June 2012 archive

Eat Your CSA – Using Your CSA Vegetables – Week 4

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This gorgeous spread is courtesy of Colvin Family Farms - for more information on this project, read the guidelines here.  If you’d like to join in with me, feel free to post links to blog posts where you talk about how you’re using your CSA produce.  Or just post a comment if you don’t have a blog.  I’ll also be tweeting about how I use my CSA box on twitter using the hashtag #eatyourCSA.  If we get enough participation, I’ll start a weekly round-up post as well.

Here’s what was in our box for week number four:
2 heads of lettuce
1 head cauliflower
1 large zucchini
4 straightneck squash
1 large pattypan squash
1 bunch radishes
1 bag kale
1 bag arugula
1 small bag new potatoes
6 small cucumbers

Farmers Market Purchases:
Peaches from Mountain Meadows farm

Garden:
Swiss Chard (can hold in garden)

Leftovers from last week:
1/2 head napa cabbage
2 onions
1 turnip
garlic scapes
blueberries

Saturday:
Breakfast – carmelized onion, summer squash & lardon frittata, zucchini-carrot-ginger bread (recipe coming soon), peaches, coffee with Cruze Farm milk
Lunch – leftover zucchini & summer squash fritters, sliced turnips & radishes
Dinner – homemade onion rings (3-4 parts beer to 2 parts flour until pancake batter consistency, dip rings in & deep fry at 350 degrees), homemade potato chips, salad with creamy caesar dressing & spicy croutons

Sunday:
Breakfast – Eggs in Hell, zucchini-carrot-ginger bread, blueberries
Lunch – salad with creamy caesar dressing & spicy croutons
Dinner – salt boiled new potatoes, steak, refrigerator pickles, sauteed radish greens
Snack – zucchini-carrot-ginger bread

Monday:
Breakfast – 2 hardboiled eggs, bacon, zucchini-carrot-ginger bread
Lunch – salad with arugula, leftover steak & radishes
Dinner – zucchini “pizza” w/ frozen pork ragu sauce

Tuesday:
Breakfast – summer squash sauté topped with cheddar cheese, zucchini-carrot-ginger bread
Lunch – salad with arugula, leftover steak & radishes
Dinner – sushi with friends

Wednesday:
Breakfast – summer squash sauté topped with cheddar cheese, bacon
Lunch – kale & lentil salad, steamed new potatoes
Dinner – stir-fry with ground pork, napa cabbage, onions & summer squash

Thursday:
Breakfast – Eggs in Hell (onion, chipotle, tomatoes, kale)
Lunch – leftovers – kale & lentil salad and stir-fry
Dinner – salad, summer squash falafel, tzatziki sauce

Friday:
Breakfast – last piece of zucchini bread, fried eggs
Lunch - leftover summer squash falafel, tzatziki sauce, cucumber refrigerator pickles
Dinner – Taco Bell – too hot & tired from garage sale pricing to cook!

Leftovers for next week:
1 head cauliflower

Broccoli and Soba with Toasted Sesame Seed Sauce, the Gift of Improvisation & Snarky Cats

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This was so good that I licked the plate.  As I was licking the plate, a Mira-cat was eating near me.  She turned toward me and gave me side-eye and I’m pretty sure that if she could talk, she’d have said “At least I eat daintily out of the bowl like a civilized person. Peasant.”  After retorting that at least I don’t lick my own ass, I realized that I’m really glad my cats can’t talk. One, because I’m pretty sure they’re snarky jerks but two, you all would think I was crazier than I already am.  My cats keep my secrets but only because they can’t verbally negotiate deals to sell them to the highest bidder.

One of the skills you need to develop when you belong to a CSA is the ability to trust yourself to improvise.  Note – I did not say that you need to learn how to improvise.  Because you already know how to do this.  Yes.  You do.  No arguing.  What you need to learn how to do is to let yourself improvise.

