Pork Roast w/ Goat Cheese & Apple Salsa Stuffing

Hello! How was your weekend! Ours was perfect. Ben and I took our annual trip to Carter Mountain Orchard for apple picking! The weather was gorgeous, the kids were out in full swing, and the apple cider doughnuts were warm and doughy as usual! We ended up picking about 35 Winesap and Stayman apples (I always go for those two because we can’t always get them here in Durham and they’re my favorite!). The Winesaps were abundant but most of them were pretty high up there, so good thing I have a 6’4″ husband with a wingspan that can reach any stubborn apple! The Staymans were a little slim pickins’ this year and required some tree shimmying on my part. Looking back, I probably broke some rules… but it’s all part of the fun!

Carter Mountain 2015
Carter Mountain 2015

IMG_6637IMG_6647

On the trip home I was already thinking about what to make with all these apples. Last year I made Harvest Apple Spice Cake  and just ate the rest! These apples are so good on their own, I almost hate to chop them up for a recipe! But this year I was sure what to do. Carter Mountain has a country store with all sorts of little souvenirs, home decorations, and jams and jellies. I usually pick up a bunch of jam for Christmas gifting. This year I was also tempted by an assortment of fruit salsas that they had on display. But before coughing up an extra $7.99 a piece, I said to myself, “I can make this!”

What does apple salsa go better with than pork? I made a similar pork tenderloin for a party last year and it was a major hit. I tweaked the recipe a bit this time and made a bigger batch of apple salsa in the crock pot, figuring I’d freeze some for later on this winter.

Serve the pork with more salsa, potatoes, and vegetable du jour! Happy harvesting!

Pork Roast w/ Goat Cheese & Apple Salsa Stuffing
Pork Roast with Goat Cheese and Apple Salsa
Apple Salsa
Apple Salsa
Serve with more salsa, vegetables and potatoes!
Serve with more salsa, vegetables and potatoes!
Pork Roast w/ Goat Cheese & Apple Salsa Stuffing
Recipe Type: Pork
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
Looking for a way to use up all those freshly picked apples? Look no further! This apple salsa goes great with pork tenderloin, some crusty bread, or as a garnish for salads.
Ingredients
  • For the Pork:
  • 3 lb pork tenderloin
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Goat cheese (optional)
  • 1 cup apple salsa (see recipe below)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • For the apple salsa:
  • 6 medium apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 ripe pear, chopped
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1/3 cup red onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp apricot brandy
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup raisins
Instructions
  1. Prepare Pork:
  2. Butterfly open the pork tenderloin. Spread apple salsa (see recipe below) over the top of the bottom layer, followed by slices of goat cheese. Replace the top of the pork and secure with kitchen twine.
  3. In a skillet, heat butter on medium high.
  4. Sear the pork on both sides until browned, about 2 min per side.
  5. Cook at 450 deg for 40 min or until internal temperature reaches 145 deg.
  6. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with more salsa and roasted red potatoes on the side!
  7. Prepare Salsa:
  8. In a large bowl, combine apples, pear, cranberries, onion, and rosemary.
  9. Place 1 tbsp butter in bottom of slow cooker and set to low. Pour the apple mixture into the slow cooker over the butter, then add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  10. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or until the fruit has broken down completely (I stirred the pot halfway).
  11. Serve warm or cold over meat, salad, crusty bread, or as a side dish on its own!
Prepare salsa ingredients and add to crock pot.
Prepare salsa ingredients and add to crock pot.
Cook salsa on low for up to 6 hours or until broken down.
Cook salsa on low for up to 6 hours or until broken down.
Store salsa in mason jars until ready to use.
Store salsa in mason jars until ready to use.
Butterfly open the pork.
Butterfly open the pork.
Spread salsa and goat cheese on pork.
Spread salsa and goat cheese on pork.
Secure with twine.
Secure with twine.
Sear both sides of pork, 2 min per side.
Sear both sides of pork, 2 min per side.
Cook 40 min at 450 deg until browned and temperature reaches 145 deg.
Cook 40 min at 450 deg until browned and temperature reaches 145 deg.
Pork Roast with Goat Cheese and Apple Salsa
Pork Roast with Goat Cheese and Apple Salsa

Pumpkin Ricotta Stuffed Shells

It’s that time of the year when pumpkin is EVERYWHERE. Seriously. I’ve considered taking photos of all of the random places I see pumpkin-flavored things these days- Starbucks, the grocery store, cosmetic stores, candle shops, clothing stores, the list goes on and on! I don’t know what gets people so crazed about pumpkin. Maybe because it signifies the start of fall and that cozy, crisp feeling (although I think that’s out the window ever since Starbucks brought back the Pumpkin Spice Latte in like, July).

