Wednesday, June 30, 2010

MENU Wed 6/30 through TUE 7/6

My Produce Delivery Came!

In this week's produce box, I received 6 ears of corn, 6 peaches, a personal watermelon, a Sprite melon, 1 bell pepper, 3 red tomatoes, and 1 green tomato. All the new recipes from this week's Produce Box newsletter are posted on, in their own category.

I'll be using some of the peaches in Fresh Peach Mango Salsa for snacking during the week. If you receive The Produce Box and are looking for a fun way to use some jalapenos and peaches, give it a try!

By the way, last week's Grilled BBQ Chicken Legs came out great! I've posted a new, separate recipe for grilling them, as the prior recipe was for baking them in the oven.

Here's the week's menu:

WED 6/30 - As planned last week (and provided the rain holds off), we're grilling hamburgers. I'm testing a recipe for our Happy Fourth on the Tenth Party. We'll also have Steamed Corn on the Cob, and Pasta Salad. I'll slice up some watermelon for dessert.

THU 7/1 - Taco Salads, with chicken breast rather than ground beef. Include fresh corn and green pepper from The Produce Box. We'll try some of the Fresh Peach Mango Salsa on the tacos also. More watermelon for dessert, if there's any left. Soon, I'll try out this recipe for Watermelon Basil Vinaigrette... but I'm enjoying my first watermelon of the season plain!

FRI 7/2 - Tilapia, cooked with more of those great fresh bell peppers. I'm trying out this Caribbean-Style Tilapia recipe. Serve with Black Beans & Yellow Rice and Roasted Corn with Shallot Vinaigrette. Last week, I over-cooked the corn ; I'm giving it another try. Watch the clock when you make that recipe!
I'm using my green tomato to try out Paula Deen's Green Tomato Cake. Hey, if Paula Deen says it's good, it's a least worth a try, right?

SAT 7/3 - Pork Stir Fry, using onion, green pepper, and 2 more veggies (I'll run by the State Farmer's Market for more green pepper and a couple more veggies for the Stir Fry). Serve with jasmine rice.
To cool us off in the afternoon, I'll make Summer Smoothies, substituting strawberries for raspberries, as I have some in the freezer (I stocked up while they were in season). I already can't wait for next spring's boxes from The Produce Box, just to get more berries!

SUN 7/4 - Grilled Porterhouse, Shrimp and Black Bean Salad, and bread served w/ Olive Oil & Bread-Dipping Spices, and (of course, since I have lots of great tomatoes) Tomato Pie.
I'll use green pepper and red, ripe tomatoes from The Produce Box in the salad, substituting garden tomatoes for cherry/grape tomatoes.

MON 7/5 - Grilled Chicken Thighs, Grilled Corn, leftover Shrimp and Black Bean Salad.

TUE 7/6 - Savory Peach Chicken served over jasmine rice.

You may notice some recipe repeats in my menus... when a produce item is in season, I take advantage of its quality and price. If you see, for example, too much Tomato Pie on my menus, please comment with your favorite tomato recipe as an alternative. And, don't forget to post the recipe on!

"The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking, you've got to have a, "What the hell?" attitude." - - Julia Child

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

MENU Wed 6/23 through Tue 6/29

Produce Day Has Arrived!

I received corn, tomatoes, peaches, a cucumber, a Sprite melon, cucumbers, and blueberries from The Produce Box this week. I still have an eggplant, too, which I will attempt to grill tonight.

Tuesday night, we added Tomato Pie to the menu, and it was fantastic - full of fresh, local tomatoes. My mother-in-law doesn't like tomatoes much, but she's a fan of this dish. Give it a try!

Here's the week's menu:

WED 6/23 - We did leftovers last night, having Fresh Cucumber Salad, Tomato Pie, Pesto Pasta Salad, and hot dogs.

THU 6/24 - Grilled Pork Chops, Grilled Eggplant (which my father-in-law said is very good, so I'll give it a try), the last of the leftover Tomato Pie, and Fresh Cucumber Salad.

