Cooking With This Week's Box
Green Scallions or White Spanish Onions: Korean Stir-Fried Cucumbers (see below); Summer Vietnamese Noodle Salad (see below); Zucchini Enchiladas; Aloo Gobi; Creamy Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole; Diner Style Western Omelet
Green and/or Italian Zucchini: Zucchini Enchiladas
Broccoli: Creamy Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole
Green and/or Silver Slicer Cucumbers: Summer Vietnamese Noodle Salad (see below); Korean Stir-Fried Cucumbers (see below); Kale and Cucumber Salad with Roasted Ginger Dressing
Green and/or Yellow Beans: Cheesy Ham Green Bean Casserole; Greek Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner with Green Beans & Feta;
New Potatoes: Aloo Gobi; Greek Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner with Green Beans & Feta;
Amaranth or Green Curly Kale: Indian Amaranth Stir-Fry; Kale and Cucumber Salad with Roasted Ginger Dressing;
Jalapeno Peppers: Summer Vietnamese Noodle Salad (see below); Indian Amaranth Stir-Fry
Since our second crop of cucumbers is starting to produce now, I thought this would be a good week to feature cucumbers! Wondering what to do with the pile of cucumbers in this week’s box? Our two feature recipes this week include Summer Vietnamese Noodle Salad (see below) and Korean Stir-Fried Cucumbers (see below). If you aren’t in the mood for either of these recipes, perhaps you’ll find something to your liking on the list of 30 different recipes/recipe collections (see below) I’ve included with this week’s vegetable feature! I’ve included recipes for everything from soups and salads to beverages and desserts!
photo from WellPlated.com
Once you’ve conquered the pile of cucumbers, it’s time to move on to the pile of zucchini! I came across this recipe for Zucchini Enchiladas
! This is a recipe I featured back in 2017 and it’s a simple way to make a filling main course using a lot of different vegetables including potatoes, carrots, zucchini, onions, garlic, beans and either amaranth or kale. You can vary the ingredients based on what you have available. Leftovers also reheat very well for a nice next-day lunch or dinner option. You can also eat it for breakfast with a fried egg on top!
Looking for something to do with the carrot tops instead of throwing them away? How about Carrot Top Hummus? Make this on the weekend and keep it handy for a quick snack or light dinner. Eat it with slices of cucumber and carrot sticks, pita or chips.
|Creamy Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole|
photo from SpoonfulOfFlavor.com
I haven’t made Aloo Gobi for awhile, but it’s always a delicious dish to make with new potatoes and summer cauliflower. Aloo Gobi is an Indian curry one-pot meal that is pretty simple to make…and eat! If you don’t use the cauliflower for aloo gobi, consider making Creamy Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole. This is a simple recipe that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser! While we’re talking casseroles, I think this would be a great week to make Cheesy Ham Green Bean Casserole. This recipe calls for 2 pounds of beans and yields 8 servings. There is only one pound of beans in the box this week, so you’ll have to cut the recipe in half.
Looking for another main dish dinner recipe? This Greek Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner with Green Beans & Feta looks like a winner! It includes not only green beans, but potatoes as well!
|Kale and Cucumber Salad with Roasted Ginger Dressing|
photo from BonAppetit.com
If you receive the beautiful amaranth in your box, check out this recipe for Indian Amaranth Stir-Fry featuring amaranth, coconut and garlic. If you receive the kale, consider making this Kale and Cucumber Salad with Roasted Ginger Dressing.
Last, but not least, if you still have a little onion and bell pepper hanging out at the end of the box, turn them into a Diner Style Western Omelet. This is one of my favorite ways to use green bell peppers and it reminds me of those Sunday after-church lunches with my family when I was a kid. We’d often go to The Waffle House or Bob Evans and I’d either get a stack of blueberry pancakes or a western omelet. Aside from my brother pulling the chair out from me when I went to sit down, those were fun times with good memories!
That’s it for this week. I’ll see you back again in one short week with more summer vegetables and more delicious recipes!—Chef Andrea
Vegetable Feature: Cucumbers
By Andrea Yoder
“Why Cucumbers? (Doesn’t everyone know about cucumbers?)” This is the opening line to the chapter about cucumbers in Elizabeth Schneider’s book, Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini. Cucumbers and zucchini are kind of staple summer crops, you just have to have them. The thing about both of these crops that can sometimes be frightening is their ability to produce like crazy in the heat of the summer which leaves us with a pile of cucumbers and the question “What in the world am I going to do with all these cucumbers?!” Don’t worry, I have some suggestions for you this week!