I am MUCH more of a sweet potato person (can I get an amen?) but I can get on the pumpkin bandwagon too, I guess. Just to be social.

Pumpkin Ricotta Stuffed Shells
Pumpkin Ricotta Stuffed Shells

This recipe is a bit different from the ones I usually post. Noah Ben and I have had about 40 straight days of rain here and we’ve been craving all things comfort. Chicken casserole and split pea soup have been staples in our house for the last week or so. Gone are the days of Lentil Curry Salad and Heirloom Tomato & Summer Squash, my friends. But it’s ok. Life will go on!

In other news… I saved this little guy from getting run over by crazy bikers like me this morning during my long ride. Poor little guy must’ve been washed up onto the trail by all this rain we’ve had! I snapped my shot and then very gently moved him into the leaves on the side of the trail. Stay safe, little turtle! Seriously though, isn’t he beautiful?

IMG_6490

Anyway, these Pumpkin Ricotta Stuffed Shells are satisfying enough so that you can indulge with just a few and not feel like you’ve broken the calorie bank (just don’t get three Pumpkin Spice Lattes beforehand!). They’re cheesy, gooey, slightly sweet, and perfectly sized for easy portion control! I had four of the shells with a big spinach and green pea salad on the side, and I was completely satisfied. They are also freezable for those of you cooking for one or two, so you can save half of them for later and still have leftovers for the week ahead.

IMG_6499
Pumpkin Ricotta Stuffed Shells w/ Spinach Salad
Pumpkin Ricotta Stuffed Shells
Recipe Type: Pasta, Comfort Food, Fall
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8-12
This gooey, cheesy, slightly sweet but savory pasta is sure to satisfy your comfort food cravings for those rainy fall nights you’re happy to stay inside and enjoy #allthepumpkin! Happy Fall!
Ingredients
  • 1 box jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 can pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 16 oz. package frozen cut leaf spinach, thawed
  • 1 32 oz. carton of ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 jar good Alfredo sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg.
  2. Cook shells according to package directions, but 2-3 min less for al dente. Drain well and allow to cool completely, separating shells out on wax paper to avoid sticking.
  3. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, spinach, ricotta, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne papper, salt and pepper, and egg. Stir to combine well.
  4. When cool enough to handle, spoon about 2 tbsp of filling into each shell. (I’ve found that it helps to “squeeze” the shell open first with your thumb and index finger and fill with the other hand!).
  5. Spread 1/2 alfredo sauce in the bottom of a sprayed 9×13 casserole dish. Add milk to the rest of the sauce and shake to combine.
  6. Place shells side-by-side (they’ll be snug!) in the casserole dish and drizzle with remaining sauce. Top with mozzarella cheese.
  7. Bake, covered with foil, for 30 min. Uncover and bake for 15 more minutes until cheese is bubbly.
  8. Serve with a big green salad!

IMG_6479

IMG_6498

IMG_6497

Happy tummy! Hope you had a cozy fall weekend!

Lentil Curry Salad with Roasted Veggies & Lemon Vinaigrette

Greetings, and happy Friday! It’s been a whirlwind of a week! I feel like this time of year, right after back-to-school, when it’s darker out in the morning and pumpkin-spice themed things start popping up EVERY.WHERE., things just get so crazy! Between work, small groups starting again, and arranging travel plans for the holiday season, could there just be like, two more hours in the day?

Alas. There never are.

Which is why it’s so important to have recipes like THIS one up your sleeve! I’ve made a twist on this before (try my Chickpea Lentil Power Salad) but this time I used different beans, herbs and veggies. It always makes way more than I intended to… which is good in a way, because that means Ben and I can eat some today, bring some for lunch tomorrow, and use to supplement our meals all week (and then freeze some, give some away, and look- there’s still a ton left- why not just feed the dog, too?). But seriously. The trouble is real.

