CSA Box Week 5 with recipes!

Here’s what we got!

 A pepper, a cucumber, another white eggplant, a bunch of carrots, fennel (?)

Bag of greens, bag of basil, green onions (hiding), micellaneous corn, a paper bag with….

 

 ~Ten tomatoes

 Eight ears of corn!

 Closer look at the bag of greens, an onion, a yellow squash, a pepper (any guesses as to what kind?), melon

In sum:

  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 eggplant, white
  • 1 bunch carrots
  • 1 fennel
  • 1 bunch of green onions
  • ~10 tomatoes
  • 8 ears of corn
  • 1 bag greens
  • 1 bag basil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 melon
  • 1 pepper

Not a bad haul.

I’ve realized something. Getting our CSA box is helping me learn how to cook. I cooked before but I was not adventurous. I would eat “anything,” but I didn’t really know how to prepare veggies aside from boiling or steaming them.

I mentioned last week that I would share the recipe I used for coleslaw. What I needed was a coleslaw that I could eat, but that didn’t have mayo in it because my husband hates mayo. I just Googled “coleslaw without mayo” and I stumbled upon Gluten-free Goddess’s Snappy Crunchy Coleslaw. LOVE IT (and so does my husband). I made it a bit differently than she did. I skipped the caraway seeds, dill, cumin, and pepper and just drizzled honey on it because I’m addicted to sweet.

Oh yeah, I added cucumber too (yeah, I have quite a few of those!)

The texture was a bit too chunky for me so the next time I made it, I dusted off my mini-Cuisinart (received it as a wedding gift many years ago – probably haven’t used it since my son’s birth) to pulverize all the veggies and it looked like this:

 I added chopped-up kohlrabi, skipped the onion, and let my son push “chop” and “grind” The texture was way better.

Since I had my seldom-used trusty mini-Cuisinart out, I decided to try making salsa. I had never made salsa before so I never knew it was so easy! I used the recipe for salsa with nectarines and corn from the book Cooking for Isaiah by Silvana Nardone. Salsa recipes can be found anywhere and are super easy (and delicious). I ended up skipping the corn and just whizzing the tomatoes and nectarines (and the rest of the ingredients) in the little machine. Part of my problem with tomatoes is that I don’t like chunks. The salsa I made had no chunks. I used a banana pepper (moderate spice level) instead of a jalapeno, which was a great substitution.

I took a picture of the salsa, but I can’t share it because it was the color of puke. Tasted amazing, but after getting tossed around in the food processor it didn’t look so great. You’ll have to trust me on that one.

I also made corn cakes with red pepper, fennel and basil for Sunday’s breakfast. My husband almost died — they were that good. Also from Silvana’s book though I added what I had and didn’t know how to use: the fennel and the basil. No pictures because I forgot. Her book is my go-to gluten free cookbook.

Lastly, I’m perfecting the “use something for two meals” technique. I roasted a bunch of veggies:

Before they baked for 45 minutes. By the way, the beets and potatoes are from the farmer’s market. No after pic…

That night we had sandwiches with roasted veggies on the side. The next day I made a stew starting out with oil in a pan and chopped onions (from the CSA) and then chopped up the leftover roasted veggies and threw them in there. I let it sit for a bit while I boiled up some lentils, wild rice, and black quinoa. Threw everything in one big pot and it turning into a terrific stew. To guide me I used an old magazine cutting “If you have lentils, you could…” and it gave a beginning cook an idea of where to start. Hilarious, but it was a great road map. I keep a small binder of interesting recipes that I cut out of magazines and the paper:

I’m big into casseroles and stews. My husband loved the lentil stew, but my son? Not so much.

I still don’t know what to do with every veggie. I still feel overwhelmed in the kitchen a lot of the time. I still deal with food refusals from my son.

But at least I’m trying. One thing I’ve learned through this blog is that it’s worth it to take risks.

