Columbus Local Pick – Green Bean Delivery

I’ve been getting deliveries from Green Bean (a locally focused grocery delivery service) for a few weeks now. Overall, I’ve been really pleased. There have been a couple missteps, like when they packed a jar of tomatoes on top of a carton of eggs, but they’ve been quick to correct them.

I have a standing order for a produce basket every two weeks. The minimum order is $35. Since my produce basket (they have a choice of sizes) is only $25, I have to add $10 more of items to my order each time. Since I often forget this, they just fill it up with more produce. I can live with that.

Since it’s kind of a grab bag, I’m going to start a planning post, just like I did with CSA last summer.

Here’s what we got this week:
Baby carrots – These are for my son. The only vegetable he will eat without fighting or gagging.
Braeburn apples – Also for my son. He eats them as a snack dipped in peanut butter.
Oranges – for eating plain
Romaine lettuce – Taco salad
Russian banana fingerling potatoes – roasted with olive oil and salt
Broccoli – soup
Asparagus – steamed and used as a dipper for hummus or white bean dip
Green beans – cooked low and slow with some bacon and potatoes, or barbecued – can’t decide which. Maybe both…
Strawberries – I’m freezing these, envisioning some strawberry daiquiris in my future.

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Broccoli Soup

Today, I’m living right in the middle of real town.

As in, what I want for dinner is cookies and bread. But here in real town, that is not a healthy dinner choice.
Takeout sounds delicious. But here in real town, I’m trying to cut back on eating out.
I’d love to make a big elaborate meal. But here in real town, it’s already 7pm and I’m starving.

Instead, what I have for dinner is broccoli (I know. Cookies and bread sounds better). Let’s make the most of it.

Broccoli Soup

  • 2 bunches of broccoli, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 5 cups of water + 5 chicken bullion cubes*

Saute your onions and garlic in a little olive oil until soft. Add the broccoli, water*, and bullion cubes. Simmer until broccoli is soft.

*Nice stock from scratch would be better, but here in real town… well, you know.
**If you wanted to replace 1 cup water and 1 bullion cube with a recipe or two of cheese sauce, then top with shredded cheddar for serving, I would not judge you.

Easy beef stew with broccoli

This is another recipe that takes a while to cook, but requires no attention once you get it on the stove.
Easy beef stew with broccoli

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 pound cubed stew beef*
  • 2 C beef broth
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 head broccoli, washed and florets separated (save stem for another use)

Brown your meat in the olive oil in a decent sized soup pot. Remove to a plate. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and saute for about 3 minutes. Add the beef (and any accumulated juices) back in, as well as the broth. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and let it simmer away, uncovered, for about 2 hours. Check it occasionally to make sure it still has enough liquid that all the beef is covered. If not, add some water. Just before serving, add the broccoli and cook until it’s tender. Serve with a dash of soy sauce.

*I normally am a serious beef snob, but hubs purchased this at the regular grocery store pre-cubed, in a foam package, and labeled simply “stew beef.” If I were going to purchase beef for this in the future, I’d buy a London broil and cube it myself.

Cheese Sauce

I use this as a base for so many recipes, I thought I would include it here. This comes from Marion Cunningham’s wonderful update of the Fanny Farmer cookbook. If you don’t have a copy, I would go to Barnes and Noble right now and purchase one. It’s a bargain, at only $7, and has every basic recipe you need. Someday, I will write you a lengthy discourse about why Marion Cunningham is my very favorite cookbook author. Suffice it to say right now that all of her books are rare gems.

And Cheese Sauce itself? An absolute inspiration. Make it into potatoes au gratin, mac and cheese, rice casserole, cheesy broccoli… Mix it with virtually any starch and/or vegetable, bake it in the oven at 350ish til bubbly, and you’ve got dinner.

Cheese Sauce

  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T flour
  • 1 1/4 C milk, warmed
  • 3/4 C grated cheddar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter, then add the flour. Stir into a paste and cook over medium/low heat (don’t let it brown) for 2 minutes. Add the milk, slowly so you don’t get lumps, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook for about 2 more minutes. Take off the heat, then stir in the cheddar, salt and pepper.

Broccoli Mashed Potato Casserole

Cheesy and satisfying. When you’re craving carbs, but really need protein.

  • 1 bunch broccoli
  • 2 baking potatoes
  • 1 C low fat cottage cheese
  • 6 thin slices sharp cheddar
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 375. Peel potatoes, and cut them into smallish pieces. Boil them until tender. While potatoes are boiling, wash and chop broccoli. Boil broccoli until tender (I took the potatoes out and used the same water). Mash potatoes in medium bowl, then stir in cottage cheese and broccoli. Spread in 9X9 casserole dish and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from oven, and add cheddar slices spaced evenly across top. Bake 15 more minutes, til cheddar is melted and potatoes are bubbly.