About The Redheaded Actress

I'm a polka dot/iced coffee/doggy-loving not-so-newlywed professional actress in New York City.

Crockpot Pattypan Squash & Collard Greens Lasagna

It’s hard to believe we’re already halfway through our season of CSA baskets this week! And I think this week’s basket was the most photogenic of all of them so far. I mean, aren’t the colors gorgeous?

BBweekelevenBefore I get to any of those lovely veggies, though, I have a super simple and utterly delicious vegetarian crockpot recipe for you. One of the things I miss most since I stopped eating meat is the vast array of crockpot recipes — there’s just something so lovely about prepping dinner really quickly in the morning, then coming home after a long day to a home that smells amazing, with dinner already cooked!

One of the really fun things about this recipe, too, is that you can substitute pretty much any vegetable you have extra of or you think would taste delicious. I used up my pattypan squash and collard greens, plus a bit of my surplus zucchini, but you really have a lot of leeway here.

This was really, really tasty, and I always find it seriously impressive when uncooked noodles get dumped into a crockpot and come out perfectly cooked. Try this one out, you won’t regret it.
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Crockpot Pattypan Squash & Collard Greens Lasagna

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Delicious “Clean Out Your Fridge” Tofu & Veggie Stir Fry

I recently found myself with a fridge full of random veggies that didn’t really go together, and realized that a delicious asian-inspired stir fry would be the best way to get an awesome heaping serving of vegetables, and to use up my many CSA leftovers from weeks gone by.

The recipe I adapted used totally different vegetables, and you can use totally different ones from the ones I used, as well. Just substitute whatever you have left over! The sauce will make it all taste delicious, I swear. Please excuse my photo swimming in sauce. I couldn’t help myself.

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Delicious “Clean Out Your Fridge” Tofu & Veggie Stir Fry  Continue reading

Week Six: Hot Pink Beet Smoothie

If you love food that bursts with brilliant color (or just happen to be a pink aficionado!), then beets will be a fun food for you to experiment with. I was tickled pink to see the gorgeous color that a little bit of beet added to my standard morning smoothie created.

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This was my first time using beets in the kitchen, and I was surprised at how they turned *everything* they touched hot pink. While it was a slightly messy cooking experiment, I didn’t mind washing all of the gorgeous pink color off of my knife, cutting board, and blender. It’s just such a fun color!

This is a great way to incorporate raw beets into your diet without having to really taste them. This smoothie tastes very similar to my usual smoothie, only with a slightly different texture and a very faint metallic aftertaste from the beets. Highly recommend! 🙂

 

Hot Pink Beet Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup frozen berries
  • 2 TB creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup beets, peeled and then shredded or finely diced

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Weeks Four & Five: Garlic Scape Hummus & Quinoa Tabouli

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Hummus is one of those foods that I can’t get enough of, but I’m rarely motivated enough to make from scratch. Why bust out the food processor when you can just buy a little tub of Sabra, right?

I’ll tell you why in three simple words: Garlic Scape Hummus.

I’ve been having so much fun experimenting with garlic scapes in everything since we got them in our week four basket, but this is far and away the best use of garlic scapes I came up with. Combine that with the deliciously fresh tabouli I made from the curly parsley in our week five basket, and you have an incredible lunch for the whole week.

I ate this on crackers, served with sliced turnips from our week six basket, on top of a bed of salad greens, and slathered all over the carrots from our week seven basket! Please make this for yourself, and don’t delay.  Continue reading

Weeks Four & Five: Escarole and Garlic Scape Pasta with Cream Sauce

Look at all of those beautiful fresh greens waiting to become dinner! From left to right, it’s young onion tops, garlic scapes, escarole, and flat leaf parsley.

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Coming up with interesting takes on new-to-me vegetables and keeping up with all of the produce we get each week can be a challenge (albeit, a fun one!), so I totally nerd out when I can incorporate two+ CSA veggies into one recipe. This one used four!! My husband chuckles at how excited I get when I’m able to accomplish that.

I’m not going to lie to you and say that I loved escarole. I’d never had it before, and I doubt that it’s going to become my new favorite green. But this cream sauce was easy and delightful, plus I’m convinced that any dish is made better with garlic scapes. And look at how much green leafy goodness you’re getting for dinner!

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Escarole and Garlic Scape Pasta with Cream Sauce

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound small pasta
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 5-6 garlic scapes, chopped
  • 3-4 young onions, diced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/2 bunch chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
  • 1 large head escarole, roughly chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese for topping

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Weeks Four & Five: Greek Zucchini & Squash Fritters

I’ve been traveling all around New England for the past couple of weeks on an audition tour of sorts, so there hasn’t been much time for cooking. As a result, I’ve got quite the backlog of produce piling up in my fridge. No complaints here, as I actually found myself craving veggies and missing my CSA produce while I was on the road, but it means that I’ve got some catching up to do!

My husband and I toured Greece five years ago on our honeymoon, and both of us have been in love with Greek food ever since. Greek food can be a bit seafood-focused, given its island culture, but there is a lot of delicious Greek flavor to be had if you’re a vegetarian, too.

I’ve made zucchini fritters in the past as a way of making my veggie-averse, feta-worshipping husband happy, but we had half summer squash and half zucchini in our CSA baskets for the past three weeks. I’m not a huge fan of summer squash on its own, but I wondered if it would work as well in these Greek-style fritters. And it totally did!

