Saturday, July 7, 2018

Herby Summer Meal Plan

Let's not talk about how long it's been since I've posted. Just know that I have lots of ideas about what to write, and I write them in my head, but I don't get to the sitting down and posting part. Rest assured I'm cooking and eating all the time though, because, well, that's what I do.

I've enjoyed some deep dives into foodiness lately, including attending the launch party for a new product called Saskatchewan Snow Beef, and this has gotten me excited about eating and cooking...and sharing about eating and cooking.

While in the car en route to Moose Jaw, where we stayed to attend the SK Snow Beef BBQ, I had the forethought to pack some of my favourite summer cooking magazines, and I made this meal plan which was so refreshing and delicious, I had to share:


Grilled Halloumi Salad
Prosciutto & Melon


Swiss chard, white bean and turkey on cornbread cakes

I looked everywhere for this recipe online, but it is nowhere to be found. I found it in a seasonal magazine published by Fine Cooking, called 'Farmstand Fresh' from 2014. Too bad that they didn't publish it online as well—we really enjoyed it.

I'll share it here for anyone who is coming into their Swiss chard crop and needs some ideas:

Serves 4 to 6

1 large bunch Swiss chard, ends trimmed, thick ribs cut out and reserved (ours were still young and tender so we skipped that part)
1/4 c. olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
8 oz. turkey kielbasa, diced
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 28 oz. can of tomatoes (or 8 medium tomatoes, chopped)
2 14 oz. cans white beans, like white kidney or cannellini beans, drained
1 t. fresh lemon juice
A few drops of hot sauce (we served it with hot sauce so as not to traumatize tender tongues)
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan

Finely chop stems and leaves. If you have large chard stems, heat the oil and add onions and chard stems, seasoning with salt and pepper. Sauté about four minutes, or until soft and fragrant. Add the kielbasa and garlic and cook for another minute or so.

Add the chard leaves, handfuls at a time, tossing until they wilt and allow room for the next handful. Add tomatoes, season with more salt and pepper, adjust heat to simmer, and cook until chard is tender and liquid is slightly reduced. Add white beans and simmer to blend flavours. Finish with lemon juice, hot sauce and Parmesan.  Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt, pepper, lemon juice or hot sauce. Serve with warm cornbread cakes.

Cornbread Cakes

Makes 12 3-inch cakes

2 c. cornmeal
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 large eggs

Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium bowl.Crack the eggs into a measuring cup with one cup of water and beat with a fork to blend. Pour the egg and water into the dry ingredients and mix together with a few strokes of a wooden spoon or spatula. A few lumps are ok.

Heat 1 T each oil and butter in a frying pan over medium high heat. Add 1/4 c. batter for each cake, being sure not to crowd. When the edges show bubbles and start to brown (after 2 or 3 minutes), flip and cook for another minute. Add more oil and butter as needed for the next batch. Serve the cakes topped with beans.

This kind of meal is one my husband and kids love. It was a cooler summer day, so the stew hit the spot.


Speaking of cooler days, I swapped my original Thursday plan for Wednesday when I saw the forecast. Wednesday was rainy and cool, and so I allowed myself to use the oven and served up tahini marinated chicken thighs and gluten free quinoa salad with tahini, alongside the last of our spring asparagus crop. It was amazingly satisfying, and the nutty tahini marinade on the chicken was a hit with the kids.


Pickerel and potato packets
Sweet and sour cucumbers with fresh dill (this is one of my constant go-tos in the summer for dressing up fresh cucumber)
Fresh greens with creamy lemon-chive dressing (four ingredients and an almost-instant, fantastic refreshing dressing)


Well, let's just say we felt like we earned a break by Friday. It was 30+ degrees Celsius (in the 90s, for those of you who operate in Fahrenheit) and I was scheduled for a night out with the girls. We picked up supermarket sushi for the kids and called it a night. I'll be sharing an Instagram post of my dinner out at Bar Gusto, so check them out if you're interested!

It's good to be back.