summer meal plan – june 26,2016

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cooking in season / vegetarian meal plans


In the middle of a cooking groove, so I am riding it all the way to an actual meal plan. This is way more food than we can probably get through in a week, but I figure I’ll just keep working through it until we run out of produce.

Putting lots of tomatoes and peaches this week, too. Excited to try Kate’s peach sauce in addition to putting away a small batch of peach jam.

Summer Veggie Burgers | Crispy Okra
Ginger Brown Rice with Carrots
Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas and Greens
Creamed Elote with Spaghetti Squash
Caldo de Papa
Leek & Potato Frittata (based on this recipe)
Pepperoni Tempeh Salads*
Sweet & Spicy Roasted Carrots & Parsnips

Carrot Muffins
Quinoa Cakes
Roasted BBQ Chickpeas
Roasted Beets

Veggie Scrambles
Yogurt & Granola with Peaches
Multigrain Waffles**
Breakfast Tacos


* Salad Samurai by Terry Hope Romero
** Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

summer veggie burgers

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cooking in season / recipes
summer veggie burger |

I have been on a quest for a homemade veggie patty for… like… ever. I’ve tried a kazillion recipes in the past few years and they are all perfectly yummy but rarely hit highs across the board. Sometimes, they fall apart. Sometimes, they are ingredient heavy. Sometimes the 9yo 10yo won’t come within inches of them. Sometimes they are ONLY yummy if you can serve them with a perfect combination of go-withs.

This recipe (originally posted last summer) is still a favorite and we busted it out as soon as we got our first eggplants in the CSA box. They are versatile, freezer-friendly, egg-free, and perhaps most importantly, both kid AND adult approved.

summer veggie burger 2 |

Summer Veggie Burgers
makes 10 slider-size patties

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 medium eggplants, cubed
1 cup grated sharp cheddar
1 cup panko bread crumbs
salt and pepper

  1. Warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet.
  2. Add cubed eggplant to skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until golden brown and tender.
  3. Salt and pepper eggplant to taste.
  4. Set eggplant aside to cool.
  5. Place cooled eggplant, cheese and bread crumbs in food processor and pulse (6-8 times) till eggplant breaks down to small bits. Note: do not puree or pulverize.
  6. Place eggplant mixture in fridge to cool for at least one hour or until ready to cook patties.
  7. Divide mixture into round balls and form patties (¾ inch – 1 inch thick).
  8. Add remaining olive oil to skillet.
  9. Brown on both sides, squishing to desired thickness after first flip.
  10. Serve with your favorite burger dressings.


We like our burger fixings simple. Mayo, fermented dill pickle slices & a single tomato slice make the eggplant-patty shine marvelously. Our late-night burgers (aka cravings) get paired with a thick slice of sharp cheddar, pickles, red onion and BBQ sauce.😉

If you are freezing portions, make sure to wrap the patties individually to facilitate short-notice dinners and quick weekend lunches.

tomatolandia: what comes first?

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preserving the seasons

I am not sure what kind of shape my tomatoes are going to be in tomorrow morning, but I suspect that they will be very, very, VERY ripe. Although my most coveted pantry is item is crushed tomatoes, I find that knocking out a batch of Basic Tomato Sauce first helps start my weekend processing without wearing me down. No blanching or peeling! I can usually get through a solid 6-7 lbs of the most ripe tomatoes as soon as I get home with them. This helps reduce any anxiety about wasting produce (for everyone in the house) and buys me some time as I figure out a plan for the other 13-14 lbs.

2016: I’ll be using the coarse screen on my food mill this year so that I can achieve a chunkier sauce that will hopefully be more versatile year-round.

all of the tomatoes

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cooking in season / preserving the seasons

This will be my fifth season of putting up tomatoes for my homemade pantry! I’m excited to get my sad, sad pantry back into top form, so stay tuned this coming weekend as I blanch, peel, and prep my first 20 lbs worth. I’ll start with a tentative plan tomorrow (on the blog) with links to some recipes and will be posting on Instagram and Twitter all weekend long with my favorite hashtag of the summer season – #tomatolandia.


20 lbs looks like this

P.S. Scroll on down to my tag list and click on #tomatolandia to check out posts dating back to 2012 (the beginning of my homemade pantry efforts).

to all the dads

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Hope you all have awesome days doing (and eating) your favorite things and relishing in the attentions that you deserve. 

To my own beloved parenting partner: She is awesome and that has everything to do with what you do on the daily. Besos.

To my papi: Te adoro y extraño… diario. Besitos. 

on weekend cooking

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Weekday cooking and weekend cooking are completely different beasts. Monday-Friday it is about sustenance and fuel. MUST GET FOOD IN BELLY. There is simply more of work and life that makes the relatively simple of act of getting food into your belly *seem* harder so we reheat, assemble, and indulge in the world of quick.

Weekend cooking though? That is when I get to recharge. I can slow down and listen to some lectures ir a podcast. I can bust out the cookbooks and take up as much space as I need. I can contemplate the kind of week I want next week to be. I can prep and plan in hopes of making the eating part of the next Monday-Friday feel less rushed.

It has been weeks since I have had the mental and physical energy to indulge in a full day in the kitchen and I am going to relish every second of it.

#NP Great Presidents from The Great Courses
Making Harira from Heidi Swanson’s Near & Far
Looking forward to cooking for my mama at the end of the month.