Hot off the presses from my blog post about my High Country Food Hub meal challenge, I wanted to share the recipes with you as well (to the best of my ability as a few were thrown together). I challenged myself to make a week’s worth of family meals with my farmer’s market ingredients that I shopped for on the Food Hub’s website, proving to myself that even if I’m on a budget, I could stretch a good bit using local ingredients for the main components of each dish.
Recapping, here’s my order:
Mixed cherry tomatoes, A Bushel and a Peck Farm
Heirloom tomatoes (red slicers) Against the Grain
Heirloom tomatoes (mixed) New Life Farm
Purple potatoes, Blue Ridge Naturals
Summer squash/zucchini, A Bushel and a Peck
Arugula, Full Moon Farm
Spring salad mix, Full Moon Farm
Shishito peppers, Full Moon Farm
Mixed red/yellow sweet peppers, New Life Farm
Cucumbers, New Life Farm
Blueberries, Moffitt-Toolan Family Farm
Boston Butt, BRG Farms
Ground beef (2 lbs), Moffitt-Toolan, BRG Farms
Beef stew meat, Chestnut Grove Farms
Garlic brats, CS Farm
Chorizo sausage, Moffitt-Toolan
I did have an idea what I wanted to make for the week with a few detours here (for instance, the chili I made was actually requested by my daughter. It used up 2 pounds of the ground beef but the chili made for 2 family meals.)
Here are the meals I prepared, with the local goods in italics. A recap of the recipes is coming soon.
Meal 1: Paella Fried Rice with local chorizo, peppers
This dish was a combo using my new ingredients but also a fridge cleanout from rice and chicken from previous meals. There are a few sites on Pinterest with similar takes. I just through mine together.
2 cups cooked rice (I used leftover cooked rice)
2 sweet bell peppers, chopped
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 lb chorizo sausage in 3 inch links
leftover chicken (optional)
1/2 frozen peas
1 cup cherry tomatoes
broth or water if needed
your preferred seasoning, or hot sauce
Sear sausage on all sides, add peppers and onions to the rendered fat and saute until softened. Add chicken if using, rice, getting a good toasting on the rice. Add your choice of seasoning like paprika, cumin, chili powder, whatever you like. Once the rice is coated, toss in the tomatoes and turn up the heat to get them heated through and blistered. Add frozen peas and heat through. You may need to add a touch of broth or water to keep things loose. Once heated through, top with cilantro or green onions. Enjoy!
Meal 2: Cincinnati Chili (Instant Pot)
My daughter asked for Cincy chili on burger night so we changed our plans, made some chili and spaghetti and had a 4-way!
I used THIS RECIPE’s Instant Pot Method except I cut back further on another one of the three cups of broth = I used 2 cups. Beef was the only hub ingredient used in this dish.
Meal 3: Slow Cooker Pulled Pork w/ potatoes and grilled rainbow veggies
I love making pulled pork in the slow cooker at home. The trick is to get a really dark char on the grill before you drop in your cooker.
2-3 lb Pork shoulder or boston butt
your choice of rub
your choice of the rainbow of veggies (red, orange, yellow, green, violet). Do whatever your faves are. I used red and orange peppers, squash, shishito peppers, zucchini
, red onion
(I used purple)
For the pork: Rub all sides with your choice of dry rub or season with brown sugar, garlic, chili powder, salt, pepper. Grill or sear until nearly blackened on both sides.
Add to slow cooker with 1/2 cup water and 1/2 bbq sauce or beer, broth, apple sauce, soda. Cook on low for 6 hours. The meat should pull apart very easily. This method works in the instant pot as well with two manual cooks on the meat setting. Add bbq sauce if necessary. Extras can be used for tacos, sandwiches or whatever!
For the veggies:
Grill in chunks then chopped or….Chop veggies in similar size, I like to place them in order of red, orange, yellow, green, purple) drizzle with olive oil and salt, coating evenly. Roast at 400-degrees for 20 minutes. Toss.
I simply boiled my potatoes and mashed as I would mashed potatoes. To keep the deep purple, you might consider using broth instead of milk or cream.
Meal 4: Mediterranean w/ Garlic Sausages & Fried Feta
My hubby and I make this dish a lot. The fried feta sends it over the top, but you can just keep it simple and have the un-fried feta. But if you want to wow some folks at a party, make that fried feta!
1 block of feta (frying directions are below)
breadcrumbs or panko
Assorted choice of veggies (I used the leftover rainbow veg, plus shishitos, olives and tomatoes.
Hummus of choice
Pita or flat bread
Sear the garlic brats. halfway through the cooking process, move them to the side and add the veggies and heat through.
Serve the meat and veggies with hummus, feta and pita wedges
Take the block of feta and dip both sides into the egg yolk. Dip each side into the breadcrumbs. Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a NONSTICK skillet. Once the oil is hot, sear the feta on all sides until golden brown. Drizzle with a little warm or spiced honey and serve immediately.
Meal 5: Southwest Bowls with Chorizo & Chicken (served on cheesy grits)
This is a totally customizable bowl. Do what you love!
Grits, polenta, rice, or quinoa (prepared as your packaging instructs)
Veggies of choice (I used tomatoes, onions, cilantro for a pico de gallo)
Cilantro for topping
Sear chorizo and chicken until thoroughly cooked through, remove from heat. Add veggies to the pan and heat through, In the meantime, warm your black beans.
Assemble with grits on the bottom and top any way you wish.
Meal 6: Korean Beef Bowls (Instant Pot) (adapted from How Sweet Eats)
We love Asian fare in our family and make it about once a week. This recipe is easily made and even better with ground beef (our fave) or pork.
Beef Stew Meat
For the sauce:
2-3 TBS brown sugar
3 TBS soy sauce
2 TBS sesame oil
1 TBS chili garlic sauce
1/2 tsp fresh ginger
Stew the beef low and slow for several hours or use this IP method.
Season the beef with salt/pepper. Set the Instant Pot to saute. Add a bit of oil and sear the beef quickly. While the beef is searing, mix together the ingredients for the sauce and adjust to your liking. Add the sauce to the beef. Close the lid to the pot and set to the STEW setting. Once completed, allow to naturally release its pressure.
When you’re ready, saute the mushrooms, zucchini and onion.
Place seasoned beef on a bed of rice and top with edamame, shredded carrot or whatever you like.
Meal 7: Caesar Salad with Arugula, Spring Mix & Tahini Caesar Dressing (adapted from WhatsGabyCooking)
I’m going to let this link be your go-to for this salad. I used Arugula and spring mix instead of her kale. And I saw Gaby cook her croutons on the stove top and they are so delicious that way. Just tear some hearty bread into pieces, and toast in a pan in some olive oil, butter and seasonings. They get so beautifully toasty. Feel free to do them in the oven as well as in this link. This Caesar includes sauted mushrooms and adds avocado too. It’s all delicious. Salmon, shrimp, chicken, steak…all go great on this salad if you prefer to add protein. The dressing is completely vegan and the croutons can be too if you omit the butter.
Below are photos of the smaller meals I made for myself throughout the 12 days. These salads were simply thrown together, using ingredients I had on hand from the hub as well as fridge and pantry. Message me if you have a question. The descriptions are in the photo caption.
Arugula with peaches, blueberries, pancetta and burrata
Arugula, burrata, figs, pancetta
Spring mix salad with cheese, tomatoes, red onion
BLT with a photo bomb
Quick pickle Cukes & Tomato salad