Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cleaning out the fridge two meals in a row

When I woke up yesterday morning and poured my customary glass of orange juice, I couldn't help but notice the accumulation in the produce drawer:

Luckily, yesterday was a day off (my typical work "week" now being mostly long weekends), so I decided to cook for both lunch and dinner.

For lunch, the zucchini "moussaka" dish from the July 2004 issue of Food and Wine.  They don't seem to have the recipe on their website anymore, so here's a link to one of the times I made it last summer.

Ingredients from the backyard: three yellow squash (instead of zucchini), one green pepper (instead of the onion I didn't have), parsley and mint.

From the store: two tomatoes, a can of chickpeas, a can of tomato sauce (instead of tomato paste), 3/4 cup dry couscous and the rest of the seasonings (garlic, etc.).

The nice thing about this recipe is that it's so easy: I got started around 12:30, including chopping, and it was done and ready to eat by 1:00.  Steve had some as well, and I got to enjoy the leftovers today for lunch.

Later, after a few pages of the book I'm reading and a nice, long nap, dinner time was suddenly around the corner.  No problem - I've got this!

Dinner was spinach risotto-stuffed red peppers and an Al Amir-style salad on the side.

From the store: two large red bell peppers (99 cents each at Bi-Lo), spinach, arborio rice, parmesan...pretty much everything for the peppers.  For the salad: tomato, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

From the backyard: cucumbers, parsley and mint for the salad.

For those who don't live in the Columbia area, Al Amir is a Mediterranean restaurant that serves a salad that's pretty much like tabbouleh minus the bulghur wheat.  It's a very cool, refreshing summer salad that's easy to make and delicious - especially if you're using fresh, sweet cucumbers from the backyard or fresh from a local farm.

And here's what we ended up with!

So, while I did make a sizeable dent in the produce selection pictured above, I still have one zucchini, one yellow squash and some of the spinach in the fridge, plus the head of broccoli that Steve picked up when he went grocery shopping at the end of the day.  So, in the next day or two I'll figure out what I'm going to do with them...

Stay cool, everybody.  If you live in Columbia city limits and get any significant rainfall (like on Monday night), do me a favor and send those storm clouds to the northeast after a few minutes.  We could use an inch or three up here!

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