While we’re only accustomed to seeing several different types of cucumbers in this country, there are many different shapes and colors of cucumbers world-wide. They are thought to have originated in India or the surrounding area. They then spread into other Asian countries as well as Europe and then made their way to the Americas where they were introduced to this part of the world by explorers. Cucumbers, which thrive in warm climates and the heat of summer, are known to be very cooling and help us stay hydrated with their high water content. This cooling characteristic also makes them a sensible condiment or accompaniment to counter spicy foods such as chiles and curries. We grow the most familiar “green slicer” cucumbers as well as our favorite variety of cucumbers called silver slicers. Silver slicers produce a smaller cucumber that has a white to pale yellow skin color with crispy, fruity flesh. We have grown to prefer this variety because the flavor is more complex, the flesh maintains its crispness, and it doesn’t have any/many of the compounds in cucumbers that can cause burping or gastrointestinal consequences.
Cucumbers pair well with a whole host of ingredients, but some of the most common pairings include herbs such as mint, basil, parsley and dill as well as other vegetables such as onions, tomatoes and garlic. Cucumbers also pair well with other fruits such as melons, watermelon, limes, lemons, grapefruit and berries. Of course they also play well with feta cheese, cream, buttermilk, sour cream and yogurt.
photo from TheLittleEpicurean.com
I hope you’ll check out the extensive list of 30 recipes/recipe collections that follow. I hope you enjoy some of your old “go-to” ways of eating cucumbers this summer as well as experimenting with some different ways to use cucumbers! Lastly, cucumbers are sensitive to cold temperatures and ideally should be stored at 45-50°F. Thus, we recommend only short-term storage in your refrigerator or just keep them on the counter at room temperature until you use them within a few days. Have fun and don’t forget to stay cool as a cucumber this summer!
Not Sure What To Do With Cucumbers....Here Are a Few Ideas!
|Mexican Cucumber Snack|
photo from ThriftAndSpice.com
Pickles, Salads & Snacks:
Summer Vietnamese Noodle Salad (see below)
|Tuna Steaks with Cucumber Relish|
photo from BBCGoodFood.com
Appetizers and/or Mains:
Korean Stir-Fried Cucumbers (see below)
Desserts & Refreshing Treats:
Summer Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
|Photo from Food52.com|
8 ounces thin rice noodles (roughly the width of linguine)
1 ½ cups cabbage, thinly sliced
2-3 medium carrots, shredded or cut into matchsticks
1 large or 2-3 medium cucumbers, halved, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 cup chopped fresh herbs, preferably a combination of basil, cilantro, and mint
16 ounces cooked tofu, chicken, or shrimp, cut or torn into bite-sized pieces
1 cup roasted, salted peanuts or toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
⅓ cup fish sauce
⅓ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ cup light brown sugar, plus more to taste
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
½ to 1 fresh jalapeño, minced
- To prepare the dressing, combine the fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, garlic, and the jalapeño. Whisk well. Set aside. (Note: The dressing will store in the refrigerator for 3 days to a week.)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the rice noodles, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes (or according to package instructions), until tender but not mushy. Immediately drain the noodles into a colander, and rinse them well with cold water to cool them. Shake the colander to drain away excess water.
- When the noodles are well-drained, put them in a large bowl along with the vegetables, herbs and tofu or meat. Spoon dressing over the entire mixture and toss well to combine.
- Serve with chopped peanuts or almonds on top.
Recipe adapted from Food52.com.
Stir-Fried Cucumbers (Oi Bokkeum) "Quick and easy Korean cucumber side dish"
Yield: 4 servings
|Photo from KoreanBapsang.com|
1 pound cucumbers
1 ½ tsp salt
2 tsp vegetable oil
½ tsp minced garlic
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 tsp sesame oil
½ tsp sesame seeds
- Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise slightly diagonally. If the cucumbers are thin, you can simply cut into thin rounds.
- Toss the cucumber slices with one and a half teaspoons of salt to coat evenly. Let rest for 5 minutes.
- Squeeze as much water out from the cucumber slices as possible. Don’t worry about bruising them. They will recover when stir-fried.
- Heat a pan over high heat. Add ½ tablespoon of cooking oil. Quickly stir in the garlic. Add the cucumbers. Stir-fry for a minute until the cucumbers are slightly cooked. Turn off the heat. Toss well with the scallion, sesame oil, and sesame seeds.
Recipe borrowed from www.koreanbapsang.com.