I recently heard aboutAbundant Harvestthrough work. It is a local organic, weekly produce delivery service. It is a challenge each week to come up with different recipes to incorporate and use up everything from the box. Items like those delicious grapes in the upper right get eaten the same day. Easy enough.
For other items like eggplant, squash and cauliflower; I have to get more creative. I decided to try a Roasted Eggplant Soup that was published in last weeks newsletter. I left out the cream, so it turned out more gazpacho-ish to me. Still very good but I think I will include the cream next time.
Roasted Eggplant Soup Recipe
3 tomatoes, halved
1 eggplant, halved
1 small onion, halved
6 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tbsp chopped thyme
4 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of cream
3 1/2 ounces crumbled cheese of choice
Prevent oven to 400 degrees
Places tomatoes, eggplant, onion, and garlic on baking sheet and brush with oil. Roast until tender and slightly golden. About 45 minutes.
Scoop out eggplant and discard skin. Place eggplant, tomatoes, onion and garlic in a large pan with thyme and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer until onion is very tender, 35-40 mins. Puree in a food processor or blender. Return to low heat and stir in cream.
Some days I am super inspired to tackle a new recipe and then others, not so much. I mean we all can’t be Moonstruck Mommy right. I will get there eventually.
With that said, I had to look up an easy naan recipe. Let’s see how this goes. Yumm, don’t forget the cucumber dip.
Easy Naan Recipe
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons minced garlic (optional)
1/4 cup butter, melted
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.
Punch down dough, and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat.
At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.
I went through my freezer today and I am happy to say that most everything is being eaten through thus less waste. This has not always been the case. Did you see that Oprah episode where the mom was throwing out food every week to replace it with fresh groceries? The amount of food she threw out was amazing. Might as well put your money in the trash.
I think often even I get caught up in the freshness of a product and the sell by dates. I usually rely on the smell test but thought there has to be a better measure. And there is.
Here is a quick list and general rule of thumb for when to toss those mystery packages in the freezer:
Ground meats: 3–4 months in the freezer
Hot dogs: 1–2 months in the freezer
Eggs: 3–5 weeks in the refrigerator
Dry onions: 2 months in the refrigerator
Opened lunch meats: 3–5 days in the refrigerator
Flour: lasts longest in the freezer
Dried peas and beans: up to 1 year
Keep this in mind too, some local food pantries will take canned food donations up to 2 years past their expiration dates.
With all this in mind, I encourage grocery store shopping early in the morning or late in the evening to get the best deals on discounted meats, breads and clearance bin goods. Stack this on top of your regular coupon finds and now you are saving!
Read more aboutsell by dates here. “Besides, as University of Minnesota food scientist Ted Labuza explained to me, expiration dates address quality—optimum freshness—rather than safety and are extremely conservative.”