Tag Archives: pesto

Squash Dumplings

I’m still alive! (sort of).  I’m actually home sick today so I figured I could FINALLY update my blog.  Since the semester has started back up I have been busy teaching, taking a class, and doing research.  This usually accounts for 10-16 hour workdays.  By the time I get home I make something quick and easy (omelette, 10 bowls of cereal, oatmeal…) but occasionally I have a particularly bad day and need to cook.  I think I have 4 or 5 recipes that I will be posting today, so stay tuned!

When my CSA decided to call it quits, they cleared out their farm and gave each of us 2 boxes – about 40 pounds – of produce.  In the end, I probably received as much as I would have over the following weeks.  Among my bounty was 17 squash, an enormous bag filled with garlic (I would estimate 30-40 bulbs), bags of potatoes, and lots and  lots of greens.  Also, my CSA gave us this link http://www.localgrowers.org/csa-programs/ to help us find a new farm to support.  I joined a winter CSA and am very excited about it.

So, I have a lot of squash.  Becca and I took a cute date to Nashville, Indiana, and I bought a down home, kitschy squash cookbook.  I’ve been getting ideas from it, but mostly for breads.  When I have a lot of squash, I typically roast 2 or 3 at a time and just keep the roasted sqash in the fridge to put on oatmeal, bake into a casserole, or make breads.  I wanted pasta the other day so I had the idea to adapt my gnocchi recipe for squash.  I got lazy so instead of making “pillows” I just rolled the dough into balls.

Squash Dumplings

-In a mixing bowl combine 1 egg and 1.5 cups roasted squash
-Continue mixing in 2 cups flour (I use wheat) and 1/4 teaspoon salt
-Once dough reaches dough-like consistency, roll into balls and boil until no longer chewy

Mizuna Pesto
-combine (with a mortar and pestle, blender, imersion blender, or however you want) chopped mizuna, 1-2 cloves crushed or finely chopped garlic, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper

It’s really tough to quantify how much any of this costs because of how I got 4 week’s worth of vegetables at once.  These are my best estimates:

Total Cost: $3.29

organic squash: $0.75
organic garlic clove: $0.10
2 cups organic flour: $0.52
1 organic egg: $0.17
Mizuna: $0.75
1/4 cup paremean cheese: $1.00


Zucchini Pasta

This freaking heat has really been getting to me lately.

As a result, I have no appetite for anything heavy.

I picked up my CSA yesterday and had 4 zucchini, 5 cucumbers, a bag of chieftan potatoes, and basil.  With the extreme drought and high temps (2+ weeks straight of 100+ degree weather) the CSAs haven’t been quite as bountiful.

With the basil, I absolutely wanted to make pesto, but definitely didn’t want heavy pasta.  Instead, I opted to make zucchini pasta.  I had done this before with eggplant and figured it would work with zucchini, too.

The pesto was fantastic, plus I got to use my mortar and pestle!!  Overall, the “pasta” turned out pretty well.  The only downside is that this takes some time, because you’re supposed to let it drain.  I personally don’t know if this really makes a different or not.

Zucchini Pasta with Walnut Pesto

Zucchini Pasta
-using a potato peeler (or a mandolin, or whatever you want), thinly slice the zucchini
-place zucchini slices in a colander, sprinkle with salt, and let sit for 30 minutes

-after 30 minutes, rinse and cook in boiling water
-cut red potatoes into quarters, and boil with the zucchini


-using the mortar and pestle, smash a clove of garlic
-add fresh basil leaves and continue to smash the leaves and garlic, add olive oil as needed
-add walnuts until you reach the desired consistency
-add salt, to taste

Normally pesto has parmesan, but I didn’t have any.  I really don’t think it made a difference.

To go with this, I also added some goat cheese and chicken I had cooked and previously frozen.

Total Price: $8.60

-4 organic zucchini: $4.00
-1/2 package organic basil: $2.00
-1 organic garlic clove: $0.10
-handful organic walnuts: $0.25
-4 organic chieftan potatoes: $1.00
-organic goat cheese: $0.25
-1/2-ish pound organic chicken: $1.00

I had no idea this ended up being so expensive.  I suppose what I have found is that grains are certainly cheaper than fresh vegetables.  Obviously  I think this has a lot to do with the recent weather, as the shares haven’t been as large lately.  oh well.


Black Bean Burgers with Roasted Parsnips and White Balsamic Spinach Pesto

geniuses pick green

I don’t remember how I came up with this idea but I’m so glad I did.

On another note: I freaking LOVE parsnips.  They’re so versatile!  I think roasting may be my favorite method though.

I was talking to my old roommate, Dani, today and she asked me what I made for dinner.   I love the response people have because they think the things I make sound so gourmet.  They’re really not.  They’re actually all quite easy and usually pretty quick.  Tonight’s meal?  I started at 8:53 and sat down to eat in time for the runway portion of Project Runway tonight.

Black Bean Burgers

I made these differently than last time and I think I preferred the first time.  Definitely better with avocado but tonight I just used what I had.

-in a food processor combine 1 can (drained) black beans, 1/8 of a red onion, 1 garlic clove, crushed red pepper, salt, cumin, and cornmeal.  Be careful with the cornmeal.  I probably added 1 cup + and it was way too much since there weren’t many wet ingredients in this.  Combine until you reach a non-sticky consistency.
-Form into patties and place on a roasting tin.
-Place in the oven at 400 degrees C and roast for 15-20 minutse or until a hard crust forms.

I made them smaller this time so I'd have more leftovers 🙂

White Balsamic Spinach Pesto

in a blender, food processor, or hand blender container combine 2 cups spinach, a chunk of parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar.

sooooooo goooood

Roasted Parsnips

quarter 6 parsnips
-toss in olive oil
-roast at 400 degrees C for 15-20 minutes or until slightly charred

finished plate!

Too bad my life goal of having a midlife crisis, going to culinary school, and becoming a head chef somewhere will likely never be achieved since my food isn’t the most attractive haha.

Total Cost: $5.13

Black Bean Burgers (7): $2.11

-1 can organic black beans: $1.39
-1/8 organic red onion: $0.12
-1 clove organic garlic: $0.10
cornmeal:$0.50 (?)

Spinach Pesto: <$2.00

2 cups organic spinach: $0.75
-1 chunk of parmesan cheese: (no idea, I bought this cheese in September)
-oil/vinegar: no clue

Roasted Parsnips:

-6 organic parsnips:$1.02