Posts tagged with Csa
Happy Tuesday, folks! It’s been totally beautiful out, has it not?
I mean, clear and crisp in the mornings and just barely above 80 in mid-afternoon? Gorgeous! This was pretty much the weather I was hoping for back in June.
And my vegetable garden is responding accordingly. The tomatoes are ripening, the basil is looking fuller, my sage doesn’t look (as) burnt to a crisp.
Thank goodness for this weather!
OK, on to the food that's actually ready to eat. Last week in our Rolling Prairie CSA, we got more melon, peppers, tomatoes, summer squash, grapes, pears and a cucumber. YUM.
They were totally fabulous! And we totally recommend them and will definitely make them again.
Though, I have some notes for those of you who plan on trying them:
- We added a whole jalapeño to the sauce for some spice. Next time we’d only do half or none at all. Just a bit too spicy, but very tasty.
We baked the portobellos in their marinade instead of grilling them. We put them in a 450-degree oven for about 15 minutes. If you do this, I’d recommend draining them on paper towels before serving — ours were very juicy, which made them very good but totally dissolved our tortillas.
A note about tortillas. We used flour tortillas and sprouted-grain tortillas instead of corn because that was what we had. Corn may have held up better to the portobellos.
Also, we served them with sliced CSA tomatoes and avocado. There were no leftovers, we totally scarfed them down!
The rest of our CSA haul was eaten in salad and out of hand. Yum!
What’d we get this week? Pears, two baby melons, spicy peppers, sweet peppers, mushrooms, grapes and basil.
Hi there, CSAers, hope you guys are doing well in this “cooler” weather. I know I’ve been enjoying these temps.
My garden, too, is pretty happy — it’s sort of perked up the past few days and looks a bit less parched, though, I still have no idea how local farmers have still been producing as well as they have. This summer has not been kind … as evidenced from the first two sentences of this blog referencing “cooler temps” and meaning in the 90s.
But I digress.
So, last week we got the following: A melon, chard, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and grapes.
It really was a great haul because each and every item could go into a variety of recipes. And though I know variety is the spice of life and all that jazz, I have a very hard time trying something new.
I am a “rut” person to a fault.
I’ve mentioned this before — how I have my favorites and make the same recipes over and over again not because I like being boring, but because I know exactly how I like things.
So, this week, I challenged myself to try something new. And you know what?
I have a new favorite.
One that is perfect to enjoy in this nice “cooler” weather. (HA.)
But first: Last week we ate the grapes out of hand, juiced the chard and cucumbers, made fajitas again with the peppers (remember what I said about being a rut person) and then had the grape tomatoes in yet another helping of tomato salad (again, shocking, I know).
Therefore, it was up to me to play with the melon. Try something new. I toyed around with what to do (I mean, I just like melon as is …), but after going out into the garden for inspiration, I figured out exactly what to do.
I’d combine the melon with leaves from my mint (spearmint) plant, which has bounced back from the brink in the cooler weather. I figured it would not only be a yummy combination, but that it would also show my dry little mint plant enough love that maybe it wouldn’t threaten to leave me again (I’ve killed my mint plants — spearmint, peppermint and chocolate mint — every single year I’ve had all three, despite the fact that garden books claim they are unkillable).
So, here’s what I came up with — a drink that’s been absolutely perfect to sip on the deck during our “cool” weather. And, if it’s not so cool? Don’t worry, it’ll chill you out so much, you might make it a nightly ritual (i.e. rut).
Minty Watermelon Cooler
4 cups roughly chopped watermelon (about half a small to medium watermelon)
3 sprigs mint (about ¾ tablespoon leaves when removed from the stem)
Tiny pinch sea salt
Put all ingredients in a blender.
The watermelon is wet enough that you should not have to add any water. Blend all ingredients until smooth.
When that’s done, pour the liquid through a metal strainer to remove any seed fragments or bits of mint that didn’t blend.
Pour the strained liquid into wine glasses or other small glasses. Serves 2.
What’d we get this week? More melon, peppers, tomatoes, summer squash, grapes, pears and a cucumber.
I'm like everyone else in that I love to splurge when I'm on vacation. I think there must be an switch somewhere deep in our human brains that says: Holy cow, you're not at home, EAT ALL THE THINGS.
That mentality was on full display last week, when we took a family vacation.
