CSA ’14: Week 11

School has started and we are back into the swing of things. So much so, that I’ve been a little behind on almost every single to-do list. I’ll get there (I hope).

This past week we at least remembered to pick up our CSA on time!

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In this past week’s box…
melon!
tomatillos! I made a great salsa last year and I’ll (finally) be making it next week
jalapeño and Fresno peppers
green peppers
pickling cukes
eggplant
lettuce
slicing tomatoes
cherry tomatoes
onions
basil

Any fun things in your CSA this week?

Jalapeño Coleslaw

Summer is all about cookouts, and with it being late summer, these gatherings are still in full force. I’m not complaining one bit – the next few weekends for us are filled with plenty of get-togethers with friends and family. Obviously, it’s good to have several ‘entertaining’ dishes up your sleeve for these occasions.

My husband is a big fan of coleslaw. With me, I could take it or leave it – at least, the stuff that you see pre-made at the deli and/or sold in bulk. I had never tried my hand at homemade coleslaw up until a week or two ago. Now that I have, it might be safe to say that I’ve turned a corner of sorts.

Don’t let the name fool you – this coleslaw does have a jalapeno pepper in it, but it isn’t overpowering at all. It gives just a bit of a bite.

Jalapeño Coleslaw

adapted from Serious Eats

For the Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped – I used the stuff that they sell in the tube. Love it.
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

For the Slaw:

  • 1 large head of green cabbage
  • 1-2 carrots; peeled and grated
  • 1 large jalapeno – stemmed, seeded and diced (unless you want it super hot)
  1. Make the dressing: whisk together all dressing ingredients. Set aside (or in the refrigerator).
  2. Make the slaw: Using a mandolin, shred the cabbage; if you don’t have one, then finely chop it by hand.
  3. Combine the cabbage, carrot and jalapeno in a large bowl. If serving right away, pour dressing over vegetables and toss to coat. Add salt, pepper and/or sugar and season to taste. If serving later, refrigerate the slaw until ready to serve (or transport in a cooler). Mix everything together when it’s time to eat.
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I know, I know. Functionality over plating…

 

I really enjoyed this dish. We brought it over to a friend’s house for a cookout where they were serving pulled pork sandwiches. It paired really well together. The cumin, lime juice and pepper give this coleslaw a Southwestern flair to it; you could easily serve this with chicken or with fish tacos, too. It tastes wonderfully fresh and beats the store-bought slaw, hands down. Then again, homemade dishes beat store-bought ones anyways, right?

They say Labor Day is the end of summer, but don’t let it – keep on enjoying this great weather!

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 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!

Green Beans with Honey-Mustard Glaze

This past week, we were able to harvest the first green beans (ok, bush beans) from our garden. We picked almost an entire gallon Ziplock-full…with several more that should be ready any day now. Between our garden and CSA, we’ve had a lot of green beans to eat – needless to say I’ve been looking for new ways to make them, other than casseroles and simply steamed/boiled (I don’t know about you, but I get tired of steamed vegetables really, really quickly).

I came across this recipe during an internet search and was immediately drawn to it by its use of mustard seeds. I had a small bag of them in my pantry from buying them for a recipe ages ago – and had just enough for this recipe. Lo and behold – I also had just enough honey for this recipe, too. All signs were pointing to YES!

Green Beans with Honey-Mustard Glaze

from Real Simple

  • 2 lbs green beans, trimmed
  • 3 tbsp whole mustard seeds
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  1. Bring a large saucepan or medium-sized pot of water to a boil.
  2. Once the water is boiling, add the green beans and cook, uncovered, for 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and set aside in a large bowl.
  3. Dry the pot and return it to the stove; turn on heat to low. Toast the mustard seeds until they begin to pop (about 1 minute). Consistently stir to prevent scorching.
  4. Add the honey and vinegar and cook until the sauce comes to a boil and becomes syrupy. Drizzle over the green beans; toss and serve.

 

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This recipe was fast! We were able to tag-team dinner; Mike made burgers and I made the green beans in about 15-20 minutes flat. It was absolutely perfect for a busy Monday, and it gave us some much-needed variety with all the green beans that we’ve been eating (not that I’m complaining – fresh green beans while in season are wonderful!)

There is a really nice balance between the honey, rice vinegar, and mustard. It’s not too savory, not too vinegary. I am wondering, however, how this would work with apple cider vinegar instead of the rice vinegar.

If you’re stuck in a rut with your green beans, and have a nice amount of mustard seeds in your cabinet to use up – definitely go ahead and try this recipe. You’ll enjoy it!

 

CSA ’14: Week 5

I started to get a little excited this past weekend since the weather was nice and sunny…and above 70*! And then…today, 65* and overcast. Where, oh where is my summer? This is making everything grow so slowwwwwly…

…though despite the weather, our CSA share this week was plentiful nonetheless!

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– beets
– sweet onions
– romaine lettuce (it was huge!)
– a bag o’ basil
– cucumber
– pattypan squash
– broccoli and cauliflower
– fennel
– green beans
– lacinato kale – We’ve already eaten this…sautéed with olive oil and garlic, yum!

Just like in years past, the challenge will be deciding what to do with the fennel…