The Box Meal Plan
Though it's sad to say goodbye to peaches and heigh-of-summer produce, we are thrilled to be at the start of greens season! Kale has already risen to vegetable stardom, so we wanted to highlight some other leafy treats as they come into the market. Across the board, dark leafy greens are high in calcium, vitamin A and C, and fiber, all of which combine for a health benefit smorgasbord.
As anyone who's ever juiced can tell you, a neat way to get the nutritional value out of greens is to pulse them in with other foods (or drinks). For late summer gatherings, we all know that Guacamole is a crowd pleaser, but you can sneakily add leafy goodness in for ninja vitamins.
One of the easiest ways to make a healthy, savory breakfast is eggs and greens. The combination of eggs and dark greens set you up with a protein rich meal, during the best time of day to get that in your body. This Cheese and Greens Omelet is a simple way to wake up, and it won't take much time or effort.
In addition to many health benefits, greens are wonderfully versatile, and their recipes are too. They'll bring slightly different flavors to the table, but we love experimenting with substituting multiple options as they're available. This Greens with Mustard Vinaigrette calls for dandelion greens, but turnip greens are a great switch: they're both on the bitter side for greens, which pairs wonderfully with a bright dressing. Turnip greens in particular are high in calcium, even compared to other leafy greens, so eat up!
Another great thing about greens is how easily leftovers can become great dishes. If you make enough of the greens with mustard vinaigrette above, you can save some for a dinner of Savory Potato Patties. Of course, regular mashed potatoes are great in this recipe, but the sweet potatoes in the Box will add color and a bonus helping of vitamin A and beta-carotene!
One of the beautiful things about the growing seasons in the region is we get two seasons of squash! Welcome yellow summer squash and zucchini (another summer squash with its own fancy name) back into the fold with a recipe for each meal, and a (non-squash) cocktail to accompany them!
Adding sliced cucumber is a great way to refresh plain old water, so imagine what it can do for your daiquiri! This Cucumber Lime with Basil Syrup is a bright cocktail, perfect for summer evenings on the porch. Of course, if you leave out the rum, it's a fresh drink for lunch or little ones!
Chocolate is an important part of a balanced breakfast. Fortunately, this White Chocolate Chip Summer Squash Bread brings sweetness without being overbearing, and since it's chock full of squash or zucchini, it brings nutritional goodness too!
We've tried a lot of pesto varieties in our time, testing different herb combinations, but this Zucchini Pesto is a new one for us! While like any pesto, it's easy to throw this over some pasta, this iteration comes across less like a sauce, so it makes a wonderful lunch on some fresh bread.
Rounding out our squash and zucchini meals, this Shredded Summer Squash with Sour Cream, Paprika, and Dill manages to keep a light, summery quality, while still fulfilling any diner's need for a hot, hearty meal. Use any combination of yellow squash and zucchini, but don't skimp on your spices!
We are sorry to see some of our summer favorites winding down, but it's hard to be too disappointed with the return of fall greens! Salads, pastas, stir fry - there's nothing these guys can't do. Before we switch over completely, though, here are some tasty options for an in-between season!
Pickling cucumbers, especially for refrigerator pickles, is an easy but deeply satisfying domestic project. We've shared some great recipe ideas in the past, but now we want to remind you that the adventure doesn't end with cukes in a jar: next time you're grilling, throw some spears on the heat. The char adds a great taste and texture to your average dills, making these Grilled Pickles a fun summer surprise!
Squash Fritters are a healthy(er) replacement for has browns with breakfast. The catch is, since they're lighter, it's easy to eat way more! Careful when flipping these during frying - since they are less starchy than the usual potatoes, they are more delicate to handle.
We couldn't say if these French Toast Grilled Cheese Sandwiches are more breakfast, brunch, or lunch, so we recommend eating them more than once to see where they fit best. With the end of peach season fast approaching, we are anxious to get them into as many meals as possible, and adding melted cheese to a dish has never led us astray.
Spinach risotto is a delicious recipe that takes some attention, but is extremely easy. Switching greens for a Komatsuna Risotto is a fun way to try this vegetable: the texture works perfectly for the dish, and the flavor helps bring a little more heartiness to the meal.
