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Posts tagged with Produce

Bye-Bye Bounty, week 26: The perfect burger for the impending winter (Boo!)

That's not a salmon patty, but trust me, it's delicious (and EASY).

That's not a salmon patty, but trust me, it's delicious (and EASY). by Sarah Henning

Well, that’s that. The CSA season is over, and, just like that, winter is coming. Darn it.

I suppose distance makes the heart grow fonder, but next spring feels like forever from now. Sigh. Well, when the CSAs do start up again, we’ll be that much more excited to have our first pickups, right? CANNOT WAIT.

So, for my last bag (sniff!) of the Rolling Prairie season, we received a pretty good haul: Swiss chard, sweet potatoes, apples, turnips (including black ones!), salad greens and green peppers.

If you’ve been reading this blog all season, you probably have a pretty good idea of what I did with most of that pickup: fajita veggies, roasted turnips, apples out of hand and Swiss chard in my homemade vegetable juices.

As for the rest of it, we enjoyed the salad greens and sweet potatoes on the very same night for a fabulous and hearty dinner. We used the salad greens as a basis for a delicious salad that also had carrots and cashews and bell pepper. We topped it off with homemade honey mustard dressing.

On the side, we had steamed kabocha squash (one of my very favorite squashes — I highly recommend you try it) and then for the main course, we had homemade veggie burgers.

If you look in the picture above, they kind of look like salmon patties with avocados on top, but they are actually sweet potato-based burgers and they are fantastic. Nothing fishy about them! We used a CSA sweet potato mixed with garbanzo beans and spices for a very hearty burger, that we both loved (the hubby had two, I had one and a half).

Note: They don’t stay together well, but trust me, you won’t have any problem chasing down every single crumb.

Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers (Adapted from kblog.lunchboxbunch.com — Check out her pictures of them, they are splendid!)

2 cans garbanzo beans, drained

1 large sweet potato, baked/peeled/mashed (about 2 cups)

2 tablespoons tahini

2 teaspoons maple or agave syrup

1 teaspoon cajun seasoning (or another fave spice!)

1/4 cup wheat flour

Optional: additional seasoning (whatever you have on hand - I used a few dashes cayenne, black pepper and a scoop of nutritional yeast) salt to taste if needed

Plentiful Panko crumbs

To serve: avocado, Dijon mustard, grain buns, romaine, onion, olive oil, pepper

  1. Bake sweet potato. Peel, place in large mixing bowl. Keep oven on at 400 degrees.

  2. Add drained beans to mixing bowl. Mash beans and potato together.

  3. Mash in seasoning, flour and any additional seasoning. Your mixture will be quite soft and moist. But you should be able to form a patty. Add more flour or a scoop of breadcrumbs - or dry rice to thicken the mixture if needed.

  4. Form a patty from mixture and coat in Panko crumbs. Yield eight patties (we made seven).

  5. Place patties onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 20 to 30 minutes, or until starting to lightly brown.

  6. Serve open-faced with avocado on top or on a toasted bun with lotsa toppings.

Next week, I’ll run down the CSA season and then we’ll be onto yummy cold-weather eats!

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Bye-Bye Bounty, week 24: The end is nigh, but at least we have plenty to roast

Roasted winter vegetables with salad greens and curried chickpeas.

Roasted winter vegetables with salad greens and curried chickpeas. by Sarah Henning

This week’s CSA usage was definitely an attempt in trying to use what we received kind of the same way you use that favorite cardigan or earrings — we wanted our food to go with everything.

I thought that by going this route that maybe it would give us a chance to eat different meals with the same ingredients, rather than just eating the same thing for a day or two straight.

Of course, I’m always OK with eating the same thing more than once. That never bothers me. But, I know our bodies benefit from a varied diet and that changing it up never hurt anyone.

It turns out that this low-key way of changing things up just slightly was a great way to enjoy different flavor profiles with very little hassle.

For example, the picture at the top of this post features our Rolling Prairie butternut squash and sweet potatoes from the Lawrence Farmers’ Market roasted together and then mixed in a bowl with CSA salad mix and baby spinach, avocado, roasted garlic-y Brussels sprouts and leftover curried chickpeas from this amazing crockpot book.

