Category Archives: Meat

Junior Week: Miles picks 7 from Babble’s 50 Best Recipes for Kids

After stumbling across Babble’s 50 Best Recipes for Kids, I figured it was time to let Eating The Week, Jr., take a crack at a week’s worth of recipes. Not the cooking – no 5-yo has the patience for 12-hour chicken soup – but the menu selection and taste-testing were all up to him.

As background: Miles is right in the middle of the picky-to-adventurous eater spectrum. He loves kale smoothies, but won’t touch broccoli with a ten-foot pole. He snarfs down plenty of fruit every day, but getting protein from sources other than cheese can be a challenge. In general, he’s interested in trying new foods, so it didn’t take too much encouragement to get Miles to pick 7 interesting choices from the Babble recipe list.

Want to see what he picked, and how they scored on the 10-point Jr. and Mom scales? Head past the jump

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Weekloaf – Bringing meat loaf into the 21st century

I had half a mind to hold this post until Halloween, given how scary meatloaf seems to be. On Teh Internets, there are countless “meatloaf-phobic” writers rehashing tales of weird/dry/awful meals in the past, shortly before imploring readers to “try this recipe, it’s not scary, I swear!”

BOO!

It’s understandable, given how far our collective culinary mindset has swung from the 1950s. Meatloaf is one of the poster children for the Formed Meats and Space Food era (see Gallery of Regrettable Food for more).

Luckily, there are many modern takes that have brought this simple classic up to date with healthier ingredients and novel flavors. Many recipes cut the traditional beef or replace it entirely with poultry to decrease the saturated fat. Packing a meatloaf with vegetables not only provides more veggie servings, it’s also key to keeping the loaf from getting dry. There are even vegetarian “meat” loaf recipes, including (surprise!) the one pictured above.

If you’re interested in a home-cooking classic fit for our modern age, I’m pretty sure these recipes will help anyone past their meatloaf apprehension:

  • Blue ribbon meatloaf from Eating Well (here)
  • Black rice curried meatloaf from Eating Well (here)
  • Asian style meatloaves from Cooking Light (here)
  • Magical meatloaf (vegan) from Squidoo/Vegan Lunchbox (here)Scroll down to the Magical Meatloaf recipe; that’s the one I made for this post.
  • Feta-stuffed turkey meatloaf with tzatziki from A Sweet Life (here)
  • Tuscan meatloaf with mushroom sauce from Simply Recipes (here)
  • Cheesy turkey meatloaf bites from Weelicious (here)

 

Week’s odds & ends: meat CSA and just a few days left on Peeled Snacks giveaway

First: a quick reminder that my Peeled Snacks giveaway is quickly coming to a close! You’ve got until 3pm ET Monday to enter for  a chance to get an 8-pouch organic dried fruit sampler; every entry raises $1 for the North Reading Food Pantry, too.

Second: After days of gray and precipitation, the skies finally dried up when we headed into Cambridge to pick up our June share of the Stillman’s meat CSA. This month we’ve got a whole chicken, bacon, and a bunch of frankfurters (read: hot dogs).

The chicken is bound for the slowcooker, in this super easy recipe from weelicious. I’ll probably use the breast meat for a taco bar, and the rest for a meal alongside simple veggies. The bacon may also spend some time in the slowcooker with beans and seasonings, to make some tasty baked beans to accompany the hot dogs.

We were pleasantly surprised to see that a farmers market was at the Morse School, too (usually it’s just Stillman’s van and a bunch of Prius-driving Cantabrigians). I’m planning a zucchini-theme week for my next post, so I grabbed a few globe and yellow zucchini, plus a bunch of greens (kale, spinach, basil [including purple!]) and beets.

We’ve been making this great baked-tomato-and-pasta recipe from Splendid Table (not online; sorry, can’t provide a link!) a lot lately, with a few tweaks to include zucchini. So I think that’s on our weekly menu plan once again, plus bacon-kale pasta from Cooking Light, and some simple beets with goat cheese.

Third: there  is no third, because I have to get ready for a rare dinner with friends and without kid. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Speed freak: Eating The Week gets Superfast again

If that title made you worry that I’m going to bore you to death with more off-topic running/marathon nonsense, relax. This week’s speed isn’t happening at the track but in the kitchen, with a trial of seven recipes from Cooking Light’s Superfast collection.

I tried this before and found it was a fun way to explore new dishes and learn some quick-prep tips. So when Cooking Light (via Facebook and Twitter) put out the call for Superfast fans to potentially be featured in the magazine, I grabbed my pretend stopwatch (iPhone app) and got cooking.

In the spirit of Superfast, no rambling musing over each dish this week – just seven quick reports on time spent, changes made, and tastiness achieved.