That said, because we were staying at our family's cabin, I had access to a kitchen. Thus, I tried get the splurge section of my brain to meet the practical side of my brain halfway. This pretty much translated to cooking lunch and then eating out at dinner.
Really, I don't think that's half bad. I got to enjoy my favorite vacation-spot Indian food (NAAN!) plus two different pizza joints AND got to introduce my parents to the awesomeness that is our favorite homemade fajitas.
Though we didn't have any CSA goodness to work with (having given our pickup coordinator notice the week before), I was able to harvest produce from my own garden and hit up the Lawrence Farmers' Market before we left. Because of that, I could enjoy a little taste of home each day at lunch.
For probably half of my lunches, I made the salad below, which was super tasty, healthy and included homegrown tomatoes along with store-bought ingredients I picked up when we reached our destination.
The salads went a long way to balance out edible vacation-style splurges (chocolate, a giant cookie, the aforementioned naan) and they were beyond easy.
Simple Vacation Salad
2 handfuls baby spinach
2 handfuls cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 avocado (it's there, just buried in the photo)
Sliced almonds (to taste)
Store-bought honey mustard dressing (to taste)
Toss all in a bowl. Serves 1. Yum!
What'd we get this week?
Melon, grapes, Swiss chard, cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes.
Chances are, that if you started coming to this blog because you were looking for ideas for what to do with your initial CSA hauls. You know, the ones with ingredients you tend to never buy (turnips, kohlrabi, etc.) or ones that seem so similar you’re not sure how to use them without eating the same variation of a meal over and over (head lettuce, spring mix and kale, anyone?).
But now, on the cusp of August, you should be completely comfortable with what you’re bringing home or finding at the farmers’ market. Tomatoes, cucumber, onions, peppers and melon have probably been summer staples in your house well before you knew what the heck a CSA was (it stands for Community Supported Agriculture, by the way).
My haul last week? Tomatoes, cucumber (1), onions, multiplier onions, watermelon, bell peppers and kale.
If your CSA pickup was like mine, I doubt I really need to give you ideas on how to use those things. You know what to do. You already have your favorite recipes. And I have mine. And this week, we did nothing spectacular with our haul, we just made food we already know we love.
And we made the above cheeseless vegetable lasagna, which I haven’t shared before, but have made previously. Honestly, I haven’t shared it because the recipe is super long and has multiple steps. BUT, if you want to know how to make it, and are interested in something with homemade tomato sauce, marinated mushrooms and yet another use for zucchini, let me know by emailing the Lcom folks and I’ll send out a mass email.
Thus, the recipe I’m sharing this week is a super simple one. It takes items you’re getting in spades, mixes it with other goodies and creates a fabulous chopped salad. Feel free to play around with the ingredients -- use what you have on hand and don’t go out and buy stuff if you don’t have it. The dressing and the salty-sweet combo of raisins and olives will keep things flavorful, no matter the base.
Midsummer Night(s) Chopped Salad
2 large red peppers (or orange or yellow), seeded and chopped
1 to 2 cucumbers, seeded and chopped
1 to 2 handfuls kalamata olives, pitted and halved
1 to 2 handfuls raisins
1 avocado, chopped
Squirt lemon juice
Pinch each: salt, pepper, nutmeg
Mix the peppers, cucumbers, olives, raisins and avocado in a large bowl. Top with lemon juice and seasonings. Stir gently to mix and enjoy. Serves 1 to 2.
How’s it going, folks? Here’s hoping you’re up to your ears in the bounty that is local produce these days, whether it’s coming from your CSA or one of the farmers’ markets, the grocery store or all of the above.
My counters are swimming in produce right now and both crispers are completely packed. We have two fruit bowls and they’re both brimming with the good stuff: local peaches, Asian pears (one of my favorite fruits to buy locally), melons and non-local tropical fruits (a girl’s gotta have her bananas and lemons). Right there next to the fruit bowls are our tomatoes, coming daily from our garden and then every few days from the market or our CSA, Rolling Prairie. In the fridge, we’ve got corn, greens, beets, carrots, cucumbers, summer squash, basil … so many good things, all coming from within a small radius of our house. Totally delicious.
The goodies our CSA supplied to us last week were carrots, blackberries, cherry tomatoes, roma tomatoes, cucumbers, corn and yellow squash.
