CSA

CSA Week 2: Results

I wasn’t as stressed out by my veggies this week. Maybe I’ve already adapted to the fact that getting a weekly CSA share means extra cooking. And I had some success with the turnips! Yay! I don’t hate them. I made a Turnip and Onion Soup, which also included potatoes. I think the potato cut the turnip-y taste a bit and helped me enjoy them more.

I also made a yummy chicken stir fry that included the tatsoi and snap peas. Snap peas are really tasty! I’ve been missing out on those for sure. I used the greens from both the turnips and beets in a lentil dish, which was good as well.

My one “fail” for the week was the kale and the beets, surprisingly. I do like both. But I tried a kale and roasted beet salad that just didn’t taste good leftover. It was good the first time I ate it when it was fresh. The second time i had it, I choked it down a little. And then i just couldn’t bring myself to eat the third serving. Live and learn, i guess.

Do you have any good recipe suggestions for the next time I see kale or beets in my share?

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CSA

CSA Week 2 – More Greens!

Every Monday I get an email describing what’s going to be in my next CSA share. I’ll be honest – I spend a lot of time obsessively checking my email on my phone on Mondays. It’s nice to have a preview of what’s coming and it gives me time to search Pinterest for recipe ideas. Maybe time to stress a little about figuring out ways to handle more cooking greens.

So this week, my pickup included:

  • Lettuce
  • Scallions
  • Beets! (with greens!)
  • Turnips (with greens!)
  • Kale
  • Tatsoi
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Strawberries

Isn’t it all beautiful?

Kale, tatsoi, scallions, turnips

Kale, tatsoi, scallions, turnips

Strawberries, beets, lettuce, peas

Strawberries, beets, lettuce, peas

 

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CSA

CSA End of Week 1

Who would have thought produce could be stressful? It was the Asian greens. I had planned to cook them in a soup on Wednesday but due to some family issues, I wasn’t able to. And I had plans on Thursday evening (another 5k!), so I was worried I would find a slimy mess on Friday instead of the crisp bunch of greens I had picked up the weekend before.

I guess the best thing about a CSA is that the produce is so fresh. The Asian greens held out! I used them in a soup and also sauteed some to go along with some pork I had leftover.

I was a lean, mean, vegetable eating machine last week.

My biggest cooking success of the week was the Swiss Chard with white beans and sausage, using this recipe: Kale with Sausage and White Beans.  

I also made a pretty banging radish and kohlrabi slaw using the following as a guide: Radish Salad.

That was definitely my first encounter with kohlrabi and I haven’t eaten a ton of radishes that I know of. But show me a recipe that lets me use the fresh cilantro in my garden, and I’ll try it.

My only bummer of the week was the turnips. I don’t know that I like turnips. I tried making turnip fries in the oven… I did force myself to eat them throughout the week, but today what was left went in the garbage.

So I guess turnips 1, Jaime 0?

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CSA

2015 CSA Challenge

Back in the spring I signed up for my first ever CSA share from Easy Pickin’s Orchard. I chose this particular farm because they offer half shares and also include fruit in their weekly shares. Well, fast forward to last Saturday and it was already time for my first CSA pickup!

I decided I really like the idea of prepaid produce.

I also decided that this was indeed going to be a challenge upon seeing the actual size of my half share. I had gone to the orientation meeting a couple weeks before and learned that I could either take the bin the produce was in home and bring it back the next week, or bring a reusable bag to put everything in. I showed up with my little reusable tote and realized that all this wasn’t going to fit.

Hello, my pretties

Hello, my pretties

Off the bin and I went home, and I realized I needed to do something with all this fresh goodness. Good thing I’ve been hoarding produce bags from the grocery store for ages, is all I have to say.

While I was prepping my fresh-gotten gains, I realized that I would likely find eating all these fresh veggies in a week to be a challenge. A good kind of challenge, but a challenge nonetheless. I’ve been struggling with adding more vegetables to my diet in my adult life. As a kid, I would have told you corn and tomatoes were my favorite veggies. And now I find myself staring at the alien-looking kohlrabi, imagining it waving it’s “arms” at me, saying “eat me!”

So I challenged myself to waste minimally and find new ways to enjoy all these locally grown veggies coming into my home for the next 19 weeks.

