The Weekly Ration: Volume V

In the sweltering, sticky, grossness of August, I never feel like cooking. Even with the AC on full-blast the kitchen seems to turn into a sauna every time I turn on my oven. This lack of motivation creates a real problem when it comes to my goal of not throwing away any food.

Since my habit is to prepare a menu and buy food for the week to save time, it’s a real problem when we decide not to cook. This week, instead of our regular shop we had two goals. 1.) Eat anything about to go bad in the fridge 2.) Don’t waste any of the veggie’s we bought at the farm.

That meant we were going to be eating A LOT of tomatoes.

The recipe I choose to get rid of our “almost bad” food was tacos. I am not sure if they are even worth posting because tacos are pretty standard, but we had sour cream, cheddar, chicken breasts and salsa that needed to be consumed so it seemed like the only way to go. (Oh and it was Tuesday….so ya… Tacos!)

One thing I do differently with my tacos is marinate the chicken in some taco seasoning and olive oil, rather than cooking it down in water as the directions suggest. I tend to be in a rush when I make tacos and I’ve found that the seasoning packet that comes with the “Garden of Eatin” taco kit is just fine. Dice up the chicken, throw it in a plastic bag with some olive oil and mix it all up. I like this method because whether you cook the chicken on the grill (dice it after in this case) or in a pan it helps it get a bit more crispy on the outside.

Here are some pics from Taco Tuesday…

Last night, I made my favorite new, easy dish. I’m calling it (rather un-creatively) Sam’s Shakshukah. My recipe is based on a traditional Shakshuka, but basically allows you to throw together whatever you have on hand from your CSA or whatever is freshest when you’re cooking it.

To make the recipe, start by pre-heating your oven to 350°F.  Largely dice any squash, eggplant, peppers, onions, garlic etc. you might have lying around. In this case, I needed to use eggplant, yellow squash, and a bunch of peppers, but didn’t have any onions or garlic, and it was still delicious. IMG_5027Next, toss the vegetables with olive oil until just coated. Add freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste.

Put all the vegetables into a cast iron skillet or a Le Creuset-type casserole (I wish!) that is oven-safe. Put about a teaspoon of oil in the skillet and heat on medium-high. Once hot, put all the vegetables into the pan. And cook, turning often for 10-minutes.

Meanwhile chop up 2-4 tomatoes depending on size. When your timer goes off toss in the tomatoes with the other vegetables and cook, stirring often about 3 minutes or until the tomatoes are incorporated. Turn off the heat and throw in pieces of feta cheese at random.

Transfer the casserole to the oven’s middle rack and cook for 20-minutes. Once the timer is up, return the casserole to the stove top and heat. Crack 1-3 fresh eggs* directly over the veggies and immediately return to the oven for 6-8 minutes (depending on how done you like your eggs). Finally, remove the casserole from the oven and top with Zaatar spice to taste.

It doesn’t look like much but it sure tastes delightful. Enjoy!
IMG_5045*If you know you’ll have leftovers I’d either cook the eggs separately and put them on top, or only crack the eggs on one portion of the veggies. This way you can use the leftovers in an omelette for breakfast the next day, or reheat it for lunch without worrying about the egg.