FRI 6/25 - Roasted Chicken Quarters, Roasted Corn with Shallot Vinaigrette, Wild Rice Mix.

SAT 6/26 - Grilled Lamb Chops, Roasted Rosemary Potatoes, Grilled Corn. We'll grill hot dogs for lunch. As an afternoon snack, we'll have Tzatsiki Sauce with chips &/or veggies.
Here's a photo of the corn I grilled last week:

SUN 6/27 - BBQ Chicken Legs (though I may grill rather than bake them), Mashed Potatoes, and Glazed Parsnips and Carrots.

MON 6/28 - The last of the pre-made frozen Stuffed Chicken Rolls, Pasta with Pesto, Steamed Corn. If I still have tomatoes, I'll make Tomato Pie again, too.

TUE 6/29 - Italian Sausage pasta, salad, bread.

WED 6/30 - Grilled Hamburgers, pasta salad.

Coming next week: Tilapia, Stir Fry, Taco Salad, and maybe some Shrimp, too!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Eleven Quick Meal Ideas (includes vegetarian choices!)

Need a quick meal or snack? Here's some easy options! Post your own favorite quick meal ideas on!

1. Shrimp Snack: Warm olive oil in a skillet with at least 3 cloves sliced garlic. When the garlic colors, add at least a teaspoon each of cumin and pimenton. A minute later, add a dozen or so shrimp, salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley, serve with lemon and bread. Shrimp defrost really quickly... just keep a bag on hand in the freezer, and you're ready for a great snack any time!

2. Gazpacho: Combine in a blender: one pound tomatoes cut into chunks, a cucumber peeled and cut into chunks, two or three slices stale bread torn into pieces, a quarter-cup olive oil, two tablespoons sherry vinegar, a clove of garlic, one cup of water, and a couple of ice cubes. Process until smooth, adding water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper, then serve. Garnish with anchovies if you like, and a little more olive oil. Have I mentioned lately how much I *love* my mini food processor?

3. Call it Panini:
Grilled cheese with salami or prosciutto, tomatoes, and fresh thyme or basil leaves.

4. Quick Tacos:
Stir-fry a pound or so of ground meat (or chopped fish) mixed with chopped onions and seasoned with cumin or chili powder. Pile into taco shells or soft tacos, along with tomato, lettuce, canned beans, onion, cilantro, and sour cream.

5. Chicken Sandwich:
Dredge thinly sliced (or pounded flat) chicken breasts in flour or cornmeal; cook about two minutes a side in hot olive oil. Pull out that George Foreman grill to make this really easy! Place on bread with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise.

6. Taco Salad: Toss together greens, chopped tomato, chopped red onion, sliced avocado, some black beans, and some corn. Toss with crumbled tortilla chips and grated cheese. Dress with olive oil, lime, and chopped cilantro leaves.

7. Easy Pasta Primavera: Saute shredded zucchini in olive oil, adding garlic and chopped herbs. Serve over pasta.

8. Shrimp and Beets:
Peel and thinly slice raw beets; cook in butter until soft. Take out of pan and quickly cook some shrimp in the same pan. Deglaze pan with sherry vinegar, adding sauce to beets and shrimp. Garnish with dill. Give beets a chance - they're worth it.

9. Portobello Eggs:
Brush portobello caps with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper and broil until tender. Briefly sweat chopped onions, then scramble eggs with them. Put eggs in mushrooms. Having guests spend the night? Make this for breakfast & impress them! I love *easy* impressive meals.

10. Sweet Sausage: Cut up Italian sausage into chunks and brown in a little olive oil until just about done. Dump in a lot of seedless grapes and, if you like, a little slivered garlic and chopped rosemary. Cook, stirring, until the grapes are hot. Serve with bread.