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Praise for beige: couscous week

I was feeling ambivalent about putting couscous at center stage for this week’s theme. On its own, it just isn’t that remarkable:

But it really shines as a platform for tasty, healthy ingredients. This versatile not-grain (it’s a refined wheat product, basically pasta) can get mixed up with fruits, vegetables, meats, spices, or myriad other ingredients to create a seemingly endless catalog of recipes. You may not look twice at that plain bowl of beige, but you’ll probably stop to coo at the jaunty hats on these couscous stuffed tomatoes, right?

Or check out another eye-catching favorite of mine: cinnamon-lime chicken with raisin couscous. Here, simple couscous is the underpinning for colorful vegetables, fruit, and seasonings, making a subtly spicy, comforting bowl of food.

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The Week of Easter Leftovers

If you celebrated Easter this past weekend, chances are you’ve got some ham hanging around – and maybe a few dozen brilliant-hued eggs, too. We didn’t do a big dinner shindig, but we did get a nice piece of ham in our April share from Stillman’s farm meat CSA, so I thought I’d quickly share a recipe for a ham, pea and pasta casserole.


I made several changes to this recipe from Cooks.com, mostly because I had different ingredients on hand (like almond milk instead of cow milk). But I also wanted to boost the nutrition profile a bit by using higher-fiber whole-wheat pasta instead of egg noodles and increasing the vegetables. I also used real butter instead of “butter buds,” because I’m not even sure what those are, much less if I want to eat them.

Besides the ham, we got several other things in April’s meat CSA share: pork breakfast sausage, lamb chops and chicken breasts.

I can figure my way around the chicken, but I’d love to hear your ideas for the hunk of un-cased breakfast sausage and the lamb chops. In the meantime, the casserole recipe follows after the jump & I hope you all had a nice holiday weekend!

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License and registration, please: Eating The Week takes on Cooking Light’s Superfast

Usually, I have a ludicrous amount of time for food bloggery. I work from home, with my “office” all of 10 steps from the kitchen. And being a freelancer is a fairly autonomous gig, which means I can make room in my schedule pretty easily for menu planning, grocery shopping and cooking.

Nevertheless, there are still times where the workload required for Paying The Mortgage trumps Eating The Week, and I can barely find room in my day to brush my teeth, much less spend 2 hours making chili. So when I saw Cooking Light’s challenge to try out recipes from their Superfast collection – all of which are designed to require less than 20 minutes to prepare – I was gung-ho to add some to my repertoire.

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Meat CSA for February

Folks, start your recipe-search engines. I picked up this month’s meat CSA share from Stillman’s farm today, and now I’m seeking tasty uses for the chicken breasts, ground beef and several pork chops:

The chicken breasts are a no-brainer, and I have several pork chop recipes tucked away from the search related to last month’s CSA. The ground beef might take some work, though; I guess burgers are the easiest choice, but I feel there must be a pasta sauce or a casserole out there just begging for this beef.

I also picked up a carton of their eggs. It was in no small part because I (finally) watched Food Inc this week and was reminded how awful industrial livestock production can be. If you haven’t seen it, you really should. For me, it reaffirmed our efforts to increasingly buy the animal products we eat from farms like Stillman’s.

The Missing Week: fruits and veggies

My fellow Americans, the state of our union is strong, but the state of our dinner plates leaves something to be desired. Specifically, we’re not eating fruits and vegetables as often as recommended. For example, an analysis of NHANES survey data found that less than 10% of American meets the MyPyramid fruit & veggie recommendations. And because everyone was glued to the TV awaiting nutrition news updates this past fall (Right? It’s not just me, right?), you probably remember the CDC’s dismal report that Americans fall far short of the Healthy People 2010 targets for fruit and veggie consumption.

Broccolini, grapes and Italian sausage

This makes for a great topic to kick off a semi-regular series, The Missing Week, in which I’ll discuss deficiencies (the “missing” part) in the average American’s diet and feature recipes (the “week” of recipes part) that help fill the gap. But why should we care about this particular deficit in our collective average diet? Long story short: plant-derived foods are generally nutrient dense and calorie light, and people who eat proportionally more fruits and vegetables are at lower risk of many diseases.

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Meat CSA week

Everyone ready for a 180? Last week, I waxed poetic about legumes and featured a slew of vegetarian-friendly dishes. This week, it’s all about the meat we received in our share from Stillman’s farm meat CSA.

Slowcooker rosemary garlic chicken thigh, with sweet potatoes & veggies

I realize that meat is a major fork in the road toward food-related harmony, so let me first describe where I’ve set up my road-side stand. I eat meat from hooved, winged, and sea-faring animals. While I’m not a vegetarian, roughly 2/3 of my meals are plant-centric and meat-free. I appreciate that a meat-free diet has health and environmental benefits and can provide optimal nutrition, recognizing that supplements are usually required to achieve recommended intakes of several nutrients (such as vitamin B12) that are difficult to obtain from plant-derived foods alone. I agree that, on a societal level, we should be eating less meat and sourcing the meat we do eat from small-scale, integrated producers (as Simon Fairlie argues in his recent book).

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