Eating locally and seasonally is delicious and being part of a CSA will give you produce that is fresher than you can imagine.  But it’s very different from planning a menu and going to the grocery store to get those groceries.  Or even going to the farmer’s market to get the produce you need.  You need to learn to be flexible. You need to let yourself improvise.

So improvise.  Make mistakes.  Know that it won’t always work out but that’s OK.  It will probably be edible and you’ve learned what not to do.  A lot of times that’s just more important than knowing what to do.

This is the frittata I made the other day.  It stuck to the pan.  I don’t care.  It’s delicious and allowed me to use up some yellow zucchini, onions and the lardons I had left over from the salad I made the other night.

Risottos, pasta dishes, egg rolls, stir-frys, salads, pizzas, fritters – all of these recipes can be played without a lot of trouble.  Change out cheeses, vegetables, spices, meats, etc.  You can even create your own recipes.

This is not a recipe for exact amounts and ingredients.  Instead of broccoli, put blanched asparagus or cauliflower in it.  Or barely blanched summer squash.  Or sliced cucumbers.  Or lightly steamed and chopped greens.  Have a fresh turnip that needs to be used?  Dice that up and throw it in.  Are you out of soba?  Spaghetti noodles would work. I love ginger and garlic and I wouldn’t hesitate to add more.  More scallions would be a lovely touch as well.  Cilantro sprinkled across the top would be delicious.  Add in diced chicken, shrimp or tofu.  I had no hulled white sesame seeds so I used brown, unhulled ones.  Next time I make this, I’ll probably double the broccoli and use half the noodles. Play with this.  It’s hard to screw up.

Broccoli & Soba with Toasted Sesame Seed Sauce
Adapted from Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmons
Serves 2-3

1/2 cup white sesame seeds
8 ounces dried soba noodles
4 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar or balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
4 – 6 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 T minced fresh ginger
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
5 scallions, chopped fine, both white and green parts
4 heaping cups small broccoli pieces, blanched

Preheat oven to 375. Pour the sesame seeds onto a rimmed baking sheet. Toast the seeds in the oven until they are a rich brown color on the edges.  The recipe said 10 minutes but this took only 5 minutes in my oven.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the soba noodles and cook for 5-6 minutes or until the noodles are just tender.  Drain them, rinse well with cold water and drain them again.

In a large bowl, stir together the vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sesame oil and scallions.  Add the noodles.  Stir well.  Add the sesame seeds.  Stir well again.  Add the broccoli, stir well and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Eat Your CSA – Using your CSA Vegetables – Week 3

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Here’s what was in our box for week number three:
Napa cabbage
2 heads of lettuce
2 medium heads broccoli
1 head cauliflower
3 onions
2 zucchini
3 crookneck squash
2 yellow squash
1 bunch radishes
3 turnips

Farmers Market Purchases:
Raspberries from Mountain Meadows farm
Daikon radish from Terraced Gardens Farm

Garden:
Swiss Chard (can hold)

Leftovers from last week:
Lot of blueberries left from picking them at Blueberry Hill
1 1/2 bulbs of green garlic
1/2 head of cabbage
garlic scapes

Saturday:
Breakfast -hardboiled eggs, VG’s Bakery pastries (so good!), raspberries and blueberries
Lunch -lettuce salad with creamy dill dressing and canned salmon
Dinner – Birthday celebration! Homemade eggrolls (cabbage, carrots & shrimp), homemade plum sauce canned last year, Momofuku pork buns & crack pie, lots of bubbly!
Snack: sliced radishes & turnips

Sunday:
Breakfast -bacon, coffee, raspberries & Advil :)
Lunch – salad with creamy dill dressing, hamburgers
Dinner – pizza with radish leaf pesto, ricotta cheese, mozzarella & zucchini, sliced radishes

Monday:
Breakfast -German pancake with raspberries, fried egg, coffee
Lunch – broccoli & soba with toasted sesame sauce, blueberries
Dinner -Salad with poached egg and lardons

Tuesday:
Breakfast -summer squash frittata, blueberries and raspberries
Lunch – leftover broccoli & soba with toasted sesame sauce
Dinner – roast chicken, blanched broccoli & cauliflower with buttermilk bagna cauda

