Archive for June, 2013

Pulled Pork, Roasted Potatoes, and Kale

June 18, 2013 7:16 pm

I bought a 3.4lb pork shoulder from Pecatonica Valley Farms on Saturday, without really knowing what I was going to do with it. Fortunately, my buddies Jen & Tim also bought one, and gave me a little inspiration!

I threw that piggy butt in the crock pot with some white wine (from Wollersheim Winery, again, on Jen’s suggestion), and a chili powder, brown sugar, salt, and cumin rub and let it sit there for about 8 hours. In the end? Porky perfection.

pork kale potato

I made a “massaged kale salad” (aka kale squished around with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper) from the kale (from our CSA farm) and roasted some yummy potatoes we got at the Westside market (from Don’s).

To top it off, we still have loads of pulled pork leftover, despite way over eating last night – I couldn’t help it! I’m dreaming of pulled pork pizzas…. pulled pork grilled cheese with smoked gouda… pulled pork enchiladas… Success!

Black Bean & Pepper Jack Quesadillas

2:32 pm

This will be a quick one, since it is delayed!

black bean quesadilla

I wish you could really see the gooey cheesy goodness of this…

Black beans (from Flyte family farm) cooked with bay leaf, garlic, and cumin + pepper jack (from Farmer John’s) = a spicy delicious quesadilla filling when its all mashed together and pan fried in a tortilla!

We ate these with lettuce (from our CSA farm), the rest of the garlic chipotle lime salsa (from Chip Magnet), and a little bit of sour cream mixed with yogurt (from Sugar River Dairy) (well, I did, Glenn doesn’t like sour cream).

Localicious! 😀

Broccoli and Feta Pasta Salad

June 16, 2013 3:32 pm

Sometimes it is too hot for a warm meal, and you just need something light but filling with lots of healthy, crisp-cooked veggies. You know, so you can still feel pretty good about yourself later in the evening, after you’ve have three times your fill of chips and dip and white wine, and yes, more strawberry andre. (Hey, it was a good Saturday night. Nothing wrong with that.)

And it’s finally getting quite warm here in Madison! So what are we eating today?

feta pasta 1feta pasta 2

I made two versions of this lovely broccoli and feta pasta salad, one with RP’s campanelle and one with odds and ends of pasta I had sitting around. The first time, I didn’t keep track of anything. The second time (today) I did, and waayy upped the broccoli, as you can see. I used only half the amount of pasta (about 8oz dry) and also half the amount of feta cheese (somewhere between 4 and 5 oz). Otherwise, I still used 2 tbsp olive oil (why not?) and one tbsp red wine vinegar. Actually, instead of using red wine vinegar, I just scooped some liquid out of the olive jar, which is mostly red wine vinegar anyways, with that nice salty olive taste! I didn’t put any actual olives in Glenn’s (lame-o that he is) and I did put some green onions in mine (though finely chopped red onions would be better). I also added a few squirts of lemon, some chopped oregano, and a scoop of cottage cheese for a little extra creaminess. I know, I know, at this point I might as well have given a recipe, but I’m lazy today 🙂 I think we’re going to get 4 lunches out of this one, each with about 380 cals, 14g fat, 47 g carbs, 5g fiber, and 17g protein.

This salad is a great use of the first broccoli of the season and Farmer John’s amazing feta cheese! As I posted yesterday, I’ve been torn about using RP’s pasta v dried pasta. I will admit that RP’s was wayyy tastier in this dish, since the dressing is really light. Last night’s version with fresh pasta felt special, and Glenn declared it a new favorite of his. Today’s lunchtime version just felt like a run-of-the-mill lunch. But for something I’m going to scarf down in front of my computer while I’m working, I’m okay with the dried pasta. If I were going to make this for company, I would definitely use fresh. Totally different dish.


Progress: Week 3 and Market Bounty

June 15, 2013 5:43 pm

Goal 1) To eat fresh local food! Yes we did! About 76% of our food dollars went to a local vendor this week.

Goal 2) Eat healthy! I think I was particularly successful on this front with the kale and sausage soup and the black bean burritos. The saag paneer was a little fatty, but you can’t go wrong with all those greens.

Goal 3) Don’t break the bank! Okay, this is what I was worried about this week. Remember our market bounty? I went a little crazy! Well, it felt that way after spending $67 at only one market. I’d hoped that the inexpensive CSA veggies ($8.75/box) would even things out, but then we went to two more markets (and spent $9) and two grocery stories. That’s $85 at the markets along with $22 at Woodman’s  and a $6 block of paneer from the indian store. Oh, I wish I’d planned better! And made my own paneer!

In my defense, I also cooked for my girlfriends in the middle of the week with an extra $10ish of ingredients. If we’d gone out to eat, I would have spent at least that much on just myself. I took little from my freezer this week. And, I have RP’s pasta, broccoli, kale, and most of the pepper jack leftover from last week. (The result of a lack of planning!) I think if you take all of that into account, I think the extra $$ was not wasted and I’m okay with that.

I did reflect on some ways to cut down my spending. First, I need to buy less at the first market we go to so we have room to buy at other markets! This requires planning 🙂 For example, I bought 3 RP’s pastas at one time last week – WAY more than we needed. In the end, I was glad because it meant I could cook for my friends with ingredients I had on hand. Second, I think some things are just worth getting at the store.  I feel pretty strongly about buying happy local meat, but happy local tortillas? It ain’t gonna happen again, I’m sorry. Also, as much as I love RP’s pasta and will continue to buy it, I’m going to supplement the good stuff with less expensive store-bought pastas for very basic dishes in which there are other local ingredients to shine. The way I see it is buying some of the more processed goods at the grocery store will free me up to buy more whole foods locally. I have to make some choices to make this work for me, and that’s one of them (for now, at least).

Goal 4) Learn more about buying local meat! Hooray for chicken brats! The andouille sausage was super good, and by cooking it in that stew, it stretched across several mealtimes. We really enjoyed this, but at $7 for a 12 oz package, I would probably be better off buying ground chicken from them at $7.50/lb, since I took the casings off anyways! But really, I should get more comfortable with other, whole cuts of meat that are much less expensive. I swung from whole chicken all the way to brats and I needed a happy medium. We’ll call that a success once you see this weeks market bounty!!

 June 15th

 Garlic ($2), feta ($4.25), sugar snap peas ($3), sun gold tomatos ($3), 3.4lbs of bone-in pork shoulder aka boston butt (teehee! $17), potatoes (yay!!!! $6), strawberries ($4), cottage cheese ($3.75), black turtle beans ($3), and my breakfast ($3.50). We got more Chip Magnet salsa too ($7), I don’t know why it didn’t make it into the picture! And Glenn got some sort of muffin that he ate so fast that I barely caught a glimpse of it at the market. And onwards into the fourth week of the challenge!