It’s funny, because when I first started my CSA subscription years ago, I had a really hard time balancing what we’d get in our weekly CSA share and what I wanted to buy at the market and the store. But this summer my mantra seems to be: the more the better. So, honestly, we used up our CSA haul really fast this week (within 24 hours) and had to replace if fairly quickly with the same stuff, procured elsewhere.
Basically, a blackberry snack, some green juice featuring the squash, cucumber and carrots (below) and two salads took care of things this week.
One of the salads featuring local produce was this super easy one: Sweet and Spicy Corn and Tomato Salad. I made it last Monday (pick-up day) while the hubby was running and I was kind of surprised when I didn’t have any left over to give him (whoops). But don’t worry, it’s really easy to double or triple the recipe.
Sweet and Spicy Corn and Tomato Salad
Kernels from 2 ears of corn, cut off the cob
1 large heirloom tomato, chopped
½ avocado, chopped
Peach or mango salsa
Squirt lime juice
Hot sauce (optional)
Nutritional yeast (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Enjoy! Serves 1 as a main course or two as a side salad.
What’d we get this week? Tomatoes, cucumber (1), onions, multiplier onions, watermelon, bell peppers and kale.
Hello friends, how’s it going this week? Everything’s just dandy over here. Want to know why?
The tomatoes are HERE.
They’re in my garden, they’re at the Farmers’ Market and they’re probably in your weekly CSA.
Of course, thanks to the wonder that is our global food economy, these days you can get a tomato any time of year, but nothing — NOTHING — tastes as good as a fresh, in-season tomato. Certainly not those sad, mealy “tomatoes” available in the winter, or even the giant, expensive hydroponic guys that make their debut in the spring. They may be the first of the year, but they certainly aren’t the tastiest.
Now, I’m most fond of heirlooms, my favorite being the beautiful Purple Cherokee. I have four of those plants myself, and if I see a good one at the store or market, I snatch it up, whether I need it or not.
That said, I also have a major soft spot for the sweet little orange cherry tomato hybrids known as SunSugar or Sun Gold. They’re the sweetest tomatoes around (in my estimation) and they’re nearly fool-proof to grow. Plus, they are easy to pick and tiny, which means the boy loves them.
Luckily we’ve been able to get some in our Rolling Prairie CSA pickups (and at the market), because the four plants I have just aren’t enough. (Yes, I have four Cherokee Purple and two each of the SunSugar and Sun Gold. We also have a couple Black Krim and Green Zebra plants.) And last week, we got some cherry tomatoes in our CSA pickup, along with potatoes, beets, a turnip, cucumbers, summer squash, blackberries and mushrooms.
The potatoes were made into baked wedges, the mushrooms and squash rounded out a kale stir-fry, the beets were juiced, the cucumbers ended up in salad, the blackberries eaten out of hand and the turnip saved for a rainy day (or something). But the tomatoes, I had a plan for those, as you can see from the top picture.
I decided I’d try to make an all-tomato salad that wouldn’t taste like salsa. Kind of tough to do with the way my brain works because I really like salsa, but I’m really happy with the result: Cherry Tomato Salad with Lime-Garlic Dressing.
It’s super easy, will take care of two pints of tomatoes at a time (or more) and is healthy as all get out. Perfect for a hot summer evening, or to bring to lunch after a night spent picking from your backyard garden.
Oh, and you could probably use chopped “normal” tomatoes for the salad as well, but the texture will be different, FYI.
Cherry Tomato Salad with Lime-Garlic Dressing
2 pints (or more!) cherry tomatoes
1.5 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 pinch each: salt, pepper, cumin
Halve the cherry tomatoes and place in a serving bowl. Whisk together the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the tomatoes. Stir gently and serve. Serves 4.
What’d we get this week? Carrots, blackberries, cherry tomatoes, roma tomatoes, cucumber (just one), corn and yellow squash.
Don’t you just love being smack-dab in the middle of sweet corn season? It’s just a total delight, right? Right. Unfortunately, the lack of rain and horrific heat has been really hard on the corn crop, so get it while you can.
The past few weeks, we’ve been lucky enough to get corn at our Rolling Prairie CSA pickup. And, honestly, though I have recipes for corn, there’s probably nothing better than eating sweet corn straight off the cob.
But just telling you to eat corn straight off the cob probably makes for a boring blog. Instead, we’ll go in a different direction. Last week, at our CSA, we got the aforementioned corn, plus potatoes, onions, cherry tomatoes, squash, beets and cucumbers.
Such a nice variety, right? Gotta love it.
