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Category: CSA

  1. Thursday, June 23, 2011

    My First Freshly-Shelled Peas

    This week I did something in the kitchen I’ve never done before: I shelled fresh peas. I remember clearly a picture book from my childhood where a little girl who lives in the mountains shells peas with her grandmother on the back porch. That scene is so clear in my mind, soaked in nostalgia, what I perceived as the perfect childhood¬†pastime. For whatever reason, however, fresh peas in the pod have never crossed my path, whether on a back porch in Appalachia or in my own kitchen!

    Last week we received a bag of English peas in our CSA bag. I was super excited to eat super fresh peas, to see if it made a difference in flavor. So, on Sunday, I set to work!

    First off, shelling them was actually kind of fun and satisfying…just what I thought it would be years ago reading that story as a child. BUT…you have to shell a LOT of pods to get not-so-very-many peas. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

    Secondly, they did taste better. I mean, they’re still peas. If you don’t like peas, then fresh or frozen, you’re probably not going to fall in love. They tasted how I expected, maybe just a bit fresher. But the real advantage is the texture was better, crisper, fresh.

    It’s official: freshly shelled peas are great!

    If you like peas…

    And if you don’t mind manual labor…

    But really, they’re great! ūüėČ

    As always, feel free to share any pea recipes you love!

  2. Sunday, June 12, 2011

    Menu 229 Menu…and a few thoughts on eating locally

    Each week I like to have a photo for the weekly menu post, and I think for the summer I’m beginning to develop a theme – my CSA produce! It’s kind of fun sharing the various things that are in season in our neck of the woods, so I hope you don’t mind! This week we received a cantaloupe. It came from somewhere a little further south of where most of our CSA farms are located, but still relatively local.

    Have you ever read Under the Tuscan Sun? The thing that stayed with me the most from that book was realizing how out of touch I am with what foods are in season when. Throughout the book (a memoir about an American woman buying a home in Tuscany), the¬†author¬†visits Tuscany in the summertime. So much of the writing is about the food she cooks and eats during those summers. Then, at the end of the book, she and her family have their first Christmas in their newly¬†renovated¬†home. When the author heads to the market, she is stunned to discover that none of the foods she was expecting to see are available. It was winter and the assortment was quite different. She learned to embrace this way of eating, a way that was more in touch with the earth. That’s how I’ve felt being part of a CSA…I’m finally learning when food actually grows and planning our meals around that, rather than just heading to the store and getting whatever I want whenever I want, which oftentimes results in eating out-of-season produce or food that has traveled a bazillion miles at great environmental cost. Not to say we didn’t pick up a watermelon from Mexico last week, but at least when I bought that watermelon I was actually aware of where it came from…i.e. really far away from my kitchen!

    And now, this week’s menu!

    Potato Leek Soup (yup, we got potatoes and leeks in this week’s CSA bag)
    – Yummy bread

    Vegetarian Chickpea Burgers (didn’t get to these last week)
    – Fruit

    – Last day of school! I think we’ll go out to celebrate!

    – Leftovers

    Homemade pizza – I need to use up some honey goat cheese in the fridge, and Finley had “Pear, Arugula and Prosciutto Pizza” on her menu last week…doesn’t that sound divine?

    – Eat out after Cate’s 1st annual dance recital!

    – Beef Stroganoff (this was on Fran’s menu last week, one of my favorite meals as a kid…think I’ll give it a whirl, it’s been a while!)
    – Salad or veggie with bread

    You know the drill…this is when I beg you to share your menu for the week! Let’s see what you got!

  3. Tuesday, June 7, 2011

    Call for Recipes: Green Beans

    We haven’t done a real honest-to-goodness¬†Call for Recipes in ages. It’s about time, don’t you think? I love getting you all to share your favorite recipes and I really should make you do it more often!

    I have a big old bag of green beans sitting in my fridge from last week’s CSA bag. They want to be eaten, and they want to be eaten well. I usually just steam green beans then saut√©¬†them with olive oil, salt and pepper. It’s delicious. But today I was thinking, green beans have so much more potential!

    So let’s tap into that potential, folks. Summer is here. Green beans are too (or will be soon!). Share your best most favorite recipes with green beans or your favorite way to prepare them. Nate loves green beans, so I have a feeling he’s going to be very happy with today’s post!

    P.S. If your recipe involves a can or frozen bag of green beans, bring it on! We are equal opportunity green beaners around here.

  4. Sunday, June 5, 2011

    Week 228 Menu

    Look what we received in our CSA bag this week:

    Peaches? Seriously? Already? We are so spoiled here in California! I need to really enjoy this CSA while we’re still living here. (And, no, that is not an announcement that we’re moving or anything…just anticipating the future possibility of moving from this produce heaven.)