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14 Responses to CSA Box Week 5 with recipes!

  1. Kathryn Hutchison August 17, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    It is so much fun seeing you tackle home cooking and all those CSA veggies, Mrs. Q! Keep up the good work and have fun. 🙂

  2. Teachrs August 17, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

    Looks like jalapeno.

    • kimmaroo August 17, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

      Looks like jalapeno to me, too.

    • Yiran August 18, 2011 at 7:36 am #

      Still wondering why they only gave you a single lonely jalapeno though…

  3. Ellysa August 17, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

    I have a book called “The Vegetable Book” (Collins Spencer) that may be useful to you. It divides veggies by family, then provides you with basic information about the vegetable, how to grow it, the nutritional value of it, how to prepare it, and then finally (da-da-da-DA) recipes. For example, I looked up fennel. I learned that it’s considered part of the parsnip family (meaning that it’s sister is the carrot), that in order to get bulb fennel and not herb fennel, you have to harvest the plant young, and that fennel can make a good digestive tea. It then has the recipes for fennel soup, fennel fritters, fennel in a white wine sauce (which can be used to make a casserole of sorts), and fennel nicoise. The recipes aren’t necessarily GF or DF, but you’ve been creative with substitutions before…

    • rebecca.brothers August 17, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

      There’s a book called “The Veganomicon” that sounds pretty similar.

  4. Danielle August 17, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

    You are so right about the CSA box pushing you in your culinary adventures.  I find it a fun challenge to use up all the fruits and veggies each week, which means lots of new recipes!  I’m glad you’re enjoying yours and it looks like you’re off to a great start with your recipes.

  5. Marisa Haugen August 17, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    seconded on the funky-shaped jalapeno. I grew one single plant one summer and had more jalapenos than I knew what to do with, they constantly grow and regrow 10 at a time! That was when I discovered they don’t agree with me…

  6. Michelle Oliphant August 17, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    Yay Mrs. Q! I’m so proud of you for your kitchen explorations!!!

  7. amy August 18, 2011 at 12:26 am #

    This week I got 7 ears of corn.. a buttload of zucchini.  i just headed to the grill and did them all on there.  there are only 3 of us but easy to nosh on it through the whole week.  the tomatoes i got were ‘eh’ so i am going to slow roast them in the oven and use in pasta.  going to do the carrot and potato pic either tomorrow or friday!  thanks for that tip!  got those too!  no beets but roasted beets are THE BEST EVER!  mmmm… (and you can also pickle roasted beets.  Alton brown has a kickin’ recipe.)  

  8. Uly August 18, 2011 at 6:31 am #

    Definitely fennel. Roast it and drizzle it over with olive oil and a little lemon juice or balsamic vinegar. Mmm.

  9. Erin August 18, 2011 at 9:07 pm #

    I love fennel! Raw, it makes a really nice salad: slice the bulb as thinly as you can and top with some slices of avocado and oranges, then drizzle with a little olive oil. (You can eat this any time of year, but I especially like it in the winter when all the tomatoes taste like cardboard.) It’s also great in soups, spaghetti sauce and other recipes that start with the directions “saute the onions and garlic.” Add a bit of chopped fennel to those onions and garlic for a nice little “je ne sais quoi” factor.

  10. Guest August 19, 2011 at 1:43 am #

    Hi Mrs. Q,
    I believe your “Mystery Pepper” may be a jalapeno.
    I have 4 VERY similar looking peppers on my plant. Funny story, I don’t
    like jalapenos but one day at the local greenhouse the sales gal
    offered me a jalapeno plant as my “free plant” for buying so many other
    plants.  I felt so bad for the little plant I took it home and planted
    it. Wouldn’t you know it, the one veggie I don’t care for grows the
    best!!

  11. Neysa King August 23, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    Hooray!  CSAs are a great way to start eating better, cooking more, and you get to support a local farm! Glad you’re enjoying it Mrs Q

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