Sunday, August 2, 2015

CSA Week 8/9

Things got away from me last week and I only got around to making 1 dish. I also think it is directly related to how hot it has been, not really an excuse, but maybe a reason. So this week I had to make up for slacking off...

What I had to deal with:
green onion
italian sweet peppers
zucchini (TONs from various sources)

The one dish I was able to make last week was a Greek-style veggie casserole. It used potatoes, oregano and zucchini. It also called for green beans and feta. Very tasty but I thought olives would have been a nice addition. I started using it like a hash for breakfast...really good with a runny yoke fried egg on top. 

My box sharing friend had her baby, so my gift to her was to use her share of the box and cook it up for the new parents. So I made a chicken, quinoa and summer veggie skillet. The recipe called for chunks of zucchini but most of the zucchinis I had were larger so I decided to shred them up and add them to everything. In this dish, they basically just melt into the dish.

What smaller zucchini I had, I made into garlic marinated zucchini. You fry up the sliced and salted zucchini then marinate in red wine vinegar, herbs and garlic. It sits at room temp for about an hour and you have a herby-sour side. 

In addition to the overwhelming amount zucchini, I also got a ton of green onions. I found a recipe called green rice, which uses up various greens and cooked rice. Mine had the green onions, broccoli tops, zucchini, and chard. The recipe used white rice, but I have loads of rice blends so I used a red, brown and black rice mix. You add in some egg, milk and cheese then bake. It comes out as a sliceable dish...loads of veggies and nuttiness from the rice. Yum!

Since the oven was on (and I had loads of zuccini), zucchini bread it is. This time a double chocolate muffin. I made 2 batches - one batch of muffins and a loaf. Can you guess the baby's gender? ;)

Jalapeno mac and cheese made an appearance again to deal with the first batch of jalapenos for the year. I added in the shredded zucchini so I didn't use as much pasta. I also used quinoa macaroni this time over the orzo. I also added in the last of my bacon jam...match made in heaven.

I'm exhausted...made most of this in one afternoon!! Will not let it get away from me again...

Sunday, July 19, 2015

CSA Week 7

Here's what's in the box this week:
summer squash (1)
zucchini (1)
chard and vinaigrette (went to my friend)

Half the kale was eaten as slaw, since I still had some dressing left over from last week. The other half I turned into kale chips. This is so easy and the kale shrinks down to nothing. It's a great way to use it up, plus way cheaper than the kale chips you can buy in the store! Well, I can't really comment on the packaged kale chips, as I refuse to buy them when I can make my own. These I dusted with chile-lime salt - a seasoning you can find in the Mexican section of the grocery store or online. The key is to spread everything out into a single layer, or they won't dehydrate evenly - even use a few pans if needed. 

For Sunday breakfast, I decided to make a hash with the potatoes. I picked through my growing supply of potatoes for all the smaller ones and boiled them first. I also used the summer squash and zucchini in the hash, as well as the last of the chicken from last week. The key to a good hash is to make sure you get good browning and crunchy bits. That's a bit hard for me, as I just can't seem to leave things alone (it has taken me many years to learn to make good fried eggs, since I have a tendency to flip too soon). For me, the key is to multitask so I get too busy to constantly tend to the pan. 

Still have the oregano left and the lettuce. I'll use the lettuce up in work salads. Will hit the farm stand down the street to beef up my salads with some cucumber and peppers. There's lots of potatoes left, so I was thinking about making a lemon, oregano, potato salad...will have to find a recipe for that...

Sunday, July 12, 2015

CSA Week 6

Here's what came in the box this week:
baby beets and greens
rainbow chard
green onion
kale (went to my box sharing friend)

My CSA also started the u-pick farm this week. I picked:
green bell pepper
purple kale

I also was fortunate enough to get 2 bags of lettuce from two of my co-worker's gardens!

I had a work picnic this week, so I used the salad greens to make a giant salad. I added in green onions, radish (from about 3 boxes ago), pickled rhubarb, golden raisins and slivered almonds. I made a honey balsamic dressing that used up the rest of the beet green pesto from about 2 boxes back. The salad was truely large and I ended up with lots left over, so I added the bell peppers and some lunch meat and brought it into work - it was gone...

The beet greens and chard were cooked down on the day I got the box so they wouldn't wilt in the fridge. I then added them to zucchini butter from last year that has been in my freezer and some pasta for lunches for this coming week. The pasta also got some Asiago cheese, baby brie, pasta water and lime juice.

The kale was made into a salad - my favorite kale salad, a kale Caesar slaw. I usually have all the ingredients on hand - anchovy, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, parmesan. The dressing is so creamy and lemony and bright, I just love it. You also add in a hard boiled egg and that never hurts anything. (

I'm constantly amazed at the internet - I do a lot of research at my job to find answers to random questions from my providers and can usually find the answer, so when I was looking for what to do with the sage, an herb I usually associate with the fall, I was not surprised to find a sage and beet dish. What did surprise me was that I found a beet and potato salad with a lemon dressing, and since I love lemon, that sounded yummy to me. ( This salad is more of the German potato salad style, where you make an acidic dressing and you toss the potatos and beets while warm. This dressing used lemon juice, jalapeno, oil and onion, which I used the green onion for. I only had a small amount of beets, so I used an equal amount of potatoes. It was very good and it is also gone... (see a theme here?)

