This is the type of variety that comes in the boxes each week! Each week the box is stuffed full with the freshest. in season fruits and veggies! And don’t forget there are add-ons too! Berries, local honey, olive oil, farm-fresh eggs, and more!
I’m partnering with Yasukochi Family Farms this month to bring you all of the best deals and freshest produce! I’ll be posting pics on my socials as well.
We eat a lot of veggies in this house, but recently I picked up a few pounds of bulk hot Italian sausage and I was jonesing for a meaty baked pasta dish. We don’t eat a lot of meat, so 1 pound for this recipe is a lot for us. If you are a big meat eater, you can add up to an extra pound of sausage to make it extra meaty.
This recipe makes a lot, but, it keeps well for leftovers and you can freeze leftovers as well.
Meaty Baked Pasta
1 box pasta (whatever variety you like best), cooked per package directions
1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
2 T. butter or oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 medium-sized zucchini, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 cloves of garlic, minced
32 oz of your favorite red pasta sauce
1 small can of tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups mozzarella, divided
1 cup parmesan/romano blend cheese, divided
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Cook pasta per directions, drain off the water, reserving 2-3 Tablespoons.
In a large pan, cook and crumble Italian sausage. After it is cooked, drain it on a paper towel.
Using the same pan, saute onion and pepper for 10-15 minutes, until the onions are clear and have started to caramelize.
Add in garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.
Add in zucchini, sauce, and tomato paste- cook until sauce comes to a simmer.
Add meat back in, and stir to combine.
Add reserved pasta water to the sauce and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
In a baking dish layer sauce, pasta, cheese, and sauce. Repeat until the baking dish is full and top with the remaining cheese.
Cover the baking dish with a lid or tented foil and bake for 45 minutes.
Remove the lid/foil and cook another 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Serve with a green salad and garlic bread!
This recipe made a 9×13 baking dish, which will serve 6-8 people a hearty portion.
If you need more veggies in your life, add carrots, drained diced petite tomatoes, more peppers, and even a few handfuls of spinach!
This meal was so satisfying. I’ve had leftovers for lunch twice now.
I ended up with extra sauce, and I plan on making calzones with it.
I have been working on this post for weeks, making phone calls and researching. I wanted to get this post up as soon as I could. Unfortunately, there are still some areas that haven’t posted their plans for free summer meals for kids.
Santee School District will be providing summer drive-thru meal distribution from June 14 through July 30, Monday-Friday, from 10:00-10:30 am, at Pepper Drive and Rio Seco schools. Extended school year (summer school) and students attending Project Safe will be provided with food.
San Diego Unified School District has partnered with San Diego Parks and Recreation to have food available at neighborhood schools and Recreation centers throughout the city of San Diego. The complete list of locations can be found here. Times vary by location.
Grossmont Union High School District will be providing lunch for kids 2-18 all summer. Kicking it off, they will be giving out meal boxes on Monday June 7 from 11:30 to 1:30 on a first come first serve basis in the same area where lunches are distributed. Summer meal distribution starts on June 14th 11:30-1:30 Monday through Friday.
Other school districts may be offering free lunches this summer, but currently there isn’t much information available.
If you don’t find any facilities near you offering free lunches, I recommend contacting 211, they may have more updated information.
I’ve seen this kind of recipe before and I had never made it because it’s really hard to pick decent fresh cauliflower, and honestly, frozen cauliflower is always kinda… soggy (?) when you defrost it and cook it.
We’ve been getting a lot of cauliflower in our Yasukochi Family Farms CSA box over the past 5 weeks, so I figured it was time to give it a shot.
This recipe is easy. And tasty. It does not duplicate potato skins. I don’t care what any low carb/potato hating website tells you.
Loaded Roasted Cauliflower
2 heads of cauliflower, leaves and stem removed, cut into bite sized pieces
2 T. Olive oil or your favorite cooking oil
salt and pepper
1 cup shredded cheese
1/2 cup bacon crumbles (use real bacon, not baco’s)
4 green onions, chopped
Sour Cream (optional, but tasty)
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place cookie sheets lined with foil into oven to heat up with the oven.
While oven/pan is heating, toss cauliflower in oil, salt & pepper.
Once oven is heated to 450, remove pan, spread cauliflower out in a single, well spaced layer.
Bake for 8 minutes, then turn veggies to roast evenly.
Return to oven and bake for another 8 minutes.
Remove from oven. Top with cheese and bacon. Broil for 2-4 minutes, until cheese is melty and bacon is hot.
After removing from broiler, top with green onions and eat up ASAP.
Serve with sour cream, or salsa. Or both.
This serves 2-4 people as a side dish, or be greedy and eat the whole recipe as a main dish. I won’t tell anyone. I make this at least once a week.
This recipe is gluten free. You can make it vegetarian by omitting the bacon.
