CSA ’14: Week 10

This past week, we were so busy that we even forgot to pick up our CSA on Tuesday; we ended up getting it a day late. Thank goodness for patient farmers :) I’ve been doing what I can to process as I go, but I also put in a lot of hours at the bakery so I still have quite a bit to do tonight before school tomorrow.

I think I’m ready for it. It will be nice to get back into a routine of sorts!

  • IMG_1912cherry tomatoes
  • I think zebra tomatoes?
  • two heads of lettuce – Salads for lunch – no matter what!
  • onions
  • jalapeno peppers – I think a can of pickled jalapenos is finally in order!
  • green peppers
  • larger tomatoes – I finally had enough to make a batch of salsa
  • zucchini
  • cucumbers – made into pickles
  • potatoes – Just the right amount for potato salad on Labor Day!
  • kale
  • eggplant – I have some Indian and Moroccan meal-makers in my pantry…this may be a great *quick* dish for yoga night.
  • parsley – I’ll be making chimichurri to freeze.

My husband asked me the other day why we haven’t had so many tomatoes to process this year – I blame the wacky Michigan weather! However with this warmer spell in the coming week, maybe we’ll get a few more! ::fingers crossed::

 

CSA ’14: Week 9

One week left of true summer break…teacher workdays are next week! Where has the summer gone? I think it’s safe to say, however, that I am starting to look forward to it.

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- eggplant – I made a huge batch of eggplant parmesan, which will be clutch for lunches this week
green cabbage
jalapeño/serrano peppers
two heads of lettuce
tomatoes – I only received this through the top-off feature, which was surprising…
red and white onions
beets…it must be one of those years for beets!
rainbow chard

So far this week, I’ve purchased peaches, burger, and eggs at the market.

Any suggestions out there for beets!? Even with the batch of beet beer, we still have a bagful. Help!

Chimichurri Sauce

I have to admit it – I’m a bit of a condiment/sauce queen. Our refrigerator is full of hot sauces, dressings, sauces, mustards…I love the zing and the variety that they bring to an otherwise typical meal in my house and I’ve found myself really putting forth some restraint during the summer months to not buy something new every week.

We’ve had our CSA parsley patiently waiting around, sitting in a glass and covered with a plastic bag. This technique has kept it fresh for the past several weeks, until I figured out how to use it. I then thought back to several years ago when I had made a flank steak with chimichurri sauce  for my fiancé’s birthday. I didn’t own a food processor back then so chopping herbs was really a chore. But, the end result was worth it and the sauce tasted amazing.

So, with newer kitchen gadgets and all the right ingredients, I whipped up this sauce in about 10 minutes – no manual chopping required! ;-)

Chimichurri Sauce

adapted from Food and Wine

  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3-4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper (or more/less to taste)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  1. In a food processor, combine the parsley, vinegar, garlic, oregano and crushed red pepper. Process until smooth; season with salt and pepper. Add the olive oil and process again, until the oil and vinegar emulsifies.
  2. Taste a little bit of the sauce. Add more of any of the above ingredients if you wish. Pulse to process, and repeat as necessary.

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The chimichurri sauce smells and tastes amazing – it’s so bright and summery. I plan on making this with flank steak, but it would also taste great on fish. Why not on grilled vegetables, too…or for dipping bread?

I think it’s safe to say that the possibilities are endless with this savory, herby sauce.

Shared over yonder at Homemade Mondays, hosted by Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity.

 

CSA ’14: Week 8

We had so much produce in our box this week that for about two minutes, I felt slightly panicked. Talk about getting our money’s worth!

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- beets – Rumor has it that my husband the Brewmaster is brewing with beets…:-)
– purple peppers
– zucchini and squash – It is time for the tried and true zucchini bread recipe. I tried a chocolate chip one and it was a huge fail.
– celery – I immediately chopped it up and froze both the stalks and the leaves. Leaves for stock and flavoring, stalks for soups.
– cucumbers
– onions
– eggplant
– kale
– broccoli
– cauliflower
– tomatoes – The cherry ones are now part of a caprese salad in my fridge. Yum!
– lettuce

My FoodSaver bags will be hopefully arriving today, so I can process more veggies for our deep freeze. I bought a little handheld one off of Amazon and it works really well; I’ve noticed a difference in how everything freezes and thaws.

