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A Week at My Table: by Stefanie Lukomski

It is not always the case, but this past week was a “good-use-of-food week” for us. Our typical schedule has me running my 3 boys straight from school on the far east side of Tucson to the UA for swim practice and to El Grupo for bike practice. On nights that we carpool, I am able to head back toward home to get dinner started; usually not before making a stop at the store for some ingredients for the meal. A few years back I decided to stop planning a weeks worth of meals as well as doing the shopping for it because I was seeing too much food go to waste. Now, I like to wait and see what the days brings and what we’re in the mood for – keeping in mind all the fresh produce from the CSA and incorporating that into each meal.

Tuesday nights I’m at the CSA helping out with distribution, so my husband is always in charge of dinner that day. We still had some chard left the previous weeks share so we wanted to use that up before I got home with a new fridge-filling share. We tried a new recipe that had been sitting in my NYT cooking recipe box, Macaroni with Tomato sauce, Chard and Goat Cheese. We have been trying to eat gluten free whenever possible so we used gluten free penne in this and you never would have known! This was a creamy, “healthy” version of mac and cheese which we probably made unhealthy with the extra ooey-gooey parmesan we added, leaving no leftovers. *disclaimer: we are Wisconsin transplants and love cheese.

After unloading my CSA share from Tuesday, I decided we needed to find new ways to use cabbage. Up until now, I’ve primarily only used cabbage as a slaw, so I needed to do a deep dive into all my cooking apps. I actually, (not sure why I’m so surprised), found a bunch of cabbage forward recipes that I’m super excited to try! On my way home from dropping the kids at practice on Wednesday, I stopped for gruyere and a baguette for another new NYT cooking recipe, Creamy Cabbage Soup with Gruyere. This soup was amazing! As written, it calls for lowfat milk, but I went ahead and used heavy whip instead as well as more gruyere than it called for. The richness of the cream and cheese balanced so well with the cabbage and sparked a new appreciation for this fridge-space-hog brassica. Another meal with no leftovers!

Thursday night was an oldie but a goodie, Cauliflower and Eggplant Parmesan. I prefer this dish baked rather than fried which I think works out just as well and only requires a little more patience. We served this over gluten free spaghetti with garlic bread on the side. Quite a hearty meal, leaving cauliflower and eggplant leftovers for quick easy additions to future meals. Friday nights are around the time when I feel like eating out so coming in close second, I stopped at Time Market for some of their pizza dough to-go. By the time we got home from swim practice, the pizza stone was in the oven and the oven was hot. Each of us designs our own pizzas and I opted for a fig/truffle base, with mushrooms and sundried tomatoes and topped after baking with spinach from a share a few weeks ago. Delish!

Heading into the weekend, my son’s El Grupo bikepacking group used their Saturday practice to take part in Food not Bombs pecan harvest ride. He and his brothers took the pecan harvest out back and cracked all those nuts! My bikepacking son is also my sweet tooth son and is almost always willing to spare his time and energy to bake something sweet, so Pecan Pie is on our way. It will be the perfect end to a week of eating well!