Lentil Curry Salad with Roasted Veggies & Lemon Vinaigrette
Lentil Curry Salad with Roasted Veggies & Lemon Vinaigrette

 

I love the combination of the curry powder (Fun fact: when I was writing this post I forgot to add curry powder into the ingredients list! It would’ve been pretty disappointing for everyone who read the title of this post to make this and not taste ANY curry!) with lemon and parsley. Plus, this recipe is loaded with staying power from lentils and white beans. I added roasted broccoli, cauliflower, beets, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms as well, with some fresh grape tomatoes. Brussels sprouts were also involved, but kept separately for my brussels sprouts hater of a husband. But I still love him. Which is why they are kept safely in a separate container and tucked away in the fridge for me to hide in his salad enjoy in mine whenever I want.

Anyway, here’s the recipe. Hope you enjoy it (for weeks!) 🙂

Lentil Curry Salad with Roasted Veggies & Lemon Vinaigrette
Recipe Type: Salad
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 16-20
Enjoy this power-packed salad as a main dish or a side. It goes great with spinach, feta, and pita bread! Also, a token dollop of Greek yogurt.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1 sweet potato, cubed into small pieces
  • zest of one lemon
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can cut beets, rinsed and drained
  • broccoli and cauliflower florets, chopped roughly (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
  • feta and spinach, for serving (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 deg.
  2. Prepare lentils according to package instructions, until al dente.
  3. Steam potatoes in a steamer basket over lentils while they’re cooking.
  4. Whisk together ingredients for vinaigrette (lemon zest through olive oil).
  5. Combine the white beans, beets, broccoli/cauliflower, and mushrooms. Add the sweet potatoes (they should be almost cooked through). When oven is preheated, pour half of the vinaigrette over the vegetables and spread on a Silpat- lined baking sheet. Cook 20-25 minutes or until tender.
  6. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together lentils, red onion, tomatoes, and parsley. When veggies are done, allow to cool about 5 minutes and then combine with the lentil mixture. Drizzle remaining vinaigrette over the top and toss.
  7. Top with feta and serve over spinach, with a spoonful of Greek yogurt!
Have a great weekend!
Have a great weekend!

Fresh Corn & Tomato Basil Tortellini Salad

I REFUSE to admit that summer is almost over. Just because today is the 1st of September, there are still a ton of signs of summer around. Starting with the heat. I took Samoa for a walk tonight and despite the fact that it was past 7, I still came back drenched in sweat. The humidity here, y’all!

Heat aside, there are still a bounty of fresh veggies at the farmers’ market and grocery store, and I took advantage by making this super easy tortellini salad with some fresh corn, tomatoes, and basil from our herb garden. I tossed it with a bit of spinach, parmesan cheese, and homemade vinaigrette and called it a day. It was the perfect light supper for me, served with my leftover fish from Bleu Olive. Ben got steak. 🙂

Fresh Corn & Tomato Basil Tortellini Salad
Fresh Corn & Tomato Basil Tortellini Salad
Fresh Corn & Tomato Basil Tortellini Salad
Recipe Type: Salad, Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
This easy, throw-together salad comes together in minutes. The longest step is waiting for the tortellini to cook! Toss it with a simple vinaigrette and call it a day.
Ingredients
  • 1 package tortellini (I used DeLallo Ricotta and Spinach)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • corn from 2 fresh ears (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • sliced or spiralized zucchini (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • For the vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • parmesan cheese, to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook tortellini according to package directions, about 13 minutes or until al dente. Drain in a colander.
  2. In a large bowl, combine remaining vegetable ingredients (except vinaigrette). Add the pasta and toss.
  3. Whisk together ingredients for the vinaigrette. I used a mason jar to shake, shake, shake it up. Spoon over the salad and lightly toss. Serve with grated parmesan cheese and more spinach, if desired.

DSC03657

Enjoy the last of summer’s best!

DIY Antique Wood Pallet Clock!

Hey, ya’ll! I’m kind of going out on a limb here and coming to you today with a new type of post- a DIY craft project! 

I built a clock! (Yes, Dad, it actually does tell time).

