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.
– 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!
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! 😉
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
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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!
– 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.
– tomatoes – The cherry ones are now part of a caprese salad in my fridge. Yum!
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.
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 😉
– 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.
– 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!
– 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?
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
- Heat your oven to 350*. Ina small saucepan, prepare the Red Beans and Rice according to package directions.
- 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.
- 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
- Cover with the dish lid or aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven.
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
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:
- 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!)
- a tomato! YAY!
- red cabbage
- swiss chard – I chopped this and boiled it with linguine, and served it with homemade pesto
- red leaf lettuce
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!
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
- 2 lbs green beans, trimmed
- 3 tbsp whole mustard seeds
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- Bring a large saucepan or medium-sized pot of water to a boil.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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!
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!
– sweet onions
– romaine lettuce (it was huge!)
– a bag o’ basil
– pattypan squash
– broccoli and cauliflower
– 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…
This is almost a brain dump of sorts – I’ve been meaning to post but honestly, I’ve been working a lot of evenings at the bakery so kitchen experimentation has been at best, a lull. 😦
HOWEVER! I’ve got several day shifts this week, plus band camp next week (I know…already!?) so I’ll have more time to find cook and share recipes with you all. Trust me, I’m excited.
Here’s what we’ve been doing with our CSA vegetables as of late:
- Inspired by a recipe posted by a longtime friend of mine on Facebook, I added swiss chard to enchiladas! In a crockpot, I threw in chicken thighs, a runny can of homemade salsa, and some chopped swiss chard. I let it simmer all day while I was at work, then assembled the enchiladas once I got home and topped them with green enchilada sauce. It was delish and fast.
- Roasted beets are wonderful. Chop off the greens (save & eat ’em if you want), wash & wrap in foil. Roast at 400* for 1 hour. They’re great sliced in salads, or by themselves – I like them with Catalina dressing (that’s how I ate them growing up).
- I’m a real canner now. I made dilly beans!
- I found a recipe in my vegetarian bible for a ‘summer vegetable stew’. It had a Latin flavor to it and was so incredibly filling; it used corn, green beans, tomatoes, pinto beans, and peppers. I froze half of it for a quick meal later.
- Is sauteed zucchini & summer squash not a summer staple in anyone’s dinner line-up right now?
- Chicken breast in fridge without a plan + head of lettuce + I got home from work late = yummy quick salad
Have you been having fun with your CSA?
And so the summer continues. I’m hoping that the weather begins to turn around at some point; I think I’ve only worn a tank-top, oh, twice?
Mike got to bring home the CSA once again as I was at the bakery. I like when he picks it up as well because he can choose our “top-off” options.
– Swiss chard
– Napa cabbage
– red onion
– summer squash
– lettuce blend
The basil is gone already, as I got to make one final batch of garlic scape pesto.
As for everything else…it’s a new week! Time to plan 🙂