Over the past six months, I’ve been trying to get us to eat more veggies. But honestly, you can only eat so much mixed green salads and steamed broccoli. My prior attempts at oven roasted veggies were basically a hot pile of steamed veggies that lacked any of the qualities of oven roasted veggies I knew- none of them were sweet, with crispy edges, tender but not soggy. Thankfully with our CSA box coming straight to our door weekly, were getting tons of tasty new veg to try!
I did some reading in a few cookbooks, websites, and asked some of my friends who are chefs/professional cooks. The secret to perfect oven roasted veg? Space. Room. The veggies need space for the heat of the oven to circulate and heat them evenly.
Second tip: place the pans in the oven and allow them to pre-heat. Once the oven has pre-heated, pull your pan(s) out and place your veggies on the pans, then back in the oven.
Third tip: Half way through roasting, turn over/flip your veggies to ensure they are getting equal roasting time in that hot pan. I say pan, but I use a baking sheet lined in foil, like this one.
It’s all about high temp and short cooking time- 450 degrees! Your veggies will be done in less than 45 minutes and you’ll be feasting away! And anyone can make roasted veggies- as long as you have the following:
Aluminum Foil (I like it because it makes clean up easy)
1-2 lbs of your favorite vegetables, chopped up into evenly sized pieces (the secret to having them come out perfect)
3 Tablespoons oil (I like canola, avocado, or grapeseed)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon (or more, depending on how seasoned you like your veg) fresh cracked pepper
With the CSA boxes we’ve been receiving weekly, making roasted veggies is a snap. Here are cooking times for a few in season veggies. These times presuppose that you have cleaned/peeled as needed, and cut them into 1-inch pieces as needed. Cooking time is for 1 lb.
Beets: 20-25 minutes
Carrots: 20-25 minutes
Brussels Sprouts (Cut off the bottom, and cut in half): 15-20 minutes
Onions (I usually quarter and slice them): 15-20 minutes
Garlic (peel each clove- if they are large, cut in half) 15-20 minutes
Green Beans: 15-20 minutes
Potatoes/sweet potatoes: 20-30 minutes
Zucchini/summer squash: 15-20 minutes
Bell Peppers: 15-20 minutes
Asparagus: 10-15 minutes
If you’ve got something that isn’t on this list that you want to roast, I suggest starting with 10 minutes at 450 degrees, then flip the veggies over and see how they are doing. If they are brown and caramelized on one side, give it another 10 minutes for the other side to cook, then test for doneness with a fork. If they need longer, give them another 5 minutes and test again.
The box was bursting! I’m so excited. Here is what we received in our box:
Sugar Snap Peas
Baby Bok Choy
Mountain Meadow Mushrooms
And the incredible Large Bouquet of Flowers! I divided the bouquet into two vases, and they are in Little Bit’s Room and on the mantle. There are a variety of add-ons berries, honey, eggs, jams, etc available each week.
Each Monday in March, we’ll be receiving a CSA box from Yasukochi Family Farms full of locally grown and sourced produce. I love Yasukochi Farms because everything in the box is all grown using organic farming methods while possible and using local, responsible and sustainable farming. The other thing that is incredible is the convenience of having these farm-fresh items delivered straight to your doorstep (with no additional delivery fee). It saves me a trip to the store where all the produce has been transported, touched, and picked over. My CSA Box is packed just for me!
No matter if you have a small or large household, Yasukochi Family Farms has you hooked up! There are two box sizes: Regular (feeds 1-3 people), or Jumbo (feeds 4-6 people).
If you don’t live in the delivery area, you can check out Yasukochi Family Farms at many of the local Farmers Markets in Southern California. A complete list can be seen here.
What am I making with all of these tasty veggies:
Last night we had roasted asparagus.
I made up a big salad for the week with the spring mix, tomatoes, carrots, celery, and bell pepper.
I also chopped up the bok choy, celery, carrots, snap peas, and onion and made a stir fry kit to have later in the week for lunch (with rice and Thai stir fry sauce)
The USDA has a nationwide database that is accessible here (for my readers not in the San Diego, CA area).
And if you are in need of food for your entire family, but you find yourself not qualifying for P-EBT or other social services, I recommend that you check out Facebook. There are tons of local groups of neighbors getting together setting up Tables of Hope. In San Diego, there are several. Tables of Hope are small groups of neighbors that have set up food distribution tables within neighborhoods to help those who might be experiencing food insecurity.
Churches and community organizations are offering free food distributions that require no proof of need, like Faith Chapel in Spring Valley. They are offering free produce each Friday through mid-August. You can find out more info here.
And the San Diego Food Bank is continuing their neighborhood distributions– Lots of produce and goodies are available each week. No proof of need or residency requirements.
There are all sorts of organizations looking to help families in need.