Peach season is winding down, so we want to make sure to get as much summer sweetness out of them as possible. Since combinations of sweet and savory flavors are always exciting, this weekend we're trying out all peach-oriented dishes!
Honey Baked Peaches with Brie is such a delicious summer dessert that we're lifting our ban on ovens in August, especially since they only need a few bare minutes. (If you have the option, a toaster oven is a great alternative!)
Though we've recently featured some classic pancakes here, which make an excellent pairing with fresh peaches on their own, if you are looking for a more decadent brunch, look no further than these Caramelized Peach Pancakes.
Salads for lunch are healthy and light, making them a perfect fit for August. Fortunately, adding some fresh or grilled peaches to this Arugula & Goat Cheese Salad makes the meal a little heartier without making it heavy.
Does it get more southern than sweet tea? Lucky you: now you can enjoy the classic summer beverage for dinner! Sweet Tea Fried Rice features jalapenos and fresh peaches to round out its spicy and sweet profile, and we wouldn't judge you for throwing some grilled shrimp on top!
It is too darn hot. Fortunately, the ever-present humidity of our beloved swamp is offset by a summer full of incredible produce. This week, the Box features some of the most quintessential summer specialties, so dig in and cool off!
Peach Iced Tea is a tried and true way to cool down when the thermometer goes way up, and it's even better with local ingredients. If you want to go all in, pick up some loose tea and experiment with matching different types to the peaches' flavor. Jasmine tea is a great replacement for standard black tea bags.
Muffins are hardly an innovative breakfast idea, but these savory Summer Squash Muffins are a great take on a classic. Besides being delicious, these are packed with healthy squash, so they're an easy way to up your (or kids'!) veggie intake. If you're feeling adventurous, some habanero takes this recipe up a notch!
These Open Face Lemon Arugula Sandwiches are a wonderful, light lunch. Though the recipe calls for boursin to spread, locally produced lemon-dill chevre is the perfect compliment to the dish!
This summer we can't get enough of eggplant. The constant availability, rich variety, and hearty flavor make it a seasonal favorite, especially since it's so easy and adaptable! Eggplant in Yogurt Sauce is an amazing dish full of spices and makes great leftovers!
Homemade fruit leathers can take several steps, but the ingredient list couldn't be simpler! Try some Watermelon Fruit Leathers this summer - they're perfect for snacks and lunchboxes.
Pancakes are a classic way to start the day, and local, low-sugar blueberry jam makes them all the sweeter. Keep it real with this breakfast of champions.
A Pseudo-Caprese Salad is a fun way to get familiar with ingredients. Instead of the traditional tomatoes and mild mozzerella, try a version with sweet peach slices and tangy crumbled cheese for lunch!
Eggplant Fajitas are a tasty use for your hearty eggplant and peppers from the Box. If you're feeling bold, some habanero in salsa or guacamole is a great addition!
When it's too hot to want to spend much time over a stove, we try and keep an eye out for recipes that make great leftovers. These recipes are easy to modify to include meat or go vegetarian, but they also can adapt to whatever you have in the fridge. Less stove time means more time for everything else!
It's easy to see why hummus abounds in the summer - it's light, served cool, and a refreshing snack that can even be on the healthier side. This Sweet Potato Hummus is no exception! The sweet potatotes add to the smooth, creamy texture, and if you're feeling especially local, you can use butter beans as a base for the dip, too!
Homestyle Butter Beans are a flavor rich, savory addition to brunch. Of course, if you don't want to get up two hours before eating, this is a great recipe for making the night before - it's easy to have this simmering while your actual dinner is underway! Don't forget that most recipes that call for butter beans can use lima beans, or vice versa, and that beans freeze well! If you're not able to get to them right away, save 'em for later!
A lot of the time, lunches need to be easy to assemble and convenient to eat. This Curried Chicken and Apple Salad Wrap is both! Of course, chicken salad is always a great solution for leftover chicken, so this is also designed to need mere minutes to put together. If you want to take this wrap in a vegetarian direction, some scrambled tofu or egg salad make delicious options!