    – Hot dogs. I know. Fancy. Healthy. All that.
    – Fresh fruit and green beans from our CSA

    Orange Chicken
    – Rice and veggie

    Vegetarian Chickpea Burgers

    – Leftovers

    – Nate will be camping with the girls…so I’ll probably just get some yummy cheeses and baguette and pig out on that.

    – Eat out

    – Breakfast for dinner…I’m seeing waffles in our future

    Your turn – please share your plan for the week! Last weekend was a holiday, so I gave you a free pass…but now it’s back to business! Get your menus up here! ALL of you! (Does that sound drill seargeantish enough?)

  5. Sunday, May 29, 2011

    Week 227 Menu

    Here’s out latest CSA discovery: romanesco broccoli. Isn’t it cool looking? Both my girls are super excited about it. I think I’ll just roast it like I do cauliflower. Although, it’s kind of a shame to cut the thing up!

    Menu time.

    – Memorial Day! We’ll actually be driving home from a quick trip to Monterey, so probably eating on the road.

    Stuffed Peppers

    Bertucci’s Tortellini

    – Homemade Pizza (plain cheese and honey goat cheese with caramelized onions)

    – Leftovers

    – Eat out

    – Breakfast for dinner, TBD

    I know probably none of you are on the computer this weekend, but if you are, please share your menu! And if you aren’t, we’ll see you on Tuesday. Happy Memorial Day, everyone!

  6. Friday, May 13, 2011

    Leftover Boiled Potato Problem Solved!

    I know that leftover boiled potatoes is not a frequent problem for most of us. It isn’t for me. But I’m writing this post anyway because I’m feeling all proud and stuff. Occasionally I¬†end up with leftover boiled red potatoes sitting in my fridge. We always have them with Swedish Meatballs (whether homemade or from the Ikea freezer section), and I almost always end up cooking more than we end up eating.

    birds eye view of boiled potatoes cut into chunks

    We had Swedish meatballs last weekend (the Ikea variety) and have had about 8 boiled red potatoes sadly sitting in our refrigerator ever since. They just wanted to be eaten, but I honestly didn’t have anything to eat them with!

    skillet fried potatoes cut into chunks in a white bowl

    Then today a lightbulb finally went off in my head. Home fries! I quickly cut the cold, boiled potatoes up into chunks and within minutes we had perfectly cooked home fries. Anna and I ate them alongside french toast made with stale bread. I was feeling quite resourceful…and our bellies were very happy! Plus, they cooked so fast. It was fabulous!

    Leftover Boiled Potato Problem Solved!
    From me‚Ä̬¶this is not really a recipe, more me telling you what I did with my leftover boiled red potatoes
    Cuisine: Side Dish
    • Leftover boiled red potatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks, skin on
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Garlic powder
    • Paprika
    • Olive oil
    1. Pour a bit of olive oil into a skillet over medium to medium-high heat. When skillet is hot, add potatoes. Sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper, then evenly with a bit less paprika and garlic powder. Cook until heated through, less than 5 minutes. Stir occasionally during cooking time.

    One more thing…I know most of you are still waiting for Spring to arrive, and I feel a tinge of guilt whenever I mention my CSA, but I just have to say this: the red potatoes we receive from our CSA taste way better than the ones I used to by at the store. Another 10 points for joining a CSA!



  7. Sunday, May 8, 2011

    Week 224 Menu…and Happy Mother’s Day!

    Happy Mother’s Day! Cate told me yesterday that Mother’s Day was my day to relax, so I’m taking up her on it. It’s funny, when I planned my menu last week, I forgot that Sunday was Mother’s Day. We will not be having breakfast for dinner tonight. In fact, Nate is cooking filet mignon. I can’t wait for dinner!

    We received some Japanese sweet potatoes in our CSA bag last week. I kept neglecting them, so Nate roasted them up yesterday. They were so good. They taste like sweet potatoes, but they have a more buttery, almost squash-like flavor. Just another wonderful item we’ve discovered through our CSA. So glad I finally got my act together and signed up!

    – Leftovers

    Caprese Paninis (didn’t get to these last week)

    Whole Wheat Pancakes

    – Eat out (Kindergarten open house that evening)

    Barbecue Chicken Pizza

    – Chicken Teriyaki
    – Veggies and rice

    Kitchen Sink Quesadillas

    Time for you to share your menu for the week! If you’re a meal-planning mom, you don’t have to post your menu today. I’ll cut you some slack. Consider it my Mother’s Day gift to you! (That said, you still better share it sometime this week!)