IMG_6249(25b)

Let me just start by saying that no, this clock is not edible. That would be silly. Hence all of my Instagram hashtags “#clairetastesexceptnot” (many of you told me you did a double take when you were reading that one… whoops!) So no, this clock is not food-related, and it is not sex-related.

But it is pretty darn awesome, and I’m proud of it! I’ve named it “Ol’ Eli,” which you’ll understand why if you keep reading.

I got the idea for this when our flimsy little Target clock stopped working. It seemed like we were constantly changing the batteries and turning the hands to keep it accurate, and then people would come over and tell us that our clock wasn’t right. Once a neighbor of ours even came to say hi and the first thing she said from the door threshold was “Your clock is wrong.”

“Yes, we know,” we would respond embarrassedly. I wanted to add something like, “I actually like it that way.” But no, no I did not.

So I went looking on Pinterest for DIY clock ideas. I had no idea that it would turn into this! The inspiration came originally from Liz Marie Blog, and I thought it was just the cutest thing ever. A clock made out of one of the circular sides of an old wire spool pallet? Simple, right?

And so was born my summer project!

Step 1. Preparing the pallet.

First, I had to find an old wire spool pallet. I called around to about twelve different electricians in the area, and none of them had one lying around except for Harris Bros Electric in Durham, who had one left! They had been doing some cleaning up shop and said that I was welcome to take it. Super sweet guys there, and they helped roll the spool up to my Jeep and put it in the back. It weighed about 70 lbs and would’ve been tough to do all on my own! The hatchback just barely shut.

Pictured above is the original spool pallet I used. I set to work removing the huge bolts from the side with the better quality wood. I think I chose the hottest day of the summer for this…

In the end, I got all of the screws out except for one, which I waited for Ben to come home so that he could clamp the huge pole to them while I used the wrench on top. I saved the bolts for later.

IMG_6110 (2)DSC03544.JPG(3)

 

 

Free at last! I sanded down the pallet with an electric sander and coarse, then fine sandpaper (220 grade) and used a vacuum, followed by a microfiber cloth, followed by tack cloth, to get up all the dust from the wood. (No, I didn’t know what tack cloth was before I started this project, either! I think in total I went to Lowe’s like, 6 times for this project. Hate that place.) 😛

Step 2: Tea and Oxidizing Solution Stain

I got the idea for making my own “rustic” stain for the wood from a different DIY blog, The Friendly Home. I loved the idea of a stain that wouldn’t be sending off toxic fumes, especially since I planned to do all this inside. This part was really more of an art project, since depending on the wood you use, you really never know what exact color it will turn! I gave it a whirl and started off by brewing some really strong black tea. The point of the tea is to introduce more tannins into the wood, to make the oxidizing solution (see below) work better. Poor Ben kept thinking it was for drinking, but I warned him that a cup of tea with about 15 teabags probably wouldn’t taste very good.

I painted a thin layer of the tea onto the pallet. (Note that this is the back of the pallet, which I decided to experiment with first before I did the same thing on the back).

DSC03548.JPG(4)

Next, I prepared the oxidizing solution of steel wool and vinegar. I just tore off a big piece of steel wool and stuck it in a jar with a bottle of white vinegar, then let it sit for a few days on the counter, shaking every day or so. The wool won’t completely dissolve, so don’t look for that to happen if you try this. It should bubble like crazy though! Also, I’ve heard that using a jar with a metal lid is important for this step. I don’t know what happens if you don’t, but I decided to follow directions.

IMG_6112(6)

I painted a thin layer on top of the tea when the oxidizing solution was ready. Since this was an experiment, the left-most piece of wood is the part with just oxidizing solution, and the more central strip is tea + oxidizing solution. It’s so interesting to see the difference! This was immediately after painting.

DSC03549.JPG(7)

Below is about 1 minute post-painting…

DSC03553.JPG(9)

And about 10 minutes post painting…

DSC03554.JPG(10)

So neat to watch it change colors!

At this point I was actually thinking, wow, this is super dark and I’m not sure I really want my clock to look like this. The wood had a grayish tint to it and I think I actually told Ben that I thought it was really ugly.

Do not give up! Finish painting the entire pallet. Then, finish with sanding it down a bit with the 220 grade sandpaper. This helped to even out the color and remove some of the gray from it. Make sure to wipe it down with a lint free cloth!

