Tag Archives: Italian themed veggie pack

Basket Breakdown: 7/7/2012

9 Jul

This week, I contributed for the conventional basket and the Italian themed veggie pack.

This week, we got cauliflower, tomatoes, mangoes, peaches, lettuce, bananas, plums, cantaloupe, green grapes, strawberries, and limes.  Plenty of fruit!  I’m most excited about the cauliflower, I’ve learned many ways to cook cauliflower now that I’m excited to be able to use it again.  I’ll probably end up at least making a pizza crust, probably roast some, then eat the rest raw.  It’s my favorite veggie!  With the limes, I want to make Fiesta Lime Chicken, which I haven’t had in a long time.  I may also attempt a lime-ade of some kind, maybe strawberry lime-aid?  We’ll see.  The plums are amazing, and I may need to come up with a creative use for the peaches.  Or, they may go in a smoothie with the mangoes and a banana.

I also got a few items from this week’s organic basket from my friend who said she won’t use it all this week.  The organic box looked great this week, it had the hugest head of cauliflower that I’ve ever seen!  Here is a picture of the items she gave me:

The giant head of cauliflower, baby bok choy, purple kale, donut peaches,  and plums.  The rest of the box, not pictured, included mangoes, cherries, sweet corn, broccoli, mushrooms, celery, and cantaloupe.


Finally, here is the Italian themed veggie pack.

This week, it was Italian flat parsley, oregano, eggplant, red pepper, yellow squash, rosemary, mushrooms, garlic, yellow onion, red onion, and basil.  I’m still undecided on what to make with this weeks items, but I’m thinking I want to grill the eggplant, then maybe add sliced tomatoes and some mozzarella cheese and broil to melt the cheese.


Note: The type and amount of food may vary from another basket because of geographic location and because of variances in how case ends are distributed once everything is distributed evenly. I also volunteered and got an extra item for volunteering.

Basket Breakdown – 3/31/2012

31 Mar

This week, I got the conventional basket, the Italian themed veggie pack, and the DIY cookie kit.  Here is what was in the baskets this week.


The conventional basket had Romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, cauliflower, asparagus, Mexican squash (pretty similar to zucchini), butter gold potatoes, bananas, Granny Smith apples, minneolas, grapefruit, and pineapple.

The Italian themed veggie pack had yellow onion, red onion, green onion, garlic, eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, lemon, rosemary, Italian flat parsley, and lemons.

The DIY cookie pack had egg shaped cookies and white, yellow, red, and blue colored frosting.  My girls and I had fun decorating (and eating) these today.


I’m working on a meal plan this week, but here are some previous recipes I’ve made using what was in today’s baskets and veggie pack.

Cauliflower: Twice Baked Cauliflower, Cauliflower Pizza Crust, Garlic Herb Chicken with Broccoli and Cauliflower, Roasted Cauliflower

Asparagus: Roasted Asparagus, Grilled Asparagus, in a stir fry

Mexican squash/Zucchini: Moussaka, Ratatouille, Italian Zucchini Crescent Pie, Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake, Sausage, Zucchini, and Tomatoes over Rice

Potatoes: Crash Hot Potatoes, Mashed Potatoes, Slow Cooker Potato Soup, Kotopoulo Lemonato, Sausage and Potato PIe

Eggplant: Moussaka, Eggplant Pizzas, Ratatouille

And lots more!  Hoping to get the meal plan worked out tomorrow.


Note: The type and amount of food may vary from another basket because of geographic location and because of variances in how the ends of produce cases are distributed after everything has been distributed evenly.  I also volunteered this week and got 1 extra item for volunteering.

Twice Baked Cauliflower

21 Mar

This is another low-carb recipe that my friend, Jen, shared a while back.  It’s been on my list to try, and tonight I finally got to try it.  It was very good!  It really doesn’t taste much like cauliflower with all the extras in there.  A nice alternative to potatoes.  I added in some fresh rosemary, and I didn’t have cream cheese, so I used sour cream instead because that’s what I had.  I served this as a side with some Zaycon Foods hot dogs and German sausage that I grilled.

Twice Baked Cauliflower

What you need:

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
5 slices bacon, crisped and crumbled (I used turkey bacon)
3 tbsp cream cheese (I used sour cream)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Butter or spray an 8×8 baking dish or 2 qt casserole dish.

Steam cauliflower until tender.  In a medium/large bowl, add cream cheese and then put steamed cauliflower on top to melt.  Mash with potato masher but leave chunky.  Mix in 1 1/2 cups of the cheddar cheese, 3 pieces worth of the crumbled bacon, green onions, rosemary, salt, and pepper.

Place mixture in the prepared casserole dish, and spread evenly.  Top with the remaining cheese and bacon.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 – 30 minutes, or until bubbly and browning on top.