    Oh, and if you’re looking for Mother’s Day reading material, be sure to check out the Top 9 on DailyBuzz Moms right now. I forgot to tell you, but DailyBuzz Moms is a new, beautiful website that I have the honor of editing. So excited about my new gig! ANYWAY…like I said, there are some good Mother’s Day posts on there right now. “So we dance” made me cry while I was editing the other night. My non-pregnant coworker said that post got her too, so I don’t even think it was my hormones. ūüėČ

  8. Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    Beets That Are Pure Gold + Roasted Beet Salad

    I’ve tried to convince you to like beets before, and I’m not going to stop until I get at least one of you beet haters on the beet bandwagon. As a beet convert myself, I know it’s possible. And, today, I’m going to make it even easier for the beet haters to give them another try.

    Here’s the secret: eat golden beets. I don’t even know where you can find them because I found them in my CSA bag the week before Easter. But all of you (beet haters and lovers alike!) should try to find fresh, in-season, golden beets sometime. The flavor is milder and, well, just plain yummy. (I think the food magazines are knocking on my door after that amazing description.)

    Before I get you thinking golden beets don’t taste like beets, they do. And, I’ll be straight with you…the non-beet lovers at the Easter feast did not gobble these beauties up. But the non-beet lovers did admit these beets are better than your average, run-of-the mill red beet. I consider that success.

    Plus, they’re gorgeous. Seriously. My camera ate them up almost as enthusiastically as I did.

    Roasted Beet Salad with Spinach and Goat Cheese
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
    • - Beets (golden if you can find them)
    • - Spinach
    • - Goat cheese
    • - Your favorite salad dressing‚Ä̬¶Girard‚Äôs Champagne dressing is awesome with this salad
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the greens and ends off of the beets and wrap each beet in some foil. Place in a roasting pan. Roast 40-60 minutes, until beets are pierced easily with a sharp knife. Let cool a bit, then peel of the skins.
    2. Slice beets then top with spinach, crumbled goat cheese and salad dressing.

  9. Thursday, April 14, 2011

    CSA Fun: Green Garlic

    I officially have my first item from a CSA bag that I have never eaten before. And the winner of this coveted title is…green garlic.

    Here she is.

    I felt like I had to get it. After all, the farms where my produce comes from are in an area that is the garlic capital of the country. Green garlic is essentially young garlic that is often pulled by farmers to thin out the crop (although also harvested on purpose as it gains popularity). Green garlic has a milder flavor than garlic and is, apparently, delicious.

    So, what am I gonna do with this here green garlic? I don’t even know what it will look like when I cut into it! I’m thinking I might chop one up and¬†saut√©¬†it with the asparagus we received in the same CSA bag. If any of you have ever used it and have ideas, please share! I need your wisdom!

  10. Thursday, March 17, 2011

    Butternut Squash Cauliflower Leek Soup…my first CSA creation!

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone! Every year I try to plan a fantastic green feast. And this year I still don’t know what I’m doing! However, I just took a gander at what we ate last year, and it was great inspiration. I think we’ll have green chicken piccata, green mashed potatoes (potatoes from our CSA bag) and baby broccoli (also from our CSA bag). I’m sad I didn’t get a corned beef to cook, but maybe we can get one on sale tomorrow and enjoy it a few days late!

    I do have a good non-green recipe to share with you today, however. Last week I was planning to make butternut squash soup, since I had ordered butternut squash with my CSA bag. When it arrived, I got two baby butternut squashes. While super cute, they weren’t going to provide quite enough squash for the recipe. However, I had three leeks in the bag and a beautiful head of cauliflower, so I made some modifications. The result – a deliciously buttery soup with great flavor!

    Butternut Squash Cauliflower Leek first CSA creation!
    A deliciously buttery soup with great flavor!
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Soup
    • 2 small butternut squashes (or the equivalent amount‚Ä̬¶probably about 2 pounds or so)
    • 3 leeks, green tops cut off, and leeks cleaned and chopped into 1-inch pieces
    • ½ head cauliflower
    • 2 T butter
    • about a teaspoon ground ginger
    • 5 cups chicken stock
    • salt and pepper to taste
    1. Half butternut squash and roast in the oven until easily pierced with a knife, 45-60 minutes. Steam cauliflower until cooked but not mushy.
    2. Melt butter in large soup pan. Saute leeks in butter 5-10 minutes, until soft. Add ginger and let cook a minute or two more. Add broth and bring to a boil. Carefully add cauliflower and scoop out the butternut squash from the skins and add to the pot as well. Reduce heat to low and simmer 20-30 minutes.
    3. Carefully blend soup in batches until it is all smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Eat!