On a completely different note – and unrelated to cooking – I have purchased a steam mop. All I can say is “wow…why did I wait so long to purchase one?!” I’m in love.

CSA ’14: Week 7

So begins a gorgeous week! No rain in our forecast for the next several days (lots of watering instead) and temps above 75*! My favorite ;-)

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- tomatoes!!! – I’m going to supplement my share with some from the farmer’s market and get a batch of salsa done
3 heads of lettuce – Lots of salads need to be consumed…you’d think this would be easy.
kale
summer squash – we received one of every variety, so maybe I’ll bake?
red cabbage – Both of my cabbages have been quartered & cored, washed, vacuumed-sealed and frozen. This works great for soups, stews and other recipes during the winter! If only I had a crock, I’d try making sauerkraut!
garlic
eggplant! – Eggplant Parmesan is definitely in our future :)
– onions – I’m starting to get a surplus. Either a jar of pickled onions is in order, or I just need to cook more.

Any fun plans with your CSA share this week?

Stuffed Pattypan Squash

Patty-pan squash, as cute as they are, had taken up some ‘prime real estate’ in my crisper drawer over the past week (so to speak). Before, I had always just sliced them up and sautéed them, since they had a really nice shape and they’re so user-friendly because you don’t have to peel them. However, we all know that squash can become relatively boring, especially in the thick of summertime.

I began doing some research, as I often do, for new and exciting ideas. I came across this.

How could I have not thought of this earlier? I’ve seen stuffed zucchini again and again on my favorite blogs – why can’t I do the same thing with patty-pan squash? It’s the same idea as stuffed peppers, but if you aren’t a huge fan of bell peppers or just not in the mood, it could work really well…right? Right!

Stuffed Patty-pan Squash

Inspired by Oh My Veggies!

  1. Heat your oven to 350*. Ina small saucepan, prepare the Red Beans and Rice according to package directions.
  2. Take your patty-pan squash and carefully slice off both the stem top and the nubbin on the bottom, so that it sits flat. Scoop out the seedy insides, but leaving enough squash to hold in the rice.
  3. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Arrange the squash in the dish; fill each squash with the rice mixture – and really fill them up. Then into the casserole dish, pour a 1/4-cup of water
  4. Cover with the dish lid or aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven.

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I topped mine with a little bit of cheese.

As you can see, I made the recipe with one of those really handy mixed rice packs that you find at the store. I had it in my pantry and truthfully was feeling pretty lazy from kayaking earlier in the day – so it worked out really well. The squash is very filling, too, which I know that my husband appreciated after coming home hungry from playing soccer.

I think this could really work with other types of mixed rice products out there. Be sure to read your labels if you’re trying to avoid MSG or insanely processed foods. I’m sure that making your own filling with rice and other assorted spices/vegetables could work as well. The best part about this is that because zucchini & squash are so versatile, the possibilities are pretty endless. I’d like to try this with Asian-inspired flavors to see how it turns out.

So, now I have yet another fun way to use those adorable patty-pan squash :) Try it out for yourself; I don’t think you’ll be very disappointed!

 – Shared on Homemade Mondays at Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity

CSA ’14: Week 6

What an exciting week in CSA-land! Temperatures up here are starting to creep up, which means that more variety is on its way. Vegetables are finally starting to grow!

In our own garden, we harvested a gallon-sized Ziploc bag of peas, and a gallon plus a half of green beans. With more to come! Tonight the game plan is to cut up the green beans and throw them in the deep freeze. We also harvested our first tomatoes…now if we can just keep the weeds down, we’ll be in business.

Here’s what arrived in our CSA this week. Mike got to (once again) pick it up, since I had band camp and couldn’t go earlier in the day:

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  • kale – we sautéed it with olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes
  • plenty of Italian parsley (thanks to our market master, I have a plan for how to use it!)
  • beets
  • a tomato! YAY!
  • red cabbage
  • broccoli
  • swiss chard – I chopped this and boiled it with linguine, and served it with homemade pesto
  • red leaf lettuce
  • onions
  • CORN!!!!

My husband and I celebrated our anniversary this past weekend and went out to eat a little too much – so I still have a significant amount of produce to go through before our next box on Tuesday. Thankfully, I have Monday off and Tuesday morning to tackle the bounty and get ready for even more fresh produce!