Spinach, Feta, and Pesto Pizza

5 Mar

This cauliflower pizza crust is really growing on me.  I was skeptical as first, but the second time around, it turned out great again.  I did notice that with 1 large pizza, the center stays a little soft, but I think that might be solved by making individual size pizzas.  Even with it a little soft, no complaints in this house, and everyone just used a fork to eat it.  Even my kids gobbled this up, and I love getting an extra veggie in them for the day hidden in the crust.  This time, instead of tomato sauce, I made Spinach Basil Pesto for the sauce. Then, I put chopped red onion, sliced black olives, torn fresh spinach leaves, a 4 oz container of crumbled feta cheese, and a 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.  I had forgotten how much I love feta cheese on pizza.  This was a delicious meal!

Chicken Marsala

24 Feb

This wasn’t in the original meal plan for this week, but since I wasn’t feeling well earlier this week, I fell behind in cooking and had some things I needed to get cooked before they went bad.  So, I decided to make Chicken Marsala, something we haven’t had in a while.  For the sides, I steamed my last bunch of asparagus and made mashed potatoes with a partial bag of potatoes I had left.  Since I have herbs from the Italian themed veggie pack, I added crushed fresh garlic and minced fresh rosemary to the mashed potatoes.  It was a nice addition.  I also got to use the fresh herbs in the Chicken Marsala.

Chicken Marsala
Based on recipes here and here 

What you need:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
8 oz package mushrooms, sliced
3/4 cup marsala wine
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary

Pound chicken to 1/4 inch thickness.  Mix together flour and oregano, and fully coat chicken with this mixture.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.  Add chicken and cook until no longer pink.

To the skillet, add and melt butter.  Add mushrooms, wine, parsley, and rosemary.   Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Cover, and cook for 5 minutes.  Flip chicken over, cover again, and cook for another 5 minutes.  Remove cover and simmer until sauce has reduced by half.

Moussaka and Pastitsio all in one!

23 Feb


I tried to think of a new name for this, but with the migraine I have, I’m not feeling too creative at the moment.  This is a combination of 2 of my favorite Greek dishes, Moussaka and Pastitsio.  I got the Italian themed veggie pack from Bountiful Baskets this week, and it had an eggplant and a zucchini.  Not really enough to make Moussaka or something like Eggplant Lasagna, so I decided that adding some pasta, like in Pastitsio, it would make a great meal.  I was right, it turned out great.  I put the pasta on the bottom, then the zucchini and eggplant, then the meat sauce, then the bechamel sauce.


Moussaka and Pastitsio All in One

What you need:

1 eggplant, cut lengthwise, 1/2 in  width
1 zucchini, cut lengthwise , 1/2 in width
Olive oil
1/2 lb macaroni (supposed to be long macaroni noodles, but they are hard to find, so elbow macaroni or a noodle like penne or ziti works too)
1 eggs
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1 lb ground beef or lamb (for meatless, use diced mushrooms, zucchini or eggplant)
1 medium onion
1 12 oz can tomato paste
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Grated Kefalotiri, Parmesan, or Romano cheese

Cream sauce (krema):
2-1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
Salt and pepper to taste

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Sprinkle eggplant slices with salt and set on paper towels for 15-20 minutes to let them drain.  Pat tops with a paper towel.  Spray or brush each side of the eggplant and zucchini slices with olive oil and lay in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Bake in oven for 10 minutes, flip slices over and bake for another 10 minutes, until they are tender and slightly brown.

Boil macaroni according to package; drain; return to pan.  Melt the 1/4 cup butter, beat in egg, and stir in with macaroni.

In a skillet, brown onion and ground beef or lamb.  Add tomato paste, and seasonings.  Cook for 5 – 10 minutes.

Make cream sauce. Melt 1/4 cup butter and pour in 1/4 cup flour; brown slowly. Beat 2 eggs with 2-1/2 cups milk, salt, and pepper, and pour into butter and flour mixture very slowly; mix well. Cook over low heat until it thickens.

To assemble, grease a 9 x 13 pan.  Add macaroni mixture to pan and press down with a piece of wax paper.  Sprinkle generously with the grated cheese.  Lay out eggplant and zucchini in a single layer.

Sprinkle with grated cheese.  Spread the meat sauce evenly.  Pour cream sauce evenly on top.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 – 50 minutes, or until golden brown.

Freezes best unbaked, thawed for 1/2 hour, then baked as above.

Basket Breakdown – 2/18/2012

19 Feb

This week, I trained at the site to learn to be a Volunteer Site Coordinator (VSC).  Since Bountiful Baskets has gained so much popularity here, there are a few of us hoping to add another site here in town.  After participating and volunteering for a year and a half, it’s neat to take the next step of seeing how things come together behind the scenes and to get to organize things day of.