Then, the next day, my lunch was the roasted veggies again, this time on a sprouted grain tortilla with hummus, avocado, baby spinach and chickpeas, with the last of the Brussels sprouts on the side.

A wrap consisting of dinner from the night before and a few extras.

A wrap consisting of dinner from the night before and a few extras. by Sarah Henning

See how this works? As for the rest of our haul — Swiss chard, peppers (hot and sweet), tomatoes, salad mix, radishes — we tried to vary that, too.

The peppers were the easiest to vary. The hubby made fajitas out of a mix of sweet and hot peppers, and while he used them in a black bean burrito, I put mine on top of some baby spinach, leftover tropical sweet potato rounds and avocado and then topped the whole thing with garlic and nutritional yeast.

A whole mix of flavors, one yummy result.

A whole mix of flavors, one yummy result. by Sarah Henning

The tomatoes went on one of my husband’s sandwiches, while other tomatoes went in a salad along with the radishes, sweet peppers and some of the salad mix. Of course, we also used the salad mix with the aforementioned roasted squash dinner, so really, the only things that didn’t get the double-duty treatment were the radishes (salads only) and the chard (juiced).

Yes, this week turned out to be easy AND varied. I love when that happens (and it doesn’t involve eating out every other night).

I ALSO really love the new roasted squash and sweet potato recipe I got out of this week, too.

First week in October, you were a success.

Simply Roasted Butternut and Yams

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into ½-inch cubes

2 medium to large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes

1 tablespoon coconut oil (melted), plus a bit more for greasing

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease two 3-quart glass baking pans with a bit of unmelted coconut oil and set them aside.

In a large bowl, combine squash and sweet potatoes. Pour the melted coconut oil over the cut vegetables and stir with a spatula until they are coated. Divide the veggies between your two pans (or hold back half if you have just a single pan), spread in a single layer and sprinkle on a bit of salt and pepper.

Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so to keep your veggies from sticking. Cool slightly and serve. Serves 6.

What’d we get this week? Swiss chard, sweet and hot peppers, sweet potatoes, salad mix, radishes and tofu.

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10-2 Bye-Bye Bounty, week 23: Turnip taste test (aka: I don’t want to eat them alone)

CSA salad topped with roasted turnips with a side of bread and homemade hummus.

CSA salad topped with roasted turnips with a side of bread and homemade hummus. by Sarah Henning

Thanks to strong evidence from the peanut gallery, it seems as though I might be the only member of my immediate family who truly likes pretty much any root vegetable.

Of course we love carrots and sweet potatoes (though that’s a tuber, I suppose), but if we’re talking beets, turnips, parsnips, my darling hubby/head chef WILL NOT TOUCH THEM. Sure, he might shovel a few in his mouth if they’re hidden in with those he prefers in our favorite life-saving roasted vegetables. But, on the whole, he will not eat them. Same thing for the kiddo, who, at age three, just cannot get over that special root vegetable smell.

Alas, when it comes our CSA and root vegetables, two things normally happen. One: If the husband is picking up the vegetables, he won’t get root vegetables unless there’s no other choice. Two: I’ll pick up the vegetables, embrace the lovely roots, and then eat them all by my lonesome.

This past week at our CSA, I was the one picking the veggies. And you can totally tell because I chose salad turnips over radishes. We also received a butternut squash, greens, salad mix, sweet potatoes and tomatoes.

I knew the family wouldn’t touch a raw turnip, despite the fact that salad turnips are mild enough to eat without preparation, so I decided to give them a nice, good roast and then use them as a salad topper.

The result? I nice, hearty addition to your typical green salad.

"Meaty-looking" turnips.

"Meaty-looking" turnips. by Sarah Henning

We served the roasted turnips (Don’t they look like marinated mushrooms?) on top of a salad made from our CSA salad mix, carrots, cherry tomatoes from our garden (the CSA ones weren’t ripe yet), avocado, lemon and garlic. We served them with our favorite butternut squash-apple soup and homemade hummus with sliced veggies and WheatFields’ bread.

