Today’s Smarty Cooking School is sponsored by Simply Fresh Charlotte.
It happened last Friday. I was just washing dishes when I saw a truck pull into my driveway. A very nice man rang my doorbell and was holding two huge boxes of the most gorgeous organic produce I had laid my eyes on. Wow! Chris McSwain from Simply Fresh Charlotte led me through the produce in the boxes. His enthusiasm was contagious. He has a real passion for what he does and it shows. It was like having a farmers market brought to my house. My head started spinning with all the ideas of what I could make that week.
Are you in a rut of what to make? Do you keep circulating the same tired recipes to your family? Well I can tell you, having one of these boxes delivered will cure you of that. I started googling mustard greens, fingerling potatoes, eggplant, squash, long beans, white cucumbers and kale. I made all sorts of different things this week and they were all fantastic, but I had some real winners.
First I made a Eggplant and Zucchini Gratin. I used the beautiful grape tomatoes instead of slicing tomatoes and I also spread this amazing roasted garlic spread from Tessemae’s that I got at Whole foods onto crusty sourdough bread and tore it into small pieces and lined the bottom of the pan with it.
I then layered the sliced eggplant and zucchini along with yellow squash in the dish. I drizzled some good quality olive oil on it and seasoned the whole thing with salt and pepper and topped with Parmesan cheese and baked it for 40 min at 350 degrees. It was delicious.
The next day I used the beautiful Swiss chard (a soft leafy green that is great braised or used in soups) in a soup with Chicken and white beans. I never use a recipe when making soup but this one from Food & Wine is divine so try it.
My very favorite dish of the week was a Vegetable Pad Thai that my mom found on Pinterest. It called for mustard greens and bell pepper, which I had in the box along with carrots, bean sprouts, cilantro, and peanuts. Here is the Pin that inspired me. My picture even turned out like the original. I liked it so much I ate it for four days straight. Fritz even took it to work with him for lunch.
I would double the sauce in the recipe just to make sure it didn’t dry out and make sure you buy the correct rice noodles. I found them at Harris Teeter. Here is a picture so you can find them too.
On Thursday, I turned these little one bite fingerling potatoes into a side dish for wine and mushroom braised beef short ribs, a recipe I make all the time.
It was delicious. The organic potatoes had such great flavor. I just tossed them in olive oil salt, pepper and parsley and roasted them at 400 degrees for 30 min.
Lastly, I had these two beautiful yellow cucumbers and some radishes left from the box to use. So I made a spicy Asian marinated cucumber salad using rice wine vinegar, toasted sesame oil, red pepper flakes, sugar and sesame seeds. Just look at how beautiful this salad is. I ate the entire thing standing up. It was spicy, sour, sweet and crunchy all at the same time.
If you are in a recipe rut or you are trying to get your kids to try new things then having this amazing local produce delivered to you is the answer. It will get you excited to try new things. I am having a box delivered to me each week. and I will post the recipes it inspires me to make on our Charlotte Smarty Pants Pinterest Page.
And don’t worry; they have various sizes for your different needs. Check them out Simply Fresh Charlotte and let’s get cooking together!
You can find Simply Fresh Charlotte at:
The Smarty Pants Scarowinds/Great Pumpkin Fest Giveaway!
Y-O-U could win a family 4-pack of tickets to either Scarowinds or The Great Pumpkin Fest, your choice! This is a $200 value! We’ll pick our lucky winner on Monday, October 14th at 5pm, so register now by clicking here. Boo y’all!