The Box Meal Plan
The Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup combo is the perfect, comfortable way to start 2015, and it doesn't start better than with locally grown tomatoes in January! A vegetable broth can make this recipe vegetarian, and depending on what went into it, bring some new flavors to the table, too. We like a mushroom broth and the addition of some sauteed shiitakes into the grilled cheese!
If you haven't already, the savory breakfast is a great habit to start in the new year. It tends to incorporate ingredients that will do a better job of keeping you full and energized through the morning. A quick saute yields this delicious Broccoli Stem Salad, all the more convenient because you can make it for a quick hot meal or ahead of time for a chilled, crunchy salad.
Brussels sprouts with bacon are great on their own, but to really craft a meal that is dressed to impress, try Bacon Brussels Sprouts Risotto. Risotto is another solid recipe to have down for 2015: the starchiness of the grains creates a wonderful creamy texture without (needing) any cream or butter!
Casseroles are a classic dish structure, and this white version with cauliflower and cream hits it out of the park. This Cheese Cauliflower Casserole is a great dish on its own, but we especially find it serves as a great base to feature a few more ingredients like some chopped greens or peppers and scallions.
Ready for the last recipes of the year?
Still not sure what to do with cabbage? Try a holiday version of a classic: Orange Apple Cranberry Sauerkraut. This particular recipe is a great way to start the new year, too, because it's fermented so you'll get a bunch of great benefits to your tummy!
Speaking of New Year's options, if you haven't tried Cauliflower Rice, it's a wonderful base for any dish that would normally call for rice or pasta. It's healthier and just as easy to flavor with whatever you like!
Tofu Steaks with Warm Satsumas and Rosemary is a great hearty, healthy dinner to start off your 2015. Of course, if you like, the marinade works wonders on animal steaks too. If maple syrup isn't quite local enough for you, some local honey from the market is a tasty substitute.
And in the interest of saving time as well as waistline in the new year, Baked Sweet Potatoes with Broccoli and Cheese is a great dinner on its own, and you can easily make several ahead of time, and toss one in the oven when you need a quick meal!
It's hard to deny the crisp appeal of french fries as a side, but they're not the best at supporting healthy resolutions. We like these Beet Fries as a delicious and visually arresting option! Of course, this recipe works well for many root vegetables, so if you must have potatoes, toss them in too, or bring in some carrots or sweet potatoes for an even more exciting look! Plus, these beet fries bring a earthy richness plain ol' spuds can't match.
Herb butter is a wonderful touch for warm rolls or steaks, but if you haven't tried upping your spread game with citrus, you should check out this Orange Honey Butter. The sweet, tangy balance is great on cornbread with chili, on scones at breakfast, or with many fish filets. This works with satsumas or lemons for a bit more sass, and if you grab some of the first-of-the-season blood oranges, you can play in some gorgeous crimson, too!
Puff pastry is a cloud of buttery goodness, and the light, flakiness is wonderfully offset by sweet, savory crunch in a Carrot Tarte Tatin. The honey and herbs are great flavor combinations even if you're just roasting your carrots, but the presentation and textural pairing brings this dish up a level. Want to give it another boost? Pick up some local feta and milk and create a restaurant-worthy condiment with two ingredients and a blender!
Cabbage is a traditional food for the southern new year, but this twist is a little crunchier: Stir Fried Cabbage and Carrots should count as equally lucky, and you can revisit this recipe for Chinese New Year in February!
Though we already featured a coconut base soup today, we couldn't resist sharing this Caramelized Cauliflower Coconut Soup too. This recipe is so easy, and it is a beautiful way to prepare cauliflower if you are feeling over roasting, stir frying, steaming... or just want to add to your cauliflower repertoire!
Hanukkah is almost over, but you never have to stop eating latkes, as far as we're concerned. Baked Sweet Potato Latkes are a healthier version of the traditional dish, and they bring a little more of their sweet flavor to the table, which makes them a fun pairing for more spicy or savory condiments than the usual apple sauce and sour cream (though they're great with those too!).
We're still excited about the addition of Brussels sprouts to the season, so we wanted to cover a quick, easy preparation for them. Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts are a simple dish, great for a side dish or a filling lunch of their own. Roasting is also a great way to cook sprouts in general, retaining all or most of their nutrients and caramelizing just enough to play off of their own more bitter flavor.