I thought they were delicious (of course) and even got both the hubby and the kiddo to try some. Of course, I ate the bulk, but, hey, when it comes to root vegetables, there’s victory to be found in getting your family to do a taste test.

So, if you want to try it (or just happen to have gotten turnips in your CSA and have no idea what to do), you’re in luck, because the recipe is super simple and won’t leave you with ingredients you can only use on the occasional turnip.

Easy Roasted Turnips

1 bunch salad turnips or 2-3 large turnips

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, plus more for splashing

1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Peel your turnips and then chop them into ½-inch by 1-inch rectangles. Put the turnips in a mixing bowl, cover with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and toss to coat. Spread your coated turnips out on your prepared baking sheet and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so. When serving, top with extra balsamic plus salt and pepper if needed. Serves 2-4.

What’d we get this week? Swiss chard, peppers (hot and sweet), tomatoes, salad mix, radishes and butternut squash.

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Bye-Bye Bounty, week 22: A new way to do sweet potatoes

Sweet and Spicy Tropical Sweet Potato Slices.

Sweet and Spicy Tropical Sweet Potato Slices. by Sarah Henning

This week we decided to update one of our favorite recipes for 2012. For the past couple of years, I've mentioned that I really love making sweet potato medallions.

We make them every fall and winter and eat them as pretty much a "main course" with some salad or beans, or cooked veggies on the side. And, we probably do this once a week.

Yes, that's a lot of sweet potatoes. And it's a lot of time to get a bit worn out on them. So, I updated our recipe for this year.

Honestly, I think this is my own little passive-aggressive way of dealing with my status as a "rut-loving eater." Because, after some experimentation, I now have a recipe that is very similar to one I love, but completely different. In fact, it takes the best parts of that recipe (the quick cooking time and the light seasoning) and makes it even better but including good fats and low-glycemic sweetener.

More on all that in a minute. First, last week we received white sweet potatoes, grapes, pears, mixed peppers, mixed greens and basil.

Now, you'll notice the sweet potatoes in the picture aren't white. That's because we made a batch that included both white sweet potatoes and regular sweet potatoes and totally spaced on taking a picture of the white ones. Whoops. They were totally delicious, FYI. They aren't as sweet as regular sweet potatoes, but still fantastic.

So, anyway, despite the picture being all wrong, here's the "new" recipe in all it's scrumptious glory.

Sweet and Spicy Tropical Sweet Potato Slices

2 medium sweet potatoes, skins removed and sliced into quarter-inch circles

Coconut oil (to taste)

2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Meanwhile, place parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet and put sweet potato slices on top.

With clean fingers, rub the tops of each sweet potato slice with a bit of coconut oil, just enough to make the top shiny.

Wash and dry your hands and mix together the coconut palm sugar, sea salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the oiled sweet potatoes.

Place the sweet potatoes in the oven for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, flip them with tongs or a metal spatula. Return them to the oven for 10 to 15 more minutes. Serve warm.

Serves 2.

What'd we get this week? More sweet potatoes, salad turnips, greens, salad mix, butternut squash and tomatoes.

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Bye-Bye Bounty, week 21: Peppers stuffed with deliciousness

Stuffed peppers and salad made for a great dinner.

Stuffed peppers and salad made for a great dinner. by Sarah Henning

Amazingly, we’re a bit sick of our favorite fajitas. Crazy, right? I KNOW.

So, this week we tried something different with our abundance of peppers. It was totally delicious: Black Bean, Mushroom and Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers.

They were fantastic AND made from things we had on hand. The thrill of trying something new always seems to be greater when we don’t have to lose the high by running to the store to pick something up. You know?

To review: Last week we received apples, sweet potatoes, lettuce, sweet peppers, hot peppers and grapes from our CSA. All pretty easy things to use right? Right. Salad, salad, sweet potato medallions. BAM.

Meanwhile, our collection of peppers has kind of gotten out of hand (again) lately, mostly because there’s been really good prices on them lately and I just can’t say no. To work through some of them, the hubby and head chef thumbed through one of our favorite cookbooks and found the perfect recipe. Based on the size of our peppers, we’d use eight of them in the recipe and it totally sounded delicious.