DSC03568.JPG(12)

Step 3. Polywax

The next step in the process was to apply polyurethane wax to help deepen the grain of the wood and give it a warmer tone. This part was fun for me! I did a bit of research and decided on the wax pictured below (yep, back to Lowe’s!). I liked how this type was a wipe-on version, so I wouldn’t need to worry about brush strokes or streaks. I applied it using a lint free cloth and let it dry for a few hours, then applied one more coat.

DSC03575.JPG(13)

DSC03572.JPG(14b)

Step 4. Clock hands and Centerpiece

I found the clock hands at a Hobby Lobby in Sanford, NC. They needed to be large enough so that they wouldn’t look wimpy on this big clock (did I mention this baby is 32″ in diameter?) and with high enough torque to actually move the hands enough to keep accurate time. I was worried about this, as the clock hands seemed a bit flimsy and I had some trouble assembling them on the motor, but all’s well in the end! Keep reading…

Once I had the clock hands and movement (that’s another name for the motor), I needed something to put in the middle so that you wouldn’t see the ugly clock motor through the gaping hole in the center of the clock. I originally wanted an antique wagon wheel, so I called around to a bunch of antique shops in the area to see if anyone had something like this.

Note to self: when looking for something specific at an antique shop, you probably will never find it. I had to broaden my vision for this since no one had any wheels (except a brass ships’ wheel that was huge and would’ve added about 20 lbs to this clock). I began to look for other circular things with a hole in the middle for the motor to insert. I finally found this piece at Hillsborough Antiques Mall and decided it would do the trick. Plus, I couldn’t turn it down because it was so neat! Any guesses?

DSC03615.JPG(15)

It’s actually a spool from an old cotton gin with the original thread, dating back to the 1800s! (Hence, the name “Ol’ Eli”). So cool! I actually decided I liked the idea of this even better than a wheel, because I was keeping with the spool theme.

I removed one of the sides from the spool (I chose the side with the red paint remnants and a few cracks) and decided not to do anything to the piece to keep it in its original form. I glued the clock motor to the back of it and set it in the center of the clock before assembling the hands.

DSC03616.JPG(16)DSC03613.JPG(17)IMG_6209(18)

Step 5. Bolts 

Remember those metal bots from Step 1? I dug those out again and spray painted them black, then rubbed them a bit with some sandpaper when they were almost dry but not quite. I returned them to their original place on the spool pallet. (Update: I only used four of the six bolts in the end because I liked the look of having two open holes in the middle!)

DSC03619.JPG(19)DSC03625.JPG(20)

Step 6. Numbers

For the numbers, I used these house/mailbox numbers (again from Lowe’s) and sanded them down a little to make them look a little older. I loved the result!

DSC03622.JPG(22)The hardest part of this whole project, and probably because I’m so Type A, was figuring out exactly where to place each of the numbers in order to make sure that 1) they were symmetrical with the others, and 2) the hands would actually point to them when it was a certain time (because after all, clocks do have a purpose, right?). First, I found the key numbers: 3, 6, 9, and 12 and placed them down (I didn’t fasten them quite yet, in case they needed to be adjusted).

DSC03624.JPG(21)

I don’t think this pallet was a perfect circle, nor is it perfectly level, so this was quite the challenge! I waited about two days with the clock battery inserted in order to see exactly where the minute and hour hands would point, and I used that to glue the remaining numbers down one-by-one with hot glue. After I was pleased with the location of all the numbers and the clock was actually telling time correctly, I used drill (yay, power tools!) to drill in the screws that came with the numbers for stability. I found that the hot glue actually wasn’t the most stable and the numbers kept coming loose, so I think the screws were a good choice.

FullSizeRender 12(23b)

FullSizeRender 13(24)

I cannot tell you how pleased I am with this clock! I had such a blast taking my time with this, and I’m so glad I did take my time. It was so fun to hunt for all the pieces and to learn more about wood-working and tools! I hope you are inspired by my DIY project. Believe me, I am the least crafty person, so if I can manage this, you definitely can too.

Now I’m crossing my fingers that Ol’ Eli will actually work! Only time will tell…

Thanks so much for reading! Happy Tuesday!