Although plenty of amazing dessert-style sweet potato dishes that come up around the holidays, this savory Sweet Potato Gratin with Gruyere is a cheesy piece of heaven.
Some exciting new items are coming into season, so we're excited to have fruit other than citrus (we still love you, citrus), and the tiny cabbages more commonly called Brussels sprouts.
Strawberry Sangria might seem like a summer-only indulgence, but thanks to our incredible growing season, we get to enjoy it for the winter holidays! The bonus of the recipe is also that there is really no way to mess up. Step one: put bubbly wine in pitcher; Step two: add strawberries; Step three: profit/enjoy!
During the marathon holiday season, breakfasts can easily fall by the wayside or become unhealthy, quick-fixes instead of real meals. Spiced Preserved Carrots are a unique topping for buttered toast, and the rainbow carrots we have in stock now are a beautiful way to make them. These are a great way to keep your palate engaged between feasts!
Though hardly a breakthrough in recipe innovation, a Brussels Sprouts Salad is a classic for a reason: it works. This slaw-esque version has raw sprouts, which means you're keeping all of the best nutrients, and the avocado tahini dressing is the creamiest healthy dressing you ever did meet. (Plus, if you have leftovers, instant Brussels Sprout Latkes!)
All right, we don't carry black rice, but there is popcorn rice in the Box this weekend, and it is super tasty, if less toothy. Whatever color rice you use, Rice Caprese Casserole is an easy and delicious way to take advantage of the delicious tomatoes in season right now. If you must have the color palate of this recipe, try getting creative with squid ink linguini!
A Carrot Avocado Coconut Soup is a creamy comfort, and it's light and healthy enough to make you feel good during a season of regular over-indulging! Using our rainbow carrots or other types of curry paste will give you different colors and flavors!
A sweet substitute for a sweet potato casserole is a Turnip and Carrot Gratin with Pecans. Feel free to mash to preference: we like to leave some pieces of carrots and turnips whole for more toothsome bites!
Kale, Citrus, Beet Salad is a wonderful meal that can get dressed up or down, depending on your mood. A globe of burrata or mozzarella makes this dish something special, but it's plenty delicious and healthy without!
On the other hand, sometimes kale begs to be smothered in cheese and cream! Dino Kale Gratin is a decadent preparation that feels a lot like cheating, but hey: it still counts as veggies.
This weekend's recipes all focus on minimizing the number of ingredients while making dishes that can be stand-alone or pair with other parts of your meal. They're great ways to start practicing for your New Year's resolutions, so what are you waiting for!
Roasted Grape Tomatoes are a wonderful and super easy mini-meal, but we love them as a starter for a dinner party. They're wonderful on their own via toothpicks or on top of some goat cheese crostinis!
Okay, this one is a bit of a cheat, since we don't really need you to make your own bagels (you could pick some up at the market though...). Kale Cream Cheese is a great excuse for more cream cheese, and this super simple recipe would work great with any of your preferred greens. We recommend sturdier leaves for the textural satisfaction, but some dill or cilantro never goes amiss!
This recipe for Pickled Cabbage Salad is a little heavy on the number of ingredients, but we'll allow it, since really there are two recipes here: the salad and the brine. This dish occupies a unique not-quite-salad, not-quite-slaw position in our hearts and stomachs, and we love it for it. The light acidic taste and crunchy texture makes it a satisfying experience solo, or as a side to a marinated protein.
Potato skins are traditionally a "loaded" type of food, but these Sea Salt Sweet Potato Chips showcase a health(ier) option for snacking this holiday. Just try keeping them from running out (spoiler alert: you can't).
The recipes for this week's Box are ones that play well with others - even themselves! Leftovers that transform into new dishes are a few of our favorite things, especially when before and afters taste (and look) amazing.
Tomatoes in December are a wonderful perk of the New Orleans region growing season. A Cherry Tomato Salad is a refreshing combination of classic flavors, and it makes a perfect side or healthy meal of its own. It also lends itself to great leftover inspirations like omelets, sandwiches, or bruschetta (hint hint).
Tatsoi is also called "Rosette Bok Choi," which is fitting, as it shares rounded, dark leaves, and the softly textured stems you might know from bok choi. Tatsoi tends to have longer, narrower stems, with greater leaf-to-stem ratio, but it works amazingly well for a quick saute. Sauteed Tatsoi with Soy Sauce and Sesame Seeds is a quick easy dish that can stand alone or makes an accommodating side for a heartier protein.