We’ve made almost every single recipe in that book, so I’m kind of surprised we hadn’t made them before, but we’ll did and we’ll totally make them again. You should most definitely try them!

We served it alongside a simple salad of romaine, carrots, olives and mushrooms. NOM.

Black Bean, Mushroom and Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers (Recipe by Isa Chandra Moskowitz)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium-size onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups finely chopped mushrooms

1 tablespoon chile powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 teaspoon pure maple syrup

Fresh cilantro for garnish

In a saucepan over medium heat, sauté the onions in the olive oil for 3 to 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and mushrooms; sauté about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms have released their moisture. Stir in the chile powder and salt. Add the quinoa and 1 cup of the tomato sauce (reserve the rest) and the water, lower the heat and cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring once.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare the peppers: Boil a pot of water. Cut the tops off the peppers and remove the seeds. Boil the peppers for 5 minutes and then drain them.

Combine the beans and maple syrup with the cooked quinoa mixture. Stuff each pepper with filling and stand them upright in a baking dish. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the peppers and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, garnish with cilantro (we didn’t do this), and serve.

The stuffed peppers are ready to go into the oven.

The stuffed peppers are ready to go into the oven. by Sarah Henning

What’d we get this week? White sweet potatoes, grapes, pears, mixed peppers, mixed greens and basil.

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Bye-Bye Bounty, week 20: Locally sourced winter squash stir-fry

Butternut squash is actually totally delicious in a stir-fry.

Butternut squash is actually totally delicious in a stir-fry. by Sarah Henning

OK, a confession: this week’s featured recipe actually feature goods I got from the Lawrence Farmers’ Market. That’s probably cheating because “Bye-Bye Bounty” is all about cooking away the goodies to be had in my CSA, but I figure because everything is seasonal, there’s a chance that some of you received some of these items in your CSA this week.

The reason none of my Rolling Prairie items made it into this recipe? Everything was so easy to use that I didn’t even think to take a picture of it.

Seriously.

To rehash, last week we got: Pears, cucumber, peppers, arugula, spring mix, cherry tomatoes, eggplant.

Last week's Rolling Prairie goodies.

Last week's Rolling Prairie goodies. by Sarah Henning

Basically, that amounts to two salads in our household. Arugula with pears. Spring mix with cherry tomatoes and cucumber. The eggplant was cooked up like last week.

So, the recipe I’m sharing doesn’t include any of those items. What it does include is a bunch of fresh veggies and several ingredients that can be obtained locally, whether through your CSA or the farmers’ market or one of the several grocery stores around here that make it a point to sell area-grown produce.

You can get butternut squash, garlic and edamame locally. You could also switch out the button mushrooms for one of the locally grown varieties. Occasionally, you can find broccoli locally, though the heat will probably keep it from appearing for some time. Same thing with the peas.

Butternut Squash Stir-Fry with Veggies and Edamame

1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped into ½-inch pieces

1 pint button mushrooms, sliced with stems removed

2 cups frozen broccoli, defrosted

Extra veggies (optional, 1 had leftover corn and peas)

1 inch ginger, zested

4 cloves minced garlic

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 tablespoon tamari

1 tablespoon cooking sherry

2-3 cups shelled edamame

Water, as needed

In a wok or large skillet, heat coconut oil and garlic over medium heat, stirring regularly. After 2 minutes, add the butternut squash, tamari and sherry and cover. Stir occasionally, adding water to keep it from sticking.

Meanwhile, put the edamame pods in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil four minutes and then drain. Let them cool before popping them open.

Once the squash is soft enough to halve with a spatula, add your broccoli and veggies and stir to warm. Serve with extra garlic (optional) and top with shelled edamame. Serves 4.

What'd we get this week? Apples, sweet potatoes, lettuce, sweet peppers, hot peppers and grapes. Yum!

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Bye-Bye Bounty, week 19: Oven-roasted veggies with pasta and edamame

Oven-roasted veggies with pasta and edamame.

Oven-roasted veggies with pasta and edamame. by Sarah Henning

I can’t believe it’s September. I mean, seriously, this is just nuts. I feel like the summer went by in one sweaty blur. And it kind of did.