I contributed for the conventional basket for $15, the Italian themed veggie pack for $8.50, and 5 loaves of sourdough bread for $10, plus the $1.50 handling fee, for a total of $35.

The conventional basket. Starting on the left, Ataulfo mangoes, apples, key limes, oranges, pineapple, bananas, Romaine lettuce, spinach, yellow squash, Jerusalem artichokes (or sunchokes), Roma tomatoes, English cucumbers.  You can also see the loaves of sourdough bread.  They are not pre-sliced.

The Italian themed veggie pack.  From left, eggplant, rosemary, zucchini, oregano, mushrooms, Italian flat parsley, red onion, basil, yellow onion, lemons, garlic, and bay leaves.

I’m not sure what all I will be making yet, but there are lots of yummy possibilities!


Note: The type and amount of food may vary from another basket because of geographic location and because of variances in how the ends of produce cases are distributed after everything has been distributed evenly.  I also volunteered this week and got 1 extra item for volunteering.

Greek Salsa

16 Feb


This is a recipe I got from my Papou, and he had gotten it from a magazine, but I can’t remember which one anymore.  The recipe was actually Greek Salsa Chicken, this salsa served over lemon chicken and roasted potatoes.  Normally, I serve it with Lemon Herb Chicken and roasted potatoes that I’ve cooked separately.  But, I thought it would be the perfect addition to the Kotopoulo Lemonato we had for dinner tonight!  I was right!


Greek Salsa

What you need:

1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved (I diced one regular tomato tonight since that’s what I had)
1 jar (4.75 oz) pitted kalamata olives
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano (or 1 Tbsp dried oregano)

How to make it:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Spinach Lasagna Rollups

10 Feb

I had some lasagna noodles in my pantry that I wanted to use, but I wasn’t sure how I wanted to do lasagna.  Then, I remembered the Cheese Lasagna Rollups my mom used to get from Market Day, and decided I wanted to try to make some of my own.  It worked out that cottage cheese was on sale, and I had spinach, basil, and oregano in my fridge that I needed to use.  The filling I made just like my Spinach Manicotti recipe, and the sauce was the Tomato Sauce I made a couple of days ago.  It turned out great!

Spinach Lasagna Rollups

What you need:

9 lasagna noodles
2 eggs
1 container (15 oz) ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lb fresh spinach, chopped
1 1/2 tsp dried basil (or 2 tsp fresh basil)
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano (or 2 tsp fresh oregano)
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
4 cups Tomato Sauce

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook lasagna noodles according to directions on box.  Drain water and cool on a piece of aluminum foil.

Meanwhile, beat eggs in a medium bowl.  Stir in the ricotta (or cottage cheese), 1/2 cup of the mozzarella, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, garlic, spinach, basil, oregano, and parsley.  Pour 1 cup of the Tomato Sauce into a 13 x 9 baking dish, or enough to make sure to cover the entire bottom of the dish.  Spread filling on each lasagna noodle and roll the noodle.  Place seam side down in the dish.  Pour the remaining sauce over the rollups, then sprinkle on the remaining Parmesan and mozzarella.  Cover tightly with foil.

Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove foil, and bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until sides are bubbling and the cheese is melted.

Tomato Sauce

9 Feb

You may remember a little while back I made Pizza Sauce.  I had tomatoes that I wasn’t sure what to do with, I decided to make Tomato Sauce again, but wanted to try to cook it instead.  It was a bit more time consuming than the other recipe I tried, but still very good.  I plan to use this for dinner later this week for Lasagna Rolls.  I still don’t have a deep red sauce like you see in jars, but it’s still very good, much better and fresher tasting than the jarred sauce.

Tomato Sauce
Makes approximately 4 cups

What you need:

4 lbs tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
Any other vegetables you want to add, peppers, celery, carrots, all finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh basil

How to make it:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Cut an X in the bottom of each tomato and place in boiling water.  Keep in water for about 30 seconds, long enough for the skin to peel of easily, but not too long so that tomatoes become mushy.  Carefully remove from boiling water and place in a bowl of ice cold water.  Skin should peel off easily, if not, return to boiling water a few seconds, then back in the water a few seconds.  Squeeze tomatoes over a sieve to remove excess juice and seeds.  Chop up the tomatoes.

Next, heat olive oil in a sauce pan.  Add onion, any additional veggies, and garlic.  Cook until onions and garlic are translucent, veggies are soft.  Add in chopped tomatoes  and basil, and allow to simmer over medium-low heat.  As tomatoes cook, you can mash them with a masher or use an immersion blender on low to achieve your desired consistency.  (I don’t mind mine a little chunky, so I just mashed them slightly.)  Simmer for 30-45 minutes, until you reach your desired taste.  Use immediately in a dish or store in an airtight container in the fridge for another time.

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