So what to do with the sage? I added a few leaves to the beets when I roasted them (I know the recipe from above says to steam them, but that's messy with beets and roasting is so much better). I followed a Martha Stewart recipe but added some oil, salt, pepper and the sage. ( Since the beets were from the farm box, I had a wide variety of sizes, so I had to cut some down so the cooking time would be the same - it ended up being about 30 min. Then you let the beets steam off their skins and you just rub them off with a paper towel. It's actually not all that messy and I had only a few red fingers (mostly from cutting the beets to size).

What else to do with the sage? I decided to make a sage, lemon, garlic scape (I have a straggler from the box from 2 weeks ago) and green onion paste for a butterflied chicken. The chicken is from a farmer friend who I also got a few ducks from - those to be used in the future!

So far, I seem to be keeping up with the box. I am interested to see how things progress now that we are getting into the bigger growing season and my box sharing friend is due to have her baby fairly soon - that just means that I will be cooking the whole box and sending goodies to the new parents. I am also happy to report that the u-pick farm has tomatillos - I see enchiladas in my future!!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

CSA Week 5

Here's what's in the box this week:
Beet greens 
Rainbow chard
Green onions
Yellow squash
Cilantro pesto
Purple collard greens (given to my friend as part of her share)

The greens were sautéed and added to beans and chicken thigh confit for a quick cassoulet. 

The chicken thighs being sous vide'd in a mix of bacon fat, vegetable oil and ghee. Which, note to self, get the stupid vacuum sealer and stop using jars!! The chicken turned out fine since I was going to shred it anyway but if I wanted to brown the skin, it wouldn't have worked.

A quick search of the Internet archives found a recipe for summer squash pasta with cilantro lime pesto. ( So I used the pesto from the box, added lime zest and juice and some Asiago at the end. The lime is what made it - light and fresh. 

So far, have yet to use the green onions. So they are just going to hang out on my window sill until some great thought comes along. 

Hope everyone had a happy and safe 4th of July!!!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

CSA Week 4

Here's what's in the box this week:
Beet greens
Bok choy
Garlic scapes
Sweet and spicy vinegarette 
(Sorry no pic this week)

The beet greens were sautéed and added to what is becoming my standard morning breakfast - scrambled eggs with greens and green garlic butter. 

The zucchini was turned into zoodles then sautéed with the vinegarette, teriyaki and hot sauce. 

The bok choy was turned into an Indian dish with lentils. I loosely followed this recipe but used a pre-made spice mix.

The dill was made into a Greek style yogurt cucumber salad. It has my homemade yogurt, dill, scapes, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper 

I also added the scapes to the salad and to the dal in a scape-ginger paste.

I really enjoyed using my fun new kitchen equipment- my spiralizer!!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

CSA Week 3

Here's what's in the box this week:
Mixed lettuce
Beet green pesto
Lambs quarters
Garlic scapes 

Lambs quarters is something I've never heard of before (far right of pic). Apparently they are native to the area and grow wild. They are spinach-like and can be used where you would use spinach. First thing I did when I brought the box home was sauté the lambs quarters and radish tops. They made an appearance in my morning eggs (along with the green garlic butter, mornings are very happy at my house lately). 

I knew I wanted to make a dip because I was going to a blues festival over the weekend and wanted something portable. Spinach dill dip came to mind. I had some yogurt and ricotta. Added the garlic scapes and lemon. Voilà. The taste is pretty garlicky - I may be overly sensitive to raw garlic taste. I don't dislike it but it's one of those things that anyone around you should also partake...just so you are in the same boat.

What was left of the dill will be dried to be used for pickles. 

The beet green pesto went into a tomato, cucumber and mozzarella salad. It will also make an appearance as salad dressing base for the lettuce and radish. 

I think my approach to the CSA this year is to set myself up for success - sauté what greens you can to be used later so that you don't waste anything. We will see if I can still be so zen when I have more zucchini than I know what to do with...time will tell

Thursday, June 11, 2015

CSA Week 2

Here's what's in the box this week:
Mixed Salad greens
Garlic scapes
Hakurei turnips with greens
Spinach (went to my box-mate)
Vinaigrette (went to my box-mate)

Cut to obligatory salad picture. I am happy to report that there will likely be many pictures of salads to come! I added the cilantro to the salad greens and used the cilantro to make a cilantro-lime dressing (left over green garlic pesto, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, cilantro, juice of a lime, agave). The salad has pickled rhubarb, lactofermented green beans, white beans, turnips and tuna. 

I braised the turnip greens and turnips separately. The greens got a quick wash and chop, to the pan I added fat (I recently confit-ed chicken thighs, so I used that flavorful fat), some roasted garlic, and the washed greens. The beans in the salad I cooked from dry, so I added the pot liquor (aka bean cooking liquid - which, if your are going to store your beans for any time period, store them in the liquid, they will last much longer) as my braising liquid. Cook until your liquid has evaporated and the greens are tender. Once cooked, these can go in anything - for me, it made an appearance in my breakfast eggs with the green garlic butter...oh so good!

The turnips were braised with the garlic scapes. I used my pot liquor again in place of the stock. These turnips are Japanese in origin and raw taste like my mother's favorite veggie - kohlrabi. Braised like this, they are tender and sweet.