Quick Tuesday Night Summer Veggie Stir Fry

Ok, so I promised to have this up by yesterday, but it never happened. My bad. I know all of you were waiting in absolute nail-biting anticipation of this quick and easy, throw-together stir fry recipe, so I apologize for your lack of sleep and constant refreshing of the webpage.

I am LOVING the abundance of fresh veggies this time of year. I didn’t make it to the Durham Farmers’ Market last Saturday, so I’ve had to do a bit of shopping at the (dare I say it out loud) grocery store to restock on some tomatoes and corn… luckily, our local Harris Teeter supports local farms and I was able to get most of my produce local (I think?). I also still had some leftover green beans, zucchini, and squash that I just chopped up and threw in the pan with the other veggies.

Plus my leftovers from Shiki Sushi from the other night. Ok, so this recipe had a lot of help. But isn’t that the beauty of throw-together, clean-out-the-fridge Tuesday suppers?

I always go stir-fry crazy (not to be confused with “stir-crazy”) and end up adding wayyyyy too many veggies to the pan. I also have this problem with pizza toppings. I think I have the mindset that the more you can throw in, the better. That’s how I get into trouble with crock-pot recipes that end up making enough servings to feed a small army, and pizza that sort of just, well- droops when you slice it because it’s so laden down with veggies.

But it all gets chopped up into a salad anyway, right? 🙂

Without further ado…

Quick Summer Veggie Stir-Fry
Quick Tuesday Night Summer Veggie Stir Fry
Recipe Type: Main, Side
Cuisine: Stir-Fry, Asian Fusion
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
Shop your fridge with the latest of summer’s bounty vegetables! Perfect for using up leftovers and any other vegetables you have in the house. Experiment with the add-ins and spices!
Ingredients
  • 1 red pepper
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp each ground ginger, red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 small squash
  • fresh or frozen green beans, with ends trimmed
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • frozen broccoli or stir fry mixture (I used a whole foods 365 blend that had frozen broccoli, peppers, onions, mushrooms, and green beans)
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • dash of hot sauce
  • drizzle of honey
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil and a few sprigs fresh rosemary
  • chopped kale (roughly 2 cups)
Instructions
  1. In a large wok or saute pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add red pepper, carrots, onion, and garlic and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle in the ginger, oregano, curry powder, and garlic powder. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Chop zucchini and squash. Add to same pan with the frozen veggies. Cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes until tender but not cooked fully.
  3. Whisk together mustard, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, hot sauce, and honey. Drizzle over stir fry vegetables, add the chopped fresh herbs, reduce heat to low and cover. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Return onion and pepper mixture to pan and top with kale. Cover and cook until kale is wilted but still bright green, about 5 minutes.
  5. Serve over brown rice with protein of your choice. (leftover tofu for me, chicken for Ben!). Add more sauce if desired.
Cook up the carrots, onions, pepper and garlic.
Cook up the carrots, onions, pepper and garlic.
DSC03582
Add spices.
Prep your chopped veggies. Pictured here is some leftover squash and zucchini from a friend's mother's farm! Yay Summer.
Prep your chopped veggies. Pictured here is some leftover squash and zucchini from a friend’s mother’s farm! Yay Summer.
I used some of this frozen stir-fry blend from Whole Foods to bulk up the dish a bit (I thought I wouldn't have enough...)
I used some of this frozen stir-fry blend from Whole Foods to bulk up the dish a bit (I thought I wouldn’t have enough…)
Return carrots to pan, cover and simmer until tender.
Return carrots to pan, cover and simmer until tender.
Add some kale and steam.
Add some kale and steam.
DSC03604
Give it a stir to incorporate all the sauce.
Serve over rice with tofu or other protein of your choice!
Serve over rice with tofu or other protein of your choice!

***Disclaimer: Ben thought the sauce had a bit too much of a “kick” to it (that’s his way of saying he didn’t like it at all… he doesn’t really care for mustardy or vinegary things), so instead of watching him suffer finish just to please me, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

The solution? Peanut butter.

I whisked together about a tablespoon of PB, a bit of water, a drizzle of honey and some leftover apricot marmalade. Nuked it for 20 seconds or so and drizzled it over his remaining veggies. And you know what? He loved it! It was almost like a peanut butter soup… a little sweet and with more of that umami taste. I even spooned a bit of it over my own! Yum.

What’s your favorite go-to, shop-the-fridge dinner recipe?