Tag Archives: tomatoes

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day! Hope you are having a relaxing day off from your usual labors.

I made Macaroni salad with a New Mexico twist  yesterday. I wanted to use as much produce from my garden as possible. I found a recipe for Jalapeno Ranch Dressing from Closet Cooking, which was the perfect dressing for this salad.

Macaroni Salad a la New Mexico

I only used one jalapeno pepper in the dressing, which was great for us. Obviously, an extra pepper (or leaving in some seeds) would give you more heat. The jalapeno peppers and tomatoes came from our garden, the carrots, lime and onion from our harvest box.

Macaroni Salad a la New Mexico
Recipe type: Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • ¾ pound macaroni, cooked
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 carrots, shredded
  • ½ small onion, minced
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, stem and seeds removed
  • juice of ½ of a lime
  • handful of cilantro
  1. Combine cooked macaroni, tomatoes, carrots, and onion in a large bowl.
  2. In the blender, combine buttermilk, mayonnaise, pepper, lime juice, and cilantro. Process until smooth. Pour over salad, toss to combine.
  3. Chill salad for at least 1 hour.


Stuffed Patty Pans

We have only 2 patty pan squash plants in the garden, but we have had a nice supply of squash. They have mostly come from one of the plants, but the one I thought was dead actually came back to life and has produced a couple of nice squash.

Stuffed Patty Pan Squash

This was another of my “make ahead” recipes. I made the stuffing on the weekend, and then stuffed the squash and baked them during the week. One of the nice things about this squash is that the skin is edible, too!

Stuffed Patty Pans
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • ½ pound ground turkey
  • ½ of a medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • ½ cup shredded Romano cheese
  • 4 patty pan squash
  1. Brown ground turkey in a large skillet. As the turkey browns, add onion, bell pepper, and garlic. (If you want to make this ahead, stop at this point and refrigerate the filling.)
  2. Once the turkey is browned, add tomato and heat through. Remove from heat. Add cheese. (If you are making ahead, add the tomato to the filling and microwave a few minutes to reheat. Then add cheese.)
  3. Cut the tops off the squash. Scoop out the seeds. Divide the filling mixture among the squash. Place in a baking pan. Cover.
  4. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes, until squash is soft.


The Ultimate “Do Ahead” Dinner

I love sweet potatoes, but they do take a fairly long time to cook. Too long to make them on a work night. I was searching for something to do with the sweet potatoes in our box, when I came across several different recipes for a southwest salad. I decided to do some prep ahead work over the weekend, so that I could get dinner ready quickly during the week. Since the salad required cooked and chilled foods, this became the ultimate opportunity to cook ingredients ahead and have a great dinner during the week.

Southwest Chicken and Sweet Potato Salad

The recipe I used for the dressing is adapted from this recipe from Hispanic Kitchen. It was less spicy than I anticipated, which was actually a good thing!

Southwest Chicken and Sweet Potato Salad
Recipe type: Main, Salad
Serves: 4
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 ears corn, husks removed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin, divided
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 cups lettuce
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • ½ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained.
  • 2 limes
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • handful of fresh cilantro leaves
  1. Peel sweet potatoes and cut lengthwise into ½ inch thick slices. Brush the sweet potatoes with ¼ cup of olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat grill to medium heat. Grill sweet potatoes until cooked through, turning once. At the same time, grill the corn, turning frequently. This will take about 15 minutes.
  3. Combine chili powder and 1 teaspoon of cumin. Rub over chicken breasts. Grill chicken breasts until cooked through, turning once. (About 10 minutes.)
  4. Let sweet potatoes, corn, and chicken cool. Cut corn kernels from cobs. Thinly slice chicken.
  5. While everything is cooling, make the dressing. Zest one of the limes, and juice both limes. In a blender, combine lime zest and juice, jalapeno pepper, garlic, cilantro, and remaining teaspoon of cumin. Blend until smooth. With blender running, drizzle in the remaining ¾ cup of olive oil.
  6. The above steps can all be done ahead, with everything refrigerated until serving time.
  7. Divide lettuce among plates. Top with tomato, cooked sweet potatoes, cooked corn, black beans, and sliced chicken. Drizzle dressing over.


Almost Summer!

I spent the end of last week nursing a cold. I don’t do sick well. Fortunately, my husband is patient, and can cook! I was feeling better yesterday, so we worked together, grilling a bunch of vegetables. I did the chopping and prepping, he did the grilling.

Grilled Veggies

I used this basic recipe from the Food Network. This can be really flexible, use whatever vegetables are fresh and available. I made way too many vegetables, I probably could have fed 8 people with this platter!

Grilled Vegetables
Recipe type: Side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • vegetables-I used zucchini, tomatoes, baby portobello mushrooms, bell peppers, and asparagus
  • olive oil to coat the vegetables
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • a couple of sprigs of rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  1. Cut bell peppers in half and seed. Cut tomatoes in half. Slice zucchini lengthwise in half inch slices.
  2. Coat all the vegetables in olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Grill over medium heat until done.
  3. While vegetables are grilling, combine 2 tablespoons olive oil with balsamic vinegar and rosemary.
  4. Place vegetables on a platter. Pour vinegar mixture over.


Sausage and Arugula Pasta

Mother Nature teased us all weekend. We got the clouds, the cool temperatures, and the wind; but not a drop of rain. It is so dry going into our fire season (so sad that we consider fire a season).

I was glad to see arugula in our box this week. It was a little too tough to use for a salad, so I decided to use it in pasta instead. I found a recipe on Allrecipes.com, and decided to try a variation.

Sausage and Arugula Pasta

I love to combine vegetables with pasta! I used very little meat for this recipe; just enough to give the pasta a little meat flavor.

Sausage and Arugula Pasta
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • ½ pound whole wheat thin spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ pound Italian seasoned ground turkey
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 bunch arugula, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Bring pot of water to boil over high heat. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain.
  2. While water is coming to boil, heat olive oil in a large skillet. Brown ground turkey. Add garlic and tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes soften, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add ¼ cup wine to skillet, use to deglaze the pan. Add arugula and basil. Cover and steam until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add more wine if needed to allow for steaming.
  4. Add drained spaghetti to arugula mixture. Toss to combine. Toss in Parmesan cheese just prior to serving.