Burgers are such a staple of summer, and this Eggplant Burger with Honey Beer Glazed Shallots is a wonderful addition to the family. This dish is vegetarian, but the texture and flavor of the eggplant is toothsome enough for any carnivore.
This weekend's recipes are all about combining flavors! These recipes are all flexible, so it's easy to keep more or less vegetarian.
Recently we shared an exciting five spice peanut recipe, but sometimes you just want the classics. Boiled Peanuts are easy with nothing more than peanuts, water, and salt. The simplest of flavor pairings!
Goat Cheese, Peach, and Honey Toasties are a decadent breakfast for rushed mornings. Of course, any spreadable cheese and stone fruit will do, but the sharpness of a goat chevre (especially a lemon-dill chevre, if you knew where to get that...) pairs really well with the sweetness of the fruit and honey: a great way to wake your taste buds up!
An Arugula, Watermelon, and Feta Salad is a delightful lunch for these humid summer days. The bitterness of the arugula, the sweetness of the melon, and the salty zest of the feta play off of each other to make this very simple salad a wonderful rotation of flavors!
This Broad Bean Salad is a delicious vegan dinner on its own. The beans only need a few minutes to cook, and combined with a light lemon dressing, they make an easy, nutritious meal. If you are looking to build out your dinner a little, the beans make a balanced bed for a poached egg or browned chicken thigh.
A fun aspect of a lot of summer produce is the variety within types - with so many kinds of fresh peas, of stone fruits, or of peppers, recipes can be less rigid commandments and more guidelines for improvisation.
Hummus is a great homemade snack to have on hand. It goes with veggies or bread or chips, so it's ready to go, no matter what else is in the fridge. A Spicy Pea Hummus is a light take on the traditional dip, and a fun way to snack healthily.
Fresh peaches at breakfast are hard to beat, but it's the sad truth that peaches aren't in season all year. For now, making some Vanilla Peach Slices with a modification of this recipe, is an easy way to hang on to some summer sweetness once the season winds down.
If you haven't pureed them into hummus, the fresh peas in season these days are a tasty filling for lunch wraps: this one features Spicy, Curried Peas with a Cucumber Apple Salad. The textures compliment each other fantastically, and this is another temperature flexible option - the peas are delightful warm out of the pan, or made the day before for the office!
Five Spice Mushroom Rice is a low key dinner, and it's easy to make enough for leftovers which are great as a side in a more complex meal or to have on hand for lazy evenings. The Chinese Five Spice blend is a delicious seasoning to make at home and keep on hand for anything from rice, to pickling, to marinades.
With the balance of sweet and savory items in the Box these days, we're really enjoying recipes that play opposing flavors off of each other. Especially when you're aiming to avoid ovens and longer cooking times, this kind of culinary trick can make quick, simple recipes pack a lot more punch!
Five Spice Boiled Peanuts are a great snack or starter for a meal. Unlike their dried or roasted counterparts, boiled peanuts are almost comparable to edamame in experience. This particular brine gives this classic southern treat a unique kick, and keeps your taste buds on their toes!
Who doesn't love Homemade Aplesauce? With the arrival of apples to the market, we are looking forward to plenty of breakfasts completed with this super simple addition (if you haven't paired applesauce with potato pancakes, do so immediately). If you have the patience to make multiple batches, this recipe has several fun suggestions for modifying the flavor, though we'd love to hear if you come up with any one-of-a-kind ideas!
Since we love chilled summer soups, we couldn't pass up this Cucumber and Yogurt with Herbs option. The tanginess of the yogurt and refreshing lightness of the cucumbers makes for a lunch we could eat for hours. The soup is also a great canvas for a few light toppings: some diced tomatoes or raisins and nuts will mix up your texture and add some bright bursts of flavor. If you're interested in upping the ante on your palate, try this with our goat yogurt!
Though we'd recommend grabbing some local ground beef from Two Run Farm or Cleaver & Co., we can't argue with the deliciousness of these Apple and Cheddar Sliders. If you're comfortable going off book a little, sweet potato wedges would add some nice sweetness to balance out your burgers, though we won't try to talk you out of a cheese sauce.