Mine were about 2/3 summer squash and 1/3 zucchini because I had some summer squash that really needed to be used first, and these were absolutely delicious. Throw in a young onion from my week five basket and a big bunch of fresh dill from this week’s basket, and you not only have a great way to use up a ton of veggies at once, but an incredibly tasty dinner. OPA!

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Greek Zucchini & Squash Fritters

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups packed grated zucchini & squash (6-7 very small zucchini & squash, shredded together in whatever ratio you choose)
  • 1/2 bunch dill, chopped
  • 1 young onion including greens, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup feta
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 TB olive oil for frying

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Week Three: Cilantro-Lime Lentils

In my week three basket, I had a giant bunch of delicious cilantro to work with, on top of cilantro from my own garden.

Loving lime like I do, I thought that trying out a batch of cilantro-lime rice would be tasty and a good way to use up all of that cilantro at once. But I’d rather eat something a bit more nutritious and filled with protein, since I won’t be eating meat with it. And since I’ve already regaled you with several tales of quinoa, I decided to experiment with using lentils instead.

The result was delicious on its own, but really shines as a flavorful topping on all of the salads I’ve been eating with the crisp greens that are also in our baskets every week. And lentils are just so good for you and so filling!

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Cilantro-Lime Lentils

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown or green lentils
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB vinegar
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Rinse the lentils under cold water. Place the lentils in a medium saucepan and add enough cold water to cover by 3 inches. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
Meanwhile, zest and juice the lime, and put both in a large mixing bowl. Add the diced green onions, olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.

When they are done, drain the lentils and rinse in cold water, and drain again well. Place lentils in the large bowl and toss with the rest of the ingredients. Chop the cilantro and mix into the salad. Serve the salad as a dish on its own, or add to a bed of lettuce with dressing and other veggies.

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Do you like lentils? What is your favorite use of cilantro?

Week Three: Thyme Broccolini, Sweet Potato, and Baked Egg Mini Pizzas

Week three saw a LOT of delicious fresh salads, so you’ll excuse me if you catch me making pizza yet again this week 🙂

I had never cooked or even eaten broccolini (otherwise known as broccoli rabe!), so this was a fun experiment for me. I asked my friends on Instagram what their favorite way to eat this new-to-me leafy green, and my friend Katie from Ruffles & Truffles suggested pizza! Knowing that I’ve made and loved a Kale and Sweet Potato pizza in the past and that my brother absolutely adores sweet potatoes, I decided to incorporate that delicious veggie. I also love thyme, which pairs well with sweet potatoes, and I wanted to add a baked egg for heartiness and protein for this non-meat eater.

Behold, my pizza triumph! I’m particularly proud of this recipe of mine:

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Week Two: Spanakopita Bites

Last weekend, we threw a housewarming party for our new place / birthday party for my brother. It was a Friday night, the night before my next CSA basket pick-up, and I was eager to use up the spinach that had been bumped to the bottom of the list all week because spinach is easy to use and a vegetable I’m already really familiar with, so less exciting. It also used up the rest of my green onions, which was good, because we got more this week! Not that I’m complaining, green onions are super versatile and delicious.

So Spanakopita Bites were on the menu! They’re a fave finger food of mine because they’re very simple and always a crowd-pleaser. Sure enough, they were the first thing gone at the party. Take that as you will.

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Spanakopita Bites

Recipe adapted from What’s Cookin, Chicago?

Ingredients:

  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 10 green onions, chopped
  • 5-6 cups chopped spinach
  • 6 ounces feta cheese
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 pound phyllo, thawed
  • 6 TBs butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sauté chopped green onions in 1 TB olive oil over medium heat until softened, 1 to 2 minutes.

Mix spinach, feta, cottage cheese, egg, and cooked onions in medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cut the phyllo dough into 2 inch by 2 inch squares and stack them up for easy use.

Prepare muffin pan by brushing butter in each well. Place 1-2 squares of phyllo dough into each well and form into a cup shape. Brush with more melted butter and add 1-2 more squares of phyllo dough into each well. Repeat once more to have 4-6 total phyllo squares in each well. Fill each well with spinach mixture and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

 

What are your favorite ways to use up spinach? This one was a major hit with my friends! We got more spinach this week, so I’m sure you’ll be seeing more ideas coming up 🙂

Week Two: Spinach, Feta, & Caramelized Onion Pizza with Arugula Pesto

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This recipe is my personal triumph from the past two weeks. Not only was it super delicious and an easy way to make both my brother and my husband happy, but I managed to use not one, not two, but three separate CSA vegetables on one pizza!

Make this pizza for a tasty game night snack (we played Monopoly!), and as a fabulous use of extra CSA veggie leftovers to prep for your next share pick-up!

Spinach, Feta & Caramelized Onion Pizza with Arugula Pesto

Ingredients:

  • Pizza dough, I used Bobby Flay’s recipe for this pizza
  • Arugula Pesto, same as Radish Green Pesto, just swap for Arugula!
  • 1 large onion, caramelized
  • 1 cup feta
  • 2 large handfuls baby spinach or regular spinach with stems removed and ripped into smaller pieces
  • 1/4 diced green onions

Roll out the Pizza dough to the size and thickness of your preference. Spread arugula pesto in a thick coat. Layer spinach, caramelized onions, green onions, and cheese. Bake on a pizza stone or cookie sheet covered in tin foil at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or until your crust is golden brown.

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What’s your favorite way to combine multiple CSA vegetables into one recipe?