great for #plasticfreeJuly then.
6 eggs $0.99
1 medium carrot $0.25
1 medium green zucchini $0.82
4 red onions $0.98
1 small yellow squash $0.40
2 packages udon noodles
roasted peanut oil / sesame oil + vegetable oil
Kosher salt + freshly ground pepper
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced diagonally
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Thinly slice red onions, ginger. Slice thinly into sticks 1/2 carrot, 1/2 yellow squash, 1/4 zucchini. Saute onions and ginger and carrots in vegetable oil. Add the two squash, and cook, stirring.
In a separate pot, boil water and cook the udon for 1-2 minutes. Drain and add to the vegetables. Mix thoroughly. Season with soy sauce, rice wine, and sesame oil. Add a spoonful of cornstarch mixed with cold water, to form a slurry. Set aside
Scramble two eggs with chopsticks in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in some green scallions. Fry separately in a little oil in a pan. Add to the rest of the stir fry. Serve immediately. Serves 3-4.
Redoing my sister’s udon with tofu and bok choy, this is my budget version. I had a bag of frozen edamame lying around, so I tossed that in the stir fry. My kingdom for some crushed red pepper flakes!