They used up the potatoes, plus we had the aforementioned corn on the side. Meanwhile, the squash and beets went into juice, the onions ended up in storage, and the cucumbers and cherry tomatoes ended up in various salads. Among the salads, was this Thai-inspired one I made using dinosaur kale, cucumbers, tomatoes, red pepper and — because I had them — kelp noodles.
It looks really involved, but it wasn’t at all. All I did was make dressing, soaked the noodles in it and then mixed the sauced noodles with the chopped veggies. It was really, really good and all you really need is a blender, cutting board and knife.
Pad Thai Salad
1 bunch dinosaur kale
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 green onion
Basil (Thai or otherwise … I used purple and genovese basil), for garnish
1 bag (uncooked) kelp noodles or 1 bag/box rice or soba noodles, cooked and cooled
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup no-salt almond butter
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 to 2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 to 2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon miso (I used white)
2 tablespoons low-salt tamari (or other soy sauce)
2 medjool dates, chopped
Pinch cayenne (or more
Place noodles in a bowl, spray generously with lime juice and let them soak while preparing the salad ingredients. Tear kale into tiny pieces, halve the cherry tomatoes and chop your cucumber and green onion. Mix together the kale, tomatoes, green onion and cucumber in a large bowl and set aside.
Make the sauce by putting all ingredients in a blender. Blend until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Pour over your noodles. Let soak for at least 10 minutes.
To serve: Portion out the kale mixture in bowls. Top with a generous helping of noodles and sauce. Garnish with basil leaves. Enjoy!
Serves 2 to 4. If you have leftovers, store the salad and noodles separately, if possible.
What'd we get this week? Potatoes, tomatoes, beets (one turnip was mixed in), cucumbers, summer squash, blackberries and mushrooms.
Yes, that's a smoothie. And yes, it has beets in it.
And, yes, I did that on purpose.
You see, I'm the only person in my house who adores beets. And we happen to be in the middle of the local beet season. I can't get enough of them, which is great because they're abundant at the Lawrence Farmers' Market and through my Rolling Prairie CSA. But, it's also sad in that I have to work my tail off to get through all of them in a week.
Hence, I decided to try something new.
And that something is pretty. Which is always nice, in my estimation, as an eater.
So, here's the story. Last week at Rolling Prairie we took home beets, blackberries, collards, summer squash, corn, new potatoes and giant shallots.
The berries and the corn went super fast (as in they barely made it through the door), while the squash, potatoes and shallots went into a twist on this favorite of ours, the Herbed Summer Squash and Potato Torte. The "twist" being that we used shallots instead of onions. Exciting, I know. But if you like cheesy, potato-y things, that torte is totally for you!
As for the beets and collards, I tried to do something a bit different with them.
Last week, I made the collards into wraps. That worked well, but I'm a bit wrapped out. So, this time around, I decided to juice the collards. It wasn't the tastiest idea I've ever had (talk about a STRONG flavor), but the result was pretty healthy. More on that later.
As for the beets ... they are definitely a "no middle ground"-type food. You either love them or hate them. Or, at least, that's been my experience. And, as I mentioned above, usually it's just me enjoying them in our house.
So, some of my beets I paired with the collards for the aforementioned juice. The juice also utilized local apples and parsley I got at the Farmers' Market, so it was a super local concoction!
The remaining beets, well, I got creative with them, and the results were electric:
That smoothie is something I've never done before. But, because I know very few of you out there probably have a juicer, I thought I'd try something with my blender.
It's much more likely that you readers have blenders, right? Right.
Even if you like beets, I realize this smoothie idea is probably a little hair-raising, but, I implore you, just try it. My top reason besides the flavor: the fact that my beet-hating kiddo is happily drinking it in the above picture. If he'll drink it, your beet haters might drink it, too.
Thus, I give you beets two ways. First, that smoothie recipe. Second, my "gulp it down before you can really taste it"-type beets-and-collards juice. Both are full of antioxidants and vitamins, though the smoothie definitely tastes worlds better!
Electric Pink Smoothie
1 medium beet, raw, peeled and diced
2 cups chopped pineapple
1/2 cup strawberries, chopped
1/2 cup blueberries
1 to 1-1/2 cups water
Blend and enjoy! Serves 1 to 2.
Liquid Beets and Greens
2-3 small beets, or one large one
2-3 collard leaves (kale works too)
2 tart apples
2 heads celery
1/2 bunch parsley
Run all through a juicer. Enjoy! Serves 1 to 2.