Cherry Tomato Bruschetta is a beautiful appetizer or snack, especially with the gold and black cherry tomatoes we have in this week! Need a Saints-friendly snack that is actually good for you? Use new tomatoes for a brighter experience, but leftovers from the tomato and feta salad is perfect for a marinated flavor!
And the counterpoint to the traditional tomato bruschetta, Crostini with Wilted Greens and Cheese, is a nice way to make more of a meal out of what is often an appetizer. These bites have a little substance to them, and depending on how you prepare the greens, they can really highlight different flavors and textures. The sauteed tatsoi above can have great crunch, if you used the stems, but also a somewhat creamy texture compared to a crinklier kale.
With another hearty holiday season bearing down upon us, we want to take advantage of this in between time to eat some healthy dishes and try out new recipes that might make the cut for the winter solstice this year.
Broccoli is often a fan favorite when it comes to veggies: the stem is just a little to the sweet side, the florets are nutrient-rich and delicious, and it looks like tiny trees! Quick Pickled Broccoli is a nice snack, and we especially like putting it on some crostini with chevre for an easy nibble for gatherings. If you've enjoyed kohlrabi lately, this is another great option for those bulbs!
Sauces, as we all know, are a very important part of food. A lot of breakfast recipes, eggs especially, call for hollandaise sauce, a delicious and ever-so-decadent creation. Wonderful as it is, sometimes an edgier, less creamy preparation is appropriate, and we find that's a great time for this Kumquat Poppyseed Dressing. It's emulsified, so it captures creaminess without actual cream, and the sweet and sour zing from the kumquats makes any breakfast (or lunch or dinner) choices more exciting.
Beetroot Soup is a stunning dish: the vibrant color of the beets make for a beautiful autumnal or winter presentation. This recipe calls for feta and herbs to garnish, and we like to add some baked chips made from the beet greens on top as well!
Like many greens, kale is rich in nutrients that bodies need, especially during times of stress. Holidays are wonderful, but hosting or guesting can be its own burden, so in this in-between-time, a Massaged Kale Salad is a great way to get your body's balance back. Kale can be a heartier green than many more typical salads call for, so be sure to massage your dressing with a little salt into the leaves and let them sit for a bit: they'll wilt a little and be nice and tender, all without cooking!
Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday, often full of great family and food, but it's hard to deny the allure of leftovers. Let she who has never cooked an extra 8 pounds of turkey on purpose cast the first stone. Today, we pay tribute to the amazing innovations of Thanksgiving leftovers, so turkey features heavily: vegetarians be warned.
If you haven't tossed it yet (please tell us you haven't tossed it yet), your turkey carcass (or bones if you went for pieces over a whole bird) will make some of the best Turkey Stock ever. This stuff will see you through soups and sauces and reductions aplenty, and it's a great start for many recipes for the upcoming holidays, too. No slow cooker? No problem: stock is great to do on the stove top too, you'll just need to keep a bit closer eye on it. If you're looking for veggie options, we recommend mushroom discards (like shiitake stems) for a rich flavor along with the onion, carrot, and celery that usually show up in stocks.
Stuffing (or dressing) is always a table favorite, whether you go simple (bread, onions, leeks, butter) or complex (sausage, oysters, potato). It stands to reason that Stuffing Waffles would be a perfect morning-after breakfast, since they accommodate hungry or hungover tummies. Plus, this is a great vehicle for more gravy, but you can also go "traditional" with some sweet jams (cranberry?) or syrups!
Post Thanksgiving, there are often many activities to be had, shopping or otherwise. Sometimes that means a quick lunch is needed, but no one wants to come down from the food high of Thanksgiving to anything less than stellar. Thanksgiving Quesadillas are a wonderful solution that come together in minutes and highlight stars of the show. If you are feeding vegetarians, go ahead and swap out Brussels sprouts, kale, or stuffing (yes, bread in tortillas) in place of turkey, but please leave the cranberry!
The Thanksgiving Sandwich is surely the ancestor of the aforementioned quesadillas, and it sets quite the bar. This panini version steps its game up with cheese and bacon, but there is nothing wrong with keeping is "simple:" bread+mayo+stuffing+mashed potatoes+cranberry sauce+turkey+bread. You can add lettuce if you must.