For you first-time CSAers, we’re getting to a great transition time. This means you’ll still get some summer favorites like tomato and basil, but they’ll be offered with things you can get in the fall like fresh greens, winter squash, potatoes and fruits. It’s a really great time for local food, no matter where your preferences lie.

Last week we got a nice group of fruits and veggies that are perfect to eat alone or to use as a topper on something else: Edamame, bell peppers, frying peppers, grapes, apples, pears and cherry tomatoes.

Honestly, we were eating the leftovers from next week’s Delicious/Nutritious for the first portion of the week because what I made for our photo shoot apparently can feed a family of three for five days. Look for it in next Monday’s GO!

So, we didn’t really cook with our CSA goodies from Rolling Prairie until Wednesday night.

But what we did cook was something new and different (take that rut-loving brain!). The hubby and head chef thought it would be fun to roast some new potatoes we had with the peppers we got from Rolling Prairie and eggplant we picked up at the Lawrence Farmers’ Market. We mixed them with spinach pasta noodles and topped the whole thing off with Rolling Prairie edamame we’d boiled.

It was DELICIOUS.

I’m sorry the recipe isn’t more exact, we were just totally playing around with it.

The veggies, before roasting. Note: We cooked the potatoes together with everything else. I've amended the recipe to accomodate better for the potatoes.

The veggies, before roasting. Note: We cooked the potatoes together with everything else. I've amended the recipe to accomodate better for the potatoes. by Sarah Henning

Oven-Roasted Veggies with Pasta and Edamame

2 pounds new potatoes, scrubbed and halved

Bell and frying peppers, chopped

Slim Japanese eggplant, sliced into ¼-inch rounds

Edamame

Pasta of choice

Garlic, minced

Olive oil

Sea salt

Balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat the bottom of a glass lasagna pan with a bit of olive oil and add the potatoes. Put in the oven for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, get the water boiling in two separate pots, one for the edamame, one for the pasta. Add the edamame and pasta to their separate pots when the water is boiling. Cook according to directions. (If using CSA edamame without directions, boil for 3-4 minutes in the pods.)

When the 10 minutes are up, add the eggplant and peppers and a bit more oil if needed. Stir in salt and garlic (be conservative, you can always add more when it’s done). Put it back in to roast for another 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, drain the cooked pasta and edamame.

The veggies are finished when the potatoes are cooked.

When all the pieces are finished, layer pasta, veggies and edamame in a bowl. Top with balsamic vinegar and more salt and garlic if desired.

What’d we get this week?

This week's goodies: pears, cucumber, peppers, arugula, spring mix, cherry tomatoes and eggplant.

This week's goodies: pears, cucumber, peppers, arugula, spring mix, cherry tomatoes and eggplant. by Sarah Henning

Pears, cucumber, peppers, arugula, spring mix, cherry tomatoes, eggplant.

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Bye-Bye Bounty, week 18: Buddha bowl and homemade pizza, summer style

Pizza made with CSA peppers, homegrown tomatoes and local wheat flour.

Pizza made with CSA peppers, homegrown tomatoes and local wheat flour. by Sarah Henning

If you've followed my blog for awhile, you'll note that in the winter, I'll cook, bake and take the immersion blender out for a spin while making soup. In the summer, though, I tend to avoid any recipe that uses my oven.

That seasonal culinary flip-flop helps a bit with the "rut-like" nature of my cooking style. Yes, I like to have the same foods over and over again and it doesn't bore me in the least (Well ... it does take a very long time to bore me. Like months.) But, just about the time I get sick of something (FINALLY), the season changes enough to where I'll get the consistent urge to try something new. Or at least pull out old recipes I haven't made in a year.

Which makes this time of year a bit strange for me. It's still hot enough to be summer, but I've found myself craving, and eating, very fall/winter-type staples like sweet potatoes and butternut squash. Heck, last weekend I even got out the crockpot and made a big pot of garbanzo beans. Yes, I used the slow-cooker a month from the end of summer. This is very weird for me.

But it actually turns out that my sudden late-summer obsession with wintery foods pairs nicely with what happens to be available from our CSA. Or, at least this week it did.