Lettuce, radishes, chard, Asian greens, turnips

Lettuce, radishes, chard, Asian greens, turnips

Kohlrabi, scallions, strawberries

Kohlrabi, scallions, strawberries

Week 1 Contenders

  • Lettuce (I got this one!)
  • Swiss chard
  • Harkurei turnips (and the greens!!)
  • Scallions
  • Radishes
  • Red Asian greens
  • Kohlrabi
  • Strawberries (yummy)

It’s Wednesday and I can say I’m off to a good start already. I’ll update you later this week on how I did!

Do you have participate in a CSA? Let me know if you have any recipe suggestions!

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Recipe Monday

Eating Colorful Foods

Sometimes eating pretty food just makes meal time better. And I know it’s good for you to eat a wide range of colorful veggies. But I didn’t set out for that when I decided to make Thai Chicken Pizzas. Instead, I was trying to think of a way to use up some cilantro I had left and a reason to buy a package of soft pitas from my local discount produce store. I must have had inspiration from some prior Pinterest browsing when I decided that’s what I was going to make. I whipped up a quick chicken in peanut sauce, cut and shredded some veggies, and voila!

Isn't it pretty?

Isn’t it pretty?

I layered a whole wheat pita with peanut chicken, a bit of shredded mozzarella, some jalapenos, red peppers, zucchini, carrots and stuck it in the toaster oven to bake. Once everything was warmed through and cooked a bit, I topped it with fresh cilantro. I will definitely be making these again!

Here’s the recipe for the peanut chicken. Have fun playing around adding different types of veggie toppings!

Peanut Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 cooked chicken breast, shredded (mine yielded about 7 ounces)
  • 3 tsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste

Directions

  • Stir together peanut butter in water until it dissolves. Stir in rice vinegar and pepper flakes. Mix in chicken until coated.

Quick-glance nutrition information (from myfitnesspal app)

Servings: 4 (about 3 ounces each) | Calories: 201 | Fat: 12.3 grams | Carbs: 5.5 grams | Protein: 18.7 grams

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Mid-Week Break

Thoughts Of Spring

Okay, winter. I’ve had enough. I don’t want to be cold anymore. I’m sick of having dry, flaky skin around my nose. My nails are getting so brittle that they’re chipping and peeling again. And my car is not handling the sloppy roads well.

I’m crying “uncle.”

And I’m starting to think about spring and the return of a lush, green world. I’ve already got a gardening yen going. I’m starting to think about what vegetables I want to grow this year. Is it worth it to do zucchini again? My plot is small and it takes over. I can’t wait to pick out annuals for my front garden.

I want to feel the sun on my bare skin.

I’m also thinking of finally signing up for a CSA share this year. I guess it’s been on my bucket list. I’ve been curious about them for years now. I’ve checked out the offerings of local farms. But I’ve always been a bit intimidated by the cost and the possibility of overwhelming amounts of vegetables that I might not know what to do with.

I found one at a local farm that offers half shares, AND they include fruit in their shares. I think this is the right choice for me. I’m this close to putting down a deposit this weekend. I think it could be fun, challenging and healthy.

Have you gotten a CSA share before? Did you enjoy it?

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Recipe Monday

Recipe Monday: Cabbage and White Bean Soup

I had some luck with two recipes I winged this weekend. One was a crock pot pork stew-thing that could have gone pretty wrong and the other was a soup, which would have been pretty hard to screw up. Although in my wine buzz, I probably could have managed it, but I didn’t. And now I want to share it with you.

I was inspired by some so-called zero points Weight Watchers recipes I saw on pinterest, but I didn’t follow any one recipe specifically. I’ve been adding some turkey meatballs from my freezer to up the protein count. This would also be great with some boneless pork ribs thrown in.

Cabbage and White Bean Soup

Yum yum soup

Yum yum soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1/4 vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1/2 small zucchini, sliced
  • 3 cups cabbage, chopped
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1 14.5 oz can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Using an immersion blender, puree about half the beans with a little liquid (optional)
  • Put all ingredients (except salt and pepper) in a pot and bring to a boil
  • Simmer for about 45 minutes, until vegetables are soft
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste

Quick-glance nutrition information (from myfitnesspal app)

Servings: 4 (2 cups each) | Calories: 168 | Fat: 0.8 grams | Carbs: 32 grams | Protein: 9.2 grams

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