Wednesday:
Breakfast - summer squash frittata, blueberries
Lunch – salad with lettuce, leftover roast chicken and buttermilk dill dressing
Dinner – Leftovers from my birthday dinner & daikon radish relish

Thursday:
Breakfast – 2 hard boiled eggs, blueberries
Lunch - salad with lettuce, leftover roast chicken and buttermilk dill dressing
Dinner -Stir-fry with tempeh, turnips, green onions & napa cabbage

Friday:
Breakfast – carmelized onion, summer squash & lardon frittata, blueberries
Lunch - salad with lettuce, leftover roast chicken and buttermilk dill dressing
Dinner – zucchini & summer squash fritters, zucchini-carrot-ginger bread

Leftover for next week:
1/2 head napa cabbage
2 onions
1 turnip
garlic scapes
handful of blueberries

Put Up:
Radish leaf pesto – freezer

 

Other people blogging about their CSA experiences!
My Farm Fresh Adventure
Snowflake Kitchen

Eat Your CSA – Using your CSA Vegetables – Week 2

Week 2 CSA Vegetables

 

Here’s what was in our box for week number 2:
Bag of kale
Pint of strawberries
2 Heads lettuce
Medium head of cauliflower
Bulb green garlic
Large head of cabbage
2 zucchini
3 assorted summer squash

Farmers Market Purchases:
1/2 pint blueberries
More Blueberries picked from Blueberry Hill

Garden:
Raspberries
Jalapeno peppers
Swiss chard – can hold in garden

Leftovers from last week:
Bok Choy
Bulb of green garlic
garlic scapes (from garden)

Washed Kale

Saturday:
Breakfast – eggs scrambled with swiss chard & garlic scapes, strawberries
Lunch – steamed sugar snap peas with cauliflower tahini spread & tzatziki sauce, strawberries
Dinner – stir-fry with ground pork, onions, bok choy & cilantro
Late Night Snack – bacon wrapped jalapenos & homemade rhubarb syrup soda

Sunday:
Breakfast – fried eggs, strawberries, raspberries & blueberries
Lunch – leftover stir-fry
Dinner (at my parents) – grilled chicken breast, noodles and salad

Last dinner at my parents’ old house. They’ve lived there 21 years!

Monday:
Breakfast (at my parents) – fried egg, German pancake with strawberries & blueberries
Lunch (at my parents) – huge salad
Dinner (traveling) –  Pal’s Sudden Service – Goodbye Kingsport!

Goodbye Kingsport! Hello Knoxville!

Tuesday:
Breakfast – fried Eggs & blueberries
Lunch – garam masala roasted chicken, straightneck squash sauteed with curry powder, indian spiced braised kale (cumin, cayenne, ginger & garam masala)
Dinner – leftovers from dinner, gin cocktails (watching the Transit of Venus!), cauliflower tahini spread with crackers

Wednesday:
Breakfast - summer squash frittata
Lunch – salad with homemade creamy peppercorn dressing & canned wild salmon
Dinner – hamburger patties, leftover Indian spiced kale, zucchini bake (made by rehydrating sun-dried tomatoes in Cruze farm milk, sprinkled with romano& mozzarella  cheese

Thursday:
Breakfast - summer squash frittata
Lunch – salad & leftover zucchini bake
Dinner – celebratory meal out because my parents closed on their new house in Knoxville!

Friday:
Breakfast - eggs scrambled with swiss chard & garlic scapes
Lunch - salad with creamy peppercorn dressing & canned wild salmon
Dinner – picnic dinner after picking blueberries: teriyaki chicken strips, Asian coleslaw(not a good recipe – threw the leftovers in the compost pile) & blueberries

My sister, Ally, picking blueberries with us.

Leftover for the next week include 1 1/2 bulbs of green garlic, 1/2 head of cabbage and garlic scapes (these keep for weeks in a bag in the crisper)

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