Meal Plan for September 12, 2018

A colorful veggie box this week will lend to colorful dinners this week! I’ve included 2 dessert recipes as well this week. If you haven’t ever had zucchini bread, adding some tart apple to it makes it especially delicious. The Jonagold apples we received from Wheeler Orchard are perfect for this recipe.

I haven’t always enjoyed cooking. In fact, I had about 30 standard recipes I cooked month to month when we first moved to Chattanooga. I soon became bored and my taste buds were crying out for something different. I found out I was pregnant 2 months after moving to Chattanooga 9 years ago and had a lot of time on my hands since I left my career in SC. I found myself watching Iron Chef and Food Network during my waking hours while my husband working incessantly long hours learning a new job. That year, I decided to cook something different every single day. This was how I learned to cook. I learned many new cooking methods like roasting and braising. I learned many new flavor profiles and with time, I learned how to stock a pantry to cook most dishes and how to make substitutions so I didn’t have to make a special trip to the grocery store. In coming weeks, I’ll share some of those tips with you. I hope you will try a new recipe or two or more and add some new dishes to family favorites.

Garlic Roasted Purple Potatoes
  • 1.5 pounds of baby purple potatoes
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic minced
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 450F degrees.
  2. Cut potatoes into bite size pieces. Toss with thyme, minced garlic and olive oil.
  3. Sprinkle with salt to taste.
  4. Place in oven proof cast iron pan or on a baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes until tender.
  6. Then broil for five minutes to crisp the tops.
Recipe Notes

Recipe from Sparkle Living


Muscadine Sorbet
Servings: 4 servings
  • 1 quart muscadines
  • 1/8 cup honey or super fine sugar
  • The juice and zest of half a lemon
  1. Working in batches, puree the grapes with the sugar or honey in a food processor or blender until the sugar is dissolved (about three minutes). Over a bowl, pour the puree through a fine-mesh strainer or sieve. Press on the solids to extract all the juice. Add the lemon juice and zest to the bowl and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap or pour into an airtight container and let cool for several hours. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instruction

  2. Over a bowl, pour the puree through a fine-mesh strainer or sieve. Press on the solids to extract all the juice.

  3. Add the lemon juice and zest to the bowl and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap or pour into an airtight container and freeze for 2-4 hours before serving. 

Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from WakeMed Voices


Crock Pot Stuffed Pepper Soup
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 lb bell peppers diced, any color
  • 2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes undrained
  • 1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 24 oz of beef broth
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups of cooked rice
  1. Brown and drain grease from the ground beef and place in slow cooker.
  2. Add in tomato sauce, tomatoes, broth, peppers, onions, garlic, brown sugar, salt and pepper to slow cooker. (basically everything but your cooked rice)

  3. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.
  4. When about 30 minutes are left , add in your cooked rice, recover and continue cooking until time is up.
Recipe Notes

Recipe from Moms with Crock Pots


Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash
  • 1 large butternut squash peeled/seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 TB olive oil
  • 2 TB packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 425F with rack on upper middle position. Line baking sheet with heavy duty foil or parchment paper or silicon mat.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the squash with remaining ingredients until thoroughly coated. Transfer to baking sheet, in a single layer, without overcrowding the pieces.
  3. Roast about 40 minutes, rotating pan midway during baking. When edges are browned and cubes are fork-tender, remove from oven immediately. You may want to start checking squash around 35 minutes, just to ensure that they don’t become overcooked.
Recipe Notes

Recipe from Chew Out Loud


Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Servings: 2 people
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup hoisin sauce (or barbecue sauce)
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • lettuce leaves for serving
  • Cucumber, sliced matchsticks for serving
  • Banana peppers, green onions, etc. for serving
  1. Slice the chicken breasts into thin strips. Set them aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, lime juice, sesame oil, brown sugar and minced garlic. Add the chicken to the marinade and stir until the chicken is well coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for a minimum of 2 hours.
  3. When ready to serve, heat a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the chicken, discarding the marinade, and cook, stirring, until the chicken is cooked throughout, about 8 minutes.
  4. To assemble, add the chicken to the bibb lettuce leaves then garnish with desired toppings.

Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Just a Taste


Sautéed Okra with Cherry Tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb okra halved lengthwise
  • 1 small onion cut into wedges
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh Basil chopped
  1. Saute 4 smashed garlic cloves in 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat until golden. Add 4 cups okra (halved lengthwise) and 1 small onion (cut into wedges).
  2. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the okra is tender and bright, 10 to 12 minutes. Add 1 pint halved cherry tomatoes; cook until just bursting, 3 minutes.
  3. Finish with a splash of cider vinegar.
  4. Mix in basil, toss and serve.
Recipe Notes

Recipe from Food Network


Roasted Green Beans with Basil and Parmesan
  • 1 pound of fresh green beans stem end snipped off, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh basil finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper more or less to taste
  • 2 tablespoon grated parmesan
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Dry green beans well and spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with olive oil (use your hands), so that all the beans are coated. Sprinkle with salt, pepper. Toss again to coat.
  3. Roast for 10 minutes, toss, and continue to roast for 5 more minutes. Immediately sprinkle with parmesan and basil and then toss and serve.
Recipe Notes

Recipe from Rachel Cooks


Zucchini Apple Bread
  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 Tablespoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup light olive oil or non-GMO canola oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cup shredded unpeeled zucchini
  • 1/2 cup shredded peeled apple I used a Granny Smith apple
  • Optional: 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour a 8 x 4″ loaf pan well; set aside (If you use a 9 x 5″ loaf pan, your baking time will be a little less, and your loaf will not look quite as full, since it will be a little wider and longer).
  2. In large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  3. In medium bowl, beat eggs; add oil, sugars, and vanilla, blending well. Pour this mixture over dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in zucchini, apples, and pecans or walnuts, if using (batter will be thick). Spoon batter into your prepared 8 x 4″ loaf pan. Bake at 350˚degrees for 55 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean (if you use a 9 x 5″ pan, your baking time may be more like 50 to 55 minutes).
Recipe Notes

Recipe from Nancy Creative


Meet the Author

Michele Reneau

Michele and her husband relocated to Chattanooga, TN from Charleston, SC in 2009. Leaving a successful real estate career upon relocation, and shortly after became a mom, she transferred her passion of helping people into health matters. She became a Certified Health Coach and enthusiast for local real food. Michele is the Chattanooga Chapter leader of the Weston A Price Foundation. The Reneaus who now have 4 children started a family farm in 2015 on Signal Mountain. Michele loves to cook, eat and teach others about real food.