This week I have two recipes for you that add up to one delicious locally sourced wrap.
Yes. And totally healthy.
But first, the rundown of what we got last week: Potatoes, collards, eggs, broccoli, basil and summer squash.
Our potatoes went into storage, our eggs were scrambled for breakfast, the broccoli we ate out of hand. As for the summer squash, collards and basil? They all went into the wraps you see above. Yep, they're all in there.
The basil became a pesto that's a twist on the normal pine nut-and-cheese concoction. Instead of the norm, this pesto is made with hemp seeds to up the nutritional value. Hemp seeds have a great omega-3 essential fatty acid profile and are high protein. They have a nice, nutty flavor that is just perfect for pesto.
The summer squash, meanwhile, went into another twist on a classic: hummus. Basically, you make hummus as you normally would, but instead of the chickpeas, you use zucchini or summer squash. I used this recipe a lot last summer and it works just great to get rid of a large amount of summer squash in a hurry.
Meanwhile, the collards, of course, are being used as a wrap. Basically, you "de-vein" them by getting rid the hard stem, fill them with goodies and then roll them up. For diagram's sake, here are the "unrolled" wraps below.
These wraps would be perfect with just a plain-old tortilla or even some nori, but, hey, if you have the collards, why not use them?
As for what we got this week? Blackberries (though, they're already gone), beets, collards, summer squash, corn, new potatoes and (giant) shallots.
2 large zucchini, or 1 large zucchini and a handful of small summer squash
1/2 cup tahini
2 tablespoons lemon juice (or more)
4 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon each: salt, cumin, paprika
Push zucchini through a food processor with a shredding disc or shred by hand using a box grater.
Once shredded, put the zucchini in a bowl lined with cheesecloth. Twist the cheesecloth shut and start squeezing as much liquid out as possible. This might take awhile. (I squeeze until I get tired, dump the liquid out of the bowl and then come back to it a few minutes later and do it again.
Once you feel you've gotten as much liquid out as you can, put the zucchini and other ingredients in a food processor, fitted with an S blade. Process until smooth. Makes about 2 cups.
Hemp Seed and Basil Pesto (adapted from "Pure Pleasures" by Natalia KW)
2 large cloves of garlic
2 cups basil leaves, well packed
1/2 teaspoon miso
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup hemp seeds (you could also use pine nuts or walnuts, but the hemp seed has a great fatty acid profile)
1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil
Process the garlic and basil with the basil. Scrape the sides and then add the miso, salt and pepper. Process to combine. Add the hemp seeds. While processing, slowly add the olive oil through the feeder shoot. Enjoy!
Man, it's hot out. And you know what that means in terms of CSA pickups? THE GOOD SUMMER STUFF is coming. You know what I mean: tomatoes, sweet corn, peppers, melon, basil. All those items that are expensive on their own, but totally affordable in a CSA format. YUM.
But, while we're waiting, there's some majorly good stuff going on all ready. What we got last week from Rolling Prairie is a perfect example: Asian cabbage, Swiss chard, carrots, potatoes, black raspberries and summer squash.
All I can say is YUM.
And, as you can see, the boy liked the results too. He totally stole the juice I made out of apples, CSA Swiss chard and these beautiful CSA carrots:
But that was fine, because we had plenty more. One night we made a strange and mixed-up dinner that was totally amazing, featuring a version of the Asian salad I mentioned a few weeks back. This one was basically the same thing, except instead of peppers and sesame seeds, we threw in two small avocados (chopped) and about two-thirds cup of kimchi. So good.
Then, on the side of that dinner, we made roasted potatoes, using the cute little new potatoes we got in our bag. The hubby and his adorable little helper put a little olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder over them and roasted them in the oven at 450 until they were brown and crunchy. They didn't have the same flavor profile as the salad, but we ate them together just fine. Terrific.
The black raspberries were eaten out of hand for breakfast, while the summer squash made it into fajitas. We used the homemade fajita mix I mentioned last summer, doubling the recipe to include all of the summer squash (sliced but not peeled) plus a few peppers and two sweet yellow onions we got at the Lawrence Farmer's Market. We topped them with avocado and salsa and they were divine. The picture doesn't do them justice.
What'd we get this week? Potatoes, collards(?), eggs, broccoli, basil and summer squash.