11. Veggie Burger:
Drain and pour a 14-ounce can of beans into a food processor with an onion, half a cup rolled oats, a tablespoon chili powder or other spice mix, and egg, salt and pepper. Process until mushy, then shape into burgers, adding a little liquid or oats as necessary. Cook in oil about three minutes a side and serve.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

MENU Wed 6/16 through Tue 6/22/2010

It's Produce Day!

I received corn, eggplant, bell peppers, red tomatoes, peaches, cherry tomatoes, and edamame from The Produce Box this week. I have half a pound of green & wax beans left from last week, destined for Sunday's Wax and Green Beans with Roasted Peppers. I also have some Daikon radish still hanging out in the fridge, so it'll be featured in Friday's Spring Asparagus and White Bean Salad.

I'll be having tomato sandwiches for lunch this week, with lovely fresh peaches on the side.
Do you have more corn than you can use in a week? I understand... I'll be freezing the leftover corn, since there's only 2 of us. Okay, there's baby Rosie, too, but she doesn't eat corn yet.

Here's the week's menu:

WED 6/16 - Stuffed Chicken Rolls from the freezer, ready to bake; Pasta with Pesto; Fresh Cucumber Salad; Edamame.
I've never made edamame at home before; I plan to use this recipe from
I make a large batch of cucumber salad at a time, storing it in a quart Mason jar in the fridge. We'll have it throughout the week.

THU 6/17 - Appetizer: Salsa and Chips, Enchiladas from the freezer, ready to bake; Grilled Corn.
If anyone has a time-tested, homemade salsa recipe, please post it on - I'd love to learn to make my own!

FRI 6/18 - Roasted Chicken Quarters, Spring Asparagus and White Bean Salad with green & wax beans steamed & tossed in as well, Baked Red Potatoes, and Fresh Cucumber Salad.
I just wash the potatoes, prick them with a fork, and bake with the chicken while it cooks (not in the same pan).

SAT 6/19 - We're having friends for dinner. Not sure of the main entree yet, but I know I'm making Shrimp and Black Bean Salad, using the green peppers and cherry tomatoes from The Produce Box. We'll have Grilled Corn as the main vegetable. I'll also be making Roasted Eggplant and Red Pepper Topping to serve w/ pita chips as an appetizer. I'll be using green peppers instead of red, though, since I have them. If it works out well, I'll post my version of the recipe on

SUN 6/20 - Eggplant Parmesan, here we come! Serve with Garlic Bread and Wax and Green Beans with Roasted Peppers.

MON 6/21 - Shepherd's Pie.

TUE 6/22 - "Prosciutto" Chicken Kabobs, Grilled Corn, Pasta Salad. If we still have eggplant, I'll cube it to add to the kabobs.
I'll grill extra corn so I can save it for a future batch of pasta salad. Just slice the kernels off the husk once the corn cools, and refrigerate or freeze in a baggie. I'm off to water my basil plant, since it looks like I'll be asking a lot of it this week.


Local Produce, Weekly Menu

The Produce Box, located in the Raleigh area, is an organization that provides fresh, local produce at a reasonable cost. I am proud to be supporting local farmers while receiving a product far superior to the offerings at my area's commercial grocery stores. Buying local products also supports the environment. Just imagine the drop in fossil fuel consumption that would result if even half the families in the US bought local produce rather than what had been shipped across the country!

I am now receiving weekly produce deliveries from The Produce Box. Each week, I will post the recipes from their newsletter on JustRightMenus. The recipes from The Produce Box have their own category on the site, to make them easy to find.

As a subscriber to The Produce Box, I choose weekly from 3 different boxes of produce, two of which have stated contents. The third has surprise contents - this is typically the box I choose. So I will no longer be planning complete menus two weeks at a time, as I don't know what produce I'll have until it's delivered each Wednesday.

I'll now be posting a weekly menu, full of local produce.

If you've never visited your local farmer's market, check it out this weekend! That would be a fun trip to go on with Dad!