Sunday, August 9, 2015

CSA Week 10

Here's what came in the box this week:
egggplant
tomatoes
potatoes
scallions
cucumbers
kale
summer squash



This week I feel somewhat put together...somewhat. I made a one-pot Spanish style chicken and potatoes. You first cook down the eggplant, tomatoes, onion and garlic (I also added in peppers that were left over from last week). Then you put everything in the blender. I originally thought that you put in cooked chicken, so I poached chicken in some homemade veggie broth (I needed the broth for another recipe). After reading the recipe again, it turns out you cook the chicken and potatoes in the sauce you just made (guess this shows you that you need to really read those recipes before you start cooking...oops). So I browned the cut up potatoes then added in the chicken and sauce and simmer until everything gets all bubbly. I couldn't quite get what was "spanish" about the dish, so I added in some smoked paprika and herbs with the potatoes. After simmering for 10 min or so, I added in fresh chopped parsley and left over chard from last week. Served over rice, this will be my lunch for the week. http://pinchofyum.com/one-pot-spanish-chicken-potatoes



I also made a gnocchi skillet with summer squash and kale. This recipe was orginally a fall type dish, using butternut squash and sage - I made it into a summer dish by using summer squash and dried thyme. The dish was to be put under the broiler but it was too hot to turn on the oven - lots of parmesan cheese later, and it was sooo delicious. You use packaged gnocchi, I found a whole wheat version and have been keeping it around for this type of dish. This seems like a very fancy dish and it didn't really take too long to make - would be good for a company first course or dinner for 2. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/gnocchi-with-squash-and-kale-recipe.html



I got a massive bunch of scallions - the biggest bunch ever, really, so I was really trying to find a dish that would highlight the scallions. I found a recipe that made the scallions into a pesto. To take the edge off, you saute the onions in oil with garlic while the pasta is cooking. I added in the last of my peppers from last week and everything went into the blender with lemon zest, lemon juice, more olive oil and pasta water (I also added in parsley since I had to buy the bunch for the spanish chicken). I put the sauce into the bottom of a big bowl and added parmesan cheese and the hot pasta and stired it all up. It was nicely balanced and a lovely green color - and it didn't get dark like basil pesto can (due to oxidation). For a second meal, I added some cooked chicken sausage and it was much heartier. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/spaghetti-with-scallion-sauce-232616 



I also made a crustless zucchini pie. Yes, I did end up turning on the oven - it was more of a last minute decision as I had to make a dish for a work picnic. I was looking for something that wouldn't need to be heated and would be ok at room temperature. This dish seemed to be the perfect for this situation. I still had some zucchini that I shredded from last week - I was planning on making fritters during the week but it didn't happen, so I made this instead. I was surprised the shredded zucchini lasted like that in the fridge (and tip - it seemed to actually dry it out). The recipe called for shallot and chives, but I used the scallions instead. I also added in parsley, since I had it. It turned out really good and I would make it again - very nice for a light lunch or brunch. http://www.skinnytaste.com/2012/07/crust-less-summer-zucchini-pie.html 



The last thing I made was a quick salad with cucumber, tomato, feta, parsley and red wine vinegar. I had the feta left over from a few weeks ago, so I was glad to use it up. The vinegar is one that I made and it tends to be a bit overly acidic, so I added some honey and it was nice, bright and fresh. 

For some reason, this week seemed to be much more managable...maybe I'm getting used to it??

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:
garlic
basil
oregano
parsely
chard
green onion
potatoes
jalapeno
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. http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/greek-style-vegetable-casserole 



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. http://ifoodreal.com/chicken-and-garden-veggies-quinoa-skillet/



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. http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-garlic-marinated-zucchini-221250 



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! http://food52.com/recipes/28027-green-rice



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. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/jalapeno-popper-orzo-mac-n-cheese-recipe.html



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:
potatoes
kale
lettuce
oregano
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
sage
green onion
potatoes 
kale (went to my box sharing friend)

My CSA also started the u-pick farm this week. I picked:
green bell pepper
jalapeno
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. (http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/tuscan-kale-caesar-slaw)

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. (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/beet-potato-salad-with-lemon-709) 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. (http://www.marthastewart.com/336625/basic-roasted-beets) 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. (http://dishingupthedirt.com/summer-squash/roasted-summer-squash-pasta-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
Zucchini
Bok choy
Dill
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. http://food52.com/recipes/26050-bok-choy-dal-tadka-dhaba-style-bok-choy-in-spiced-lentil-curry




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
Radish
Lambs quarters
Garlic scapes 
Dill



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