So, to refresh, last week we received the following from Rolling Prairie: Pears, two baby melons, spicy peppers, sweet peppers, mushrooms, grapes and basil.

The melons, pears and grapes were devoured easily by our little fruit-loving tyke. Shocking, I know. The basil also had a home in topping sandwiches and green juice.

The peppers posed a different challenge. Yes, I love peppers to death, but this week we had so many peppers from our CSA and from our personal home garden that we had to really work to get through them all. Between the CSA peppers and the ones from our garden, we had probably 20 peppers to use. I'm not exaggerating.

So, we got creative with old favorites. First, we had a pizza night, where our toppings included not only a few of the peppers, but local red onion, homegrown tomatoes and a crust that had both local whole-wheat flour from Moon on the Meadow and local garlic from Maggie's Farm. You can see the (unbaked) results above. We tend to use this pizza dough recipe (with lots of added garlic plus a half-and-half mixture of bread flour and local whole-wheat flour).

A few nights later, we took the remaining peppers and all the CSA mushrooms and made a batch of our rut-making veggie fajitas. But instead of serving them on tortillas with all the accompaniments of regular fajitas, we repurposed them into a Buddha bowl.

This summer Buddha bowl includes fajita vegetables, quinoa, garbanzo beans and a squirt of lime juice.

This summer Buddha bowl includes fajita vegetables, quinoa, garbanzo beans and a squirt of lime juice. by Sarah Henning

You may remember that this winter and spring we were constantly making Buddha bowls, which basically consist of a grain plus veggies and sauce, mixed in a bowl. It's customizable, and we often would top quinoa or millet with our favorite roasted vegetables or sweet potatoes and some avocado.

Well, the Buddha bowl is still one of my favorite dinners, and I can't believe it took me this long to make a summer version, but I did and it was fantastic. The ingredients:

  • Fajita vegetables (We used an onion, mushrooms and a peppers)

  • Cooked quinoa

  • Cooked garbanzo beans

  • Squirt of lime juice

That's it. And it was delightful. Perfect for a nice, hardy dinner after a long run. Brown or white rice and black beans would also sub nicely in this dish, and if you don't like mushrooms, leave them out. All in all, it was a great "new" way to enjoy one of our summer favorites.

What'd we get this week? Edamame, bell peppers, frying peppers, grapes, apples, pears and cherry tomatoes. Yum!

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Bye-Bye Bounty, week 17: Mushrooms, tomatillo sauce and total yumminess

Our mushrooms with tomatillo sauce. MMMM.

Our mushrooms with tomatillo sauce. MMMM. by Sarah Henning

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.

To try to break the fajita rut, we made this recipe using a couple of our CSA peppers in place of the green pepper and tomatillos from the Lawrence Farmers’ Market.

Our farmers' market tomatillos.

Our farmers' market tomatillos. by Sarah Henning

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.

The finished mushrooms. They were so good, I could've just had those for dinner. Forget the other stuff!

The finished mushrooms. They were so good, I could've just had those for dinner. Forget the other stuff! by Sarah Henning

  • 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.

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Bye-Bye Bounty, week 16: A chill drink for “chill” weather

Cool, juicy and perfect for the weather.

Cool, juicy and perfect for the weather. by Sarah Henning

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.

Last week's haul.

Last week's haul. by Sarah Henning

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).

Fajita veggies with black beans, chopped mango and peach salsa on a sprouted tortilla.

Fajita veggies with black beans, chopped mango and peach salsa on a sprouted tortilla. by Sarah Henning

Tomato salad ... yet again.

Tomato salad ... yet again. by Sarah Henning

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).

Mmmm, watermelon and mint.

Mmmm, watermelon and mint. by Sarah Henning

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.

Everybody in...

Everybody in... by Sarah Henning

The watermelon is wet enough that you should not have to add any water. Blend all ingredients until smooth.

So pretty and pink...

So pretty and pink... by Sarah Henning

When that’s done, pour the liquid through a metal strainer to remove any seed fragments or bits of mint that didn’t blend.

Through the strainer...

Through the strainer... by Sarah Henning

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.

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